[identity profile] starwolf_oakley.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Frank Tieri is an underrated writer, and underrated "continuity pornographer." Dan Slott is best known for continuity porn these days, since Keith Busiek's focusing on ASTRO CITY the fast few years. But Tieri can bring the continuity porn as well, as he did in WEAPON X and EXCALIBUR.

Now he brings the continuity for us to slobber over again in LETHAL LEGION #2. A lawyer named Livingston is visiting a group super-villains in the Raft to get the full story on an attempted kidnapping. And the attempted kidnapping victim was Norman Osborn. In this issue, Livingston talks to Wonder Man (!) and the Absorbing Man.






Simon has been kept isolated from the other prisoners for his own protection. Starting off, Livingston asks Simon Williams how he got involved in a kidnapping scheme with some of the Avengers' worst enemies.

lethal

Fan rant: I liked Simon's speech in that NEW AVENGERS issue. It showed how frustrated he was being a "super-hero" and how it never solved anything. Simon's gotten the short shrift since Bendis took over the Avengers books. Bendis *could* have explored Wonder Man wondering "Am I really Simon Williams or just Wanda's idea of Simon Williams given form by her powers?" during and after HOUSE OF M. End of fan rant.

That crunch is Simon breaking his TV remote. There is a knock on the door. It's Eric Williams. Eric and Simon fight for a bit. (Grim Reaper can stand up to Wonder Man's punches?)
After an hour, Simon finally asks Eric what's up?

lethal2

It's been a while since the Busiek/Perez AVENGERS issues that covered the Simon/Eric relationship. For a long time the Grim Reaper's deal was "The Avengers killed Simon!" before changing to "Vision and Wonder Man are pretending to be Simon!" Plus GR and Nekra had one of those freaky villain/villainess relationships. Then the 90s came along and the Grim Reaper was more "KILLKILLKILL."

lethal3

Eric introduces Wonder Man to the team. The Absorbing Man refuses to work with "a pig with powers" and leaves. Livingston wonders if that ties into how the Lethal Legion got caught, so he goes to talk with the Absorbing Man.

Creel wins a no-powers prison boxing match, which are good for "prisoner morale."

lethal4

Tieri brings the Continuity Porn again! DAREDEVIL: YELLOW revealed Carl Creel was Jack Murdock's opponent in his final fight.

He's fought almost every A-list and B-list Marvel hero, but Creel's never been a complicated villain. They've added interesting aspects to him like his love for Titania and a strong aversion to killing innocent bystanders. The times he's been shattered/broken/dissipated/evaporated/etc. may have affected his outlook on life more than he'd like to admit.

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named said that Creel boxed under the name "Rocky Davis," which was Creel's cousin's name. Rocky Davis also became a super-villain.

lethal5

So Carl Creel has a sense of right and wrong, and Osborn "running the show" is wrong. Meaning the Absorbing Man is smarter than the federal government of the Marvel Universe.

Creel narrates the Kidnapping of Norman Osborn. The Lethal Legion distracts the Dark Avengers, while Iron Patriot can't be bothered. Absorbing Man sneaks up and fights the Sentry. More continuity as Carl says the Sentry "damned near killed me" the last time they fought, which was during a CIVIL WAR tie-in. Simon grabs Iron Patriot and flies off. But...

lethal5 001

Curiouser and curiouser...

LETHAL LEGION is an interesting part of DARK REIGN, if not a vital one. It asks the question: What happens to the super-villains who don't want to tow the line with Norman Osborn?

Date: 2009-07-30 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mcspakypants.insanejournal.com
I plan on getting most of the Dark Reign minis in trade format, and judging by the scans I've seen so far for most of them, this included, I'm looking forward to reading them.

Date: 2009-07-30 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] punishermax.insanejournal.com
It's really enjoyable so far, the "after the fact" style really works in it and seeing the Sentry get his ass kicked is always fun.

Date: 2009-07-30 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] espanolbot.insanejournal.com
"It asks the question: What happens to the super-villains who don't want to tow the line with Norman Osborn?"

Well if they're Zodiac, they steal the personality of Heath Ledger's Joker, gut some people and then go on to call the Human Torch gay because he's "flaming".

Date: 2009-07-30 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] punishermax.insanejournal.com
What the hell is up with Zodiac? I bought issue one and the big reveal of who he was totally went over my head. Is he someone we should know or something?

Date: 2009-07-30 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] espanolbot.insanejournal.com
I think that it was meant to be either a shock about how old he appeared to be, or that he looked like the blond guy from Runaways.

Date: 2009-07-30 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashtoreth.insanejournal.com
This mini has been surprisingly good. Creel's characterization is lovely, and the lawyer has an air of 'Matt Murdock without the powers' which some of us really enjoy. I picked it up because I prefer my villains to be too proud and out of control to ever (H.A.M.M.E.R.) toe the good boy line, no matter how well it paid. I have not regretted it. Tremendous, understated drama.

Date: 2009-07-30 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] venommelendez.insanejournal.com
It's not like the real life goverment is any better. We've had open Klan members in office for christ sake.

Date: 2009-07-31 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schmevil.insanejournal.com
Really? Who? *is not American*

Date: 2009-07-31 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mcspakypants.insanejournal.com
Robert Byrd for one, although he's apologized profusely for it. Probably why he leans so far left today, not that I'm saying that's a bad thing.

Date: 2009-07-31 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schmevil.insanejournal.com
*nod nod* I forgot about him.

Date: 2009-07-31 10:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mania21.insanejournal.com
Trust me, that's an EXTREMELY bad thing.

Date: 2009-07-31 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freezer818.insanejournal.com
Guys like David Duke (who was elected to the Lousiana state senate while an actuive KKK member) or old embarassments like Strom Thurmond and Jessie Helms, who were first elected in a time and place (1940s Southern America) when being a member of the Klan was a selling point.

There's proably more, but those are the ones off the top of my head.

Date: 2009-07-31 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schmevil.insanejournal.com
I remembered Thurmond and Helms, but not Duke.

Date: 2009-07-31 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aaron_bourque.insanejournal.com
He never made it out of the State (and he was a State Representative, not a State Senator, not for lack of trying). He's tried for Governor (and Presidency, but usually only to raise enough money to keep himself out of debt another four years) a few times. I think the closest he ever came was in 1998? Or '96, something like at. Basically our choices for Governor that election were (supposedly former) KKK member (but still a white supremacist) David Duke, or eventual convict (and everyone knew he was guilty, he even admitted it himself a few times!) Edwin Edwards.

Ah, Louisiana politics. They didn't invent corruption, but they sure as hell refined it.

Date: 2009-07-31 01:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashtoreth.insanejournal.com
And Ted Kennedy. My mother used to make jokes about him being a 'bad date'. (http://military.rightpundits.com/2008/05/17/mary-jo-kopechne-is-still-dead-and-ted-kennedy-is-feeling-better/)

Date: 2009-07-31 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
Boy, Creel has one hell of a pointy head, doesn't he? And Simon looks kinda scary there.
I like how self-aware Creel is. He's a superpowered crook, he KNOWS he's a crook, and he's fine with that. I also like the implication that there are different gradations of supervillains - some who are really desperate for power and respect and so forth, and others who just see it as a profession like any other. They don't want to become ruler of the world or run the city - they just want a bit of cash, and they're fine with society as it is, thank you very much, even if they DO get the short end of the stick a lot. It's like white-collar versus blue-collar, the corporate sharks versus the longshoremen.

Date: 2009-07-31 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com
Yeah, I've always liked "professional" crooks. There's a nice scene in a New Teen Titans where the Fearsome Five are arguing because Doctor Light wants to go on a revenge kick against the Titans, and other members just want to go and get some of the money that they were promised a team like this would bring them.

The Batverse used to be full of villains like that too; low bodycount capers, themed crimes, with a couple of themed deathtraps for the dynamic duo, and loot for the bad guys to steal... those were the days. Now it's all murder-death-kill. :(

Date: 2009-07-31 07:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
The Penguin is arguably a 'professional' - he may consider himself an aristocrat of sorts, but at the end of the day, all he really wants is a chunk of the pie and a steady cash flow. Harley also seems like this kind of crook, when she's being a crook - during her solo book, when she had her own team of henchmen, she seemed to focus largely on simple (if ambitious) 'rob from the rich people' sort of schemes. She'll happily go ALONG with other sorts of schemes, if she's teaming up with someone or hooked up with her Mistah J, but she's largely got fairly simple needs. Also, Killer Croc has always struck me as a fairly blue-collar kinda guy.
Still, though, when most of your villains live in an asylum, it's unavoidable that a lot of 'em are going to be maniacs.

Date: 2009-07-31 08:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com
The Penguin these days seems to crave power, and respect. He hasn't pulled a proper "heist" in years (Gimmicked umbrella's, trained birds etc).

Harley does seem to be a good choice for the role though.

And there's a big difference between the sort of outré obsessive compulsive disorder Batman's foes used to have and any form of mania. Joker used to be sent to Gotham Prison because he wasn't legally insane, for example.

Date: 2009-07-31 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wizardru.insanejournal.com
Well, the Penguin has been repositioned since the early 90s as less of a Supervillian and more of a themed gang-boss, almost. He's gone from oddly dressed themed thief to more of a 'Rick's Amercain' kind of guy.

He runs underground clubs, connects muscle to brains, fences stolen goods and generally sets himself up as an underworld 'go-to' guy. During No Man's Land, he survived and thrived quite happily. Since then, he spends more time selling stolen goods and performing illegal business services for other groups that he rarely places himself in any sort of danger. He certainly doesn't want Batman to punch him any more.

Which makes him one of the smartest supervillians in the DC Universe.

Date: 2009-07-31 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
Well, yes, but that's going back awfully far - back to the mid-'60's or so. The Joker has been acknowledged as completely bonkers at LEAST since then - longer, if you count the first few stories he was in, where Batman references his madness a number of times. The only Batman villain today who has anything close to an 'outre obsessive compulsive disorder' would be the Riddler, with possibly the Mad Hatter coming in a close second. Most of the rest of them are out-and-out nuts.

Yay Wonderman!..About time

Date: 2009-07-31 07:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] steverodgers5.insanejournal.com
Man, it's so good to see Simon again. I've had a soft spot for the character since the 'Emperor Doom' graphic novel way way back..So it's nice to see that he hasn't been completely forgotton about.

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