I finally finished my corrections the Teenagers from the Future book at 5:30 this morning. If all goes according to plan, we'll have some nice thick copies of the book--a collection of essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes--at the New York Comic-Con. The thing's going to be over 400 pages, by the looks of it. Since I'm completely wiped out, I thought I'd toss out another very brief excerpt of my Paul Levitz interview. This part regards the infamous Legion of Super-Heroes tabloid edition that drives collectors crazy (how the hell do you store something that size?), and my line of questioning didn't really go anywhere, but I did gently tease Paul about Legion reboots:
Tim Callahan: My final question is about the tabloid story [c-55]. The 64 pages with no ads--that was probably your first time working on that scale of a canvas. How did you approach that story differently than your 22 pagers?
Paul Levitz: Well, there were a couple of goals, I guess. One was that I got to work with [Mike] Grell, and Mike had been the scheduled artist when I took over the book and had been, at the time, very much a fan favorite, so it was, “how do I provide the right opportunity for Mike to do his stuff?” Second was, if this was going to be the biggest, most expensive Legion comic ever made, “what do we do that’s important enough?” And it certainly seemed that marrying Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl would qualify on that basis. All of that very influenced, I think, by the 60’s Marvel Annuals. They had some--Stan in particular had just--beautiful moments in a couple of the event issues that he did there. And trying to carry that logic forward, and then adding to it by the thinking that it’s a physically giant comic book, it should have some really big, rich pictures.
TC: And then you you decided to bring the Time Trapper in because he’s someone who’s such a huge villain and...
PL: I guess. (laughs)
TC: Someone who’s a giant threat to match the giant scale of the comic.
PL: I guess. Sure. I’m not sure I remember the story at all. It’s been quite a few years since I last reread it.
TC: Well, arguably, it could be considered the first Legion reboot, since the Time Trapper reset everything and the future was totally changed when Superboy showed up, and then changed it back to the way it was.
PL: Yeah, well, I don’t know. I don’t think we were rebooting in those days.
TC: You booted back. You debooted.