MARTHA THOMASES: Why I love the Legion

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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10 Responses

  1. Tony Isabella says:

    I used to have a recurring nightmare about the Legion of Super-Heroes during my horrible time as and after a DC editor. I was called into Jenette's office, told I would have to write the Legion, but that first I had to pass a Legion trivia test, given by Paul Levitz. I did okay at first, but got hung up on Chameleon Boy's last name. I stood there, shaking, repeating "Reep…, "Reep…, "Reep…" I still get DC nightmares, but they don't involve the Legion.

  2. Elayne Riggs says:

    Whew, finally able to sign in for commenting! I love your clubhouse theory, Martha. I'm convinced that's one of the reasons Friends of Lulu/NY was so successful in its early days; we had a clubhouse. Dang, I miss that loft!Monstress was thick around the waist, and for obvious reasons she was one of my favorite Legionnaires for a long while. When Robin and I got married our friend Alan drew a beautiful wedding portrait of Hulk and Monstress, which is still hanging on our bedroom wall.

  3. Arthur Tebbel says:

    What Martha leaves out of this is how she was finally immortalized in the Legion mythos. Before the recent reboot, the Legion had aliens that made the costumes for them. They were called Athramites, an anagram for Martha with "ites" stuck on the end. They haven't showed up in the Waid reboot yet. A shame really.

  4. Rick Taylor says:

    I think the Legion was with midwestern white boy's first stab at the concept of diversity. Different kids with individual powers from different places. Plus SuperBOY and Supergirl. They ceased to resonate with me when removed from the Superman mythos yet still remain a favorite.

  5. Rick Taylor says:

    That was THIS midwestern

  6. John Tebbel says:

    It's all about inclusion, or not, to me. The cover of Adventure 247 tore me up all those years ago. Some off-planet super teens I'd never heard of (what's a Cosmic Boy?) tell Superboy where to get off, calling his powers "too ordinary."

  7. Mike Gold says:

    Being a midwestern white boy (well, back when I could still be a boy), I agree with that completely. And the "folding time in upon itself" aspect of Superboy comforting Supergirl was just wonderfully wacky. But the Legion stopped making sense to me after the big Superman reboot. The whole pocket universe thing was too convenient a Band-Aid.

  8. Rick Taylor says:

    Mike, I agree. Also lowering the boom on the concept of time travel all but killed the main premise of the whole series. Who CARES if by today's understanding of time travel each trip would alter history. It was just good fun.

  9. Howard Cruse says:

    I missed the onset of super-teams (they must've hit during my "I'm-getting-too-old-for-comics" period before I was turned on to Kurtzman's MAD and then to underground comix) and thus never read any Legion stories. The comics I read before then did not prepare me for the weird notion of unified comics-company universes. Little Lulu visits Duckburg? I don't think so. For me during those early years it was the height of boundary-breaking thrills to read the Superman-Batman combo stories in World's Finest Comics.

  10. Melanie Fletcher says:

    I loved the idea of the superhero clubhouse — somehow, it felt right to know that they would hang out in their superpowered hideout between missions.