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Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes Paperback – April 7, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Sequart Research & Literacy Organization; First Edition edition (April 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615203221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615203225
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,600,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Exhaustive... a must read for anyone who has ever visited the 30th century. Hell, I never knew I was this interesting!" -- Keith Giffen
"Thoroughly cogent... Kent Shakespeare would be proud." -- Joe Casey
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

After graduating magna cum laude from Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisconsin), Julian Darius obtained his M.A. in English, authoring a thesis on John Milton and utopianism. In 2002, he moved to Waikiki, teaching college while obtaining an M.A. in French (high honors) and a Ph.D. in English. He currently lives in Illinois.

In 1996, while still an undergraduate, Dr. Julian Darius founded what would become Sequart Research & Literacy Organization, which publishes non-fiction and documentary films on comic books and promotes the medium as a legitimate form of art.

In 2011, he founded Martian Lit, which publishes odd and aggressive literature, non-fiction, art, poetry, and other material.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Very different from other comic book characters.
Gerard Rinaldi
I have been a fan of the Legion since 1967 and have collected virtually every Adventure/Legion issue published since 1962.
O. Matz
Whatever you like about Legion, there's something here for you, and you'll learn a lot along the way.
J. Bukalski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Able to read on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a Legion fan for 40 years, and I've been in and out of organized Legion fandom for a number of those years, having been a member of Klordny (and having read some of Interlac issues). And yet, I had never heard of any of the people involved with this project, which made me wonder "who ARE these people and what do THEY know about the Legion?". But it turns out that they are just like me - fans with a sometime inexplicable love for the characters and environment of this "comic book". I was hesitant to spend the money on this book, but also concerned about not seeing what it might be. And what it IS is fascinating - it amounts to an exploration of the history of pop culture and various artistic fields, as interpreted by many Legion writers over the years. And I don't even think I've come to the most interesting essays yet. It really is something different than what is available out there - kind of a grown-up discussion of something many of us have come to love as, basically, children. Science, Architecture, and more, it's fascinating and I'm very pleased that I made the purchase!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Robert Rule II on January 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Teenagers from the Future is a product of the Sequart Research and Literary Organization (Sequart = sequential art, i.e. comic art). Unlike many works devoted to comics which either slide into uncritical adulation or provide only the most superficial of analysis of the subject matter, this book is an ideal example of what a book on a specific comic series should be. Readers will find topical analyses of the early history of the Legion of Super-Heroes, views of women in the Legion, gender identity and homosexuality in the series, racial politics, super-science, architecture, fashion, utopia and dystopia, and the history of the various versions of the LSH, including "reboots" and "threeboots". Particularly appealing is a sensitive analysis of the famous V.4 version of the Legion conducted by "TMK", the creative team of Tom and Mary Bierbaum and Keith Giffen, who provided a dystopian view of the Legion which was both uneven in quality and at its best as creative as Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. Not to be missed.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Bukalski on August 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
The essays in this book cover just about everything in Legion history (except L.E.G.I.O.N. / R.E.B.E.L.S.). They vary in style and quality, but many are by themselves worth buying the book. Some are written by academics and others by fans.

There are big essays on Keith Giffen's run (Giffen even provides a quote on the back of the book) and on Paul Levitz's run. There's essays on Jim Shooter, the death and resurrection of Lightning Lad, on the architecture in the Legion, on science in the Legion, fashion in the Legion, women in the Legion, homosexuality in the Legion, race in the Legion, the early Legion's approrpriation of other material (from classics to popular movies), the Legion's teenage cruelty / superdickery, comparing the Legion to the revival of the Justice League, whether the Legion should age in their stories, the Amethyst saga and its importance in Legion history, the reboot Legion's themes, the role of adolescence in the Threeboot, and generational theory in the Threeboot. Only one author writes two essays, so there's 19 authors -- including Matt Fraction and Barry Lyga, who write the foreword and afterword, respectively.

The book is edited and has an introduction by Tim Callahan, who wrote Grant Morrison: The Early Years for the same publisher.

Yeah, it's pretty much a plethora of Legion, a celebration and analysis of the whole of Legion history. Whatever you like about Legion, there's something here for you, and you'll learn a lot along the way.

Recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David McElvenney on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yeah, I'll admit it. I was a Legion geek back in the 60s and 70s. I loved the Silver Age of DC Comics, and the Legion was primo stuff. The essays in this book take the tremendous affection of Legion fans, from all periods, as a starting point, and treat the stories, the art, the costumes and the fans as worthy of study and respect. I think sometimes, some of the essayists take themselves a bit too seriously, but, for the most part, I enjoyed them. I stopped my regular reading of Legion stories in the 1980s, only picking one up from time to time after that, so I'm not as familiar with the later period, but I still found the essays on those times interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MA Gray on October 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The last few years have seen a growth in books containing essays on superheroes, with Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers all getting time in the spotlight. Here's a wonderful addition to the mini-genre, as DC Comics' long-running future team of teen heroes are examined from every perspective you could wish for, from dystopias to fashion. The ideas come thick and fast in nicely written chapters by fans who really know their stuff. Highly recommended.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Kelley on January 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
A very insightful, intelligent, interesting, and FUN read. This book provides backgrounds on the history (or histories) of LSH and how they were influenced by culture and in some instances were able to deal with more taboo subjects than mainstream comics. Read this if you are a LSH fan, or a sci-fi fan, or a comic book scholar fan. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SundaraRaman R on September 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unlike most other reviewers here, I'm not much of a comic reader, except for a few Batman comics after seeing the Nolan films and a few linked from Cracked articles. However, I still loved most of this book and enjoyed reading it. The articles are of varying quality coming from different authors, and unfortunately some of the initial ones are tough to trudge through, which gives a pretty bad first impression. In particular, I almost gave this a 4 star feedback mainly due to the "Liberating the future" part which had so much potential, but ended up mostly using the English-major trick of "create and find controversy where there's none" and leaves a bad taste in your mouth at the end of it, ruining the mood of the book. A few of the later chapters address similar topics in a more mature, rational way without going too astray from the theme of the book itself, I feel the book would have been better off without this chapter.

Ultimately though, this was a particularly interesting read for a comic-book newbie like me, introducing me to the various eras of comic books, various styles of the publications and artists, and of course to a fun gang of heroic teenagers!
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