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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: #220,937 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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See all 15 customer reviews
Some are written by academics and others by fans.
J. Bukalski
The ideas come thick and fast in nicely written chapters by fans who really know their stuff.
MA Gray
The Legion of Superheroes remains one of the most ambitious ideas in comics.
Kevin M. Derby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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7 of 7 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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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 Kevin M. Derby VINE VOICE on July 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Legion of Superheroes remains one of the most ambitious ideas in comics. A team of young and idealistic heroes gathered from various planets, the Legion is often rife with internal drama as well as external adventures. Despite facing boots and reboots and threebots, the Legion remains one of the most interesting comics. This collection of essays looks at the more than five decades of Legion stories. Be warned--most of these essays are analytical and do not provide much of the way of a narrative. The assorted writers take comics serious and offer insights into how the Legion reflects its society as well as ours on a number of issues ranging from race to feminism to fashion to architecture. There are some fascinating nuggets in this work from sci-fi influences on early writers to how movie director Robert Altman's fingerprints showed up on the Legion. As with any collection of essays, there are strengths and weaknesses and fans of the rebooted legion and the three booted legion may grow frustrated at the lack of attention their favorites receive. Regardless, these essays can be enjoyed by any Legion fan and any reader who takes comics seriously.
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