Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Legion of Super-Heroes Election 3010: You Got to Be a Spirit; You Can't Be No Ghost

You've probably already seen the recent Legion-related announcements that came out of New York Comic-Con. (If you didn't, they're here.) I'm most enthusiastic about the one about the Legion Academy series, but the one I want to get into here is the Legion election.

DC has a long history of letting the fans pick the Legion leaders, and it's certainly a gimmick worth trying now. I don't think it makes the comic book any better to let the fans tamper with it this way (although there have been times when it's worked out real nice), but if Levitz is prepared to cope with it, then why not? Gets some attention, gets people involved, it's fine.

Now, in this election, there are of course many characters who would make plausible leaders for the Legion, and many more who would not be quite so plausible but who would, if elected, provide the opportunity for some good stories. So there's really no wrong decision here. It's not like, if we all stuff the ballot box for Quislet, that then Levitz will go out and write a story where Quislet gets the whole Legion killed and the comic book is cancelled forever and Levitz says, "Sorry; there was nothing I could have done." We're insulated from negative consequences, is what I'm saying.

So I am now prepared to announce that Legion Abstract is endorsing Phantom Girl for the 3010 election. Here's why:

1. Phantom Girl is one of the longest-serving of all Legionnaires, yet has never been leader.

All the other Legionnaires with comparable tenure--Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, Superboy*, Supergirl, Brainiac 5--have had their turn as leader (except Duplicate Damsel, who isn't currently eligible). Cosmic Boy's a great leader, sure, but we've already read that story. Let's read a different one now.

2. We can narrow the gender gap a bit.

So far I count 22 different Legionnaires who've had a shot at being leader, and of those 22, 16 were guys. Breaking it down further, the six girls/women to become Legion leader were disproportionately blonde--four out of six of them. Let's mix up the demographics some more.

3. She does have a bit of leadership experience.

She's served as acting leader of the Espionage Squad in Chameleon Boy's absence on occasion. And, you know, it'd probably be useful for the Legion to have a leader who is well-versed in sneakiness.

4. She is trusted by her constituents.

In recent years it has become the convention to portray Tinya as the confidante of the other Legionnaires, the one that everybody can talk to and feel better afterwards. This is obviously a useful quality for a leader.

5. It's about time she got some of the spotlight.

When was the last time a story really focused on Phantom Girl? There was the Dave Gibbons backup from early in the threeboot. There were a couple of issues in the DnA run. There was that whole thing in the early reboot where she was a ghost. And before that... do I have to go all the way back to the Reflecto story? Oh, wait: there was some stuff with the animated Legion. Still, it's not much for a character who's been around as long as she has.

So! When the voting URL opens up, let's all go and vote for Phantom Girl. E-mail me if you want a sign for your lawn.

Note: If one has to be on Facebook to place a vote in the Legion election, then this one, at least, is not voting. For the present I prefer not to be on Facebook. I'll post about this again when the voting starts.
* I know, I know. Details.

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