One of my favourite Bronze Age Legion characters ( alongside Wildfire obviously ) was Dawnstar, the hoity-toity Indian mutant who seeemed to get everybody's back up.
I guess if you think about it too hard, her super-tracking power could be construed as slightly on the rascist side, but as a visual, a winged Indian chick flying through space is kinda tough to beat.
But Dawny was a great character too, a bit of a spoiled brat more than a little convinced of her own greatness, and who regularly treated Wildfire like a piece of crap. Which obviously helped to keep his gargantuan ego down to, well, planet-sized at least. Great characters both.
This intro tale is from longtime Legion fan & scribe Paul Levitz, and comes via the pretty good art team of Jim Sherman and Jack Abel. I say pretty good because when Sherman inked himself, he had a line that was as succulent as Michael Golden's, but unfortunately he was ridiculously slow, so we never got to see that much of his solo work, the DC editors being forced to rush him through that deadline treadmill.
A shame, because believe me, if you're willing to seek out Jim's stuff, it's more than worth it.
Meanwhile, here's Dawnstar starting as she meant to go on.
Skywald's editor and chief writer Archaic Al Hewetson loved playing around with the rules of story-telling and tripping up the reader, as well as appearing himself in every tale that contained a character who was an editor. Or any shifty, untrustworthy no-good for that matter.
A lot of his stories break the fourth wall, break it again, and then kick the rubble about a bit. Here's two: I Am Dead: I Am Buried and The Fetid Belle Of The Mississippi, both of which would be good horror tales anyway, but are much more fun for Al mucking about all over them.
The Losers was a perfectly acceptable middle league war book starring a group of perennial second-stringers, none of them being capable of carrying their own book. The only problem being that Captain Storm, Johnny Cloud, Gunner & Sarge had to keep reminding us they were losers every third panel by bemoaning their fate endlessly. No one likes a griper.
But then, in the last few months of his tenure at DC, Jack Kirby was given the book. It'd be a stretch to say Jack turned The Losers into a classic or anything, but certainly it instantly became a better book, and a much more realistic one. A Small Place In Hell absolutely reeks of authenticity, the heroes are cold, mud-encrusted and exhausted and the story, well, I'm not even sure there is one. The Losers look like shit and scream like madmen throughout the whole piece, and though it's action packed, it's not comic book action being delivered here. You couldn't keep up this pace for a whole series, and later issues can be a bit ropey, but for this one issue, this is real, actual war written and drawn by someone who was there, and is easily one of the best comics ever done by anybody in this genre.
Any Joni Mitchell fans out there? I'm not per se, but I don't think you necessarily have to be to enjoy this one. You also don't need to know that Skywalker, the trainee shaman in this story featured in a couple of pieces from Mike Vosburg in the pages of Imagine & Star*Reach, as she introduces herself here fairly succinctly.
So what do you need to know? Only that this is a labour of love and tour de force from Lee Marrs & Mike Vosburg, with a fantastic premise, and is all about no matter how they try, men and women will probably never really understand each other.
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