Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The REAL Election

So when I arrived last week for the Thursday D&D game, M opened the door and asked "Who are you voting for?".

And I told her I had already posted my endorsements. She waved a hand and said, "No. In the REAL Election."

And the penny dropped and I knew what she was talking about, and I said "Braniac V".

OK, let me explain. I knew M was a hard-core Legion of Superheroes fan, and that they are electing a new leader. Now for everyone else I will bring you up to speed on what this means.

The Legion of Super Heroes showed up originally in the 60s as part of Superboy comics. It consisted of super-powered teens from the FUTURE, which allowed Superboy to have science fictiony adventures and gave him a group that they didn't have to worry about in the rest of continuity. The original group was, in the methodology of the 60s, white guys and girls, with notable exceptions like Chameleon Boy (Orange) and Brainiac V (Green) and they all came from different planets and all had goofy rules like no married couples or duplication of powers.

Now, one rule was that the leader of the legion was an elected position. AND that the fandom (in those days, the kids who wrote into the magazine) could vote. This was an ancient version of a transmedia feedback loop, where the consumers are invested with decision-making powers. It is also a reason why "Legion Fandom" was one of the first and most enduring of the various comics sub-fandom groups.

This was easier, by the way, when comics were stories were smaller (a backup feature in Superboy, with fewer pages than even a standard story today) and were published every 6 or 8 times a year. Now people follow entire continuities of interlocked books, with major events rewriting and rebooting things at a regular spate. The Legion Elections went by the wayside.

But now we are in the age of the Internet, and it is easier to get that direct feedback, so DC is running its elections online here, with all the advantages and dangers of such actions.

Now the current incarnation of the Legion has been around for only six issues or so, so most of the votes will be for the previous incarnations and memories of those characters. For me, the golden ages of the Legion were way back in the sixties when they were a backup in Adventure comics, as well as the 80s, when they played holographic D&D.

OK, you're caught up, to point of where I told M that I supported Brainiac V, the descendant of the Superman villain. And she pointed out that Brainiac V regularly went crazy from being too smart, but that's sort of the point - with Brainiac V its not a question of when he's going to wig out, but how much damage is done in the process. I'm looking for a good story, not good governing.

M, by the way, was torn between Chameleon Boy and Phantom Girl, so I present her opinions as well. So get out there and vote for Legion Leader!

(Oh yeah, and go vote in the other election, too).

More later,