Sunday, December 24, 2017

BIGGEST STAR I SEE TONIGHT




In 1980, DC published a “super-star holiday special” (DC SPECIAL SERIES #21), featuring various characters from across time and continuity, revealing what the Christmas period meant for them. The Legion was represented in a tale named “Star Light, Star Bright, Farthest Star I See Tonight!”, written by Paul Levitz and illustrated beautifully by Jose Garcia Lopez and Dick Giordano. Perhaps it's best remembered for establishing that Colossal Boy is Jewish.
    The festive fable was so popular it has been reprinted in three other books: THE BEST OF DC #11 (digest, 1981), CHRISTMAS WITH THE SUPER-HEROES #1 (1988), and A DC UNIVERSE CHRISTMAS (2000). As a matter of interest, the best quality version in terms of printing can be found in the latter book, published on good quality hard stock paper.

The three titles which reprinted the story.
The story is reprinted in high quality in A DC UNIVERSE CHRISTMAS

    The story's also been reprinted in overseas publications, notably the UK's black-and-white THE SUPER-HEROES anthology series (Vol 2 #3), and in a gigantic Australian tabloid simply called SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL.
    It's the Aussie oddity that we'll briefly focus on, for dimension-wise, it surely is the largest book to contain a Legion of Super-heroes story. Measuring a whopping 16” x 10”, the book dwarfs the regular tabloid-sized publications that DC and Marvel used to put out.


The Australian tabloid pictured next to American comics of various sizes.

    Unlike the original book in which it appeared, the Legion story actually kicks off the Australian magazine, which closes with the Frank Miller Batman offering from the same issue. Sandwiched between these bookends are a couple more Christmas tales, and an eclectic assembly of stories which have nothing to do with the holiday season, featuring the likes of Superman, Batgirl, Hourman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Airwave and Jimmy Olsen. And it's only the first and last 16 pages of this monster 132-pager  that are given the color treatment.




Sample interiors from the Aussie magazine, pictured next to a US tabloid for comparison.


    There are thousands of American comics printed outside of the USA in various foreign editions, various formats and various languages. It's impossible to acquire them all of course, but the inclusion of one or two of these in a regular collection can only serve to enhance it. This titanic treasury is a nice addition to any Legion library.
    And in keeping with the theme, I'd like to wish all blog readers a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. We'll be back with more blog offerings in 2018. 

Bits Boy runs the comprehensive Legion completists’ site Bits of Legionnaire Business.

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