alien legion

Carl Potts, Chuck Dixon and Larry Stro­man talk to Stephen Jewell about res­ur­rect­ing their legion of space he­roes

Comic Heroes - - Contents -

Carl Potts, Chuck Dixon and Larry Stro­man on why they’re res­ur­rect­ing their space he­roes

You wouldn’t blame Carl Potts for won­der­ing “if only”. Back in 2010 when the likes of Star Lord, Gamora and Groot were still mi­nor league comic book odd­i­ties, film pro­ducer Jerry Bruck­heimer com­mis­sioned a screen­play for a Dis­ney film of the for­mer Epic Comics edi­tor-in-chief’s se­ries Alien Legion. But af­ter buy­ing both Marvel and Lu­cas­film, Dis­ney ex­ecs opted to con­cen­trate on Guardians Of The Galaxy and Star Wars in­stead. Not that Potts has rested on his lau­rels, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the cur­rent pop­u­lar­ity of su­per­heroic space opera to find Force No­mad a new home at Ti­tan Comics.

“If Guardians does well, it may raise enthusiasm for other, new in­ter­ga­lac­tic ac­tion fran­chises,” he says, re­veal­ing that he had a hand in the Guardians’ path to suc­cess af­ter hir­ing Bill Mantlo and Mike Mig­nola to helm 1985’s in­au­gu­ral Rocket Rac­coon limited se­ries. “Hope­fully the new se­ries will fire up fans of the old se­ries and at­tract the at­ten­tion of hordes of new fans as it’s de­signed to ap­peal to read­ers who are aware of the ti­tle as well as those who have never heard of Alien Legion be­fore.”

A ver­sa­tile all-rounder, Potts first came up with the idea for Alien Legion when he was an as­pir­ing cre­ator in the early 1980s. “When I was a fan try­ing to break into comics, I wrote and drew a cou­ple of orig­i­nal short sto­ries as sam­ples to show ed­i­tors and to try and get work,” he re­calls. “One fo­cused on an all-hu­man for­eign

legion-like force in space. The other had an alien char­ac­ter with a ser­pen­tine lower body. When I looked at the pages for both sto­ries to­gether, it oc­curred to me that the legion force should be com­posed of a wide va­ri­ety of alien races and the ser­pen­tine char­ac­ter, Sari­gar, be­came the leader.”

Af­ter join­ing Marvel in 1983, Potts sold Alien Legion to then-Epic boss Archie Good­win. It launched in April 1984 but the pres­sures of his day job meant that Potts couldn’t han­dle the en­tire book all by him­self, so he ini­tially teamed up with scripter Alan Ze­lenetz and pen­ciller Frank Cirocco, who was then re­placed by Chris Warner for #7-11. Af­ter con­tribut­ing a cou­ple of back-ups, Larry Stro­man came on­board per­ma­nently with #12. With the first se­ries con­clud­ing with #20, Potts ad­mits that Chuck Dixon “was a nat­u­ral tar­get to re­cruit into the Legion” for 1987’s sec­ond vol­ume, which adopted “a grit­tier and a bit more hard-hit­ting di­rec­tion.”

“Alien Legion was the first and is still my favourite se­ries that I’ve ever worked on,” re­calls Stro­man. “It’s also the long­est run that I’ve had on a book.”

With Epic clos­ing its doors in 1994, the Legion dis­ap­peared from view un­til Dark Horse re­leased a cou­ple of re­print om­nibuses in 2009. But af­ter they fi­nally passed on any new ma­te­rial, Ti­tan picked up the ba­ton last year. “The plan is to con­sol­i­date the new Alien Legion ma­te­rial with col­lec­tions of older con­tent at the

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