AVENGERS #131-132: The Legion of the Unliving

legion of the undead

The Legion of the Unliving was basically the first version of the Legion of Monsters…Way back in 1942, Marvel Mystery Comics featured the Legion of the Dead/Legion of the Undead, which was basically a team of gravediggers who used zombies to protect themselves/fight crime.

The Legion of Monsters came about in 1976, with an entirely different lineup than what we saw in Avengers #131.

I loved these guys.  But then, I also loved their most controversial iteration….

I’m one of the few comics bloggers who speak out in defense of Frankencastle every chance I can.  These are comic books.  If you can’t take risks with the genre, and blow shit up, you’re not doing it right.

Here’s what I said about it last year, on my other site:

I know that the idea of Punisher becoming a monster was ridiculous but Frankencastle is one of the unsung heroes of 2010 in my book.  The fantasy of the story was no more fanciful than the pseudorealistic over-the-top violence of Garth Ennis’ run on the character, which is widely regarded as the best Pun-run of all time.  It’s comic books people.  It’s supposed to be fantastic, fanciful, and unrealistic.  That’s what makes Jonathan Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. so cool.  You can’t tell me you can’t accept Frankenpunisher but you can accept a radioactive spider?  I hope superhero books stay super and take risks, like Rick Remender did with Frankencastle.  If anything, he might have stayed at the party too long (the story arc could have been abbreviated by a few issues, and the drawn out Dakken arc didn’t amount to much of anything) but that’s the execution, not the idea.  The idea—to revive the legion of monsters and to make Frank Castle do something other than take pot shots at drug dealers—was fanfrickintastic.  Same thing with Red Hulk, by the way.  The first 7-10 issues of that book were incredible, ridiculous, glorious violence.  It deteriorated as it went on, but again—that’s execution, not concept.  I want more of that.  More super stories, less attempts to make superheroes “real.”  If I want “real” I’ll stare at my dwindling bank account.

Now then, I still need a pic to represent Avengers #132.  It’s at right.

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