"All Things Legion" continues this week with something old (from the 70's) and something new (from the 90's).
Practically anyone who was born in the late 60's will remember going to their local 7-11 for a Slurpee in the early 70's as a kid. In 1974, they had the coolest thing - buy a Slurpee and get a free super-hero cup with it. Forget about those wimpy Marvel heroes, we wanted DC heroes like Superman, Batman, Ms. Shazam and Shazam Jr., Tarzan, Jonathan Kent, etc. There were 60 different cups that summer... and that's a LOT of flavored crushed ice drinks. There were so many that they even issued a checklist so you could keep track and maybe even request those female character cups which were so popular among the under-10 crowd. Hidden among all the Jonathan Kents and Mr. Tawky Tawnys were a number of Legionnaire cups, drawn by Dave Cockrum (the same figures that are on the recent Archives covers, in fact... but I don't have easy access to my comics so I can't say where these drawings originated). The Legionnaires were Mon-el, Lightning Lad, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, and Saturn Girl, though you could stretch things and get the non-Legionnaire series Superboy and Supergirl, and even Reservists Lana Lang and Jimmy Olsen. Sidne Ward has scans of the cups on her page (the text on the back is printed out) along with the checklist. The cups go for under about $5 each or so, but if you buy them, don't put them in the dishwasher or you'll lose the image. No clue about the checklist, I've never seen one for sale.
The something(s) new came around about 20 years later. In the mid-90's, comics were at their speculative peak and dealers were ordering lots of stuff at huge numbers. Sometimes the companies would even give retailers some bonues for every certain number of copies ordered (like 1 variant cover for each 25 regular, for example). When Legionnaires #1 came out, the deal was that for every 100 (I think) copies ordered by the shops, they would get a special "cloisonne" pin. I got mine a year after that in San Diego, and I've only seen one since then. The black paint on gold metal does look kinda cool. For a cheaper alternative, conventions had "pinbacks" by the bucketful at the DC booth. The difference is that a cloisonne pin has a pin you stick through perpendicularly with a back that attaches, while the pinback has a pin that slides through sideways. You can find them cheap on ebay.
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Go Back to column 2: Welcome to the Wonderful Wacky World of Wegion...., er, Legion Collectibles!
Go Forward to column 4: It's Moy-Caraniriffic!