Alien Legion is a comic that was originally produced by Epic Comics imprint under Marvel Comics in 1984. It was created by writers Carl Potts and Alan Zelenetz with artist Frank Cirocco. Potts described the story “The French Foreign Legion in space”.
The original series ran for about 18 issues and was relaunched with writer Chuck Dixon and artist Larry Stroman. This series would be cancelled after a year but Alien Legion would make sporadic appearances as prestige miniseries through the 1990s.
My exposure to Alien Legion was Chuck Dixon and Larry Stroman’s run on it. I enjoyed their stories very much in the 90s when I read them. I bought some Trade collections that were put out by Titan Books in the early 2000s. Tonight, I am reviewing a re-read of the story Alien Legion: Tenants in Hell by Dixon/Stroman.
Tenants in Hell was a fun re-read. As I mention in the podcast, it felt like a very 90s comic: references to Cyberpunk and Corporatism. Grim and Dark situations and characters. Total Nihilism and hope is for losers. I enjoyed these stories in my youth but they seem a bit rote in my re-read. These are still entertaining stories by they are reminders of a different time and seem antiquated now.
I keep the review mostly spoiler free but this is only a 2 part miniseries. There are plenty of Alien Legion stories out there if you want to read more.
We are putting on our nostalgia glasses and looking back in time to the beginning of the 80s. Comic books stores were starting to gain popularity and the comic industry was going through a renaissance. Jim Shooter, Editor In Chief for Marvel during the 80s wanted to make comics that had mature themes (like religion, philosophy and politics among others) and could be sold through the direct market of the comics stores so that these comics would not have to go through the Comics Authority Code association. Through this idea came the Marvel imprint company called Epic Comics.
Jim appointed Archie Goodwin to be the editor of the Epic line of comics and that imprint put out some of the best comics that exist. Titles like:
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Alien Legion, Dreadstar and original graphic novels like Iron Man: Crash.
This podcast comes in 2 parts: Episode 43 where Jon and I talk about why Epic Comics existed and we go over some of the earlier titles like the ones mentioned above.
Episode 44 – part 2 -This will post next week, Jon and I do a deeper dive in to 4 specific Epic miniseries.
Epic put out some great stuff and most of it can be bought in trade paperbacks. We hope that by listening to this podcast, we turn you on to some intelligent and well written comics.