Put a Ring on It

Val Armorr, the Legion's "Karate Kid," makes Batman look like an untalented hack.

I got some intel from a con[vention] acquaintance I know about a promotion that DC comics was having. I noticed on Facebook that he was sporting a very interesting piece of jewelry – a flight ring from the comic series The Legion of Super-Heroes. If you’re not familiar with the Legion, you’re missing out.

See, in the 30th century, there weren’t any superheroes like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, or the Flash to protect citizens of the United Planets. Inspired by the heroes of yesteryear, a group of teenagers decided to band together to protect the galaxy from any potential evildoers. These teens called themselves The Legion of Super-Heroes and it grew to become what is likely the largest group of superheroes in comic history.

You can take every X-Man EVER (including affiliates) throughout time, and that number still probably doesn't come close to a TENTH of the Legion's total members.

The Legion membership is most likely so large because the Legion are more or less the end-all, be-all for superhero membership in the 30th century (excepting the Legion of Substitute Heroes, but they’re still the second bananas to the Legion of Super-Heroes). Unlike the Justice League & Justice Society, Legion members are mostly made up of people with natural abilities from their planets with a few that had some sort of accident. There’s even one character who has absolutely no powers at all – just raw talent.  Am I getting off track again? I believe I am.

You know you want one, too. Don't lie.

So, the Legion flight ring not only allows flight, but it also acts as a environmental suit for off-world travel. It is given to all members of the Legion of Super-Heroes. So why am I blabbling on and on about the Legion and their ring? Because I am a HUGE fan of the Legion. I first discovered them about 10 years ago after reading the original Crisis on Infinite Earths which was created in the mid-80s to straighten out the hundreds of parallel universes that DC had created and I became very enamored with their version of the future. OH MY GOD, I just can’t stop getting off-topic, can I?

Anyway, my boy & his buddies are sporting the Legionnaire flight ring in a Facebook picture and when I asked him about it, he said that comic stores were giving them out with Legion comics. Since I was passing a comic store on the way to donate plasma, I decided to stop there to see if they had any rings. Apparently, what my buddy had forgotten to mention (and what I found out at the comic shop) is that this promotion was MONTHS ago. As in September/October months ago. There are no more. It has ceased to be. And thus, I cannot have my Legionnaire flight ring.

This makes me a saaaaaad panda

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2012 – Year of the Hoverboard?!

You've been to the future, Marty, but even you probably didn't see this coming

When Back to the Future Part II first premiered in 1989, many of us were enamored with was seemed like a great (and possible) future. In this movie, 1980s teen Marty McFly travels with Doctor Emmett Brown to the year 2015 to prevent his son (Marty McFly, Jr) from getting arrested and potentially permanently tarnishing the McFly name. When Marty gets to the future, he (and we) are amazed at all the things that 2015 holds – games that don’t require controllers, flying cars, the Cubs winning the World Series, Jaws 19, powerlacing shoes, self-drying clothes, dehydrated food, but what probably captured the imaginations of viewers most was a small device called a hoverboard.

If the Cubs ever make it to the playoffs, Steve Bartman will be there to cut their dreams short

The hoverboard was essentially what appeared to be the future of skateboarding. When Marty “borrows” it from the little girl, he begins another Back to the Future signature scene where he skitches a ride on various vehicles to get away from Biff Griff and blah, blah, blah, you guys know the story.

Anyway, even though this movie came out 20 years ago, fans of the film series remain absolutely CONVINCED that most of the events from this movie will come to pass. While many things remain unavailable to this day, such as the genetic aging treatments,  the flying cars, and dehydrated pizza, some things ARE actually available. Fingerprint-based security systems, projection TVs, and controller-less video games, of course are on that list. But what may be most surprising are the fact that power lacing shoes and the hoverboard are a reality as well. Yes, you read that right: MATTEL IS FINALLY MAKING THE BACK TO THE FUTURE HOVERBOARD. Much like last year’s powerlacing shoes from Nike, it seems that these are going to be a limited supply of prototypes that were highly influenced by pressure from fans. According to a press release put out by Mattel, the hoverboards should mostly be able to glide (rather than hover) along the ground. There’s even a quick reminder that they don’t work over water.

Elijah Wood had Kinect way before it was cool

Mattel has also mentioned in their press statement that they are looking for a minimum number of order before they even start production. Lemme tell you what that means – it means that if people order these, then they’re going to have an R&D team working on this day & night to have fully operational hoverboards by 2015…just like Nike promised to with their powerlacing shoes offer. Good times are coming, Back to the Future fans. Good times are coming, indeed.