www.cbr.com

Meta-Messages: A Touching Legion Tribute to a Superman Art Legend

In this feature I explore the context behind (using reader danjack's term) "meta-messages." A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator (or sometimes even themselves) in their comic. Each time around, I'll give you the context behind one such "meta-message." Here is an archive of the past installments!

This time around, based on another suggestion from reader David B., we take a look at a touching tribute in the pages of Legion of Super-Heroes to a Superman art legend...

Curt Swan, as you may or may not know, was the cover artist on the Legion of Super-Heroes' first appearance...

And drew many Legion stories over the years.

So when Swan, known as perhaps THE most famous Superman artist of all time, passed away in 1996, the creative team of the Legion of Super-Heroes soon decided to do a touching tribute to the art legend in the pages of Legion of Super-Heroes #92, which was released in early 1997 (by Toms McCraw and Peyer and artists Lee Moder and Ron Boyd).

The set-up is that a group of time-displaced Legionnaires are stuck in 1958 in a typical McCarthyism/anti-Communism type story, where they are tricked into believing that they are typical students of the era and that their non-human teammate, Gates, is a monster sent to kill the President.

While there, they are taught by their wise art teacher, who is, of course, Curt Swan...

In the end, the words of their teacher inspire them to break away from what they're told to do...

And on the way back home, we get an even greater tribute to Swan...

Great, touching stuff.

Thanks for the suggestion, David! If anyone else has an idea for a meta-message, feel free to drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

Avatar: The Last Airbender -- Imbalance
Avatar: The Last Airbender - Imbalance Reveals the Origin of [SPOILER]

More in Comics