Friday, February 24, 2006

LSH(5) #15

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comic.)

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (v. 5) #15 (4/06)
(L 2006-4)
"Ancient Times"
ROLL CALL: Blok, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Dawnstar, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Karate Kid, Quislet, Saturn Girl, Sensor Girl, Tyroc, White Witch, Wildfire

This issue features three out-of-continuity stories, along with a framing sequence set among the teenagers of the 31st century.

The structure of this issue recalls LSH(2) #300 (6/1983), “The Future is Forever.” In that comic, Ferro Lad’s brother had a number of visions set in alternate universes, showing alternate versions of the Legion. The visions were presented in the style of past Legion comics. Most of Douglas Nolan’s visions involved the end of the Legion.

In this issue, teenagers who witness the supposed end of the Leigon tell stories set in various past eras, showing previous versions of the Legion (including many faces we haven’t seen for a long time). The tales all involve the Legion saving the day when adults failed.

Quislet’s parting wish reminds us that all of this is out of continuity, and that (presumably) the Infinite Crisis will have its effect even on the Legion. But we’re used to that by now....


The first story involves Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel, and Element Lad in a crossover with the Green Lanterns and Flashes of the JLA and JSA. There has been one previous Legion/JLA/JSA crossover: JLA #147-148 (10-11/1977), “Crisis in the 30th Century/Crisis in Triplicate”). The current story doesn’t seem to have any connection to this crossover. Based on Duo Damsel’s costume and her relationship with Bouncing Boy, this tale would be set somewhere between ACTION #380 (9/1969) and SUPERBOY #193 (2/1973).

The second story features Dawnstar, Karate Kid, Saturn Girl, Tyroc, and Wildfire and is set during the Earthwar series: SUPERBOY & LSH #241-245 (7-11/1978). The panel with Wildfire pounding the desk duplicates one in the earlier series.

The third story shows Blok, Quislet, Sensor Girl, and the White Witch stepping into the Crisis on Infinite Earths to destroy the Anit-Monitor’s machine and save Barry Allen. The Legionnaires could have stepped out of any issue during the Crisis.

Finally, when Dav Huntr throws back his hood, he reveals a face that strongly resembles Superboy.


LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (v. 5) #15 (4/06)
(L 2006-4a)

ROLL CALL: Atom Girl, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Colossal Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Lone Wolf, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy

The lettercol just keeps getting more bizarre, more out-of-continuity, and funnier. And Cham finally gets Trip.


This guide to the LSH has several similarities to “The Origin and Powers of the Legion of Super-Heroes,” a feature that appeared in different comics between 1961 and 1968. (The entire feature is complete in LEGION ARCHIVES volume 5.)

First and most striking, the panel of Ultra Boy using his heat vision to melt what appears to be a futuristic cannon: this panel is almost an exact duplicate of the Ultra Boy panel in “The Origin and Powers of the LSH.”

Second, Light Lass is shown levitating a tree in both features.

And third, in “The Origin and Powers of the LSH,” Cosmic Boy is shown using his powers to keep two futuristic vehicles from colliding. In the present-day feature, Cos uses his powers to keep a futristic vehicle from colliding with Trip.

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

LSH(5) #1-3

NOTE: This is the first of four catch-up posts reviewing the first 11 issues of the Legion’s “Teenage Revolution” reboot.

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comic.)

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (v. 5) #1 (2/05)
(L 2005-1)
"And We Are Legion"
ROLL CALL: Chameleon, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Light Lass, Phantom Girl, Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy

This new reboot of the Legion begins in medias res. This time around (in the 31st century), the Legionnaires are at the center of a galactic movement of young people rebelling against a staid, boring, conservative society. In an interesting echo of ADVENTURE 359’s “The Outlawed Legionnaires,” the Science Police are against the Legion.

One particularly fun bit, making fun of the adults: The Science Police leader carries on a conversation with his Captain via visiplate, even though the Captain is standing in the same room.

“Colossal Boy” calls himself “Micro Lad” -- in a reversal of Gim Allon’s historic powers, he is from a race of giants, and he has the ability to shrink to only six feet tall.

The Legion Headquarters is a nice echo of the original inverted-spaceship Clubhouse.

Among the features of the lounge are two racks of DC Comics. (There are also two unidentified figures on the couch; one of them might be Princess Projectra.)


LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (v. 5) #2 (3/05)
(L 2005-2)
Untitled (Cover title "Tomorrow’s Heores Today"
ROLL CALL: Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Karate Kid, Shadow Lass, Sun Boy

After the Legion stops an assassination attempt on the U.P. Council, a team is sent to Naltor to deal with a dream-related crisis.

An android that exhales a dangerous gas...recalls the attack of the Molecule Master in SUPERBOY 201’s “The Betrayer From Beyond.”

Element Lad’s power only works on things that he is touching.

The crisis on Naltor is an echo of similar events in ADVENTURE 362/363 “The Chemoids Are Coming” & “Black Day for the Legion.” But this time around, I doubt that Mantis Morlo is behind the trouble.


LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (v. 5) #3 (4/05)
(L 2005-3)
Untitled (Cover title "It’s a Magic Number"
ROLL CALL: Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy

Spotlight on Triplicate Girl, as Luornu’s three bodies go on simultaneous dates with Element Lad, Sun boy, and Ultra Boy. We learn about Luornu’s homeworld, Cargg, and the origin and nature of her powers. Meanwhile, Cosmic Boy prepares for “some sort of mysterious apocalypse on the horizon that could claim billions of lives.”

This issue abounds in great lines, among them: “I only have six hands,” “I like being naked,” “That’s if you’re trying to prove I’m Superman,” “She can’t be Triplicate Girl...I am,” “I don’t call you ‘Not Light Lass’ when you’re not using your powers, do I?” and the classic “What makes you think I’m not?”

Although Luornu’s clothes triplicate when she does, her flight ring does not.

Flight rings are rare and expensive, so only a limited number can be made. Each one is coded to its wearer’s DNA, and cannot be operated by anyone else.

Phantom Girl is reading a Batman comic. I’m sure it’s possible to identify the exact issue from the pictured cover.

The effects of Element Lad’s transformations only last a maximum of sixty seconds.

Luornu originally had the power to manifest enough copies of herself to repopulate a planet. The three bodies which came to Earth to join the Legion were subsequently rejected by the rest of the Luornus on Cargg. (This is a really cool twist on Luornu’s powers.) Since she has the fused knowledge of an entire planetary population, it’s no wonder that Triplicate Girl is so smart.

Lurornu and Dirk’s play-acting recalls Lana Lang’s endless attempts to prove that Clark Kent was Superboy. The writers have a tremendous amount of fun with this sequence, especially with Chameleon’s clumsy befuddlement. (Cham’s muttered “Stupid, stupid Legionnaires” echoes the oft-repeated refrain “stupid, stupid rat creatures” from the comic Bone.)

We hear a scrap of a joke that Sun Boy is telling: “...and then the Rokynite says to the Naltorian...” In pre-Crisis continuity, Rokyn was “New Krypton,” a planet settled by ten enlarged inhabitants of the bottle city of Kandor.

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Legion Tie-In Alert: Rann-Thanagar War Trade Paperback

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comic.)

RANN-THANAGAR WAR (Countdown to Infinite Crisis) Trade Paperback
ISBN 1-4012-0839-8
(Also published separately as RANN-THANAGAR WAR (Countdown to Infinite Crisis) #1 - 6)

This is pretty confusing. This trade paperback collects the complete run of RANN-THANAGAR WAR, a limited series of "Countdown to Infinite Crisis" special editions published in 2005.

There's also RANN-THANAGAR WAR (Infinite Crisis Special) #1, a single-issue special published in 2006.

Both feature cameos by Vril Dox and other members of L.E.G.I.O.N.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Legion Tie-In Alert: Rann-Thanagar War Single-Issue Special

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comic.)

RANN-THANAGAR WAR (Infinite Crisis Special) #1 (4/06)
"Hands of Fate"

Has an appearances by Vril Dox and Captain Comet of L.E.G.I.O.N.

I haven't been paying attention to the "Rann-Thanagar War" portion of INFINITE CRISIS, but I suppose I'll have to check it out for the L.E.G.I.O.N. connection.

(For that matter, it's possible that there have been other L.E.G.I.O.N. appearances in INFINITE CRISIS....)

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LSH(5) #14

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comic.)

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (v. 5) #14 (3/06)
(L 2006-3)
"The Incredible Shrinking Violet"
ROLL CALL: Atom Girl, Brainiac 5 (in flashback), Chameleon, Colossal Boy, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy

At the urging of Saturn Girl's mother, the United Planets decides to fully fund the LSH as an independent arm of Earthgov. About bloody time, I say. And another "about bloody time" to the appearance of the first acknowledged gay character in this incarnation of the Legion: Colossal Boy's adorable brother. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first incarnation of Colossal Boy to have a brother of any sort.)

Some more really great lines. "As my grandunit used to say, Delegate Parnal, the photon has already escaped the event horizon." "That microsphere Brainy kept in his lab? The one Ultra Boy thought was a snowglobe? It was the Imskian civilization. Atom Girl's whole race came to worship Brainy after he --"

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: As a nice touch and a nod to past continuity, a Star of David pendant is clearly visible on Colossal Boy's brother's nightstand; it was long ago established that Gim Allon and his family are Jewish.


LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (v. 5) #14 (3/06)
(L 2006-3a)
ROLL CALL: Element Lad, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Shadow Lass

The out-of-continuity lettercolumn continues, and is truly hilarious. Those poor goats....

But the big news goes by in the background: a cover for issue 16, featuring Supergirl wearing a Legion flight ring!

Here's a quote from "DC in Demand" 2/06, from the back of RANN-THANAGAR WAR #1:

"We urge you to also check out what's happening one thousand and one years later, when the Maid of Might becomes the newest member of the Legion of Super-Heroes! Even we're not quite sure how Mark Waid and Barry Kitson are pulling this one off, especially since the Legionnaires believed Supergirl to be an ancient fictional character. Nevertheless, her presence will definitely be felt in the 31st century, starting with issue #16 in March, when the book's title officially changes to SUPERGIRL & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES!"

Now this is interesting news.

As is the teaser for #15 ("Legion '85"), which shows an obviously pre-Crisis Dawnstar, Blok, and Tyroc: "It's the Legion of Super-Heroes you've waited 20 years for as the greatest heroes of the 31st century become the greatest heroes of the Multiverse. Featuring several LEGIONNAIRES YOU THOUGHT YOU'D NEVER SEE AGAIN!"

Interesting times....

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