Friday, August 22, 2008

Week of 20 August 2008

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

DREAMWAR #5 (10/08)
"Bad to the Bone"
ROLL CALL: Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Comic Boy, Light Lass, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl (cover only), Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Timber Wolf, Validus

BITS OF DC COMICS BUSINESS: The Legion (along with the other DC heroes) has regained its moral compass: "Ever since those kids came to their senses, they refuse to use lethal force."

Lethal force seems to be one major theme of this crossover. The Wildstorm heroes, I gather, go about killing people all the time; the DC heroes, as represented by Superman, refuse to kill. This theme also appears this week in LEGION OF 3 WORLDS and, in a way, in the Spectre's troubles in FINAL CRISIS: REVELATIONS.

Personally, I'm glad to see DC coming to their senses. The main reason I consider the John Byrne Superman a travesty is that he deliberately executed three Phantom Zone villains. At that point, DC proved that it lost its moral compass. The Superman I grew up with never killed, never. And he taught all other heroes the same code.

The Legion, inheriting Superman's ethics, had a code against killing (although not as tight as Superman's, since it allowed a self-defense exception). Star Boy got thrown out for breaking that code. When Princess Projectra executed Nemesis Kid, her Legion career was over (but it was a supremely dramatic moment, made so much more powerful by the strong history of the Legion's no-killing code).

Here and in LEGION OF 3 WORLDS, I am overjoyed to see the Legion remaining true to its code.

"Legion of 3 Worlds Book One"

ROLL CALL (Classic Legion aka Lightning Saga Legion): Brainiac 5, Chameleon Girl, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dr. Gym'll, Invisible Kid II (Jacques), Karate Kid II (Myg), Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Night Girl, Phantom Girl, RJ Brande, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass,Shrinking Violet, Superman, Timber Wolf, Time Trapper, Ultra Boy

ROLL CALL (Classic Legion, statues/holograms): Blok, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Chameleon Girl, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Invisible Kid II (Jacques), Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Night Girl, Phantom Girl, Polar Boy, Quislet, RJ Brande, Saturn Girl, Sensor Girl, Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superman, Tellus, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Ultra Boy, White Witch, Wildfire

ROLL CALL (Earth-Zero Legion, statues/holograms): Andromeda, Apparition, Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon Boy, Chuck Taine, Cosmic Boy, Dreamer, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Gear, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kid Quantum I, Kid Quantum II, Kinetix, Koko, Leviathan, LeVIathan/Shrinking Violet, Live Wire, Magno, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Shikari, Spark, Star Boy, Thunder, Timber Wolf, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Wildfire, XS

ROLL CALL (Teenage Revolution Legion, statues/holograms): Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Supergirl, Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy

ROLL CALL (Legion of Super-Villains): Cosmic King, Lightning Lord, Saturn Queen

ROLL CALL (Legion of Super-Villains, statues/holograms): Chameleon Chief, Cosmic King, Esper Lass, Hunter II, Lazon, Lightning Lord, Magno Lad, Micro Lad, Mist Master, Nemesis Kid, Neutrax, Radiation Roy, Ron-Karr, Saturn Queen, Silver Slasher, Spider-Girl, Sun Emperor, Tarik the Mute, Terrus, Titania, Tyr, Zymyr


Like many other Legion fans, I am blown away by this first issue. My very favorite thing, as I mentioned above, is the very end, when Superman states that the Legion's misssion is to redeem Superboy-Prime. Any fools can run off and kill their opponents...and any heroes can set off to capture and imprison their opponents...but only super-heroes can decide to redeem their opponents. Hooray for the Legion.

Oh, and the part about how Superman learned "turth, justice, and the American way" from the Legion...gave me shivers.

Can't wait for next issue.

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: By the end of the issue, the following "missing" Legionnaires are still unaccounted for: Bouncing Boy, Chamelon Boy, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel/Una, Element Lad, Karate Kid, Matter-Eater Lad, Quislet, Sensor Girl, Star Boy, Tellus, Tyroc, and the White Witch. Of these, five appeared in the Lightning Saga: Dream Girl, Duo Damsel/Una, Karate Kid, Sensor Girl, and Star Boy. Val and one of Luornu's bodies died in 52, and Star Boy/Starman is still in the 21st century.

Magnetic Kid has yet to appear in any form.

General Zod, Ursa, and a few others are still in the Phantom Zone in the 31st century. Shouldn't their sentences have been up a long time ago? And there is no sign of Chris Kent...I'm just sayin'.

The theory here seems to be that the Lightning Saga Legion and the Classic Legion are the same. I'm inclined to go with that.

With Blok and Sun Boy still aroundand no sign of Kono, Kent Shapespeare, or Devlin O'Ryan, I think we can safely say that the last nails have been driven into the coffin of the "Five Year Gap" Legion. Or at least, let's say that the 5YG Legion is definitely an alternate version, not part of the Classic Legion's continuity. The departure point seems to be somewhere around the Magic Wars (depending very much on if/how Magnetic Kid fits in).

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