Thursday, November 27, 2008

Week of 26 November 2008

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

(No title)
ROLL CALL (Lightning Saga Legion): Starman/Star Boy

Thom takes leave from the JSA and gets a job as a gravedigger in Metropolis. He is on a secret mission, and he says, "If I don't succeed, there might not be a 31st century for me to get back to."

So what's up? The clear implication is that Thom is supposed to dig up someone's grave. But whose?

It's logicl to assume that all this has something to do with the lightning rod that Brainiac 5 still has in the future. The leading candidates seem to be Connor Kent, Bart Allen, and Barry Allen. Of the three, I'm guessing Barry. The Legion could resurrect him in the 31st century, then send him back in time so he appears right at the beginning of Final Crisis.


"The Edge of Doom: Enemy Manifest Part 3"
ROLL CALL (Teenage Revolution Legion): Atom Girl, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Colossal Boy, Element Lad,Gazelle (applicant), Invisible Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, M'Rissey, Night Girl (applicant), Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Sizzle (applicant), Star Boy, Sun Boy, Timber Wolf, Turtle (applicant), Ultra Boy

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: Sun Boy rejoins, and Gazelle is accepted for membership. The other three applicants become part of the newly-formed Legion Reserve.

Chameleon seems really impressed by Sun Boy's new look.

For once, we seem to have gotten through Legion tryouts without anyone becoming a supervillain or swearing vendetta against the Legion. Unless you want to count Jeckie....

SUEPRMAN #682 (1/09)
"New Krypton Part 6: Invasive Surgery"
ROLL CALL: Chameleon Boy [Control], Mon-El

You have to watch all the Superman Family titles pretty closely these days; Legionnaires and Legion references are popping up all over the place. This issue ends with Mon-El, still in the Phantom Zone, surrounded by Superman villains who have been sent there by the survivors of Kandor.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Week of 17 November 2008

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

"Whatever Happened to the Bug of Yesterday?"
ROLL CALL (Legion of Scrutinizers): Caustic Boy, Leering Lad, Sarcasm Girl

I knew it! I knew that if I kept buying issues of this crappy comic, sooner or later there would be some kind of lame Legion reference. And sure enough, here it is: a typically unfunny Keith Giffen joke.

The rest of the comic is unreadable. Sheesh. Only two more issues left...I wonder if there's going to be another Legion cameo, or can I stop wasting money now?

Things to do with the other 3 (non-Legion) issues of AMBUSH BUG YEAR NONE:

- Shred pages so the hamster can add to his nest
- Burn them to keep warm
- Wrap small presents in them
- Fold pages into colorful pirate hats
- Make papier mache Christmas tree decorations

"The Secret Origin of Starman"
ROLL CALL (Lightning Saga Legion): Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Light Lass, Phantom Girl, Polar Boy, Starman/Star Boy, Superboy (hand & cape), Triplicate Girl, Wildfire
ROLL CALL (Earth-Zero Legion): Brainiac 5
ROLL CALL (Teenage Revolution Legion): Brainiac 5

A pretty important story: it fills in some of the missing pieces in the Lightning Saga Legion. (I'm tempted to start referring to this version as the Retro Legion, but we'll see.)

First, we see the three Brainiac 5's creating Star Boy's multiverse-map uniform, during the first Legion of Three Worlds adventure. Hey, this gives a way to roughly place that adventure in chronology. When did Thom start wearing this outfit? Sometime in the Levitz years, no? I shall have to go downstairs and search through the collection. It was definitely before the beard. And the Earth-Zero Brainy doesn't have white circles on his face, so this predates his upgrade to Brainiac 5.1.

Second, in the same scene, Brainy makes reference to "the lives of the Tornado Twins and Barry Allen's legacy" -- hinting that the first Legion of Three Worlds had something to do with Don and Dawn Allen.

Third, there's a flashback to (I'm guessing) a time shortly after the Lightning Saga. Brainy has a single lightning rod, and he makes reference to the coming Crisis of Tomorrow (i.e. L3W). Now here's the confusing part (okay, here's a confusing part): Only after the Lightning Saga did Thom leave on his mission to the 21st century. I had assumed that all the Legionnaires in Lightning Saga left the 31st century together.

So Dream Girl, Wildfire, and Dawnstar in this story have already been back to the Lightning Saga, while Thom has not yet been there. Thom is about to go back in time, spend a period in Kingdom Come, and then join up with the Justice Society to live through the Lightning Saga.

Brain hurts.

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: This is a fairly faithful retelling of key events in Thom's life. It leaves out his extra comet-inspired powers and the whole Sir Prize stuff, but that would have complicated things anyway. The implication is that he didn't rejoin the Legion until he got his new outfit, but I think that's another simplification; in classic continuity, he rejoined fairly soon after he left.

Okay, who's the caucasian crew-cut blond guy in the panel where Thomn joins the Legion? His nameplate indicates that he's Brainy, but his outfit is brown-not-purple, and his skin is white-not-green. Colorist's error? That seems unlikely, although it's possible. (But Brainy is colored correctly a few panels later, on the same page.) Could this possibly be an inside joke, based on the obscure history of ADVENTURE 247?

The explanation requires a digression. When ADVENTURE 247 was originally published, there were a few panels that showed other Legionnaires besides the three founders. One of them was a caucasian guy in a brown shirt. In later reprintings of that story, this guy was recolored to have green skin and a purple shirt. Later fandom assumed him to be Brainy, and used that as a clue in deducing the order in which the Legionnaires joined...establishing, for one thing, that Supergirl joined before Superboy. Eventually, this order became an established part of Legion continuity. Geoff Johns just making a nod to the fans (ha, ha, I'll have the colorist make an "error" and portray Brainy as caucasian and brown-shirted")? Or is tis an even more elaborate retcon, meant to establish that there was a period when Briany actually was caucasian and wore a brown shirt?

That's a bit baroque and convoluted even for Get-a-Life Boy, but I kinda like the idea. Maybe Brainy was in the middle of some mission that required him to masquerade as a caucasian brown-shirt...a mission that covered the period when Superboy and Starboy joined the Legion?

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Week of 12 November 2008

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

(No title)
ROLL CALL: Starman/Star Boy

Thom is there, on page 16, in a flashback to KINGDOM COME.

"Metallo 3000"
ROLL CALL (Cover): Blok, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Nemesis Kid, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superman, Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy
ROLL CALL (Animated Legion): Bouncing Boy (cameo), Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy (cameo), Colossal Boy (cameo), Cosmic Boy (cameo), Dream Girl, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad (cameo), Phantom Girl (cameo), Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet (cameo), Sun Boy (cameo), Superman, Superman X (cameo), Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl (cameo), Tyroc (cameo), Ultra Boy (cameo),
ROLL CALL (Classic Legion): Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Gril, Superboy

Last issue of a really fun comic. Brainy witnesses some alternate universes, including the cover of Adventure 247 and Mon-El floating in the Phantom Zone. And on the last page, we see that Brainiac 5 from the Classic Legion has been watching the events of this issue on a monitor. Apparently, in the Legion's timeline, the LSH animated television series was never cancelled (or perhaps was started up again on a different network?)

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: On the last page, in the Classic Legion sequence, Lightning Lad has his artificial arm, an he's also wearing a white-and-black version of his original costume. It's difficult to place this sequence in Legion history. By the emotional logic of the story, this ought to be the three founders setting out to recruit Superboy in the first place -- but Garth's robot arm is an anachronism. I'm willing to overlook that as a simple mistake, and give them credit for a nice tribute to the Legion.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Week of 5 November 2008

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

"The Worst Night of His Life"
ROLL CALL: Tellus (Lightning Saga Legion?)

Some time ago, Jim Harper broke into a Cadmus facility in Salem, NH. There, he saw the Legionnaire Tellus floating in a stasis tank. Tellus telepathically told him not to worry, the Science Police would come.

"Earth Bound"
ROLL CALL: Starman/Star Boy (Lightning Saga Legion)

Thom explains how he can make black holes and open portals to other universes (if "explains" is the word I'm groping for here): "My ability to increase gravity and even manifest miniature black holes allows me to not only travel through time, but to other parallel worlds." Uh...right. And his uniform, which "was designed by three Brainiac 5's," is a map to the (new) multiverse.

Designed by three Brainiac 5's, eh? And when, exactly, did this happen? So far as we know, the three Brainys have only been together twice: once during the original "Legion of Three Worlds" untold adventure, and currently during the "Legion of Three Worlds" miniseries. But Thom's arrival in the 21st century predates the beginning of the current L3W series...doesn't it? So did the three Brainys design Thom's uniform during the untold adventure? Or did this version of Thom originate from during or after the current L3W series? Oh, man, time travel makes my head hurt!

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

After 3 Worlds Part 2: Two Legions?

As I see it, there are three basic possibilities at the end of L3W: (1) All three Legions wind up in separate universes; (2) Some stay and some go away; or (3) All three Legions stay in the same universe.

Let's consider the third possibility: three Legions (or, at least, their surviving members) all in one universe. What to do?

Everyone could just band together into one (bigger) Legion. I don't see this as likely, for two reasons. First, it would be an awful lot of characters (I know, I know, when has that ever been a problem with the Legion?). Secpnd, and more important, it would result in a mixed team of adults and teens -- and I just don't see that happening.

IMHO, it would be better to establish two teams: an Adult Legion and a teenage Legion. DC has done this before, with two separate titles: LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES and LEGIONNAIRES. This time around, I could see them putting the adult group in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES v. 6, and resurrecting ADVENTURE COMICS for the teen Legion.

So who would be in the teen group?

I assume that DC would want to minimize duplication of members (i.e. you don't want to have two or three Brainiac 5's running around). So let's see if we can build a team around teen characters who have no living counterpart in the classic (Lightning Saga) Legion.

From the Earth-Zero Legion, we have:

- Andromeda
- Ferro
- Gates
- Gear
- Kid Quantum
- Kinetix
- Shikari
- XS

From the Teenage Revolution ("Threeboot") Legion, there's one candidate:

- Dream Boy

So far, it's a pretty bare team, but there are some more possible members:

- Spark (Earth-Zero): her counterpart, Light Lass, has different powers
- LeVIathan (Salu Digby) (Earth-Zero): her counterpart, Shrinking Violet, has different powers
- Star Boy (Teenage Revolution): his counterpart is now, being black, he's visually distinct from the adult Thom
- Thunder (Earth Zero): Last seen departing for the far future, she could come back

- Princess Projectra (Teenage Revolution): Adult counterpart is Sensor Girl, who has a different name and different powers
- Sensor (Earth-Zero): A different species, so visually distinct from Sensor Girl and Projectra

Now it's starting to look like a Legion. But wait, there's more. From either teen team, we can choose:

- an Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg): adult counterpart is Jacques Foccart, a whole different person
- a Karate Kid: adult counterpart, Val, has died several times already
- Triad (Earth-Zero) or Triplicate Girl (Teenage Revolution): we don't know the status of her adult counterpart, but she's most probably either Duo Damsel or Una

Depending on when the Lighning Saga Legion diverged from original continuity, the following may have never been Legionnaires:

- Magnetic Kid (Pol Krinn): If the Magic Wars never happened, Pol is still alive...hooray!
- Quislet: I don't care what anyone else says, I liked him
- Tellus: Gotta have a telepath in the group....

Finally, here are some names from out of left field, possibly as future teen members:

- Catspaw: appeared in LEGIONNAIRES but has not been seen in any of the current continuities
- Computo (Danielle Foccart): Jacques' little sister, might be too old
- Dragonmage: OK, in L3W #2 he was shown dead...but he could get better. Death isn't the handicap it used to be.
- Kent Shakespeare aka Impulse: No known counterpart in any current continuity
- Kono: had a counterpart in the Earth-Zero universe, but not yet in the classic/Lightning Saga universe
- Devlin O'Ryan: No known counterpart in any current, can call him "Reflecto"

There you have it: a teen Leigon with anywhere from 18 to 27 members, all in some way distinct from the adult Legionnaires.

One problem remains: what to do with all the duplicates, the multiple Brainiac 5's, Sautrn Girls, etc.? I see three possibilities: (1) They don't survive L3W; (2) They go away, into another dimension or the Phantom Zone or somewhere else; (3) Some die, others have their names and/or powers changed so they can fit into the teen Legion without confusion.

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Week of 29 October 2008

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

"Dream Wedding, Blind Love"
ROLL CALL: Atom Girl, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Colossal Boy, Dream Girl, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: The cream-colored guy with blond hair from Brainy's unconscious looks like a Bizarro Brainiac 5.

At the end of the issue, the blond guy has escaped form Brainy's dreams and is in the real world. This implies that the same might be possible for Dream Girl.

Brainy goes to see a spiritualist named Meander. Meander was the name of an ancient Greek river god, although it's hard to see how that applies. Of course, "meander" can also mean "to wander off course;" maybe the name is intended as a signal that this story is a bit of a diversion from the main plot?

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