Saturday, April 24, 2010

Week of 21 April 2010

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

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #44 (6/10)
"Devil in the Details"
ROLL CALL: No Legionnaires
CUTE BOYS: Sebastian Faust, Starman (Mikaal)

Don't bother with this one: Apparently, Mon-El is no longer in the Justice League. No explanation is given. To be fair, they don't have to explain anything; it's not like readers are going to be saying "What happened to Mon-El?" During his entire tenure in the JLA, Mon-El did virtually nothing; it took a pretty keen-eyed reader to notice that he was there at all.

Don't feel bad for Mon: he has escaped the clutches of one pretty inept writer.

Interestingly, three pages of Justice Society of America seem to have crept into the middle of this issue. It makes about as much sense as the rest of the story.

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R.E.B.E.L.S. #15 (6/10)
"What Happens in Vega..."
ROLL CALL: Adam Strange, Amon Haak, Captain Comet, Ciji, Starfire, Strata (mentioned but not pictured), Tribulus, Vril Dox, Wildstar, Xylon
CUTE BOYS: Adam Strange, Captain Comet, Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Two of the Tamaranian pirates ain't bad-looking, really

Despero tries to execute Starro but mucks in up (Vril Dox would've succeeded). Starfire, jilted by Dick Grayson, mopes around the Vega system. Meanwhile, Dox realizes that L.E.G.I.O.N. needs a new base, since Maltus is too crowded with Dox-haters. He surveys the now-dead planet Rann, and figures out how to resurrect it and move it to the Vega system (because, presumably, he won't find any enemies there?)

BITS OF L.E.G.I.O.N.NAIRE BUSINESS: Although Starfire has no interaction with L.E.G.I.O.N. in this issue, on the cover she is wearing a L.E.G.I.O.N. symbol, so I'm including her in the roll call.

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SUPERGIRL #52 (6/10)
"Last Stand of New Krypton Part Seven: Distractions"

ROLL CALL: Brainiac 5,  Quislet, also: Superboy (Conner), Supergirl
CUTE BOYS: Brainiac 5 (although he needs a haircut again), Conner, Assorted Kandorians

Most of the issue involves Brainy and Supergirl as they attempt to disable Brainiac's force field. But the real story is this Supergirl's place in the history of the DC universe, specifically in relation to the Legion(s).

Here's what we knew (or thought we knew) going into this issue:

1. This version of Sueprgirl/Kara spent some time in the 31st century of the Earth-Prime universe, where she was a member of the Earth-Prime Legion. She returned to the present without any memory of her adventures in the future.

2. In the current (Retro) Legion, where the Legion's history largely parallels that of the Classic Legion, Supergirl was an on-again, off-again member. She and Brainiac 5 had romantic feelings for one another. When Supergirl died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Brainy took it hard and has grieved ever since.

3. The current version of Supergirl has not (a) been a member of the Retro Legion or (b) died (or even participated) in the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Ever since Legion of 3 Worlds, fans have been waiting to see how Supergirl fits into the history of the Retro Legion.

So here's what we learned during this issue:

1. In the Retro Legion, just as in the Classic Legion, Superboy and Supergirl were given a post-hypnotic suggestion to forget certain details of their visits to the future. Brainy suggests that Supergirl might have already visited the Legion (and met him) but has no memory of this. There is a promise that this will be explained in Supergirl Annual #2, due out this Fall.

2. Near the end of the issue, Brainy thinks, "Someday she'll come to the future and meet the younger me. We'll fall in love." This suggests that Supergirl has not yet visited the Legion.

So there we are. Two possible explanations of Supergirl's place in the Retro Legion. Supposedly all ambiguity will be resolved this Fall. And you know what, I can live with that. In fact, it's kinda neet: it's now established that this Supergirl's first meeting with this Brainiac 5 was right now, during the Last Stand of New Krypton. (Whereas this Brainiac 5's first meeting with this Supergirl will presumably be in Supergirl Annual #2. Time travel is like that.)

Still unexplained: How this Supergirl relates to the Crisis on Infinite Earths. In current continuity, the Crisis happened in this Supergirl's past. The Supergirl who died in the Crisis was Linda Lee Danvers, whereas this Supergirl is Linda Lang.

Retro-Brainy never said that Supergirl (Linda Lang) died in the Crisis, only that she died. Given the complexities of time travel, it's possible that Linda Lang died at the fine old age of 536, and that would still give Brainy plenty of opportunity to mourn. But that doesn't seem likely: I think it's plain that Brainy's grief is for the lost potential, for the future that he will never have with Supergirl. Essentially, the emotional impact almost demands that Supergirl died young.

So forget the Crisis. Instead, I would like to suggest that in current continuity, Supergirl will die while on a mission with Brainy. It doesn't have to be a Legion mission; it could be another crossover event. In any case, if Brainy is actually there when Kara/Linda Lang dies, that would fully explain the depth and finality of his grief.  [Come to think of it, that explains Brainy's grief even better than in the Classic Legion: it never really made sense for Brainy to be so upset over a death that was historic fact to him.]

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: One of the many full-page advertisements in this issue shows Yildiray Cinar's stunning cover for the upcoming Legion of Super-Heroes #1. A beefy, brawny hand bears both a Green Lantern Ring and a Legion Flight Ring. There's been a lot of speculation about whose hand this is. Here's my guess: It's Myg's apprentice from Lythyl, last seen in L3W. Everybody thought he would be the next Karate Kid; I'm guessing that he will also be the next Green Lantern.

We'll know next month....
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SUPERMAN/BATMAN #71 (6/10)
"The Big Noise Part 4: The Final Solution"

The Durlan from the past is defeated and left for dead, although a tentacle survives, so he'll be back. The Legion connection is only tangential.

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3 comments:

Paul Newell said...

It was mentioned in the last issue of JLA that Mon-El flew off with Superboy in the roll call of departing "members".

Laura said...

I just got Legion of 3 Worlds and I was reading it and was sooo excited to see Classic Supergirl in there. I have a little fantasy comic universe where she followed the Founders back from the vanishing point and caused great angst to everyone.
Then she finally decides that she wants to stay with Querl, and he cooks up some hugely improbable faked-death thing to make sure she can stay with him and not mess up the timeline.
I tell myself that she's just going to pop out of nowhere in the first new Legion issue in May and fans across the world will rejoice.

Meerkatdon said...

Laura:

I've always been upset at how DC just retroactively eliminated Kara from the timestream. Saying that she died was one thing, but saying she had never existed really drove me spare.

I suspect that the new Kara will now take her place, in the Legion as everywhere else. And that's a major distinction between the Retro Legion and the Classic Legion. I suppose I can live with this, but I still miss the Kara who had a life as Linda Lee at Midvale Orphanage, and who once found three super-girl friends who understood her...