LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #4 (2010/10)
"That Which is Purest Among You"
Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Earth-Man, Gates, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Quislet, Saturn Girl, Sensor Girl, Shadow Lass, Sun Boy, Timber Wolf, High Seer Beren, Garridan Ranzz, Graym Ranzz, Doctor Li, Sodam Yat, Darkseid (telepathic image)
CUTE BOYS: Dirk, Garth (intense, but cute), Gim, Rokk
On Avalon, a cult of Darkseid has grown up around an unnamed wizard who aspires to become a "true servant to the darkness." Using traces of Mordru's power and residue of Darkseid's, he has brought the Ranzz boys ("the children touched by our lord") to Avalon for nefarious purposes.
Ayla, Garth, and Imra do a masterful job of kicking ass, and recover the boys alive & well.
Meanwhile, Earth-Man meets with Human supremacists who want his help eliminating the Titanian refugees. He refuses, saying that he will save humankind his own way. Oooo, scary.
On Naltor, Dream Girl (with Dawnstar and Gates) talks High Seer Beren into accepting thousands of Titanian refugees to live on Naltor. The possibility of having the Time Institute established on Naltor is a good part of the deal. The Naltorians want the Institute in order to see further into the future than their visions allow them. Doctor Li, from the Time Institute, charms Beren.
Legion elections are set for next month; Sensor Girl seems displeased with Cosmic Boy's leadership.
Dyogene returns to Oa and tells Sodam Yat he has failed, since Earth-Man rejected the power ring. Yat seems intent upon beginning the new Green Lantern Corps with an Earth person, so he sends Dyogene back to live among humans until he finds a candidate.
Finally, Earth-Man and Shadow Lass are leaving Headquarters at the same time, and seem destined for some kind of hook-up...and Earth-Man has a nasty look in his eye.
A busy issue with a lot of excitement.
BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS:
Imra: Over in Adventure, young Imra worries that she will never be able to compete with the boys physically. She should see Full-Page Kick-Butt Imra on page 11: wow!
Inactive Status: Cos says there are 26 active Legionnaires. He says that Matter-Eater Lad "resigned yesterday to go back to Bismoll." Timber Wolf points out that he is counting Blok and Mysa out; Cos says that "they wouldn't come in when we called."
Mission Monitor Board: The Monitor Board shows the familiar symbols of the active Legionnaires. Earth-Man's symbol is a stylized Earth showing the Western Hemisphere. Gates' symbol is obscured by speech balloons (Ken points out in comments) represented by a blank square, so we don't yet know what it is.
That Which is Purest Among You: The title recalls Darkseid's curse at the end of the Great Darkness: "The curse of darkness growing within you, destroying you from within...and that which is purest of you shall be the first to go." In the immediate aftermath of the Great Darkness, Ayla resigned from the Legion...so everybody thought she was "that which is purest of you." Later, we assumed that Garridan was the purest, and Darkseid's curse was fulfilled by turning him into Validus. Eventually, it turned out that the "purest of you" was Paul Levitz, and Keith Giffen began the process of destroying the Legion from within."
Now it seems we're back to the Ranzz kids.
Which raises a question of continuity. Darkseid stole Garridan, sent him back in time, and transformed him into Validus. Later, Saturn Girl appealed to Darkseid's mercy, and he turned Validus back to Garridan. Since the return of the Legion, however, we've seen Validus in action. How can the simultaneous existence of Validus and Garridan be reconciled?
Easy. Validus, as far as we know, is ageless and eternal. So when Darkseid turned Validus back into Garridan, he probably took a version of Validus from the far future, after the Ranzz family was long gone.
Legion Elections: In the past, readers voted on the Legion's leader and Levitz and his team worked the result into the narrative. I hope he'll find a way to start that tradition up again. It was part of what made the Legion so special. (Note to DC: If you guys do this, please don't limit voting to people at Comic Con or something like that. Open it up to all Legion fans.)
CHRONICLER'S ERROR?: (added 26 Aug 2010) On page 10, Garth says to Ayla: "If we're identical twins, how'd you get such a smart mouth?" Actually, male-female twins are fraternal, not identical. Unless...maybe Ayla has always been a boy, but she's been talking Pro-Fem to make her a girl all these years....
(Time out for gagging.)
Way, way back in the early days of the Legion, it was Garth and Mekt who were twins, and Ayla was their younger sister. In that case, I think the retcon (Ayla and Garth twins) makes much more sense.
SUPERMAN/BATMAN #75 (2010/10)
Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Superboy, Superman, Ultra Boy, Batman
CUTE BOYS: Garth, Jo, Kal (Superboy), Rokk, "Bite Me" Boy Outside Luthor's Limo
In the 31st century, a kryptonite-laced clone of Lex Luthor breaks into Legion Headquarters and steals a time bubble. He goes back to Superman's time and beats the crap out of Supes, then digs up a lead box and vanishes in the bubble. The Legion comes back to enlist Batman's help; Brainy builds an anti-clone gun, and the Legionnaires follow the clone back to Smallville in Superboy's time. The clone is attacking Superboy; Brainy's gun works and they save Kal. Saturn Girl erases Kal's memory of the incident, and also the memories of the Smallvillians. Garth points out that they don't know who sent the clone, and maybe there will be others.
There are a lot of unanswered questions and dangling threads...I sense a sequel coming up. I hope it will be soon.
BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS:
This was like an old-time Legion story. The Legion popping back in time to Superman's time, interacting with Batman, and finally showing up in Superboy's Smallville to save the day. Kal/Clark is dressed in his Superboy costume in downtown Smallville, out in public and everything. I suppose it's too much to hope that John Byrne is turning in his grave, but I can dream, can't I?
When Superboy sees the Legionnaires, he thinks "...at least, they sort of look like the Leigon. Except they're kind of old...and scruffy." In the olden days, the teen Legionnaires often visited Superman, and the adult Legion visited Superman...but as far as I know, the adult Legion never visited Superboy.