Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week of 8 September 2010

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

ADVENTURE #518 (2010/11)
"Whispers of Doom"


Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Superboy, Ultra Boy, High Seer Beren, Nura Nal, Zaryan

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Dirk, Garth, Jo, Kal, Rokk, maybe one or two of the Naltorians

This issue picks up a while after the last one left off. The Legion has added some more members (including Superboy), and Zaryan has grown more powerful. A team consisting of Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Sn Boy, and Ultra Boy is chasing Zaryan's forces, trying to track down the big guy himself. Their quest takes them to Naltor, where they manage to repel Zaryan's troops but one ship of bad buys slips away.

Meanwhile on Naltor, the High Seer's apprentice Nura Nal (who will become Dream Girl) has a vision in which an unidentified Legionnaire dies in combat with Zaryan. High Seer Beren decides to dispatch a confidential message capsule to Legion headquarters bearing news of the vision.

Back on Earth, Phantom Girl tells Superboy that she's been investigating the source of strange voices that some Leigonnaires have been hearing in the clubhouse, a source that they're calling a "ghost." Superboy visits the Superman Museum, where he sees a display that tells him Superman died at the hands of Doomsday. He also hears the voice of the "ghost" urging him to go home.

Brainy insists that Superboy has to go back to his own time ("We have to synchronize these trips carefully...we can't upset time itself.") Phantom Girl mentions that the Legion has decided to elect a new Leader. Then the time bubble vanishes, and the "ghost" says, " least you'll be safe."

I'm struck by the masterful job Paul Levitz is doing in setting up the events of Adventure #304. In that story, Saturn Girl witnessed the arrival of a capsule bearing a message from "The Trylop Council of Planet Mernl." The message read: "Our computer-machine predicts a Leigonnaire member will die soon while using his, or her, power to battle an invasion of Earth by 'Zaryan the Conqueror'! Our Our machine can't reveal which Legionnaire will die!"

Saturn Girl destroyed the capsule, then telepathically influenced the other Legionnaires to unanimously vote her in as Leader. We learn of Zaryan the Conqueror, "An interplanetary criminal from the planet Brok. Once Zaryan offered the Legion a fabulous bribe not to oppose him," but the Legion rejected the bribe.

Saturn Girl went on to put the Legionnaires through a series of tests, which she used to disqualify each of them for duty. Unbeknownst to them, she had also stolen all of their powers. When Zaryan attacked, she set out alone to face him, determined that she would be the Legionnaire to die. Lightning Lad went after her and foiled her plan, getting struck by Zaryan's weapon instead.

With his dying breaths, Lightning Lad explained that Mon-El (from the Phantom Zone) had witnessed everything, and warned him of Saturn Girl's plot so he could foil it.

See how it all fits together, 204 issues later: Zaryan offers his bribe, which Saturn Girl rejects. Naltor (not the Trylop Council of Planet Mernl) sends a message capsule to Earth, warning that a Legionnaire will die in combat with Zaryan. And the whispers of a mysterious ghost are heard; a ghost who tells Superboy to go home and seems relieved that Kal, at least, is safe. Isn't it obvious that the "ghost" is really Mon-El?

And notice the theme of fated death. Superboy sees that Doomsday will kill him in his own personal future; Nura Nal sees that a Legionnaire will soon die.


Wasn't Zaryan a Khund? In the post-Levitz years, Zaryan the Conqueror was retconned as a Khund. I'm going to consider that part of the Glorithverse Legion.


BOOSTER GOLD #36 (2010/11)
"This Man...This Chipmunk"


Vril Dox

CUTE BOYS: Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Rip Hunter, Vril Dox

Booster Gold winds up on the Starlag during Invasion, along with Blue Beetle (who has been turned into a chipmunk; don't ask). They encounter Vril Dox before the escape that led to the formation of L.E.G.I.O.N.

Fortunately, Booster Gold no longer seems tied in with Brightest Day. (Has anyone else sworn off buying any Brightest Day tie-ins? Life is too short to waste any of it.) Unfortunately, Keith Giffen is still writing for the comic.



Aaron said...

I thought this ish rocked!

Meerkatdon said...

Aaron: I have to agree.

howson said...

Was it really only 214 issues ago ? Feels more like 48 years ....