(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comic.)
ADVENTURE #519 (2010/12)
"Playing Hooky II"
Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid (Lyle), Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Superboy, Zaryan
CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Garth, Lyle, Rokk, Kal, Several Smallville Barn-Raising Boys, and a special mention of the Legion boys in Smallville drag...especially Brainy with his ball cap, so adorable that you just want to give him a big hug.
Two storylines this issue. First Cham, Lyle, and Vi go after one of Zaryan's supply ships -- the first mission for the Legion Espionage Squad. Although Zaryan uses his untried and imperfect freeze ray against them, the Espionage Squad manages to escape unharmed.
Meanwhile, Brainy takes Garth, Imra, and Rokk back to spend time in Smallville with Superboy. He tells them that it's imperative that they spend the next 14.4 hours in Smallville. The Legionnaires get a taste of natural weather, take part in an old-fashioned barn-raising, and meet Ma and Pa Kent. That night, one of Brainiac's probes arrives, having homed in on Kal's Kryptonian spaceship. With Brainy's help they destroy the probe, so it won't lead Brainiac to Earth (at least, not until Kal is grown up into Superman.)
A clever, enchanting story that both moves the Zaryan storyline ahead, and also sheds light on Superboy's place in Retro Legion continuity.
BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS:
Zaryan commands is men to use a freeze ray on the Legionnaires. It misfires. Once perfected, this freeze ray will kill Lightning Lad.
The List. Brainy has a list of things to do in Superboy's time: Experience natural weather, Help a barn raising, Meet the Kents, and Save the world. This harkens back to the original "Playing Hooky" story in Adventure 12/515, which itself recalled Conner's list of things Superman did back in Adventure #1/504.
Saturn Girl's identification bubble gives her name as "Imra Ardeen-Ranzz." This is an anachronism -- at this time, she was just Imra Ardeen. This is going to be a recurring error. I don't know who adds the text to those bubbles -- the Letterer, maybe? -- but whoever it is, we can't expect them to be a hardcore Legion fan, or to be able to tell at a glance when Saturn Girl is "Ardeen" and when she's "Ardeen-Ranzz." We should just be happy that they're identifying the two Invisible Kids correctly.
Besides...we all know that due to various wars, disasters, and mischances of time across a thousand years, records of the 31st century are uncertain at best. :)
How Old Are They? Lyle and Vi look like they're in their mid-teens; Imra looks like maybe 15-16, Garth and Rokk maybe a little younger; When Brainy's green he looks to be 14-15, but when he's caucasian he looks positively prepubescent; Kal hovers around 12-13...except on the cover, where they all look older.
I don't see this as a problem. It's all artistic license. Even if the artists were given explicit ages for the various Legionnaires, it's pretty hard to draw teenagers at exact ages. (Take a look back at John Forte's Legion...or even Curt Swan's). I think what we should take away from this is that the Legionnaires were "very young" at this time.
Besides, we already know that ages are deceptive in the 31st century. If the Legionnaires are considered "boys" and "girls" in their 20s and 30s, then why couldn't they have looked 12 when they were in their mid-teens?
And Kryptonians...ell, they just age weirdly.
SMALLVILLE Season 10 Episode 4
Brainiac 5, Clark/Kal-El
CUTE BOYS: Clark, Oliver
Clark and Lois go to a Smallville High reunion. Brainiac 5 takes Clark on a series of time-trips in order to reveal secrets of his past and build confidence in his future.
It's interesting to have this episode air during the same week as Adventure 519, in which Brainy comes to Clark's time -- and which also involves the relationship between Brainy and his infamous ancestor.
BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS:
In an earlier episode, three Legionnaires helped Clark defeat the original Brainiac. They took his essence into the 31st century with them. Brainiac 5 is the reincarnation of the original Brainiac (played by the same actor).
Brainiac 5 explains that he is the one who invented the Legion flight ring and their time-travel technology.
Last month I announced a contest, with the lucky winners to receive either the Legionnaires 3 miniseries or the Cosmic Boy miniseries. I've waded through all both answers, and here are the results:
The Legionnaires 3 series goes to Prof. Lemaris Lang. The Cosmic Boy series goes to Rob. To claim your prize, email me at donsakers at gmail dot com and tell me your mailing address. I'll get the comics in the mail in the next few days.
Thanks for playing!
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