Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week of 27 October 2010

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

"Supergirl & the Legion of Super-Heroes"


Brianiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Supergirl, Triplicate Girl, Satan Girl

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Dirk, Garth, Gim, Rokk, assorted Metropolis citizens

A flaming satellite falls toward 30th century Metropolis. It's stopped by Supergirl and the Legion. We learn that the cause was one of Brainy's experiments, exposing an ancient Brocian statue to "chronon energy." The satellite blows up.

Flashback to Supergirl's arrival in the 30th century, a few months ago. She was flying along in a spaceship which malfunctioned, sending her to the 30th century (why not?) The Legionnaires begged her to stay, so she did.

Back to the main story, where Supergirl visits the Superman Museum and finds that "during one of the greatest battles in history, she was killed stopping the worst threat the Earth had ever known." She freaks out.

But wait, Brainy summons her for urgent help. Seems that his chronon energy has drawn an ancient Brocian evil goddess named Satan Girl, and she's out to enslave the Earth. Working together, Supergirl and Brainy defeat her and free the Legion from her nefarious influence.

The Legionnaires take Supergirl back to the 21st century, where Saturn Girl gives her a hypnotic treatment, similar to the one she gave Superboy, so that she won't remember details of what she learned in the future.

I was a little disappointed in this story. I was expecting a Levitz-like story that would fit the current Supergirl into Retro Legion continuity without too many alterations from Classic continuity, answering all sorts of knotty questions. Instead, we didn't really learn anything that we didn't know already.

Instead of being a constant (if irregular) presence in the early Legion, Supergirl visits the Legion for a few months. Instead of meeting and interacting with her cousin Superboy, she is told that the two of them can't be in the future at the same time.

I was rather hoping that they would establish that Supergirl was fated to die in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, in the past but at a later time in her own personal timeline. Well, they left the nature of her death unrevealed, but at least they didn't say anything that contradicts my theory.

All in all, it was a rather straightforward story that made some nods to classic continuity, but it just wasn't up to the high standard that Paul Levitz has set in his Adventure revisits of Legion history. I'd have preferred it if Satan Girl had somehow been an evil doppleganger of Supergirl. I'd have preferred it if they'd made more of an attempt to integrate some of the old stories. I'd have preferred it if they'd had the boy Cartar play more of a part, rather than dropping him after he got the Satan Girl plague.

Maybe Kara was actually visiting yet another alternate future, instead of the Retro Legion we know.

Oh, well. Mediocre Legion is better than no Legion at all.


Supergirl says that this 30th century "wasn't the 30th century I'd visited before, either." I believe she's speaking of the 31st century of the Earth-Prime Legion.

In classic Legion continuity, Supergirl and Brainiac 5 joined the Legion at the same time. Prior to that, Supergirl applied for membership (digging up a number of historic artifacts, including King Arthur's sword), but was rejected because Red Kryptonite had made her too old. When she and Brainy joined, Brainy gave her a force shield belt which protected her from a Green Kryptonite meteor, which she smashed to pieces.

The blue vaporlike creature at the bottom of page 18 is the Negative Man; in classic continuity Supergirl fought him in Action 287 (1962/04) "Supergirl's Greatest Challenge."

In classic continuity, Satan Girl was a Red-Kryptonite induced evil twin of Supergirl.

While criticizing Cosmic Boy's leadership skills, Sun Boy says "If he can't stand the heat, maybe we should vote in someone who can." The fact that a Leader election is on his mind shows that this story takes place in the same time frame as current stories in Adventure.

Interlac translations: 
On the Daily Planet globe: "daily planet" (the p is backwards)
On the falling satellite: "Time Institute"
On viewscreen inside the satellite: "DANGER"
In Brainy's telescope: "subject kryptonian...Subect [sic] Supergirl...Scanning"
Above the museum door: "Superman museum"
On Brainy's cellphone: "READY"

Lyle: Halfway through the story, Invisible He isn't seen again.

Gim: When Colossal Boy is enlarged, the lettering in his word balloons is huge. It's a nice effect.


The teenage Legion is explicitly stated to be in the 30th (not 31st) century. This sort of thing is going to keep happening.

Colossal Boy is missing his yellow shoulder-thingies.



Ken Arromdee said...

Having the teenage Legion take place in the 30th Century isn't a mistake. The current Legion is 1000 years ahead of Superman, making it 3010. If the teenage Legion is more than 10 years behind the current Legion, it's still in the 30th Century.

Having Supergirl think the Threeboot was also the 30th Century is a mistake, however.

Meerkatdon said...

Ken: You're absolutely right, and I've been saying the same thing for months.

Trouble is, over in Adventure Comics they claim that the teenage Legion is in the 31st century.

This is a battle we're not going to win, my friend. And in a few more years (say, in 2015 or 2020) the matter will become moot. Meanwhile, it's just like the early days of the Legion, when sometimes they were in the 30th century, and sometimes in the 21st.


pblfsda said...

The "shoulder-thingies", I think, are 'piping'. They're distinct from 'epaulets', which extend from the collar out to the shoulder.
Also, this being the week of the 27th, the Diamond Previews catalog that shipped this week has, in the back, has a three-page layout on comics/SF themed baked goods including a LSH sheet cake. From the costumes on the characters (and the selection of characters) I'm guessing they used the late 1960's image of the group. I was hoping that you had seen it and knew if this was lifted directly from an old Cockrum pin-up, or if it might be some original effort.

Brainy Pirate said...

I like the joke about Saturn Girl's bathing suit--which of course becomes her eventual costume.

Darrell Lawrence said...

This "Adventure" is in the 30th century.

The Zaryan stories in the Adventure Comics takes place right at the turn of the century.

As shown in the latest Adventure comic, Supergirl is there at Garth's funeral... standing next to, then working with, Superboy. So that "They can't be in the future together" thing doesn't hold. That may have been a PLAN for the Legion, but it didn't stick.

The only changes I see compared to the original, pre-Crisis SG/Legion thing is that there is a retcon for how/when she joined (just right after Brainy maybe?), but the pre-Crisis adventures she had with the Legion are now back in canon.