Thursday, December 23, 2010

Week of 22 December 2010

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

"The Shape of Death"


Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Earth-Man, Element Lad, Ferro Lad (memorial statue), Invisible Kid (Jacques), Kid Psycho (memorial statue), Karate Kid (Myg) (memorial statue), Karate Kid (Val) (memorial statue), Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Shadow Lass, Tellus, Wildfire, S.P. Chief Gigi Cusimano, Dr. Gym'll, Pheebs, Durlans

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Brin, Cham, Dead Val, Gim, Jacques, Jan, Mon, Rokk

Brande's private secretary Pheebs is the latest target of the renegade Durlans, but the Legion is there first to protect him. He explains that Brande was trying to rebuild Durla and bring it into the United Planets, and that he, Pheebs, chose the Durlan leaders who have now started a vendetta against the U.P. Council in Brande's name.

Pheebs' ultimate fate is the end of the fight he's on the ground, bloodied and unmoving, and Dream Girl says "Poor Pheebs." Alive or dead? We'll probably find out next issue.

In the meantime, Tellus brings Dawnstar to Medicus One (attended by a suitless Wildfire), where Dr. Gym'll puts her into a recovery coma. Chief Gigi asks Tellus to telepathically interrogate the Durlan prisoner, but all Tellus learns is that if even one of the Durlans lives, the U.P. Council will die. Is this yet another clue that there's at least one disguised Durlan floating around? Cos says sp explicitly: "Who knows how many Durlan assassins are on the loose?" And Phantom Girl replies, "Or who they're disguised as." (I've still got my eye on Dream Girl, who rather conspicuously did not use her power this issue.)

Cos calls for help from Brainy and Cham; Brainy decides that the two of them will head for Durla to investigate the situation there. Cos leads the phony Zendak to Brainy's lab, where the Durlan sheds his disguise and attacks Cos -- seems that since Cos was there when Brande died, the Durlan has decided that Cos must die for not having done enough to save Brande. Element Lad saves the day by imprisoning the Durlan in an airless shell of what I assume is inertron.

And finally comes the news we were all waiting for: the winner of the election for Leader is Mon-El, with Brainiac 5 as runner-up (and therefore Deputy Leader). Since Mon-El left to become a Green Lantern in the last issue, this is going to be an interesting next few issues. No wonder Paul Levitz said he was furiously rewriting a full year of plots!


Did anyone else squee in delight when Dr. Gym'll wanted cred vouchers authorized? ...And then laugh out loud when Tellus refused to put up with it? Ah, good times.

The Mission Monitor Board shows six groups of Legionnaire symbols. At Headquarters are Cosmic Boy, Phantom Girl, Invisible Kid (Jacques), Earth-Man, Shadow Lass, and Element Lad. Wildfire, Tellus, and (presumably) Dawnstar are at Medicus One. Sun Boy and Quislet seem to be off together on some adventure. Timber Wolf, Ultra Boy, and Tyroc are presumably still guarding the U.P. Council. (Jo and Troy's symbols are largely obscured by Tinya's head. At first I thought Tyroc's symbol was Bouncing Boy's, but then I realized that Tyroc's symbol is now the lines-and-circles doohickey from the front of his uniform.) Cosmic Boy's speech balloon obscures at least one symbol, probably Mon-El. And Sensor Girl seems to be on a mission with the One Ring. No, wait, that must be Gates. Not appearing on the Board: Colossal Boy and Dream Girl (fighting Durlans three pages earlier), Brainy and Cham (off to Durla),  Ayla and Vi (off to Imsk), Chameleon Girl (last seen at dinner with Gim and his mother), and Polar Boy. Yera and Brek are probably both off-duty, (unless Yera has gone underground and is infiltrating the Durlans), but I don't know why the others don't appear on the Board.

Interlac translations: On page 9, "Gate 5." On pages 25-26, drawers in Brainy's lab are maked with alhpanumeric codes like 87-C and such. Page 29, Mon-El is "elected."

From drawer 87-C Phantom Girl produces "Brainy's old cancellite formula." Cancellite is a spray that neutralizes Durlans' shape-shifting powers. It would have been the perfect weapon, but ultimately it isn't used...Element Lad saves the day.

In the Hall of Heroes, there's a statue of a chubby guy with a mask and cape. My first thought was "Wow, Reflecto has really let himself go," but then I realized that I had no idea who this guy is/was. Anyone? Bueller, Bueller?

Election Stats:

Votes: Mon-El (7); Brainiac 5 (6); Polar Boy (3); Earth-Man and Sun Boy (2 each); Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Gates (1 each). Dawnstar registered no vote because she is in a coma.

If Dawnstar had voted for Brainy, there would have been a tie. I think Dawnstar has better judgment than to vote for Brainy, but I thought the same thing about Imra and she voted for Brainy. Anyway, if Briany wants to contest the election, he may have a valid point. In fact, he may have more than one: see the next point.

There were  25 candidates and 25 voters -- but they weren't identical. Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl voted but were not candidates...they are on a leave of absence, but are you going to tell them they can't vote? Chameleon Girl and Mon-El didn't vote and were not registered on the tally board. Okay, Mon-El is theoretically on some sort of detached duty...but then wouldn't he have been ineligible to win? And what about Yera? She vanished from the Monitor Board and from the vote tallies. Yep, something's up with her. Like I said, probably infiltrating the Durlans.

Dream Girl voted for Sun Boy, who lost. Hmmm...wouldn't she already know who was going to win? More evidence, perhaps, that Dream Girl is not displaying any predictive ability. Yep, something's up with her. Like I said, probably a Durlan.

Brainy and Polar Boy both voted for themselves. This used to be somewhat of a Legion taboo, but I think I remember that Brek voted for himself last time he ran, also...and if Brainy reasoned that he was the best candidate, no mere taboo would keep him from voting for himself.

Mon-El has been Leader at least twice before: for a half-term that began in Action #392, and a for a full term beginning in Superboy #190. There have been at least two three-term Leaders before: Element Lad and Cosmic Boy. (I say "at least" because we don't know for sure who served (if anyone) between Jeckie's term at the end of the Magic Wars and Cosmic Boy's term at the beginning of Superman and the LSH.) However, both Mon and Jan served incomplete terms: Mon's half-term, and Jan's takeover when Lightning Lad resigned the position in LSH (v.2) #287. So Cosmic Boy remains the champion, having served at least three full terms.


When we first met Brande's personal secretary in Adventure #516 (2010/09), his name was spelled "Pheebes." Here it's "Pheebs" without the third e.

Pheeb(e)s speaks of Brande's desire to bring Durla "back into the United Planets" -- but as far as I know, Durla was never actually in the U.P. to begin with. Unless it was a U.P. protectorate or something.

Dr. Gym'll is shown with four arms. Historically, he has had three...but this isn't the first time we've seen a fourth arm. I suggest that Gym'll's people have a retractable fourth arm that emerges when needed.

Up until now, symbols on the Monitor Board have been in alphabetical order (within teams). Now they're all over the place.

FINAL THOUGHTS: With Mon-El winning the election, it's going to be a fun year. I can't wait!


SUPERMAN/BATMAN #79 (2010/02)
"World's Finest Part One"


Mon-El, Phantom Girl

CUTE BOYS: Mon-El, of course. Robin. And then there's Robin the Toy Wonder...there's a certain charm to a robot that looks (somewhat) like Robin...I'll bet I could think of a way to make him shut up, nudge nudge wink wink.

This takes place in the 853rd century of DC's One Million. But the Legion cameos came as a complete surprise; they come as the Lord of Time is traveling backwards through "tesseract space," which seems to be the Phantom Zone. He passes Phantom Girl (in her pigtails and bell-bottoms) and Mon-El (looking all butch) as well as Zod, Ursa, and Non. I was hoping for a glimpse of Chris Kent as well, but alas, no.


HOUSEKEEPING: The Retro Legion has been around long enough now that I've started collecting custom icons for them. I'll continue using the regular icons for the teen Legion and for dead Legionnaires.



Brainy Pirate said...

I don't know about your Durlan-Nura theory. As a few other reviewers have pointed out, her characterization seems pretty spot on (accidentally revealing herself to be smarter and tougher than she lets on). Though if Yera could fool the LSH, then I guess other Durlan actresses could too....

Rob said...

Not sure either way about the Durlan-Dreamy theory. I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if it was true. After all, I think I can remember other fights she has had in the past where she was able to predict a bad guy's movements and take him down that way. So perhaps she is an interloper.

Although maybe we're just reading too much into it either way.

Regardless, I'm enjoying the storyline though.

Meerkatdon said...

I could certainly be wrong...probably am, in fact. But I just think Levitz went out of his way to point out that Dreamy isn't displaying her precognitive powers. Something seems to be going on with that, even if she's not a Durlan.

Interesting to see that the cover of LSH #11, coming up in March, shows Dream Girl staggering into Headquarters with Star Boy slung across her back. And remember that Dreamy was supposed to be one of the unaccounted-for Legionnaires from L3W. What if she's been back in the 21st century this whole time?