Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week of 23 February 2011

I did not see any Legion content in DC comics this week. What's wrong with DC?


Week of 16 February 2011

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

"Hiding in Plain Sight"


Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Chameleon Girl, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Gates, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Tellus, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Ultra Boy, Wildfire, Dyogene, Dr. Gym'll, R'Aesha (aka Ji Daggle)

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Jo, Lar, Rokk, Troy (Garth would be on the list if his face wasn't covered with Gates's ID bubble)

Ultra Boy and Wildfire accompany a fleet of U.P. Councillors fleeing to Weber's World. Meanwhile, Mon-El learns that he's been elected Leader, and Cosmic Boy tells him to come back to Earth asap. Mon resists until he learns that Brainy was elected Deputy Leader...then he agrees to return to HQ.

Brainy takes command in typical Brainy high-handed style. Chameleon Boy, Chameleon Girl, and Phantom Girl head out to Brande's estate. They enter and Cham tries to access Brande's data systems...but the computer tells him Brande is already logged on and triggers an alarm. A fight ensues, first with security bots and then with R'Aesha (aka Ji Daggle).

On Medicus One, Dawnstar emerges from her coma. Tellus briefs her telepathically, then she heads off to find the little blue critter that blasted her and Wildfire in Adventure 521.

Brainy, Gates, Timber Wolf, and Tyroc teleport into Brande's estate to assist with subduing R'Aesha, but Cham waves them off and clobbers her himself. The others pull Cham back before he hurts her more. Brainy congratulates himself on a successfully-concluded case.

The whole Durlan assassins thing? Yeah, the Durlans wanted to steal the money that Brande left to the Legion -- in order to use it to rebuild Durla. They killed Zendak in order to take his form so that they could alter S.P.monitoring programs to conceal the transfers. They wanted to take Rokk's form so that they could alter things on the Legion's end. R'Aesha was taking Brande's form in order to finalize things with his data system.

Really? All this fuss and bother, just for money? Okay, I guess there's a long tradition of villains being after money -- how many times has Superman foiled bank robbers? -- but it seems rather anticlimactic. I suppose that not every story arc can deal with universe-shaking events, but...really?

The whole thing seems rushed. I gather that DC reduced page counts so they could include teasers for other comics -- in this issue another tedious, convoluted Green Lantern "blockbuster event" -- and this threw off Levitz's pacing.

On the whole, I found myself a bit disappointed at the resolution to this whole storyline. It just seemed too banal for the Legion.


Pheebes is dead.

Brainy says that if Dyogene's quest is that important, the Legion will get him more support. I wonder if this will tie in with the Legion Academy?

Mon-El says he'll be back as soon as he can. Considering his speed, augmented by the power ring, you'd think that "as soon as he can" would be measured in nanoseconds. Maybe he got lost along the way.

On that topic: Oooo, oooo, oooo, who else wants to see a Mon-El vs XS race? I do, I do!

Brainy tells Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad to stay on Winath on vacation.

Yera reminds us that she has a career as an actor ("Three acting gigs lost because they suddenly didn't want a Durlan..." and "I'm an actress, not a combat vet.") This probably explains why we haven't seen her in action very much. (And while we're on the subject, who wants to learn more of Yera's back-story? We know when & how Cham left Durla -- what about Yera?)

Tyroc and Timber Wolf restrain Cham from doing more harm to R'Aesha once she's subdued, and Brainy muses "Hmm...undoubtedly the moment that Beren foresaw of Legionnaires attacking Reep." Attacking? More like "gently restraining." Beren must lead a quiet, peaceful life, if he thinks that was "attacking."


We aren't told where Brande's estate is, just that it's "beyond the weathercon satellites' reach." This is an odd lapse; Levitz usually includes geographical references as a way of broadening our experience of 31st century Earth. I wonder if a text box fell off the page at some point.

Come to think of it, there's no text box identifying Medicus One when the scene shifts there. Note to DC: get better glue for those text boxes.

Dr. Gym'll has four arms, pictured symmetrically with two on each side. In the past he's also been depicted with three arms: one on each side and one in the back.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week of 9 February 2011

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

I bought four DC comics this week, and all four of them had Legion-related content. That's what I call "a good start."

ADVENTURE #523 (2011/04)
"First Night"

Black Witch, Blok, Bouncing Boy, Duplicate Girl, Night Girl, Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, Dragonfire, Glorith, Gravity Kid, Harlak, Lamprey, Power Boy, Variable Lad

CUTE BOYS: Chemical Kid, Gravity Kid, Harlak, Power Boy (particularly check out mostly-naked Power Boy on page 17, and half-naked Gravity Kid & Power Boy being all buddy-buddy on page 19)

Adventure begins a series set at the Legion Academy; knowing Paul Levitz, there will be a lot of crossover with the rest of the Legion. In a way, this is reminiscent of those heady days of Legion of Super-Heroes and Legionnaires.

Night Girl, Power Boy, and Comet Queen come to the Sorcerer's World to pick up a new cadet -- a magic user named Glorith, who has been under tutelage of the Black Witch and Blok. Back on Earth, Glorith is overwhelmed, and falls into the orbit of bad-boy Chemical Kid and bad-girl Dragonwing.

The three cadets go out for a night of private clubbing; wet-blanket Luornu decides that she has to teach them discipline. She wakes them up at sunrise for a practice session led by Night Girl (and also attended by the irrepressible Comet Queen, a sleepy Variable Lad, and teacher's-pet Gravity Kid). Chemical Kid passes the test with a smart-alecky attitude that disturbs Luornu and turns Lydda on a little.

Lamprey and mostly-naked Power Boy have a moment of exposition when they explain that Comet Queen has been re-admitted, while the two of them are getting ready for graduation (which is coming "soon.")

That night, the three miscreants sneak out (along with Comet Queen), incidentally interrupting Power Boy and Chemical Kid in the middle of some passionate lovemaking. The Foolish Four find that Duplicate Girl has anticipated them, and they are under arrest for trespassing.


Harlak is a Khund who renounced his world's violent lifestyle and went to study on the Sorcerer's World. He figured in the Magic Wars storyline, and we never really got to see his story progress. I'm glad Levitz has brought him back.

Glorith. Long ago the Time Trapper had an assistant named Glorith; her one and only appearance was in Adventure 338 (1965/11), where she was devolved to a blob of protoplasm. Later, Giffen and the Bierbaums resurrected her and she took the place of the Time Trapper in her own self-created universe (the "Glorithverse"). She was a major pain in the butt to both the Glorithverse Legion and the readers. When the Time Trapper finally defeated her, there was great rejoicing across the land.

In the Earth-247 universe, young Lori Morning was a chronal traveler associated with the Time Trapper; there was much speculation that she would become the new Gloirth but that never actually happened.

What relationship exists between that Glorith and this new one, if there is any relationship, is unknown. However, the old Glorith was (in one reality) Mordru's chief wife and a powerful magic user. This new one is a student of the Black Witch, who absorbed Mordru's energies in Legion of Three Worlds. In addition, the new Glorith wears a purple robe not unlike the Time Trapper's. The Trapper is currently missing and presumed dead -- but you can't keep him down for long. Paul Levitz is having a lot of fun with this, and it's going to be a great ride.

The Black Witch says that she cannot set foot on Earth "lest the darkness within escape." She's referring to the energies she absorbed from Mordru.

Mirrorkins. What a great science fiction touch.

Chuck is just so perfect in this issue...with his bathrobe and Legion pajama bottoms, he's the perfect blend of wisdom and comic relief. The man is truly a Legionnaire.

 DCU: LEGACIES #9 (2011/03)
"Knight After Night"


Earth-247 Legion: Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Saturn Girl, Ultra Boy, Shvaughn Erin, Impulse, Inferno, Superboy (Conner)

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Captain Marvel Junior, Conner, Damage, Jo, Robin, Rokk

This series, which recaps the history of the DC Universe, revisits the events of the Final Night miniseries (1996). During this period, several members of the Earth-247 Legion were marooned in the 20th century, and participated in Final Night.

BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS: There's some question about whether Inferno was ever an official Legionnaire. She was the only one in the group who stayed behind; she had a miniseries of her own and appeared in various other DC comics of the period. Presumably she is still around in the present-day DC universe.

The Earth-247 Ferro was born in the 20th century and accompanied the Legionnaires back to the 30th century when they returned.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #25 (2011/04)
"Starstruck Part 2"


Adam Strange, Amon Hakk, Captain Comet, Ciji, Lobo, Lyrl Dox, Starfire, Tribulus, Vril Dox, Wildstar, Xylon, Astrild Stormdaughter, Smite, Starro

CUTE BOYS: Adam Strange, Captain Comet, Lyrl Dox

Starro's people kidnap Vril Dox and take him to the Psion homeworld. There, the Psions are breeding Czarnnians...Lobo's people. Starro's plan is to control these Czarnians -- but for some reason, Czarnians don't yield to the control of the face-huggers. Starro puts Dox under control, and wants him to figure out how to control the Czarnians.

Meanwhile, the rest of L.E.G.I.O.N. is on their way to rescue Dox. But as Admiral Ackbar would say, "It's a trap!"At the same time, the face-huggers on Rann are taking over the planet.

SUPERMAN #708 (2011/04)
"Grounded Part Six"


Infinite Man

CUTE BOYS: Various members of the Superman Squad and disaster victims in Lincoln, Nebraska

Supes meets the Superman Squad, "a group of Supermen from various eras who've banded together to defend the time stream." Among the many sights Supes witnesses is a spacetime window showing a group of Supermen as they "face off against the Infinite Man in the conflagration known as the Crisis in Infinite Eras."


Friday, February 04, 2011

Week of 2 February 2011

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

"Here Eye Am"


Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Gates, Lightning Lass, Sensor Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Emerald Empress (Falyce), Emerald Eye, Falyce, Duke Pharos

CUTE BOYS: Dirk (Rokk is also in this story, but doesn't look particularly cute)

 Since Jeckie's departure, Orando has fallen on hard times -- or, rather, pretty normal times for a planet on a medieval level. About a year ago a girl named Alyce was running from a cruel Duke when she stumbled into some ancient, cursed ruins and awakened the Emerald Eye. She becomes the new Emerald Empress.

Flash forward to now: The Empress has plucked a passing starship from space and crashed it on Orando. Inside are Lightning Lass and Shrinking Violet. Some time later, Ayla and Vi awaken as prisoners; they fight their way to the Empress' throne room, where they find her completely insane on power. She shows them that the Eye is transforming Orando into a weird-looking garden. The Empress reveals that she's wearing a Legion flight ring and decides to use it to summon more Legionnaires.

Back at Legion Headquarters, the distress signal arrives. Jeckie says that she's just sensed a wave of energy from Orando, as if a curtain was drawn back to reveal that everything she'd sensed about Orando in the last few months has been an illusion. She tells Cosmic Boy where they're going, then orders Gates to teleport her and Sun Boy directly to Orando.

They arrive to find Ayla and Vi bound, and the fight begins. (Meanwhile, back on Earth, Rokk seeks reinforcements but Dream Girl says she saw that they were going to be too late.) Much fighting ensues on Orando; the others distract the Empress while Vi shrinks down small enough to slip in between the molecules of the Eye.

Inside the Eye, Vi finds a weird, impossible landscape that resembles the new form of Orando. She hallucinates the history of the Eye. She enlarges, shattering the Eye from within and breaking the spell that held Falyce.

Later, Ayla and Vi make ready to return with Gates and the others, but Jeckie chooses to stay behind o Orando to repair the damage. In the last panel, some kind of weird green energy appear around Vi's left eye, and the caption says "The End?"

A pretty good story, and Keith Giffen's art isn't as bad as it used to be -- although he does make people look pretty grotesque. Instead of the nine-panel grid, he now bases his pages on a six-panel grid; fortunately he does vary it a little by merging 2 or 4 panels, and there's an occasional full page.


Dream Girl's prediction is nonsense. She says "I just woke up -- and saw that we're going to be too late." How so? No one else goes to Orando; at the end, Vi makes a point of saying that Gates is taking them home. Who was too late? Too late for what? Remember, Nura's predictions always come true. Is this another hint that the woman we think is Dream Girl really isn't?

Sun Boy is playing a VR game that seems to be set in World War II. Gates enters the game, where he is depicted as wearing an army uniform and helmet.

The Monitor Boards are now mobile displays that chase the Leader around.

Lightning Lass's monitor symbol has changed: it's now a classic female symbol with a crossbar made of lightning.


The nobleman at the beginning is called Duke Pharos. In the past, Jeckie had a nasty relative named Pharoxx; is this guy the same person?


There are two reference features in this Annual: Legion History, the Board Game and Interlac A to Z.  The first is the most interesting, as it lays out the general history of the Retro Legion and allows us to judge how well it fits with the Classic Legion. There are several notable entries.

° Supergirl joined after Superboy. This fits with what was established in the recent Supergirl Annual.

° Garridan Ranzz was Validus. Since we recently saw him alive and well, he obviously got better. But we also saw Validus in action in L3W. The mystery has yet to be explained.

° "Superboy killed in battle with Time Trapper?? Error in historical records -- try not to think about it." The Conspiracy to kill the Trapper still happened. Personally, I'm glad to see this remain part of continuity; the Death of Superboy series was a great story.

° Mon-El was still beaten badly by the Time Trapper, and Shady still married him.  That was so touching, I'm glad it's remained in continuity.

° "The Mystery Years! Lose a turn trying to figure out what happened."

° The last entry is "Shadow Lass divorces Mon-El, shacks up with Earth-Man."

This clears up the question of how much of the Second Levitz Era remains part of continuity: al of it, through the Magic Wars. The Mystery Years stand between the Magic Wars and the Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes series.

The Interlac A to Z feature is fun. The most interesting bit, to me, is V is for Validus: "This monster killed the first Invisible Kid. It's believed to be a twin son of Lighting Lad and Saturn Girl, evolved into a twisted creature by Darkseid."

With The Validus/Garridan connection mentioned twice, I would not be surprised to see the matter addressed in the near future.