Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week of 23 March 2011

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

"False Start"


Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Ultra Boy, Wildfire, S.P. Chief Gigi Cusimano, Dr. Harmonia Li, Warden Marwat (corpse), Frost, Fume, Micro Lad (corpse), Sun Emperor

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Brin, Dirk, Gim, Jo, Lar, Rokk, Troy

Another issue with a lot going on.

On Rimbor a Lgion team (Colossal Boy, Lightning Lass, Phantom Girl, Sun Boy, Tyroc, and Ultra Boy) goes after escaped villains. One pair, Fume and Frost, talk about Saturn Queen's new LSV.

At Headquarters, Gigi calls for help from Brainy, saying that there are escapees on a dozen worlds. Brainy says he has everything under control. Yet he gets frazzled when Dawnstar refuses to retrun, and Dream Girl walks in with an unconscious and still-deranged Star Boy. When Mon-El shows up by Power Ring projection, he unwillingly takes command and sends Brainy to the lab to work on Thom.

On Takron-Galtos, Chameleon Boy, Comic Boy, and Shrinking Violet are working clean-up when they run across Micro Lad's corpse -- Vi spits on him, which sums up her feelings about their past history. They also find Marwat's corpse, spotting the signs of Lightning Lord's handiwork.

Meanwhile, Timber Wolf goes to Tokyo in search of Sun-Killer. Instead, he finds Sun Emperor, and the two have an epic battle that leaves Sun Emperor defeated.

Finally, Brainy is worried about what's taken Colu off the grid, and in walks Dr. Harmonia Li with an announcement that it's all her fault.

The art in this issue (by Daniel HDR & Wayne Faucher) is okay, but it lacks Cinar's sparkle -- and his nice touch with wild hair. Notice how smooth everyone's hair seems.

The lettercolumn gives the numbers from the Leader election, and promises that XS will be spotlighted in Adventure 526, which is good news indeed.


This is a great example of why it's a good idea to ignore advance solicitations. First, the cover shown in advance solicitations was different: It showed Dream Girl with Star Boy thrown across her shoulders. Second, the text of advance solicitations read:

A jam-packed extravaganza! Star Boy returns from the 21st century! Sensor Girl searches for Karate Kid! The team trails the escaped Legion of Super-Villains! And Saturn Girl seeks Harmonia Li's blood-and the reason why will shock you!
Okay, Star Boy came back, and a team did trail the LSV (sorta). But Sensor Girl and Saturn Girl were nowhere to be seen.

Obviously a lot of changes happened between the time the solicitation went out and the time the issue was published.

On Rimbor there are a number of Interlac signs. They say things like "XXX DRINK X" "DRINK SEX" "ALIEN SEX" and "OPEN BAR" -- about the kind of things you'd expect to see on Rimbor.

Star Boy is suffering from "multiversal disorientation accelerated schizophrenia" made worse by the connection of his uniform to the multiverse.

In Tokyo there is a holo of a bespectacled man with an Interlac legend that reads "C'ABIO YABV PARK." I suspect an anagram of sorts, although the only thing I can come up is "Via Cab Boy," which sounds like a Legion reject. Anyone?

Brainy's speech to Dream Girl is typically arrogant, and about the sweetest thing Brainy has ever said.



This is a free newspaper-style handout that most comic book shops have. The cover features the Legion against the LSV.

Week of 16 March 2011

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

I'm sorry this entry is so late; it's been a crazy couple of weeks. But enough of that, on to the comics --

ADVENTURE #524 (2011/05) 
"First Night"


Bouncing Boy, Cosmic Boy, Duplicate Girl, Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, Crystal Kid, Dragonwing, Glorith, Gravity Kid, Lamprey, Nightwind, Power Boy, Variable Lad, Dr. Gym'll, Father Jamik, Mother Jamik, Black Mace, Name Unknown, Shagrek Look-a-like #1, Shagrek Look-a-like #2

CUTE BOYS: Chemical Kid, Chuck, Crystal Kid, Gravity Kid, Power Boy, Rokk

The trainees are grounded. Chemical Kid decides to go to Phlon to find out why his father's credit was cancelled. (I just figured it was Luornu, trying to teach the trainees a lesson.) He talks Comet Queen, Dragonwing, Glorith, and Gravity Kid into going with him. Gravity Kid, at least, implies that he came along because he didn't want to let Chemical Kid go into danger alone.

And danger there the person of Black Mace, working for a newly-reformed Taurus Gang. They're attacking Father Jamik, presumably to get money or corporate secrets. The trainees seem about to win the day, when a mysterious woman with blue hair takes away their powers and knocks them unconscious.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Cosmic Boy has a talk with cadets Crystal Kid, Lamprey, Nightwind, and Power Boy -- he seems to be discouraging them from Legion membership. He encourages them to think about other possibilities: joint he S.P.s or go solo on an outerworld. Cosmic Boy says that no decisions have been made yet -- while implying that the decision is already made.

A lot more happens in this issue than it appears at first reading. 


Glorith doesn't remember her parents. She also makes reference to being " service to the Endless Ones." Does this tie in with the immortals that Saturn Queen is seeking? Could the third planet of immortals be the Sorcerer's World? "Endless Ones," eh? You don't suppose she's referring to the Endless from Gaiman's Sandman mythos? That would certainly be interesting.

Speaking of the Endless, Death appeared before in a Legion comic: in the Giffbaum years, in the issue where Earth was destroyed. Except that's not part of this continuity, is it?

We learn a little of Chemical Kid's backstory: his rich scientist father broke the law, using a virus graft to give his son Chemical King's power. (Chemical King was also from Phlon; apparently something about the Phlono physiochemistry predisposes them to this sort of transformation. 

Variable Lad is Dr. Gym'll's nephew. That's a nice touch. Apparently he got his powers through some accident. (Gym'll shows two arms, although there may be a third behind his back that we don't see. Maybe his kind have some limited shape-shifting powers.)

The Taurus Gang was last seen in Adventure 374 (1968/11), when they were revealed to be under the command of S.P. Chief Zoltorus. Along with Black Mace, the other members were Mystelor, Quanto, Rogarth, and Shagrek. This new version has two Shagrek look-a-likes and a blue-haired lady who might be Mystelor (or might not). Quanto was an interesting case: He is a member of a highly-advanced race, sent from another universe to aid Taurus...or, possibly, to help Mystelor improve herself. At the end of the story, he declares his mission over and vanishes in a beam of light, presumably gone back to his own universe. It would be interesting to see more of his story.

The senior cadets (Crystal Kid, Lamprey, Nightwind, and Power Boy) are all from Earth. I guess Earth-Man would be happy if any of them joined the Legion. I could hope that all four of them get their chance to try out for the big leagues. These guys have been around for a long time, they've fought valiantly alongside the Leigon, they've seen some of their classmates's about time they got a break.

However, the powers-that-be at DC seem to have this thing about limiting Legion membership to 25. I can see the don't want to overwhelm new readers. (Funny how X-Men and the Avengers never seem to worry about that, with their own casts-of-thousands and convoluted histories.) However, I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's the Legion of Super-Heroes, not the Two-Dozen-and-One Super-Heroes. 

I wouldn't mind seeing the Legion divided into teams, along the lines of Justice League America & Justice League Europe, or the way they've divided the JSA recently. Maybe this run in Adventure is a preliminary run-up-the-flagpole for a future Legion Academy title. I'd buy it! (Look at the Legion Academy -- there's already a continuing cast of 12, 14 if you count Night Girl and Cosmic Boy. Spin off a few more Legion members, and you'll have 20-25 in each book.) (Or, since the Outerworlds seem to be fairy lawless, how about spinning off the senior cadets with Mon-El, the new Green Lantern Corps, and maybe the Wanderers to make a Legion Outerworlds comic.)


R.E.B.E.L.S. 26 (2011/05)

I haven't found a copy of this comic yet; when I do, I'll update this listing.


SUPERMAN 709 (2011/05)
"Grounded Part Seven"



CUTE BOYS: Young Clark Kent, Young Lex Luthor

XS appears in a cameo when Flash (Barry Allen) is telling Superman about all the other Flashes he knows.

Barry Allen says that Bart will "do his Grandfather proud" and muses that he doesn't feel old enough to have a grandson, or even a son, for that matter.

First of all, since all of this involves time travel, Barry can easily have any number of great-great-grand-flashes without being any older. But more to the point, he has a granddaughter too. I guess the fact that Jenni is a Legionnaire means that she doesn't matter in the framework of the rest of the DC Universe. Pshaw!

I must say, I'm not that impressed by Barry Allen since his return. If you were a guy who could travel through time, and you discovered that you had a son and daughter in the future, wouldn't you at least want to go take a look at them? But I suppose Don & Dawn's connection to the Legion makes them personae non grata as well. Double pshaw!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Week of 9 March 2011

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

"When Evil Calls"


Black Witch, Ultra Boy, Wildfire, Wynn Allon, Warden Marwat (died), Mysterious Arm, Akka, Hunter (Adam Orion), Immortus, Lightning Lord, Micro Lad (died), "Obedient One," Questor, Saturn Queen, Sun Killer, Zymyr

CUTE BOYS: Jo, Wynn Allon, and Micro Lad doesn't look bad with his hair cut

Saturn Queen manipulates Warden Marwat into releasing her from containment on Takron-Galtos. In the ensuing riot, Marwat is killed and Saturn Queen escapes with a new, hand-picked Legion of Super-Villains: Old-timers Hunter, Lightning Lord, Micro Lad, and Zymyr; Sun Killer; and three brand-new villains -- Akka (a Sklarian), Immortus (an inertron cyborg whose true identity is unknown), and Questor (a renegade Coluan). One of her other helpers, "Obedient One," is present on Takron-Galtos but never seen again. Poor Micro Lad doesn't survive long; Akka kills him for sassing the Queen.

Saturn Queen has come unglued; she is now a disciple of a powerful blue flame -- gotta be related to the mysterious blue baby from a few issues back. The blue flame seems to be a servant of anarchy (or Chaos), and Saturn Queen's mission is to destroy civilization and allow anarchy to reign.

Apparently, three worlds of immortals have watched over the sentient races. One is Oa, home of the Guardians and powered by will. Another is the Rock of Eternity, home of the Wizard Shazam and powered by faith. The third, whereabouts and inhabitants currently unknown, is powered by wisdom.

Saturn Queen wants to destroy Oa, but a blue voice tells her to wait; the other two places must go first. (Apparently Arnachy must be achieved in an ordered, regimented series of steps. Go figure.) So the LSV hies off to the Rock of Eternity, which they destroy by the time-honored method of smashing it between two runaway planets (shades of E.E. "Doc" Smith!) But a Mysterious Arm emerges from the debris, so perhaps no immortals were harmed in the making of this comic.

Leaving Lighting Lord and Akka on Rimbor to gather cannon fodder recruits, Saturn Queen proceeds to Colu with Hunter, Immortus, Questor, Sun Killer, and Zymyr to search the databanks for some clue as to the location of the immortal home of wisdom. (The blue flame guided her to the Rock of Eternity, but I guess it doesn't know where the third place is.)

In the midst of all this fun, Ultra Boy and Wildfire accompany Admiral Allon to Takron-Galtos to clean up after the riot/jailbreak. Meanwhile, on the Sorcerer's World, the Black Witch knows that something is up -- a flame that's always been yellow has turned blue, and she's struggling to contain the evil of Mordru that she absorbed in L3W.

The story ends with a promise that it will be continued in Legion of Super-Heroes #11.

On the whole, a great beginning to what promises to be an epic story, told in inimitable Paul Levitz fashion. Saturn Queen and her new Legion are just plain creepy-bad, and the whole blue-flame/three-immortal-homes thing is intriguing. Dollars to donuts Harmonia Li is up to her neck in this stuff.

The art is very dynamic and on the whole quite good...although I do miss Yildiray Cinar's clean lines and uncluttered backgrounds. And surely there have to be more sound effects than "Krakooom!" On one hand there are two colliding planets, on the other is an exploding starship -- and you're telling me they both make the same sound? I mean, the identical sound...down to the exact same letters. This strains my suspension of disbelief.

Obviously this whole mess involves the Green Lanterns somehow, but thank goodness it doesn't seem to tie in with the Blackest Night/Brightest Day/Endless Crossover multi-hued scheme of colors and emotions -- at least, blue doesn't seem to represent hope here. To which all I can say is "good," because if the Legion goes all Green Lantern on me I swear, I will flush this white plastic Power Ring right down the toilet. Don't think I won't.

In any case, I'll be counting the hours until LSH #11 comes out.


Akka's name recalls AKKA, the super-weapon in Jack Williamson's The Legion of Space. Yet another classic science fiction allusion from Paul Levitz.

This whole good/evil/anarchy, faith/will/wisdom thing smells vaguely of the Lords of Order and Chaos. Especially since Mordru is somehow involved; he is/was a notorious Lord of Chaos.

Gim's father, Admiral Wynn Allon, is alive and well in the U.P. military, right where he belongs. Hooray! I've been worried about him ever since he was conspicuously absent from dinner with Marte and the kids.

What's with Takron-Galtos? After several riot/jailbreak cycles, it was destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths and replaced by Labyrinth. Then it came back, only to be destroyed the last time the Legion of Super-Villains escaped (in L3W). Now it's up and running again, only to have another jailbreak/riot. Me, I'd spread the prisoners out all around the planet, rather than keeping them in one central (and very vulnerable) location. Or maybe even set up a bunch of prison planets, each one with a particular big baddie. At the very least, you'd think they'd have learned by now not to keep Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen within walking distance of one another. (At least the Fatal Five Four didn't get involved this time around...they're probably all in a single minimum-security cell playing poker together.) (Validus? The Fatal Three? I'm not going there.)

Speaking of which...did anybody else wonder where Cosmic King is? I know there are theories floating around that it might be his brain in Immortus's body...but really, I don't see it. Wouldn't his brain retain transmutation powers? (When you think about it, we don't really know that much of C.K.'s back-story other than his oft-told origin. We know tons about Mekt, and we've learned more about Eve Aries...but Cosmic King hasn't really faced the teen Legion very often, and his past is largely a mystery. I'd like to see Paul Levitz turn his attention to Cosmic King's story sometime.)


Week of 2 March 2011

Second week in a row with no Legion content in DC Comics. I do not approve of this trend.