Friday, May 13, 2011

Week of 4 May 2011

Once again, sorry for the delay on this post. My bout with Infectious Lass is almost over.

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

ADVENTURE #526 (2011/07)
"First Hints"


Bouncing Boy, Chemical King (memorial statue), Cosmic Boy, Duplicate Girl, Night Girl, Chemical Kid, Dragonwing, Glorith, Gravity Kid, Variable Lad (cover only), Alchemical Girl, Black Mace, Shagrek

CUTE BOYS: Chemical Kid, Chuck, Gravity Kid, Rokk

Chemical Kid leads Dragonwing and Gravity Kid to a memorial for Chemical King, and liberate some of Condo's genes. Using them, Glorith performs a magical ritual that draws Condo's gene-modification out of Alchemical Girl, removing Condo's powers from her. They turn the powerless Alchemical Girl over to the Science Police.

Returning to Earth, the other cadets ask Glorith where she got the extra power to defeat Alchemical Girl. She says that she believes she got the power from Mysa, but " what cost I cannot imagine."

Meanwhile Chuck, Lydda, and a handful of Luornus discuss Power Boy's failure to enter the Legion. Chuck says, "Standards change...they'd never let me in these days." The only standards that appear to have changed are the ones that give the entire Legion a vote on applicants -- if you remember, last issue Power Boy (and Lamprey) were summarily rejected by Cosmic Boy alone. (And much as I love Rokk, he isn't even Leader now.)

Back at HDQ, Rokk reviews the mission report of the cadets, and tells Lydda that the new kids are showing potential. He says that their rule-breaking and disrespect for authority remind him of Garth in the early days of the Legion.

Finally, at the Academy Glorith sends a message to Harlak, then falls asleep on the floor. Luornu finds her and tucks her in, calling her "Sweetie."


Bouncing Boy was rejected in his first try at Legion membership. He was later accepted when he saved the Legionnaires' lives. Maybe Power Boy should hang around waiting for the Legionnaires to get in trouble so he can save their lives and get in that way.

Chuck's statement that he wouldn't be accepted in the Legion these days is fairly accurate. Look at the two younger (i.e. more modern) versions of the Legion. In the Earth-247 Legion, Chuck Taine was permitted to be the Legion's all-around fix-it guy, but he never gained bouncing powers and was never an official Legionnaire. In the (even newer) Earth-Prime Legion, Chuck didn't even exist.

Cosmic Boy has become something of a bastard (more on this in the next story). What is his problem with Power Boy? Is Rokk prejudiced against purple people? Does he fear that Jed's bare muscled chest is going to make people forget his own magnetic bustier of the 1980s? Is he jealous because Lydda seems to like Jed? Or is Rokk still smarting from the time Jed kicked him out of bed in favor of the Westerner?


The cadets want to remove Alchemical Girl's gene-mod so that Chemical Kid's father won't be exposed as giving the gene-mod to the Taurus Gang. To keep this secret, they break into the repository of Phlon's greatest treasures and despoil the tomb of Phlon's greatest hero. Uh...I think it's possible that someone might notice. (Of course, at the end of the story Rokk says he will get the S.P.'s to clean up the records; maybe cleaning up the mess on Phlon is part of that.)


ADVENTURE #526 (2011/07)


Night Girl, XS, Dawn Allen, Don Allen, Impulse, Blue Critter

CUTE BOYS: Bart, Don Allen

Night Girl visits XS in Africa. Jenni has been working (slowly and deliberately) on a mosaic mural filled with Flash-type images. Lydda offers her a place with the Academy, but Jenni gets insulted and refuses.

Jenni then runs off to find a stone for her mosaic. She end up in Olduvai, at the spot where the unknown blue critter emerged from the ground a while ago. She finds a blue rock, but when she touches it she is hit by a visual mosaic that shows (among other things) some cavefolk around a fire; Jenni running with a Flash, Impulse, Jay Darrick, and Dawn & Don Allen; Jenni running on the cosmic treadmill; the blue critter bursting forth and ascending into space, and a giant hand in the middle of a whirlpool of light (the standard DC symbol for the beginning of time).

Jenni comments that "That tasted of the speed force...and the time barrier...and the ugliest soul I could ever imagine." (One hopes she isn't talking about Bart.) She goes back to her mosaic, musing that she will "let the Legion worry about whatever came out of that crack that felt like it led straight down to hell."

I don't exactly know what to make of this story. It feels like part of something bigger -- I hope it isn't all going to tie in with Flashpoint or some Green Lantern nonsense.

I suspect that the "mosaic" metaphor is meant to apply to this story, in a kind of meta-commentary way. This story is like one stone in a mosaic, something that exists by itself, but is also part of a larger pattern. And in that larger pattern, the story has a meaning that is totally different from the meaning it has as an individual story. It's like Paul Levitz is saying, "Don't worry, once this project is complete and you step back, you'll see the whole design and it will all mean something you don't expect."

Jenni is feeling lost, which isn't surprising -- the universe she grew up in was destroyed, the friends she knew and loved (except for Gates) are wandering the waste spaces of the multiverse without her, and she found out that she was really born in this other, familiar-yet-different universe. So she's trying to find her place, I get that.

And I don't blame her for refusing Lydda's offer to come to the Academy. (It was probably Rokk who told Lydda to do that -- it would be just like the new Rokk to decide that XS needed training in how to be a "real" Legionnaire.)

Still, raise your hand if you think Jenni might be better off right now spending some time in the past with Bart, Wally, and the rest. She has a family and a place in the universe, and I just don't see that making a mosaic is going to help her.

You know what would help Jenni Ognats? Going on a mission. Being useful, helping teammates, saving the world. IMHO, that's what Jenni needs.

Ah, well. Perhaps that blue stone will be the missing piece that's needed to defeat the blue critter and whatever else is going on. Maybe Jenni will save the day in the end.


We learn a little of the split between Lydda and Rokk. Lydda says, "He dumped me so he could concentrate totally on the Legion...and I guess I was still distracting." In other words...Rokk is behaving like a bastard. He needs a good whop upside the head, and it seems to me that Jed Rikane is just the one to do it. A violent fight would clear the air between the two, then they could have great make-up sex. Then Jed could join the Legion while Rokk and Lydda went off together to heal their relationship.


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