ADVENTURE #529 (2011/10)
Bouncing Boy, Duplicate Girl, Night Girl, Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, Dragonwing, Glorith, Gravity Kid, Variable Lad (died), Cosmic King
CUTE BOYS: Chuck, Hadru, Tel
It's taken me a while to post on this issue, because I've been sorting through my feelings on two different levels. More on that in a moment, but first a synopsis:
Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, and Dragonwing confront Cosmic King, who has already defeated Bouncing Boy, Duplicate Girl, and Night Girl. They are basically getting their butts kicked (and not in the good way) when Glorith, Gravity Kid, and Variable Lad show up. The newly-arrived kids make a good showing, until Cosmic King threatens to melt their bodies (and not in the good way). Variable Lad, whose powers have turned him into a giant silver cobra, attacks Cosmic King and when the smoke clears, Variable Lad is dead and Cosmic King is nowhere to be seen (although wherever he is, he's missing part of his shirt and most of a glove).
Later, during the mopping-up process, everyone is grieving for Variable Lad. Chuck tells the cadets that their chances of making the team have just gone way up. Gravity Kid announces that he's resigning from the Academy and going to Takron-Galtos as a "trailing spouse" of Jed Rikane aka Power Boy. As he elaves, he voices his hope that none of the rest of them wind up like Variable Lad.
Okay, now my two things.
Tel and Jed: Hooray for the very public admission that they're a couple (spouses, actually). I know there have been gay relationships in the Legion before -- in the Glorithverse Legion, Ayla and Salu were an item, and there was the whole regrettable Jan-Shvaughn/Sean thing; and in the Earth-247 Legion there were strong hints that Lyle and Condo had something going on, and of course Lyle kissed Brainy, and there were other gay couples among the supporting characters. And admitted, Tel and Jed aren't technically in the Legion. But still, this is (more or less) the Legion I grew up with, and to me at least, there's something momentous about this.
They aren't Legionnaires. They're supporting characters, and it looks like they're being shuffled off to the sidelines, to appear only as cameos in the next "all hands on deck" Earthwar/Great Darkness/L3W storyline. Even worse, is Tel's final line foreshadowing? Is he going to Takron-Galtos only to die during the next prisoner escape, or when bad guys use his life as a weapon against Officer Jed?
I hope I'm wrong. I can envision a great subplot going on, about how someone (I'm looking at you, Rokk Krinn) kept Jed from joining the Legion out of homophobia -- a subplot leading to revelations about what Garth and Rokk did together in the early days of the Legion, and how Rokk has always felt weird (or maybe it was Rokk and Pol, brothers who shared a small single bed while the family was living in squalor on
Yeah, like that's going to happen.
So there's where I am: mixed feelings. Happy to see a gay couple in the Legion; dismayed that they're probably going to be sidelined and ignored or worse.
The last issue and the New 52 reboot: Yeah, I know, the Legion is supposed to be changed the least of all DC's titles. And even though Adventure Comics is going away, there will still be two Legion titles, at least at first. However, I feel a real sense of loss here. There's a break, and however much Paul Levitz tries to minimize the disruption, I still feel like some plot threads are going to be lost in the transition.
The future will tell, of course. But for now, it seems like the story of the Academy group is over before it really got started.
BITS OF LEGIONNAIRE BUSINESS:
Deaths: I've seen speculation that Variable Lad isn't really dead. Some people are saying that we don't see any bodies, so the jury is still out. That could be true...but among the debris I see bits of silver dragon, and what's clearly part of the dragon's head. In addition, that's clearly a coffin the cadets are bearing (although they seem to be putting it into a garbage truck). Besides, the emotional point of the whole story demands that Oaa is dead. All I can say is, Dr. Gym'll isn't going to be happy.
Cosmic King, on the other hand...was on the planet of wisdom in the last issue of LSH. There's no body, and it's hard to imagine that Levitz would kill him off permanently. I'm going to guess that he was spirited away by the Blue Entity (remember, he was on a mission for Saturn Queen). This is one of those details that I fear may be lost in the rush to wrap up the LSH storyline.