Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Week of 19 October 2011

Wow, what a week to be a Legion fan! Two original comics, one reprint, a reprint hardcover, and action figures. I don't know about you, but I'm broke.

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

"Hostile World"

Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, Cosmic Boy, Dragonwing, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Glorith, Harmonia, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Polar Boy, Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Ultra Boy, Res-Vir, tombs of Earth-Man, Ferro Lad

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Brek, Dirk, Hadru, Jan, Jo, Mon, Rokk, Thom (but I still don't like the beard)

On Panoptes, the mysterious Daxamite reveals himself as Res-Vir. He has a bug up his butt about Daxam being isolated from the rest of the United Planets. With the aid of powerful unnamed allies, he has access to anti-lead serum, and he's decided that Daxam will be free.

He imprisons Chameleon Boy, Chemical Kid, Dragonwing, and Ultra Boy. Phantom Girl, hiding within the ground, signals for Legion help. Then she tries to free the prisoners, and Res-Vir gets to her. But then  Mon-El swoops in, battling Res-Vir until a space fleet appears over the planet: Res-Vir's allies.

Last issue it appeared that Dream Girl, Glorith, Harmonia, and Star Boy were at the Time Institute -- instead, they were at Brainy's Time Lab in HQ. Brainy's attempt to reach the 21st century fails spectacularly; he explains that "The vibratory changes in the time stream immediately after Flashpoint have blocked our ability to reach the period of history that we synchronized best with -- the so-called 'Era of Heroes' in the early 21st century." Does this imply that the Legion can still reach other time periods?

Brainy is also intrigued by Glorith's magical shield, and speculates that her ability to defy the law of conservation of momentum might be key to effective time travel. Okay, show of hands here -- how many of you are surprised to see Glorith linked with time travel?

Meanwhile, a team of Legionnaires -- Comet Queen, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Polar Boy, Shadow Lass, and Sun Boy -- has laid Earth-Man to rest on Shangalla. Shady is still weeping and wailing. The team is then diverted to Panoptes to assist.

This story went by fairly quickly, defining the larger conflict and giving some nice character moments. We don't know Res-Vir's backstory, nor the identity of his unknown allies. We don't know the exact details of the U.P. restrictions that Res-Vir is pissed about. But those things will come. All in all, it was a good story and a fun issue.


When Darkseid set the super-powered Daxamites on the rest of the galaxy during the Great Darkness, we met an insane Daxamite teenager named Ol-Vir. He's reappeared several times since as a member of the Legion of Super-Villains, most recently in Legion of 3 Worlds. Presumably, Res-Vir is some kind of relation.

Res-Vir says that the U.P. has made Daxam into a prison. Harmonia explains that "The last time Daxamites left their world in anger, they devastated much of the galaxy." Mon-El opines that Daxam i in isolation to protect its people from lead poisoning. Each expresses part of the story.

Yes, Daxamites devastated much of the galaxy -- but they were under the control of Darkseid at the time. And yes, Daxamites are vulnerable to lead, and only the rare anti-lead serum can protect them. (A key ingredient of the serum is kryptonite, but there also seem to be other ultra-rare one point in Legion history, it took 24 hours to synthesize a single dose.)

So what's the truth? To my mind, the key question is the nature of the U.P.'s restrictions on Daxam. Preventing others from traveling to Daxam makes good sense; preventing Daxamites from leaving the world seems more dictatorial. Perhaps Daxam itself has rules against emigrating, rules that the U.P. doesn't mind enforcing.

I'm sure we'll find out more in the near future.



Legion Universe: Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass plus Cameos by: Blok, Bouncing Boy, Colossal Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Invisible Kid (Jacques), Karate Kid (Val), Light Lass, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy Superboy, Supergirl, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Ultra Boy, White Witch, Wildfire, Krypto
"Wrong" Universe: Durlans, Sergeant Mallor

CUTE BOYS: Brainy, Chekov, Garth, Kirk, McCoy, Rokk, Scotty, Spock, Sulu

Three universes come together in this book: the Legion and the Kirk-era Enterprise crew both find themselves in the 23rd century of a third universe that's a mixture of the Legion and Star Trek unvierses.

In this third universe the "Imperial Planets" rules with an iron fist. As we meet them, an invasion of Durla is underway. A Human Starfleet Captain has a female Coluan Lieutenant. Among the invaders is Captain Starr of the Space Ranger Battalion (DC's Space Ranger) and the Shadow Troops under the command of Sergeant Mallor (a dead ringer for Shadow Lass, obviously a 23rd century ancestor).

This alternate universe came about at the dawn of history, when a mysterious figure appeared on Earth to observe, and had some bad effect on the developing Humans.

Meanwhile, a team of Legionnaires (Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Shadow Lass) is in a time bubble, returning after a mission. They're caught in a vortex in the time stream and Brainy crash-lnds them on the hostile Earth of the Imperial Planets.

Over in the Enterprise, Kirk et al are sent to Earth so Kirk can give a speech. A landing party composed of Chekov, Kirk, McCoy, Spock, Sulu, and Uhura beams down, but they also find themselves in the Imperial Planets universe.

The issue ends with the simultaneous realization by both teams that they are on a different Earth.

A teaser page for the next issue shows the entire Legion fling above the Enterprise crew. 

Bottom line: Somebody spent a lot of time planning this, bringing together complementary elements of the Star Trek and Legion universes. The attention to detail is amazing.

As a story, this issue is mostly set-up. They fit an awful lot into 23 pages, while still leaving plenty of loose ends. This is the nature of crossover stories: the first issue has to cover a lot of set-up. The next one should get more into the actual story.

A note for obsessive collectors: this comic comes with six variant covers by various authors: Phil Jimenez, Keith Giffen/Scott Koblish, and Gabriel Rodriguez. If that sort of thing is important to you, you'll want to spend untold amounts of money tracking them all down.


Based on costumes and dialog, this story takes place after Legion of Super-Heroes #302 (1983/08) and before #304 (1983/10). Cham donned his purple-and-gold outfit and regained his powers in #302. Shadow Lass says "If Pol does go to the Legion Academy..." and in #304 Pol was already enrolled.

(Shady finishes "...he could share a room with my brother. Grev could use a good influence." Okay, technically, Grev is Shady's cousin, not brother, but we can write that off as Chronicler's Error. I'm more interested in Pol and Grev sharing a room. Oh, baby!)

The Science Police are in evidence on Earth of the Imperial Planets.

The Starfleet of the Imperial Planets includes ships based on the Enterprise design, but also the Legion Cruiser Mark X (which itself was influenced by Star Trek, and looks somewhat like the classic Klingon ship).



This is a reprint of the two-volume Superboy's Legion comic from 2011. It's a pretty neat alternate version of the Legion in which Kal-El's rocket wasn't discovered until 2987, when it was found by R.J. Brande. Definitely a fun story, and nice to have in one volume.



This is really like a Legion Archives volume. It's hardcover, printed in bright colors on the same slick paper used in the Archives, and the cover price is $49.99. For that money you get 544 pages of Legion stories, following directly after the Great Darkness Deluxe Edition that came out a while ago.

The issues reprinted here are Legion of Super-Heroes #297 - 313 and Annuals #2 and #3 from 1983-1984. It includes the extra-size #300 with all the alternate Legions.

The number of Legion back issues that are available in graphic novel format is pretty amazing, what with the Archives, these hardcovers, the recent paperbacks of the later Levitz/Giffen era, and various other stuff. If DC keeps up at this rate, eventually all Legion stories should be available in graphic novel format.



My Legion 12-pack arrived yesterday, and I have plenty more pictures, but I'll just share a few right now. Maybe later I'll put up another post with more details. But for now -- yeah, these are kewl.

ABOVE: This is the box they came in.

ABOVE: This is the package. Stands about 2 feet high.

ABOVE: It unrolls to show the figures inside.

ABOVE: And here they are. Twelve Legionnaires, Proty, a flight ring, and an empty compartment labeled "Invisible Kid."

This post is way long enough, but one more observation before I go: Out of 12 Legionnaires, Saturn Girl is the only female. What a disappointment! Where are Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl, Shadow Lass, Dream Girl? Where's Sensor Girl? For Friv's sake, couldn't they have included a microscopic dust mote and labeled it "Shrinking Violet"?




Rob Y said...

That packaging for the action figures is AWESOME. Funny about the Invisible Kid one, lol...

SUBZERO said...


just wanted to ask a question. One of my favorite Legion stories ( or better one of the few I remember reading as a teenager ) was the REFLECTO story that came out just a few months before THE GREAT DARKNESS SAGA. I never read Darkness because I don´´t think it has come out in Germany.

Now I know that Darkness and the following issues are available as reprints but is there a collection that covers the issues before that ? Because if I was to re - read those stories I´d like to start with those issues.