Or – “Every Issue I Think It Can’t Get Worse… And Every Issue I’m Wrong.”


The Legion’s situation can’t get worse, I mean, not the book. The book has been pretty consistently good, with moments of awesome and couple of peaks of Holy $#!+ mixed in here and there… With the Legion’s publishing history being what it is, I greet every issue with trepidation, wondering if this is the one that will tip the balance of the relaunch towards “Make them stop!” but there’s no sign of that, yet. Of course, it has been revealed that issue #30 will mark the end of the W/KRP (Waid/Kitson Reboot Period), and that Tony Bedard will be handling a six-issue arc. I was not a fan of Tony’s work on ‘Exiles,’ so I’m reserving judgement on that arc (I prefer to excoriate things after I see them, the better to complain with). Of course, Legion of Super Heroes is also being floated as a possibility for Gail Simone’s ‘dream project,’ for which she left Birds of Prey. All I ask is that somebody brings back Blok…


When last we saw our heroes: All seemed lost. The Dominators had taken control of Earth, and disabled all communication and machinery, and their shock troops were plowing through the cities reaping destruction. The Legion was fragmented, pockets of members trying desperately to overcome the invasion, but finding nearly all avenues useless. Stealth, brute force, cunning, all fall flat on their faces. An attempt to get Earthgov’s representatives off-planet leads to many of them killed or maimed by a faulty teleportation device, and the presence of Mekt Ranzz and his Wanderers serves only to give the Dominators more targets. Worst of all, Mekt finds it necessary (one might even say ‘enjoyable’) to sacrifice Legion field leader Cosmic Boy into the hands of the Dominators (who really need to invent the spit cup), and you don’t get known as the Dominators by showing your hospitality.

We start with an interesting splash, as new Legionnaire Dream Boy finds himself suddenly hanging in the void, confused. “How did I get here?” asks the young Naltorian, but he is surprisingly answered by a voice not his own.


“You thought those PANTS were a good idea, too.” Heh. That, by the way, is Dream GIRL, his predecessor on the team, and, as he mentions, she died. However, she has been appearing to Brainiac 5 (and until now it was making me wonder if Brainiac was losing his grip on sanity, again), and her presence is indicative of something bigger going on here. Dream Girl tells Dream Boy that how he chooses to act on what she has to tell him could change the way everything comes together, but the ‘camera’ cuts away and we’re not privy to her revelation. (Darn yooou, Mark Waid!!!) The Dominators hold on the planet is still unbroken (and honestly, barely even affected) by the Legion, but the young heroes won’t give up. In Metropolis, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5 and Mon-El try to locate the captured Cosmic Boy.


As you may recall, lead affects Mon’s Daxamite people roughly the way Kryptonite affects Kryptonians: badly. Sufficient lead exposure will be fatal to Mon, not that any of the OTHER Legionnaires are doing that much better. For that matter, the shutdown of technology has trapped people in their homes without food or water (the processors that provide those staples turned off as well), so the entire planet is slowly starving to death. A small group of Wanderers and Legionnaires has holed up in an underground cave, where a bit of conflict arises. Polar Boy has apparently angered Shadow Lass, and as seen up top, Shady punches him hard enough to make him sterile (E C DUB! E C DUB! E C DUB!), and Projectra watches helplessly as her boyfriend Timber Wolf bleeds out. Enough conflict yet? Well, it only gets worse, as a giant Dominator killbot smashes through the wall!


Ultra Boy to the rescue! If only he hadn’t nearly killed himself by shifting too slowly (U-Boy has all the traditional Kryptonion powerset, but can only use them one at a time, so if he has heat vision, he’s not invulnerable, etc) and probably breaking every single bone in his body. With another Legionnaire down, we turn our attention to Phantom Girl, who for several issues now has been combing through the basement levels of the devastated Legion fortress in search of “something.” Is it the Miracle Machine? The Emerald Eye of Ekron? A grilled cheese sandwich with pickle?


“That’s a need-to-know.” Darn yooou, Mark Waaaaid!!!! I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out what this item is, and aside from Tenzil Kem’s phone number to call for help, I have no idea. It’s not glowing green (which might offset my “Emerald Eye” theory, and we know it’s not the Phantom Zone generator… or DO we?), and it’s obviously something that a normal woman like Phantom Girl could lift. Maybe it’s Quislet! Elsewhere, far enough away that Saturn Girl’s telepathy and Mon-El’s compromised telescopic vision can’t penetrate, we find Triplicate Girl, Cosmic Boy, and a pair of Wanderers in the hands of the Dominators. Using traditional Dominator methods, they welcome Cos to their home…


Of course, that traditional greeting involves torture. In fact, MOST Dominator traditions involve either torture, maiming, genetic engineering, or telemarketing. Cosmic Boy weakly urges Triplicate Girl not to tell them ANYTHING, no matter what they do to him. The Dominator ominously puts on a pair of strange powered gloves, and replies, “Oh, we’re done with YOU…” Grasping T-Girl’s arms, he pulls her three bodies partially apart, leaving her in obvious agony, half-separated. “Fascinating,” says the Yellow Bastard, “in her separated state, her bones seem especially… fragile.” He punctuates the sentence by crushing one of her forearms.


It’s interesting to note that Cos is more pained by watching one of his team suffer than by his own suffering, as well as how very effective their torture is. Triplicate Girl’s showy loss of will here gives me pause for a second, and we quickly the results of her admission: the assembled Wanderers and Legionnaires, including Invisible Kid with his newly grafted arm (Shadow Lass: “So you grew an ALIEN arm?” Invisible Kid: “Careful. It can hear you.”) are all gathered when a transmat opens and Dominator shock troops pour out of it. “IT’S A TRAP!” someone screams…


I KNEW there was waaay too much boo-hooing going on there to be real. Within milliseconds of the portal opening Mon-El, Supergirl, and Ultra Boy, a trio powerful enough to occupy a planet, are suddenly through it, dragging the troops back with them. In mere seconds, the Ultimate Threeway has lived up to their hype, seized the Dominator’s teleportation command center and set up a second portal, this one straight to Dominator homeworld. A Wanderer yells triumphantly, “I believe our ride is here. Somebody want to grab Cosmic Boy?” For those of you who have wondered why a buzzcut kid in a purple suit has been given leadership of the greatest powered militia of the 30th Century, here’s your moment of clarity.


That’s a very John Wayne moment, right there, isn’t it? “Ya shouldn’ta left me mah magNETic power, PILgrim. Waaah hah!” As the team starts to cross the portal, Triplicate Girl realizes can’t use her powers, and Cos suspects that it’s her body’s way of healing. He directs her to figure out the forcefield around the fortress and get better, and she tries to stop him as well. “You’re in no shape to go, either.” Cosmic Boy isn’t budging, and Triplicate Girl acquieses, telling him that this was a good plan. “Don’t give me credit. We lost the Earth, this was the only option left.” The combined force of Legion and Wanderers transmats to the Dominator homeworld, and Cos gives the marching orders: “We don’t stop until this world is OURS.” If they won’t give us back our planet, we’ll just take theirs and have something worth tradin’ for. There is seriously no letup on the darkness of this series, is there?

I like this plotline, and I’m enjoying the way the story is going, but it seems like it’s taking a long time to get there. I can certainly understand the online complaints I’ve read about the pacing, though not about the Legionnaires themselves. Everyone acquits themselves this month, even when all was suspected lost, and you have to give Cosmic Boy credit for letting himself be tortured to get the upper strategic hand. The art didn’t suffer this issue, and we move closer to resolving the whole ‘Dominator War’ and hopefully finding out what they know about Fiff-Dee Tu. The issue continues building towards something huge, but at least now we have a timeframe for it. Overall, this issue is a little bit better than last, and Cosmic Boy’s Clint Eastwood impression earns a “Hell, YEAH!” and 3.5 stars. Here’s hoping the next writer is somebody awesome, and that the JLA/JSA crossover doesn’t completely obliterate everything good this incarnation has to offer.



About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


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