Or – “I’m Going To Tell You From Memory Who These People Are… Just Because I Can.”


Left to right, starting with the back row: Tasmia Mallor, Shadow Lass of Talok VII. Jacques Foccart, Invisible Kid II of Earth. Brek Bannin, Polar Boy of Tharr. Dawnstar (her real name) of Starhaven. Blok (likewise) of Dryad. Chuck Taine, Bouncing Boy of Earth. Luornu Durgo, Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel of Cargg (also spelled Carggg). Andrew Nolan, Ferro Lad of Earth. Tenzil Kem, Matter-Eater Lad of Bismoll (the capital city is Pepto, you do the math.) Projectra, Sensor Girl of Orando. Back over on the left, we have Gim Allon, Colossal Boy of Mars. On his shoulder, Salu Digby, Shrinking Violet of Imsk. Ayla Ranzz, Light Lass of Winath. Thom Kallor, Star Boy of Xanthu. Nura Nal, Dream Girl of Naltor. Lyle Norg, Invisible Kid I of Earth. Drake Burroughs, Wildfire of Earth. Brin Londo, Timber Wolf of Zoon (also spelled Zuun.) Mysa Nal, The White Witch of Naltor. Querl Dox, Brainiac 5 of Colu. Jan Arrah, Element Lad of Trom. Reep Daggle, Chameleon Boy of Durla. Val Armorr, Karate Kid of Earth. Lar Gand, Mon-El of Daxam. Rok Krinn, Cosmic Boy of Braal. Garth Ranzz, Lightning Lad of Winath. Imra Ardeen, Saturn Girl of Titan. Dirk Morgna, Sun Boy of Earth. Jo Nah, Ultra Boy of Rimbor. Tinya Wazzo, Phantom Girl of Bgztl. And finally, Drake Burroughs, Wildfire of Earth. I may be a giant dork, but dammit, I’m a consistent and thorough giant dork.

I think my spellchecker just threw up. With that exercise in “Geek Cred” for no apparent reason out of our way, let’s get on with the Justice Society… During World War II, the earliest superhumans banded together to create the first super-team, the Justice Society of America. In the wake of the Infinite Crisis, the JSA is once again a JSA1.jpgforce for good, but with the secondary goal of teaching the young superhumans how it’s done. In recent months, the team has faced Illinois Nazis, Vandal Savage, and undermined a conspiracy to kill the patriotic heroes and their families. Having rebuffed that threat, the JSA now turns to assist their sister team, the Justice League, with a mystery… a man from the future who is lost in the timestream, a mysterious man who is tied to their own member, Starman. Upon meeting, the two men share a code-phrase, and it is revealed that they (along with five other time-lost souls) are members of The Legion of Superheroes, and that they’ve come back in time… but neither of them can remember why. By homing in on the characteristic signal from their flight rings, the JSA & JLA are now in the process of finding seven superheroes from the future, and the best way to do that is to honor the age old tradition of splitting into teams. Team 1 consists of Batman, Sandman, Starman and… uh… Geo-Force (seriously, has he actually JOINED either team?) arriving at Arkham Asylum, home of Bat’s greatest foes, and a place where something has gone horribly awry.


Sandman’s new outlook and creepy mask totally work for me in this sequence, even if I’m completely left cold by the “toga-wrapped” effect of his cape/coat thingy on the cover. Starman knows (but doesn’t know WHY he knows) that the woman he loves is trapped within the walls of Arkham, and is certain that if “I get my heart back, I get my mind back.” While never one of my favorite Legionnaires, it’s really unnerving to see him so obviously impaired, and it makes me wonder what has been implanted that’s so unbalanced his mind. Batman asks what Nura’s powers are, and Starman replies, “to walk through the dreaming… to see into tomorrow.” This is the first time anyone has connected Dream Girl’s precognition to the realm of Morpheus (probably due to her being sidelined/dead in the rebooted post-Crisis continuities). It’s also interesting to note that in a room with a clearly not-all-there Starman and a dream-plagued Sandman, Geo-Force still manages to be the weird one.


Well played, Thom. I don’t recall Prince Brion being that much of a jerk before… unless we’re supposed to take from this that he doesn’t have a lot of social skills, being royalty and all. Whichever it is, I once again point out: YOU’RE NOT EVEN A TEAM MEMBER, GEO-FORCE. Siddown, and shaddup. Dreams coming to life + laughing skeleton is an easy one, if you know your JLA history. 2+2=Doctor Destiny, and the not-so-very good Doctor is an Arkhamite. While the men of bats and sand discuss strategy, Starman just saunters up to the door and walks in. Sometimes the simplest answer is also the crazy one. Geo-Force again shows his less-pleasant side by opining that heroes who are untrained shouldn’t participate in team-ups, and I’m not like what they’re doing with Brion’s character here. With his hand forced, Batman and company enter Arkham, but find that the inmates aren’t out. Instead they’re all cowering in their cells, filled with hallucinations of their greatest fears. Sandman wonders if the heroes will have to face their own fears, but Batman figures out that there are much greater weapons in Arkham to work with… the dreams of the inmates. “And what are they afraid of?” asks Geo-Force.


I only wish they’d have drawn Adam West in there somewhere. With that, the fight starts, with three of our heroes fighting an army of Batmen, and Starman collapsing enitre walls just to get to his Dream Girl. He’s stopped cold when Doctor Destiny conjures the zombie of Kenz Nuhor (Dream Girl’s former lover, a man Starman was forced to kill in self-defense in his past which is the future), leaving Starman a babbling wreck on the floor, begging Destiny to leave Nura alone. Destiny gives her a very gross kiss while sticking his thumb in her mouth (a moment that borders on sexual assault) and I hope this isn’t going where I think it’s going. Suddenly, Starman’s fevered mind remembers the code-phrase…


His power-source cut off, Nura is easily able to overpower Destiny, and gives him a judo-throw (almost certainly taught by Karate Kid) face-first into the stone wall. She pulls Starman to his feet, and holds her lost love, telling him how much she missed him. “But the nightmares are just beginning for the Legion,” Nura continues. “I saw a VISION, and by coming here… one of us is going to die.” This raises several questions that have been boiling in my mind: If these are the original Legionnaires, what happens to them now? Are the rest of the members still alive out there, somewhere? Will Starman stay with the JSA? And if they do continue to appear, will it be in the present or back in their own future? No answers are forthcoming, as we cut to Team 2 (Superman, Stargirl, Cyclone, and The Red Tornado) tracking the second ring signal to the arctic, and Superman’s fortress. Cyclone is fascinated by Tornado (as her Grandma was the first Red Tornado, you’ll recall) but worries about her “motormouth” tendencies. JSA veteran Stargirl finally prompts her to just go TALK to the android. She approaches him, and he remembers her from a previous mission…


It’s good to see John smile, especially given how odd he was behaving in JLA last week, and it’s awesome to see the characterization of Cyclone as a hero filled with life and energy, rather than yet another dark, steely super-dedicated avenger of blah blah blah. I don’t recall the “kidnapping” story ever having taken place in the actual comics (SUPERBOY PUNCH!!!), but it does give an origin for Cyclone’s (mighty coincidental) powers. Stargirl asks Superman who these “Legion” characters are, and I get total goosebumps when he just smiles and replies, “They were my friends.” As they look at statues of THIRTY members of the Legion (and it should be noted that several Pre-Crisis Legionnaires are missing, including Magnetic Kid, Tellus, Quislet, Chemical King & futuristic Elvis impersonator Tyroc, as well as Supergirl and Superboy Tom Welling), Superman waxes philosophical on why the Legion was so important to him when he was a lad…


“Every single ONE of them could fly.” Just the look on his face as he remembers his friends is beautiful. Superman brushes away twenty years of retcons with a simple, “then the first Crisis hit and I never saw them again,” but it’s clear that Geoff Johns knows what the Legion really represents: a place for people young Clark Kent to belong, someplace to nurture the growth of even the man who would be Superman. Everyone has something to contribute, (even Matter-Eater Lad) and The Legion is designed to help them find it. It’s a pretty awesome moment, even ignoring the strange anti-retcons going on (especially since Batman previously mentioned that “Kara” had a flight ring, meaning that the Supergirl currently active has already returned from her stint with the Legion, moreover it’s a DIFFERENT Legion entirely than the one seen here. It’s confusing, I know. SUPERBOY PUNCH!!!) Superman questions what could have happened to them all, and amidst all this woolgathering, only Cyclone notices enough to ask the obvious question (which is interesting, given Reddy’s computer brain and Clark’s Kryptonian super-dome.)


“She ran callling Wiiiiiildfiiiiiire… Calling Wii-ii-iii-iiiildFii-iii-iiiiRE!” It’s VERY good to see Drake Burroughs back, for a couple of reasons. Wildfire is one of those Legionnaires who came AFTER the Silver Age heyday that many Legion writers want to evoke with the various reboots. He was notably absent during Volume 4 of the book (the Five Years Later stories, due to expending his energy re-igniting the sun) and has never been included in a reboot (at least not in his ORIGINAL form, though a version of Wildfire did appear in the “Legion Lost” days.) Wildfire and his on-again/off-again girlfriend Dawnstar, to me represent the point where the Legion started growing up, where the characters and stories matured, and got more complex. Superman catches his collapsing friend, and tries to get more information from him…


The title, for those of you who aren’t accustomed to reading Interlac, is “Dreams And Fire,” referencing Nura and Drake, obviously. I don’t know why it is, but that last panel fills me with dread. Thom and Nura reunited just makes me wonder if something sinister isn’t going on that even the Legionnaires aren’t aware of. So far, I’m impressed (and surprised) by their choice of time-lost members, and VERY happy with Superman’s fond remembrance of his old pals.

The continuity questions RAISED by those fond remembrances, however, are probably another can of worms entirely. I think it’s still been established that Clark didn’t have a COSTUMED career before his Superman debut (hasn’t it?) and the loss of rights to Superboy probably makes it a moot point anyway. Knowing that there are seven Legionnaires also makes for the maddening knowledge that 2/3rds of the team won’t be a part of this story, and that makes me sad. Even without regular artist Dale Eaglesham, this was a gorgeous issue to look at, and it was a cleaner, more coherent read than JLA #8 was yesterday. That two-page spread of the Legionnaires (even if it did use Element Lad’s old butt-ugly “I’m with Stupid” uniform) was very impressive and awesome to the twelve-year-old hiding in the back of my mind, and with huge “Hell, YEAH!” scenes in the fortress and at Arkham, I’m going with my gut, and awarding JSA #5 4.5 out of 5 stars.



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.


  1. Superman has such a youthful expression on his faith when he talks about that Legion that he almost looks like Superboy.

    I think Geo-Force’s attitude is understandable if you put into consideration that his sister was killed (again) in 52 by Black Adam and he is the only one who knows that was in fact the real Terra and not a clone.

    Starman, Karate Kid, Dream Girl, and Wildfire make four of seven. Dawnstar has already been revealed in a teaser, so it’s safe to assume she’ll be one of the seven as well. I’m hoping Timberwolf is one of the remaining two yet to be revealed.

  2. Okay Matthew – Its’ time to do to Blok, what you did with Karate Kid… give us the entire history of this rocky character and don’t pull any punches including the fem version from the mid 90s.

    Stephen Schleicher
    “the boss” :D

  3. Matthew Peterson on

    You mean Strata from L.E.G.I.O.N. or “Brika” from the original reboot in ’96?

    Although, having said that, I’ll have to hit both of them, really…

  4. Where are Quislet and Tellus? Im mean, if there’s Sensor Girl, there should also be Quislet and Tellus, because those two joined at the same time as Sensor Girl and Polar Boy, if my memory serves right.

  5. Matthew Peterson on

    Your memory serves you perfectly well. Polar Boy, Quislet, Sensor Girl and Tellus joined simultaneously… HOWEVER, it should be noted that of those four, only Polar Boy and Sensor Girl (when she was Projectra) had any interaction with the Pre-Crisis Superboy, which might explain why the Legionnaires never sent him a statue to remember them by. That’s the only logical explanation I can think of, especially when you factor in the only other missing members (Tyroc and Chemical Kid, extremely minor characters in any case, and Magnetic Kid [who pretty much looked exactly like his older brother Cosmic Boy and served as the elder Krinn’s stand-in before getting axed in the Magic Wars.])

  6. My question is simple: Why?

    Why make the Legion one big confusing mess? And how is there even a memorial/trophy of the pre-Crisis Legion in the Fortress? Please don’t tell me Superboy Punch, because that is the lamest plot device ever.

    I love the new Justice Society book, but this storyline is something I’m going to have to skip.

  7. Matthew Peterson on

    The short answer?

    DC’s policy in 1986 in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths was shortsighted, and failed to take into account the affection that people had for the characters. The uproar about the changes to Superman was absolutely unprecedented, and the divestiture of “Tom Welling” from the Legion nearly killed the concept, not to mention the book.

    The reboots, for all their charm, ARE NOT the Legion as it was, and DC (and most of the other publishers around) are in the business of selling us our childhoods for three bucks a pop.

    I suspect that, since the “Legion Lost” reboot characters have been retained, and designated Earth 247 (or whichever), that this is another step towards the reveal of the Multiverse, and I believe that Countdown is “counting down” to that very reveal. You certainly don’t have to read big crossovers (I didn’t buy Civil War, just read it off the stands, and won’t be participating in either ‘Planet Hulk’ or ‘Amazons Attack’) but I can tell you that you might be missing some interesting developments as regards the JSA members. However, since the only JSAers in the book are Sandman, Stargirl and Cyclone (Starman counts more as a Legionnaire to me), maybe it won’t matter to your enjoyment of things in the long run.

    Also: BLOK!!!!

  8. I can honestly say I was never a fan of the Multiverse DC. I didn’t like Superman being Superboy. I’m more a fan of Birthright being “Year One” Superman and Clark Kent was Clark Kent when he was in Smallville during his teenage years.

    I understand there is a lot of love for the orginal Legion, but I liked that Crisis (the first one) streamlined the DC universe. I liked Legion Lost and the subsequent stories. I never understood the reason for the reboot three years ago.

    But I guess it just goes to show that everyone has their favorite version of character X and if you’re in creative control you can do what you want, regardless of how little sense it makes.

    (Not a fan of Infinite Crisis)

  9. Matthew Peterson on

    In a multiverse, there’s no reason to have to choose your favorite… Theoretically, they all exist, even if you’re a fan of a barrel-chested smiling paternal Batman like my friend Dusty.

    I think that Infinite Crisis was a necessary evil, because what DC did in ’86 limited their long-term storytelling potential and, frankly NEEDED UNDOING. Marvel should take notes, because their new Marvel Universe has the same problem, only without the possibility of 20 years of stories before the necessary slap at the Reset Button.

    The reboot three years ago was simple: Legion was losing readers. Multiple attempts to tweak the reboot had failed, and actually made it MORE complicated than before, with many characters’ backstories so twisted even *I* didn’t get them. (Ferro, Wildfire, Element Lad and Apparition/Phantom Girl notable among them.)

    As much as I liked parts of that version of the Legion, too many cooks spoiled the broth. Will that happen again? Probably. Will bringing back the old Legion do anything but make it more complicated? Probably not.

    But right now, DC seems like they are honestly making an attempt to tell stories that AREN’T just retellings of Mort Weisinger and Gardner Fox and Frank Miller and Wolfman/Perez and that I applaud. It may be a colossal failure, but at least it’s progress.

  10. Well, I’ll guess in 20 years there will be a new reboot which will make the multiverse go-away. Because that will be the time, when those people, who have grown up with the pre Infinite post COIE DCU will be in power.
    And to be frank, this is not my Legion, not the Legion I grew up with. My Legion was the post Zero Hour pre Mark Waid Reboot Legion. But, well that’s just my opinion.

  11. Matthew Peterson on

    And that’s your call. The comic industry does tend to go in cycles, and I’m dreading the next big “Everybody must be like Wolverine” phase. Your Legion will always be your Legion, and nobody can take those stories away from you. But my Legion has Blok! :)

  12. Maximus Rift on

    I really hope it doesn’t come to a complete reset in Marvel since they have 616, Ultimates and Aventures. You’d think there would be enough for everyone? I like some of the stories going on in 616 right now and I’d be sad to see some of them get retconed.

    I also hate that the comming trend is based on a really overhyped character, but since that what the “people” want…

  13. Colossal Boy is from Earth, not Mars. He got his powers on Mars though.
    I do hope that as a result of Countdown, they bring back the pre-Crisis Legion for good, but without the pocket universe/5-year-gap crap. I say restart from the point before Karate Kid died.

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