Or – “The Boys Are Back In Town!”


Sorry for the lateness of the hour, folks… I spent a chunk of the morning taking a friend to the doctor for help with her hacking cough, and then ended up getting sidetracked by several work issues… Bygones. It’s time to talk some comics, and I can tell you right now that this issue of LSH is my favorite of the new Bedard era (does this guy write EVERYTHING for DC right now?) featuring as it does the return to the spotlight of two of my fave-rave Legionnaires (though neither of them are actually members at this time, though I have hopes for that to change in the future.) It’s been many a year since Tenzil Kem has been given a good solid moment to sink his teeth into, pun fully intended, but we get it here and it’s worth the wait…

Previously, on Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes: After the defeat of the LSH1.jpgDominators, Cosmic Boy disappeared into the timestream, to join a 41st century team called the Knights Tempus. Though the Dominator planet WASN’T destroyed, the general public (including the United Planets judicial branch) think that it was, and the team is under great scrutiny. United Planets Special Prosecutor Tenzil Kem has been sent to ascertain whether a war crimes tribunal is warranted in Cos’ case, and Brainiac 5 has manipulated Supergirl into splitting up the team, with one group on Lallor, another in the Amazon jungle on Earth, and a third squad (consisting of Sun Boy, Star Boy, and Mekt Ranzz of the Wanderers, as well as Prosecutor Kem) investigating strange doings on Winath, home of Mekt, and his siblings Garth and Ayla. When last we saw our heroes, Kem was being drowned in grain, and Star Boy, Sun Boy, and the man who would be Lightning Lord confronted by Mekt’s entire hometown… all of whom are channeling the bioelectric powers that previously only the Ranzz children possessed.


Heh. Crisis rather quickly averted… Thanks, Thom! Questioning the pinned Winathians, the only answer that Thom can get is a wheezy “It is the will of Validus, the lord of lightning.” The mayor zaps Star Boy with a huge bolt of energy, and Sun Boy starts to attack before Mekt grabs him and they both bolt. “We need to find that damned prosecutor the U.P. sent after me,” says Mekt. Wait… they sent him after Cosmic Boy, didn’t we? Sun Boy asks what happened to Kem, and we cut to the grain silo where Tenzil is probably dead… probably.


That is a great moment, a total “Hell, yeah!” markout for me. Tenz takes a moment, to record what has happened. “Let the record show that two local youths locked me in a grain storage unit and attempted to smother me.” He takes a moment to burp, regaining his composure, and finishing his statement hilariously. “Drown ME in food, will they? Stupid hicks never HEARD of Planet Bismoll.” Heh… Tenz slays me, whether Legionnaire or not. Back at Legion headquarters, Invisible Kid arrives to give Brainiac 5 some bad news… The Wanderers would like to discuss the status of their errant leader.


I’m a bit troubled by this sequence, as it makes the Wanderers a bit less subtle in their machinations. Even though they were led by a known felon, their previous appearances made them seem to be a bit more heroic, if having a different set of morals than the LSH. Back on Winath, Sun Boy and Mekt go to ground, hiding out and trying to figure what’s going on. Mekt thinks that Brainiac is behind it all, even sending Tenzil out, but Sun Boy thinks he’s a bit of the crazy. When he asks how they could have gotten Mekt’s lightning powers, they both realize that nano-capacitors in the bloodstream could easily fake such powers. “Wait a minute,” says Mekt a bit conveniently. “What planet lead the U.P. in miniaturization and nanotech?” Why, Colu, Brainiac’s homeworld, of course. As for the two lads with the homicidal tendencies, they’re back, trying to carry away Star Boy when they’re confronted by Tenzil Kem… “You may want to keep that first-aid kit open,” advises the Bismollian before the boys fire lightning at him.


They’ve just GOT to make Tenzil a member… it’s a moral imperative! While Tenzil and Star Boy go looking for the source of the lightning powers, Sun Boy and Mekt confront the farmers of Winath. They dodge bolt after bolt before Mekt’s parents again calls out to him. “Everything will be so much clearer once you’re with us, son! The lord of lightning loves you!” Mekt responds with great force, hitting his father with approximately eleventy billions megavolts of juice. Sun Boy watches with disgust, as Star Boy and Matter-Eater Lad (I’m gonna go ahead and call him that, because I can) find the source of the strangeness.


With the generator out of commission, the Winathians come back to their senses, though a bit too late for Papa Ranzz. The farmers seem confused, asking where they are, and Sun Boy asks them, “Don’t you know?” “I… yes… I remember, but… it felt like a dream. I had these urges to DO terrible things, but… I didn’t seem to care.” Mekt’s mother checks on her fallen husband, as the craziest Ranzz sibling’s true colors start to show.


“What’s that supposed to mean?” asks Mekt, and Tenzil points out that the power transmitter bore a few dead giveaway signals, including a maker’s mark that matches the nanites in the Winathians bloodstreams. Mekt snottily blames Brainiac 5 again, and Tenzil calmly replies that a 12th level intellect wouldn’t be quite that obvious… the real culprit is Mekt’s own Coluan, Vrax Gozzl of the Wanderers. Mekt sputters that Brainiac obviously put him up to this, and that he and Kem are trying to frame him. Tenzil offers him the right to an appeals court, and Mekt tries the tough-guy routine again…


HOLY #$*&. That’s hardcore, right there. As Mekt screams his guts out, Tenzil calmly spits out the digit, and smiles. “It’s RUDE to point,” he says, and sedates the leader of the
Wanderers, charging him with attempted murder, mind control, and “whatever else I dig up on you after we treat your father’s wounds…” Nice. Soon after, Sun and Star Boy return to headquarters reporting no sign of Cosmic Boy, but Brainiac 5 isn’t surprised. Sun Boy decides that he and his Terror Firma members will stay with the Legion, and Brainiac reveals that the Wanderers have split already. Stranger still is the next plot point…


Wait… what? Did Brainiac falsify evidence? He must have, seeing as how NOBODY had the idea to destroy the planet, as it WASN’T destroyed. Either way, the kid in the orange bodysuit and welder’s mask may strike a familiar chord for some readers… apparently, the situation on Lallor may be even worse than it seems, as Timber Wolf, Shadow Lass and Shrinking Violet are completely outclassed by that one man there.

Overall, this issue, while fun, was kind of a mixed bag. Bits of the plot seemed to come out of nowhere (the whole bit with the U.P. suddenly buying that Mekt was behind the “death” of the Dominators) while other bits bore the suspicious scent of contrivance. I know a tenth level mind isn’t the same as a twelfth level, but why wouldn’t you erase any trace of your signature from a device you were trying to pass off as someone else’s? The fact that three missions are going on somewhat simultaneously, and the other two are only briefly name-checked also doesn’t quite work for me. I think I see what they were going for, but for some reason, it didn’t quite pace right. Still, the Tenzil moments were nice, and Star Boy’s ‘Indiana Jones’ moment at the beginning was quite satisfying. A change in writers is always noticeable, but some of the subtler touches of the W/KRP (Waid/Kitson Reboot Period) seem to have been swept aside for a more traditional approach. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but bits and pieces of the story feel a bit stapled on. Still, it’s a decent piece of work, worthy of 2.5 out of 5 stars when it all shakes down, not bad at all.



The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

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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  1. Baal
    August 25, 2007 at 3:20 am — Reply

    I agree with you on what worked in this issue but I’m afraid what didn’t work overshadowed them vastly for me. I suspect this issue was actually work of Bizarro Bedard. No way would the regular one churn out such a lame script or accept an artist so spectacularly unsuited to illustrating it!

  2. Stevito20
    August 25, 2007 at 3:36 am — Reply

    HOLY $#!+ is right!
    M-E Lad bititng people’s fingers off is awsome.
    It’s also a more effective way to show how bad ass you are, as opposed to getting into a verbal tête-à-tête.

  3. Randallw
    August 25, 2007 at 7:39 am — Reply

    I love me a comic that doesn’t pull punches (Age of Apocalypse, where established characters get dealt with permanently is my favourite series) and I like that matter eater lad reacts swiftly to displays of rudeness. You left out the frame where Matter eater lad backhanded one of the children onto the floor though. For those unfamiliar that’s why only one child is shown dealt with.

    I’ve been collecting the current series from the start and I like the grittier setting. I was going to say that Bouncing boy would probably end up being some sort of wire-fu expert but I noticed you point him out several weeks ago. I have to admit I only have 1 or 2 old Legion comics from late 70’s/early 80’s, where the timeline get’s changed and only Tom Welling (If I may follow the lead) knows the difference, so I haven’t seen ludicrous heroes like Matter Eater lad or Bouncing boy before. Unlike some comics I haven’t seriously considered dropping Legion although I’m not too fond of Supergirl, which I hear will leave soon. At one point I thought the biological weapon the Dominators mentioned was a supergirl clone.

  4. Maximus Rift
    August 25, 2007 at 9:05 am — Reply

    I kind fo fell sorry for Mekt since he basically was set up by the Wanderers. Makes you think who is real leader behind the team.

  5. August 25, 2007 at 10:14 am — Reply

    I’ve been collecting the current series from the start and I like the grittier setting. I was going to say that Bouncing boy would probably end up being some sort of wire-fu expert but I noticed you point him out several weeks ago. I have to admit I only have 1 or 2 old Legion comics from late 70’s/early 80’s, where the timeline get’s changed and only Tom Welling (If I may follow the lead) knows the difference, so I haven’t seen ludicrous heroes like Matter Eater lad or Bouncing boy before.

    Well, in that case, may I direct you to our fine array of Hero Histories, which may assist with that issue? :)

    Bouncing Boy
    Brainiac 5
    Colossal Boy
    Dream Girl
    Karate Kid
    Lightning Lass
    Matter-Eater Lad
    Sensor Girl
    Star Boy
    Timber Wolf

  6. Brent F.
    August 25, 2007 at 5:01 pm — Reply

    Wow. Props to the creative team for making super-eating look badass.

  7. Randallw
    August 25, 2007 at 8:28 pm — Reply

    oh believe me I’ve been reading those. In fact I knew nothing about Tyroc. In fact that panel where Tyroc is told he has to stay behind on guard duty is from one of the stories I do have. But it didn’t tell me anything about him. In fact in the article on Starboy you show him from the same issue and what with only having cheap B/W copies I always thought Starboy was black. When he was reintroduced in the current series I didn’t even know he had been changed.

    One of my old issues had Laurel Kent, but I gather she was never really a big part.

  8. Steve the B
    August 26, 2007 at 11:55 am — Reply

    I’m intrigued by the Bedard storyline thus far. Also, although Calero’s art sometimes gets sloppy – note Mekt’s change in hairstyle from one frame to the next in the digit decapitation sequence – I like it for the most part…especially the facial expressions. The Calero – Eyring draw/coloring team reminds me a bit of Jae Lee – Dave Kemp’s work with the Inhumans MK series 8-9 years ago – heavy (over)use of shadow – especially on the characters faces and body – but a very rich color palatte – I really like that. Calero’s backgrounds are more detailed than Lee’s were/are. He just neds to tidy things up some.

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