Or – “Meanwhile, Back On Lallor…”


The Legion has been through a lot of strange periods in their history… The times when they kept getting turned into toddlers. The Mike Grell “Everybody’s Naked” issues. Element Lad’s Jheri curl. The Nine-Panel Grid. There was the whiplash from manga-inspired “Archie Legion” to dark and gritty “Legion Lost,” even the point during the last series where it seemed like we were once again telling stories about the original pre-Crisis LSH, continuity be damned. Right now, interest in the Legion seems to be peaking again, but we’re in another transition period, between the highly successful Waid/Kitson Reboot Period and the much-anticipated return of Jim Shooter to the title that made him capital-s Shooter. Which is sad, because we’re getting an interesting set of tales here…

Previously, on Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes: Cosmic Boy took drastic LSH1.jpgand decisive action to finally end the Dominator threat, transitioning the entire planet into the Phantom Zone, sacrificing Mon-El and his own reputation in the process. Immediately afterwards, Cos was taken into the future by members of a future super-team to serve as their newest member, since he was their inspiration. Unfortunately, the U.P. saw the timing as suspicious and began an investigation, while the Legion voted the inexperienced Supergirl to leadership. Kara Zor-El trusted Brainiac 5 to help her, and the first mission they sent out encountered resistance on Winath, and also reintroduced us to an old friend. At the same time, a second team was sent to Lallor, where they, too, have found that everything old is new again. A mysterious assassin has been sent to kill the President of Lallor, and only Timber Wolf, Shadow Lass and Atom Girl (aka Shrinking Violet) stand in his way. Of course, if you have a sense of Legion history (or have been reading our Major Spoilers Hero Histories) you may find the assassin oddly familiar.


“…you got a girlfriend?” Heh. Violet’s come-on goes unanswered as the story leaps back 3 hours to show us how we got to this point, with the Legionnaires Three in unbridled combat with the Lallorian forces. Shady and Violet opine on Timber Wolf’s attractiveness (“I like ’em simple, too!”) and decide to compete to see who can take out more cannonfodder. T-Wolf may not be a deep thinker, but even he can see that things aren’t right on Lallor, and grabs one of the few conscious soldiers for some information.


The rebels have hired a killer to take out the president, in the hopes that they can get their planet on more isolationist footing, and Timber Wolf realizes that they have a job to do, but they can’t do it in this situation. Shadow Lass suddenly remembers that there IS an alternative to ultra-violence (even though it’s not nearly as much fun) and puts her persuasions to use. “Tell your president he has a diplomatic visitor.” When asked who the royalty is, she sighs melodramatically. “Why does no one ever remember that I’m practically royalty on Talok VIII?” Not far away, the brains behind the assassin gets his plans into motion.


Randall Burroughs turns to a tank of energy, which then speaks to him. “Haven’t you figured out by now that I don’t want the pep talk?” As the containment suit fills, the energy (called “Drake”) asks why he expects this plan to work at all. “For one thing,” says Randall, “we’ll pin the blame on some old friends of yours who just decided to show up.” The Shadow Champion of Talok VIII meets with the President, and he tells her that she and her friends can finally heal some of the wounds left behind by the Legion’s last incursions. Shadow Lass advises him that they’re on site to check on the whereabouts of Cosmic Boy, and they have reason to believe he might be on Lallor…


The realism that worked last month for Star Boy, Tenzil and Mekt does the artist a disservice here with Shady (though T-Wolf looks pretty awesome.) Shadow Lass again takes the fore, assuring the president that they’ll handle the Cos issue, and save him any boondoggle. When the president asks if she’s sure C.B. is here, she replies “Supergirl thinks so.” Of course, Supergirl is working with (or is it for?) Brainiac on this, so perhaps not. Suddenly, from her position hiding behind a paperweight, Atom Girl gets a communicator page.


As always, Brainiac is dead on the money, as Drake attacks, trying to burn his way into the Presidential offices. Blowing away several squadrons of science police, he quickly burns through the roof to find that he’s not the only superpower on Lallor today. Timber Wolf quickly steps up to face him, and Drake realizes that he’s up against a squad of Legionnaires…


Drake tells them the ugly truth: Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad knew all about him. As ERG-1, he was a previous Legion candidate! He tells the (very familiar) story of going into action with the Legion, attacking a faminebot that was threatening to wipe out all crops in it’s path. He destroyed it with his anti-energy, but in this telling, his faceplate was cracked and his energy breached the containment of his suit.


It’s a nice tip of the hat, not only to his original origins, but his SECOND life in the Rebooted Legion, as his first ERG-1 suit in that flashback looks suspiciously like the armor he wore post Legion-Lost. Timber Wolf again shows that he’s nowhere near as dense as people presume he is, smashing open Drake’s faceplate with one punch, waiting for him to dissipate into nothingness again. “It’s Timber Wolf, right?” asks the not-really-a-man-anymore in orange “Ever hear of an upgrade?”


And boom, we have ourselves a codename. Much as with Matter-Eater Lad last issue, it’s a welcome return, and a BMF moment besides. Violet and Shady leap into action, trying to stop his anti-energy with their powers, but he quickly disperses Shadow Lass’s dark matter, and Atom Girl nearly broils herself trying to break his armor. Timber Wolf calls Brainiac for backup and we see that these events are taking place simultaneous to last issue, as we heard Brainy’s side of the communiqué last issue, at the same time as the fight on Winath. Another anti-energy burst brings down the house, leaving Timber Wolf flattened, but just when all seems lost, the rubble literally EXPLODES!


Make that THREE returns to form, with feral Timber Wolf back in the house as well. After the care taken in the relaunch to make it clear that this is NOT the Legion we knew before, it seems like a lot of our LSHers are returning to a state much closer to their original pre-Crisis existences (which, honestly, suits me just fine.)

This was another nice outing for the Legion, and Tony Bedard is getting really good at throwing in real bad mofo moments for characters old and new. The art, as I mentioned, isn’t working for me nearly as well as it did last time around, seeming a lot more haphazard and scratchy in the application of the inks, but still nice work. The pacing problems I noticed last issue are working themselves out, and all in all, it’s a well-done piece, with nice character from all four of the Legionnaires in the issue (and, yes, I’m counting Wildfire.) I’m still hoping beyond hope that Tenzil and Drake are welcomed back into the League again, and that we get to see more touches like these before we hit the upcoming Shooter epic. Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes #34 earns a nicely done 3.5 out of 5 stars, with one full half-star going entirely to the return of Wildfire…


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. Brent F.
    October 1, 2007 at 3:18 pm — Reply

    Nice to see this incarnation of Wildfire is more active with his anger and less “emo,” than the original who seemed to enjoy wallowing in his own turmoil. I also like the self-repairing containment suit and nice touch with the visible face in the energy within the suit.

  2. Ken W
    October 1, 2007 at 9:10 pm — Reply

    I don’t know, the art you’ve put up is pretty damn smooth. Is this just the best of the book?

  3. Katzedecimal
    October 1, 2007 at 9:47 pm — Reply

    Threeboot is successful? o.O Weird, everybody I know hates it :-P My Best Beloved saw the pic of Timber Wolf up there and said “Boy, he looks angry.” “He just woke up in the Threeboot universe.” “Oh… oh the poor guy.” =B He’s an old-schooler (got his start during the Mike Grell pasties period); I’m middle-school (5YG, one of the few people who liked Batch SW6 and even fewer who liked the “Archie” Legion, Andromeda, and dick!Brainy -.-;; ) We’re both rather holding our breath to see what Shooter’s going to do. (hopefully get VrilDox 5 to stop… well, being Vril Dox. honestly, is he a clone of Vril Dox or something? He’s even got the same buzzcut, it’s unnerving…)

  4. October 1, 2007 at 10:25 pm — Reply

    Count me among those who liked Archie Legion…

  5. October 2, 2007 at 1:19 am — Reply

    Count me among those who liked Archie Legion…

    Me, too, though not as much as the Threeboot and considerably less than the best of the original. C’mah, y’can’t beat Element Lad, as a toddler, defeating the Time Trapper by turning his spaceship into peppermint…

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