I Will Not Make A Kiss Me Joke.  I Will –  Wait, did I do that joke already?

Previously, on Legion of Super-Heroes:  The third incarnation of the Legion came as a LSH2.jpgsurprise to me, but it wasn’t unwelcome.  When Waid and Kitson rebooted the team with new costume designs and variations on a theme, it seemed like an interesting exercise.  Characters like Ultra Boy, Saturn Girl, Phantom and Triplicate Girls were given a new lease on life.  Then, eventually, Waid and Kitson left, and the team fell into the hands of old-school Legion writer Jim Shooter.  Shooter’s first act was to move the teams in directions that brought some of them back towards their pre-Crisis incarnations.  One character who has gone someplace different, though, is Princess Projectra, whose family has died, whose subjects have been destroyed, whose family fortune has gone away, and who is slowly going crazy, one two three four five six SWITCH!  One issue to go in the Threeboot, and we seem to have a traitor in the fold…

Projectra’s contiuing follies open the issue, as she continues her clandestine meetings with the remaining subject of Orando.  They’ve taken her beyond the usual seditious thoughts and minor actions to full-on combat training, and Jeckie shows that her powers have expanded as well as her physical prowess.  Back at Legion HQ, Phantom Girl brings her worries about the princess to Saturn Girl, in the hopes that Imra will be able to find out something about Projectra’s mental state, but S.G. has recently made a promise to never invade the thoughts of another Legionnaire.  Worst of all, Timber Wolf overhears Phantom Girl’s words, and smashes in, killing a perfectly innocent waiter-robot, and screaming “Mind your own florgin’ business!”  I hate the fake cursewords.  Hate ’em, hate ’em, hate ’em.  He continues with a big “Florg You” and stalks off, after which Saturn Girl confides that she did something stupid with Ultra Boy that has apparently ruined her life. 

In the command center, Invisible Kid and Lightning Lad discuss the Alien Destroyers and the diplomats from “Intruder Planet,” explaining that both are nothing more than remote-controlled analog bodies, while Brainiac figures out that the Data-Ripper’s don’t destroy everything, so much as make virtual computer versions of anything that they shoot before eradicating the real versions.  More horrible dialogue occurs as Element Lad brings his new girlfriend to meet Ultra Boy, and she speaks the infuriating pidgin rhyming dialogue that Jim Shooter does so incessantly.  Brainy leads a clandestine team of Legionnaires on a spy mission to figure out what’s up with the planet, to the horror of Lightning Lad, who then goes to meet with the U.P. President, WHO PROCEEDS TO PUT THE MOVES ON HIM!  Back at headquarters, Projectra is confronted by Phantom Girl, but quickly kicks the hell out of her, and leaves her teammate in a pool of blood on the floor.  The team gathers and realizes that the attacker was certainly one of their own, and Saturn Girl pulls the information out of Phantom Girl’s brain that her assailant was Projectra.  Jeckie arrives, and overwhelms Saturn Girl’s brain with her new magical powers, causing Imra to believe that nobody attacked P.G.  Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl talk briefly, and almost make up when she reveals that what happened between her and Ultra Boy was all mental and not physical.  The issue ends with a distress call from the President, indicating that the U.P. is under attack!

This issue is weirdly paced throughout, with several big cliffhangers that I might have expected to be issue-enders crammed into place.  My assumption is that the schedule on the book might have been pushed up to get all the story in before the close comes next issue, but it makes this a choppy and disjointed read.  Francis Manapul’s art this issue is nicely done, especially the moment where Projectra reveals herself and takes out Saturn Girl, but it’s just not strong enough to deliver the goods with this much plot stuffed into the issue.  Shooter’s latest Legion run has been suffering from a case of the “Whatevers” for a couple of issues now, and this one tries to put a lot of bang in for your buck, but only succeeds in stacking the deck so high that it falls over.  Next issue will be the last for the current Threeboot Legion series, and while I’ll miss the great parts of the Threebooted team, these last few issues haven’t added much to the mythos.  Legion of Super-Heroes #49 earns a very disappointed 1.5 out of 5 stars, though I’m still looking forward to finding out how the whole thing wraps up.


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. Ricco
    January 22, 2009 at 10:52 am — Reply

    I read alot of Manga so I’m used to girls and women getting dismembered, tortured, r@ped, disfigured and killed. Damsels in distress don’t always get saved in the nick of time, depending in the Author (I’m looking at you Oh! Great) they harddly ever get savedin time. In Manga it’s usually a two way street, if any of that happens you can bet at some point a woman will put a man trought the same thing.

    But Shooter seems to have demonised and slutify every girl and woman in The Legion for no reason other then he can. It’s like he’s working by the “all woman are wI-Iores” idea or something.

    It’s really bothersome, heck I bet the leader of the bad guys is some sort of hive mind represented by a QUEEN and that the Legionnaire that dies is a girl…

    Am I reading to much into it? Or do others agree?

  2. Eye-Roller Lass
    January 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm — Reply

    No, You’re not. That issue alone was the most extreme case of “Women in Refrigerators” that I’ve ever seen.
    That issue made me so sad, I don’t think I’ll pick up anything by Shooter anytime soon. I’m a die-hard Legion fan, but I’m glad that run is about to be over.

  3. January 23, 2009 at 4:44 am — Reply

    But Shooter seems to have demonised and slutify every girl and woman in The Legion for no reason other then he can. It’s like he’s working by the “all woman are wI-Iores” idea or something.

    It’s really bothersome, heck I bet the leader of the bad guys is some sort of hive mind represented by a QUEEN and that the Legionnaire that dies is a girl…

    Am I reading to much into it? Or do others agree?

    Dude, until now, I thought it was just me, too. It was bad enough that the Legion girls have all turned into bimbos, but having President Cougar hit on Lightning Lad was the one point where I went “Are you kidding me?” Didn’t Shooter get a Marvel project rejected because Joe Quesada thought something he did was too cruel to the female Avengers? This issue was just ridiculous. I’m so glad it seems like Johns & Perez are just ignoring this whole plotline for the Threeboot’s use in Legion of 3 Worlds; having a Phantom-of-the-Opera Girl among their ranks would just drag their role down.

  4. Ricco
    January 23, 2009 at 9:22 am — Reply

    It’s good to know I’m not insane, thank God Shooter’s run on The Legion ends next issue.

  5. RichT
    January 25, 2009 at 9:44 am — Reply

    I agree with you guys on this. I have been disappointed with Shooter’s run here. I had dropped this after issue 46 then read that it was ending at 50 so I stuck it out to see the end of the run. The legion has always been one of my favorites so I’m looking forward to the next version. I hope Johns and Franks or Johns and Perez are doing it.

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