Robot Overlord Temporal Circuits: Overheated. Time-Stream Collapse: Imminent. Nerd Review Probability: 100-percent.
STAR TREK/LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1
Writer: Chris Roberson
Penciler: Jeffrey Moy
Inker: Philip Moy
Colorist: Romula Fajardo, Jr.
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Editor: Chris Ryall
Publisher(s): DC Comics/IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously, in Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes: The United Federation of Planets (from Star Trek) and the United Planets (from the Legion of Super-Heroes) actually have a great deal in common. Each is a central entity of vastly different worlds, working together in utopian awesomeness. The Federation puts it’s faith in Starfleet, and it’s flagship U.S.S. Enterprise, commanded notably by one James Tiberius Kirk. The United Planets, on the other hand, has as their right hand, the various heroes of the pan-galactic Legion of Super-Heroes, commanded at this point in time by Dream Girl, who isn’t actually in this story. Thus, as it always does, the burden of command seems to fall on Cosmic Boy. These two futures are about to collide, and the first casualty will probably be your suspension of disbelief.
MATTHEW: So, IDW Publishing has officially become known (in my head) as the Fanfic Crossover people, what with this, the Ghostbusters/Transformers/G.I. Joe/ Star Trek thing last year and the (probably) upcoming Space Ghost/Anna Karenina.
STEPHEN: I don’t want to be the person at IDW who works these deals. Granted, DC hasn’t be able to do much with its property lately, but Paramount still loves its Star Trek. And with that whole Infestation thing still going on, it makes one’s head spin. That being said, we are now handed this crossover event, which really isn’t a crossover event as neither group meets each other in this first issue. Sure, there is some timey-wimey time bubble/transporter goofiness going on that involves the Mirror/Mirror universe (or something very close to it), but I thought the point of a crossover was to have the two groups meet one another… is this the problem you had, too?
MATTHEW: My biggest problem with the issue came on page one, as they started off with the now-legendary “Space… The Final Frontier” monologue, but somehow manage to leave out the Final Frontier part! I suspect that the intent was to let us know in a subtle way that things were not quite right before hitting us with the time paradox, but it just struck me as wrong. It’s like when someone misquotes a movie or book that you know and love, juuuuuust enough to ruin the intent of the work…
STEPHEN: I don’t think the intent was ruined as it becomes clear when the “Federation” attacks the Durlans that space is no longer a frontier that needs to be conquered. What I was expecting was to see a bearded Kirk and crew running around shouting, “Yar!” and what not, but was totally not prepared for Captain Tommy Tomorrow.
MATTHEW: In the silly-continuity-that-only-geeks-like-me-care-about pile, though, it’s nice to see that the evil Federation ship is commanded by DC’s 1950′s sci-fi mainstay Tommy Tomorrow, and his foot-soldiers (or, in this case, jetpack soldiers) include another DC old-schooler, Space Ranger. That said, it’s extremely unnerving to see this strange future mashup, as Tomorrow’s yeoman seems to be a Coluan like Brainiac 5, and their mission involves the apparent genocide of Chameleon Boy’s Durlan race…
STEPHEN: As I said before, if you are going to do a crossover, at some point – SOME POINT – the two teams should crossover. Instead of interesting banter about graduation day, and some cool looking updating to ’60s sci-fi, we get to see the Legion of Superheroes talk about the destruction of their Time Bubble and the eventual crash landing in the 23rd century where they quickly discover things aren’t quite right. While the Tommy Tomorrow bit is a nice throwback to the DC Days of Olde, I was really trying to see where this version of the Legion came from. Is this something that happened Crisis on Three Worlds? Before Blackest Night, or is this an all new, all different take on the New 52? TELL ME! TELL ME NOW!
MATTHEW: This Legion is from a time right after Darkseid’s return, known to us as the Great Darkness Saga, though I don’t remember a specific mission in this timeframe that would have these heroes travelling through time together. The Legion contingent consists of the three Legion founders (Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy) with Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy and Shadow Lass on-board as well. I suspect that this team was chosen for it’s recognition factor, but more importantly, the alien members ability to fit in a Star Trek story. Tellus or Blok would stick out like a sore thumb, as they could not be easily replicated (Trek joke) by 1960′s makeup technology, whereas Cham and Brainy are practically Vulcan and Orion already, and Shadow Lass is wearing a costume that clearly has “Theiss Titillation Theory” written ALL over it. Of course, I may be overthinking things…
STEPHEN: As with most things you ramble on about, I think you are over thinking… Anyway, while the story is still finding its footing, the one thing I loved, loved, loved in this issue was the art by the Moy brothers. We ran into them last year at the Kansas City Planet Comic Con, and they kind of dropped hints about the project without giving everything away. As a fan of both of them, the one thing I look forward to each year is seeing what LoSH art they have worked up for sale. This issue was like a whole year’s worth of waiting delivered in a 22-page story. Did I mention I loved the art?
MATTHEW: I have to say that it’s a little weird seeing the Moy brothers handling the original Legion, given their associations with “your” LSH in the 90′s, but Phil and Jeff really have a good handle on the Legion, and their Star Trek likenesses (save for the apparently completely un-replicable face of DeForrest Kelley as McCoy) are pretty well handled. The Enterprise crew and the Legion Six end up crash-landed, stranded, and Spock and Brainiac 5 come to the same conclusion: This isn’t their Earth. It’s an interesting start, but I’m very disappointed at how little Legion OR Federation is actually in evidence here…
STEPHEN: Yeah… been there, said that. Overall though I like how this story came together. It certainly could have gone in the toilet as quickly as the in continuity Legion series have, and considering many wrote this crossover off as soon as it was announced, I’d say I’m pleasantly surprised.
MATTHEW: All in all, it’s a first issue, and it has a LOT to cover, but when you’re merging a 55 year-old alternate future property with a 45 year-old alternate future property, with both stories involving time-travel, universe-bending and literally THOUSANDS of supporting characters, I don’t know how wise it is to create yet another alternate universe. There are a few clunkers in terms of dialogue, and one line in particular bugs me, as Sulu (who is a character played by openly gay actor George Takei) remarks, “Mmm, San Francisco! It’s been TOO long.” I am probably being way too PC about it, but the line just falls flat and feels a bit like a meta-joke gone wrong about the actor.
STEPHEN: MMMM… chicken salad sandwiches… it’s been far too long… There’s a difference between loving and missing something, and a comment that MAY be a reference to something else. I’m sure San Francisco has a lot more to offer than gay jokes. Plus, with crossover properties, I’m sure more than a few eyes had to look this one over before it got the go ahead. Now if Sulu gave a knowing wink to the rest of the crew, then you might be on to something…
MATTHEW: I love me some Star Trek, and I love me some Legion, and being a nitpicker, a fanboy, and overly genre savvy, I knew from the get-go that this book was going to have one hell of a time making these characters meet in a way that makes sense. The comic book opera of the Legion doesn’t really crossover to the original Trek’s cowboy diplomacy, but I’m cautiously optimistic about this. My first read left many questions, but my second pass through this book with the MST3K mantra (“You really should relax…”) in mind left me smiling. We’ll see how it all pans out, though, and if Spock kisses Shadow Lass, I’m writing an angry letter. Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #1 has some big sixties go-go boots to fill, and it does it without overtly breaking anything, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. So long as the characters can bend to this plot without breaking, it should at least be an interesting ride…
STEPHEN: Though I have a few problems with this issue, overall, I really liked what I saw here. There is enough of hook to keep me hanging on to see how Tommy Tomorrow and Evil Kirk connect (I hope they do), and how the Legion and the Enterprise Crew are going to make everything right (if they can). Throw in some great art by the Moys, and you have a book that earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars from me.
ROBOT OVERLORD: Regardless of what you may have read about The Robot Overlord, I assure you that my Van Dyke is firmly in place. The big question befalls on you, the Major Spoilerites, “Is there still a place for crossovers in this day and age of micro-managed continuity, or does is it a waste of time for all involved?”
About Stephen Schleicher
Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.
About Matthew Peterson
Were pop culture a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Matthew still 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.