Or – “Let’s See What His Origin Is This Time!”

As a Legion of Super-Heroes fan, you get used to the timestream changing.  There’s a reason why it takes at least five minutes to clarify WHICH Wildfire, Timber Wolf or Saturn Girl you’re a fan of.  This issue promises to retell the origins of Brin Londo, late of the planet Zuun, but will it be a story with which I’m familiar or will it be all new?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

LEGION LOST #0
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Artist: Pete Woods
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Legion Lost:  Seven members of the Legion of Super-Heroes were thrown back in time, trying to stop the machinations of a villain known as Alastor.  Gates and Chameleon Girl were killed, then not.  Tyroc became the leader in spite of himself.  Wildfire and Dawnstar may or may not have broken up, while Tellus is a big yellow polliwog.  And as for Timber Wolf, he has been reminding everyone why that one X-Man stole his whole schtick back in 1975…

ZUUN: THE MICROSOFT PLANET?

Over the last few years, there have been a lot of revamps of the Legion and it’s various members, leading to a big problem for Timber Wolf: The writer kept trying to treat him like a slightly less-powerful version of Ultra Boy.  Both come from less civilized planets, both are brawlers, and both have a tendency to be drawn with leather jackets.  They often serve the same role in smaller team groupings, and at one point even fought over the same woman.  Why do I bring this up?  Because, Faithful Spoilerites, Tom DeFalco seems to have fixed the problem.  This issue retells the story of Marr Londo, scientist extraordinaire, but his experiments with Zuunium now have an extra twist:  He’s working for one of the worst criminals that planet Zuun has to offer, a man so vicious that he kills Marr’s wife and threatens to return to kill the boy unless Londo perfects his serum to give him and his goons superhuman abilities.  Marr manages to give himself and his boy super-powers, but sacrifices his own life (and all his research) to give Brin a shot a life.

THE STAKES ARE HIGHER…

Pete Woods is really good at his job, I’ll tell you that for free.  This issue features some amazing artwork, including very detailed and diverse facial expressions, fight sequences worth their salt, and even a futuristic Zuun that looks sufficiently alien and 31st Century for the setting. It’s clear that the creators are aware of the Timber Wolf/Wolverine problem (though Brin came first, it’s hard to do good T-Wolf stories without feeling like you’re on Logan’s turf) and work hard to overcome it, giving young Brin the perspective of a teenager and tempering the lone tough-guy routine enough that it doesn’t feel like we’re reading a re-purposed Wolverine issue.  (Though the use of a city sector called  “Lowtown” does leave me a little bit amused…)  The issue puts Brin Londo against the wall, making him choose between vengeance and justice, and giving him the chance to prove that there’s a man beyond his feral form and powers.  As the issue ends, a Science Policeman offers to recommend Brin to the newly-formed Legion of Super-Heroes Academy, tying this story back into the one that we already knew (since the current Legion is seemingly the original Legion continuity again…  Maybe.)

THE BOTTOM LINE: PRETTY GOOD STUFF…

I really found myself liking this issue, from both a writing and an art perspective.  Tom DeFalco is an industry veteran whose experience serves him well, as this issue tells a tight story with well-balanced dialogue (save for the occasional awkward fake cursing, de rigeur for a Legion title anymore) and a nice twist at the end.  Visually, it’s a lovely issue as well, with good choreography and storytelling throughout.  Legion Lost #0 even does something that no story in my memory ever has, explaining why a man from an alien planet would name himself after a terrestrial animal, earning a well-deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I was worried that a single character spotlight might damage Legion Lost by making somebody The Urkel, but this issue gives Timber Wolf some much-needed attention, and does it well.

Rating: ★★★★½

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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