Or – “The Countdown Has Begun…”

With the announcement on the cancellation of Legion of Super-Heroes, I’m wondering if they’re actually going to take this chance to shatter everything that we love about the 31st Century.  Of course, if the last few issues have been any indication, they planned to do that anyway.  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!


Writer: Paul Levitz (Keith Giffen, Consulting Destructionist)
Penciler: Francis Portela
Colorist: Javier Mena
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Editor: Rickey Purdin
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, in Legion Of Super-Heroes: A new Fatal Five has arisen, and somehow they have managed to disable nearly all the technology in the United Planets.  With the LSH separated, all seems dark, but there may be a bright spot on the horizon, as Glorith has been able to teleport herself home to the Sorcerer’s World…


…but, as with the previous few issues, it’s best not to get your hopes up.  Glorith, Ultra Boy and Chameleon Boy arrive on Sorcerer’s World just in time to get into it with the F.F.’s Validus, as the fighty-fighty continues.  Portela’s art is pretty striking, even though Ultra Boy’s new uniform and haircut are still ridiculous, and the sequences on Planet Magic are quite striking.  The problem for me comes in that it feels pretty familiar, and halfway through this issue I realized why: This is the Magic Wars that ended Volume 3 all over again!  The issue gets a few points for me as Blok and the Black Witch join their partners in combating the unstoppable monster Validus.  Elsewhere in the universe, I continue getting angry with the writers, as Phantom Girl cries and cries about her fate and the disastrous events that have marked her term as Legion leader.  The whole reason people voted for her in the first place was that she was written as a strong and capable hero with a heart, and it’s a shame to see her reduced to a blubbering nitwit.


Thankfully, the seeming death of Invisible Kid and Polar Boy turns out to be somewhat premature (thankfully), tying into one of Legion stories from the 80s, a story whose ending is no longer considered canon for the Legion.  That pretty much sums up my problems with this issue in a nutshell:  The best parts of it are seemingly bits and pieces of old stories that no longer “happened” to this iteration of the team, and everyone seems to be holding the idiot ball.  As the issue comes to a close, Glorith teleports Ultra Boy and Chameleon Boy back to Legion HQ, where we find the Persuader standing over what seems to be the impaled corpse of Duplicate Girl, leaving us with another depressing cliff-hanger and little to show for it.  With this title’s impending demise, I’m unsure whether DC is going to reboot/relaunch immediately, but more importantly, based on the last few years of the book, I’m not sure I’m interested any more.  The last relaunch was a showcase for the most unpleasant character I’ve read about since Rorschach was exploded in the Arctic, and the New 52 Legion has been an exercise in inertia for me.


There are rumors of a new Legion, based on/inspired by the new Justice League, which could be interesting, but also could be nothing but reversionist terribleness.  In any case, it’s long past time for some sort of meaningful action on the part of the ostensible heroes of the book, and perhaps one more sacrifice before we go…  Perhaps Harmonia, who is both useless and infuriating?  Legion of Super-Heroes #20 gets a couple of story-beats that I like, and at least a few characters get to be something other than victims, but overall it’s still only rating 2 out of 5 stars overall.  What’s next for the LSH?  Hopefully something a little less depressing…

Rating: ★★★★½

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About Author

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.


  1. Oldcomicfan on

    I am betraying my age here, but the Legion of Super Heroes worked best when it was the backup feature in the Superboy comic book. With an overly large cast of characters, there was really never much opportunity for character development, and the charm of the early stories – the goofy powers like Bouncing Boy and Matter Eater Lad – the useless powers like Triplicate Girl and Shrinking Violet – only enhanced the charm and fun of a group of kids whose clubhouse was the tail end of a 50’s vintage comic book rocket ship! Once DC tried to make the group “relevant to a modern audience” and killing characters off, the book lost all its charm. In my mind, the real legion hasn’t existed since 1970. I say let the Legion rest in peace.

  2. Lamenter Lad on

    The LSH has been my favourite of any comics lore since the mid 70’s when I discovered them. It seems that after Keith Giffen left the book way back, no one could handle what was a pretty straightforward and storied history of the group. Countless reboots and re-imaginings served to water down my favourite heroes and then it seemed one day, no one cared anymore. I am truly saddened that my favourite heroes are being constantly mangled and wonder if there is any hope for them anymore? Justice Legion? No thank you. And furthermore….how dare you? When I recently got my Matty 12 pack of LSH figures, it occurred to me that these characters were based on those “simpler” times when the Legion was actually memorable, not based on the countless reboots. Wouldn’t it stand to figure that if we’d be willing to spend so much money on these characters, that we would again support the comic if someone actually brought them back without all these bizarre changes of the last 10 or 15 years? Oh well at least we got Tyroc back for awhile.

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