Or – “Does Supergirl Have To Choke A B!+c#?”

slsh9.jpgreviewbubble.jpgIssue 25 didn’t used to be a milestone, back in the day. When I was a kid, it seemed like a comic book either went under before it hit double digits, or it ran forever. Granted, I was twelve, and that pretty much sums up the world-view of MOST 12 year olds, but whadayagonnado? In any case, at some point (’bout half an hour after somebody realized comics were suddenly collectible), every chance they had for a milestone issue, they took. Issue 1. Issue fifty. Any Spider-Man book where the number was divisible by 25. They even invented the concpet of issue #0 so they could slap chrome on ugly pictures. Since it’s such a speculator mindset, I’m a little ashamed that I predicted a big flashy “anniversary” issue of Legion at 25. This is the W/KRP (Waid/Kitson Reboot Period), after all, and it’s nothing if not old school. Which is not to say that NOTHING happens this issue…

slsh1.jpg…indeed, the monkey has wound up, aimed, and fecal matter has impacted the rotating blades. Seconds ago, (or last issue), the mysterious conspirators arrived in force at Legion headquarters, ready to overwhelm even a force as powerful as The Legion. Fortunately, at that very second, the local precognitive (creatively named “Dream Boy”) shows why the team needs him, thought they won’t know how much for about fifteen pages.


“Get the Kryptonite… Save the world…” But no cheerleaders in the 30th Century, as far as we know, anyway. Dream Boy immediately takes off for Brainiac 5’s lab, but is told by the others he’ll never get in. “I’ve been predicting Brainy’s security codes, for practice,” replies DB. Heh. “By the way, this ALSO just in… we’re under attack!” Brainy is non-plussed, and tells Timber Wolf and Projectra to boost the forcefield. Unfortunately for the Legion, there’s already a man on the inside, and T-Wolf & Jeckie are already dealt with. Moreover, my suspicions from last issue are correct. It’s Ral Benem, aka Chlorophyll Kid, whom some of us may know from the old days. Sadly, he’s also working for the other side, deactivating the Legion’s defenses, allowing Jeyra of Titan to bring in another familiar face…


The White Witch? Oh, that’s not good at all… The whole team is locked down, forcefields in place, separated and unable to communicate. “The all-mighty Legion has been defeated, without a single punch being thrown,” gloats Jeyra. Then, instead of the usual title page introducing the Legionnaires we’ll see this issue, we see the introduction of Jeyra and her Wanderers, including the afore-mentioned Ral (oddly called Plant Lad), as well as pre-Crisis Legionnaires White Witch and Polar Boy. You don’t need to know that, by the way, as they’re the villains of the piece here, and this is fresh continuity. I just don’t want to think that I wasted tenth grade reading about these guys… In any case, Brainiac tries to contact his teammates, but only finds himself in a vision of a ruined city, faced with his recently-deceased and oh so unrequited love, Dream Girl.


A quick search of back issues will show that a crazy Brainiac is a very BAD thing, but it doesn’t seem to be the case here. The girl of his dreams (literally) explains that the ruined city is Metropolis itself, and that she’s come to tell him how to stop it. “If you can tell Cos to…” And the dream, maddeningly, fades away, just like the one where Jessica Simpson accidentally spills the ice-cream sundae on Bjork and leans in- Nevermind. Back in the real world, the Legionnaires find that they can’t break out, phase out, or get communications through. Even Lightning Lad can’t blast his way out.


Four of their members teleported away, and the team doesn’t even know what’s going on. That ain’t a good sign, ladies and germs. Cosmic Boy formulates a plan, asking if the Phantom Zone projector is a way out. Brainiac says no, but thinks that, just possibly, he could make the projector useful, if only he had access to one of the substances in his lab. R’member Dream Boy? It’s good to know the plot ahead of time, isn’t it?

As for the teleported members, they end up in the chambers of the Wanderers, and we discover that Jeyra isn’t the brains of the outfit. She’s the second in command, to a man who tells the four Legionnaires (the four chosen to be most likely to jump to their side) that they weren’t the first “Knights of The Round” created by the U.P. Ultra Boy is prepared to bust his skull, but Light Lass convinces her friends to hear the stranger out. Years ago, he was a member of a similar group, a group that the United Planets sacrificed when the going got tough. He’s back, and he’s come to save the Earth from a purported invasion from The Dominators. And why does Light Lass trust him?


It’s old home week at LSH Plaza, apparently. Brainiac, meanwhile, has Saturn Girl scan Mon-El’s mind, and finds an image of someone who put him in the zone, someone who wears an “S” on their chest, and he’s borderline psychotic after 1000 years of solitude. “Perfect,” says Brainy, and flips a switch brining Mon-El back to reality just like that. Mon is disoriented, when Brainiac points out Supergirl’s big… “S” shield. “Have you met the blonde?” Crazy Kryptonian-level fighter? Meet other crazy Kryptonian-level fighter. The assembled members duck and cover as irresistable force meets immovable object and goes bowling. Cosmic Boy has harsh words for Mr 5, until he realizes what the twelfth level mind has figured out. “Two beings that powerful, pushing themselves to the limit and caroming off wall after wall like runaway comets, can survice an all-out continent-shaking, adrenaline-augmented brawl, long enough for the fight…”


Lo, I give you the Superman, and he is… cheaper than a wrecking ball. As the fight busts through nearly every wall in the place, the team is able to reassemble, kind of. Dream Boy rushes in with the Kryptonite, and Brainiac (without even a thank you) starts assembling the Daxamite anti-lead serum, a legendary puzzle that no scholar has ever successfully solved. He cracks it, in seconds (super brain) and then the question becomes, how do you get a crazy man who can crack suns to take his medicine? With my daughter Molly, we use cherry flavoring and a funny spoon. With Mon, it’s a bit more complicated, as the entire team is barely able to slow Mon-El down, until Atom Girl blinds him with a red-sun wavelength plasma burst. He stops, long enough for another member to do his part…


Why is the Giant called Micro Lad? He’s normally a giant, but has the power to shrink to human proportions. THAT is why the W/KRP rocks… Mon slowly comes to his senses, but not before another teleport beam strikes, and The Wanderers gather their last recruit, perhaps the most important of all. But is he important as a counterpoint to the LSH’s Supergirl, or is there even more going on here than meets the eye? Of course there is, folks, but it’ll apparently have to wait for next month.

The great joy of this book is in the knowledge that every member of the team, no matter how s/he stacks up on the raw power charts, is important to the ongoing struggle. Supergirl isn’t the focus of everything (thankfully), and it’s telling that it took stealth and guile (in the form of Invisible Kid and Atom Girl) to stop the rampaging engine of destruction when Kryptonion butt-headedness can’t. As always, every panel is beautiful, and the little continuity touches put in for geek fans like me aren’t necessary for the enjoyment of the plot. The Wanderers are something the LSH has seldom had in it’s 60-year-history: a credible adversarial force of EQUAL power. They remind me of the classic incarnation of the Legion of Super Villains from the late 80’s, in that. The ongoing mystery of Brainiac’s irrational actions regarding Dream Girl deepens with his hallucination (if it was one) and it’s another “can’t wait till next month” cliffhanger. I’d say that the Legion keeps getting better and better, but the quality of this incarnation has been rock-solid from Day 1. I don’t know where it’s going, but I’m enjoying the ride, and gets a well-earned 3.5 stars.



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.


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