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#861480 - 07/23/15 03:58 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Future Offline
The Present is Past
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The Present is Past

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The Flash v2 #108
DEAD HEAT! First Lap: Flatfooted


Issue Information

Summary:
Something has caused all the speedsters in the world to lose their speed, leading to a death and Jesse Quick being shot. Wally West, the Flash, seems to be the only one immune when he is able to dispatch a squad of speed ninjas that attack he and girlfriend Linda Park. Jay Garrick and Jesse accuse Wally of siphoning the Speed Force for himself, but Wally insists he isn't. Flash interrogates a ninja for answers, and learns they worship a god named Savitar who wants to kill the "students of speed." He eludes to attacking a speedster not present before aging to dust. The speedsters rush to Alabama to check on Impulse, Wally sharing his Speed Force for substitute speed. Impulse and his cousin, XS, are surrounded.


The Flash v2 #109
DEAD HEAT! Second Lap: A Swiftly Tilting Planet


Issue Information

Summary:
Flash saves the powerless Impulse and XS from Savitar's ninjas. The speedsters are hopeful Max Mercury has answers as the oldest speedster. They go through Max's files and find one in Korean that Wally's girlfriend, Linda, is able to translate. Savitar was a Cold War pilot who survived a plane crash thanks to being granted super speed from the lightning strike that downed his plane. He became devout to this "speed force" that possessed him and spent years trying to study and learn more of it. Max Mercury and Jonny Quick fought him in the past, but when Max chased Savitar too fast they were both shunted into the future - the late 20th century.

Wally meets XS, who teaches him about the Tornado Twins. Thinking about Barry Allen having a biological son makes Wally a little jealous, having always thought of Barry as a father. Max Mercury stumbles into the house, bloody. He warns Flash that as the only one more attuned to the Speed Force than Savitar, he will kill them all until Wally fights him. A map has been drawn on Max's chest, taunting Wally. XS offers to be back-up, as even powerless she can fly with her ring. Wally wants to fight with someone he trusts, so he takes Jesse Quick and gives her XS' flight ring as she has flight experience. Off they go to battle!


Impulse #10
DEAD HEAT! Third Lap: Disaffected Youth


Issue Information

Summary:
The powerless speedsters tend to Max Mercury at the hospital while Impulse goes back to school. XS is comforted to have her Grandma Iris there, but is concerned about Bart because he didn't grow up without speed like she did. Bart is depressed and his friends think it's because his "uncle Max" is in the hospital. When he gets pranked at lunch, Bart punches a student and runs away. Savitar's ninjas attack the hospital and Max gives up his stored speed to Johnny. Everyone's speed suddenly returns, supposedly thanks to Wally. Bart rushes in to save Max and the ninjas are defeated. Max instructs XS to stay behind and watch over Linda and Iris, while the men run off to help Wally fight Savitar. Oy.

#861481 - 07/23/15 03:58 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
Joined: Jul 2003
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The Flash v2 #110
DEAD HEAT! Fourth Lap: Cut to the Quick


Issue Information

Summary:
Flash and Jesse Quick arrive at Savitar's castle in the Balkan Mountains. They discover that Savitar has a tower of ninjas hooked up like batteries, who are receiving Speed Force energy from a Russian speedster Wally knows named Christina. After Wally rejected her advances, she fell in line with Savitar. Savitar detects Wally and sends her to kill him. Jesse and Christina fight, while Wally attacks Savitar but isn't doing well. Christina threatens Jesse's father, so she dives into the transformer and destroys it, repowering the speedsters. As Savitar is about to defeat Wally and Jesse, back-up arrives. No XS appearance this issue.


Impulse #11
DEAD HEAT! Fifth Lap: Breaking the Barrier


Issue Information

Summary:
The Speedsters and the speed ninjas have an epic fight. Max Mercury deduces that they are drawing power from Savitar and he must be partially vulnerable, so goes after him with the Quicks. Back in Alabama, Linda gets in a fight with Iris about how she's afraid to change the future. She challenges Iris to worry about the present, not the future. Iris agrees, and tells XS she has a job for her. Flash and Impulse fight ninjas and realize the more they defeat, the faster they get as they have less power to share.

Savitar defeats Max and the Quicks, and offers Jesse the ability to replace Christina as his priestess. Christina is enraged and races to Jesse to kill her. Johnny intercepts her and goes so fast he goes into the Speed Force. Max goes after to get Johnny back, but Johnny runs toward the light and says his good-byes. Max comforts Jesse and the roof caves in from the fight with the ninjas. Christina refuses to let Jesse help her and seemingly perishes. Savitar says that Flash has stolen everything that matters to him, and now he will do the same to Wally. Wally panics and races home to Linda.


The Flash v2 #111
DEAD HEAT! Final Lap: Godspeed


Issue Information

Summary:
Savitar and the Flash race across the world, Wally failing to slow Savitar down from his trajectory toward Linda Park to murder her. XS arrives and delivers Flash a warning from Iris's future knowledge: that he can't beat Savitar and must give him what he wants. XS can't keep up and Wally pushes her to safety. Wally decides if you can't beat them, join them. He decides to give Savitar what he wants by leading the way into the Speed Force, where the two join with it. Savitar is destroyed, and Wally hopes that Linda will continue to be his lightning rod and provide him a path home. Back in Alabama, XS and the speedsters are recovering. Max feels that Savitar is gone. Everyone wonders where Wally is, when suddenly a confused Flash appears from the future: John Fox.

#861482 - 07/23/15 04:10 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
Joined: Jul 2003
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DEAD HEAT Thoughts:
The Flash had an epic storyline called "Terminal Velocity" that led into Flash #100 and featured a lot of the themes that are touched on with "Dead Heat." We had a gathering of speedsters, lore about the Speed Force, and character building for Jesse Quick. This same formula is repeated not even a year later for this arc, but with mixed effect.

The continued development of Jesse and all those themes is nice if you're a Flash fan, but it probably makes for a rather underwhelming epic for those not in the loop. It doesn't help that the story is riddled with plot convenience moments that may keep the pace fast but make even the characters in the story eye roll. The villain attacks, is defeated, gives them a few pages to breathe and jump to accurate plot conclusions, and the process repeats.

XS, as well as Jay Garrick, do very little in this story. XS and the reader are frequently led to believe she has a bigger role to play but it never comes to pass. She's relegated to babysitting the injured or powerless and her shining moment is playing carrier pigeon in the finale, relaying a message to Wally.

This arc does a great job of strengthening Jesse Quick as a heroine and digging a bit more into Max Mercury and Jonny Quick's status as veteran heroes. Flash, though he still has some maturing to do, steps up to the plate well at several points in the event. If you like the Flash family and reliving 90s crossovers, it's a decent enough read.

If you're here for XS, save your time.

#861622 - 07/24/15 08:24 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Impulse #12
Sonic Youth


Issue Information

Summary:
Bart and Jenni are speed playing through video games, having finally gelled. Jenni is optimistic about John Fox being able to help her get home, which Bart doesn't want to hear. Jenni takes Bart to a rock music museum in Tennessee to stretch their legs, and Jenni gushes that she loves music. The place was rediscovered in her era and she helps sometimes with the excavation. Bart tries to convince Jenni that if she stayed, she could visit the museum often.

The speedster cousins go to a rock concert at Bart's school where a famous musician, Lonnie, is playing. He doesn't show though, and XS and Impulse suit up to save him from a kidnapping at his motel. They rush Lonnie back to the school to perform, but a rabid fan tackles him and knocks him out cold. The student body are about to revolt for being kept waiting so long, and Bart and Jenni take to the stage in a panic.

Bart has a guitar and Jenni has a saxophone. They're both terrible and the students recoil. But through speed playing, they quickly get in sync with their instruments and Bart and Jenni put on a show that leaves Bart's classmates screaming for more. As they're to be mobbed by the adoring crowd, they escape at super speed and celebrate at a job well done with a hug. Bart is on cloud nine, until Jenni admits it was a great note to end on. She still wants to go home to her family and friends. XS encourages Bart to find a way to keep in touch. With a kiss to the forehead, XS says good-bye to her cousin and runs off to see John Fox.

The next day, Impulse has scribbled a note to XS telling her how much he misses her. He places it in the opening of a saxophone and then vibrates the instrument into the wall of the rock museum in Tennnessee, for Jenni to find back in the 30th century.


Thoughts:
While obviously the main point of bringing XS to the past was for her to join the Flash family for their big crossover, the epic didn't do Jenni any favors or vice versa. Her arrival and departure in these bookend issues of Impulse though are effective, charming, and make her whole trip have weight and purpose as she connects with her cousin.

Impulse #9 and #12 are mostly upbeat reads and Waid has a knack for writing characters this age, which I assume is a large part of what is making the Archie relaunch a success. If you had to check out any of the issues of XS in the past, these would be the two I recommend. Humberto Ramos' art may not be for everyone, but I love the way he draws distinctive clothes and hairstyles for the era. It's a book clearly set in the mid 90s and I'm okay with that.

XS next appears in the Flash #112, attending Wally's supposed funeral with Bart. She has a final scene with Jay Garrick and John Fox that is word-for-word replayed in Legionnaires Annual #3, which I'm sure will be covered later.

#861638 - 07/24/15 08:49 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Thanks for the Dead Heat recap and review, Future. It looks like XS had a few choice panels. I'm a fairly big fan of Jesse, Linda and Wally, but not really enough to chase these issues down.

Re Sonic Youth:

So that's the origin of XS' saxophone talents! She was shown with one in Legionnaires 77. Speed playing to learn instruments, hah! What a cool application of their powers.

I have to agree with you that the seeming highlight of XS' trip in time was her bonding with Impulse. You can see their bond in future appearances they have together - LSH 100 and Legion of 3 Worlds, for example.

I have a copy of Legionnaires Annual 3, and plan to discuss it just before Legionnaires 36 - the issue when XS re-joins the Legion, just in time to help save them from the Fatal Five.

#908905 - 09/14/16 05:30 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! (LSH 76, L* 33) [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Originally Posted by Invisible Brainiac
At first I was hesitant to start this thread, seeing as how the Legion Archives reread is ongoing (and Conjure Lass and Georgehaze have their own recent threads too!)

But, I figure some of us are only familiar with the Postboot Legion and those contributing to the Archives thread can chime in here too. Plus, this thread is intended to go through the entire Postboot Legion in chronological publishing order (more or less).

Besides, the impending cancellation of the Legion AND all the good memories brought back by other threads have made me nostalgic!


Hello Brainy! I finally got around to this thread. As it turned out, it is of special interest for me for a certain reason:

It is narrated by somebody who liked the 5YL Legion (the Legion variant I dislike most), but who is able to like what replaced them anyway.

This gives you a perspective I lack. And hence, it certainly should be interesting to see your opinions of them: Do you really like them, or just the fact that the Legion endured past the Bierbaum continuity? Were you disapointed that Reboot's Dirk Morgna didn't die like the 5YL Dirk? Were you disapointed about the fact that Tenzil and Chuck weren't Legionnaires in this reality? (I was immensely disapointed, that's for sure. Especially seeing how much humor this version of the legion radiated.) And so on.

Okay, I'm gonna read your narrations now...

#908906 - 09/14/16 05:58 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Originally Posted by Invisible Brainiac
To repeat, anyone is welcome to post his or her own reviews!! Please, do so!

Legion of Super-Heroes 0
Time and Chance

Issue information

Summary:

I can see why the Postboot might be a bit of a hard sell. After all, we're coming off the End of an Era, where we see our beloved Legionnaires fading into white. Like waking from a blissful dream...

Super sports star Rokk Krinn is next. Nice to know that despite his status, he's still quite a bit of a nice guy who cares deeply for his family.

Lots of Legion Worlds mentioned: Tharn (the Sorceror's World), Imsk, Zuun, and of course Winath and Titan. Again, I wonder how many readers freaked at the thoughts that the White Witch, Shrinking Violet or Timber Wolf might be re-written as Legion founders this time?

Next up is Imra Ardeen. Her telepathy isn't particularly impressive, in this scene. Maybe it's because we're used to such power levels from her and similar telepaths like the Martian Manhunter. I have to echo the SPs: "And she's Titan's best telepath?" All she demonstrates here is the ability to read minds. We don't know enough about the "benchmark" level of telepathy here to tell if what she did here is supposed to be impressive. Maybe picking up a stray thought is supposed to be, I don't know. Her combat skills are impressive though - she took down the culprit without harming her, as the culprit can still walk in the very next panel.

We see R.J. Brande close up, and he seems very authentic. I certainly like him here more than I did the Preboot version. His vibe is like that of the jolly, kind, rich old uncle who wows you with interesting stories on family reunions.

Stargates are introduced, and I like how they both open up and restrict space travel at the same time. This opens the writers to have future stories set in remote areas of space without Stargate access, for example. Now Legionnaires can get lost in space in a more plausible manner!

Here comes Imra, being nosey again. Her mind-reading of Garth helps explain why Titanians need to wear a Saturn badge - if someone could and would peek into your mind uninvited, wouldn't you like to know? I have often wondered why other planets don't need to wear an ID. Besides Durlans (which will be touched on in future issues), I'd think that I'd want to know if the sentient beside me is a Daxamite! (shameless plug - I explored that idea in my Andromeda post for "Loss", though instead of an ID I had them wear a red-sun bracelet).

And it looks like the Garth-Imra romance won't be a love-at-first-sight one! More like lust. Oh, Garth. Thinking such adult thoughts!

I also dare say that the Rokk-Garth friendship is off to a great start, and in these few pages has been highlighted more than it has in the entire Adventure run!

Nosey Imra strikes again, but this time she saves RJ Brande's life! She IS nosey enough to catch Rokk and Garth mentally complimenting each other though. What?! Can't two guys get some privacy as they mentally admire each others' [strike]equipment[/strike] powers?


Yes, this continuity started really strong, didn't it?

But a few quick comments:

I was not one of those that mourned after the time period you call "Preboot". Certainly Levitz and Giffen had damaged the Legion to the point that I simply stopped being a Legion fan. (The alternative was to torture myself emotionally by continuing to read a comic that had become the antithesis of what I looked for in a Legion comic. It was just far less painful to simply stop reading. And, of course, I neither wanted to help pay the bills of such creators, nor did I want to help making such a comic profitable. So, by 1992, I bought my last Legion-related comic.)

It was the Reboot that lured me back, and I never regreted that decission. It's just such a fun!

This version of R.J. Brande is my favorite! It's the only Brande version that doesn't come over as either a cipher or a quuarrelsome, old man! I like this Brande.

...And Imra is NOT "nosy". At this early stage, she doesn't have the training yet to keep other's thoughts out directly after a situation of great stress!

In fact, I kinda feel sorry for Imra. She looked this close to brain-blast that stupid racist chief of hers!

I'm glad they won't stick that stupid cape he wore in the Silver Age on Garth again.

And the Reboot Cosmic Boy is easily the most interesting version of Rokk Krinn of all. None of the others had the depth this version does, not even the Threeboot Rokk.

#908907 - 09/14/16 06:18 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Beyonder-Prime, Champion of Life]  
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Originally Posted by Beyonder-Prime, Champion of Life
Originally Posted by Invisible Brainiac
At first I was hesitant to start this thread, seeing as how the Legion Archives reread is ongoing (and Conjure Lass and Georgehaze have their own recent threads too!)

But, I figure some of us are only familiar with the Postboot Legion and those contributing to the Archives thread can chime in here too. Plus, this thread is intended to go through the entire Postboot Legion in chronological publishing order (more or less).

Besides, the impending cancellation of the Legion AND all the good memories brought back by other threads have made me nostalgic!


Hello Brainy! I finally got around to this thread. As it turned out, it is of special interest for me for a certain reason:

It is narrated by somebody who liked the 5YL Legion (the Legion variant I dislike most), but who is able to like what replaced them anyway.

This gives you a perspective I lack. And hence, it certainly should be interesting to see your opinions of them: Do you really like them, or just the fact that the Legion endured past the Bierbaum continuity? Were you disapointed that Reboot's Dirk Morgna didn't die like the 5YL Dirk? Were you disapointed about the fact that Tenzil and Chuck weren't Legionnaires in this reality? (I was immensely disapointed, that's for sure. Especially seeing how much humor this version of the legion radiated.) And so on.

Okay, I'm gonna read your narrations now...


Hi Beyonder-Prime! Happy to see you on this thread smile

To clarify, while I did read and appreciate the 5YL (or portions of it), I actually started reading the Reboot Legion first. Or more accurately, I picked up a smattering of back issues from both the Reboot and the 5YL together. I eventually ended up reading all of 5YL and all of the Reboot, but only after the fact - I never read them as they came out. Thus, my narration is colored by my reading the issues out of order.

While I did like portions of the 5YL, I never liked it as much as I liked the Reboot. The Reboot is "my" Legion.

I am really happy that you appreciate the differences in my experience that color my perspective, though! I'm looking forward to a lot of interesting discussions. And I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed the Reboot a lot!

I agree with you re Brande's likability and Cos' depth smile As for Imra, you have a point - she herself said in the LSH 0 issue that she was not being nosy. Telepaths just find it difficult to avoid lewd or strong thoughts! I always wondered, though, shouldn't she have been a bit more circumspect in how she handled those thoughts she read? She certainly came across as nosy and a bit tactless - but I agree, she wasn't trying to be nosy.

#926652 - 04/21/17 09:08 AM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Legion of Super-Heroes 77
Lock Up

Issue information

Summary:

The Warden of Takron-Galtos illegally enlists Nara Minsork, a roge Titanian, to probe Brainiac 5's mind and learn the secrets of time travel.

Minsork uses illegal technology to dig into Brainiac 5's mind, and finds his memory of the last time he felt pleasant - the day he was born.

Yet, Brainy's memory of that moment is objective because he already forgot what he felt. And that's why he wanted to travel through time - it was the only way for him to see his mother's face again, as Colu expunged all records of her. Brainy uses his complete control of his mind to threaten Minsork that he will trap her in it, unless she gives up this memory and allow him to suppress it again.

Thoughts:

The issue is told from the point of view of Nara Minsork, not of Brainiac 5. It actually works here; Minsork's telepathy allows us to see how a Coluan's mind would differ from an ordinary sentient. And to also see how far advanced Brainy's 12th level intelligence is from the typical Coluan's.

It also makes for more dramatic reveals of Brainy's time on Colu. He was bored to death simply because he was so much smarter than everyone else. This lets us see his isolation. I'm reminded of a similar insight with Marvel's Quicksilver, where he likens his super-speed to living in a world where he is always "stuck in line" with slow-moving people - explaining his impatience. This explains Brainy's own impatience with much less intelligent people.

The issue gives more key insights into Brainy:

1) He does not attach much emotional significance to most of his life

2) Besides his birth, a key event was when the Coluans kicked Brainy out of Colu because he kept running experiments without proper clearance. Nobody else on Colu was smart enough to understand what he was doing, so to prevent him from "destroying the planet", he was "given away" to work for RJ Brande.

3) Brainy kept blowing up Brande Industries labs. Brande found him an internship at the Time Institute...

4) ... but Brainy was pulled away from there when he was drafted into the Legion. His Legion career was full of boredom and annoyance at being distracted, and jealousy at the attention Invisible Kid got from inventing the flight rings from Brainy's discarded experiment...

5) Except for Andromeda, whom he was fascinated with. He was genuinely sad at her death. but the issue implies that he didn't so much as crush on Andromeda, as he was fascinated because she physically resembled Brainy's mom (tall, blonde). Andromeda's death saddened Brainy because she reminded him of his mom.

All in all, a good story that really lets us get to know Brainiac 5. Nara Minsork isn't a shabby character either; an amoral woman who uses technology to break into Brainy's mind even though it risks shutting his mind down permanently. The Warden is also a good example of the corruption under Chu's UP - he knows hiring Minsork, a rogue telepath, is illegal; and he blackmails her into working for him. Yet, he is willing to do these because Chu is leaning on him to discover Brainy's secrets of time travel - despite time travel being outlawed by the UP! If we didn't already know Chu was bad news, this cements it for us.

#926656 - 04/21/17 09:24 AM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Legionnaires Annual 3
The Long Road Home

Issue information

Summary:

This issue picks up from the Flash and Impulse issues, and follows XS' journey back to the 30th century. It is also part of the Legends of the Dead Earth event.

First stop: the 30th century... where she meets grandpa Barry Allen! XS reveals her familial relationship, but wisely chooses not to reveal anything else other than that. When Barry presses her on it, she gently rebuffs him, and he agrees to stop asking. He helps her back into the timestream.

Second stop: The 100th century, on a planet called Almeer-5, where XS finds a dystopian world ruled by the all-powerful Nevlor. Nevlor's forces capture her, and she meets three imprisoned heroes: Ava, who transforms into the godlike Avatar when wielding the cleansed Spear of Destiny; Metallica, who created her own metal suit; Behemoth, who transforms into a big strong brute. Also imprisoned is Ultra-Man, a man who "came from another time", is weaker than the others but serves as an inspiration to them. XS uses her speed and wits to free the others, and leads them to free Ultra-Man and reclaim their weapons. The four establish a rebellion against Nevlor. XS helps them get set up, then borrows the Spear of Destiny to return to her own time.

Third stop: XS winds up in Vanishing Point. She witnesses some of the events of Zero Hour. The Time Trapper has made her invisible and unable to interact with anyone else. It tells her that her whole journey through time was engineered by it so she could learn some things - and that she still has a cosmic destiny to fulfill. It wipes her memory of their meeting, and returns her home.

Thoughts:

XS' journey finally comes to an end. This whole issue was quite padded, but I don't mind; it was a good way to have the Legion books comply with the Dead Earth requirement (even though sister book Legion of Super-Heroes did that with Annual 7 also!) while moving the story along.

I got a nice chuckle out of the second story, and the thinly-veiled homages to some key Avengers (Avatar = Thor; Behemoth = Hulk; Metallica = Iron Man; Ultra-Man = Captain America)! XS served as a bit of an inspiration, but the story cleverly makes it clear that she escaped partly because Nevlor wanted to test the extent of her power. She and her allies just proved to be too effective.

Her meeting with Barry was touching, and XS makes it clear to us readers that this is the only time she has ever met him in person. It was poignant, but not overly-dramatic. I really like how XS chose not to reveal too much of Barry's future to him.

A nice diversion. Unlike with the Brainiac 5 spotlight in LSH 77, it doesn't really tell us many new facts about XS,but it does help establish her character a little more.

It was also wise of the writers not to give XS the ability to travel through time by herself. Doing so would make them always have to come up with excuses for not traveling through time; plus, it would make her a target for Chu given the UP's ban on time travel.

Last edited by Invisible Brainiac; 04/22/17 06:09 AM.
#926757 - 04/21/17 08:16 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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She ran and called him Wildfire.
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The Plateaus of Ecstasy
Glad you're revisiting this thread, Ibby. Even though I'm not currently participating in the re-reads, I enjoy reading your reviews.


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#926764 - 04/22/17 12:40 AM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Thanks, HWW. I appreciate the appreciation smile

#926922 - 04/23/17 11:44 AM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Legionnaires 34
Fallen Star


Issue Information

Summary:

Picking up from the cliffhanger in L* 33, Shrinking Violet charges Starfinger. Too small to be affected by his powers, she manages to get close and beat him - though not without minor injuries. She finds, to her shock, that Starfinger is really Jan Arrah!

Back in Legion HQ, Saturn Girl telepathically probes Jan Arrah along with Cosmic Boy and Leviathan. From his memory, they see it was Winema Wazzo who captured and brainwashed him, in order to get revenge on the Legion for Apparition's death..

Cos, Gim and Lyle interrupt a UP session to show their video of Winema attacking Jan. President Chu and the other UP delegates start questioning Winema, but Chu interrupts to order Cos to freeze his video. In a scene showing Jan traveling as Starfinger, she points out a background image of a Sun-Eater! Chu brings the Legionnaires to the UP Secret Archive, and tells them about how dangerous the Sun-Eater is - that it can literally destroy stars. She also introduces the villains that Legion fans will know as the Fatal Five - besides Mano, there are Tharok, Validus, Persuader, and Empress (no Emerald!). In this reality, each was genetically engineered by their homeworlds to fight the Sun-Eater (or so Chu says). Lyle references his Earthgov past, saying the five were unoffically called the Fatal Five because of how dangerous they were.

Cos convenes the team, and the 10 remaining Legionnaires agree they are short-handed and need all the help they can get. Only Gates dissents; everyone else agrees to enlist the help of the Fatal Five.

Finally, Tharok gets a call from someone who says that the UP has dispatched the Legion to collect the Fatal Five, as planned. Tharok agrees to hold his end of the bargain - to kill the Legion.

Elsewhere...

1) We see Valor on Drak IV. A bunch of scavenging nomads have found a cache of very high-powered arms. After beating off their attack, Valor questions the nomads on where they found the arms; they say they just found them there. Valor destroys the arms and leaves the scavengers for the Science Police.

2) On the Sorcerer's World, Mysa restores Kinetix's power and sends her after the Emerald Eye.

3) Saturn Girl is called to pick up Lori Morning. The sentient that Lori petted is filing a complaint; Imra scolds him for not understanding that Lori made an honest mistake. Lori gets off with a warning.

4) Chuck Taine walks in on Violet as she changes. A stammering Chuck apologizes, while Violet is cool as a cucumber. Triad is surprised that Violet wasn't even embarrassed. Violet responds that she grew tired of resenting her teammates for just relaxing and having fun; she even chides herself for spending so much time searching for Kinetix, "like she isn't fully equipped to take care of herself!" Violet changes into a more revealing costume.

Thoughts:

I like the cover blurb (Shrinking Violent!) way better than the actual title (Fallen Star). Shrinking Violent is a nice play on words. Fallen Star does not really seem to fit, unless it refers to the brainwashed Jan? Or to the stars being devoured by the Sun-Eater? Or to Winema being caught in wrongdoing?

Speaking of, Winema's grief over Tinya's death, her previous animosity to the Legion, and her temperament all combine to make her a plausible villain.

Most of the issue's events seem to be a roller-coaster: first we have a brainwashed Jan Arrah (a powerful weapon indeed) attacking the Legion; then his memories show a Sun-Eater, which Chu immediately picks up on. Then the Legion is sent to gather the Fatal Five, and in the end someone is revealed to be pulling the strings to have the Fatal Five kill the Legion. I read these issues out of order, so I cannot say for sure if I would have been suspicious way back then... but the writers drop enough hints that I can imagine many savvy readers start questioning these events.

Valor acts a bit cocky here. After felling the nomads, he goes "Oh, come on. That was one punch." When he escapes the arriving Science Police, he tells the one conscious nomad, "Listen, I have a problem. I;m famous, see? And right now, I can't afford to be seen except by the stupid, the out-of-it...people like you." Whoa. Can't imagine Preboot Mon-El saying these things. But then again, we know this version of Lar Gand had a somewhat different reaction to his Phantom Zone imprisonment... and of course, he has his messiah status in this reality to deal with. I can understand him getting a bit of an attitude.

Leviathan is impatient and brash as usual, while Cos is much calmer and more even-tempered this issue. Lyle managed to weasel his way into confronting Chu, even if he wasn't part of Jan's mental probe. Did Cos decide to bring in him because of his experience with Earthgov?

Gates continues to be a star. With just one line, he probably brings in 90% of the humor in this issue - "I suppose if our reactionary president told you to jump into a black hole, you'd do that, too!" interestingly, Spark and Triad and Chameleon are among the ones to defend Cos, despite Spark and Triad at least having serious disagreements with him recently.

Violet's bravery against Jan isn't new - she showed the same fire versus Micro in LSH v4 66. But her demeanor outside of battle - not being fazed by Chuck walking in, wearing a more revealing costume - are completely new. Perhaps the writers had already decided to make her the Emerald Empress by this point, which would explain her sudden confidence boost. Of course, to the reader it should be a big clue that something is amiss, as she was so softspoken outside of battle before! Remember when Zoe was changing her outfits in Legionnaires 23?

As Future mentioned above, Kinetix's subplot moves along without developing her character any. In her one-page scene, she is still as eager as before to get power; and she never even thinks of the potential dangers of the Emerald Eye. She's my favorite Legionnaire, but I have to admit her subplot hasn't been doing her many favors yet.

Lori's subplot is almost as bad. Her running off is realistic, but what purpose does it serve? She got into trouble, then Imra got her out of trouble with her Imra-ness. Plenty of build up, no pay off.

As for the Fatal Five, not much has changed for Tharok, Validus or Persuader. We already know Mano is a very different character this reality. That leaves Empress:in terms of power, a big step down. No more Emerald Eye, so she is just a cruel killing machine - "she knows a thousand ways to kill a hundred different species". No evidence of any super powers. She likes to pass herself off as a political freedom fighter, so we are told. Maybe that is why she calls herself the Empress, I don't know.

This is another solid issue. Subplots don't add that much yet, but the main action is pretty gripping, if a bit fast-paced. It does move the overall story along quite a bit.

Last edited by Invisible Brainiac; 09/01/17 06:08 AM.
#926923 - 04/23/17 12:19 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Legion of Super-Heroes 78
The Gathering Doom

Issue information

Summary:

The UP Council meets outdoors. Most delegates are nervous, but President Chu faces up to the situation by describing exactly how scary the Sun-Eater is. She outlines her plans to have the Legion stop the Sun-Eater, prompting an outburst from Winema, who is promptly removed. Chu recovers smoothly, and promises that no UP star-system will be destroyed. We see panicking non-UP worlds rush to join the UP to gain protection.

The Legionnaires split into pairs to collect the Fatal Five.

Cosmic Boy and Violet head to McCauley's base to retrieve Mano. Evolvo devolves into ape form to stall the Legionnaires, but Violet promptly scares him into submission with her shrinking. McCauley, forced to comply, brings the Legionnaires to Mano. The UP makes a generous offer - help against the Sun-Eater, and get a full pardon. Mano accepts, much to McCauley's horror, as nothing will stop Mano from pursuing his vengeance. Cos shows little sympathy; McCauley was keeping Mano in a horrible cell without legal authority - with rats imported from the sewers of Paris! Even if Mano had rejected the offer, the Legionnaires would have had him transferred to a proper jail.

Saturn Girl and Spark head to Pasnic to find Validus running loose. Imra sees Validus' mind is just a "big angry head full of nothing"! Spark resists Validus' lightning but can't affect him in return. Imra manages to telepathically implant a big, scary image of herself into Validus' mind - making him faint!

Chameleon and Leviathan head to an asteroid for Venegar, built specifically to house the Empress. They find her lounging on the bodies of every single sentient there, much to their horror.

Gates and Invisible Kid find Tharok's hideout. Lyle warns Gates not to teleport ahead, despite Gates' difficulty walking; Gates does still teleport, but wisely waits by the entrance to Tharok's lair. Lyle gives a recap of Tharok's history - stupid criminal who got solvent spilled on half his body; reconstructed into a cyborg by a surgeon, whom he promptly killed; cybernetic enhancements make him extremely intelligent. To their surprise, Tharok surrenders without a fight. Interestingly, Tharok is holding what looks to be the Atomic Axe.

And on Takron-Galtos, Star Boy and Triad go on ahead to take custody of the Persuader, sans Axe. We find a new Warden, replacing the one who sicced Nara Minsork on Brainiac 5 in LSH v4 77. She mentions that the old Warden is now behind bars. Triad sees Brainy and tries to talk to him, but he ignores her - too busy thinking. Talk about lost in thought.

As the Legionnaires and Fatal Five assemble, Tharok hands the Atomic Axe to Persuader, gives a shiny dagger to Empress, frees Validus, and rallies the Fatal Five to kill the Legion. Uh-oh.

Thoughts:

The cover is an excellent homage to the Adventure Comics issue with the original Fatal Five story!

The Gathering Doom. Nice title, and a subtle foreshadowing also that maybe gathering the Fatal Five wasn't the best idea.

The writers managed to pack a lot of characterization - both for Legionnaires and for the Fatal Five - into a series of lovely little vignettes. This issue was structured extremely well, and the action was not interrupted at all by any subplots. References to matters outside of the main plot (e.g. Mano's vendetta versus McCauley) are folded into the main story.

On the Legionnaires -

Cosmic Boy continues to be calm and even-tempered, a big departure from his recent tantrums. He definitely shows his compassion here - being appalled at Mano's poor cell conditions, and also reminding the Legionnaires (especially Leviathan!) to stress communication with the Fatal Five over confrontation.

Violet also continues to be confident and clever, scaring ape-man Evolvo without throwing a punch.

Spark doesn't get to do much, but I like her snarky yet professional demeanor. She is good for a few cracks while still getting the job done.

Saturn Girl pulls the big save against Validus; to be fair, she is probably the Legion's only effective weapon against him now.

Leviathan's sense of justice comes through at how disgusted he is of the Empress.

Chameleon doesn't do much, though his Interlac has improved a bit. At least he can be understood without the need for a translator.

Invisible Kid references his spy past again; he shows much more caution this time around. Learning from past mistakes?

Gates, despite his bravado and sarcasm, showed his fear of Tharok. Again, comedy gold for the little bug!

Triad spends most of her lines yelling at Star Boy, and grumbling at Cos for giving her the "easy job" of getting the Persuader, who is already in custody at Takron-Galtos. Neither she nor Star Boy are happy about spending the issue filling up forms to get the Persuader freed.

Star Boy, for his part, seems a bit lost this issue - being yelled at by Triad for touching the controls on their spaceship, and not recognizing Brainiac 5. Ah well, he's only been here a few issues, give him a break...

The Fatal Five's facade ends as expected, and possibly sooner than expected - we didn't even see any real Sun-Eater, and they didn't even move the action off Takron-Galtos!

This issue was great for story momentum; the writers wisely chose not to include anything distracting. instead, we go full throttle into what promises to be a big battle!

Artwise, I commend the panel layouts. They are easy to read and follow. I also think Lee Moder's art has improved at this point; the Legionnaires look more fleshy and less anemic. The action scenes are also very easy to follow.

Last edited by Invisible Brainiac; 04/23/17 12:23 PM.
#927046 - 04/24/17 11:18 AM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Glad to see the reviews are back! Some idle comments across the last few issues posted...

It's a shame Nara Minsork never resurfaced. She was pretty neat; indeed, the postboot did a good job of establishing a lot of different types of Titanians from the noble and well meaning (Aven, Imra) to the the awnery (Jancel, maybe Nara here) to the evil (Universo). They all had a little bit of flaw to them. The outsider view of Brainy's origins definitely features more aspects of his history than Querl would otherwise be willing to share.

XS' journey is fluff but it fulfills the requirements of that year's DC annuals while still keeping the main titles' momentum by solving the dangling plot of getting XS home. I appreciate this over yet another done-in-one Elseworlds detour. This is also the same initiative that brought us eventual Legion member Thunder.

By now they definitely knew Vi would be the Emerald Empress. Continuing Zoe's story serves as great a red herring as you can get right next to Violet's rapid transformation. I did love this growth for Violet. It was rewarding to see and a shame it wasn't from Vi's own inner strength completely. Her new costume didn't do much for me. Having her show more skin indicated her increased confidence, I suppose.

The postboot Fatal Five are mostly enjoyable, though the exclusion of Sayra leaves them without firepower. They're formidable here against 10 Legionnaires who still have some hiccups as a team and mostly passive powers. We rarely see the Fatal Five in any reality face a proper Legion. They seem to only be feasible as threats when faced against smaller squads.

#927089 - 04/24/17 03:55 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Thanks, Future! You have a couple of points here that I agree with completely, and that will be illustrated quite well a few issues down the road!

#936853 - 09/01/17 04:10 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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I am back! And after spending six weeks writing in French, I am itching to write something in English again!

So I will keep my summary as "objective" as possible, but I have more than a few choice words to say in my thoughts. I love the Reboot Legion, but after doing some rereading recently, I do acknowledge that there were some really, really silly moments. So...

Let's continue.

Legionnaires 35
While You Were Out...


Issue Information

Summary:

While the Legionnaires are away, Metropolis (and by extension Earth) wait for the Sun-Eater. Rond Vidar heads to Legion HQ to examine Lori Morning, under the watchful eye of Shvaughn Erin in her role as SP Officer. Lori brashly uses the Legion HQ holo-projector to tell Metropolis that she, as Future Girl, will protect them while the Legion is away - leading to concern and fear. A furious Marla Latham has to do damage control.

An intruder uses this opportunity to attack HQ with a device that scrambles communications and an army of shapeshifters.

Chuck Taine, Tenzil Kem and Marla Latham successfully fend off a trio of intruders. Rond, Shvaughn, Lori and some Athramites face another group that has a caustics bomb; they are trying to use it on the HQ power core, which would destroy Metropolis! Lori kicks the bomb away from the intruders; it eats away a large portion of the floor, sending most of them plunging to their doom. Lori saves herself and one intruder, who asks Lori to save herself. Lori refuses, and hangs on long enough for Shvaughn and Rond to save her. The Legion support staff decide to keep the intruder, and Lori names it Proty.

Detailed Summary:

While the Legionnaires are about to get gutted by the Fatal Five (see LSH 78!), this issue brings us back to Metropolis. Rond Vidar passes a vendor selling "opti-guards" to watch the Sun-Eater. If this issue had come out in 2017, I'm sure there would have been a joke about an orange alien with an electrocuted porcupine for hair watching the Sun-Eater without eye protection and going blind, but alas, this issue came out 21 years too early, and dammit I feel old.

Rond muses that he has to go to Leion HQ to continue his time research, even though he doesn't really trust Cosmic Boy. I wonder why that would be? It's not like Cos just stood by while Brainiac 5 got arrested for building a time machine that Cos had the Legion use...

Chuck greets Rond with some exposition (Chronos really damaged the HQ! Chuck is rebuilding! Rond has to run tests on Lori!) - though this was a non-clunky way to get it in, and now I understand the arrangement with Rond, and why the Legion would invite him over despite Cos being such an upstanding and law-abiding citizen. (Remember, Chu shut down the Time Institute).

Chuck and Rond's conversation is interrupted by the Legion holo-projector going online... and Lori Morning, in a bona fide Legionnaire costume, (I refuse to use the word uniform, unlike the writers do, as these are NOT uniforms!!! yes, they most have a central stripe pattern thingie, but not all... and only Live Wire and Spark have identical costumes!!) announcing that she, as Future Girl, will protect Metropolis while the Legionnaires are away! Whoo-boy, kids. She also titters, "are you listenin', Ron-dee?" And now I wonder if she has a lisp. What is with her not pronouncing the G at the end of Listening?

We also get the roll call - not a single Legionnaire is here, but we have six members of the Legion's support staff - Rond (er, I guess he's unofficially part of their staff now), Chuck and Lori plus Marla Latham, Tenzil Kem, Shvaughn Erin. Oh, and some Athramites, who are clearly interchangeable enough that none of them warrants his/her/its own name or even their own collective roll call.

Marla scolds Lori for panicking the Metropolis populace, and tells the Athramites in no uncertain terms that she is not to touch the controls again. Lori apologizes and deftly changes the subject to her examination with Rond.

Elsewhere, a shadowy figure rubs its hands in glee at confirming that the Legion is away. It thinks it is time to strike. Uh oh.

Rond examines Lori, and begins expositing to Shvaughn. Thankfully, Shvaughn cuts him off before he rattles off Lori's entire life story. Rond and Shvaughn trade barbs - Rond thinks that the Science Police stall scientific progress, Shvaughn believes that there need to be restrictions as messing with time is dangerous. Lori, surprisingly sensibly, defends Shvaughn saying it's her job as Legion-SP Liaison.

Rond stops mid-rant to find his remote shut down. He says it can't be a power outage because his remote has its own power source. Inexplicably, Shvaughn calls up an intruder alert. So the interference stopped alarms from sounding, but did not stop the systems from registering an alert AND identifying the locations of intruders. Okay, then. Rond helps explain it - there must be some sort of communications interference, which stops Shvaughn from getting help outside. Ah, that explains it. The three touch base with Marla before they are cut off.

Scene shifts to Tenzil and Chuck playing pool. In a nod to Chuck's Bouncing Boy identify in another continuity, he is a master at figuring out angles - we see him sinking three balls with one shot. Good old Chuck! He humbly tells Tenzil he didn't cheat, but just used simple geometry learned from his engineering background. Such a hustle, Chuck. We see why - the bet was that Tenzil would make Chuck Randonian Pudding whenever he wants it for a month. Poor Tenzil grumbles that it takes hours to prepare, so here's hoping Chuck doesn't get any cravings at like 3am on a Sunday.

Just as Chuck kindly offers to play another round, double or nothing, three intruders walk in. All are dressed in camouflage pants and tight, short-sleeved black shirts, and have what seems like a tuft of green hair on their otherwise white skin. Oh, these must be the dancers Lyle called for his evening entertainment. (I don't care if there was never any canonical proof that Lyle was gay, he is gay and totally in a loving and hot relationship with Condo, that's what I said in my fanfic and I'm sticking to it!) Um, I guess not, as the three pull out some guns. Chuck thinks quickly and lobs a billiard ball at the light switch, plunging the room into darkness AND getting a hit in one of the intruders. Nice, go Chuck! This lets him and Tenzil get to cover for a bit.

Elsewhere, a bunch of Athramites try to stop some more intruders from reaching the building generators. They throw some sharp metal objects... which get stuck in the intruders' bodies without hurting them! We even get a SPUTT sound effect to imply that these things are... gooey, I guess. The intruders grab two Athramites while the rest flee, and Shvaughn, Rond and Lori show up. Shvaughn fires a warning shot at one intruder; it just touches its hair, and the intruder splits into - several smaller intruders? As Lori says, "Gross!" Before Rond can marvel over the beauty of this combined lifeform, the Athramites point out the danger - they have some sort of acid bomb, and have overriden the shielding of the central power core. Oops. What this means is that if the bomb is detonated at the core, Metropolis will blow up. Yikes. Great, more reasons for Winema Wazzo to call for the Legion's abolition.

We return to Chuck and Tenzil. Chuck uses his sharpshooting skills to turn on the very noisy television (featuring the Space Canine Patrol! How many Legion fans screamed in joy at that?), and takes another bad guy down with what seems to be four billiard balls (how BIG are Chuck's hands??? Is this one reason why Luornu likes him???) Another intruder stretches his arm to punch Chuck with its blaster! Tenzil retaliates by biting the blaster, and discovers it is disgustingly organic and not at all delicious. We even get a shot of the intruder in pain.

Marla walks in, and Tenzil and Chuck warn him about the shapeshifting intruders. Good detective work, guys. I like that we are not being treated like idiots. Marla thinks they're Durlans; the three intruders turn into Chameleon. Tenzil laughs at them because, duh, the real Chameleon isn't here - at which point the three intruders turn into Marla, Chuck and Tenzil. Whoops! Tenzil chastises himself, "When will I learn to keep my mouth shut?" But Tenzil, if you do, you will never become Matter-Eater Lad in the Reboot, scream thousands of Legion fans!

Shift to Takron-Galtos, where the Fatal Five/Legion stand-off continues. In a perplexing turn, 3/4 of the two page splash repeats exactly the same dialogue that was in the last 2.5 pages of LSH 78. Okay, either the writers got lazy, or they decided it would make for a rough transition if they didn't include all this (the dialogue covers Cos' offer of an alliance against the Sun-Eater, and Tharok's triggering of the Fatal Five's trap). The new ground begins with Mano verbally throwing in his lot with the Five (despite the art in LSH 78 showing he was with them - maybe the writers want to remind us that Mano was not such a bad guy, and he just got driven into revenge by McCauley's selling of bio-weapons to his homeworld which caused everyone to die (see LSH 63 and L* 20). Cos begins to rein in the Legion, asking Imra to take out Fatal Five leader Tharok. Vi jumps in, saying that Validus is the bigest threat; she tells Imra to go for Validus while she herself takes Tharok. Cos agrees, though after Vi has already shrank away. And... scene.

Back at Legion HQ, some Athramites come across a device in the damaged part of HQ. It seems weird, so they remove it.

Back inside, Shvaughn is inexplicably now a level below Rond and Lori, who are separated by some bad guys. Guess they were busy while the Takron-Galtos drama was going on. Lori distracts two of the bad guys, allowing Rond to kick them into the wall. The metal lodged in one of them conducts electricity, and fries the two into yellowish goop that flows down onto Shvaughn's level.She yells at them for giving her obstacles, upon which Lori springs down to help. Rond thinks exactly what I did - "no sense of self-preservation at all! How did our race survive in the last thousand years?"

Shvaughn realizes that shooting at the bad guys won't help, as they just shapeshift out of the way. She tells Lori that getting the bomb is priority numero uno. Lori kicks it away, to Shvaughn's horror. It lands on the floor, eating away at a good portion of it and sending the section Lori is standing on plunging down. Lori grabs on to some railing, and an intruder holds on to her - but the rest fall into the power core and get disintegrated. Dun dun dun!

Back with Chuck, Tenzil and Marla. We see the three fighting their impersonators (Marla even blocks a punch!). Chuck tells the others to keep talking, as the bad guys are silent for some reason (despite being shapeshifters - guess they haven't learned Interlac yet, CHAMELEON.I know many fans were irritated that Cham still couldn't speak Interlac. but I digress.) Tenzil lobs some of his acidic spit (!) at the billiard pole in an intruder's hand (!!!!), dissolving it. Oh, man. So that's how he digests things. Chuck exclaims he will never share a drink with Tenzil. I'm more concerned about any non-Bismollians he might want to kiss. Tenzil gains the upper hand, and then the alarms ring again - which tells us that the device the Athramites removed a few pages ago was causing all the interference. Cool! Marla reads the intruders the riot act, and we get a fairly funny scene where they trample over him to run out the door. "No, get baaa-a-ack!" Marla is okay, and Tenzil and Chuck pursue the intruders to see them shifting into winged forms and fly away. Oops.

And scene shifts to Lori. As Shvaughn and Rond try to reach her, the intruder she is holding tells her to let it go. Surprise! It can talk. It says it was bad and doesn't deserve to live. We see it shift into a familiar form - Legion fans will recognize it as Proty! Lori won't let it die, and tries to appeal to Proty's sense of guilt by saying it is her prisoner. Proty does its part by changing its form to one even smaller and easier to carry. Shvaughn and Rond save the both of them.

Everyone gathers together for a wrap-up. Rond explains that Proty is made up of almost pure protoplasm; and can shed mass, which explains why its shapeshifting helped Lori hang on to it. The mention of protoplasm is, apparently, what triggers Lori to give Proty the name Proty (and it has nothing to do with the Preboot characters of the same names, nope, not at all!) Rond and company tell Lori that, though was reckless, she did end up saving the day and prevent them all from being killed. Chuck begins to laugh, then says, "Hey! It's not funny!" Tee-hee, poor Chuck,coming face to face with his mortality.

Wait! We still have one page left - and it is XS, coming back FINALLY from her long journey through time. Another repetitive scene; we saw this at the end of Annual 3! oh,well, maybe the writers knew not everyone would fork over extra for a padded annual. The issue ends with a teaser text box - the Legion versus the Fatal Five! And the Legion Rescue Squad! Uh oh, that last part seems ominous!

Thoughts:

The roll call is, as always, a nice touch. Unlike some other roll calls, the characters' expressions here fit the scene - Shvaughn and Marla register disapproval, Rond is embarrased out of his life, Tenzil is amused and Chuck is gawking at Lori's hideous fashion disaster.

I think the writers did a great job of including exposition. There was just enough to give readers background, and it was worked in organically through conversations that are character-building and that seem natural. They explained things in a minimum of words and had the characters figure things out intelligently enough. Points are lost for the repetitive dialogue on Takron-Galtos and with XS though, that's still 2.5 pages total!

Lori. Though it's not explicitly stated, the Legion is probably keeping her existence a secret from the government. Else, Chu would likely have carted her off to prevent Rond from discovering useful things from studying her.

Nice nods to the Preboot continuity (Chuck being a sharpshooter, the Space Canine patrol) that would still be appreciated by new readers as well.

It was a fun issue, and each of the seven cast members get something to do. Proty, well, it's a nice nod as well, though its inclusion does raise a lot of questions. And at least the Legion / Fatal Five battle got moved on a bit.

It was also good seeing some scenes of what is happening on Earth, what with the Sun-Eater panic. That way, this issue does not feel so much like filler, but more like "what is everyone else doing?" Interestingly, none of the support staff register even a bit of worry about the Sun-Eater itself, though they are probably just confident in the Legion.

Last edited by Invisible Brainiac; 09/02/17 07:26 PM.
#936869 - 09/02/17 07:08 AM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Legion of Super-Heroes 79
The Fatal Five!


Issue Information

Summary:

On Takron-Galtos, the Fatal Five ambush the Legionnaires (Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Triad, Chameleon, Invisible Kid, Leviathan, Spark, Shrinking Violet, Gates, Star Boy). The Warden jettisons the deck they are on away from the rest of the prison planet. Violet enlists Brainiac 5's help. Gates, Star Boy, Leviathan, Validus and Mano are separated. Gates and Star Boy manage to defeat Validus and Mano, and get rid of the malfunctioning engine. Upstairs, Tharok, Empress and Persuader defeat the rest of the Legion. Gates is the only one left standing. The issue ends with a big explosion on the ceiling.

Detailed Summary:

On Takron-Galtos, the new warden takes charge, ordering her staff to lock down every cell and keep the observation deck - where the Legion and the Five are - sealed.

And we get a giant splash page with the roll call, and AGAIN we see repeated dialogue (from Legionnaires 35). Everything except the last two little panels on the splash page has been repeated.

Anyway, on to the battle proper! Violet launches her tiny self into Tharok's ear... and gets blasted by a missile. Oooh. And then things start happening quickly. The scene is a bit hard to follow, but I'll do my best.

Spark realizes the Persuader's Axe can cut lightning.

Cos disarms Empress by snagging her metal blade, and Cham wraps her up (literally).

Imra tries to blast Validus, but apparently there is now some sort of field (courtesy of Tharok? It wasn't there in LSH 78! Validus... uh... sends her mental attack back, and she drops to the floor.

Cos tries to stop the fight by reminding the Five of the Sun-Eater. Tharok just scoffs and pretty much reveals this was a set-up (oooh!), and the fight begins anew.

Empress gut-punches Cham in his "Oprocrine Gland", paralyzing him. Gates teleports in to save Cham, and Empress stalls "the socialist" by asking why he is working for the "Imperialist Oppressors and their Brutal Galactic Order"? Because none of his teammates have ever bothered to listen to him, Gates is so surprised that he stammers out, "you... you're politically conscious??" allowing Empress to kick him with a snappy "and now you're UN-conscious!" Heh.

Lyle invisibly tries dismantling Tharok's metal arm; Tharok's optics see Lyle, who gets strangled for his trouble.

Giant Gim knocks Validus down and grabs him in a headlock, and gets electrocuted for his trouble. Star Boy to the rescue! He makes Validus heavy... collapsing the floor and sending Validus and Gim crashing down a level. Oops. Thom follows, as does Mano.

Cos and Ayla attack Tharok to save Lyle. Tharok pathces into the Takron-Galtos security systems, sending little red flying saucers out that blast everyone - taking out Cos and Ayla (double oops). Lyle barely saves Triad from the same fate. Tharok tells HIS teammates he only has limited control, so Persuader and Empress are fine. Violet wakes up, says this is TOO MUCH, and flies off.

Um, okay. Not really going well, huh? Tally now is -

Tharok, Empress, Persuader vs. Triad, Invisible Kid

Validus and Mano vs. Star Boy and paralyzed Leviathan

Violet flying off somewhere

Cos, Spark, Saturn Girl, Gates, Cham all unconscious

Oh, crap.

Back to the lower level. Lucky for Gim, Validus decided to wander off instead of crushing him into a pulp. Star Boy tries looking for Validus and discovers he has... x-ray vision?? And when Mano tries a sneak attack, Star Boy suddenly turns around and punches him - which shows super speed, strength, and possibly reflexes and senses (hearing), as Mano was coming from behind. Whoo! Well, then. Add this to the electric vision we saw in L*33 and it looks like Thom is right, he suddenly is a Daxamite! (Preboot Legion fans know where this is going, and are now poring through back issues to see a comet was mentioned together with Star Boy's space cruiser accident).

We see where Vi went - to find Brainiac 5. She asks him for his forcefield belt. Brainy says she would never be able to operate it (too complex), and unlocks his own cell. He explains to a startled Violet that there is almost nothing he cannot figure out as long as he has a quiet place to think.

The Warden and her staff try, and fail, to override Tharok's control of the systems. She instead has the section the Legion and Five are battling in jettisoned off from the rest of Takron-Galtos.

As Thom tells Gim to rest, Validus blasts Thom. Oh, guess he's not such a Daxamite after all.

Back to the "main" battle. Tharok still can't completely control the weapons, and Persuader almost gets blasted. He destroys the little flying saucers (awww). Lyle and Lu try to defend themselves against Persuader, Empress and Tharok. Gim calls in for help, Gates magically wakes up at this moment and is so shocked (again? Gee Gates, you'd better calm down, you poor little heart!) and decides to go laugh at Leviathan. Thankfully, Vi and Brainy show up just then. Brainy saves Lyle from the Empress... but, despite warnings, does not try to evade Persuader's Axe. It does NOT penetrate his forcefield, as predicted, but it does knock him out. So... Brainy was still technically right, okay.

A triplicated Triad beats up the Persuader while a shrunken Vi flies around his eyes to... uh... blind him. Okay, I guess it's effective, because he says so. Maybe the mask already partially obscures his field of vision. Persuader complains to Empress, who catches Vi and crushes her into unconscious in her hands (faster than Vi could shrink even more I guess, but the Empress does seem to be fast). His vision clear, Persuader knocks out all three Triads with one swing of his Axe. Guess it really IS that impressive.

Gates catches up to Thom and Gim. Gim is all, "Gates, they sent you? Grife, I'm stuck with the sprocking shirkforce!" Gates: "Thanks for the encouragement, nasshead!" We see Validus attacking the engine powering this little section they are on. Gates drops Star Boy off and distracts Validus with some pretty impressive teleporting and flying around, all the while telling Thom to MAKE! THE! ENGINE! HEAVY! A groggy Star Boy finally complies, launching the engine into space where it explodes harmlessly, AND getting Validus sucked into the hole, plugging it. This also finally lets Gim contribute something other than snarking, by telling Star Boy and Gates to stay clear of the hole so Validus will get sucked in first.

Back on top, Empress prepares to kill her seven unconscious Legionnaires slowly (yes, Lyle somehow got knocked out offscreen). Gates teleports up and is promptly surrounded by the three Fivers there. And then, the ceiling caves in with a loud boom...

Thoughts:

I like the cover blurb better than the actual title. "Fatal fight!" is a nice play on words. The actual title is the generic "The Fatal Five!" As if We've already forgotten who they are.

I like the Warden a lot. She seems to be a reasonable authority figure, and is tough and decisive. She is also snarky; I loved her internal monologue when she realized Tharok had gotten into the security systems. "Then you can write your resignation letter to those liars on the Corrections Board. Yes, Ms. Wafil, Takron-Galtos is the most secure prison ever! No Ms. Wafil, an insect couldn't breach it." You go, girl.

Artwise, we have now seen the same scene (the initial squaring off between the LSH and the Five) done by both Lee Moder this issue and Jeff Moy in Legionnaires 35. I prefer Moy's art, not just because I like his style better (and his Legionnaires are cuter!), but because of the way he positions the characters. Moy had the Legion clustered together in the middle, surrounded by the Five. Moder has the Legionnaires just sort of randomly spread out; most of the Five are together but for some reason Mano is across the floor.

I was not a fan of how the plot flowed this issue - it felt a bit hard to follow. On the plus side, it did make for an interesting 22-page (or so) skirmish. What I really liked was the dialogue. Lots of "punny" moments and snark from the Fatal Five. And the dovetailing of Warden Wafil's "insect could not breach it" comment, to a shrunken Vi walking into Brainy's cell, was lovely.

As to the battle itself - it left me with a bad taste. It seemed more like the Legionnaires were being played for fools, than a highlight of how dangerous the Five actually were. I don't know. I liked the Gates/Star Boy vs. Validus thing, but...

The Legionnaires -

Okay, in general, this seemed like amateur hour. They've done so much better in battle before (like against the White Triangle Daxamites, and they were arguably more out-powered then!) They did use a lot of good tactics, but I felt they were too overconfident and too careless.

The only ones who really shone in battle were Gates and his quick thinking against Validus, and a semi-conscious Star Boy who was clearly not smart enough to figure things out on his own. Everyone else?

1) Leviathan is so not a leader. I was expecting him to take charge and be the brains, but all he did was insult Gates. As Gates said, what a nasshead. Gim has apparently been such a jerk to Gates, that Gates leaves Lyle and Lu alone against three Fatal Five members just so he can see Leviathan admitting he needs help. That says a lot about Gim and a lot about Gates. Though, Gates redeems himself versus Validus; what does Gim do? Continue to complain while Gates does all the thinking. Bah.

2) Thom was lucky his powers emerged, else he would have been a stain on the floor courtesy of Mano. Also (and this will become a defining characteristic for him in the Reboot), his "jokes" suck. "You know what your problem is, Validus? You're stupid... you're mean... and you don't weigh enough!" A galaxy away, Shikari has just barfed into her sleeping pod.

3) A triplicated Triad and Violet together couldn't take out the Persuader? And they left themselves open to the Empress, who could have slaughtered them any time. That was their downfall.

4) We didn't even see Lyle go down. I guess Persuader hitting Brainy on the head... I don't know, knocked Brainy backwards into Lyle?

5) Cos and Spark getting taken out by Tharok was not so bad - it was a sneak attack, and they almost had him. They did freeze for a couple of panels though... I was also expecting more able field leadership from Cos. Especially after Validus, Mano, Thom and Gim sank down one level - that left 3 of the Fatal Five against 4 conscious Legionnaires (him, Ayla, Lyle, Lu). Did both Cos and Ayla really need to gang up on Tharok together to save Lyle? If he had sent Ayla after Empress, for example, maybe they would have won.

6) Brainy. For such a smart guy, he proves yet again that he is not sensible or practical at all. "Oh, please, the Axe can't pierce my forcefield!" No, but it can still knock you unconscious,you ass. And I am reminded again why I didn't like Brainy until the late Reboot, and especially under DNA.

7) Despite my praise for Gates, he does lose points for standing there while the Empress pretends to be "politically conscious". And... she actually asked him that in LSH 78, so why was he so surprised now? He doesn't have short-term memory loss, does he?

Empress and Persuader were rather impressive this issue. Empress knows a lot about physiology, taking Cham down just like that. And she's definitely a skilled fighter, grabbing Vi out of the air. Persuader is clearly not just strong, but skilled; he was able to aim his Axe properly to KO Brainy and cut Ayla's lightning. But I do think the Legionnaires were freaky careless too. The fight was just too unbalanced.

Ah well. Overall it was still decent, and had its moments. The Legionnaires were way, way lucky, though. Extremely.

Last edited by Invisible Brainiac; 09/02/17 07:32 PM.
#936882 - 09/02/17 03:55 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Klar Ken T5477 Offline
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Klar Ken T5477  Offline
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I appreciate this thread. Thank you for reminding me how consistently crappy the Reboot was before Legion Lost.

Some may disagree.


I'm nigh invulnerable. I have the reflexes of an Olympic-level jungle cat. I have the strength of 10, perhaps 20 men: a crowded bus stop of men. But my greatest power is this: when destiny speaks, she speaks to me.
She says hi, by the way.
#936892 - 09/02/17 07:16 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Invisible Brainiac Offline
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Thanks for the appreciation, Klar. Er, I don't think my posts have been focusing on the negative parts. I think the first 2 years were generally quite good, and the third year was good for the portion of the books that remained in the 30th century). That said, I also don't want to pull any punches with the crappy parts.

Doing this reread has helped me realize how my memories were colored by growing up with this version, though.

#936898 - 09/02/17 07:22 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
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Hm .... I'm going to have to start re-reading these stories so I can chime in.

I don't think the pre-Lost reboot was crappy either. I quite enjoyed how the original Legion stories and characters were re-envisioned and sometimes improved upon. Not everything was a winner, but, for the most part, the reboot captured the spirit of the Legion without being tied down to the details of what had gone before.


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The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#936899 - 09/02/17 07:36 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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I would love to hear your thoughts, HWW! Given that you are a published writer and a Legion fan, I find your critiques very insightful.

I've added super-short summaries to my last two reviews (L* 35 and LSH 79). My detailed summary portion was a mix between a review a summary.

Last edited by Invisible Brainiac; 09/02/17 08:06 PM.
#936905 - 09/02/17 08:26 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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He Who Wanders Offline
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Thanks, Ibby.

I just re-read L* 35, and I quite enjoyed it. I had forgotten that 10-year-old Lori Morning had been aged into an adult and that she had a crush on Rond. I had forgotten about Shvaughn’s ultra-competent re-imagining as the Legion liaison. I had forgotten about the Athramites’ singular devotion to the task at hand—all of which are put to good use in this story.

Bottom line: The story is fun and idoesn’t talk down to readers. There is a level of complexity here; most word balloons seem quite involved. I think this is important because the story is meant to be read as well as enjoyed artistically. Even though the target audience is clearly young (hence the Moy art), I, as a near senior citizen, was drawn into the story and enjoyed it.

First, there’s the opening panel of someone selling “opti-guards” for the Sun-Eater. The story begins on a note of social commentary that, even with the end of the world in progress, there are still those who want to make a profit. The story then introduces us to Rond and Chuck, two very important characters in the story—and then Lori interrupts things by introducing herself as “Future Girl”.

Some fans have hated Lori Morning, but I thought (and still think, based on this story) that she was a brilliant addition to the cast: a 10-year-old girl who assured nothing would be taken too seriously. Here, Lori has the best of intentions at heart, but she unwittingly informs everyone on earth that the Legion is away. Her naivete adds complications to the story.

Legion HQ is invaded by a group of aliens who seem to take advantage of the Sun-Eater threat. The aliens don’t speak, but they change shape. Support membera Tenz and Chuck fend for themselves, and Rond, Lori, and Shvaughn combat some of the invaders on a pair of crosswalks. When one of the crosswalks collapses, the drama increases, but Lori rises to the occasion by saving and comforting one of the invaders, who turns out to be a Protean she names “Proty.”

Lori is clearly the “star” here, and she works quite well as someone who has a very simplistic notion of what being a hero is like, yet, despite it all, she succeeds in capturing one of the invaders. The page in which she refuses to let go of the Protean strikes at the heart of what being a hero is all about: It’s a simple premise: She must not let go of the invader, even though holding on to him is very hard. The Protean responds by refusing to let her die. There’s a very powerful message about doing what’s right here.

I was in my 30s when I first read this story some years after it was published, yet it reminded me of why superheroes still have enduring appeal: They do what is right even though it is hard, even though they don’t have all the necessary talents and skills; they make do with what they have. The “heroes” of this story are the supporting staff of the Legion. They get none of the glory, yet they repel an alien invasion. I think that’s a pretty powerful message.


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The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#936917 - 09/03/17 08:02 AM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Looks like we have the same opinion of the story's level of complexity! and I agree, it was fun.

You make a good point that Lori is written quite well here. She represents fun, good intentions, and while she is still a child, she is heroic enough to help save the day. Indeed, the whole support staff did well in this instance. Unsung heroes, for sure!

#936946 - 09/03/17 02:37 PM Re: Re-Reading the Postboot Legion! [Re: Invisible Brainiac]  
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Legionnaires 36
To the Rescue!


Issue Information

Summary:

Live Wire leads the Legion Rescue Squad (Valor, Andromeda, Ultra Boy, Jan Arrah and XS) to save the Legionnaires! Kinetix also teleports in during the battle. The Fatal Five escape to Drak IV and uncover an arms cache. Putting all their knowledge together, the Legionnaires realize that Tharok is working with someone in UP HQ on Earth; that the arms cache on Drak IV contains Braalian arms, and that the Five intend to use this to restart the Braal-Titan war. Titan has already heard news of a Braalian army build-up on the Braalian frontier, which Drak IV is part of, and is preparing for war despite the efforts of Imra's old teacher Micah Aven. The Legion splits into three - one team to stop the Five, one team to stop the Titanian Army from attacking Braal; and one team to stop Wazzo. The issue ends with Wazzo escaping, seemingly killing Invisible Kid and Chameleon (oh no!), and shooting President Chu and Brainiac 5.

Detailed Summary:

On Earth, XS is chased and captured by a couple of hooded figures - the identity of one of them shocks her. The chase scene tries to make it clear that XS is still faster than her pursuers.

Tensions are igniting again between Braal and Titan. Dr. Aven (Saturn Girl's teacher who tried to heal her catatonia) explains that Titan has been receiving transmissions indicating a build-up of Braalian troops, in violation of the treaty that ended the last war.

News outlets report that the Legion has been dispatched against the Sun-Eater. Winema Wazzo's outburst against the Legion is all over the news; and because of the accusations that she brainwashed Jan Arrah into assaulting the Legion, she is under house arrest. In her quarters, she vows vengeance against the Legion for letting Apparition die.

On the jettisoned section of Takron-Galtos, Gates' thought bubbles give a summary of the last few issues as he internally monologues that he's going to die. Well, he is still surrounded by Tharok, Persuader and Empress... The exposition lasts a page, including the explosion we saw last issue. And then we are treated to a two-page splash and roll call, whoo!

Live Wire, XS, Andromeda, Ultra Boy, Valor and Jan Arrah rush in to save the day. Valor and Andromeda are clearly the two hooded figures who grabbed XS - they are wearing the same outfits. The aforementioned rescue squad is extremely powerful. I would love for these guys to rescue me any time. Observant readers will notice that the Roll Call includes all ten Legionnaires who gathered the Fatal Five, all the Rescue Squad members, Brainiac 5 AND Kinetix. Whew!

As Valor and Andromeda stabilize the section of Takron-Galtos, XS checks on the Legionnaires. Cosmic Boy regains consciousness... as does Mano. Ultra Boy sneaks up behind Mano, thinking of how to best attack him, when a disembodied voice whispers "don't be strong, Jo; be tough!" Fans will recognize this as one of Apparition's last instructions before her death in L* Annual 2. Timely, too; Persuader slashes at Jo in the next panel.

Cos and Garth grab Imra and hide behind an inertron shield conjured up by Jan. Garth lets Imra telepathically scan him to get caught up; and allows us readers to do so as well. I guess this is as good a time as any. Apparently, Cos called Garth and asked him to gather a rescue squad, and also let Garth in on some of his suspicions about Chu. Valor is also revealed to have been in one some of it; his travels have been a fact-finding mission for Cos. Some interpersonal dynamics in play in the squad - Jan Arrah forgives Andromeda for her unwitting role in aiding the White Triangle; and Andromeda worships Valor as a deity.

Legionnaires and Fatal Five members alike begin regaining consciousness, but nothing really happens - everyone seems to be stunned (really, I would have expected a bit more action by now). Tharok's boss calls him. An impatient Empress grabs a jagged piece of debris and advances on a recovering Violet. Before Empress can stab Vi, Kinetix teleports in! "I come in quest of the Emerald Eye! Where is it?! Where?!" Well, zoe sure knows how to make a dramatic entrance, complete with dramatic proclamations. The Empress has heard of the Eye before, too. With a wave of her hand, Zoe slams the Empress into the wall - looks like her telekinesis is back!

Leviathan and Star Boy recover as well, and Gim grabs Tharok. Tharok blasts Gim's finger, and gathers the Five to him. They teleport away, leaving a roomful of recovering Legionnaires. Smart move - with two Daxamites and a whole bunch of other unknowns joining the battle, this would have been too much for the Five (as we will see next issue, wink wink). The Five thrashed the other ships in the vicinity and stole the Legion's cruiser.

As the Legionnaires gather, we the readers learn a new tidbit too - Kinetix has a tail! As for interpersonal dynamics, from bits of dialogue and Moy's placement of the Legionnaires in his art, we learn that - Gim is still hitting on Zoe; Brainy is still mesmerized by Andromeda; Violet and Zoe are still best friends (what luck that Zoe saved Vi!), Jo is all mopey, and people are actually glad Andromeda is alive (including Vi, who spied on her; and Triad, who was brutalized by other White Triangle members). Thom stands silently in the middle looking awkward; and in a couple of panels, Jeff Moy succeeds in conveying that information despite Thom NOT having any dialogue, good job!

Lyle, Cos, Garth and Jan are in a sort of leadership council (hm, so Garth isn't hitting on Imra OR chatting with Ayla - but then, he IS one of the few Cos trusted with more info, so that could explain his focus). Lyle checks the data his Omnicom gathered, and confirms that there is no Sun-Eater... and that Tharok was talking with someone from the UP Compound on Earth! Lyle grabs Brainy, who is still distracted by Andromeda, and says htey need his help to track the Fatal Five.

Elsewhere, the Five land near a Science Police outpost and slaughter all the cops. Mano questions why they had to kill the cops; Tharok glibly answers that they can't allow anyone to raise alarms. Hm, Mano didn't seem to mind slaughtering Legionnaires last issue (but then, he has a past with them...) The Five's goal is an arms cache that has been "forgotten since the war". The Braal-Titan war?

The Legionnaires trace the Five to Drak IV. Valor recognizes it as the place where he found the arms cache, which had Braalian markings.Just as he does, Imra receives a call from Titan reactivating her as a soldier, and telling her Braal is the enemy. Garth puts two and two together and figures the Five must be using the Braalian arms to restart a new Braal-Titan War! Whoa! It's nice that it wasn't Lyle or Brainy who deduced that.

Cos splits the team into three:

Leviathan will lead Jan Arrah, Valor, XS, Andromeda and Kinetix to stop the Fatal Five.

Saturn Girl will take Gates, Spark, Live Wire, Ultra Boy and Star Boy to stop Titan and Braal from going to war.

Cos will bring Invisible Kid, Chameleon, Triad and Violet to Earth to deal with Ambassador Wazzo. Cos himself will stay at Legion HQ to coordinate. As Brainiac 5 is technically a fugitive (having been incarcerated on Takron-Galtos), Cos suggests he come with them to Earth and surrender directly to President Chu. Brainy still seems distracted, but snaps out of him when Chameleon whispers something in his ear. I have no idea what, but Brainy sure seemed surprised...

On Titan, Dr. Aven urges High Command to stand down and not provoke Braal. However, reports of a missile heading to Titan from the Braal frontier make Aven's efforts fruitless.

On Earth, Lyle, Lu, Vi and Cham go to question Wazzo. The Science Police are, as usual, condescending. The four enter Wazzo's quarters, and seconds later we hear screams and blasts. A semi-shrunken Violet is thrown out of the room, and a triplicated Triad staggers out, muttering that Wazzo was prepared for them. Ominously, inside Wazzo's rooms we see a skeleton and a pile of pink mush... and no sign of Wazzo. As if the skeleton and mush weren't enough of a clue, the Sci-Cop yells, "Two Legionnaires dead!"

In Chu's office, Brainy explains the situation to Wazzo. She is willing to consider a temporary amnesty as long as Brainy doesn't study time travel. She is more concerned by Wazzo; she gets a call warning her that Wazzo has escaped. Too late, though; Wazzo phases through the floor, grabs a gun from Chu's bodyguard and zaps everyone in the room. Oy.

Thoughts:

Artwise, I appreciate more and more Jeff Moy's talent for conveying so much information in a small amount of space. We pick up so many tidbits just in a few panels of the Legionnaires milling around and talking.

As HWW said in his review of L* 35, the writers are giving us intelligent stories. They are crafting a mystery, and the Legionnaires unravel it in a natural, intelligent way that does not spoonfeed us. Best of all, the revelations (oh, so that's why there are Braalian arms on Drak IV... they must be using this to reignite the war!) are delivered with convincing dialogue. And although the flashbacks of Live Wire forming the Legion Rescue Squad were delivered in battle, it felt organic - a telepathic peek by Saturn Girl while she is recovering behind a shield.

The action in this issue wasn't much, but it moved the plot along really well. And everyone got a couple of lines in at least - enough to highlight their personalities.

I certainly liked this much better than the long battle in LSH 79.

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