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#923237 - 03/08/17 05:33 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Good point; these issues would have been a great recap of history that a lot of readers would have missed. It's easy to forget that there were no Archives back then, and back issues were expensive, or unavailable. Like Cobie, I prefer the index-style for character histories but this series would have been a boon for Legion fans at the time.


I remember getting my paws on the Amazing World Legion issue and being impressed by the information in it. The RPGs too. It's a good point regarding getting a peek at a book's history through something like a more readily available Secrets mini.

As DC touted it as a collector's item sure to become a classic, newer fans could get an early opportunity to catch up on the whole group. Every issue is someone's first after all. I remember picking up a post Byrne issue of Alpha Flight and getting a nice history recap. It really helped me stick with the book. Later, I'd realise that a lot of issues had such a recap, as the writer was aware that every issue was a potential jumping on point.

As for similar books, the Teen Titans had a mini series where they recounted their origins at the Grand Canyon (somewhere like that).


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923240 - 03/08/17 07:03 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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I can't think of anything similar at Marvel, though specific issues of regular series would sometimes be devoted to recaps. Avengers #150-151, for example, showed reporters recapping the team's history while the current members decided on a line-up shuffle.


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#923334 - 03/11/17 04:06 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: He Who Wanders]  
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Originally Posted by He Who Wanders


Originally Posted by Cobie
�showing that perhaps there has never ever been a single point in Legion history where the history was set in stone.


Originally Posted by thoth
Very much this. Bridwell has pulled together an internally consistent background. But there could be any number of interpretations from the same source material. I think there�s a lot to be said for the original writers being more concerned with delivering an entertaining story, that slavishly setting up a framework that all of their work had to fit within. There�s so many gaps where imagination can flourish.


Absolutely. Who knew that decades later fans would be parsing stories, looking for clues, and trying to make sense of throwaway lines?

Levitz in an interview somewhere said that he saw the writers and artists as sort of a conduit through which information about the characters flowed, meaning the information would change depending on the writer and artist. In one way, this explanation is a cop out, a way of excusing inconsistencies. In another way, it makes perfect sense: Everything from Star Trek to the Bible is reinterpreted by different tellers.


On the idea of there not being one definitive view of the Legion's timeline, I was reminded of our Continuity Match Up thread and our Order of Membership thread shows some retconning too,


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923363 - 03/12/17 06:10 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Hey, all,

I got sidetracked from the re-read this week for various reasons, so I'll just wait until Tuesday, review both 2 and 3, and reply to the comments on 2.


Read LEGIONS OF 7 WORLDS in the Bits forum:

Retroboot (Earth-7.5) Arc 1 (COMPLETED)

Retroboot (Earth-7.5) Arc 2 (WORK IN PROGRESS)

"Don't look for role models, girls, BE the role model."

- Legion World member HARBINGER
#923381 - 03/12/17 07:23 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Good to hear. Looking forward to that.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923406 - 03/12/17 02:50 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Thanks, Thoth. smile


Read LEGIONS OF 7 WORLDS in the Bits forum:

Retroboot (Earth-7.5) Arc 1 (COMPLETED)

Retroboot (Earth-7.5) Arc 2 (WORK IN PROGRESS)

"Don't look for role models, girls, BE the role model."

- Legion World member HARBINGER
#923534 - 03/14/17 03:45 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Secrets of the LoSH #3 Revelation by Paul Kupperberg & E. Nelson Bridwell, art by Jim Janes & Frank Chiaramonte, colours Gene D'Angelo, letters Ben Oda


[Linked Image]


Legionnaires speak with the doctor attending R.J. Brande after learning that one of them is Brande's child. R.J. has a rare blood type and needs a relative with a matching type for a transfusion. Marla instructs the Legionnaires to recount the origin stories of the remaining Legionnaires, the deceased members, the Subs and the Reserves. None of these yield the clue that Marla seeks.

In the middle of this, the Legion receives an urgent call to help stabilize Varltul XVI, a sun with several inhabited planets. Wildfire takes on the mission, ordering Chameleon Boy, Shadow Lass and Element Lad to accompany him.

Saturn Girl suddenly realizes that she might be able to read Brande's mind and discover the truth.

The Marltul XVI team suffers an equipment failure and is unable to stabilize the star – but they do learn that it's an artificial star, created by Brande. Brande might have helpful information if only he were conscious.

Saturn Girl returns to Legion HQ with the information that Brande once had special powers, but lost them and was forced to live in the form of an Earthman. Consulting the computer, Marla learns that Yorggian Fever only affects selected races, of which four are human; Talokians have no natural powers, the Coluan Brainiac 5's ancestry is thoroughly documented. That leaves Durlans.

Marla contacts the Marltul team to give Cham the news and tell him to get back to Earth to save his father. The transfusion proves successful, Saturn Girl is able to extract the information needed to stabilize the star Marltul XVI. R.J. and Reep meet as father and son for the first time. R.J. explains that he, Reep's mother and Theg/Doyle contracted Yorrgian Fever; the mother died and R.J. and Theg left Durla to avoid infecting anyone else. Their next shape change would be their final one. Reep was left with an aunt who raised him as her own son.

Comments:
Saturn Girl's power was limited by R.J. being in a coma. It seems to be an odd limitation, although it serves the story. It's also convenient that she couldn't pick up any "I'm a Durlan" thoughts.

Why couldn't they detect exactly what blood type R.J. had? Wouldn't Durlan blood be recognized? We're so used to DNA today, I find it a real stretch that doctors couldn't analyze R.J.'s DNA. This wasn't a problem when I first read the story; that R.J. was Cham's father was a major surprise. There weren't many clues and the reasons for eliminating other Legionnaires seem flimsy, however. If Reep's aunt posed as his mother, why couldn't other Legion parents have fed their children a similar deception?

The story ended with a happy family reunion, but we know things between father and son won't be so rosy later on. I'd be pretty pissed if I found out my dad had stayed away from me entirely for 18 years – not even a “can't visit you as long as I'm contagious” - but I guess the first flush of revelation is pretty exciting for Cham.

Nice to see a quick run-through of Subs and Reserves.

They're still in touch with Marzal. Who knew? Or is that secret Brande Industries information as they work on developing interdimensional transportation, or stargates?

Winathians, Braalians and Imskians are humans. Talokians & Coluans aren't. Does this imply that they were settled by Earthlings? Or could Earth have been settled by one of those planets? Invasion was still 8 years away – is this the source of Lar Gand's seeding of the planets, or had that concept been established before this?

The mission to Marltul XVI adds a bit of action to the issue, although it's not necessary to the story of saving R.J. After mining, stars going nova could be the biggest industry of the 30th century.

Wildfire continues to act as if he were still leader. He and Marla are both pretty hot-tempered; they might play off well against one another, but their attitudes seem gratingly unrelenting and unprofessional. Arlayn serves no purpose other than to display a pretty face in a couple of panels, although her masked presence in the first issue added some mystery.



Holy Cats of Egypt!
#923571 - 03/14/17 05:03 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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There are a lot of convenient plot turns in # 3 in order to make the story work, the least of which is probably the explanation for why Tyroc was at the med center back in # 1. (No explanation for why Superboy and Supergirl were there, though.) To me, it undercuts the emotional impact of Tyroc saying goodbye forever if he can return every few weeks.

# 3 does what it needs to do: It wraps up the stories by including the origins of Wildfire, Tyroc, and Dawny, plus every Sub, reservist, and honorary Legionnaire to date. Wisely, though, there's more to the issue than a recap. An actual world is at stake, and its fate ties in nicely with Brande's fate (convenient but nice).

Of course, the big revelation is that Cham is R.J.'s boy. I remember that this hit me like a bolt at the time, as it must have hit Reep. The notion that the very human-looking Brande was father to the very alien-looking Reep was one of those moments where the Legion defied culturally induced expectations, as the series did in the early days when Saturn Girl served as leader. This is the future, and race is not a barrier to parentage any more than gender is a barrier to leadership. (For context, it was still considered unusual and a bit odd in the late '70s to encounter people of mixed race, at least in my Midwestern neck of the woods. I can only imagine how such people must have felt about being regarded as "different," which was not intended as a slight but an expression of naive wonder, as if one were staring at a unicorn.) The Reep-Brande connection obliterated those expectations and did so in a way that left this reader asking, "Why not?"

It's rather nice that the writers brought in Reep's mom/aunt to wrap up the story. I have little problem with her and R.J. withholding the truth from Reep. I recall reading that actor Jack Nicholson learned the woman he thought was his mother was actually his grandmother, and that his "sister" was actually his mother. It happens, and families have all kinds of reasons for hiding such secrets. Perhaps Yorggian fever was considered a curse on Durla.

I also recall re-reading over and over again the page where Marla puts all the clues together. Yes, the evidence is flimsy in the sense that none of these clues were referred to previously and had no bearing on previous Legion stories. And, yes, Marla could have figured this out without listening to all of the Legionnaires' origins. Still, I thought it was a decent exercise in logic; he eliminated those of human ancestry, Brainy and Tasmia, and those born on earth based on the limited clues he had. Columbo had nothing on Mr. Latham.

And then . . . it was all forgotten. Reep's parentage was not mentioned again, as I recall, until a few years later, when Levitz used it as a springboard into one of the most interesting and defining character arcs in Legion history.



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#923575 - 03/14/17 06:14 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Secrets of the Legion #3

RJ Brande has been talking in the throes of his Yorggian fever, and has told his doctor that he’s the father of one of the Legionnaires. This has prompted the doctor to consider that a blood transfusion may save his patient. But rather than tell the Legion any of this, he drops a hint that there may be a solution and lets them go back about their business. Heck, instead of just asking the Legion if they’d donate some blood on the off chance it would help Brande, he lets them go.

Perhaps the doctor had already contacted Marla to look into it. Perhaps Marla was there when Brande spilled the secret. But instead of Marla asking the Legion about it, he tries to break into the team’s personnel files.

The above makes things a bit more coherent sounding than they are shown in the book, which isn’t really interested in connecting up the plot.

Still, now that the secret is out, the Legionnaires can all just give a blood sample (sorry Drake) and it can be DNA sampled against Brande’s. But no! Such things are beyond 30th century plotting and only origin stories can provide the link!

Tyroc gets a few origin panels, which is more than we’ve seen of him in the series, or elsewhere in some time. With Dawnstar’s origin out of the way next, we’re on page 7 and out of Legionnaires. Bridwell sets up some suspense by having some of the Legion go off on a mission. Then, as all good Legion summations do, we move onto the origins of the dead, the subbed and the honorary parts of the team. Disappointingly, there’s no Super Pets. For the dead Legionnaires, Brainy surmises that their surviving relatives may be able to still help Brande. Failing that, he could always dip into the Legion’s cell back, grow the Legionnaire required and take some blood that way.

To be fair to the writer, the away team aren’t just sent away because one of them is Brande’s kid. They also realise that the only way to solve their own plight is Brande’s recovery, as he’s the only one who can fix a star going nova. I wonder if the locals get a warranty on their star. I wonder if any of them can escape alive to activate it.

Meanwhile, Imra has figured out that she could just read Brande’s mind. Perhaps it’s tough to do because he’s unconscious and/or on Yorggian fever drugs, but Imra can only get a Plot Hint rather than the identity of the kid.

Marla gets to work to winnow down the field.
His assistant Arlayn seems to have turned into Dream Girl. Saturn Girl calls Dream Girl “Arlayn” in one panel.

The kid is identified, with shaky reasoning on Imra’s information, and is whisked back to save Brande followed by a father/kid reunion.

Poor kid. He’s about to inherit all of Brande’s debts after all the lawsuits pour in form systems with wonky stars.

It must really begin to dawn on the kid that their father has known their identity all along, and has left them to get over hostility and isolation. The reasons why Brande left his home planet are reasonable. But not the reasons for keeping everything a secret since that time.

It’s an okay issue that does its job of updating us on the Legion origins while giving us a framing story around them. The identity of Brande’s child is a decent left field choice, but still one of the main Legionnaires. As soon as his Plot job is done, Marla vanishes from the story. No thanks for him. Sure, his work in nearly the whole story was for nothing, but he did work it out at the end.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923581 - 03/14/17 06:31 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: thoth lad]  
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Originally Posted by thoth lad

Disappointingly, there’s no Super Pets.


I guess Marla had ruled out bestiality. smile


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The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#923588 - 03/14/17 11:44 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Well, Comet occasionally turned into a human being. And Proty was just as likely as a Durlan.


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#923589 - 03/15/17 02:01 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Comet and Proty would have been bigger shockers - and Proty did turn into a human being eventually.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#923605 - 03/15/17 12:25 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Wasn't there some dubious Reep goings on or was that Aviax?

I just felt that the letters page could have been dropped for another twist. Where it turns out that RJ was Reep's mom and that Streaky is the partner of the guy who financed the Legion and the father of one of its most influential members. Now *that* would stick in people's minds.



"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923609 - 03/15/17 12:38 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Quite possibly that was the basis for a lost/rejected Keith Giffen Legion annual. In 5YL, Catspaw would have been the obvious choice for Streaky's child/kitten/whatever. Nothing's too weird in the future.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#923612 - 03/15/17 12:47 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Thanks Cramer! I had a little plot to go into Bits about who Reep would find as a successor, following some injuries, as he was RJ's. Catspaw is now the only choice lol


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923739 - 03/18/17 06:12 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Originally Posted by Cramer
The story ended with a happy family reunion, but we know things between father and son won't be so rosy later on. I'd be pretty pissed if I found out my dad had stayed away from me entirely for 18 years – not even a “can't visit you as long as I'm contagious” - but I guess the first flush of revelation is pretty exciting for Cham.


I wonder how long it will take for the resentment to start, as he wonders if Brande watched him join the Legion and laughed about not telling him his origins.

Originally Posted by Cramer
They're still in touch with Marzal. Who knew? Or is that secret Brande Industries information as they work on developing interdimensional transportation, or stargates?


Back in #265 Dawnstar seems certain that they would be seeing him again. Perhaps she had seen the script for the mini series smile


Originally Posted by Cramer
... is this the source of Lar Gand's seeding of the planets, or had that concept been established before this?


I, Velcro Gand, take exception at the very idea of Lar seeding these worlds! He's a good boy and would never be involved in such things!


Originally Posted by Cramer
Wildfire continues to act as if he were still leader. He and Marla are both pretty hot-tempered; they might play off well against one another, but their attitudes seem gratingly unrelenting and unprofessional.


After it was pointed out form earlier issues, Wildfire does seem to be in charge. I wonder if it was just an easy personality for the writer to work with, or whether the seeds of the story were thought of some time before.

Originally Posted by Cramer
Arlayn serves no purpose other than to display a pretty face in a couple of panels, although her masked presence in the first issue added some mystery.


Had it just been Marla sneaking into the clubhouse, I'd not have been so interested. No matter what he'd done to his hair, or what make up he was wearing smile

Originally Posted by HWW
The notion that the very human-looking Brande was father to the very alien-looking Reep was one of those moments where the Legion defied culturally induced expectations, as the series did in the early days when Saturn Girl served as leader. This is the future, and race is not a barrier to parentage any more than gender is a barrier to leadership. (For context, it was still considered unusual and a bit odd in the late '70s to encounter people of mixed race, at least in my Midwestern neck of the woods. I can only imagine how such people must have felt about being regarded as "different," which was not intended as a slight but an expression of naive wonder, as if one were staring at a unicorn.) The Reep-Brande connection obliterated those expectations and did so in a way that left this reader asking, "Why not?"


Thanks for that HWW. That's an interesting view. I didn't read Secrets until well after all the later issues. I had seen it much more as a plot device, and hadn't thought about it in those terms.

Originally Posted by HWW
Columbo had nothing on Mr. Latham.


Columbo Latham leaves Legion HQ for the twentieth time.
Wildfire: Jeez, I thought he'd never go.
Garth: I was *this* close to a breakdown. Those endless questions...
The door opens...
Columbo Latham: ...and just one more thing that's been bothering me....
Wildfire & Garth: Gah! We confess! We Confess! It was Brainy that did it!




"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#923972 - 03/21/17 03:47 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Caf Cramer
LSH #273,The Man Who Framed Brainiac 5 or A Murderer – Among Us? by Gerry Conway, art by Jimmy Janes & Frank Chiaramonte, colours Bob LeRose, letters Ben Oda

[Linked Image]

President Allon tells the Legionnaires that they must, by law, disband. Wildfire asks on whose side United Earth Council is; Allon explains that since Brainiac 5 has killed and remained unpunished, the Legion has violated their charter. The Prosecutor General recounts the murder of An Ryd. Wildfire argues, but Brainiac 5 quits the Legion since his innocence is in question. Cham contemplates and proposes that the Legion further investigate the murder. Brin suffers headaches. Gim questions his mother and gets the brush-off.

Cham leads a team to Rimbor to examine the room in which An was killed. Thom finds blaster marks which could not have come from a Legion weapon; Cham, as Seekerhound, could not detect any scent of Brainiac 5. Suddenly, a blast rocks the room; Cham sees someone and realizes that person is the true murderer, someone they thought was dead, then falls unconscious from a bright blast.

Jo and Tinya bribe a port controller to let them examine records of ship arrivals and departures, finding no record of any vessel carrying Brainiac 5. The controller, enjoying a pipe outside, is confronted by someone, then choked by a green hand. Jo and Tinya hear a scream, investigate and Tinya comes face to face with Pulsar Stargrave. He claims that his goal is to destroy Brainiac 5, then blasts Tinya and takes Jo off-guard, making him disappear – or disintegrate.

Brainiac 5, in a spaceship above Earth, concludes that he could not have murdered, despite his bout of insanity. He presented this conclusion to the Legion and learned that the Rimbor team had already had the same idea; he leaves for Rimbor, concerned for their safety.

On Rimbor, he finds Cham, Tinya and Thom and takes them for medical care, saving their lives. Cham is blind, Thom is fully bandaged and Tinya is weakened. He tells them that he must confront Stargrave alone. They learn that Jo is believed to be dead.

Brainy finds Stargrave on Rimbor's moon, they trade insults, Stargrave blasts, Brainy activates a forcefield than encompasses both of them. Stargrave increases his radiant energy to destroy the forcefield. There's a big explosion and Stargrave disappears. Brainy reveals, talking to himself, that he had created two fields, one just around him and one around both himself and Stargrave. With his nova blast, Stargrave obliterated himself. Brainy speculates that Stargrave/Brainiac lost his logic and gave into the emotion of hatred, which always demands the ultimate tribute of life.

Comments:
Conway returns to revisit the An Ryd incident and absolve Brainiac 5 of murder. The defence of insanity clearly didn't sit well with somebody, perhaps Conway himself.

While I question the idea that you can't murder if you have a deep sense that it's wrong, it works for this story, emphasizing the high moral code of the Legion as well as Legionnaires' confidence in Brainiac 5. Their faith in him (and his in himself) may have wavered, but it was a temporary questioning. Although Brainy makes much of logic over emotion, he succumbs to a few emotional moments when he heads off to save his friends and teammates and some philosophical musing (à la Blok) at the end.

Earth government continues to lock horns with the Legion, despite Gim Allon's mother being the new President. Gim continues to behave like a petulant kid. Wildfire continues to act as leader.

Stargrave/Brainiac survived being hurled into a sun; one may wonder that he could survive his own apparent obliteration.

Although we're told that Jo might be dead, he's only disappeared for sure, having fallen into something that looks like a dimensional portal.

The console at Rimbor's space port appears to display an early form of the Interlac alphabet. It's a nice touch that Rimbor has strict entry and exit controls; no doubt they want to make sure everyone makes a payoff, like a planetary cover charge.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#924037 - 03/21/17 05:13 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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thoth lad Offline
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LoSH 273

It’s Wildfire front and centre as Colossal Boy’s mom looks to disband the Legion on the splash page.

She reminds the team that none of them shall kill, and points down to the group. Star Boy looks nervous, but she’s referring to Brainy. Brainy gives up rather easily in a Plot derived huff, while Cham does his best investigator chin rubbing. Janes loses points for not letting Cham change into a bearded detective head.

This story seems to be set up to get Brainy off the hook for a previous writer’s set up of having Brainy really go nuts. But it’s not really the Legion without Brainy in some capacity, so he needs to have his name cleared. Who better than the guy who got Ultra Boy off the last time?

While I wonder if Brainy walking off has allowed him to escape law enforcement, we are given some subplots. Has Marte Allon changed since becoming Earth president? If so, why? Perhaps she’s just peeved that her son is such a whiner, when she clearly has to remain impartial if she’s dealing with the Legion in an official capacity.

Brin’s getting headaches. While we know these have been caused by pushing his hair too tightly to form those points, he’s having some angst ridden breakdown in front of the long suffering Ayla. Ayla’s commitment to stay by Brin’s side doesn’t quite work out, as we’ll see later.

At the Orion Hotel we learn that blaster marks are really hard to get out of the furnishings. Cham’s theory is that an insanity plea doesn’t work if you’re too insane. Later Brainy will conclude that he couldn’t have been a murderer because the Legion’s traditions trump doing really bad things like murder when you’re nuts. Tell that to Omega buddy.

Star Boy realises after a cursory check that the marks didn’t come from a Legion blaster. Mainly because the Legion so rarely carry them around. Considering Marte Allon’s comment about the Legion not killing, I’m surprised they have blasters even capable of it. Cham bravely becomes a scent based creature in a Rimborian hotel. I imagine that this is the real reason he goes blind a few panels later, and not the encounter with the villain.

Cham finds no trace of Brainy. To have discovered so much in much a short visit, makes you wonder what was wrong with him the last time he accused someone else of the murder. Cham meets the villain, who he has encountered before. He’s blinded, but doesn’t become one of the many multi eyed organisms on offer preferring to take the form of a Screaming Legionnaire.

Meanwhile at the impeccable Rimborian immigration control (presumably to keep checks on all the Silverale shipments) Jo bribes an official. Surely there must be bylaws against that? They learn that Brainy never visited Rimbor.

When Brainy finds out how easily duped everyone was before they accused him, he’s going to be mad enough to build an Omega-Computo.

To be fair to Conway, who is writing out of a plot hole, the clues are solid enough. Cham’s been blasted by the person before; the person can travel through space under their own power; is considered to be a fake and can control advanced computers.
A final clue is the green hand that throttles the bribed official. Tinya faces Pulsar Stargrave. Conway may be trying to clear one dangling plot thread, but in the following battle another mess is about to start.

Stargrave, who was also considered to be Brainiac, has renounced any familial connection with Brainiac 5. Actually, he’s become quite obsessed with Querl. After all, he’s been hanging around Rimbor a long time, waiting on the investigators to show up. Jo’s invulnerability prevents him being “disintegrated” by Stargrave’s first blast. But he needlessly drops it when he sees Tinya injured. Then he’s blasted into nothing. This will end up being part of a fairly tortuous storyline to come.

Querl’s huff has led him to a ship in which he’s approaching Rimbor in. I just hope the other 30th century crooks don’t realise that the way to escape a murder rap is to walk slowly out of the court room with your head down, sulking. Brainy, after justifying to himself why he couldn’t be the killer, goes to help his colleagues. Star Boy showed a trick to his powers. He absorbed a lot of stellar energy, as that’s where his powers derived. We see him almost completely bandaged as a result. This would have been a nice moment, particularly with Jo’s removal, to restore his lost powers.

We’ve seen a Legion squad fall to Stargrave. We’ve seen Brainy look to help his dear friends, having admitted his previous alienation from them. So, obviously we’ll ignore all of those lessons and just let him go off to face Stargrave alone with Cham’s blessing.

After his standard maniacal rant, Stargrave attacks Brainy, only to become trapped in a force field. Rather embarrassingly, Stargrave then blows himself up trying to escape from it. Brainy had trapped him between two force fields, rather than one with access to Brainy’s force field belt as he surmised. Brainy ponders about the cost of hatred. He’s referring to how Stargrave had changed, but it also refers to his own insanity and the hatred he felt at his fellow Legionnaires at the time.

Trying to fix old plot holes can often make things worse. Brainy’s murder was important enough for something to be done. From his first cosmic appearance as Brainy’s possible father, Stargrave has declined into being a bit of a ranting acme, Plot powered villain. Later in v4 his plot to drive Brainy insane would be taken over by Glorith, and his status relegated further.

I quite enjoyed the Janes art this issue, from Brin’s sweaty angst (Lotus fruit withdrawal?) through Tinya’s shock at Jo’s possible death to Brainy’s stoic look out from the finale.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#924086 - 03/22/17 05:09 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Fanfic Lady Offline
More Polyanna than Poison Ivy
Fanfic Lady  Offline
More Polyanna than Poison Ivy

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 17,872
Confession time: I tried, I really did. But I find it hard to sustain a sense of snarky effervescence over a slog through three whole issues of numbing mediocrity, which is what I've found Secret of the Legion of Super-Heroes to be. So instead of reviewing the 2nd & 3rd issues, I'll just reply to some of the comments by other posters:

Originally Posted by thoth lad
The Legion welcome their old friend Marla by threatening to punch him in the face. Wildfire is a complete tool. It’s another scene where no one gives a straight answer and the obvious follow up questions don’t occur.


I concur for the most part, but I do have to say that I think Marla's attitude and disposition are just as bad as Drake's. And the banter between the two (which goes on and on and on and on) is so badly written, so puerile and so much another example of DC's inept efforts to "Marvel-ize" their books during what we've already agreed was an awkward phase for the publisher, which started right after The Implosion, and ended, IIRC, just a few months after this mini-series' last issue. There was an executive reshuffle at DC, which ended up leaving the estimable triad of Kahn, Levitz, and Giordano calling the shots, and subsequently led to at least a couple of pretty damn awesome years for DC overall, followed by a couple erratic ones, and then the whole post-Crisis continuity mess, and so on...

Originally Posted by thoth lad
Imra doesn’t usually go in for invading someone’s mind, so it doesn’t sit to well here. Neither does Marla stringing the Legion along, when he could just have easily told them.


Indeed, and again, indeed.

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Pointless hostility seems to be the point of Wildfire in many instances. I felt in this issue he was still occupying the leader's role. Where was Garth?


It's a pity, IMHO, that lazy writers and editors (and not just those working on the Legion, but also those working at other publishers) often decide to simply phone in a character's default persona and/or the most reductive approach to said character. "If the consensus on Wildfire is that he's a hothead, well then, let's just make him the most obnoxious and one-dimensional hothead we can. Who cares about those annoying fans? It's just comics." :rolleyes:

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Did DC or Marvel produce anything similar for other groups like JLA or X-Men?


I mentioned in a Gym'll's thread recently that I think the 1990 mini-series "The Atlantis Chronicles" would qualify as such:

http://www.legionworld.net/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=923479#Post923479

Originally Posted by thoth lad
As DC touted it as a collector's item sure to become a classic, newer fans could get an early opportunity to catch up on the whole group. Every issue is someone's first after all. I remember picking up a post Byrne issue of Alpha Flight and getting a nice history recap. It really helped me stick with the book. Later, I'd realise that a lot of issues had such a recap, as the writer was aware that every issue was a potential jumping on point.


True, but I think in the case of this mini-series, a little more quality-control would have been nice. Such as...

Originally Posted by thoth lad
As for similar books, the Teen Titans had a mini series where they recounted their origins at the Grand Canyon (somewhere like that).


Actually quite good IMO, thanks to what I feel was a far greater degree of the aforementioned quality-control.

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Saturn Girl's power was limited by R.J. being in a coma. It seems to be an odd limitation, although it serves the story. It's also convenient that she couldn't pick up any "I'm a Durlan" thoughts.

Why couldn't they detect exactly what blood type R.J. had? Wouldn't Durlan blood be recognized? We're so used to DNA today, I find it a real stretch that doctors couldn't analyze R.J.'s DNA. This wasn't a problem when I first read the story; that R.J. was Cham's father was a major surprise. There weren't many clues and the reasons for eliminating other Legionnaires seem flimsy, however. If Reep's aunt posed as his mother, why couldn't other Legion parents have fed their children a similar deception?

The story ended with a happy family reunion, but we know things between father and son won't be so rosy later on. I'd be pretty pissed if I found out my dad had stayed away from me entirely for 18 years – not even a “can't visit you as long as I'm contagious” - but I guess the first flush of revelation is pretty exciting for Cham.


Beautifully (and hilariously rotflmao ) put, Cramer. And to reiterate something I said RE: issue #1 of this mini-series, I think the lion's share of the blame for the plot holes and the rest of the overall sloppiness of this mini-series on just about every level should go to editor Jack C. Harris. As my hero Alan Grant (who has been both and editor and a freelance writer) once said, "A good editor is worth their weight in gold."

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
They're still in touch with Marzal. Who knew? Or is that secret Brande Industries information as they work on developing interdimensional transportation, or stargates?


There's a comedy sketch there for sure, preferably from a troupe similar to that of the first 2 seasons of "In Living Color." (David Alan Grier in a 'fro wig as Tyroc? A heavily-padded Jim Carrey as Brande?) lol Talk about giving Tyroc a good reason to act the Angry Black Man, sheesh! scream

Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
Of course, the big revelation is that Cham is R.J.'s boy. I remember that this hit me like a bolt at the time, as it must have hit Reep. The notion that the very human-looking Brande was father to the very alien-looking Reep was one of those moments where the Legion defied culturally induced expectations, as the series did in the early days when Saturn Girl served as leader. This is the future, and race is not a barrier to parentage any more than gender is a barrier to leadership. (For context, it was still considered unusual and a bit odd in the late '70s to encounter people of mixed race, at least in my Midwestern neck of the woods. I can only imagine how such people must have felt about being regarded as "different," which was not intended as a slight but an expression of naive wonder, as if one were staring at a unicorn.) The Reep-Brande connection obliterated those expectations and did so in a way that left this reader asking, "Why not?"


That's a really good point, He Who. Thanks for broaching it. If only the execution had been better as far as art, dialogue, and plot, SotLSH might really have been the classic it was hyped as.

Originally Posted by thoth lad
Disappointingly, there’s no Super Pets.


Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
I guess Marla had ruled out bestiality. smile


:roftlmao:

Not in the "Tijuana Bible" version of this story! ORALE, MUY PICANTE


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Retroboot (Earth-7.5) Arc 2 (WORK IN PROGRESS)

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#924087 - 03/22/17 05:42 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Chaim Mattis Keller Offline
Wanderer
Chaim Mattis Keller  Offline
Wanderer

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New York, NY, USA
Fat Cramer:

Quote
Did DC or Marvel produce anything similar for other groups like JLA or X-Men?


DC had a 4-issue mini-series called "America vs the Justice Society" which was basically a vehicle for comprehensively recapping the history of the JSA (pre-Crisis).


Chaim Mattis Keller
ckeller@nyc.rr.com
Legion-Reference-File Lad
#924144 - 03/24/17 08:15 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
Happy Birthday He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

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The Plateaus of Ecstasy
Just reading through Cramey's summary of 273, and a couple of things I noticed . . .

Why does Thom assume that if a Legionnaire killed An Ryd, said Legionnaire must have used a Legion blaster? Certainly Brainy is smart enough to buy a weapon on the Rimborian black market or somewhere else.

Likewise, isn't Brainy smart enough to forge travel records or travel in disguise?

Did the Orion Hotel not clean and rent the room in all these months since An Ryd's death? Pity to let all that business go to waste.

Perhaps bribery is legal on Rimbor. Maybe they call it tribute or taxes.

This is one of those stories that makes sense only if you don't think about it.

On the plus side, I do like the fact that the Legion gets in trouble for ignoring its own bylaws. The conflict between the president and the Legion was well-played, as I recall, as President Allon could not show any favoritism to the Legion.


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#924206 - 03/25/17 03:28 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: He Who Wanders]  
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thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
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Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
Why does Thom assume that if a Legionnaire killed An Ryd, said Legionnaire must have used a Legion blaster?


If anyone's a Legion expert on killing people with blasters it's Thom smile

Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
Likewise, isn't Brainy smart enough to forge travel records or travel in disguise?


There's a reason why his disguise skills don't get him on the legion Espionage Squad missions....

[Linked Image]

Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
Did the Orion Hotel not clean and rent the room in all these months since An Ryd's death? Pity to let all that business go to waste.


You couldn't really go back from a trip on Rimbor *without* sleeping in a run down hotel room with an authentic crime scene in it. It's a *feature*



"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
#924212 - 03/25/17 06:13 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
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She ran and called him Wildfire.

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The Plateaus of Ecstasy
Leave it to thoth to have the answers! You should have written these stories. smile


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#924517 - 03/29/17 03:58 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


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Caf Cramer
Power has been out 2 days, then my computer failed, so apologies for being late. It appears that the quality of this story has not inspired anyone else to leap into the fray yet!

LSH #274, The Exaggerated Death of Ultra Boy by Gerry Conway, art by Steve Ditko & Frank Chiaramonte, colours D'Angelo, letters Costanza

[Linked Image]

Ultra Boy begins to regain consciousness in a strange place in space, but he feels nothing and can't tell if he's dead or alive. At the same time, Legionnaires hold a funeral service for him and, at HQ, dedicate a statue to his memory.

A spacecraft detects him and brings him aboard on a tractor beam.

Imra approaches the mourning Tinya; Tinya calls her “the ice maiden” and accuses her of knowing nothing of love. Imra calls up Tinya's many memories of Jo to comfort her and receives a hug from Tinya.

Jo awakens aboard the ship Antares, crewed by what appears to be pirates and commanded by Captain Frake. A crewmember attempts to question him with knives and is beaten by Jo, who is uncertain how he managed to overcome the attacker. Captain Frake appears, a sexy woman, and orders Jo to her cabin.

Rested and recovered, Tinya joins the others the next morning, just as the Deep Space Alarm from Pluto orbit sounds.

Jo is now dressed in pirate gear, but can remember nothing of his identity or what happened to him, beyond being blasted with energy in a battle. The ring he wears gives no clue, since it's face was melted by the blast. Frake tests his invulnerability, strength and kissing ability.

A Legion cruiser approaches Pluto and fires on Frake's pirate ship, which is attacking a space-freighter. Frake orders Jo to deal with the Legion's ship while her crew boards the freighter. Jo senses it is wrong, but must repay his debt of being rescued.

Rokk mans the guns and fires on the pirates. Val sees that the weapons pod is losing air and runs to rescue Rokk. Before he can remove him to safety, Val is attacked by Jo and knocked out, falling into the corridor. Jo attempts to burn through the hatch to the control room.

Garth tells Tinya to stop the intruder. She hits the space-suited Jo from behind; he reaches out and hits her unconscious, attempts to hit her again but, on seeing her face, is unable to strike. Jo returns to the pirates.

As Rokk, Val and Tinya like in hospital beds, Garth asks Jeckie why Imra appears so shaken. Jeckie claims that no one can understand a telepath. Imra's thoughts reveal that she knows a secret which would break Tinya's heart, but has to confirm it. Jo and Frake relax together as the pirate ship speeds away.

Comments:

This issue begins what I consider to be a tedious and drawn out story. Just a few comments because I'm rushing.

Some character development for Ice Maiden Imra, in terms of her disproving Tinya's catty comment. Tinya can be forgiven for speaking from grief, but Imra shows herself the true hero, not only for not reacting to Tinya's criticism, but for reaching out to help soothe Tinya.

Jo appears to be the only good-looking pirate on Frake's ship. Is the Captain a maneater, literally? Did her other toyboys walk the plank?

The Legionnaires seemed to give up on Jo pretty quickly! Brainy should have had some device to detect what happened, but then we wouldn't have a tedious and drawn-out story ahead of us. Am I being harsh? Could this story be improved by an affair between Garth and Jeckie?



Holy Cats of Egypt!
#924611 - 03/29/17 04:15 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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thoth lad Offline
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thoth lad  Offline
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Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
LoSH 274

On the cover, an emotionally crushed Legion look on the statue of Ultra Boy in the hall of heroes. His partner, Tinya, has unveiled the statue and is on her knees in front of it. But all is not lost as Ultra Boy bursts in to tell them that he’s really alive.

Last issue Pulsar Stargrave blasted Ultra Boy. Jo had oddly dropped his ultra-invulnerability as he went to save Tinya from the villain. He was blasted into oblivion, which in DC circles is a small Pacific island in the 20th century where characters go for some R&R when no body has been found after their apparent demise. Jo’s journey reminds me of a later dimensional trip he made following his encounter with Roxxas in v4.

The opening pages intercut Jo’s ghostly cosmic journey with the Legionnaires conducting his funeral and unveiling his memorial statue. We’ve already seen the statue on the cover, but the scene itself goes well beyond repeating the image. It’s a well-balanced, sombre affair that weighs heavily on those present. There’s a nice transition linking the final parts of both scenes. The narrator wonders what Jo will think when he wakes up, having been taken aboard a passing ship, as Imra wakes up Tinya in the Legion HQ.

Imra looks to comfort Tinya, but she gets the brunt of the pain and anguish instead. There’s some uncomfortable words in there about how Tinya speaks of Imra, and it goes a long way to reinforce the theory that Imra is some sort of ice maiden. There’s even a pot shot at Saturn Girl’s marriage to Lightning Lad, indicating that there might have been a sense of duty involved after Garth sacrificed his life for her back in the Adventure days.

But these are just words, and Imra’s actions have always risen above them. They do so again here, as she allows Tinya to tap into her fondest memories of her time with Jo.

There’s another well worked link to the Jo and Tinya scenes. Following Tinya’s rush of memories, we learn that Jo has lost his. He’s been picked up on a pirate ship. He might not know how he can beat the aggressive crew, but he uses his powers to hold of a group of them effortlessly. The panel where he throws them all off was repeated in the first arc of the v3 Baxter story.

A rested Tinya re-joins her Legion colleagues, and she has bonded with Imra. There’s no sign that the latter has dwelt on the harsh words, wanting only the best for her colleague. The team are summoned to an alarm. Elsewhere, we may be about to see the cause of the emergency.

Jo is seduced by the leader of the pirates, Captain Frake. She’s quite happy to nearly kill him, to test his powers. Fortunately, Jo seems to unconsciously know when to switch his ultra-powers, as the scene treats him as if he’s Superboy.

Jo seems not to have been teleported away by Stargrave, but simply blasted off Rimbor entirely at super speed, which doesn’t seem to work as well. His Legion flight ring has been turned to slag, but there’s still enough of his costume left to form his Ultra Boy logo. But rather than ask about that, he gets a change of clothes and another link to his past is gone.

Sure enough, Captain Frake’s pirates are the cause of the Legion emergency, and the two plots combine. There’s an interesting look at the roles each Legionnaire has aboard a Legion cruiser, as they intercept the pirates. There’s six on this mission and it takes at least five to fully run the ship, which I like as a nice nod to the five man teams of Curt Swan’s time on the book.

Frake does the natural thing, and sends Ultra Boy to disable the Legion, mistaking them for a SP Patrol. Having shown the duties of each Legionnaire, we know where they are on the cruiser. This feeds into the resulting combat very nicely. Cosmic Boy falls, because he’s just where the pirates have struck the ship. The bridge is cut off, and Tinya gets to use her powers well in getting to Rokk and the blindsided Karate Kid. Karate Kid has a moment of doubt, in solid Legion tradition. Has his time away (which seems like quite a while ago) affected his ability as a Legionnaire? He acts decisively, but is ambushed by Jo, before he can get a good look at his attacker. As Tinya begins to phase her way through the ship, Imra makes a shocked discovery.

They are unable to recognise him in the space suit he wears, but Jo’s actions slow as the ghosts of recollection begin to haunt his mind. Tinya is the last to confront him, showing that she can disrupt someone’s biological systems by phasing through them. Jo does manage to knock her out, but flees when he looks at her. In another story, the love that we saw between them in Tinya’s memories would have been enough to shock Jo back, leading to a quite different ending. Here, he doesn’t quite remember, and flees back to the pirates.

In the closing scene, Garth and Jeckie wonder why Imra reacted strangely during the battle. In a reprise of Tinya’s insults earlier in the issue, we see that Jeckie, and even Garth in his silence, don’t know what goes on in the mind of a telepath. Imra’s abilities keep her at a remove from her team mates. Her team mates seemingly keep her at arm’s length a lot of the time. Probably not consciously but through the odd remark or reaction. But that will only have built over time.

Without anyone to confide in, she wonders if she imaged sensing Jo in the encounter. Perhaps she feels as though she was influenced by Tinya’s rush of loving memories. This reaction would also recur during Imra and Brin Londo’s time trapped on an asteroid in a Levitz story. There, Imra’s sense of love between Brin and Ayla resulted in her growing close to Brin, as if reaching out for that love. Looking at both together, seems to illustrate just how lonely Imra must feel sometimes.

I liked the shape of the story in this one. We have two plots, with Jo on one side and the Legion (through Tinya and Imra) on the other. The two interweave at the start, before breaking off into parallel solo development (memories), then combine once more in the space battle, only to separate into two ongoing plot threads again at the end of a single issue story. It’s a nice example of the craft that goes into writing a comic book.

In addition, we get a very close look at Imra, how she is perceived by others and how she acts as a result. The decision not to reconcile Jo and Tinya was interesting. Considering how clingy they are, any kind of break is sometimes welcome.

Ditko got in a few memorable panels, and the art complimented the story nicely.

The change of writers when Brainy was removed from the team, made that story a bit of a mess. I know we’re about to get into similar territory with the removal of Jo.


"...not having to believe in a thing to be interested in it and not having to explain a thing to appreciate the wonder of it."
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