Who's Online Now
0 Legionnaires (), 0 Murran Spies and 9 Spider Guild Agents online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Television Trouble-Finder
Time-Scope
Re-reading the Legion: Archives Volume 19
by Fat Cramer. 11/23/17 01:32 AM
New Marvel EiC: Alonso out, C.B. Cebulski in
by Paladin. 11/23/17 01:32 AM
The Non-Legion Comics Trivia Thread Pt 5
by Myg - Andy S. 11/23/17 12:40 AM
Legion Trivia 5
by Myg - Andy S. 11/23/17 12:39 AM
Inane One Word Posts XXX - keep it clean
by Invisible Brainiac. 11/22/17 10:27 PM
Legion of Doom Idol Final!
by Emily Sivana. 11/22/17 06:24 PM
Justice League: The Movie!
by rickshaw1. 11/22/17 05:21 PM
Universe-Monitor
DC Comics
Legion Wiki
LMBP Yahoo! Group
LMB Wiki
Facebook Legion World
Twitter Legion World
Legion at Cosmic Teams
Legion of Super-Bloggers
The Legion Omnicom
Legion Abstract
Year 3000 - Legion RP site
The Future Begins Now - Legion RP site
We Are Legion - Legion RP site
Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe - Legion
Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics - Legion
Legion of Super-Heroes Online Companion
Hero History at Major Spoilers
Interlac, the Legion of Super-Heroes APA Facebook group
Klordny: Devoted to the Legion of Super-Heroes
APA 247 Yahoo! Group
It's OK, I'm a Senator
Get-a-Life Boy's Legion of Super-Heroes Site
Titanstower
The Legion Files
Heaven4Heroes - Legion
Legion of Super-Heroes fanfic
Glamazonia presenta: Legione Dei Super-Eroi
Super Future Friends
Legion of Substitute Podcasters
Blockade Boy
The Legion of Super-Heroes - Kevin Leung's Original Comic Art Gallery
The Superhero Network Entertainment Group
Omnicom
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 5 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6
#927459 - 05/05/17 02:55 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Café Cramer
LSH #278, Tragedy at the Top of the World by Gerry Conway(plot) & Roy Thomas (script) , art by Jimmy Janes & Bruce Patterson, colours Gene D'Angelo, letters Todd Klein

[Linked Image]

Mon-el leads the charge against Grimbor's Earth-circling chains, with Shady close behind. They're hit with a great energy blast and fall towards Earth, Timber Wolf and Saturn Girl rescue the two unconscious Legionnaires as Light Lass berates her brother for his poor leadership which allowed this to happen. The Ranzz twins set aside their dispute to deal with the chains, but they are equally unsuccessful. Mon-el, recovered, wants to go after the chains once more, but Saturn Girl reports some link she picked up between the chains and a North Pole fortress, which she presumes to be Grimbor's lair.

The team meeting with President Allon is interrupted by a hologram of Grimbor, who now demands a response within an hour. Colossal Boy challenges Grimbor only to be hushed by his Presidential mother.

Grimbor, in his fortress, weeps over his lost Charma but is alerted to Legionnaires approaching.

The team investigating the cargo theft are in a Middle Eastern city and are encountering resistance from a spaceport official. As the official tries to stop Phantom Girl from entering a warehouse, he is hit by Reflecto. His sudden appearance rubs Cosmic Boy the wrong way, who resents this interference by a non-Legionnaire. Chuck & Lu whisper together that Reflecto seems somehow familiar. Reflecto and Cos fight, Blok joins in as well as Bouncing Boy, but all are defeated by Reflecto, who kisses Phantom Girl's hand and expresses his admiration for her before flying off.

Phantom Girl enters the warehouse and opens the door for the rest of the team. They discover a huge power crystal as well as broken brackets which would have contained a similar one. The Legionnaires conclude that such a power crystal could be the energy source for Grimbor's chains. They contact Legion HQ, get an update that contact has been lost with the Arctic team and Grimbor has given only an hour for Earth Council's response. As they fly off, Reflecto follows them.

The North Pole team, outside Grimbor's fortress, fall one by one to his traps, but are not killed. Timber Wolf evades capture until he enters the fortress, then he too is trapped in chains. Grimbor explains that he's willing to die with the rest of Earth.

Back at Legion HQ, Karate Kid and Projectra stand on the roof and observe that the chains are moving ever closer to the surface, strangling the planet.

Comments:
There was a good sense of frayed nerves in the opening scenes, as the team attacking the chains squabbled and blamed Garth. Unfairly, I think, since Tasmia should have stayed back; what could shadow power do against energy chains? Did she really think she was the equal of Mon-el in this situation? It gave me some sympathy for Garth as leader, blamed for everything that goes wrong.

Imra's telepathic alerts/discoveries are certainly useful as a plot advancement, scene changing device.

Not a fan of Gim Allon generally, but here I felt for his discomfort dealing with this tense situation under his mother's eye. President Mom rightly asserted her authority, but that must have stung nevertheless.

The Middle Eastern city was pretty much updated generic, but added some interest as a location we've seen very little of in the Legionverse.

Tinya, in addition to being centre-stage as the object of Reflecto's affections, once again takes the initiative of entering the location to reveal the mystery. Haven't tallied up the appearances, but I think Mr. Conway rather likes Tinya.

I do enjoy the little touches that give us some insight into how Earth's economy and political system functions. Here we learn that Earth exports power crystals to the colonies which we learned in the previous issue, produce food for Earth.

Grimbor's traps and tricks are inventive. You wonder if he hadn't met Charma, he might have been CEO of Grimbor Enterprises.

Reflecto has gone from a curiosity to being a bit creepy stalker. Still, it's surprising that Rokk lost his cool with the guy - maybe everyone is feeling the effects of Garth's leadership crisis and tempers are shortening all around.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#928041 - 05/09/17 02:31 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Café Cramer
LSH #279, Castle Grimbor Must Fall by Roy Thomas, art by Jimmy Janes & Frank Chiaramonte, colours Gene D'Angelo, letters Ben Oda

[Linked Image]

Of the two teams which attacked Grimbor's castle, only Lightning Lad remains standing, free and shouting challenges at a holographic image of Grimbor. A caged Mon-el contemplates their overconfidence and fails to break free.

Val and Jeckie observe that breathing is increasingly difficult as the chains tighten around Earth's atmosphere. Val considers there might be a weak link which he could sunder, but doesn't have enough information. He runs through the status of the Legion teams, the absence of Superboy, the death of Ultra Boy, and the apparent hopelessness of it all. Jeckie is angry with the situation but suggests they touch base with President Allon. Allon reports that Earth Council has refused Grimbor's demands and that military assaults on the chains have failed, fatally. Gim attempts to comfort his mother and is angrily pushed away; Violet consoles him. Wildfire tires of talk and flies off to Grimbor's retreat, joined by the other Legionnaires.

The people of Earth are panicking, praying, looting and drinking themselves into oblivion as the chains tighten.

Val decides to fly up to the chains to look for the weak point, but Jeckie refuses to accompany him, saying that, with her power, she'd just be “a cheerleader”, then departs for her quarters. Val is angry but carries on.

Garth continues to fight Grimbor's defenses as the Middle Eastern team approaches, followed by Reflecto. Grimbor's image taunts them, reminding them that Superboy and Ultra Boy are gone. Reflecto implores them to let him help. Rokk and Blok enter the castle and confront Grimbor in person, as Chuck and Lu whisper outside, suggesting that Reflecto might be Jo Nah. Grimbor now has mental powers due to the power crystals and controls Blok, forcing him to crush Rokk.

In her apartment, Projectra activates the Augmatron, a machine she has developed to augment her powers. Although it's not finished, she uses it and appears to collapse, unmoving and not breathing.

Val approaches the chains in a protective aura-suit and hesitates before striking. People on Earth collapse from lack of air.

At the North Pole, Chuck, Lu, Tinya and Reflecto mount a final offense, but all fail. Grimbor is convinced that Reflecto is Jo Nah and successfully uses a trap designed just for him. Suddenly, Charma appears, kissing Grimbor and asking how his energy-chains worked. Grimbor suddenly sees through the illusion, strikes Charma, whose image is replaced by Tinya. A desperate Reflecto breaks his bonds to try and save Tinya, as Grimbor fires on him.

Val prepares to strike, then is interrupted by an image of Projectra, giving him the weak point's coordinates, the main Earth-Council Satellite.

Reflecto is injured but rushes to Tinya's side, who explains that Projectra entered her mind and cast Charma's image. Despite repeated blasts, Reflecto defeats Grimbor, then collapses, saying he doesn't know who he really is.

Val destroys the satellite and the chains disappear. He then flies off to the Arctic and disables the power source for the various traps holding the Legionnaires. Tinya bends over the fallen Reflecto and discovers his face is really a mask. Astonished Legionnaires see that Reflecto is Superboy and may have died.

Comments:

Quite a few people die in this story. They are neither named nor numbered, but it's acknowledged that Grimbor's actions have resulted in numerous fatalities. There's also some panel time devoted to the actions of a desperate and panicking populace, something we don't see much of in comics, even today. However, nobody at Grimbor's Arctic retreat has trouble breathing, nor do we see any chains overhead.

It was a nice touch to have Jeckie refuse the role of cheerleader for Val, which is sort of what brought Tasmia to a near end when Mon-el attacked the chains. I was also pleased to see the two Legionnaires left out of the action, Val and Jeckie, were the ones ultimately responsible for saving Earth.

Sadly, the Augmatron is one of the many machines consigned to the Lost Tech of the Legion department. There could have been another story, a cautionary tale, in that. We've seen what happens when somebody like Thora augments Legionnaires' powers.

Reflecto follows Tinya like a lapdog. His behaviour somewhat echoes Grimbor's own obsessive devotion to Charma.

Lots of emotion between Gim and President Mom. It's not the sort of conflict which is resolved over a nice cup of tea, although I don't recall how it plays out in the issues ahead.

Regardless of all the hints Grimbor, Chuck and Lu supplied for Reflecto to be Ultra Boy, he apparently turns out to be Superboy. Readers will surely have found this to be yet another misdirection. If the story had ended here, with Reflecto not Superboy (nor Jo Nah), but some admirer from Tinya's past or unknown to her, this would have been a pretty acceptable three-issue story.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#928143 - 05/09/17 03:07 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
I can't believe Cramer fell for all that "Of course, we'll join you in reviewing the Reflecto Saga" smile

Hopefully I'll catch up this weekend. The board issue threw me off last week, and a few real life things this.


"...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."
#928147 - 05/09/17 03:36 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,937
Harbinger Offline
Harbinger  Offline


Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,937
here, more often than not
I picked this issue up in a charity shop several years ago, it cost me 1 pence as the cover was ripped in half and the previous owner had drawn big red nipples onto Tinya's more than ample bosom on the cover. I explained to the shop assistant that I was wanting it to rip and scrunch up to fill up a box with a fragile present in it. She didn't believe me.

I have a vague recollection of all the men standing around with their legs wide apart like they had really bad dropped hemorrhoids and Jeckie fainting.

Other than that I can't remember it and must have thrown in out when I moved as I no longer have it.

Sorry FC, but that's the best I can do for now though I do really like yours and everyone elses reviews..


Legion Worlds Four - awesome ongoing adventures set in the Retro-Boot, only in the Bits o' Legionnaire Business Forum.
#928206 - 05/10/17 10:36 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Harbinger]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Café Cramer
Originally Posted by thoth lad

Hopefully I'll catch up this weekend.


A likely story. In any event, it's the Brave & Bold issue next week, so we all get a breather.

Originally Posted by Harbinger
I picked this issue up in a charity shop several years ago, it cost me 1 pence as the cover was ripped in half and the previous owner had drawn big red nipples onto Tinya's more than ample bosom on the cover. I explained to the shop assistant that I was wanting it to rip and scrunch up to fill up a box with a fragile present in it. She didn't believe me.


No doubt the nipple artist went on to a rewarding career in the fine arts.

Quote
I have a vague recollection of all the men standing around with their legs wide apart like they had really bad dropped hemorrhoids and Jeckie fainting.


That actually sums up quite a few Legion stories.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#928215 - 05/10/17 01:00 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
No doubt the nipple artist went on to a rewarding career in the fine arts.


I think the nipple artist was the charity shop assistant. Overtly volunteering for good; covertly drawing rude bits onto everything in sight, and putting rude notes in books.

Quote
I have a vague recollection of all the men standing around with their legs wide apart like they had really bad dropped hemorrhoids and Jeckie fainting.


There's a page or a thread somewhere in Webland focusing on the comic device of framing things between people's legs.


"...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."
#928543 - 05/12/17 08:15 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
I just re-read #277-279.

Overall, as a story, it holds up pretty well. However, there is an awful lot of padding and pointless heroic posturing. Conway departs after plotting the first two issues, and Roy Thomas arrives to script the first two issues and take over the reins on the third. The effect of these these two Marvel veterans collaborating is of a Marvelized Legion, with heroes making dramatic gestures, long expository scenes that should be condensed, and, typical especially of Thomas, a lot of overwriting.

I found it annoying that the heroes kept referring to each other by their full real names every chance they got. Even Tinya refers to Jo Nah more than once. Speaking of which, how many clues about Ultra Boy being dead and Superboy being sent back to the 20th century do you need to drop, Roy? Some readers may be new, but they are not stupid.

The story does have many pluses, though, and they've been highlighted in the above reviews. Val and Jeckie, the two Legionnaires left behind, save the day. Many people die, creating a rare sense of consequence for a Legion story of this time (and a development that hearkens back to the casualties caused by Computo in Adv. 340-341). Gim's conflict with his mom seemed the most realistic of the interpersonal dramas. Garth's troubles as leader were somewhat less convincing. Everybody seems to be dumping on him.

As for Reflecto, he's there to mainly serve the needs of the plot, and to lead into the return of not one but two Legionnaires next issue. I had high hopes for this character, as he was a mystery figure from the old Adult Legion cover, but here he's treated as a rather wooden, flowery speaking stalker who shows up just in the nick of time when Tinya needs him. The most interesting thing about Reflecto is how the other Legionnaires respond to him. Garth respects his privacy and does not push to find out who he is. Cos acts as if his own territory is being invaded and attacks Reflecto. Wildfire's abrasiveness turns into paranoia about Reflecto being an infiltrator. (Why would he assume that? Reflecto never indicated that he even wanted to join the Legion.) Grimbor thinks he has figured out Reflecto's identity and plans accordingly--but surprise! The writers had to keep readers from guessing the truth, just as they later would when it came time to reveal Sensor Girl's real identity.

All in all, I appreciate what Conway and Thomas tried to do. There are some clever twists and turns in the story. But it needed much tighter editing and fewer Marvel-style emotional outbursts.

By the way, this is the last we'll see of the slanty Legion logo on the cover, and good riddance.


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#928685 - 05/14/17 05:42 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
A few thoughts on Garth's leadership or lack thereof:

In this story line, he demonstrates both good and bad qualities of being a leader. When Wildfire rakes him over the coals, Garth does not get upset. Rather, he agrees with Drake about his own shortcomings. He also demonstrates good leadership when he assigns Gim to the presidential detail. Whatever Gim's feelings, his power would likely be useless against the glowing chains and of unknown value on Cos's mission. He sent the Legionnaires where they might serve best. By process of elimination, Gim got the prez detail.

On the other hand, he makes some questionable choices in choosing the Legion teams. He keeps the couples together: Chuck and Lu, Ayla and Brin, Shady and Mon, Val and Jeckie, Imra and himself. But just what he thought Brin or Shady could do against the giant chains remains a mystery. Wouldn't it have made more sense to bring Element Lad or Wildfire along? Imra's presence is also questionable, though she pulls her weight by picking up some plot-convenient thought emanations which direct the team to the North Pole.

Garth also defuses his sister's anger and redirects her attention to the mission. He's right that he couldn't control Shady's actions, though he could have given her an order to hold back before she charged blindly into the chains. However, Shady's actions rest on her. No leader can control everything his or her subordinates do.

Garth's greatest failing, to me, is that once the team at the North Pole has been incapacitated, he does not summon the rest of the Legion to help. Rather, he chooses to go down fighting. Granted, the earth had only minutes to live and there was no guarantee that the others could reach him in time, but a good leader must hope for the best. He should have shown Grimbor that he was still in charge of his own emotions and actions and not made idle death threats (from a Legionnaire!). He also should have had a plan rather than charging the castle head on. (Mon-El also alludes to this lack of plan in 279.)

His other great failing is that, when adversity came during his tenure as leader, he announced his resignation. Nothing destroys confidence in a team more than a leader who jumps off the boat when things get tough. And what Legion leader hasn't had difficulties? Did Invisible Kid threaten to resign when Ferro Lad died? Did Mon-El turn in his notice when Invisible Kid was killed? Did Wildfire step down after Chemical King's death? Each of these leaders also faced numerous other challenges.

In the final analysis, Garth was no better and no worse than some of the Legion leaders we've seen, and he demonstrated some enviable qualities, such as level-headedness in the face of criticism.


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#928902 - 05/16/17 06:23 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Café Cramer
Brave & Bold #179 Time Bomb with the Thousand Year Fuse by Martin Pasko, art by Ernie Colon & Mike DeCarlo, colours Carl Gafford, letters Ben Oda

[Linked Image]

An armoured car in Gotham stops before an old man lying in the street, but it's a trap for a heist. Batman happens to be close by and that's the end of that. The thieves were after a time capsule with “all kindsa scientific junk”; Batman is baffled why the capsule would be deemed valuable.

The answer lies in 2981, in which the “time capsule” is revealed to be the famous Mandorian Relic, being examined by scientists on a remote asteroid. This egg-like capsule has a yolk of living anti-matter, a shell which defies analysis. It is predicted to hatch in 1000 years and is considered to be a potentially serious weapon in the wrong hands. Then the wrong hands appear and two armed robbers seize the egg, triggering an alarm which brings the Legion of Super-Heroes.

They encounter armed robots and the human master thief, who uses an emerald light to hypnotize the Legionnaires. The thief then appears in Gotham City in 1981, in the museum housing the time capsule, then replaces the capsule with the stolen Mandorian egg. Batman is on the scene once again, observing then attempting to stop the thief; as they grapple, they both disappear.

The recovered Legionnaires see that the egg is gone and believe the thief was Anton Halkor, a renegade cyberneticist who must have escaped prison. They also suspect that his hypnotic beam means he's working with an old and dangerous Legion enemy.

Halkor is indeed working with Universo (as yet unnamed in the text); he has returned to Universo's underground lair with Batman, who he assaulted and left outside. The two villains watch a monitor on which is displayed Rond Vidar, demonstrating a dimensional time cube inside the Legion Arsenal. Halkor activates some device to stun Duo Damsel and Universo (named “Argus Oranx”) vows to destroy them.

Bats manages to figure out where and when he is, operate a clothing synthesizer and bypass the Legion's security systems, only to find himself greeted by suspicious Legionnaires.

As Batman gains the trust of the Legion and explains the situation, Rond Vidar returns to Universo with his time cube, which he reports, has dispersed Shadow Lass, Duo Damsel and Shrinking Violet.

Batman and the Legion figure out that the egg will hatch that very day and blow up a large section of the city. Batman wants to return to the past and prevent Halkor from planting the egg; Element Lad warns that the past can't be changed without serious consequences and Cham reports that all their time travel equipment has been sabotaged. Halkor appears on a monitor, telling them that the three women have disappeared and the Legion will have to find him before it's too late.

Rond Vidar is shown to be under Universo's mind-control. Batman has some ideas on how to find the villains, since the dripping sound he heard during Halkor's message suggested a sewer. They find Halkor, who tells them to surrender in exchange for the time-scattered female Legionnaires. He is defeated by cham, posing as a posionous snake, and Batman; the team then finds an unconscious Rond Vidar. Batman is told that Halkor was a fraudster until James Gordon-Wayne brought him to justice; now Batman assumes he has descendants in the 30th century and it's become personal.

The Legionnaires face off against Universo as Batman disables the egg and attaches it to an anti-gravity device, causing it to explode in space. Rond Vidar appears, just as the three girls fly out from the time-cube and mop up Universo. Rond repairs the Legion's time bubble; Cosmic Boy escorts Batman back to the 20th century.

[b]Comments:[b]

This seemed like a fairly long story, although it wasn't that complicated. I always liked the Batman of this era, even if he's somewhat bland and friendly – no Dark Knight, but he is a clever detective. There was a nice scene of the Legionnaires sitting at his feet, like children surrounding a story-teller.

Batman's easy adaptation to the future makes it seem a bit blasé, however.

Universo's name is Argus Oranx?? I don't think I ever knew that.

Halkor behaves like any other chatty villain of the period, with the usual atrocious fashion sense. The explanation that he and Universo set up their lair in a 20th century lead-pipe filled sewer to avoid detection is pretty far-fetched, but so is the idea of an egg with a live anti-matter yolk. Universo has a few good moments controlling the Legionnaires, but is pretty quickly defeated. He doesn't come off as the mastermind who controls Earth presidents and hiding in a sewer just seems so inappropriate for a major Legion villain.

I thought it was an unacknowledged Projectra who caused Halkor to think the floor was turning to quicksand, but a reread points to Element Lad. Projectra doesn't do much but call the Science Police. At least Shady, Vi and Duo Damsel get to defeat Universo. Perhaps they resented him calling them “nubile”.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#929008 - 05/17/17 12:11 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
The name Argus Oranx III was also given for Universo back in Superboy @ 207.


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#929256 - 05/21/17 07:55 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
Originally Posted by Fat Cramer


This seemed like a fairly long story, although it wasn't that complicated.


One of the challenges of writing B&B, I imagine, was telling a complete story in one issue, as Batman needed a different co-star in the following issue. This issue is doubly complicated by the fact that Batman can't simply waltz over to Metropolis or Coast City to interact with his co-star. There had to be credible plot to get him involved with the Legion a thousand years later. So, yeah, the story feels long--and choppy in places. There are some odd scene transitions and the plot isn't wholly convincing. It relies on a great deal of contrivance and convenience, such as the egg looking almost identical to the time capsule.

Still, there was a lot of fun in this story, mainly in Batman's interaction with the Legion. I loved the scene you mentioned, of the Legionnaire's sitting around as the "elder hero" regaled them with tales. Batman's full-page farewell also stoked the emotions. You're right: this is not the Dark Knight, suspicious of everyone. I miss the days when heroes recognized each other as colleagues and the Legionnaires got a special thrill from interacting with their forebears.

Vi's "Ah . . . be my guest . . . Batman?!" was also a nice touch.


Quote
Batman's easy adaptation to the future makes it seem a bit blasé, however.


I thought so, too, but he had been here before--in JLA 146 and 147, as a footnote reminds us.

Quote
Halkor behaves like any other chatty villain of the period, with the usual atrocious fashion sense.


Anton Halkor = Double-Hatchet-Header. A distant relative of Double-Header, perhaps?

Quote
Universo has a few good moments controlling the Legionnaires, but is pretty quickly defeated. He doesn't come off as the mastermind who controls Earth presidents and hiding in a sewer just seems so inappropriate for a major Legion villain.


All of the Legion's villains had their off-days, it seems, such as Mordru and the old Blood Crystals story. It must be tough being a villain in the 30th century. You have to be active every so often or you lose your membership in the Villain's Guild, which doesn't care if every scheme is brilliant so long as you instigate 2.5 acts of evil per year.

Quote
I thought it was an unacknowledged Projectra who caused Halkor to think the floor was turning to quicksand, but a reread points to Element Lad. Projectra doesn't do much but call the Science Police. At least Shady, Vi and Duo Damsel get to defeat Universo. Perhaps they resented him calling them “nubile”.


The role of the female Legionnaires in this story is quite interesting and not unusual for the time. Even the cover points out that it's the female "colleagues" who are trapped while the boy Legionnaires rush to save them. A sort of understated sexism, perhaps? Jeckie may be there for eye candy or to establish early on that the Legionnaires weren't an all-male team, as new readers might be led to believe. In any case, she needs help being pulled out of the pressurized goo on the floor, while the boys didn't seem to have much of a problem avoiding it.


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#929350 - 05/22/17 12:46 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,599
Cobalt Kid Offline
Bold Flavors
Cobalt Kid  Offline
Bold Flavors

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,599
If you don't want my peaches, ...
LSH #277-279

Well, it does my heart well to see so many people keeping the reread going. I finally got caught back up...well, almost, still have B&B to go...and read LSH #277-279, or as many Legion fans have referred to it over the years "those damn Conway Thomas Reflecto issues".

All in all, it holds up much better than I thought it would. Honestly, I was prepared to read a pile of crap, asI recall being disappointed the first time around way back when. In hindsight that might have been because I read them right before the Levitz / Giffen issues and unfairly compared them. This time around I was much more pleased. While there were some bumps in the road for both plotting and dialogue, it was overall a pretty enjoyable story!

The overall plot, with Grimbor and the chained Earth, was ridiculous yet batshit superhero fun. It was all action, melodrama and colorful superheroes and in that regard, it appeals to my purest love of the medium. Meanwhile, a lot of other things worked well too: continuing to add little character moments for a variety of Legionnaires, continuing to build subplots and an attempt to balance the larger Legion roster--all good things that have slowly become a regular part of the series over the last few years.

Reflecto had a lot of potential and its hard not to view it as a let down in hindsight. I much preferred the TMK retcon version of him. Still, its amusing that Thomas took the obvious "Jo in disguise" idea that everyone predicted from Reflecto's first appearance and decided to make it uber-complicated by having it be Superboy...which will lead to the Time Trapper and other things. Its such a Roy Thomas thing to do that you can't help but laugh.

Lastly, I remember when I bought these issues, I was totally expecting the interior art to be by George Perez, just like the covers. I was SO disappointed when I opened up each one to find out I was wrong. I still think of that whenever I look at the gorgeous Perez cover art.

Last edited by Cobalt Kid; 05/22/17 12:51 PM.
#929384 - 05/22/17 08:03 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
Anyone would pale in comparison to George Perez, but I think Jimmy Janes acquitted himself quite well. He's probably my favorite Legion artist in between the early Sherman period and Pat Broderick.


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#929428 - 05/23/17 08:47 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,599
Cobalt Kid Offline
Bold Flavors
Cobalt Kid  Offline
Bold Flavors

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 34,599
If you don't want my peaches, ...
^ I have to add that I absolutely agree with you there. Jimmy Janes and the inker who most consistently worked with him, Frank Charamonte, did a fantastic job throughout Conway's run. My major takeaway of this entire era was that not only were Conway's stories much better than I ever remembered or gave him credit for, but the artwork was really great too for the most part. This is probably the most unfairly treated run in LSH history and Janes is criminally underrated.

#929517 - 05/24/17 02:43 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Café Cramer
LSH #280 O! Call Back Yesterday! by Roy Thomas, art by Jimmy Janes & Bruce Patterson, colours Gene D'Angelo, letters Ben Oda

[Linked Image]

In Grimbor's castle, Reflecto is revealed to be Superboy, to the astonishment of the Legionnaires. A captured Grimbor is silenced with a snowball in the mouth, turned to gold by Element Lad. Superboy appears to think he is Jo Nah, which greatly upsets Tinya; Imra confirms that his consciousness believes that, although his subconscious is that of Superboy. She also explains that she didn't tell Tinya that she sensed Jo among the pirates, since she wasn't certain.

Mon-el challenges “Reflecto” to prove his identity with a fight and demonstrates that he really is Superboy, since he has just used more than one power at a time. Lightning Lad convenes a meeting of the full Legion at HQ, after Grimbor is delivered to the SPs. Gim reflects on recent events and regrets arguing with his mother. As the Legionnaires fly off, a figure with a purple sleeve observes them on a monitor and looks forward to crushing them as well as Grimbor.

In Metropolis, crowds herald the Karate Kid and the Legion; Val is reunited with Projectra and Gim and his mother mend fences. These sentimental moments annoy Wildfire, but Blok claims it's his envy of their happiness which makes him speak rashly.

At the Legion meeting, Lightning Lad postpones his resignation as leader until the Reflecto/Ultra Boy/Superboy mystery is solved and requests that Imra read his mind. She recaps the events that led to Superboy being sent back to the 20th century, never to return, and declares that she can't find any answer to the mystery in his mind. Tinya asks him a very personal question and gets the answer that only Jo would know. Garth decides to send a team to the 20th century to investigate and Tinya insists that she go along.

As the time bubble departs, the shadow of Batman appears before Legion HQ.

Just before the bubble arrives, there's a great shaking and the bubble is surrounded by intense light, and emerges as a mushroom cloud rises into the atmosphere. Superboy creates a funnel by flying around the blast, sending it into the upper atmosphere and thereby protecting any people on the ground. Soldiers approach and fire on Superboy, accusing him of setting off the nuke above-ground, which they observed on film of the incident. Rather than be arrested, Lightning Lad leads the attack and the team escapes to the Kents' home in Smallville and see on television that they are all believed to be foreign agents who have control of Superboy. Superboy remains confused about his identity.

Garth decides to go back to the 30th century, then return to Smallville with appropriate clothing and identification. However, the time bubble shakes and cracks, and Superboy hurls it into space as it explodes. A voice in the sky calls the Legion and they are suddenly in another place, before the Time Trapper, who tells them that he has found ways to trap Legionnaires in the primitive 20th century and has taken advantage of their present dilemma to attack the Legion in the 30th century. The Legionnaires are suddenly back in Smallville, tracked by the military, which they evade. The Trapper's voice tells them they can get back home only by waiting 1000 years and the team responds “Long Live the Legion”.

Comments:

The Reflecto saga gets increasingly complicated and offers no clues to the reader about what could really be going on. As soon as a purple sleeve appears in a panel, one suspects the Time Trapper is behind it all, but the Trapper has only taken advantage of the confusion.

The cover says “Superboy Rejoins the Legion”, although we've learned by now to not place too much confidence in the cover story. Although it's pretty certain that this is really Superboy, however muddled, there's lingering doubt throughout the story, despite his use of multiple powers at one time. The Kents have left town: is that a red herring or part of the mystery? The big questions now are: Who did this to Superboy and why? Followed by: Is Jo Nah out there somewhere?

The story recaps quite a few prior events to explain how the situation developed, and presents the reader with a preview of the Batman/Brave & Bold issue which we reviewed last week. There's even a brief reference to Cham finding out that R.J. Brande is his father, quite a few issues ago. If I were reading the book on a monthly basis, these recaps would be helpful in creating a sense of continuity.

Despite believing he shouldn't be leader, Garth does a good job of directing the team and making decisions. There's some insight into the personalities of Blok, Wildfire and Colossal Boy; Tinya and Imra's emotional connection is reinforced (although it never leads to any great friendship long-term) and Karate Kid displays his familiarity with the 20th century. Tinya frets over Jo/Superboy. Otherwise, the Legionnaires are just figures in the story, occasionally displaying their powers. Well, not everybody can take centre stage.

The story wasn't without interest by any means, but was frustrating in its lack of resolution. The appearance of the Time Trapper, and the information that the next issue will include the Molecule Master, only suggests more confusion.

It occurred to me that this arc was the model for the Sensor Girl mystery, which also continued for many issues and gave confusing, seemingly contradictory clues. All the while, the Legionnaires had to deal with on-going missions as the mystery continued. One difference there was that Saturn Girl had vouched for Sensor Girl, thereby assuring the reader that she was neither a villain nor a hero under a villain's control (although some doubts were raised). With Reflecto/Superboy/Jo Nah, everything points to an outside influence, whether accidental or intentional.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#929882 - 05/27/17 04:19 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
On 280:

I believe I bought this issue on one of my frequent trips to Kansas City, where Clint's Comics was just about the only comics shop I knew of. I loved seeing the cover, with Superboy front and center, and the classy new logo.

The story read then and reads now like an increasingly Marvelized version of the Legion. The previous story line isn't resolved but drags out with complications that thrust it in a new direction. There are a lot of emotional reactions and overreactions to events. Someone tell Wildfire to take a chill pill. On the other hand, there are some nice mini-resolutions, such as Gim's reunion with his mom and Imra and Tinya coming to a new understanding.

It seems fitting that Roy Thomas, who has spent much of his career writing about the JSA of the 1940s, would immediately thrust the Legion back into the past. Here, in the 1950s, they fight soldiers and an atomic bomb--threats more in keeping with his sensibilities than futuristic settings and aliens. But Thomas uses this era to deepen the mystery. Just why was Superboy moving an underground a-bomb explosion above ground, where it would endanger the soldiers, before he disappeared into the future? Also, the Legion's covert activities are now a matter of public record and they are trapped in Superboy's era. What will happen next?

Garth does indeed come across as a capable and effective leader. The psychological "trick" he plays on Phantom Girl seems dishonest, but it was effective and came from the right place in his heart. I also liked his decision to bring Dawny and Blok along on the mission because they'd never been to the 20th century--even though their flexibility on missions would be limited (e.g., no undercover work for the girl with wings and giant, living rock).

The lack of resolution is a bit of a downer, but it felt at the time that the Legion was moving forward in a bold new direction.

This issue holds a special place in my heart for another reason: The letters page contains a letter written by me under a pseudonym.


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#929901 - 05/28/17 12:34 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Café Cramer
Do you still have that three-page letter? And the secret identity?

I suppose everything had to be tied to Superboy and Smallville, but given what you say about Roy Thomas' sensibilities, I wonder if he had thought of sending them back to the 1940s and the JSA. The time bubble disturbance could easily have sent them further into the past and it would have been a tie-in with Batman (in the Brave & Bold story) recognizing the future from his experience with the JSA-JLA-Legion crossover. Just to add more confusion to the arc....


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#929943 - 05/28/17 01:28 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
I'm sure I still have the rough draft. I kept all my drafts in those days. I used the pseudonym only a few times. It was an attempt to create a nom de plume.

I love the idea of the Legion meeting the JSA. It would have been a break from the tried-and-true approach of visiting Superboy's era.


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#929983 - 05/29/17 02:58 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Legion 278

The issue gets another great Perez cover. The Earth is surrounded by giant energy chains that not even the might of Mon El can break through. The leader, Lightning Lad, unleashes bolts at it, giving us more super power action and Wolvie-clone can’t make an impact either. Reflecto is also prominent on the cover, aiding the team.

The peril is enhanced and reinforced by the cover text. The Earth is “doomed” and the “world will die” gives us the level of threat. “we can’t” gives us the Legion’s chances” The readers are un obtrusively told that Reflecto is new, and brings subplots to the book.

Timberwolf in his Wolvie disguise isn’t the only early sign of Marveldom. The opening scene, as the team attempt to break the energy chains, repeatedly bubbles under with angsty passive aggression. Lightning Lad has his leadership abilities questioned by his sister, Ayla, and her partner Brin.

Garth goes so far as to agree with them as we see Imra being more decisive. If Garth knew that several cruisers had been obliterated trying to break the chains then he really is useless when he sends Tasmia anywhere near it. He may think it was Shady’s decision to make, but he perhaps could have told her all the information first. When making a character doubt themselves, with the idea of bringing redeeming them later on, it’s fairly important not to make them do things that are so useless that there’s no coming back from them. Garth stopping Mon El throwing himself at the chains for a second attempt comes too late.

At least an early bit of chauvinism by Mon El is countered with a reminder, from Tasmia, that he has weaknesses of his own.

The Energy chains are Plot-Powered making them resistant to superpowers. Still, Imra can now monitor everyone on the planet to compensate. She’s looking for thought emanations directed towards the chains. Oddly, I’d have thought everyone on the doomed, inescapable planet, would be giving them lots of attention. But she picks out Grimbor’s HQ pretty easily from the chaff.

Back on Earth the rest of the Legion hurl ineffective threats against a holo of Grimbor, as he pops in to tell them that he’s bored and is now only giving them an hour to live instead of a day. Grimbor wants revenge for the death of Charma, who he is obsessed with. The Legion might dispute how she died, but she met a very unfortunate death in prison. Gim wastes no time moaning like a kid about his mom being Earth president and how it revolves around him. His growing powers may be linked to the size of his ego. Wildfire shows he’s not someone you want to be around, when there’s a grown up conversation to have.

Grimbor has a moment alone in his citadel to reflect on his revenge against the Legion. I half expect him to reveal that he’s hired a taxidermist, and had Charma put on display. He’s distracted by approaching Legionnaires. I’m wondering how they got past the chains before I realise that it’s the cover that has them attacking the things form beyond Earth’s orbit, while the interior is consistent. Gimbor’s citadel? Why haven’t they asked Earth’s military to help them in such a crisis?
A third group of Legionnaires there seems to be a lot of them hanging around not doing much this issue) is investigating Grimbor’s craft. It’s set in the middle east, which is a nice change, although let down a bit by some stereotypical bribery. We’ve had crooked Science Police a while back, so there’s a definite undercurrent of human greed behind the scenes of this bright future. Luornu has come a long way (not necessarily in the right direction) to be the one to mentally urge Rokk to offer the bribe.

Rokk’s not the best at espionage. But he’s done well in placing Blok in the path of the official to allow Phantom Girl to spy. But a weird perspective shift moves everyone around. Tinya’s in no danger as she’s intangible. But the thought of her being approached by another man sets off her Super Stalker, and Reflecto arrives on the scene.

It takes a couple of panels for their mission and the giant chain like threat to the planet to be ignored before they all start fighting. Reflecto uses a range of super powers, showing that he outclasses the mission team. When Tinya is the only one left, he reverts to Super Creepy mode telling her he’s “come not to conquer, but to worship…” Ugh! Later on, we’ll find out more about Reflecto. So bear in mind, that he’s happy to call Bouncing Boy a “pathetic mountain of corpulence!” and Blok “blockhead”

Blok adds a bit of a physical presence, but once again you get the feeling that such a new character should be getting a bit more of a positive focus. As Reflecto departs, the Legionnaires hurl a few childish remarks in his direction, standing apart (well done Mr Janes) from a rather smitten Phantom Girl.

Pointless fight scene over, and it’s back to business. The team quickly discover a dodgy import/export business in power crystals and grumpy Rokk informs HQ. You’d have thought there would be much more control over such powerful devices. That there’s not makes you wonder why the LSV went to such elaborate plans to get their hands on them years later. They could have just got what they needed through this route. Ominously, they’ve lost contact with Garth’s team at the North Pole.

There, Garth gets a very overdue lesson that metals are very likely to conduct electricity. It’s a shame he didn’t realise this before electrocuting Imra. He and the rest of the team are taken out easily by Grimbor’s traps. Brin, who is the first to attack anything, is the last top do anything. This is so that the writer can give him some Wolverine in the Hellfire Club tunnels panel time. But it’s very out of character. Mon El got away with some chauvinism in the first few panels. But he dismisses Shady’s chances twice in this sequence. You wonder what their relationship is really like behind the scenes, if he’s constantly chipping away at her. It must be Eltro at work in there this issue.

Back at HQ, Jeckie and Val notice that the chains are a lot closer than they should be. It parallels the last panels of the previous issue nicely.

In summary, we had half a dozen scenes and nearly all of them felt padded. Across the issue, we saw Legionnaires being insecure, bratty and needlessly angst ridden.

Garth knew that the chains had destroyed craft, but risked Shady and didn’t allow Mon El to go it alone. Mon El’s put downs and Reflecto’s creepy personality that’s only heroic in the world of the emotionally underdeveloped set a constantly worrying emotional tone in the issue. The pointless fight between Reflecto and the Legion, Wildfire blasting at a wall as Gim whines added to the padded feel. Grimbor looks to kill the legion but all of his death traps fall short. There was a lot of nearly deaths for the Legion this issue. It makes them look less than competent and I wondered if the Luck Lords are behind their continued surv


"...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."
#930087 - 05/29/17 02:52 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Legion 279

Another text/art combo makes this cover a good one. “But…But How?” I hear you ask smile There’s the reveal of a mystery. But that’s not enough! Having solved it, they now have to save the life of the person they’ve uncovered! Is it someone they know? Is Tinya’s presence near the body an indication? Blok gives the Legion something visually different as he lurks in the background along with Chuck and Lu. Perez also manages to show us a captured Grimbor, now part of Garth & Imra’s open marriage. Oh, and there’s the lovely Perez style debris for good measure.

“Castle Greyskull must fall!” shouts an overwrought Garth on a disappointing splash page. Imra tells her husband to flee as Grimbor is too strong. She must have forgotten it was Garth that electrocuted her last issue. We get a reprise of the Plot Driven energy cage that saps Mon El’s powers and the weird arrow gag that disappears and then reappears on Shady’s mouth in early panels. I push back thoughts of Green Arrow’s private life and read on…

Thomas’ dialogue is very cliché heavy here, to the point that Garth threatens to break the Legion code during one of his rants.

Val & Jeckie provide the reader with a recap of what’s been happening in recent issues. Val points out that he does have the unerring ability to find the weak spot in anything, but fears he would do more harm than good. After all, he might kill everyone on the planet, which is what’s going to happen anyway.

Responsibility weighs heavily on the Legion in recent issues. Imra on holding her powers in check, Lightning Lad as leader and here Jeckie by the prospect of the Earth’s doom and Marte Allon’s role as Earth’s president. She lashes out at her son, which is a bit of an escalation on her side of that relationship. This time, it’s Gim who’s hard done by. While it’s not as recent scenes have shown things, it does show the complexities of any relationship. More consistently, Wildfire is the first to break ranks and head for Castle Grimbor. Thomas does well transitioning through each scene, providing a smooth storyline. While it’s not a fondly remembered storyline, it’s always good to see the craft involved.

Thomas makes the parallel between Grimbor’s actions and the threat of terrorism, and that no doubt leads into Earth’s stance of not negotiating. There’s also a page showing the various reactions from Earth’s residents to their impending doom from praying to hiding. One panel, of a man getting hammered before oblivion is very much like the first issue cover of the later Slash Maraud, which had a similar theme.

With all Legionnaires already combatting Grimbor, Val (who, like Timberwolf, should be one of the first into action) eventually decides to try and attack the energy chains. He looks to Jeckie for support, but she would rather be alone. Val has the usual response of being hurt by Jeckie’s reaction and questions their relationship. But from her point of view, the man she loves is leaving her behind so he can die in action. It has a lot of foreboding in light of later events, and is a well-crafted scene. Jeckie isn’t even abandoning her team. She’s been reading some old X-Men comics and has been working secretly (i.e. the writer just made it up and put it in) on Cerebro a power augmenter.


Back at Grimbor HQ, Garth rants at a holo of the villain. He gets past a few silly looking traps, but falls in the end having used up a few panels. The cavalry arrive, but don’t have time to rescue their comrades.

They have only minutes to act, but happily bicker with Reflecto and leave most of their number behind just in case, even as the people of Earth begin to die. Grimbor has conveniently changed his mind about using the castle’s defences, and lets Rokk and Blok in. It’s noticeable that Rokk seems to be seen as a more capable leader than Garth as the latter gets into the castle while a beaten Garth lies outside.

As mentioned, Blok really hasn’t had much to do to endear himself to new readers. In a new low point, he’s turned into a living chain under the control of Grimbor.

The others rush in, but are all overcome by Grimbor’s traps and Plot Derived increased powers. Even Reflecto is secured.

In the end even the cavalry need cavalry. It doesn’t come in the form of Wildfire’s team. They have oddly vanished from the plot. It comes in the form of Jeckie and Val.

Jeckie’s enhanced power enables her to get Tinya to impersonate Charma just long enough for Grimbor to reveal his secrets. She relays these to Val, just before he kills himself against the energy chains. Meanwhile, the sight of a hurt Tinya enrages Reflecto who overcomes Grimbor. In the process he’s revealed not to be Ultra Boy who the extremely well informed Grimbor, and the Legionnaires, thought he was… but Superboy!

The scenes with Val and Jeckie are by far the highlight of the issue, as both personalities are shown to be strong and independent. Jeckie uses the Deus Ex Machina machine to win the day, but there’s the chance that it could have been at a great cost. It’s always good to see Chuck and Lu in the thick of the action. It’s where they always go, despite their “weaker” powers.

One the other hand, Reflecto continues to be a creepy super stalker, Garth as a ranter not helped by Thomas’ ear for dialogue and Blok becomes a living trap.

The reveal is a surprise after the build up to it being Jo Nah. Superboy had been name dropped throughout as having left the team, which was a nice way to remind us of his connection to the team before the reveal. The next reviews will show if this is one twist too many.


"...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."
#930103 - 05/29/17 04:24 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Legion 280
Yet another great cover, highlighting the return of Superboy as an ad for the Superman II movie is added to the bottom corner. Again, we have a number of things going on, none of which get in the way of Perez’ design. There’s the triumphant return, but also a great team shot in front of their own HQ. We also see a mission team, combining the team shot with the job in hand. They’re in a time bubble which connects with the cover text of going back in time to resolve Ultra Boy’s disappearance. Everyone involved does a great job.

The splash page is an improvement over last issue’s. We pick up from the last scene of the previous issue, showing us that Superboy is Reflecto, shocked Legionnaires, that Ultra Boy could therefore really be dead and, since Superboy may be dying, the impetus for a Legion mission. Wildfire’s team have finally made it to the villains’ HQ.

It turns out that Superboy isn’t dying at all. It takes only a few panels for him to come round. Just long enough for us to sense Tinya’s loss and to get a summary of the action from the last couple of issues. Janes gives the panel some chains as a border in a lovely touch.

But as Superboy comes round, we learn that he thinks that he really is Ultra Boy. There’s a reprise of an earlier issue when Tinya discovers Imra kept something from her, but the two quickly make up. Mon El confirms that the body is definitely Superboy’s and that there may be Superboy’s mind beneath Jo’s thoughts too. At this stage, I’d have suggested that the plot went along the lines of putting Ultra Boy’s personality into a brain globe and have him rejoin that way smile But, it’s not to be.

The team are viewed by a purple wearing villain. He has one of those omni-viewers that can record anything, anywhere from the comfort of their hideout. The omni-viewers must do something to the villains’ minds as they are frequently owned by the dumbest of crooks.

The team return to Metropolis to convene a meeting of the Legion’s full roster (excuse for a pin up?) As they travel, Gim realises how poorly he’s acted towards his mother and the two are reconciled. As are Val and an uninjured Jeckie. Wildfire reacts to the emotional lives of the others that he feels removed from. Something that’s pointed out to him by Blok, in an early example of his perceptiveness. There’s more perceptiveness going round, as a few of the team get to see Garth’s leadership skills as he stays in charge, at least to the end of this adventure. In the back of the team meeting is a man with short white hair. While it could have been intended as Star Boy the colouring means I get to claim it as another appearance of Sculptor Lad. smile

To be fair to Conway, he picks up nicely on some previous stories. Superboy had returned to the 20th century under a mental command not to return, after he learned about the deaths of his parents. Something has clearly gone wrong, which wouldn’t be the first time when it comes to Clark’s brainwashing. So a team is dispatched to the 20th century to find out more. It’s an interesting mission team with Dawnstar and Blok in it. No amount of disguise skill is going to make anyone believe they are travelling salesmen or cousins from out of state.

Meanwhile, out in the plaza, Batman’s shadow approaches the HQ. Is the Batman from the imaginary tale going to join?

The time travellers return to the 20th century, only to materialise in the middle of an atomic detonation. We’re shown what the Time Bubble can withstand. With Superboy/Jo having memory issues, he couldn’t tell them the circumstances under which they left. He reacts quickly redirecting the blast out into space.

Unfortunately for our heroes, the army seem to think that Superboy is behind the blast in the first place. The Legion aren’t about to get arrested, so we get to see each of them show off their powers to good effect as they escape.

The team retreat to Smallville. Other than a note form Ma Kent taking them out of the story, there are no clues. Garth then tries to take them back into the future, so they can come up back with IDs. Normally, you’d have expected this to be part of what they’d either bring with them or scrounge up from the Kents. The reason it’s an issue here is so that the Tie Bubble can be destroyed. As Superboy/ Jo throws it into orbit (two throws in one issue) we learn that the purple robe we saw earlier was none other than the Time Trapper’s.

The Trapper gives a brief explanation on how he has returned from his last encounter with the team. His goal here is to divide the Legion so he can attack the 30th century. He whisks the team to another space and then straight back to Smallville. It’s partly to show off how powerful he is, but it also gives Janes something different to draw. The Legionnaires are now stranded and hunted by the army.

It’s an okay issue all told. There’s a fair amount of time spent wrapping up last issue’s story with the conclusion of a few subplots and the continuation of Jo/Clark’s memory issues. The plot links up nicely throughout (no Grimbor pun intended). It’s good to see the group back in Smallville, as it always brings a switch in pace, and their predicament is an interesting one.

The Trapper seems to take advantage of the team’s problems, rather than being behind hem which makes for a change. So, there may be more mysteries to unravel. It’s a shame all those soldiers died of radiation poisoning though…


"...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."
#930118 - 05/29/17 07:26 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: thoth lad]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,518
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
Originally Posted by thoth lad
Legion 280
In the back of the team meeting is a man with short white hair. While it could have been intended as Star Boy the colouring means I get to claim it as another appearance of Sculptor Lad. smile


It's always nice when a Legion fan gets a cameo. Don't tell me. Your real name is . . . Brynt Flojj!

Quote
It’s an interesting mission team with Dawnstar and Blok in it. No amount of disguise skill is going to make anyone believe they are travelling salesmen or cousins from out of state.


"This is my cousin, Dawn, from Wingfield, and my other cousin, Brock, from Rockford."

Quote
Meanwhile, out in the plaza, Batman’s shadow approaches the HQ. Is the Batman from the imaginary tale going to join?


It's a nice "commercial" for the B&B issue, though inaccurate. In that issue, Batman wore a stolen red cloak for disguise. His cowl ears shouldn't have been showing. (Continuity Kid to the rescue!)

Quote
It’s a shame all those soldiers died of radiation poisoning though…


I'm sure STAR Labs or its predecessor cured them. smile


Check out my new Power Club website!

The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#930143 - 05/30/17 02:47 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: thoth lad]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Café Cramer
Originally Posted by thoth lad
Legion 280
Janes gives the panel some chains as a border in a lovely touch.


Oh! flew by the recap and missed that - nice touch indeed.

Quote
The team are viewed by a purple wearing villain. He has one of those omni-viewers that can record anything, anywhere from the comfort of their hideout. The omni-viewers must do something to the villains’ minds as they are frequently owned by the dumbest of crooks.


Which raises the question, why don't the Legionnaires have omni-viewers on all known villains? It seems the Legion only spies on itself.

Quote
In the back of the team meeting is a man with short white hair. While it could have been intended as Star Boy the colouring means I get to claim it as another appearance of Sculptor Lad. smile


And thus begins the quest for all Archive Re-readers to carefully search for other appearances of Sculptor Lad.

Quote
So a team is dispatched to the 20th century to find out more. It’s an interesting mission team with Dawnstar and Blok in it. No amount of disguise skill is going to make anyone believe they are travelling salesmen or cousins from out of state.


Garth doesn't get a pass on that one - a trip to the 20th century is handed out like reward for good behaviour, regardless of how difficult it would be for those two to blend in.

Quote
The Trapper seems to take advantage of the team’s problems, rather than being behind hem which makes for a change. So, there may be more mysteries to unravel. It’s a shame all those soldiers died of radiation poisoning though…


There was potential for even more plot twists and turns with an even bigger Big Bad pulling the strings. It does make me wonder why the Trapper didn't take advantage of events more often. Ego? He had to be the puppet master?


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#930172 - 05/30/17 10:38 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Fat Cramer Offline
Fat Cramer  Offline


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 15,375
Café Cramer
LSH #281 Madness is the Molecule Master by Roy Thomas, art by Steve Ditko & Bruce Patterson, colours Gene D'Angelo, letters Ben Oda

[Linked Image]

Superboy contemplates why he thinks he's Jo Nah while the Legionnaires are convinced he's Superboy. As he recaps prior events, he tests his use of multiple powers at one time to prove his identity to himself. He suspects the Time Trapper has the answer to his false memories and tries to fly to the future, only to hit a barrier and be taunted by the Time Trapper.

At the Kent's home, the male Legionnaires are dressing in 20th century clothing, while Blok and Dawnstar admit that they can't go out. A nosy neighbour comes to the door and Val covers by explaining that they're all rehearsing for a school play. She leaves when Clark appears, but remains suspicious. The group go out for groceries and, for some reason, Imra and Tinya remain in 30th century garb, attracting considerable male attention on the street. Clark is only navigating with Jo's memories of visiting Smallville years earlier.

The Army appears, but a bigger threat arrives in the form of Lana Lang, who recognizes the
Legionnaires and asks why they're with Clark. They ask her to just trust them and she leaves in a huff.

At the Kents, nosy neighbour is watching the house and sees Dawnstar and Blok fly out a window to investigate an explosion. They see the Molecule Master amid some rubble, confronting the Legionnaires. Clark uses his x-ray vision to confirm that it's an android, but mostly lead-shielded. Saturn Girl deduces that MM has been sent by the Time Trapper, since both the original Molecule Master and the Trapper were after the Miracle Machine. As the Molecule Master manipulates reality, the Legionnaires fight back, watched by frightened citizens. Their coordinated attack overloads the android's circuits and it explodes, knocking the Legionnaires unconscious. The army rounds them up, except for three in an alley: Dawnstar, Phantom Girl and Superboy, who shielded the girls from the full force of the blast. Tinya recovers first and discovers her power is paralyzed. She concentrates on her belt, an heirloom from her mother, and tries to access the Bgtzl dimension, holding onto Superboy and Dawnstar. She succeeds; the army suspends their search. The major picks up a piece of the Molecule Master and dumps it on the ground. As the army drives off, the Trapper gloats over his success.

Comments:

Superboy's doubts over his identity begin to wear thin for this reader, although I can appreciate that not being who you think you are would be a thought-consuming problem.

Imra's pink bikini and Tinya's white cut-out jumpsuit on the streets of Smallville – what was anyone thinking? Maybe it was written for laughs, but it was illogical and the leering young men came off as creepy. Surely they could have borrowed a dress or a coat from Martha Kent's closet.

The Molecule Master sparks some interest, but the conclusion that the android was sent by the Time Trapper struck me as a giant leap. There should have been more clues than a common interest in the Miracle Machine.

I rather liked the nosy old lady as a character, but she could have been used to better effect than just spying on the Legionnaires. Again, a scene likely written for laughs.

Legionnaires are always getting knocked unconscious in this era's issues and conveniently remain so as long as the story needs them to be non-functional. No bruises, broken bones, concussions – just lights out.

Tinya once again saves the day through determination and quick-thinking. She certainly shone in these late '70s/early '80s stories. The story that her belt is a family heirloom was an interesting tidbit, but I don't believe it was used again. Perhaps the heirloom idea inspired the Reboot red lifestone that she wore.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#930234 - 05/30/17 03:09 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 17 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 19,008
Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...
Legion 281

Perez arranges his cast like a target on this great cover that again is added to by the text. Perez is the man for detail, and it’s the sheer number of soldiers he draws that crushes our heroes in a circle around Supeboy. But is it Superboy? They think so, but he denies it, even though he’s in the suit. The street sign gives away the fact that they are in our century. Not only that, but the sign tells us it’s Smallville too. Karate Kid has a great defensive pose, Dawnstar looks about to fly while Blok does what he does best, act as a shield to the others. I really hope the soldiers don’t fire while encircling.

The first noticeable thing in the story is the change of art duties. Ditko is pencilling this issue instead of Janes, and it takes a while to get used to the switch. We get an opening five whole pages giving us a recap of the previous issues as Jo/Clark uses his powers firstly to agains determine that it is Superboy’s body and to try to break the Time Barrier. This reminds us directly of the Time Trapper’s power in stranding them in the 20th century.

The other Legionnaires realise early on that Dawnstar and Blok aren’t able to be seen in Smallville without drawing unwanted attention to themselves. Mind you, with all the things that happened in Superboy comics, you’d think they’d be past any kind of surprise by now. Although they’re all expecting a Trapper attack, it’s quite a light scene with Karate Kid being pushed into dealing with a very nosy neighbour. One nice touch is that Clark forgets his glasses because he still thinks he’s Ultra Boy. A not so nice touch is Saturn Girl too willingly looking to tamper with the neighbour’s mind.

The group travel into town, with the threat of the Time Trapper reminding me a little of Mordru’s first appearance. Possibly because Clark thinks that he is Jo, no one thinks to get the ladies to change out of their costumes. “Worse than wolf whistles” says a lot about the Smallville residents. A shower scene with Dawnstar continues this view of the female Legionnaires, as the nosey neighbour returns to spy on the newcomers. Dawnstar and the poorly portrayed Blok are alerted to an explosion in town.

There, the group have encountered Lana Lang. She knows that they are all Legionnaires. She even reminds them that she’s an honorary member of the group. Yet they dismiss one of the few people who could easily help them.

The explosion comes courtesy of the Time Trapper’s agent, The Molecule Master. Previously, the android villain attempted to steal the Miracle Machine and was destroyed by Wildfire. Here, he’s been sent to kill the team with vastly increased powers that are Plot dictated. He has force fields, he can animate matter, he can change elements and he easily pushes the team back, as they attack one by one. We’re told that his android brain isn’t so good at multi-tasking and a frontal assault by all the Legionnaires is more than he can handle. Oddly, he’s being doing just fine creating multiple traps simultaneously to hold off the heroes. The villain implodes under the strain. If his job was to kill the heroes, he had plenty of opportunity and that leads to a disappointing fight scene.

While Thomas makes the connection between the Time Trapper and the Molecule Masters quest for the Miracle Machine, the villain is also there because it was revealed way back in the Adventure run that he would be responsible for killing Reflecto. It’s a shame that the plot has moved on from showing Jo/Clark in a Reflecto costume.

One interesting point is Tinya’s “If I learn for sure that Jo’s dead, maybe I’ll come back [to my native dimension] to stay.” Years later, in the most recent Levitz run, Tinya faces what she feels is a hopeless situation and returns to her home dimension.

Molecule Man’s implosion has been enough to stun the heroes equally, including Blok and Superboy. Blok’s density is one of the reasons he’s on the team, so it’s another poor showing from his here. It is handy for the army which has been monitoring the combat and can now take Superboy into custody for that Atomic explosion mishap last issue. Oddly, the explosion has carried some of the heroes well out of sight range of the soldiers allowing Phantom Girl to recover. After some self-discovery on what she’d do (see Later Levitz parallel above) she manages to take Superboy and Dawnstar back to Bgtzl by focussing on the belt buckle that is a family heirloom. I recall the Reboot version of the character also having an heirloom in the shape of a red jewel.

It’s too early for the Terminator movie and the soldiers throw away all that future robotic technology. There has to be a plot thread to be developed here. I’ve always linked it with the technology used to develop the Justice League Detroit’s Steel.

As the unconscious heroes are driven off, the Time Trapper counts his Time Chickens, seemingly convinced that he’s won.

The story starts with the heroes stranded in 20th century Smallville. The story ends with the unconscious heroes trapped in 20th century Smallville after an encounter with the soldiers they’d already met last issue. Overall, there’s not a lot of plot movement.

We don’t learn much more about Jo/Clark’s predicament. The battle with Molecule Master was far too much like padding, rather than the terrible threat to Reflecto that he should have been (mainly because Reflecto’s not really there. This would be rectified, to a small degree, off panel in the TMK run where Stig Ah, the real Rimborian Reflecto is killed by the Molecule Master. Blok, once again, comes off badly this issue. He really suffered from the change in creative team so early in his tenure.

The change of artist half way through the story is a bit jarring, although a couple of the lighter touches in the writing were welcome, after the Marvel angst of recent issues.


"...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."
Page 5 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6

Monitor Duty
Forum Statistics
Forums14
Topics20,230
Posts950,446
Legionnaires1,684
Most Online860
Oct 17th, 2017
Newest Legionnaires
Impy, Sicroh, Kid_Chaos, Jannetto, Cyberstrike
1684 Registered Legionnaires
Today's Birthdays
Rgambit1964
Time Bubble
Holo-Vids
New Legion Cover #1
21CL Shrinking Violet
Catalyst Queen for Legion AU Project
Roll Call
Zardi, the Eternal Man
Zardi, the Eternal Man
The far side of forever
Posts: 763
Joined: August 2008
Show All Member Profiles 
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0