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#936446 - 08/23/17 04:41 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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thoth lad Offline
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... continued

Originally Posted by Cramer
“Oh, that’s just Computo....”


I think she was covering her utter lack of Legion knowledge about Computo from the Annual. smile “Yes I know all about Computo! Just don’t ask me about any other villains as I may have already accidentally released them from their vaults.”

Originally Posted by Cramer
Brin himself hadn’t shown any sympathy for Cham, so there are bad feelings all around the HQ. There's no good time for Darkseid to appear, but the Legion is going into this menace on shaky ground.


There’s definitely a bit of longer term friction brewing. The Legion, the Titans and the X-Men. All very popular at this time. All showing some angst.

Originally Posted by Cramer
The tourism is a good touch to remind us that the Legionnaires are celebrities, but we’ve moved on from the statues and parades of the early Adventure days.


Attention Legion Worlders! The annual parade to Cobie’s statue will proceed as normal! Please disregard comments to the contrary! smile

Originally Posted by Paladin
This brings up something I wonder about some times: Is it really possible for me to be completely objective as an adult about stories and art that I loved as a child?


I read the Infantino Star Wars work when I was a kid. It never struck a chord with me then and really doesn’t now either. But I appreciate it more now, seeing the craft involved in his work and having a better appreciation for more distinctive artists.

I liked Perez’s art on a story when I was a kid, years before I would see his work on JLA and Titans. But you can see all the improvements he made in his later work.

I do find that there’s certain styles I’ve preferred from the time I could learn to read. My appreciation of them changes with experience 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."
#936477 - 08/24/17 12:24 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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Fat Cramer Offline
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Café Cramer
Originally Posted by thoth lad

It’s an interesting field team too (classic Swan formation of five in use). Superboy is present. We don’t see him having to travel through time. A few words from Wildfire to remind us are sufficient to remind us where he’s from. As for why, I imagine that the cold feeling he felt back in 1969 (in the Annual) may have brought him into the future. Something I’d not connected in previous reads. Like the servant being thumped by a Legion cruiser in the annual, I think everything ties up.


I hadn’t made the 1969 connection even on this reread, although it does make sense if you figure that he looked around his own time, found nothing amiss and figured something might be up with those wild and crazy kids from the future.

Quote
As per the cover, Superboy’s involvement also indicates something big ahead. The sparring between Wildfire and Superboy picks up seamlessly from a number of issues ago. It’s developed into a relationship that’s good for both people. Superboy needs someone to treat him as just another hero, and not as a teenage inspiration.


Good interpretaion of their relationship, and emphasized by Jacques’ hero-worship.

Quote
The team look through the debris of what survives of Disney in the 30th century. The Museum of Mystic Arts is on the site of the Magic Castle. A throwaway that seems like a certainty for a Disney/ Superpets cross over. Yet, because of Warner’s connection to DC, we’d end up getting a Looney Tunes/ Legion crossover instead


So is the Castle showing up in Marvel Comics now?

Quote
Antonio Stefanacci, our creative team’s idea of a Doctor Strange descendant, makes his first appearance as the curator. He has been protecting the Mentachem wand, an artefact that has survived from its 20th century creation and use by Flash villain Matter Master.


You and Dave got that but it’s one I never connected, not having read much of the Flash stories. Along with the ban on Green Lanterns, the acquisition of the Mentachem wand is another untold story. (Since both the wand and Excalibur had links to comic book stories, I looked up the Talokian Orb of Orthanak and Google, thinking I don’t know how to spell, gave me the Orb of Orthanc from Lord of the Rings.)

Quote
Timberwolf is present to see off Chameleon Boy, who is looking to clear his name. There’s real enmity from Brin here. With the move to Levitz’s subplot driven approach, conflicts build over time. This isn’t going to be a single-issue misunderstanding or a case of Space Mutiny. Timberwolf really doesn’t like the Durlan.


This enmity seems recent i.e. since the asteroid, but I wonder if there was evidence of it earlier.

Quote
Back at HQ, and Garth has been diagnosed with an electrical brain dysfunction. It’s quite fitting for his powers (and for the merging of his Proty guest personality).


Shades of Eltro Gand! Unless the Proty idea originated with Levitz, this scene handed TMK a nice opportunity. I love these unintended connections!

Quote
So, Superboy from the annual links into his appearance here; the Khundian mission subplots intertwine; Jan leaves one scene to interrupt another; Computo, who our villain had sent a servant to look at in the Annual, is disturbed by another servant here; Marte Allon links this issue with the Khundian plots and also her appearance in the Annual showing that the Legion operate in a wider universe. And so on.


Nicely summed up.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#936484 - 08/24/17 03:57 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Dave Hackett]  
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Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
I hadn’t made the 1969 connection even on this reread, although it does make sense if you figure that he looked around his own time, found nothing amiss and figured something might be up with those wild and crazy kids from the future.


I'm stretching that one a bit, as it's not at all clear.

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
So is the Castle showing up in Marvel Comics now?

A portal to the Negative Zone? Bought by Doctor Doom and transferred to Latveria as it was more authentic looking that the fantasy castles they had been putting him in all those years? smile


Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Along with the ban on Green Lanterns, the acquisition of the Mentachem wand is another untold story. (Since both the wand and Excalibur had links to comic book stories, I looked up the Talokian Orb of Orthanak and Google, thinking I don’t know how to spell, gave me the Orb of Orthanc from Lord of the Rings.)


For a guy who likes to keep the Legion away from the DCU , in its own space, there's still quite a few links around. Perhaps that would fade over time, as his other duties increased. Certainly after Crisis and the Event comics kicked in.

I think you're Orb reasoning could be spot on. We'd get to see the Maakas from Talok in a later story, and Tasmia's own origins are tied in with supernatural traditions.

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
This enmity seems recent i.e. since the asteroid, but I wonder if there was evidence of it earlier.


I took a quick peek at the issues around Earthwar. No sign of animosity there. But I did notice that Jan led a team on an impulsive plan to attack the Khundian leadership. I guess it's ok if things go well... and if you take Superboy along. Jan also threatened to kill someone (psycho). But there should be some of the Legion willing to cut Cham a little more slack.


Originally Posted by Dave Hackett
I agree that DC colourists did amazing things during this period (Swamp Thing was another book that worked the colour superbly for the medium), BUT I will say that the restored/redone colours of the Deluxe Edition are downright gorgeous. Everything looks so good, and certain things like the yellow glow around Wildfire's fist, really pop. The drawback is that the improved colours and paper detract slightly from Giffen's "Face Shadow" technique which look more textured in newsprint, but a little off in the DE.


I'm switching between the softcover and the floppies for the reviews. You're spot on in that the TPB quality meads to popping colours. Thanks for pointing out the effect it has on the shadows. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I agree that's actually a drawback. I also quite like the more subdued colouring that's on the original paper stock. If anything, I like it more, the more faded it has got over the years.


Originally Posted by Dave Hackett
Loved this issue as a kid and still love it now, lots going on, and still lots to learn (at the time). Don't know much about Dream Girl, and Ultra Boy seems too much like those Tom Cruise-esque macho jerk action stars young me hated so much in the movies, so I'm sticking with Jan and will vote accordingly. Except I won't, because American postage is a little expensive and I'm saving up for something or other.


smile

Originally Posted by Dave Hackett
This issue also contains the WORST page in the GDS, which is #15. In the top panel, the Master is revealed completely except for his face, wearing a purple costume, with clearly Caucasian arms and chest exposed. Young me will spend the next several months staring at that panel to try and figure out who has a costume like that, only to discover later that Darkseid looks NOTHING like this. All these years later I'm still baffled at what they were trying to do here (Also, the Kalibak clone is hairless)..


Paul: I've got this great idea for a villain. It's going to shock the Legion to it's core when they find out that Supergirl has survived 1000 years into the future and she went bad!
Jenette: Nope. We're looking to kill her off in an event we're just starting to plan out.
Paul: What?! Already?! Rats...now I'll need to make a quick switch.. Darkseid! Whew! I'm glad I won't have to come up with a switch like this again....

You'd think from the annual and this issue that some of the details weren't planned out. Such as Kalibak. Perhaps the arms were simply a colouring/printing error?


"...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."
#936486 - 08/24/17 05:12 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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She ran and called him Wildfire.
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The Plateaus of Ecstasy
290:

I remember buying this issue off the stands before I found the annual. The first page threw me for a loop. A new Invisible Kid?! I put the issue down and scoured the city until I found a copy of Annual # 1. (Distribution of annuals and other special issues could be spotty in my area.) I felt greatly annoyed ati first; tying the main story so closely into the annual was something Marvel would do, not reader-friendly DC. smile However, the extra effort was worth it. Issue # 290 builds well off of the annual. The ongoing storylines and subplots deepened the Legion's universe and created a sense that anything could happen.

Levitz again shows his mastery of writing by playing with some tropes yet changing or improving upon them. Jacques is the newbie Legionnaire, and we’re reminded of this because he’s not used to the flight ring. His gosh-wowness at working alongside Superboy provides a nice orientation to the characters and situation. Jacques also hangs back in the action against the first servant but takes the initiative during the second encounter even though he knows he’s out of his depth. (My favorite line: “At least while I’m invisible, no one can see my teeth chatter!”) Bravely, he comes up with an idea to follow one of the servants back to the master, even though doing so would certainly be suicide. His plan doesn’t work out quite as intended, but he helps the Legion capture a servant.

The other Legionnaires also come across as better developed personalities. Cosmic Boy (oddly, perhaps) is the voice of reason who keeps the others grounded. Tinya snaps at Wildfire for “getting angry at innocent birds” (though that probably isn’t what Drake meant), and Drake responds with a defensive comment about that he’s as fast as any Legionnaires. These personality clashes seem genuine.

Superboy also fits in quite nicely here—the humble icon—though I found it annoying when he expressed amazement at the 30th century more than once. He’s surely visited the future enough times to not get thrown by a pyro-nullifier team or futuristic London.

Another trope used in the story is that the heroes are initially unsuccessful in stopping the thefts of two magical objects, but, on the third attempt, they win a partial victory. These scenes work because they are tight and well-choreographed. They also drop abundant clues as to the servants’ identities (…least of all you, Kryptonian!”)

Back at HQ, other familiar situations are developed with similar skill and freshness. Brin’s antagonism toward Cham comes back to bite him in the form of a snide remark from Jan. Jan announces his bid for leadership but is undercut by Nura’s own surprise bid. There is a nice setup in these scenes, almost like a one-two punch. Other characters (Ayla, Imra, Brainy, and Blok) are used to great effect in their supporting roles.)

As for the art, I see more and more of Annfie’s objections to Giffen’s style. There is a certain flatness and sameness throughout. I haven’t paid much attention to body poses, but the faces sometimes appear wonky. Giffen can still be called on to express emotion, and some characters seem more natural than others, but his faces are definitely a work in progress.

Two aspects of the art stand out to me though: the use of alien extras and the action scenes. The aliens give the impression of a multicultural, multispecies society, albeit one often represented for humorous effect. (Second favorite line: the alien asking Jacques if he is somebody and if the alien get a sample of Jacques’ scent.). Through the alien tourists, we get a sense of how the Legion is lauded throughout the galaxy.

The action scenes, as mentioned above, are taut and well-depicted. The scene on Talok VIII is especially well done, a challenge given that some of it takes place in the dark. The female servant is quite creepy as she reaches for the globe, and the arrival and departure of the Orion servant happens fast but without being rushed or confusing.

I also see Annfie’s points about Mahlstedt. His inks, though serviceable, do appear thin compared to Patterson’s.

I’m pleased that 290 still holds up well after all these decades. The Legion was truly in the midst of a creative renaissance at the time, helmed by creators who truly cared about the series and who seemed to be as invested in the characters as the fans were.


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The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#936527 - 08/25/17 07:35 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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She ran and called him Wildfire.
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The Plateaus of Ecstasy
Originally Posted by Fat Cramer


There’s a nice nod to the early Legion with the explanation of how Excalibur was found by Supergirl, which apparently still hadn’t been verified as the true Excalibur at the time it was stolen.


I loved this reference. It was a surprise yet fit in naturally with the storyline. In later stories, Levitz would inundate us with trivia for no apparent reasons, but here it works well.

Quote
For such a serious matter as Cham’s treason trial, the Legion is caught off-guard. How could they not be informed of (or care) what was happening with him – or is the snap trial standard in the 30th century?


I read it that they were simply shocked when it finally happened. It's like learning a relative of yours who has robbed a bank has been arrested. You know it's coming, but it's still hard to take.

I also didn't read it to be a snap trial. In the annual, Jan says Lightning Lad dumped the leadership on him "last week," so some time has passed--allowing for the wheels of justice to take their course.

What I'm curious about is that Cham is shown "packing up" (in Timber Wolf's words), suggesting he is leaving the Legion or has been thrown out. His status with the Legion at this point was never clarified.


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The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#936531 - 08/25/17 07:55 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Paladin]  
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Originally Posted by Paladin

This brings up something I wonder about some times: Is it really possible for me to be completely objective as an adult about stories and art that I loved as a child?


Originally Posted by Annfie

So in, answer to your question, Lardy, no, I don't think it's possible for most people to be completely objective about their earliest superhero (or any other comic book genre) loves.


I agree, and I would add it's not desirable to be completely objective about our earliest comic book loves, or even our latest. Being fans means we throw a large portion of objectivity out the window, and that's okay.

I recall something thoth wrote during one of our earlier reviews. I mentioned that whenever Mon-El appeared, as a child I experienced a sense of excitement since he was my favorite character. Thoth said he had never experienced that feeling over a character. In a way I understand this; it's a totally irrational sensation when a favorite character (or rock star or actor or sports figure) is elevated to Messiah-like status and can do no wrong. When the character appears, the fan feel everything is going to be all right. The fan wants to embody that character--his/her confidence, charisma, power. There is almost a religious aspect to this.

It's the same with writing and art. If we feel the memory of goosebumps as we re-read these old stories and experience the old art, that's perfectly natural. That doesn't mean we should be blind to their faults or unwilling to view them in a new way, but we never lose sight of those initial feelings and impressions. Nor should we.


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The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#936541 - 08/26/17 05:17 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: He Who Wanders]  
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Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
290:

I remember buying this issue off the stands before I found the annual. The first page threw me for a loop. A new Invisible Kid?! I put the issue down and scoured the city until I found a copy of Annual # 1. (Distribution of annuals and other special issues could be spotty in my area.) I felt greatly annoyed at first; tying the main story so closely into the annual was something Marvel would do, not reader-friendly DC. smile However, the extra effort was worth it. Issue # 290 builds well off of the annual. The ongoing storylines and subplots deepened the Legion's universe and created a sense that anything could happen.


Yeah, this goes back to what we were talking about earlier about the best ways for publishers to do continuity and world-building. Ironic, isn't it, that only about 3 years from these issues currently under discussion, DC would counter-productively wreck the whole concept with Crisis On Infinite Earths? Regardless of COIE's merits as a stand-alone story, the long-term effects would basically guarantee that the DCU would remain inaccessible and incoherent for decades to come!

Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
Originally Posted by Paladin

This brings up something I wonder about some times: Is it really possible for me to be completely objective as an adult about stories and art that I loved as a child?


Originally Posted by Annfie

So in, answer to your question, Lardy, no, I don't think it's possible for most people to be completely objective about their earliest superhero (or any other comic book genre) loves.


I agree, and I would add it's not desirable to be completely objective about our earliest comic book loves, or even our latest. Being fans means we throw a large portion of objectivity out the window, and that's okay.

I recall something thoth wrote during one of our earlier reviews. I mentioned that whenever Mon-El appeared, as a child I experienced a sense of excitement since he was my favorite character. Thoth said he had never experienced that feeling over a character. In a way I understand this; it's a totally irrational sensation when a favorite character (or rock star or actor or sports figure) is elevated to Messiah-like status and can do no wrong. When the character appears, the fan feel everything is going to be all right. The fan wants to embody that character--his/her confidence, charisma, power. There is almost a religious aspect to this.

It's the same with writing and art. If we feel the memory of goosebumps as we re-read these old stories and experience the old art, that's perfectly natural. That doesn't mean we should be blind to their faults or unwilling to view them in a new way, but we never lose sight of those initial feelings and impressions. Nor should we.


Beautifully put, good sir. cheers

#936542 - 08/26/17 06:49 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: He Who Wanders]  
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thoth lad Offline
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Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
In a way I understand this; it's a totally irrational sensation when a favorite character (or rock star or actor or sports figure) is elevated to Messiah-like status and can do no wrong. When the character appears, the fan feel everything is going to be all right. The fan wants to embody that character--his/her confidence, charisma, power. There is almost a religious aspect to this.


As I read this last night, I was listening to the radio reporting that 30 people had been killed in rioting in India, following the rape conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. This guru has a rock star profile, with popular support and deep political connections. He has many supporters who think he's a living saint and can do no wrong.


"...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."
#936549 - 08/26/17 10:05 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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She ran and called him Wildfire.
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The Plateaus of Ecstasy
I used to feel the same way about certain rock stars. They engaged in behavior that would be unacceptable for mere mortals, yet, because they were rock stars, they made it acceptable. For a kid or young adult facing seemingly endless constraints, it is very attractive when someone comes along, defies all the rules, and seems to succeed because of it.


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The Semi-Great Gildersleeve - writing, super-heroes, and this 'n' that
#936687 - 08/29/17 04:00 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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Fat Cramer Offline
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Café Cramer
LSH #291 A Sign of Darkness Dawning! By Paul Levitz, art by Keith Giffen & Larry Mahlstedt, colours by Carl Gafford, letters by Annette Kawecki

[Linked Image]

Mon-el and Dream Girl examine the captured servant as Shadow Lass looks on; they determine that it is a clone of Tasmia’s ancestor, Lydea Mallor, made of inanimate matter. Dream Girl rushes off to the Election meeting but a shaken Tasmia opts to lie down at Mon’s suggestion.

On Avalon, the Orion servant unearths Mordru, who only has time to make one death threat before he is assaulted by the Master.

On Earth, Cham consults with his attorney, who paints a dismal picture of his trial outcome.

The captured Lydea awakens in the Legion lab.

Ultra Boy and Element Lad spar off at the meeting over Cham’s situation; Jo wants to postpone the election to help clear Cham but Jan refuses, saying that Cham is guilty. Dream Girl reminds them that she’s also running; as Wildfire insults her, she falls into a prophetic collapse. Suddenly, all hell breaks loose with a report of a disturbance on Takron-Galtos, news of Mordru’s freedom and Nura’s vision that her sister on Naltor would be attacked by the Servants of Darkness.

Mon-el, Ultra Boy, Phantom Girl and Shadow Lass head to Takron-Galtos and put down the prison break; they find a frightened Time Trapper at the centre of the destruction, mumbling about the darkness. The Orion servant appears from a space warp but is repelled by Mon and Jo. As Shady muses about the incredible power of the Master, Tinya considers that he has drawn some power from the Time Trapper.

Garth remains unconscious with Imra by his side.

On Avalon, Wildfire and Dawnstar find Mordru; as the other Legionnaires catch up to them, they see Mordru, helpless in a pit, moaning about the dark and cold.

On Naltor, the White Witch appears before waiting Legionnaires just as one of the servants attacks and tries to transport the Witch to the Master. As Sun Boy blasts the servant, Invisible Kid enters the portal and observes the Master. The servant flees, abandoning the White Witch, and the Legionnaires see Jacques, partly visible, stuttering about the darkness and cold. Sun Boy asks Nura where the nearest hospital is, but she is caught up in another vision: the Legion fights the servants on the Sorcerer’s World – and lose.

Second story: Of Leaders and Lovers by Paul Levitz, art by Howard Bender & Rodin Rodriguez, colours by Carl Gafford, letters by Janice Chiang

Imra tries to comfort a feverish Garth, when Rokk calls to report on the three teams’ encounters with the Servants of darkness and to tell her that the election will be conducted by remote hook-up. He is suddenly blasted by something and Imra runs off to investigate, worried about Computo. She finds Lydea beating up Rokk. Imra knows she can not fight the Servant and sends a desperate call for help to her ailing husband. As Lydea prepares to kill Imra and Rokk, a weak and wobbly Garth appears and lets loose a massive lightning bolt, immobilizing Lydea.

Imra puts him back to bed, relieved that his fever has broken. She tells Rokk that stress made Garth’s power backfire on him, disrupting his brain to the point of collapse. As they discuss the stress of leadership, they get news that Dream Girl has been elected leader.

Comments:

The fast pace of this story continues on multiple fronts. By the end of this issue, we know how and why the Master is stealing artefacts and attacking specific beings, and we have a pretty good visual that matches Darkseid’s profile. The mockeries/clones/servants are explained, although we don’t know why these particular characters were chosen, although Orion makes sense and Lydea's associated with darkness.

There’s a good sense of things becoming very chaotic as the Legion has to deal with three different attacks, the election is conducted hastily, Cham faces his trial without any Legion support, and Garth remains unwell, but able to repel an attack by an awakened Lydea clone.

To include the White Witch as a target along with top-notch threats Mordru and the Time Trapper elevates her to a powerhouse level character.

Jacques’ bravery is highlighted; he hasn’t been shown to be a daredevil by any means, he had thought previously to try and enter a portal to find out what’s going on and, when the opportunity presents itself, he seizes it. Not without consequence, and one hopes that he won’t be another very short-lived new Legionnaire as a result.

Tasmia lets down the team, in my opinion, by becoming overwhelmed with the revelation that one of the servants is based on her ancestor. Not acting very planetary champion! She should have been enraged by the insult and vowed retribution. Am I harsh? She could be particularly affected by the darkness.

Superboy departs at an odd time, given the situation. It seems to violate the idea of time travel, if he has to keep to a particular schedule back in the 20th century.

Dream Girl is elected, but who voted for her? Imra was distracted, Jan and Jo would likely have voted for themselves, Wildfire thought she was a joke and others considered her a surprise/unlikely option. Perhaps in the panic they hit the wrong button. Switching leaders amid a crisis is a curious path to take for a team; there could be more respect for Dream Girl’s abilities than team members have openly admitted – or they, like Thom, realize that she may have foreseen her own election.

Jo stands up for Cham, returning the favour of Cham helping him out when accused of murder. Jan’s dismissal – he’s guilty, so let him rot – struck me as cold, but practical in the face of the many threats.

Giffen’s art may not be to everyone’s liking, but he sure delivers on the aliens, with a great depiction of Cham’s lawyer. There also were a lot of shadows on people’s faces, which was a not-so-subtle reminder of the descending darkness.

The second story resolved the Garth illness problem, recapped events leading up to it, and announced Dream Girl as leader. I’m always amused how Legionnaires’ pajamas match their uniforms, or at least retain their symbol.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#936688 - 08/29/17 04:01 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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Fat Cramer Offline
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Another thought: for a story about great darkness, that's a very bright cover.


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#936689 - 08/29/17 05:27 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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OG Shady's reaction I get...given Talok's ancestry devotion, I can see how she'd be really shaken to see a corrupted version of someone she'd have probably considered to be a flawless inspiration until then. The warrior aspect of Shadow Lass was never really empathised until possibly 5YL (or definitely Umbra otherwise)...it's kind of retroactively become an important part of her identity.


Read the alternate adventures of the Legion after Legion of Three Worlds!
postlo3w
#936690 - 08/29/17 06:07 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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Dave Hackett Offline
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Of note for this issue, the backup Fat Cramer reviews is in the original issue. For anyone reading the TPB or Deluxe Edition it has been replaced by the Giffen version , done in his later style so as to be extremely jarring. For the record I enjoy the original much more.

#936691 - 08/29/17 06:43 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Originally Posted by Fat Cramer


Tasmia lets down the team, in my opinion, by becoming overwhelmed with the revelation that one of the servants is based on her ancestor. Not acting very planetary champion! She should have been enraged by the insult and vowed retribution. Am I harsh? She could be particularly affected by the darkness.


Cramey, I don't think you're being harsh on Tasmia. Bascially, I think the Preboot Tasmia started out with a tremendously good first impression back in Adventure 365-366, only to gradually end up a stuck-up snob with feet of clay who tended to be defined by the men in her life. Raz does make a good point about how a lot of her warrior spirit was a retroactive thing, although I'd mark the starting point as happening towards the end of the Baxter era, with my beloved Eduardo Barreto-drawn issue 56, where she rescues Mon-El from certain doom. Also, kudos to Raz for mentioning Umbra, whom I overall like a lot more than her predecessor.

One other thing about Tasmia in this issue: her tiara is blown off, and her costume shredded, by the Servant's attack, neither of them to be seen again until the Retroboot. I, for one, despise the makeover that Giffen gave her immediately post-GDS, and which this issue basically anticipates (FTR, the look that Lightle came up for her in Baxter 14 is, in my mind, the definitive one, and it enraged me when the Convergence: LSH tie-ins depicted her with her Giffen look, even though the story took place shortly AFTER Baxter 14!)

Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Giffen’s art may not be to everyone’s liking, but he sure delivers on the aliens, with a great depiction of Cham’s lawyer.


I, personally, love the Giffen/Tanghal front cover, although I do see Cramey's point about its brightness. Tanghal had just recently come into his own as an inker, over on New Teen Titans, and his work on this cover blows Mahlstedt's inks on the interiors out of the water, IMHO. As for the aliens, I do think they're an important part of the Legion aesthetic, but I also think the humanoid characters are an equally important part, if not moreso.

Finally, I have to say that I really love to hate the Lydea Mallor Servant, and that I wish she had been Darkseid's second-in-command rather than the generic toady that the Orion Servant comes off as to me.

#936695 - 08/29/17 04:56 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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LoSH 291

The concentric circles on the cover are a good way to focus the reader’s attention. Here, they surround the central villain. As has been pointed out, our central villain seems to go through a few costume/ tone changes as part of this story, meaning that his distinctive silhouette isn’t recognisable on this cover. Still, that the circles represent the operation of a Ploink Tube gets it lots of points.

The cover can be split into three tidy horizontals, this time out. The top has the logo, the middle our villain, and the bottom has a beaten Mordru. Not that you know that until you’ve read the issue. They could have left a silly hat or some bondage gear on the cover as a clue to his identity. smile

Where Giffen adds his flourish is to transition the Legionnaires from that bottom third into the middle. While the three central Legionnaires react to the villain’s appearance, it’s really the framing figures of Dawny and Wildfire that make the cover. Dawny is a great character to have rise above the others with her powers, and the elegance of her wings. Wildfire’s futuristic appearance always gives the book more of a sci fi feel.

We get another great opening page. The Lydea Mallor mockery takes up the central vertical, raised above the Legionnaires to reinforce to their feeling of awe over their discovery. The mockery’s hair looks to have a sinister life of its own. There have already been, and will continue to be, many examples of Levitz and Giffen reinforcing each other’s work, making this a high point in Legion history.

I could easily a have seen a version of the splash page text making it to a cover.

Lar: I know the secret of this Servant of Darkness! It’s a mirror image of your ancestor, Shadow Lass!
Shady: But---She’s been dead a thousand years!

Then there are the extra layers. It’s Dream Girl and Mon El who are analysing the Servant. As established in the Annual, they are two thirds of the group’s biosciences team. Not only does this approach greatly expand the range of both characters, it reduces every story’s dependency on Brainiac 5 to find a solution.

When he’s not on a mission, Giffen has been drawing Mon El without his cape, which is a nice touch. Dreamy and Shady have also been really well drawn under Giffen and this continues here.

Finally, in all of the futuristic technology Giffen has put into the panel, and which doesn’t detract from the focus of the scene, there’s a little glowing orb. This is the precursor to the Computo major-domos that the creative team would later introduce. It’s another excellent throwaway link to ongoing subplots.

The link between the Servant and her lineage comes as a real shock to Shadow Lass. As the hereditary champion of a world steeps in tradition, this is a really difficult moment for her character. I’m reminded that Shady would shortly look to make a drastic change to her appearance. Apart from a Legion lore link to that change, I wonder if it was also in reaction to the discoveries here. The scene is interrupted by the Election subplot. That’s quite a lecherous look from Mon El in the last panel, considering his partner’s emotional struggle.

As declared last issue, our master villain is through with cars, he’s eating bars… focusing his attention on living sources of magical energy, rather than artefacts.

He, and the really creepy looking mockery he calls his son, release Mordru from his imprisonment. We hear Mordru scream, before we cut away. There’s a brief look at Chameleon Boy’s upcoming trial. It’s a tense scene where Cham is given little hope of anything but a harsh punishment.

Cham’s lawyer is a very visually different alien. Yet, the dialogue could have been taken from any tense courtroom drama. Like the tourists from last issue, it’s odd that such different life forms all seem to have exactly the same roles in society that we have now. If there’s ever a call for a new Eyeful Ethel to join to Legion, my vote is for the lawyer.

Element Lad’s “Chameleon Boy’s problems are his own doing” seems cold, even if Brande is defending him and Cham wanted them not to attend. Ultra Boy, remembering all the times he’s had to go on the run, looks to defend Cham. But, as Jan says, they know he’s guilty. Hopefully, Brande is also not trying to pretend otherwise either in hiring a defence. But, just because Cham is punishing himself as well as waiting for a verdict, doesn’t mean that his friends can’t give him emotional support. If they’re friends, rather than colleagues, of course. Another point towards sociopath Jan.

Wildfire is still disparaging about Dream Girl’s election chances. He says “next thing you know, Krypto the super dog would be in the running.” Considering all the alien life forms we’re seeing with Giffen, (also see the Sensor Lad thread) there’s not only a dearth of them on the team, but a bit of ignorance on what constitutes intelligence on Wildfire’s part. Why not Krypto? smile Next thing you know, they’ll be voting a disembodied energy blob as leader, Drake smile

The dialogue throughout the scenes in this issue, contain references to the election. It provides a way of highlighting the personalities of those involved as well as the reactions of their colleagues. It’s just another layer in how well the book is structured.
For all his planning later on, which he points out to others, Element Lad can’t be prepared for every eventuality. Something that Star Boy points out to him. Thom is developing into a cynical thorn in people’s egos.

As Element Lad presides over the election meeting, a number of subplots move at once. It’s a real payoff for Levitz to be able to do this. It shows the number of options his set up work provides the pacing of his stories. They find out that Mordru has been released at the same time as they are informed about an attack on Takron Galtos. There’s movement from the lab table where Shady’s ancestor is being kept. The mockery isn’t as shut down as their analysis would suggest. Viewers of The Thing are probable particularly on edge now.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Levitz still has his eyes on the set up. Nura has a vision that’s tied into none of these, but involves a future attack on her sister. That confrontation will be a key moment in the story. Giffen shows a shaken and sweat covered Nura, illustrating the staring her powers have on her.

There’s a small pause for breath as Brin and Blok have a comedy moment, and we’re off…

The only thing worse than getting a job on Takron Galtos, is having to fill out all the insurance forms once you find out you have a job on Takron Galtos.

The prisoners are on yet another rampage.

Guard 1: The prisoners are revolting!
Guard 2: I know! There’s no washing facilities in the stasis cubes!
Ol-Vir: >heat vision blast<

While Brainy may have provided a force shield around the place to prevent an escape, they’ve managed to get out of their cells. Mon El and Ultra Boy arrive to save the life of one SP officer. Already on whole life sentences, the inmates feel that they have nothing to lose, adding an interesting bit of social commentary to proceedings.

Levitz even uses the guard as a set up point. He’s not only there to show the threat of the prisoners but, when Shady uses her powers, to show that the Villain has been there too.

Shady’s powers get in the way of her colleagues. I don’t think this is the first time this has happened, and I know it’s not the last. Firstly, there’s nothing stopping Shady from using her abilities in a more focused manner. Surrounding individuals, rather than areas. She has been shown with that level of control, and uses it in the very next scene. Secondly, it’s a little lazy to show her as being a ranged fighter. As her planet’s champion, and with some Legion training, Shady should be a bit better than this. Instead, Mon-El and Jo get all the action, with Tinya and Shady as makeweights. At least Levitz acknowledges this in the two ladies’ reactions.

It’s not all about power. It’s Tinya who realises that, despite the broken shielding around the Time Trapper’s cell, he’s not responsible for the devastation. Jo tries to sneak a peek at the departing Ploink Tube. Plot Power trumps Ultra Powers though, and he can’t see anything. The son mockery attacks, and gets the better of Jo and Lar, before Lar’s heat vision drives it back through the portal. Again heat and light really have an impact on the mockeries, nt that anyone really follows up on it.

Giffen is having fun with Shady’s cape. It billows and becomes a focus for her shadow powers, giving her some very good panels throughout. She doesn’t use them to avoid the mockery’s blast though. Neither is Tinya using her powers, which you’d think she’d have active by default in such a situation. If the Astro Force was lethal, they should be dead, but that’s Comic Book energy attacks for you.

Levitz likes to alternate the pacing of his subplots. So, after the action on Takron Galtos, we have a quick interlude between Saturn Girl and Superboy. It concerns an update on Garth’s condition. His electrical fever shows no changes. But the real story is between Imra and Kal-El. Apparently, Kal’s foster parents would die of a very similar condition. Apart from that sort of thing being a reason for Kal’s mind wiping, I don’t remember if the how was established. It’s fine if everything’s controlled by Weisinger Central. But this sort of foray into Super-territory would be raising alarms bells in editorial offices before too long, even derailing the Legion book as a result.

Superboy leaves, looking to go back in time again. I can feel that disconnect as he goes. It’s another reason why he comes through the time barrier less frequently. Also notable is Imra in casual attire, a reminder that she has a life outside of the team as we saw when she got married and in the future retirement story. Also, that Garth’s luck is mentioned again, well in advance of the Luck Lords story.

The Legion’s discovery of Mordru mirrors that of the Time Trapper. Both look drained and terrified. Mordru’s silly hat has a touch of poignancy about it. In sweeping aside the Legion’s most powerful foes, is Levitz showing us the power of the threats the team will face? Levitz created the Infinite Man as a Time Trapper alternate. Now, Mordru has been depowered, having been shown as a cackling last act villain in recent outings.

The Dark Master sapping all these powers is the villain equivalent of new heroes slapping Batman around to get some ratings. Both the Trapper and Mordru would return, and this issue acts as a point of evolution for them both, rather than one of destruction. That’s one real advantage in having the same writer on board for such a length of time.

Giffen continues his visual touches when the Legion use their powers. Drake is once again shown to be using his energy emission to assist his flight, and is surrounded by energy when he goes to attack Mordru. He and Dawny have been shown consistently as part of the Legion’s first response. I get the feeling that this role feeds their perceptions of their importance to the team.

Following up on Nura’s prediction, a team contacts her sister. Three of the four, Dirk, Jacques and Blok, would form part of Byrne’s Fantastic Four Legion tribute in the post Crisis years. Beside Jacques sleek costume, Dirk’s wrestling pants on the outside attire looks very outdated.

Something that looks great is Giffen’s take on the White Witch. I can see a lot more of the work he put into this panel, this time round. The elegant, clean approach he has to his pencils; the depth of the panels and everyone in them; the complementary inking and lovely palette selection really make this run stand out for me more each issue. No wonder Blok is stunned. The Legion has a tradition of Love at First Panel, and this is Blok’s moment.

The lines on Mysa’s outfit would split the costume into three, had they not all been white. That approach to Legion costumes would become the norm in later years and across at least one ‘boot.

Like Jacques chattering teeth comment, knowing that Mysa spent hours preparing her teleportation spell endears her immediately.

When there’s a big disaster, there are often reports of people who narrowly missed the catastrophe with the suggestion that there was something, other than coincidence, at play. Levitz takes this idea further, as the precognitive Naltorian abilities make the area around the Legion team suddenly very quiet indeed.

Apart from a very clunky bit of exposition by Blok and Nura, the team’s response to the attack is a quick one. It has to say a lot about Mysa’s power level that she’s considered to be valuable to the Villain. But she can’t do anything to prevent the mockery capturing her here. Even Blok gets to do something! smile Sun Boy has more success. You’d have thought that after Wildfire’s fight with this mockery, that Brainy would have been used to analyse their weak points already.

Jacques takes the opportunity of an open portal to take a look at our villain, as had been his plan from last issue. A little convenient or a perceptive plan form the outset? He ends up as traumatised as the Trapper and Mordru, with a white streak in his hair.

It was brave of him to go. But he had to as the Villain’s shoulder pads are too wide to go through the portal on his side. Dirk also shares the same shoulder pad issue as the story’s main Villain. I wonder if this is a sign of Dirk’s decline in later years. smile

Jacques is subdued, Mysa captured and Ayla and Nura are largely ineffective (Ayla really could be better used). The Mockery has just blasted Dirk. So, it’s a misstep that both Mockery and Master leave without Mysa. They’ve been relentless in the past. As a result, the bones of the plot are shown. The scene is there to add Mysa to the cast, fulfil Jacques plan and to seed a further premonition of a losing battle on the Sorcerer’s world. Which shows just how much is going on in each scene. But it would have kept things on the narrative track if Giffen’s visuals had shown the mockery being blasted by Dirk and then fleeing, rather than blasting Dirk and wanting to leave suddenly itself.

Regular readers will know that Nura’s predictions always come true. But as pointed out with the sweeping away of old villains, it’s unlikely that Levitz will be using Legion robot duplicates as stand ins for any defeat. The lingering image of a Mockery in Nura’s eyes, as her vision fades, is a final example of that great writing and art interaction the book has.

LoSH 291 – Backup Story

The story stars the three founding members. It has a lot of similarities with the subplot in the Annual. The three face a peril, Cosmic Boy succumbs first and Lightning Lad saves his colleagues, seemingly breaking through his illness (or reintegrating his Proty/Garth selves smile ). The mockery, who we saw move in the lead story, is returned to an inert status once again. Like the Annual, the Servants of Darkness story here is a side step rather than a step forward. I don’t see why this couldn’t have been incorporated into the main storyline really, and can imagine some paging issues in making the whole saga work necessitating this add on.

Imra performs a little bit of telepathic manipulation on her husband here. Considering that one of the things he’s worried about is her relationship with Brin Londo, I wonder what kind of tinkering she did there.

Under Howard Bender, there’s a different emphasis on some of things we’ve seen established. The hug between Imra and Brin makes them look more of a couple. His Lydea Mallor mockery is physically powerful and turns Cosmic Boy into Punching Bag kid. I think of Coz mainly through his powers for this period of books. He’s visually interesting, without a lot of character coming across. I’m not sure how he managed to survive the mockery’s powers here. It would be a quite a bit later when I’d read his spotlight issues, time as leader and then the TMK run. The mockery shows some creepy shadow effects that could shed some light (ouch) onto some of the things Shady could potentially do.

In a final surprise, Dream Girl is confirmed as leader. A proto omnicon is seen delivering the news. I remember reading that Levitz was as surprised as anyone concerning Nura’s victory. But she has been given strong, character expanding space during his run. Her success seems less of a left field fan vote and more of a natural progression form what we’ve seen in the last few issues.

Bender provides a Silver Age take on the Legion characters. His backgrounds are basic with some nice flourishes in the decor. Keith Giffen redraws this as part of the TPB. Other than consistency in creative team, I’ve no idea why this was done. As it showcases one of Giffen’s later artistic looks, it’s not any more in keeping with the rest of the book than Bender’s art.

From the clean, open perspective of the lead feature, we’re now into giant, oppressive angular interiors with shadow effects that Tasmia would have to work overtime to achieve. These are the same scenes as Bender drew, but there’s a more claustrophobic feeling to the work. There’s even the Munoz style eye close up and a repeat panel of Garth’s face. I find this version of the style a little softer, in a good way, than other versions.

Giffen keeps a pot plant from Bender’s portrayal. Giffen would use plant life quite a bit to offset the otherwise starkly technological backdrops. Instead of providing life to proceedings, I always wonder if they were real and how they survived in there. Perhaps the Pot Plants are an alien race from a lost legion story.

I’ve just taken a quick look at the shadow effects in the first few pages, as they are quite different to what we’ve seen before on the book. I don’t think I’ve given them enough credit before. On the first panel Garth’s face is in darkness as he’s suffering an illness. Imra’s shadow surrounds his head, providing as much comfort as her physical touch. The next shadow appears on Imra’s face as she’s interrupted by Cosmic Boy. It’s a shadow of frustration, a darkening mood. Next up is a half face shadow for Garth. The top of his head is clear of shadow, indicating his mind is clearing, while the rest is dark reinforcing his illness from the first panel.

Fighting Lydea Mallor provides a few opportunities for some dramatic lighting, with a particularly nice one only showing Imra’s eyes. The last two instances seem to be just for the heck of it, which is a bit of a let down. But there’s some definite chiaroscuro appreciation going on.





"...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."
#936696 - 08/29/17 05:53 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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Originally Posted by Cramer
To include the White Witch as a target along with top-notch threats Mordru and the Time Trapper elevates her to a powerhouse level character.


It’s a reminder why Evillo wanted her in the Devil’s Dozen and of the time where she countered Modru’s magics (Adventure #371 – Look It Up Lad). Like Excalibur, she’s a magical part of the Legion’s past and it’s fitting she’s used. I wonder at what point Levitz decided to make her a member. I’ve a feeling it was for a particular storyline that we’ll be touching on soon.

Originally Posted by Cramer
Not without consequence, and one hopes that he won’t be another very short-lived new Legionnaire as a result.


Superboy said “if you live long enough” to Jacques. Just the sort of comment to perhaps make readers wonder.

Tasmia lets down the team, in my opinion, by becoming overwhelmed with the revelation that one of the servants is based on her ancestor. Not acting very planetary champion! She should have been enraged by the insult and vowed retribution. Am I harsh?

I saw this in a similar vein to Raz. We’d seen Talok being a culture struggling to become more technologically advanced in previous appearances. It would be picked up again in the Tales stories to come. Tasmia is a hereditary champion of a 1000 year lineage. To find the inspiration of that lineage corrupted in some way must have been a huge shock.

Originally Posted by Cramer
Superboy departs at an odd time, given the situation. It seems to violate the idea of time travel, if he has to keep to a particular schedule back in the 20th century.


Without peeking ahead, he’ll be back soon, won’t he? It’s another side step in plot. If it was a chill of dread that brought him to the 30th century. Why go back now? Perhaps he’d left the gas on and worried he’d not get back to exactly the right time?


Originally Posted by Cramer
Dream Girl is elected, but who voted for her? Imra was distracted, Jan and Jo would likely have voted for themselves, Wildfire thought she was a joke and others considered her a surprise/unlikely option. Perhaps in the panic they hit the wrong button.

I wonder if the votes were provided in the lettercols. I’ll need to look. They were part of the story for the next one.


Originally Posted by Cramer
Switching leaders amid a crisis is a curious path to take for a team; there could be more respect for Dream Girl’s abilities than team members have openly admitted – or they, like Thom, realize that she may have foreseen her own election.


I think Legion admin, a little like the Avengers, is a subplot all of its own. smile Perhaps Element Lad didn’t like the uncertainty surrounding the team not having a proper leader in the wake of Garth’s resignation? He looked to put himself forward for the post, to make his leadership legitimate, rather than form a deputy position. It happens here when unelected PMs go to the polls to reinforce their position within the party, as much as to display leadership to the country.

Originally Posted by Cramer
Jo stands up for Cham, returning the favour of Cham helping him out when accused of murder. Jan’s dismissal – he’s guilty, so let him rot – struck me as cold, but practical in the face of the many threats.


Gosh yes. It was Columbo Cham who did the legwork in that one for Jo. I still think Jo comes across as the better person, regardless of the threats the team face. [/quote]

Originally Posted by Cramer
There also were a lot of shadows on people’s faces, which was a not-so-subtle reminder of the descending darkness.


It’s possible he was already well on his way to shadowy effects demonstrated in his redone back up strip. smile


"...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."
#936703 - 08/29/17 09:09 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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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
I plan to do more extensive review later, but to touch on a few points:

--I don't understand how Tasmia let the team down. All she did was skip a meeting. (People at my job do it all the time!) I think her feelings were understandable, as raz and thoth explained. It would weird anybody out to discover a villain to be a clone of a long-dead ancestor, but, given Talokian ancestor worship, it must have been doubly hard on Shady. To me, her reaction humanizes her and presents a vulnerable side we haven't seen before.

--I also didn't see Jan's behavior during the meeting as particularly callous toward Cham. As Jan mentioned, Cham didn't want Legionnaires at his trial. Jan was respecting his wishes and also being practical. There was nothing the Legionnaires could do for him, save offer unwanted moral support. Their efforts were better spent dealing with the crisis at hand.

--Good catch about Ultra Boy's reasons for defending Cham. Jo is pure emotion here, while Jan relies more on logic. Jo's support of Cham in light of their recent history is commendable.

--The election results were indeed revealed on the letters page--in 290. This means readers knew the outcome before it was revealed in story. (Ugh!) Out of 784 votes cast, Dream Girl walked away with 109 and Jan with 88. Ultra Boy came in third with 83.

--When I first read the Superboy scene, I thought Imra was upset because she knew Superboy was going back to visit his parents just before they died. Actually, she was upset because they would die of an unexplained fever similar to Garth's. Even so, this scene bugs me and drives home how much the Legion kept from Superboy in order to keep him on the team. It surely must qualify as one of the great moral dilemmas of all time that the Legionnaires chose to withhold information about Superboy's future from him, but no one really questions this. Why isn't Mon as passionate about telling Superboy the truth as Jo is about defending Cham? Changing the past be damned. Does anybody even know if changing the past would unravel the Legion's future? (Sure, the Fatal Five tried to change the past once, but they had assistance from a device called the Time Sorter.) The thing is, the Legionnaires have gotten to know Superboy as a friend and a person, not just a historical icon. Some of them should be wrestling with their choice to keep him uninformed.



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#936704 - 08/29/17 10:01 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Fat Cramer]  
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Klar Ken T5477 Offline
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Originally Posted by Fat Cramer
Another thought: for a story about great darkness, that's a very bright cover.


[Linked Image]

Does this make you feel better?


I'm nigh invulnerable. I have the reflexes of an Olympic-level jungle cat. I have the strength of 10, perhaps 20 men: a crowded bus stop of men. But my greatest power is this: when destiny speaks, she speaks to me.
She says hi, by the way.
#936714 - 08/30/17 03:57 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Klar Ken T5477]  
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thoth lad Offline
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Originally Posted by Klar Ken T5477


[Linked Image]

Does this make you feel better?


I dunno. It makes me feel kinda blue....

Darkseid's makin' a mockery outta me
Yeah, Darkseid's makin' a mockery outta me
I'm mad, tho' Nura says to just wait and see

- Great Darkness Blues, Elastic Olsen Band.


"...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."
#936735 - 08/30/17 12:01 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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Fat Cramer Offline
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Café Cramer
The blue cover does look more in line with the story to me. After thinking about it, I guess the Legionnaires were still living in the bright light since Darkseid was just building his strength. Or something like that.

True that Tasmia wasn't the warrior she would be made out to be in later versions, and that she would have been rattled, especially given the importance of ancestors in her culture. Nevertheless, she had information about who Lydea was, which might have been useful to the team in figuring out what they were up against. Perhaps Nura communicated the necessary details. In any event, she recovered quickly enough to participate in the mission to Takron-Galtos.

It was curious to print the election results before it was revealed in the story - maybe an editorial blooper? I'd like to know how the Legionnaires themselves voted - don't think there was a tally presented for this election.

(I never got the TPB Great Darkness but am curious to see the Giffen version of the second story, so I'll probably cave in and buy it.)


Holy Cats of Egypt!
#936737 - 08/30/17 12:28 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: thoth lad]  
Joined: Sep 2004
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Dave Hackett Offline
Dave Hackett  Offline


Joined: Sep 2004
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Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Originally Posted by thoth lad


Bender provides a Silver Age take on the Legion characters. His backgrounds are basic with some nice flourishes in the decor. Keith Giffen redraws this as part of the TPB. Other than consistency in creative team, I’ve no idea why this was done. As it showcases one of Giffen’s later artistic looks, it’s not any more in keeping with the rest of the book than Bender’s art.


I suspect it's a credits/compensation thing.

The Original GDS TPB was just the issues comprising the Saga (as opposed to the Deluxe edition which encompassed issues before and after), so the art credits for the whole book would be Giffen/Mahlstedt once the replacement was done. It could also be a matter of Bender's contract not having a reprint clause, though would it really be cheaper to pay Giffen/Mahlstedt to redo the story than work out a deal with Bender? Hard to say.

#936832 - 09/01/17 12:23 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
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The Plateaus of Ecstasy
291:

Yes, it is a bright cover—but what’s interesting is that the GDS covers are varied and innovative, and not too obvious in how they use the theme of darkness. The impression I get from this cover is that it’s a supernova going off, just before everything plunges into darkness. In fact, I live in an area of the country which experienced totality of the recent eclipse. It reminded me that darkness and light go hand-in-hand in creating a deadly effect.

On the story itself, a lot happens yet I felt somewhat underwhelmed. It’s a truism in comics that middle chapters of multi-part stories tend to lag, and some of that happens here though it’s difficult to pin down exactly what’s lagging. Make no mistake: 291 is an exciting chapter that raises the stakes and contains a few surprises. But it didn’t go as far as it should have.

The story begins with a bang, of sorts: The revelation that the female Servant was cloned from a long-ago ancestor of Shady’s. While the revelation itself isn’t particularly impressive, what it tells us about Shady is. This is the first I’d heard of her ancestor being a hero, and that fact that Lydea Mallor lived a thousand years ago sets up the possibility of her introduction in the present-day DCU (which does happen in L.E.G.I.O.N. ’89, etc.—Levitz and Giffen planned very far ahead, it seems). As we’ve already discussed, Shady’s reaction to the news tells us some interesting things about her, as well.

This leads into the admin meeting where Element Lad and Ultra Boy argue over whether or not to support Cham at his trial. This, too, has been discussed, but what I like about the scene is that it shows us different sides of Jan and Jo’s personalities. Their conflict is ramped up by their competition for leadership, and, in these stories, I’m really getting a sense of Jan’s personality beyond his sole survivor status.

The admin meeting is interrupted when the Legion must respond to alerts involving two of their deadliest enemies: Mordru and the Time Trapper. But it is not these enemies who pose the threat. The Legionnaires arrive to find each a cowering, defeated version of his former self. The real threat comes from the “Master,” who defeated them. Yep, the “Master” is truly powerful and the Legionnaires are in deep doo-doo if they go up against him.

But go up against him, they must. A timely vision from Dream Girl (who at last gets to use her power—or maybe her power uses her) alerts them to where the Master will strike next: at DG’s own sister, the White Witch. I’m not sure if this revelation truly elevates Mysa to world-class status as a magic user. Darkseid abandons her awful quick once the Legionnaires interfere. Perhaps Darkseid just wanted to grab at anyone who possessed magic, or perhaps he wanted her for other reasons. It must get very lonely sleeping on a dead world for centuries. In any case, the redesigned White Witch is quite striking and her addition to the Legion’s cast adds a dimension to Nura’s personality, as well.

As middle chapters are wont do to, this one ends in a stalemate, with nothing truly being accomplished save for Jacques getting a glimpse of the Master and a streak of skunk hair for his trouble. It’s the sort of revelation that could lead somewhere but doesn’t. If Jacques recognized Darkseid or were able to describe him to history buff Brainy (or Cos), the mystery would be over. But the mystery must endure, so it doesn’t really matter that Jacques saw him.

I guess that’s one of the two things which bug me about this story. The other thing is the Legion's unearned victory. They don’t prevent Darkseid from taking off with the White Witch; he simply abandons her. It would have been more interesting, I think, if the villain had realized the Legionnaires were more powerful than he thought and decided to retreat until he could study them further. This would give the Legionnaires a fighting chance and also address one of the problems Levitz had with his villains: they are so omnipotent that they fear nothing, learn nothing, and never grow. Nothing is more boring than a static character.

The backup story also yielded mixed blessings. It resolves the Garth subplot but in a way that is neither interesting nor convincing. Garth remains comatose until (trope alert!) he realizes his wife and friend are in danger, then he miraculously recovers and even has time to get dressed before dispatching the menace with a single lightning bolt! And then he collapses.

What I like about the backup is Imra’s attempt to use her power to help her husband. Her self-recriminations over being a good wife also tell us a lot about her. It’s interesting that both she and Shady have “vulnerable” moments in this issue. I have truly appreciated how Levitz has used the last few issues to reveal so much about Saturn Girl’s inner world, insecurities, and doubts. Paradoxically, she seems a stronger character because of them.

This is also one of the few stories we’ve had to feature Garth, Imra, and Rokk as the three founders. Their shared history is put to good effect here (though Rokk accusing Imra of being irresponsible for not listening to him seems a tad insensitive—but this is Rokk, after all).

So, 291 is a better-than-average middle chapter, but not what it could have been.


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#936908 - 09/03/17 02:07 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: Future]  
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thoth lad Offline
Tempus Fugitive
thoth lad  Offline
Tempus Fugitive

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Touring Bgtzl and Bgztl with M...

Originally Posted by HWW
There was nothing the Legionnaires could do for him, save offer unwanted moral support. Their efforts were better spent dealing with the crisis at hand.

I think an unwanted message of moral support would have gone a long way. They don’t have to turn up and form a picket outside his cell for that. smile



Originally Posted by HWW
The election results were indeed revealed on the letters page--in 290.

Typical. I started peeking at #291 smile Even then, I nearly missed them.

Blok – 23
Brainiac 5 – 41
Chameleon Boy – 36
Colossal Boy – 15
Cosmic Boy – 19
Dawnstar – 15
Dream Girl – 109
Element Lad – 88
Karate Kid – 56
Lightning Lad – 28
Light Lass – 8
Mon El – 52
Phantom Girl – 28
Princess Projectra – 26
Saturn Girl – 26
Shadow Lass – 14
Shrinking Violet – 16
Star Boy – 17
Sun Boy – 20
Timber Wolf – 37
Ultra Boy – 83
Wildfire – 27
Total – 784 (“doesn’t including a couple of obvious attempts to stuff the ballot box.”)

“Frankly we were shocked by the results, having expected it to be a dead heat between Ultra Boy and Element Lad…but we bow to the will of the majority. Besides, it will be interesting to see what happens.”

It couldn’t have been that much of a shock. She did stand for leadership. It wasn’t as though ti wasn’t even one of the candidates. Having the candidates named in the story does seem to have focused the voting. As mentioned, Dreamy had been getting a very solid build up over the Levitz run, and this was a natural progression of that.

What if Jeckie or Val (4th in the poll) had won, even though they had left the team?
What if Cham had to lead the Legion from his cell?
What twists and turns would happen to future plots with “Violet” leading the Legion?


Originally Posted by HWW
Even so, this scene bugs me and drives home how much the Legion kept from Superboy in order to keep him on the team. It surely must qualify as one of the great moral dilemmas of all time that the Legionnaires chose to withhold information about Superboy's future from him, but no one really questions this.


Those who did question it were mind wiped on the next Time Bubble trip smile

Why isn't Mon as passionate about telling Superboy the truth as Jo is about defending Cham? Changing the past be damned. Does anybody even know if changing the past would unravel the Legion's future? (Sure, the Fatal Five tried to change the past once, but they had assistance from a device called the Time Sorter.) The thing is, the Legionnaires have gotten to know Superboy as a friend and a person, not just a historical icon. Some of them should be wrestling with their choice to keep him uninformed.

Originally Posted by HWW
Cos, at least, wrestled with this back in Supes #235. That’s the one where they were mindwiping Supes so he wouldn’t know that they had found a way to extend lives. They didn’t want that knowledge ever tempting Supes, or to fall into the wrong 20th century hands.

Didn’t Supes consent to the basic mind wiping, when he returns to the past? Along the lines of he’d rather no know the fates that befall everyone from his time.



Originally Posted by Cramer
True that Tasmia wasn't the warrior she would be made out to be in later versions,

She kicked Lady Memory’s butt later on in this run too.


Originally Posted by Cramer
I'd like to know how the Legionnaires themselves voted - don't think there was a tally presented for this election.

Star Boy must have voted for Dreamy. She would know whether or not he would. Even if he really wanted to vote for someone else, he would have voted for her to spare himself the grief, therefore fulfilling any foresight she had on it.

Originally Posted by Dave
I suspect it's a credits/compensation thing…It could also be a matter of Bender's contract not having a reprint clause, though would it really be cheaper to pay Giffen/Mahlstedt to redo the story than work out a deal with Bender? Hard to say.


I’d hate to think that Mr Bender was deprived of any payment, just because he wasn’t on DC’s royalty scheme or hadn’t a reprint clause.


Originally Posted by HWW
On the story itself, a lot happens yet I felt somewhat underwhelmed. It’s a truism in comics that middle chapters of multi-part stories tend to lag, and some of that happens here though it’s difficult to pin down exactly what’s lagging.


I think I get a little of that feeling next issue smile I’m sure if you were to ask Levtiz to write this as a graphic novel, the pacing would be different. It’s a little bit of a retread of last issue, substituting magic users for magic artefacts.


Originally Posted by HWW
This is the first I’d heard of her ancestor being a hero, and that fact that Lydea Mallor lived a thousand years ago sets up the possibility of her introduction in the present-day DCU (which does happen in L.E.G.I.O.N. ’89, etc.—Levitz and Giffen planned very far ahead, it seems). As we’ve already discussed, Shady’s reaction to the news tells us some interesting things about her, as well.


When Shady tells us that her ancestor died, it could have been of old age, in a Talokian nursing home. But heroic figures never seem to have that fate.

From what I recall, Giffen was involved with LEGION Acronym because no one else wanted to launch anything off the back of Invasion. Shady’s ancestor must have been rattling around in his head. Despite knowing her fate, Shady obviously couldn’t hint about any previous Legion group in this story.


Originally Posted by HWW
I’m really getting a sense of Jan’s personality beyond his sole survivor status.


How do you see Jan’s personality at this stage?

Originally Posted by HWW
I’m not sure if this revelation truly elevates Mysa to world-class status as a magic user. Darkseid abandons her awful quick once the Legionnaires interfere.


I think her role in Evillo’s group and in countering Mordru in previous stories give her a pretty high status in Legion terms. In the same way they involved Excalibur, it was a good nod to Legion history to bring in the White Witch. I agree that the villain should have seen this one through, forcing the Legion to find other solutions. As you say later, it’s an unearned victory.


Originally Posted by HWW
…or perhaps he wanted her for other reasons. It must get very lonely sleeping on a dead world for centuries.


Eeeewwww! Considering her abusive relationship with Mordru.


Originally Posted by HWW
In any case, the redesigned White Witch is quite striking and her addition to the Legion’s cast adds a dimension to Nura’s personality, as well.


Yet another bit of creative support for Nura in this run. It’s refreshing to see a character built on positively, rather than demolished along the way.

Originally Posted by HWW
… this one ends in a stalemate, with nothing truly being accomplished save for Jacques getting a glimpse of the Master and a streak of skunk hair for his trouble. It’s the sort of revelation that could lead somewhere but doesn’t. If Jacques recognized Darkseid or were able to describe him to history buff Brainy (or Cos), the mystery would be over. But the mystery must endure, so it doesn’t really matter that Jacques saw him.


… It would have been more interesting, I think, if the villain had realized the Legionnaires were more powerful than he thought and decided to retreat until he could study them further. This would give the Legionnaires a fighting chance and also address one of the problems Levitz had with his villains: they are so omnipotent that they fear nothing, learn nothing, and never grow. Nothing is more boring than a static character.



Jacques involvement would be paralleled by another cast member next time out too. (Peek Ahead Lad) This will become a retread later in the story too…

I would have preferred the villain not to retreat at all. He’s grabbed everything he wanted up until this point, and the Legion simply don’t offer enough resistance for it to be different this time round either. Had the villain not been so omniscient, the Guardian mockery could well have been chased off by Dirk, for a scene where it is punished by its master. Failing that, Mysa could have been taken. This would have forced the group to her home world, whether through logic, since the villain is pinching lots of other mages, or through Nura’s predictive powers. Likewise, our villain could have pinched the secrets of the Sorcerer’s world form a captive Mysa, again forcing a confrontation. Like Jacques mission, this too would have a parallel next time out (Peek Ahead Lad)


Originally Posted by HWW
The backup story also yielded mixed blessings. It resolves the Garth subplot but in a way that is neither interesting nor convincing. Garth remains comatose until (trope alert!) he realizes his wife and friend are in danger, then he miraculously recovers and even has time to get dressed before dispatching the menace with a single lightning bolt! And then he collapses.


The always cut the panels where the hero collapses, gets a James Brown cape put over them, and then recover enough to continue. Copyright reasons I guess shrug

Originally Posted by HWW
I have truly appreciated how Levitz has used the last few issues to reveal so much about Saturn Girl’s inner world, insecurities, and doubts. Paradoxically, she seems a stronger character because of them.


I’ve always seen this as a longer character arc than Nura’s, but with the result that it’s the two of them in Universo’s prison. There, Imra moves ahead even more than the others. It’s a much better approach here, than blowing up Titan. smile

Originally Posted by HWW
This is also one of the few stories we’ve had to feature Garth, Imra, and Rokk as the three founders. Their shared history is put to good effect here (though Rokk accusing Imra of being irresponsible for not listening to him seems a tad insensitive—but this is Rokk, after all).


From the time I started reading, the three founders were starting to look a little distant. Rokk would spend time with Lydda and the Subs, while Imra and Garth would move into parental roles. Then there was the retirement subplot and Legionnaires Three. I might feel differently about them if I had been reading since the beginning, but I quite liked the transition of characters out of the main Legion. It’s something DnA would pick up more fully in Hypernaturals.


"...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."
#936916 - 09/03/17 06:11 AM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: He Who Wanders]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 528
Ann Hebistand Offline
Active
Ann Hebistand  Offline
Active

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 528
Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
291:

Yes, it is a bright cover&#151;but what&#146;s interesting is that the GDS covers are varied and innovative, and not too obvious in how they use the theme of darkness. The impression I get from this cover is that it&#146;s a supernova going off, just before everything plunges into darkness. In fact, I live in an area of the country which experienced totality of the recent eclipse. It reminded me that darkness and light go hand-in-hand in creating a deadly effect.


This.

Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
As middle chapters are wont do to, this one ends in a stalemate, with nothing truly being accomplished save for Jacques getting a glimpse of the Master and a streak of skunk hair for his trouble. It&#146;s the sort of revelation that could lead somewhere but doesn&#146;t. If Jacques recognized Darkseid or were able to describe him to history buff Brainy (or Cos), the mystery would be over. But the mystery must endure, so it doesn&#146;t really matter that Jacques saw him.

I guess that&#146;s one of the two things which bug me about this story. The other thing is the Legion's unearned victory. They don&#146;t prevent Darkseid from taking off with the White Witch; he simply abandons her. It would have been more interesting, I think, if the villain had realized the Legionnaires were more powerful than he thought and decided to retreat until he could study them further. This would give the Legionnaires a fighting chance and also address one of the problems Levitz had with his villains: they are so omnipotent that they fear nothing, learn nothing, and never grow. Nothing is more boring than a static character.


Yeppers. Shooter had that same problem sometimes, although more often in his Marvel work than in his DC work.

Originally Posted by He Who Wanders
The backup story...is...one of the few stories we&#146;ve had to feature Garth, Imra, and Rokk as the three founders. Their shared history is put to good effect here (though Rokk accusing Imra of being irresponsible for not listening to him seems a tad insensitive, &#151;but this is Rokk, after all).


ROTFLMAO rotflmao

#936953 - 09/03/17 05:19 PM Re: Re-Reading the Legion: Archives Volume 18 [Re: thoth lad]  
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He Who Wanders Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.
He Who Wanders  Offline
She ran and called him Wildfire.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 23,449
The Plateaus of Ecstasy
Originally Posted by thoth lad

Originally Posted by HWW
There was nothing the Legionnaires could do for him, save offer unwanted moral support. Their efforts were better spent dealing with the crisis at hand.

I think an unwanted message of moral support would have gone a long way. They don’t have to turn up and form a picket outside his cell for that. smile


Unwanted support would have been a legitimate response. I don't think there was any right or wrong choice on Jan's part, but his choice suggests some things about him.

You asked how I saw Jan's personality now. I think some clues can be found in both of these last two issues. In 290, he says he likes the job of leader but wants to earn it in his own right. He also says, ". . . I've made the Legion my home--and I want to give it my all" (p. 21). So, he is intensely devoted to the Legion, perhaps more so than any other member. This may come from the fact that he has no place else to go--no family or home world, like most of the other Legionnaires, but it may also be that he is the type of personality who throws himself 100 percent into any role he's given.

In 291, he argues with Ultra Boy about postponing the election and later makes a point of analyzing his teammates' tactical advantages in fighting Mordru (p. 13). He also appears genuinely hurt when Star Boy rides him about not anticipating the condition in which they find Mordru (p. 14). So it seems to me that Jan is desperately trying to prove himself, to show the others he is decisive and well qualified for the job. Perhaps another way to put it is that he has all the same insecurities as Garth but more mature ways of dealing with them.

I understand these feelings; I was twice passed over for promotion, and, even though I agreed that the people selected for those roles were better suited than I was, the "rejection" still hurt. Also, now that I have been promoted, I want to give my all to my new role and the trust which has been placed in me. I think I can relate to Jan in this regard.


Quote
It couldn’t have been that much of a shock. She did stand for leadership. It wasn’t as though ti wasn’t even one of the candidates. Having the candidates named in the story does seem to have focused the voting. As mentioned, Dreamy had been getting a very solid build up over the Levitz run, and this was a natural progression of that.


It could be that the poll was conducted some time before these stories were written. It seems like too much of a coincidence that the top three vote getters were also the three candidates.


Quote
I’d hate to think that Mr Bender was deprived of any payment, just because he wasn’t on DC’s royalty scheme or hadn’t a reprint clause.


Yeah, that's a shitty thing to do--but businesses are run on similar decisions. Perhaps Giffen had a clause in his own contract that he could redraw any portion of GDS if he so desired. At least Bender is not credited in 291 as "the rest" [Gilligan's Island reference, for those not in the know].


Quote
I would have preferred the villain not to retreat at all. He’s grabbed everything he wanted up until this point, and the Legion simply don’t offer enough resistance for it to be different this time round either. Had the villain not been so omniscient, the Guardian mockery could well have been chased off by Dirk, for a scene where it is punished by its master. Failing that, Mysa could have been taken. This would have forced the group to her home world, whether through logic, since the villain is pinching lots of other mages, or through Nura’s predictive powers. Likewise, our villain could have pinched the secrets of the Sorcerer’s world form a captive Mysa, again forcing a confrontation. Like Jacques mission, this too would have a parallel next time out (Peek Ahead Lad)


Those would have all been legitimate story choices, I think, and better ones than what we were given.


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