Legion #9: Trial of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Part 2

Yes, it’s time for another LSH frivolity break! Last month, in Legion #8, writer Brian Michael Bendis, introduced this two-part “Trial” special, with a bevy of DC artists, each spotlighting a member of the Legion. Let’s pick up the action in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #9
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils and Inks: Ryan Sook, Wade Von Grawbadger, and twenty-one guest artists, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, September 29, 2020

Plot

The Legionnaires collectively stand trial before Madame President Brande and the United Planets Council, charged with kidnapping General Crav Nah of Rimbor and defying the U.P.’s space-time continuum regulations by bringing Superboy to the 31st Century. Brande introduces “memexes” (video clips) of Legionnaires’ auditions to prove treachery from the start, including those of Dawnstar, Bouncing Boy, Monster Boy, and Timber Wolf. Intermixed with the memexes are live-action segments at the trial, spotlighting Shadow Lass, Blok, Wildfire, Invisible Kid (returned after quitting in #5), Dream Girl, and Triplicate Girl. General Crav crashes the party, but is subdued by Legionnaires, Mon-El and Gold Lantern, while Dream Girl, Doctor Fate, and White Witch warn of an impending “Great Darkness.” It’s revealed that Crav selfishly desired the Trident as a weapon against the advancing threat. The trial is cancelled as Brande is finally convinced of the Legion’s loyalty and a romance blossoms between Saturn Girl and Superboy.

Comments

This two-part special was enjoyable with the wide-range of illustration styles provided by the guest pencillers. Quite an experiment! Bendis did a passable job of interweaving the trial storyline with the single-page focus on many of the Legionnaires. However, noticeably missing from the spotlight cavalcade were Karate Kid, Matter-Eater Lad, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, and the unnamed glowing skeletal character in a containment suit who still has yet to be identified after nine issues! Bendis evidently omitted those six characters because he simply ran out of plot and pages. Disappointing.

Well, we now know that The Great Darkness (Darkseid? Mordru?) looms large on the far horizon. But first, there’s a New Krypton in the immediate works for issue #10.

Postscript: We all wondered whether Ferro Lad survived the cataclysmic encounter with Crav Nah in #8. Not to worry. There he is on page #3 of this issue, fit as a fiddle. Bendis’s attempt to add some oomph to one of comics’ most ridiculed super-heroes, Bouncing Boy, by making him invulnerable is interesting. The Legion’s Silver Age fans appreciated Bendis’s hat tip on page #6 to the implausible Moby Dick of Space from Adventure Comics #332, May, 1965.

17 thoughts on “Legion #9: Trial of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Part 2

  1. Memexes, what a 31st Century word. Thank you, Tom, for the review! I agree, Brian Michael Bendis did a great work on the script and panels but I hate inconsistent art. You are right, Tom, Bendis gave Bouncing Boy a purpose in the Legion with its new power; give him strength and he will crack every wall. It is hard to place a lot of characters in one issue or set of issues; let alone teens with their dramas (e.g. Sgt. Blok, Mon-El). Also, it is either the primary Legioners are tackless or it is hard to utter seditious words when the walls and spaces have ears and when the governing body can easily extract that information; thanking Bendis for his imagination. When President Brande said, mistakes that ended the Age of Heroes, referring to Earth’s 21st C, I wonder what will happen to the future of the present time heroes e.g. Justice League?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the good comments, Kent! “Memexes” reminded me of the Memorex-brand cassette and video tapes that were popular back in the analog era.
      I admit it was not easy for Bendis to integrate the character spotlights into a plot. Yup, some interesting twists regarding Bouncing Boy and the idealistic remarks of some of the interviewees coming back to “haunt” them. It will be interesting to see if Bendis also augments the powers of the Legion’s other hero misfit, Matter-Eater Lad.
      RE: end of Age of Heroes
      I always enjoyed the Silver Age Legion stories where there was some kind of connection between the 20th and 30th centuries.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yup, 10 PM is my limit tonight. Currently fighting the strong urge to take a nap. The games are in the Texas Ranger’s stadium in Dallas. How’s your day starting off?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 👍🏻
        Have a good Bible study! So much for the nap. Riding with my wife to an MD session. She doesn’t like to go alone and I’m too tired to drive. Whoops! Left my current book at home.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Man that’s a bad feeling I get when I don’t have my books when I meet with people since for some reason people with pastors often feel church is voluntary so they can not show up and notify about missed appointments, lunch meetings, counseling, etc. So I found over the years for my sanctification that its better to bring a book than get upset and I then redeem the time when people are late or don’t show up and left me hanging. So to plan that I don’t ever be without something to read I bring a kindle, my one book I’m reading, my journal to take notes of my reading, pen and highligher; so if my kindle dies, I have a book, if that one book I forgot or finished, I also have a back up book in the trunk. I’ve finished so many books just waiting for people or waiting in line purchasing something lol

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I totally hear you. I ALWAYS bring something to read, but I blame my “poor planning” on my late-night Padres stupor. She was only in the office for 15 minutes to sign some ppwk so I read the Bible on my iPhone.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yeah, I’m obviously very used to the LSH’s long roster, but I realize it’s intimidating for a newbie. I generally don’t like stories that have too many characters to follow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was pretty pleased with this 9-issue inaugural story arc. So much more complex than the Silver Age plots, although with a lot less action as we’ve discussed. My plot synopses are one-third the length of my Silver Age reviews.

        Liked by 1 person

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