Legion of Super-Heroes #12

It’s time once again for our monthly, LSH frivolity break (in fact, we’re three weeks past due because of DC’s ongoing publishing issues), so let’s climb aboard our time cube and travel to the 31st Century for another LSH adventure in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #12:
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils: Ryan Sook, Inks: Ryan Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, January 19, 2021

Plot

At the end of LSH #11, Superboy and Saturn Girl arrived on New Krypton and confronted planet-destroyer, Rogol Zaar, as all of the other Legionnaires lay strewn about on the battlefield, bloodied and vanquished. As we pick up the action in #12, Superboy engages Rogol Zaar, but he too is subdued. Saturn Girl uses her mind powers to “psychically wake” the entire battered Legion corps, who then engage Rogol Zaar. Just as the Legion appears to be gaining the upper hand, Mordru the Sorcerer appears along with a large contingent of Horraz pirates and a full-scale battle ensues with multiple vignettes highlighting individual Legionnaires and their unique powers. The combined forces of Rogol Zaar and Mordru prove too much for the heroes and defeat looms. Mon-El suddenly appears, returning from his self-imposed exile, to buy the Legion a little more time. Saturn Girl, Dream Girl, and White Witch then confront Mordru with their combined powers, but the showdown is interrupted by Dr. Fate who easily subdues the evil sorcerer. A defeated Rogol Zaar is then returned to the Phantom Zone. As Element Lad leads the effort to rebuild New Krypton, a few Legionnaires ponder whether the preceding battle was the “Great Darkness” that had been foretold and conclude that was not the case. Gold Lantern returns to Earth to retrieve Brainiac 5 for the victory celebration, only to learn that his ring is NOT a Green Lantern ring (gasp!) and that those who issued it to him are not elders of Oa (double gasp!).

Comments

Writer Bendis did a nice job with this showdown between the Legion and Rogol Zaar and Mordru and he tied up some dangling loose ends with the return of Mon-El, Dr. Fate, and Blok. Ryan Sook’s pencils are top-notch as usual. The entire 34-person Legion roster was included in this issue with appearances by Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawn Star, Ferro Lad, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Matter-Eater Lad, Monster Boy, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Rose Forrest, Shadow Lass, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy, and Wild Fire. The as-of-yet-unidentified-skeleton-in-a-containment-suit character was also present. The fact that Bendis has not identified this anonymous hero after twelve issues must be his idea of an insider joke.

Well, folks, this issue wraps up the first year of the Legion’s comeback. My hat is off to DC and the creative team of Bendis, Sook, Von Grawbadger, and Bellaire for a very entertaining ride. There was some speculation on the web that DC was pulling the plug on the LSH after this issue, however, a full-page “Future State Checklist” at the end of this book lists “Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 [of 2]” on sale, tomorrow, January 26th and “Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #2 [of 2]” on sale February 23rd. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee that DC will be continuing the LSH franchise after “Future State.” No titles are safe given the publisher’s severe financial troubles except for its flagship Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman franchises.

22 thoughts on “Legion of Super-Heroes #12

  1. What a classic superhero story, Tom! What a way to end it, for now, by refreshing the readers’ mind (well, it is Imra, a powerful telepath) about events that led to the creation of the Legion of Super-Heroes involving two of those characters (Jon and Rogol) present at that time of the founding of UAP, sans the future traveling LSH. Imra is so powerful “to ‘physically awake” the entire battered” but still, resilient team to be instantly battle-ready (with matching battle posture) and easily defeated the enemy with their combined powers and skillful maneuvers. When everyone was happy, the big bad of the season arrived along with his goons; and when their precious hero was in danger, the cavalry (of two) arrived, easily beating up the adversary and the rest banish the villains. And all of them survived and everything went back to the way before! Such is a classic story!! Something that we missed in the silver age. But effective and well done! You are right, Bendis and the team did a good 12-arc story here. I’ve noticed that Supergirl is back, Cosmic Boy was never abducted, and Jon did not return to the present. Will the next arc be a lantern themed story, if there is? What will be the next generation of LSH? Blessings to you, Corinne, and your sons!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kent, thanks for all of the good observations! Yes, it was a very good 12-issue story arc and the finale with Jon and Rogol Zaar battling as they had in the LSH preludes in Superman #s 14 & 15 and the end of the lingering presence of Mordru, which began in LSH #1.
      Yes, I also noticed Supergirl in the last panel. It will be interesting to see if DC continues the LSH post-Future State. I’m beginning to think the “Great Darkness” that’s been referred to is the turmoil that’s going to take place in the two-part Future State series. The official blurb from DC is as follows:
      “Whatever happened to the Legion of Super-Heroes? The team is no more, and the United Planets are in total chaos as one of the Legion’s own has turned on the entire galaxy! Everyone is affected…and not everyone survived! Ultra Boy tries to put the Legion back together to face the future head on! Find out the fates of all your favorite Legionnaires like Shadow Lass, Triplicate Girl, Brainiac Five, and Bouncing Boy. Plus, a shocking twist in the Legion mythology-and a long overdue appearance by the Legion of Substitute Heroes! It’s all here in a truly way-out tale by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist extraordinaire Riley Rossmo!”

      Thanks, Kent, and blessings to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Pastor Jimmy’s the culprit, Mandy! Seeing his occasional Batman reviews prompted me to revisit my favorite super-heroes team from back in the 1960s, the Legion, which DC relaunched in November 2019. Kent is quite knowledgeable about the DC Universe and graciously fills in the gaps in my reviews. The Legion comics I read back in the 1960s were aimed at a 10-16 YO audience, but the intricate plots of today can only be completely deciphered by physicists like Sheldon Cooper.

      Thanks for your prayers re: work! The work did get progressively easier from day to day. That seems to be the general pattern. The great amount of walking and standing on my feet most of the time is challenging, BUT it will help me lose the pounds I put on eating “comfort food” throughout 2020.
      Hope you two had a nice weekend! I’m strictly R&R-ing today.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Glad you are getting some R&R! Have you been able to start Wright’s book?!

        Nathan moved some gym equipment for me this weekend. He told me that was the last time it will be moved by him. I have a propensity to move things that while it looks/functions better, Nathan finds completely unnecessary. 95% of the time I move things myself so at least he doesn’t have to be a part of it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks! Today I am reading the last few pages of a humongous U.S. history book, which has consumed my reading time for a couple of months. Argh! Such an arduous read. BTW, my book reviews usually sit in the queue for several weeks but my queue is starting to dry up with my new work schedule. I’ll be starting Wright’s book tomorrow and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

        Your rearrangement of things sounds familiar. Corinne is generally a good decorator and will periodically move things to “shake things up.” Sometimes the furniture only lends itself to one layout, but she won’t let that stop her. In our family room, we had all six seats (two couches plus one chair) facing the television, but following her rearrangement, only one seat faced the TV. Our son voiced his amazement each time he visited, but the peculiar arrangement lasted about one year.

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  2. Answering your question my Sunday went well, super exhausted afterwards I have to confess, I think discussions about these times with concerned people got me really tired and cuts into my studying time which pushes me to sleep more late. Will read this post, love your comic book reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A good review! I’m always amaze at multiple characters in a title and the amount you listed is quite a handful! It’s the size of a small platoon lol. Glad there’s more issues in this title and I hope it continues. Love the many cool names in LSH as usual

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! The lengthy Legion roster is an attraction for list nerds, but probably a turn-off for most new readers. There wasn’t a lot of character development. Over the 12-issue run, around a third of the members weren’t presented in any kind of detail and I still don’t know the identity of one. Yup, I hope the series continues BUT there’s no sign of the LSH in DC’s April line-up “solicitations,” which has already been released.

      Liked by 1 person

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