Legion of Super-Heroes #3: Earth Man’s Choice

It’s the end of the month, so let’s board our time sphere and travel to the 31st Century for another adventure with the Legion of Super-Heroes! Last month, the Legion was contending with the diabolical Saturn Queen while the unpredictable Earth Man contemplated his new dual-role as a Green Lantern-Legionnaire, and Saturn Girl desperately searched for her twin sons. Let’s pick up the action in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #3: Earth Man’s Choice
Writer: Paul Levitz, Penciller: Yildiray Cinar
DC Comics, September 2010

5 Stars

Plot

As Earth Man begins to exit Legion headquarters, Colossal Boy and Cosmic Boy assume he’s reneging on his agreement and attempt to restrain him, but EM persuades them he’s just following instructions from his Green Lantern ring to journey to the planet Ozifer because sentient lives are at stake.

In the asteroid belt that was formerly Titan, Saturn Queen holds Brainiac 5, Tyroc, and Wildfire hostage and awaits Ultra Boy’s return in order to destroy the Legion contingent in one fell swoop.

Meanwhile, Lightning Lad tracks down his wife, Saturn Girl, with the help of his sister, Lightning Lass. Together, the trio vow to find and rescue the Ranzz’s kidnapped twins.

Earth Man arrives on Ozifer, but is overcome by a powerful swamp creature. Cosmic Boy had sent Sun Boy to keep tabs on EM and the fiery one reluctantly rescues his former tormentor in the nick of time.

Back in the Titan asteroid belt, Phantom Girl shows up to confront Saturn Queen, but she’s not alone. She’s brought Sensor Girl (known as Princess Projectra back in the Silver Age), Tellus, and Ultra Boy and the contingent makes short work of Saturn Queen.

In the middle of all of this action, we learn via a one-page blip that the Durlans are conspiring against the Legionnaires.

Back on Ozifer, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, and Shadow Lass reinforce Earth Man and Sun Boy, but a puzzled Earth Man still does not know the identity of the sentient life form he was sent to protect. The Guardians reveal a species of oversized insects will soon perish in the planet’s over-carbonized atmosphere. Element Lad and EM make the necessary correction, but EM then discards his Green Lantern ring in disgust, stating he’s just not into risking his life to save insects. As the Legionnaires’ cruiser climbs into deep space, Dyogene, powerful minion of the Guardians, ascends ominously from the glowing-green swamp.

Lightning Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lass follow the twins’ trail to the planet Avalon. As their cruiser makes its final approach, the trio spots…gasp, can it be?…uh, oh…it definitely is…DARKSEID!!!

Commentary

This issue tied up one loose end, Saturn Queen, but introduced another one: the conspiring Durlans. Earth Man seems to have quit the Green Lantern Corps just as quickly as he was inducted. But what’s Dyogen up to? What a surprise (not!) that Darkseid, the Legion’s most powerful foe, is behind the kidnapping of the Ranzz’s twin sons. In one of the Legion’s previous incarnations, Darkseid kidnapped one of the twins, Garridan Ranzz, immediately following his birth and transformed him into the mindless monster, Validus, an eventual member of the dreaded Fatal Five. What evil plan does Darkseid have for the Ranzz twins this time?

Levitz does an excellent job interweaving all of the subplots. After three issues, I’m really impressed with his storytelling skills while juggling the imposingly large Legion roster. Cinar’s pencils are excellent in some frames, but border on amateurish in others. Overall, very good stuff! Levitz has me looking forward to #4 and the confrontation with Darkseid.

8 thoughts on “Legion of Super-Heroes #3: Earth Man’s Choice

    1. Thanks, Jimmy. I had a preconceived notion that Harris was a great company and ran like a finely tuned engine, but an individual department is only as good as its supervisors and crew. After almost eight months there, I can safely say it’s a case study on how not to do supervision. Whoops! Still need to deflate from the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love the story line and also looking forward to the confrontation with the darkside! Appreciate you going over the plot. Appreciate you even mentioning about the quality of the art panels too. SOmetimes it seems comics issue can be uneven with the quality of artwork by the same creative team. I also don’t think its easy to juggle that many heroes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the feedback! It was a fun issue. Ryan Sook did such a great job with the pencils in the 2019-2020 Legion so any other artist is going to pale in comparison. I already read and wrote the review for #4 and the confrontation with Darkseid doesn’t turn out exactly as expected. I appreciate having this 2010-2013 collection to fall back on.

      Liked by 1 person

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