It’s time once again to climb aboard our time bubble and travel to the future for another adventure with those crime-fighting heroes of the 31st Century.
The Legion of Super-Heroes in “Whispers of Doom”
Writer: Paul Levitz, Penciller: Kevin Sharpe
Adventure Comics #518, DC Comics, November 2010
A contingent of the newly formed Legion of Super-Heroes – Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, and Ultra Boy – engages and subdues Zaryan’s pirates. They’re disappointed that arch-criminal Zaryan is not aboard the pirate cruiser, but obtain the coordinates of the next raid. Back in Metropolis, Phantom Girl and Superboy discuss a ghostly presence that’s been “haunting” the newly constructed Legion clubhouse. Uncomfortable with Phantom Girl’s flirtations, Superboy excuses himself to visit the Superman Museum.
Zaryan and his raiding party approach the planet Naltor, but are surprised that a combined force of Science Police and Legionnaires are awaiting them. After a brief engagement, Zaryan and the pirates realize they are overwhelmed and flee. The leader of Naltor, Beren Kah, praises young Nura Nal for her precognition, which helped thwart the raiders. Nura foresees herself as a Legionnaire (Dream Girl), but also has a disturbing vision of one of the heroes dying in a future engagement with Zaryan. Kah attempts to send a warning to the Legionnaires.
At the Superman Museum, Superboy learns his future, that he will be killed by Doomsday as an adult.* The aforementioned ghostly presence warns Superboy to immediately return to his own time. Brainiac 5 oversees the Boy of Steel’s return to 20th century Smallville via a time bubble.
The fledgling Legion picks up where it left off last issue, fighting Zaryan, but with the abrupt “out of the blue,” addition of new members Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, Sun Boy, Superboy, and Ultra Boy. Perhaps Levitz could have provided a very brief summary of how the four additional members joined (excluding Superboy, whose recruitment was covered in Adventure #12). Who/what is this ghostly presence? Which Legionnaire will die?
*Unlike the linear and unalterable plotlines of the Silver Age, events presented as fact have zero meaning in DC’s ever-shifting universe.