The Legion of Super-Heroes in “Playing Hooky II”

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 “Playing Hooky II”
Writer: Paul Levitz, Penciller: Eduardo Pansica
Adventure Comics #519, DC Comics, December 2010

4 Stars

Plot

Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid, and Shrinking Violet, the Legion’s “espionage squad,” sneak aboard Zaryan’s space cruiser as it orbits the planet Rimbor, hoping to apprehend the smuggler-villain. Invisible Kid inadvertently sets off an alarm and the team must fight off sentry robots. After overcoming the opposition, the team makes its way to the bridge and a battle ensues with Zaryan and his minions. Zaryan escapes once again and vows to defeat the Legion on Earth.

In the meantime, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl travel in a time bubble back to Smallville in the 20th century. Brainy won’t divulge the purpose of the mission, although he does have a checklist. Superboy joins the quartet and they set off to a) experience some old fashioned weather in a rainstorm and tornado, and b) while in disguise, participate in a barn-raising for Pa Kent with some of the young Smallville locals, culminating in some delicious apple pie baked by Ma Kent. That night, the quintet does some star-gazing, but the serenity is interrupted by a “Brainiac probe,” that had honed in on Superboy’s Kryptonian ship. From historical archives, Brainiac 5 had ascertained that the probe would be arriving at that precise time and he subsequently neutralizes the invader with his superior 31st-century technology. By destroying the probe, Brainiac 5 delays his arch-villain ancestor, Brainiac, from coming to Earth until Kal-El matures from Superboy to Superman and is suitably able to vanquish him.

Comments

It was refreshing to have just a small number Legionnaires to follow in this issue. The Zaryan storyline continues to be pretty simple, but I sense a tragedy coming up next issue with the story ominously titled, “Tragedy.” It was fun seeing the future kids dealing with 20th century bad weather and a rural barn-raising. Levitz did a nice job with that. The “Playing Hooky II” in the title refers to the similarly simple activities of Superboy and the Legion in Adventure Comics #12’s “Playing Hooky” that we reviewed in February. The ending of this issue involving the Brainiac probe was head-scratchingly convoluted for a non-DC regular. Where was Sheldon Cooper when I needed him? Instead, I had to google “Brainiac probe” and find out what that was all about. Pansica’s artwork is excellent in some panels and amateurish in others.

I’m enjoying these “young Legion” issues with their simpler plotlines. The next issue, Adventure #520, is the last in the young Legion series, and then we pick up the “older Legion” plotline where we left off back in January with LSH #7.

12 thoughts on “The Legion of Super-Heroes in “Playing Hooky II”

  1. Wow we are both sharing comic books today! Answering your question: Sunday was busy! Preached at two church. I realize Father’s Day might be the most challenging sermon to be careful with than any other “holiday” message, there’s a lot of hurting people with the topic of fathers. Going to read this shortly

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sad that there’s one more issue and then its the end of the recent LSh. It doesn’t seem so far from your reviews there’s explicit woke and lgdareafdafads;re agenda in these issues; I hear again and again on the news of DC having those agendas in recent issues since 2020. So maybe going back to older issues might not be a bad idea; I’ve stopped reading more recent Batman since some of them seems fragmented without story lines or there’s so much filler and long drawn out romans going for issues after issues of Batman marrying Catwoman; sigh. Brainiac probe sounds obscure reference that requires reading a lot of other backstory too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, this review is actually of the “young Legion” series in Adventure Comics that ran in 2010 so that’s why there’s no wokeness. But come to think of it, there really hasn’t been much if any wokeness in the current JL vs. LSH limited series that I’m also reviewing.
      One more “young Legion” issue and the Adventure book picked up the “older Legion” plotline of the 2010-2013 LSH book that I originally started reviewing. Fans got to follow the “older Legion” plotline twice-a-month for awhile.
      Yeah, the conclusion was a bit convoluted for a non-DC regular.

      Liked by 1 person

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