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.

JL vs. LSH #3

It’s time once again to board our time bubble and journey to the 31st century for another adventure with the Legion of Super-Heroes as they tag-team the formidable Great Darkness in tandem with the Justice League.

Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Gold Lantern Saga, #3 of 6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Penciller: Scott Godlewski
DC Comics, May 2022

4 Stars

Plot

The Great Darkness settles in simultaneously over the Metropolis of the 21st century, where Gold Lantern stands sole guard, and the Metropolis of the 31st century where the combined Justice League and Legion of Super-Heroes observe the encroaching menace. Brainiac 5 cautions that the Great Darkness has opened a temporal time rift and a direct attack could lead to “the end of all things.”

Batman, always the detective, smells a rat and asks Computo (the Legion’s artificial intelligence member) to cross-reference criminals who have used/abused time travel in both eras. With that information, the Caped Crusader recalls it was a villain named Epoch who warned him of the Gold Lantern and his ring. Huh? Shortly afterwards, another darkness tremor catapults most of the other heroes to various time zones, but left-behind are Batman and Chameleon Boy who are arrested by the Science Police for tampering with science (see cover illustration). Brainiac 5, Mon-El, and Naomi are transported to the post-apocalyptic future and encounter Kamandi. Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl are conveyed to Neo-Gotham and confront the Joker and future Batman, Terry McGinnis. Aquaman and Ultra Boy are sent back to the era of dinosaurs. Gold Lantern finds himself back in time in what appears to be 1930s Metropolis (a bi-plane and a dirigible airship are visible) and discovers his Gold Lantern ring doesn’t work. What’s going on?

Comments

Well, after three installments I can say without reservation that this is a very slow moving series. We’re not all that much farther ahead than where we left off at the conclusion of issue #1. However, we’ve picked up a few major clues this time indicating that this Great Darkness calamity seems to be somehow connected to the Gold Lantern ring. I’m hoping the action picks up in the next three issues now that we have some preliminaries established.

Legionnaires making cameo appearances in this issue include Bouncing Boy, Element Lad, Monster Boy, Shadow Lass, Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl, White Witch, and Wildfire. Legionnaires missing in action include Blok, Colossal Boy, Dawnstar, Dr. Fate, Dream Girl, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Lightning Lass, Matter-Eater Lad, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, and X-Ray Girl. Bendis-era Legionnaires, Ferro Lad and Rose Forrest/Thorn, have yet to make even a cameo appearance in this series.

The Legion of Super-Heroes in “Whispers of Doom”

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

4 Stars

Plot

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.

Comments

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.

Spotlight on Saturn Girl

It’s time again to board our time bubble and travel to the future for another adventure with the Legion of Super-Heroes of the 31st Century. In the previous installment of Adventure Comics’ “young Legion” storyline, we witnessed the origin of the Legion and its three founding members, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl. In this issue, we’ll follow the fledgling team on its first crime-fighting adventure.

The Legion of Super-Heroes in “Saturn Rising”
Writer: Paul Levitz, Pencillers: Kevin Sharpe and Marlo Alquiza
Adventure Comics 517, DC Comics, October 2010

4 Stars

Plot

Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen) engages in a strenuous workout at the Science Police gymnasium while the Legion’s clubhouse is being constructed. The Titan native is hoping to bolster her physical fighting abilities to compensate for her less-flashy super power (mental telepathy). She’s soon joined by the Legion’s other founding members, Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn) and Lightning Lad (Garth Ranzz). The trio accompanies Science Police Sergeant Esquivel on a training mission. We learn that offworlder Zaryan is raiding robot manufacturing sites and the Science Police are attempting to apprehend the criminal. The heroes stake out a facility and, sure enough, Zaryan’s robo-flunkies arrive at the scene. The novice heroes attempt to stop the heist, but are largely ineffective. The Science Police end up thwarting the robbery. Saturn Girl receives some additional training from Sgt. Esquivel and the two females and Cosmic Boy stake out the next suspected robbery site in Taiwan. One of Zaryan’s raider ships appears and the trio engages. The ship’s captain kills Esquivel when she is momentarily distracted by Saturn Girl. After the crime scene is secured, the Legion regroups. Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox) of Colu (who’s not yet a Legionnaire) contacts the Legion and informs them that his experimental time bubble is operational and ready to transport the heroes to the 20th Century to attempt to recruit Superboy.

Comments

This was a decent tale of the fledgling Legion’s first crime-fighting adventure. Levitz did a good job of presenting the teens as well-meaning, but bumbling novices.

JL vs. LSH #2

In issue #1 of this 6-part series, the Legion traveled back to the 21st century to join with the Justice League in figuring out how to battle the onset of the Great Darkness in both centuries. A darkness tremor suddenly occurs, causing all of the heroes to disappear except for Gold Lantern. Let’s pick up the action in…

Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Gold Lantern Saga, #2 of 6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Penciller: Scott Godlewski
DC Comics, March 2022

5 Stars

Plot

In a flashback to one-year prior to the founding of the Legion, Kala Lour is an admirable and self-sacrificing schoolteacher on an unnamed planet, where half of the population, including Lour, are sightless. The Elders of Oa have been observing Lour and his altruistic deeds and select him to be the Gold Lantern, protector of the galaxy. Lour reluctantly accepts.

[Flash backward to 21st century Metropolis]

Gold Lantern attempts to determine the whereabouts of the vanished JL and LSH heroes, but observes the Great Darkness ominously positioning itself over Metropolis.

[Flash forward to Legion Headquarters in the 31st Century]

The missing heroes were somehow transported by the darkness anomaly forward in time. They gradually regain their consciousness and strength in the Legion’s dormitory. The Justice Leaguers demand to be returned to the 21st century, but Brainiac 5 advises against any impulsive decisions given the circumstances. The Great Darkness suddenly arrives, looming over Metropolis.

Black Adam and Ultra Boy lead a team of Legionnaires – Bouncing Boy, Dr. Fate, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, White Witch, and Wildfire – to confront the Great Darkness while Gold Lantern simultaneously and single-handedly confronts the Great Darkness in the 21st Century. Black Adam delivers a powerful lightning bolt to the core of the darkness, which creates a rupture in the space-time continuum (allowing the Legionnaires to communicate with Gold Lantern). Batman asks, “What does it mean?” A shaken Brainiac 5 answers, “The end of all things.”

Comments

This was an enjoyable issue with a spotlight on the origin of Gold Lantern and the initial confrontation with the Great Darkness in both centuries. Additional Legionnaires I spotted: Blok, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Dream Girl, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Matter Eater Lad, Monster Boy, Phantom Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl, and X-Ray Girl.

Is this…gulp…really the end of all things? Check back with me in a couple of months for a review of issue #3.

Legionnaires MIA: Element Lad, Ferro Lad, Invisible Kid, Princess Projectra, Rose Forrest, and Sun Boy.

Young Legion: The Legion’s Origins…Again

Let’s take a frivolity break from the serious issues of the 21st Century and board our time bubble for the 31st Century for another adventure with the Legion of Super-Heroes in…

Brande Speaks
Writer: Paul Levitz, Penciller: Kevin Sharpe, Colorist: Blond aka Kevin Senft
Adventure Comics #516, DC Comics, September 2010

4 Stars

Plot

Brainiac 5 arrives in the 20th Century in a time bubble to pick up Superboy for an important meeting back at Legion headquarters in 31st Century Metropolis. The two join Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl at a meeting chaired by Pheebes, longtime private secretary of R.J. Brande, the recently-assassinated Legion benefactor who was one of the wealthiest individuals in the galaxy.

Via a hologram recorded before his death, Brande recounts to the gathered Legionnaires how he left the planet Durla and created a financial empire, initially by developing a method to reenergize fading stars. Desiring a way to stanch the interplanetary aggression that devastated his world, Brande envisions bringing Superman to the 31st Century as a powerful champion for peace. To that end, he funds multiple experimental time-travel projects, including one with a super-bright, young Coluian on the research team, Brainiac 5. As Brande travels across the galaxy on business, he’s notified of a breakthrough in Brainiac 5’s time-travel research and hurries back to Earth. As Brande disembarks from the starship, two disgruntled Durlans attempt to murder him, but are thwarted by three teenage passengers, Rokk Krinn from Braal (Cosmic Boy), Garth Ranzz from Winath (Lightning Lad), and Imra Ardeen from Titan (Saturn Girl), each with a unique super-power. He convinces the three to form the Legion of Super-Heroes with himself as the patron benefactor. Superboy is eventually transported to the 31st Century as Brande originally envisioned and he joins the Legion. As the hologram comes to an end, Brande instructs Pheebes to continue funding the Legion.

Comments

The Legion of Super-Heroes made its first appearance in April 1958 in Adventure Comics #247 with Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl visiting 1950s Smallville in a time bubble and inviting Superboy to join the Legion. Since then, Legion writers have presented several versions of the Legion’s origins, including this 2010 version.

I’ve already seen several permutations of this “Legion’s origins” narrative, so the story is…yawn…getting a bit wearisome. Brande’s identity as a disguised Durlan and the biological father of Chameleon Boy are developments presented by Legion writers following the Silver Age.

Levitz’s characterization of Brande as a grandfatherly, but bluntly-to-the-point German is humorous. The best I can say about Sharpe’s pencils is they’re passable while Blond’s colors are awesome.

It’s my contention that DC’s ongoing reboots/reincarnations/alternate-Universe permutations of the Legion have whittled away the fan base to a point that the venerable franchise is no longer sustainable as an ongoing monthly.

The Legion returns!…but only in a six-issue, limited engagement

Since July, we’ve been journeying through my stash of 2010-2103 Legion of Super-Heroes comics because DC pulled the plug on the 2019-2020 Bendis-Sook Legion reboot after issue #12, published in January, 2021. DC and Bendis have brought the Legion back for a six-issue, limited series with the 31st Century teen heroes sharing the marquee with the 21st Century Justice League as they team up to confront the onset of the Great Darkness.

Justice League vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Gold Lantern Saga, #1 of 6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencillers: Scott Godlewski
DC Comics, January 2022

5 Stars

Plot

The story opens with Gold Lantern being interrogated by the malevolent Garfu. Almost the entire Legion suddenly shows up and makes short work of the creature. As the heroes celebrate their victory, a “Darkness Outbreak” tremor occurs, and one of the Durgo triplicates vanishes. The Legion appears before Madamhonor President, R.J. Brande, and the United Planets Council warning of the coming Great Darkness. The Council pledges its full support of the Legion.

Meanwhile, on 21st century Earth, the Justice League has just defeated a team of villains when a Darkness Outbreak tremor occurs there as well, nearly pulling away Wonder Woman. Instead, the rapidly-aged Durgo triplicate appears. Batman summons Superman, but he’s already sprung into action. As the Durgo duo and the Legion commiserate over the loss of triplicate #3, Jon Kent appears and invites them all to travel to 21st century Metropolis where they meet the Justice League and re-connect with the missing Durgo triplicate. There’s plenty of spirited introductions and conversation as the young heroes from the future meet their 21st century role models at JL headquarters, but the gathering is interrupted by yet another Darkness Outbreak tremor. All of the members of the LSH and the JL disappear EXCEPT for Gold Lantern.

Comments

It’s great to see the Bendis Legion back in business, at least for this six-issue run. Despite the title, the JL and LSH aren’t really in conflict. There’s not much plot in this opening issue other than the onset of the Great Darkness, which was alluded to in the 2019-2020 Bendis-Sook LSH storyline, and the meeting of the LSH and JL. Bendis’ dialogue is snappy as usual. The awkward banter between the two teams at their initial meeting is actually quite humorous. Bendis handles those kinds of situations well. Thankfully, Bendis didn’t have Jon Kent engaging in any monkey business. Godlewski does a decent job with the pencils, although not at the caliber of Ryan Sook. Looking forward to #2!

Legionnaires spotted in this issue: Blok, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Doctor Fate, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Gold Lantern, Karate Kid, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Monster Boy, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy, White Witch, Wildfire, and X-Ray Girl. The only 2019-2020 Bendis Legion members I didn’t spot were Ferro Lad, Invisible Kid, and Rose Forrest. I only recently learned that the never-identified character in the 2019-2020 Bendis Legion was X-Ray Girl who had first appeared as member of the Legion in Supergirl Vol. 7, #33. Yup, you need a PhD in Legionology to keep up with the LSH roster.

Justice League roster: Aquaman, Batman, Black Adam, Black Canary, Flash, Green Arrow, Hawkgirl, Naomi/Powerhouse, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

Postscript: Yup, we’ll continue to review the 2010-2013 Paul Levitz Legion during this 2022 JL vs. LSH six-part series. Count on two LSH reviews per month for the next six months. I’ve been out of touch with the Justice League for over fifty years. The Silver Age JLA roster as I remember it was Aquaman, Atom, Batman, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

Young Legion: An enjoyable hat tip to the Legion of Super-Heroes of the Silver Age Era

It’s time for some 31st Century frivolity, so let’s climb aboard our time bubble and join the Legion of Super-Heroes for another adventure!

Playing Hooky: A Tale of Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes
Writer: Paul Levitz, Penciler: Kevin Sharpe
Adventure Comics #12, DC Comics, August, 2010

5 Stars

Plot

Superboy leaves Ma and Pa Kent a note saying he’s playing hooky from school before he boards a time bubble with Brainiac 5 and travels to 31st Century Metropolis. The Legionnaires welcome the Boy of Steel before he sets out on a series of adventures including 1) delivering an emergency vaccine to Mars by flying in space for the first time, 2) playing a game of softball singlehandedly against the Legionnaires, 3) putting out a fire at the Legion clubhouse, and 4) attending a party welcoming him as the newest member of the Legion. Saturn Girl then returns Superboy to 20th Century Smallville, but not before erasing the details of his 31st Century escapades via mental telepathy. The other Legionnaires featured in this story include Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, and Triplicate Girl.

Comments

Wow! This book was definitely a hat-tip to Jim Shooter’s and Curt Swan’s young Legion of the Silver Age-era. The heroes are actually portrayed as the teenagers that they’re supposed to be and the plotline is refreshingly simple. Superboy’s biggest challenge in his visit to the 31st Century is fending off the advances of the flirtatious female Legionnaires. The naivete/unsophistication of Superboy and the young Legionnaires is in stark contrast to the grizzled, “older” heroes presented in the regular 2010-2013 LSH series that we began. Good stuff! Levitz captures the essence of the Shooter/Swan, Silver Age Legion perfectly. My only criticism is Kevin Sharpe’s pencils. While the artwork is pretty good in some panels, it’s noticeably amateurish in many others. Blond aka Kevin Senft does an excellent job with the colors.

Legion #7: “The Shifting Shape of Revenge”

It’s the beginning of a new month, so it’s time once again for some 31st Century frivolity as we review…

Legion of Super-Heroes #7: The Shifting Shape of Revenge
Writer: Paul Levitz, Pencillers: Yildiray Cinar and Wayne Faucher
DC Comics, January 2011

5 Stars

Plot

A contingent of Legionnaires – Cosmic Boy, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, and Ultra Boy – is summoned to the United Planets Council Hall in Metropolis where a U.P. councilor has been assassinated. The heroes surmise the Durlans are behind the murder and their suspicions are confirmed when three shape-shifters suddenly attack.

Meanwhile, at Legion Headquarters, Dream Girl, Polar Boy, and Sun Boy discuss the upcoming election of the Legion’s new leader. Down the hallway, a jealous Earth-Man unwisely picks a fight with Shadow Lass‘ former boyfriend, Mon-El. A humbled Earth-man returns to Shady’s side, but the tranquility is shattered by the appearance of Dyogene, powerful minion of the Guardians of Oa.

Back at the U.P. Council Hall, the four Legionnaires defeat the Durlans and manage to take one shape-shifter prisoner. Science Police Chief, Kimball Zendak, feigns cooperation, but we know he’s a Durlan conspirator in disguise.

Brainiac 5 tests repaired Time Bubble #2 with disappointing results. Brainy and Chameleon Boy then take a trip to Naltor and confer briefly with Beren Kah, who has a prophetic vision of Chameleon Boy being attacked by his fellow Legionnaires. The two heroes seek out Professor Harmonia Li, who is overseeing the construction of the new Time Institute. The professor reveals she is an ancient being and asks Brainy for his help in a mysterious time project.

Comments

Levitz has some interesting plotlines brewing. In this issue we see the Durlan conspiracy begin to ramp up. What does Dyogene want with Earth-Man, who previously turned down the role of Green Lantern? Who is Professor Li and what time project does she have in mind? A blurb beneath the final panel promises the results of the election of the new Legion leader in issue #8. Good stuff! An entertaining issue.

News Bytes: LSH is back! But for how long? Justice League vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes, a six-issue limited series, begins January 11, 2022.

Also, HBO MAX announced a Legion of Super-Heroes, adult animated series, is being developed by Legion writer, Brian Michael Bendis, for 2023.

Postscript: Whoa! Time out! Recalibrate!

I began this monthly look-back series featuring the 2010-2013 Legion of Super-Heroes correctly thinking that the Legion of Super-Heroes title and the Legion tales in Adventure Comics were not interconnected. The Adventure plotlines featured a younger, Silver Age-era version of the Legion. I had planned to review the Adventure books after I finished reviewing the LSH books. However, I learned just in time that the young Legion idea was jettisoned by DC’s editors after Adventure #520 (January 2011). Adventure #521 picked up the plotline of LSH #7 (reviewed above) and set the table for LSH #8 and so forth. That meant that a decade ago, Legion fans got to read a continuous plotline every two weeks by buying LSH and Adventure Comics. What does that mean for us? Decipher! Okay, next month I’m going to recalibrate and begin reviewing the six Adventure books that were dedicated to the Silver Age-era young Legion. In August-September, I’ll be back on track with our current older Legion plotline, beginning with Adventure #521 and LSH #8. Sorry, readers. You won’t learn the results of the Legion election until September! Somehow in this reshuffle, I’m also going to fit in the new Justice League vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes series.

Legion #6: “Acceptance”

We’re nearing the end of the month, so it’s time once again for some 31st Century frivolity!

After defeating an assault against a refugee camp by Earth Firsters in LSH #5, the Legion takes a break in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #6: Acceptance
Writer: Paul Levitz, Penciler: Francis Portela
DC Comics, December 2010

Plot

The mostly non-action vignettes in LSH #6 begin with Colossal Boy, Phantom Girl, and Shadow Lass intercepting a wayward Titan refugee family (opening page graphic above). After returning to Legion Headquarters, Shadow Lass converses with Phantom Girl and defends her romantic interest in the unpredictable Earth Man.

Back at the Painted Desert refugee camp, Earth Man once again demonstrates his loyalty to the Legion by stymying an attack by a lone wolf, Earth Firster.

At Legion Headquarters, Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl enjoy some conversation as Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass depart for a vacation on the planet, Imsk.*

Elsewhere in Metropolis, Colossal Boy and girlfriend, Chameleon Girl, enjoy a meal and discuss Earth Man with CB’s mom, former President of Earth and current Earth Gov Politico.

Back at Legion HQ, Earth Man confronts Brainiac 5 and demands a standard issue flight ring without any mind-control capabilities.

Legion leader, Cosmic Boy, visits the Legion Academy at Old Montauk Point and watches as instructor Duplicate Girl puts candidates Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, Dragonwing, Gravity Kid, and Variable Lad through the paces.

Sensor Girl dreams of her slain beau and former-Legionnaire, Karate Kid, portending a future plot-line development.

After returning to Legion HQ, Cosmic Boy meets with Science Police chiefs, Gigi Cusimano and Kimball Zendek (who we know is actually a disguised Durlan conspirator), and pledges the Legion’s support in protecting the United Planets Council from an assassination plot.

In the final page, former-Legionnaire, Matter-Eater Lad, invites readers to cast their ballot for the new Legion leader via a designated web site.

Other Legionnaires sighted in this issue include Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Timber Wolf.

Comments

This is one of those “down-time” interlude issues with writer Levitz adroitly juggling multiple vignettes. Earth Man remains a big question mark and the Durlan conspiracy looms dangerously on the horizon. Sensor Girl’s dream introduces an upcoming storyline. Of course, we’re all on “pins and needles” as to which Legionnaire will be elected as Cosmic Boy’s successor. There’s also the dangling plotline, not mentioned in this issue, involving the possible new Green Lantern, Professor Harmonia Li.

Chameleon Girl’s appearance gives us 25 Legionnaires, one short of the 26 person roster total mentioned in LSH #4. I’m thinking Duplicate Girl is a reservist at this point as an instructor at the academy. Polar Boy is mentioned briefly and I’m guessing he is Legionnaire #26.

*Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass are portrayed hand-around-hip in a large panel on page 11. Legion writers and artists began surreptitiously hinting at a same-sex relationship between the two characters as early as 1986. Of course, all such “tip-toeing around” is gone these days with DC unabashedly introducing the new Superman, Jon Kent, as bi-sexual.