Legion of Super-Heroes #10

It’s time for our monthly, LSH frivolity break, so let’s climb aboard our time cube once again and travel to the 31st Century for another LSH adventure in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #10: First Kiss
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils: Ryan Sook, Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, October 27, 2020

5 Stars

Plot

Via vignettes on various planets, we see the Legion pick up the pieces after its long “Aquaman Trident” saga and the subsequent trial before the United Planets Council:

  • On Gotham Planet, Superboy and Saturn Girl become better acquainted while on a date and discuss the escape of Mordru with GP Police Commissioner, Sevenbergen. Dr. Fate is summoned and he determines Mordru is on the planet, Xanthu.
  • Gold Lantern, Brainiac 5, and Blok deliver prisoner, Crav the General Nah, to the Elders of Oa and we hear discussion once again of a looming Great Darkness.
  • The Legion contingent of Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Karate Kid, Phantom Girl, Shadow Lass, and Wildfire arrive on New Krypton in search of Mon-El and are greeted by Zod who takes them to their teammate. After the contingent learns from Mon-El that he has three daughters, he beats an angry retreat when he finds out his rival, Superboy, is still a member of the Legion.
  • Ultra Boy leads a team of Legionnaires (Bouncing Boy, Dawnstar, Lightning Lad, Monster Boy, and Timber Wolf) to Rimbor in an attempt to return his home world back to normalcy, only to be chosen as leader of the planet.
  • Back in Metropolis on Earth, Brainiac 5 attempts to encourage reluctant Legionnaire, Lightning Lass, to remain on the team.
  • On Xanthu, Mordru the fugitive meets up with…uh-oh…(gulp)…planet destroyer, Rogal Zaar!

Comments

Writer Bendis does a nice job of intermixing the various sub-plots in the march towards the ominous Great Darkness. Knowledgeable DC fans will appreciate all the ramifications and tie-ins involved with a 31st-Century New Krypton much more than I can. It’s a bit disconcerting to learn teenager Mon-El already has three children! Say what?!?!?! While it’s entertaining to see Bendis introduce new twists to the Legion’s lore, that’s definitely an over-step. I’m already looking forward to issue #11. The deadly tag-team of Mordru and Rogal Zaar will present a serious challenge for the Legion in the immediate future.

I enjoyed Bendis’ usual snappy dialogue and after the revolving-door, guest artistry of issues #s 8 & 9, it’s great to once again settle back and savor the masterful pencils and pens of the Legion’s regular artists, Sook and Von Grawbadger.

Legion #9: Trial of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Part 2

Yes, it’s time for another LSH frivolity break! Last month, in Legion #8, writer Brian Michael Bendis, introduced this two-part “Trial” special, with a bevy of DC artists, each spotlighting a member of the Legion. Let’s pick up the action in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #9
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils and Inks: Ryan Sook, Wade Von Grawbadger, and twenty-one guest artists, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, September 29, 2020

Plot

The Legionnaires collectively stand trial before Madame President Brande and the United Planets Council, charged with kidnapping General Crav Nah of Rimbor and defying the U.P.’s space-time continuum regulations by bringing Superboy to the 31st Century. Brande introduces “memexes” (video clips) of Legionnaires’ auditions to prove treachery from the start, including those of Dawnstar, Bouncing Boy, Monster Boy, and Timber Wolf. Intermixed with the memexes are live-action segments at the trial, spotlighting Shadow Lass, Blok, Wildfire, Invisible Kid (returned after quitting in #5), Dream Girl, and Triplicate Girl. General Crav crashes the party, but is subdued by Legionnaires, Mon-El and Gold Lantern, while Dream Girl, Doctor Fate, and White Witch warn of an impending “Great Darkness.” It’s revealed that Crav selfishly desired the Trident as a weapon against the advancing threat. The trial is cancelled as Brande is finally convinced of the Legion’s loyalty and a romance blossoms between Saturn Girl and Superboy.

Comments

This two-part special was enjoyable with the wide-range of illustration styles provided by the guest pencillers. Quite an experiment! Bendis did a passable job of interweaving the trial storyline with the single-page focus on many of the Legionnaires. However, noticeably missing from the spotlight cavalcade were Karate Kid, Matter-Eater Lad, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, and the unnamed glowing skeletal character in a containment suit who still has yet to be identified after nine issues! Bendis evidently omitted those six characters because he simply ran out of plot and pages. Disappointing.

Well, we now know that The Great Darkness (Darkseid? Mordru?) looms large on the far horizon. But first, there’s a New Krypton in the immediate works for issue #10.

Postscript: We all wondered whether Ferro Lad survived the cataclysmic encounter with Crav Nah in #8. Not to worry. There he is on page #3 of this issue, fit as a fiddle. Bendis’s attempt to add some oomph to one of comics’ most ridiculed super-heroes, Bouncing Boy, by making him invulnerable is interesting. The Legion’s Silver Age fans appreciated Bendis’s hat tip on page #6 to the implausible Moby Dick of Space from Adventure Comics #332, May, 1965.

Legion #8: Trial of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Part 1

Time to take a frivolity break, so climb aboard our time cube and take a trip to the 31st Century with me as we review…

Legion of Super-Heroes #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils and Inks: Ryan Sook and twenty-two guest artists, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, August 25, 2020

5 Stars

LSH #7 ended with General Crav Nah of Rimbor attacking the Legion with his powerful forces and demanding that the heroes surrender in retaliation for having imprisoned him during the Trident Saga. Let’s pick up the action in LSH #8.

Plot

Chameleon Boy and his mother, Madame President Brande of the United Planets, review various video files of the Legion from a vantage point following the team’s encounter with General Nah. First off are the orientation files of Superboy, Element Lad, Dream Girl, and Princess Projectra. Cham then recalls the battle with General Nah, with one-page spotlights on Lightning Lass, Wildfire, Mon-El, Blok, Saturn Girl, Timber Wolf, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy (yup, the former leader is back), Brainiac 5, and Ferro Lad, who manages to single-handedly defeat the Rimborian leader in a cataclysmic finale.

Madame President Brande then dialogues with the Legion’s U.P. liaison, Rose Forrest, before directing the entire team to face trial for disobeying their oath of allegiance. The Legion reacts in dismay, with the spotlight on an incredulous Phantom Girl.

Comments

One of the objectives of this two-part “Trial” saga was to introduce each of the Legionnaires with an individual page. Legion newbies really needed some assistance to help become acquainted with the intimidatingly long roster. I counted 17 members who were highlighted in this issue, which leaves 17 for issue #9. I had assumed Bendis was going to include a lot more biographical data in these one-page “spotlights,” but that regrettably was not the case. Twenty-three different DC artists were each given the task of illustrating a single page of this issue. I enjoyed the variety (although some of the artwork is just downright poor), but didn’t see anything that surpassed the work of regular penciller, Ryan Sook. This installment marks the first appearance of Ferro Lad in the reconstituted Legion. His single-handed effort to defeat Nah recalls his sacrifice to vanquish the Sun Eater in Adventure #353, which was published way back in 1967. Did Ferro Lad survive this ordeal? Bendis doesn’t make it clear if FL is still around and neither does he make it clear why Madame President Brande changed her mind once again about prosecuting the Legion. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this two-part saga, which will be another cavalcade of character spotlights and guest artists.

Postscript: As sometimes happens with comics, the cover illustration depicting two factions of the Legion in conflict, has zero connection to the plot within.

Legion #7: Showdown With the United Planets

Time to take a frivolity break and review…

Legion of Super-Heroes #7
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils: Ryan Sook and Stephen Byrne, Inks: Wade von Grawbadger and Stephen Byrne, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics,  July 28, 2020

5 Stars

Plot

The Legion arrives en masse at the Great Hall of the United Planets and the Legion’s leader, Cosmic Boy, begins to express his regrets on behalf of the heroes for the incarceration of General Nah, but is interrupted by Madam President Brande, who informs him that the U.P. has just declared Nah a criminal for breaking intergalactic law. Brande then castigates the Legion for interrupting the proceedings and for defying U.P. time travel restrictions and bringing Superboy to the 31st Century. The Boy of Steel interjects and is able to placate Brande.

The incident at the Great Hall further exposes a critical problem; Cosmic Boy’s lack of leadership abilities. Back at Legion headquarters in New Metropolis, Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5 confront Cosmic Boy, which leads to an impromptu team meeting in the Legion’s mess hall. Brainiac 5 proposes a proper election of the Legion’s leader (Cosmic Boy had been appointed by Brande). Ultra Boy presents himself as an opposing candidate and the membership subsequently elects him over a dejected Cosmic Boy. As the Legionnaires celebrate their new leadership, General Nah and his powerful forces unexpectedly arrive at Legion headquarters, demanding the heroes surrender to him.

Commentary

It was clear in issues 1-6 that irresolute Cosmic Boy wasn’t cutting it as the Legion’s leader, culminating in the near-crisis at U.P. headquarters and the subsequent call for an election. Legion #7 serves as a transition from the opening epic involving the struggle for Aquaman’s trident to the upcoming showdown with General Nah. Bendis does a nice job with this bit of “Legion business” downtime, including some additional interlude segments featuring Triplicate Girl, Monster Boy, and Lightning Lad. Guest artist, Stephen Byrne, ably spells the Legion’s regular penciller, Ryan Sook, throughout most of this issue. Speaking of guest artists, in the interview below, Bendis hints at some big things in store for issues #8 and #9 with 44 artists contributing, including a long-overdue, one-page introduction of each Legionnaire! Hey, we’ll finally find out who the skeleton is in the containment suit!

Brian Michael Bendis Talks Legion, Gold Lantern, & Balancing Characters
https://screenrant.com/brian-michael-bendis-interview-legion-superheroes-gold-lantern/

FINALLY! The Legion of Super-Heroes, #6

The previous Legion installment, LSH #5, was published way back on March 25 and and I had to buy that issue as a smallish Kindle-download because our local comic shop was on lockdown. DC kept delaying the release of issue #6 due to complications from the quarantine. Eleven weeks later, count ’em, we finally have LSH #6.

LSH #5 ended with the news that Aquaman’s trident had been located and that all inhabitants of New Earth were ordered to evacuate. Let’s pick up the action in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils: Ryan Sook, Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics,  June 10, 2020

5 Stars

Plot

It’s the 31st Century and the inhabitants of New Metropolis and New Earth are scrambling to evacuate. Why? We learn that Horraz pirates had stolen Aquaman’s trident from the Legion’s vaults and are returning to the planet en masse intending to use the powerful relic as a super weapon. The Legionnaires intercept the Horraz raiders in space and a grand-scale conflict ensues. The pirates unleash the trident and a multi-ocean tsunami of galactic proportions suddenly bears down on New Earth. Gold Lantern uses his significant powers to slow the advancing cataclysm, but it’s not enough. Mon-El suddenly shows up and, contrary to Brainiac 5’s warnings, impetuously pulls the trident from the Horraz leader’s hands while the apocalyptic water mass bears down on the planet. Is this the end of New Earth?

The very next scene answers the question. The reader is taken inside the Great Hall of the United Planets where Madam President Brande attempts to assuage the anger of General Nah after his release from one of the Legion’s security cells. Madam President humbly thanks the Legion for not only saving New Earth, but also for “returning” the oceans to the artificial planet via the trident. Hurrah! Nah isn’t buying it and vows revenge.

Commentary

This book concludes the newly-resuscitated Legion’s first series. I really enjoyed all of the various plotlines involved, including Jon Kent’s introduction to the Legion, the clashes with the Horraz pirates and General Nah over Aquaman’s trident, the Legion’s origin, and the team’s eroding relationship with Madam President Brande and the United Planets. Brian Michael Bendis did a fantastic job writing this series. This new Legion is definitely not a gloomy, “sad astronaut” Legion, which was the overriding characteristic of previous permutations. Penciller, Ryan Sook, has taken the Legion to new heights. What an excellent artist! I am so pleased. This particular issue has several full-page illustrations portraying the intense conflict between the Legion and the Horraz pirates and Sook does an amazing job building up to a climactic crescendo. New characters, Gold Lantern and Monster Boy, received some spotlight in this issue and it will be interesting to see how Bendis develops them in the future, along with Dr. Fate.

One of the difficulties for some Legion newbies is the incredibly lengthy cavalcade of characters, but being a “list man” myself, I enjoy the complexity. Legionnaires spotted in this issue:

  • Blok
  • Bouncing Boy
  • Brainiac 5
  • Chameleon Boy
  • Colossal Boy
  • Cosmic Boy
  • Dawnstar
  • Dr. Fate
  • Dream Girl
  • Element Lad
  • Ferro Lad – FL is not actually portrayed in this issue, but Rose Forrest makes reference to him. Neither did I see any sign of FL in issues 1-5, unless he’s the unidentified character listed farther below.
  • Gold Lantern
  • Karate Kid
  • Light Lass
  • Lightning Lad
  • Matter Eater Lad
  • Mon-El
  • Monster Boy
  • Rose Forrest
  • Saturn Girl
  • Shadow Lass
  • Shrinking Violet
  • Star Boy
  • Sunboy
  • Superboy
  • Ultra Boy
  • Triplicate Girl
  • White Witch
  • Wildfire
  • Unidentified – Skeleton in containment suit – Some online LSH fans are guessing this character to be Chemical King?

Legionnaires not featured in this issue, but referenced previously in LSH #s 1-5:

  • Invisible Kid/Gentleman (may have permanently resigned in LSH #5)
  • Phantom Girl
  • Princess Projectra
  • Timber Wolf

That makes 34 total members. I’m an old LSH fan from the Silver Age days, yet it took me six issues and a lot of additional sleuthing to identify (almost) everyone. If DC and Bendis had thought this through properly, they would devote an entire upcoming issue to brief bios of all the members to help out newbie LSH followers, otherwise they’re going to feel overwhelmed and bale for a series with a smaller roster.

Postscript: After writing the above, I came across an internet article, which said LSH #6 had sold out at the distributor level because of the keen interest among DC readers regarding the debut of Gold Lantern. That is encouraging news! DC had pulled the plug on the LSH back in 2013 because of low sales (which was the direct result of the dismal, off-putting, “sad astronaut” story lines.

School’s out! Superboy finally completes his Legion orientation

Yup, we’re all allowed a little frivolity, even amidst a pandemic.

Last month, LSH #4 concluded with Superboy’s orientation being interrupted by the theft of Aquaman’s trident and the Science Police arriving at Metropolis to shut down the Legion under orders of the United Planets’ Madame President Brande. Let’s pick up the action in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencillers: Ryan Sook and Scott Godlewski, Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics,  March, 2020

5 Stars

Plot

As the Science Police surround Legion headquarters and a conflict appears inevitable, Brainiac 5 is able to talk down the S.P. commander. Brainy then instructs Superboy to complete his orientation and sends out a contingent of Legionnaires led by Ultra Boy to search for the stolen trident. Back in orientation-mode (coordinated by Computo, the Legion’s AI control system), Superboy experiences Madame President’s former appearance before the U.P. Council calling for the creation of the Legion based upon the revered heroes of the 21st century, the Justice League. In the next revisited scene, Superboy experiences Brande in conference with Rokk Krinn/Cosmic Boy, Imra Ardeen/Saturn Girl, and Garth Ranzz/Lightning Lad, requesting that they form the Legion. After Brande leaves, the trio agrees to organize the Legion, but are wary of Madame President’s motives. The three founders immediately seek to enlist Brainiac 5 of the planet Colu, who is already renowned throughout the galaxy for his intellectual prowess. Brainiac 5 surprises the trio by not only enthusiastically accepting the offer of membership, but then delivering a soapbox soliloquy by which he asserts the need to bring Jon Kent/Superboy to the 31st century in order that the heroes of both ages are aligned in the effort to defend the galaxy. As Superboy’s orientation ends, we learn that Aquaman’s trident has been found. In the final panel, an alarm sounds for the entire populace to evacuate New Earth immediately.

Comments

Bendis is doing a nice job of introducing the reader to the Legion’s origins while simultaneously interweaving the plotlines involving the Legion’s increasingly antagonistic relationship with Brande and Aquaman’s trident. A few interesting sidebars in this issue were 1) the introduction of Dr. Fate and Monster Boy to the Legion roster, 2) Invisible Kid resigning from the Legion in a huff, and 3) Chameleon Boy revealing Madame President Brande is his mother. There are also references to Sir Oliver Queen the Eleventh (aka Green Arrow) and the Watchmen that only DC Universe nerds* are going to pick up on. I’m definitely enjoying all of the plot twists of this inaugural epic. I’ve seen several Legion relaunches/reboots over the decades, but Bendis’s dialogue and characterizations are the best yet. Penciller, Scott Godlewski, decently spells Ryan Sook in the Superboy orientation frames, although Sook is definitely the master.

Personal sidebar: Our local comic shop is in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so I was forced to download the LSH #5 e-comic to my Kindle, which has a screen size of only 7.25″x 4.75.” I’m glad to have it, but it’s definitely not an ideal way to read a comic book.

*I’m definitely not a DC Universe expert (like Sheldon Cooper). I initially glossed over the aforementioned references, but later learned their significance via some internet articles.

Introducing the Legion’s Founding Trio, Redux

Last month’s LSH tale ended with General Nah’s incarceration, Aquaman’s trident being stolen, and a thoroughly confused Superboy FINALLY on his way to his Legion orientation. Let’s pick up the action in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #4
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencillers: Ryan Sook and Mikel Janin, Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger and Mikel Janin, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics,  February, 2020

5 Stars

Plot

Superboy begins his orientation courtesy of Computo, the Legion’s AI (artificial intelligence) system. He is able to experience the memories of the founding members immediately prior to the establishment of the Legion:

  • Imra Ardeen/Saturn Girl (super power – telepathy) of Titan, a moon of Saturn, is discontented with her life, yearning for greater adventure, and successfully applies to the new Young United Planets (YUP) intergalactic youth organization.
  • Garth Ranzz/Lightning Lad (super power – electrical manipulation) of Winath comes to the attention of U.P. President, R.J. Brande, because of his and sister Ayla’s activism on behalf of persecuted minorities on their planet. Both are invited to join YUP, but only Garth accepts.
  • Rokk Krinn/Cosmic Boy (super power – magnetism manipulation) of Braal is a planetary champion and is chosen by Braal’s congress to to be that world’s representative at YUP.

As the three travel together to the Young United Planets headquarters on Earth, the U.P. President, R.J. Brande, appears and informs the trio she envisions a special role for them as personal counselors. However, an abrupt attack by Horrazian pirates ends the meeting – the Legion’s inauguration – and Computo also ends Superboy’s orientation because of pressing business; the remaining Legionnaires learn of the theft of Aquaman’s trident from one of the team’s vaults. As the contingent debates whether to allow Superboy to finish his orientation or to begin the hunt for the trident, the U.P. Science Police abruptly arrive and place the Legionnaires under arrest by orders of Madame President, Brande. When Superboy questions why the Legion’s former patron and benefactor is now opposing the team, Cosmic Boy informs him that the answer was in the second-half of the orientation.

Comments

Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad were the Legion’s founding members in the Silver Age, making their first appearance in the inaugural Legion tale in Adventure Comics #247 way back in April 1958. Bendis pays his respects to Legion tradition by presenting the same trio as founders in this latest LSH permutation. I’m anxious to find out what soured the Legion’s relationship with Madam President and where this Aquaman’s trident-storyline will end up. Great story with snappy dialogue. Great pencils and colors. Bendis, Sook, and Co. have done an excellent job to this point.

Robin flies the coop as quickly as he arrived

At the conclusion of last month’s issue, the Legion was planning on sending two teams to investigate why Ultra Boy’s father and Mordru the Merciless both desired Aquaman’s trident, while Superboy was eagerly anticipating bringing Damian Wayne aka Robin to the 31st century. Let’s now pick up the action in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #3
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencillers: Ryan Sook and Travis Moore, Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger and Travis Moore, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, January 2020

5 Stars

Plot

The story begins with Superboy transporting Robin to to 31st-century Metropolis in the misguided hope that the Boy Wonder can help with the Legion’s investigation into all of the intrigue involving Aquaman’s trident. A contingent of Legionnaires – Cosmic Boy, Colossal Boy, Shadow Lass, and Mon El – arrive on the planet Rimbor and attempt to find out why Crav Nah, the powerful leader of the planet and also Ultra Boy’s father, desires the trident. The meeting quickly turns into a violent confrontation and Mon El subdues Crav. In the meantime, another Legion contingent – Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Chameleon Boy, and Triplicate Girl – travels to Planet Gotham, where Mordru is being held prisoner, to try to ascertain why the wizard wants the trident, but without success. They are summoned back to Legion headquarters where Crav has been transported. The angry Rimborian warlord had freed himself from his bonds and was making short work of the entire Legion until Superboy KOs him. The Legion deems that Robin must be returned to the 21st century immediately and that the very confused and disgruntled Superboy MUST sit through the orientation the Legion had originally prepared for him back in LSH #1. The story ends with Crav in a Legion holding cell and disturbing news that Aquaman’s trident has been stolen from one of the team’s secure vaults.

Commentary

Bendis is doing a nice job with this story line although it was a little disappointing to see Superboy go to all the trouble of transporting Robin to the future for zero effect. It’s interesting from my Silver Age perspective to see these old characters actually act human, like frazzled Cosmic Boy’s lack of confidence as the Legion’s leader and Superboy’s frustration with being out-of-the-loop. I’m looking forward to seeing how Bendis is going to resolve the Legion’s first “intergalactic incident” involving the arrest of Crav. U.P. Madame President Brande is already quite annoyed with the Legion and this is only going to increase tensions. I’m also looking forward to a formal introduction to the new Legion via Superboy’s orientation. As an answer to a question I had last month, it appears Planet Gotham is one of the planet pods of the artificial New Earth.

Postscript: In a conversation with a group of other Legionnaires, Chameleon Boy intimates that Damian Wayne/Robin could possibly grow up to be a very dastardly, Hitler-like character. That’s entirely predictable seeing he’s the grandson of Ra’s al Ghul.

Everybody wants that trident!

Legion of Super-Heroes #2
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Penciller: Ryan Sook, Inks: Ryan Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, December 2019

5 Stars

Plot

Issue #1 of the “new,” re-launched Legion of Super-Heroes ended with the Legion surrounded by a gang of angry Horrazian pirates eager to reclaim the contraband trident of Aquaman. In the midst of the battle, Ultra Boy slips the trident to Superboy, who attempts to escape, with the leader of the pirates, Tortor, in hot pursuit. Saturn Girl, with her power of telepathy/mind control, is able to induce the combatants into a stupor, but Superboy and Tortor are too far away to be affected. Saturn Girl then focuses all of her powers on the two adversaries and a mysterious flood of water – somehow brought into existence by the trident – subdues the Horrazian leader.

Elsewhere, at United Planets headquarters, the Legion’s diplomatic liason, Rose Forrest, attempts to smooth things over with the U.P. President, whose last name is Brande. Hmm. That’s a name that rings a bell with Legion fans. The negotiations between the two get off to a rocky start and devolve from there. Rose returns to Legion headquarters and informs the team of the tense tête-à-tête. It’s clear Madam President is not happy about Superboy’s presence in the 31st century or about the Legion’s possession of the trident.

The Legionnaires amble down to their “consumption hall” for a strategy meeting over dinner. Ultra Boy (aka Jo Nah) reveals his father is a powerful and dangerous leader on his civil-war-torn home planet of Rimbor. Both the elder Nah and Mordru were after the trident until Ultra Boy intercepted the Horraz pirates and took possession of the thing himself. A contingent of Legionnaires decides to travel to Rimbor to attempt to smooth things over with Jo’s dad before things escalate while another contingent heads to Planet Gotham to try to find out what Mordru had planned for the trident. Superboy is so excited about the existence of Planet Gotham that he makes the journey back to the 21st century to inform his buddy, Damian Wayne aka Robin. Looks like the Boy Wonder is headed to the 31st century!

Comments

We can predict a cataclysmic brouhaha ahead with the U.P. President, Ultra Boy’s father, and Mordru all in competition for Aquaman’s trident. I’m still a bit fuzzy regarding Gotham Planet. Is it one of the several domed cities of New Earth or is it off by itself somewhere? This was a good story with some excellent dialogue from Bendis. Also, I’m so pleased with Sook’s masterful illustrations. The Legion hasn’t been drawn this well since Curt Swan did the duty back in the 1960s.

Trivia alert: I forgot to point out Ultra Boy’s Biblical connection in my review of LSH #1. His civilian name is Jo Nah and he supposedly acquired his super powers after being swallowed by a space energy beast, which exposed him to strange radiation while inside.

Capture64
In this excerpt from Superboy #98 (1962), Ultra Boy explains the origin of his penetra-vision. Note Jo Nah being swallowed by the space beast. It would later be revealed that Ultra Boy had all of the powers of Superboy, although he was limited to using one power at a time.

After six long years, DC Comics brings back the Legion of Super-Heroes

After a hiatus of six long years and then a lengthy preliminary introduction spanning five preludes over three months, DC Comics finally relaunched the Legion of Super-Heroes as a monthly comic on November 6th. Climb aboard our time capsule as we journey to the 31st Century in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Penciller: Ryan Sook, Inks: Ryan Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, November 2019

5 Stars

Plot

The action begins with Ultra Boy chasing a Horraz spaceship through the massive sewers of Planet Gotham. After the craft crashes, UB spots its stolen booty: a capsule. But what’s inside? A powerful alien suddenly appears to take possession of the contraband. Could it be…? Yes, it’s Mordru the Merciless, one of the Legion’s most powerful adversaries! A contingent of Legionnaires – Karate Kid, Star Boy, and Wildfire – arrive at the scene and help Ultra Boy to ward off Mordru and claim the capsule. When they open it they discover…gasp…the trident of Aquaman!

Next, we join the rest of the Legionnaires as they welcome Jon Kent/Superboy as the team’s newest member with plenty of high-fives all around. The Legionnaires give Superboy an aerial tour of Metropolis and inform him the entire city is the Legion’s headquarters. Wow! Remember back in the Silver Age days when that tiny, yellow faux spaceship shell served as the team’s clubhouse? The Boy of Steel then learns that the Old Earth was destroyed, including its oceans, in an enormous cataclysm and the artificial, ocean-less New Earth was created by engineers enlisted from across the galaxy. The Legion is then summoned back to their headquarters where Ultra Boy and his contingent inform them of the recovery of Aquaman’s trident. Immediately after one of the Legionnaires wonders out loud if the trident could possibly play a part in restoring the Earth’s oceans, a gang of Horraz criminals attacks Legion headquarters intent on reclaiming the trident. Is this curtains for Superboy on his very first day in the Legion? In the final scene, the President of the United Planets expresses her outrage at the Legion’s defiance of U.P. directives by bringing Superboy to the 31st Century, not to mention their possession of Aquaman’s stolen trident!

Commentary

It’s hard to believe the Legion is back after six-years. Bendis did a nice job with the appearance of Mordru and the dangling mystery of what the recovery of Aquaman’s trident is going to mean for the artificial Gotham Planet. The Legion is immediately off to a bad start with the administrators of the United Planets, a familiar theme for Legion readers. Sook, Von Grawbadger, and Bellaire do a tremendous job with the artwork. I’m thoroughly impressed with issue #1 and I hope many DC readers will climb aboard the Legion star cruiser.