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.

J. Mac Lite

John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock
By Iain H. Murray
The Banner of Truth Trust, 2011, 246 pp.

4 Stars

When I returned to the Lord in 2014 after my long and dumb prodigal season, the Lord introduced several solid Bible teachers into my life, including Pastor John MacArthur. I’m able to listen to his daily radio broadcasts (via podcast) three or four mornings each week when I take my walks. This biography caught my eye a long time ago and I was able to purchase a used copy for my COVID-19 lockdown reading-material queue.

The writer, Iain Murray, was the ministerial assistant to Martyn Lloyd-Jones and also MLJ’s biographer. Murray makes it clear that his goal was not to produce a thorough biography, but to provide some basic details regarding J.Mac for those who have been blessed by his various ministries.

MacArthur’s father, Jack, was pastor of an independent fundamental Baptist church and young John attended Bob Jones University for two years, 1957-1959, which I was quite surprised to read. Chafing at the rigidity/legalism at BJU, J.Mac finished his studies elsewhere and was subsequently involved in various ministries until he was selected as pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California in 1969. MacArthur gradually shifted his theology from fundamental Baptist to Reformed and cites Lloyd-Jones as a major influence.

Murray describes the growth of Grace Community Church, and the creation and far-reaching impact of its media ministry, Grace to You. Also mentioned are the founding of The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, California, and The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles.

Murray examines two controversies involving MacArthur; the first being the “Lordship Salvation” brouhaha that followed the publication of “The Gospel According to Jesus” in 1988 and the second one being J.Mac’s outspoken criticism of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements with his book, “The Charismatics,” in 1978, and the 1992 revision, “Charismatic Chaos.”* I was disappointed that Murray omitted any mention of MacArthur’s strong stand, along with R.C. Sproul and D. James Kennedy, against the ecumenical initiative, “Evangelicals and Catholics Together,” unleashed by Chuck Colson in 1994.

This is a good book for learning some background information on John MacArthur, but don’t expect a lot of detail.

Chapters:

  • Youth in California
  • The Bible Takes First Place
  • The Early Ministry at Grace Community Church
  • Threatening Reversals
  • Scripture and Preaching
  • The Rediscovery of Old Truth
  • The 1980s
  • Across the Pacific
  • Controversy
  • Patricia MacArthur
  • A Correction and an Example from Russia
  • Grace to You
  • A Basket of Letters
  • Objections and Questions
  • The Changing Scene in the United States
  • A Visit to Grace Community Church
  • The Man

In our current era, when so many evangelical leaders are compromising with the world (e.g., church-growth marketing, ecumenism, experientialism), I’m grateful to the Lord for the leadership of John MacArthur.

*J.Mac wrote a third book on the topic, “Strange Fire,” in 2013.

Throwback Thursday: Rob Zins and a Christian Witness to Roman Catholics

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on December 16, 2015 and has been revised.

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Evangelical minister, Rob Zins (above photo, right), has been reaching out to Roman Catholics with the Gospel of Jesus Christ for many years through his ministry, CWRC – A Christian Witness to Roman Catholics. See the organization’s website here.

Zins has written a couple of excellent books on Roman Catholicism that I’ll review very briefly below:

Romanism: The Relentless Roman Catholic Assault on the Gospel of Jesus Christ
White Horse Publications, 1995, 277 pp.

5 Stars

Zins answers the sophistry of Catholic apologist, Karl Keating, and his book, “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” (1988), by comparing the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone with Rome’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit, requiring obedience to the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules to attain Heaven. I also enjoyed Zins’ stinging critique of Chuck Colson’s dangerously misguided “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” ecumenical project.

On the Edge of Apostasy: The Evangelical Romance with Rome
White Horse Publications, 1998, 285 pp.

5 Stars

Zins does a masterful job of examining the regrettable courtship with Rome pursued by some evangelicals. The Catholic church continues to affirm all of its unscriptural, Tridentine doctrines, but some accommodating, compromising evangelicals increasingly turn to Catholics as co-belligerents and fellow “Christians” in the fight against the erosion of social morality, betraying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This book is largely a critique of “Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences” (1995) by Roman Geisler and Ralph MacKenzie, two evangelical theologians who conclude the Catholic church is a Christian entity despite its many anti-Biblical doctrines. Zins effectively argues that, because Rome teaches salvation by (sacramental) “grace” through “faith” (in its sacramental system) PLUS works, along with many other heresies, it cannot possibly be considered a Christian church. Amazingly, Geisler and MacKenzie readily concede that Catholicism teaches works-righteousness justification in opposition to the Gospel, but STILL conclude Romanism is Christian! Absolutely incredible! Evangelical compromisers cite “Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences” as one of their favorite resources regarding evangelical-Catholic ecumenism. The damage done to Christian witness by Geisler, MacKenzie, and other Gospel-compromising, Judas theologians, pastors, and para-church leaders cannot be overstated. Christian leaders who refuse to join in the betrayal of the Gospel are finding themselves increasingly marginalized within “mainstream” evangelicalism. See last week’s “Throwback Thursday” post about Geisler’s and MacKenzie’s book here.

Used copies of both of Zins’ books are available at Amazon.com. See my Books tab here for over 360 books that compare Roman Catholicism to God’s Word.

There are also MANY excellent videos available on You Tube featuring Rob Zins speaking about Roman Catholicism or debating Catholic apologists.

Please pray for Rob Zins and A Christian Witness to Roman Catholics and pray that young evangelicals will respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading and take up the call to reach Roman Catholics for Jesus Christ.

Additional resources regarding Roman Catholicism can be found on my Links tab here.

Reading about Martyn Lloyd-Jones during lockdown

Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life: Doctrine and Life as Fuel and Fire
By Jason Meyer
Crossway, 2018, 274 pp.

4 Stars

During the COVID-19 lockdown, I was determined to read something written by or about Martyn Lloyd-Jones so I downloaded this book to my Kindle.

Welsh-English pastor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), is still widely admired as one of the most influential evangelical ministers of the 20th century. Pastor and author, Jason Meyer, does a nice job of summarizing MLJ’s teaching in regards to the major doctrines of Christianity and their significance and practical application in the life of a believer. The Doctor (MLJ was a licensed physician prior to becoming a pastor) was an exponent of strong, solid doctrine, but also believed that right doctrine and belief should lead to obedience to the Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit and to subjective love, joy, and peace in the Lord. Loyd-Jones asked, what good is it having a head full of doctrine, but not knowing the joy of the Lord?

MLJ was involved in some controversy. In the first appendice, the author briefly touches upon Loyd-Jones’ teaching on a baptism of the Holy Spirit after conversion, which some mistakenly assume was akin to Pentecostal practices, but was actually a type of subjective experience from the Spirit whereby the believer understood/experienced the assurance of salvation. Author, Jason Meyer, presents his objections to MLJ’s teaching on this point. In the second appendice, Meyer briefly examines the Secession Controversy of 1966 in which MLJ challenged evangelical pastors in Great Britain to separate from ecumenical compromise. As an ex-Catholic who observes many of today’s evangelical theologians, pastors, and para-church leaders bending the knee to Rome, I admire Lloyd-Jones for his strong stand in defense of the Gospel of grace and against ecumenism.

It’s ironic that respected evangelical theologian and pastor, Sinclair Ferguson, in the introduction to this book, inappropriately included a very complimentary reference to Roman Catholic author and apologist, G.K. Chesterton, and his “Father Brown” series. Also, I noticed that the editor of this “Theologians on the Christian Life” series for Crossway Publishing is Stephen J. Nichols who wrote a children’s book, which included Jesuit co-founder and counter-Reformer, Francis Xavier, as one of “heroes of the Christian faith” (see here). MLJ would not have been pleased with either of those accommodations to error.

Contents:

Part 1 – The Doctor

  • The Life and Times of Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Part 2 – The Doctor’s Doctrine

  • God the Father Almighty: The Person and Work of the Father
  • Christ and Him Crucified: The Person and Work of Christ
  • Power from on High: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
  • Redemption Applied: Justification and Sanctification
  • The Church: The Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ
  • The Last Thing: Death and the Glory

Part 3 – The Christian Life

  • The Word
  • Prayer
  • Faith Working through Love
  • Life in the Spirit at Home and Work
  • Why Are You So Downcast? Spiritual Depression
  • The Acid Test: The Hope of Glory

Part 4 – The Doctor’s Legacy

  • The Legacy of Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Appendix 1: The Charismatic Controversy

Appendix 2: The Secession Controversy

Poland from the perspective of a young, goofball Brit

I dug deep into my Polish ethnic heritage during my prodigal “season” away from the Lord, which I documented here, and I like to occasionally read something about the “old country,” which recently led me to…

A Chip Shop in Poznań: My Unlikely Year in Poland
By Ben Aitken
Icon Books Ltd, 2019, 306 pages.

4 Stars

Few people think of Poland as a vacation destination, hence the dearth of travelogues devoted to that country. The idea for this book came about due to some unique circumstances. First, some background:

Poland and the U.K. have a unique relationship. When Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia invaded and co-partitioned Poland in 1939 at the start of World War II, the Polish government established itself in-exile, first in Paris and then in London. Polish expatriates and refugees continued to flock to England throughout the war and also afterwards when Poland was trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Poland regained its independence in 1989, but the transformation to a market economy was arduous. Poland joined the European Union in 2004 and thousands of Poles immediately began flocking to the U.K. for economic opportunities not available in their own country. There were 90,000 Poles living in the U.K. in 2004, but by 2016 the Polish immigrant population had skyrocketed to 900,000. This heavy influx of Poles sparked resentment among the Brits, contributing to demands by a sizable percentage of the citizenry for the U.K. to exit the E.U.

At the height of the controversy, young British writer, Ben Aitken, wanted to get some perspective on these Polish immigrants so he journeyed to Poland in early-2016 for a one-year stay to acquaint himself with the country and its people. His home-base was the city of Poznań, but during his stay he also made expeditionary trips to Katowice, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Oswiecim, Sopot, Łódź, Lublin, Jelenia Gora-Karpacz, Konin, Krakow, Piwniczna-Zdrój, and Ełk.

Shortly after his arrival, Aitken took an entry-level job peeling potatoes at an English-themed fish and chips restaurant in Poznań and gradually learned some basic language skills and acquired some Polish friends, including a romantic relationship that never quite got off the ground. In describing his journeys throughout Poland, the author makes many interesting observations in regards to the country’s cuisine, history, politics, geography, economy, customs, religion, language, traditions, etc., all told with a good degree of extra-dry British humor. The description of his challenging stay in the mountain town of Piwniczna-Zdrój is especially comical. One criticism is that Aitken devotes an inordinate amount of attention to his frequent visits to the local Polish pubs. While some of Aitken’s youthful antics are funny, I would have preferred a more mature perspective. Ultimately, any non-Christian worldview is going to be unsatisfying for a believer.

During the course of Aitken’s stay, the Brits voted to leave the EU and the Brexit disentanglement continues to drag on. In response to the political uncertainty of the situation, about 100,000 Poles have returned to Poland from the U.K. since this book was written.

I enjoyed “A Chip Shop in Poznań” and I’m glad I stumbled across it, but I’m hoping for a better Poland travelogue in the future.

TIP: The Google Earth app is very helpful while reading a book like this to get a bird’s-eye view of the locations that are mentioned.

 

Throwback Thursday: Leaving Catholicism for Christ “down under”

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on December 28, 2015 and has been revised.

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Stepping Out in Faith: Former Catholics Tell Their Stories
Edited by Mark Gilbert
Matthias Media, 2012, 124 pp.

5 Stars

This is a short, very readable collection of testimonies from eleven people who left Roman Catholicism and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone.

There’s not a lot of heavy-duty theology here. Most of the folks have a similar, short testimony of growing up within legalistic, cultural Catholicism, being invited to a Bible study, and noticing the differences between God’s Word and their works religion, and responding to the Gospel.

All of the contributors note that Catholicism teaches salvation by sacramental grace and merit, which left them exasperated. Through God’s Word and the work of the Holy Spirit, they came to understand the GOOD NEWS! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone and repented of their sin and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone.

Gilbert and the ten other writers are Australians so there’s an interesting “down under” twist to the stories. Also, most of the writers heard the Gospel for the first time in Bible studies sponsored by the Anglican church in Australia. Gilbert is an Anglican minister. I had assumed the Anglican/Episcopal church was completely spiritually dead, but evidently there are pockets within Anglicanism, like down under in Australia, where the genuine Gospel is still preached. Surprise!

Below are a couple of other books from Matthias Media dealing with Roman Catholicism:

  • The Road Once Travelled: Fresh Thoughts on Catholicism (2010) by Mark Gilbert
  • Nothing In My Hand I Bring: Understanding the differences between Roman Catholic and Protestant beliefs (2007) by Ray Gallea

See Matthias Media’s online catalog here.

Throwback Thursday: Pilgrimage from Rome: The True Story of a Roman Catholic Priest’s Search for the Truth

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on December 30, 2015 and has been revised.

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Pilgrimage from Rome: The True Story of a Roman Catholic Priest’s Search for the
Truth
By Bartholomew F. Brewer
Bob Jones University Press, 1982, 164 pp.

5 Stars

The years tend to blend together at this stage of my life, but I stopped attending Catholic mass around 1981 and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone in 1983. Very shortly after my conversion, I discovered the Mission to Catholics ministry led by ex-Carmelite Catholic priest, Bart Brewer.

Mission to Catholics was the type of “old-school” ministry that’s becoming increasingly hard to find these days. Bart and his wife traveled the country speaking in churches and debating Catholic apologists. He offered a very large assortment of tracts, pamphlets, and books dealing with Roman Catholicism and its false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. In my early years as an ex-Catholic Christian, I was very grateful to have a resource like Mission to Catholics available.

In “Pilgrimage from Rome,” Bart gives an informative and heartfelt account of why he left Roman Catholicism. Bart was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1953, but began to struggle with the doctrines of the church in comparison to what he read in the Bible. He left the church in 1963 and eventually trusted in Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone. Bart founded Mission to Catholics in 1973 and faithfully delivered God’s Good News! to Roman Catholics until he went home to be with the Lord in 2005.

Inexpensive used copies of “Pilgrimage from Rome” are available from Amazon.com here.

The Mission to Catholics website has recently been updated and is a good resource. See here.

Postscript: I wonder what ecumenical evangelical Judases would say to an ex-Catholic priest like Bart Brewer or Richard Bennett who knew the Roman Catholic church intimately and knew that it does not teach the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone? What would they do with the testimony of a Brewer or a Bennett? The Gospel betrayers cannot allow inconvenient truth to derail their march towards unity with Rome.

Throwback Thursday: Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on November 14, 2015 and has been revised.

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Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical
By Fr. John R. Waiss and James G. McCarthy
Harvest House Publishers, 2003, 432 pages.

5 Stars

In this intriguing book, Catholic priest, John Waiss, and evangelical minister, James McCarthy, discuss the major differences between Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity. The topics examined include God’s Word, authority, justification, the Lord’s Supper, and Mary and the saints. Both authors present their viewpoints clearly, fairly, and charitably. Waiss and McCarthy are personal friends and the exchange is marked by mutual respect and irenicity.

Most books, films, and television programs that we consume end with some type of resolution. Good defeats evil. An agreement or understanding between parties is reached. But not with this book. At the end of the dialogue, Waiss and McCarthy remain firmly divided in their understanding of the Gospel. For evangelicals, the Gospel is the Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. For Catholics, the gospel is the sacramental grace administered by the church, which allegedly wipes away the stain of sin and helps the participant to obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) so that they can avoid sin and hopefully merit salvation.

There is no bridging the two positions. Only one can be right. Evangelicals wonder, “Why don’t Catholics understand the Gospel of grace? Saving faith in Christ is so simple even a child can understand.” But the unsaved cannot understand salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone on their own. It’s the Holy Spirit Who opens blind eyes and reveals the Gospel.

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14

I strongly recommend this book to evangelicals for a clarification of Catholic doctrine. There are far too many evangelicals walking around these days saying, “Oh, Catholics love Jesus, too. Close enough!” This book clarifies the vitally important differences between Roman Catholicism and Gospel Christianity.

The subtitle of this book is “From Debate to Dialogue on the Issues That Separate Us.” I would caution that “dialogue” with error can easily lead to accommodation and compromise. My approach to Roman Catholicism in this blog is mainly that of confrontation and debate, but I also realize that in our Gospel outreach to Catholic family, friends, and acquaintances, we’re more apt to use dialogue than theological debate.

McCarthy has authored several publications which examine Catholicism including, “The Gospel According to Rome,” “Roman Catholicism: What You Need to Know,” “What Every Catholic Should Ask,” and “Talking With Catholic Friends and Family.” All are available from Amazon.com. See here.

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.

The Keys to Spiritual Growth

The Keys to Spiritual Growth
By John MacArthur
Crossway, 2001, 196 pp.

5 Stars

You’ve just accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone and have been spiritually reborn as a child of God! Now what? It’s very helpful for new believers to read a good book on the basics of spiritual growth. It’s also helpful (and needful) for “seasoned saints” to periodically “go back to Bethel” for personal reexamination and encouragement. This book on the keys/basics to spiritual growth by Pastor John MacArthur is an excellent resource. If you’re one of those “seasoned saints,” pass it along to a new believer after reading it yourself.

Chapters

  1. The Master Key – A Presupposition
  2. The Master Purpose   – The Glory of God
  3. The Master Plan – How to Glorify God
  4. Obedience – Unlocking the Servants’ Quarters
  5. The Filling of the Spirit – Unlocking the Power Plant
  6. Confession – Unlocking the Chamber of Horrors
  7. Love – Unlocking the Bridal Suite
  8. Prayer – Unlocking the Inner Sanctum
  9. Hope – Unlocking the Hope Chest
  10. Bible Study – Unlocking the Library
  11. Fellowship – Unlocking the Family Room
  12. Witnessing – Unlocking the Nursery
  13. Discernment – Locking the Security Gate

Thanks to Pastor Jimmy at The Domain for Truth for alerting us to free downloads of this book from Crossway Publishing here.