Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #318

Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #318 (Dec, 1984)
title: "Shadows Of Future Past"
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller: Terry Shoemaker

inker: Karl Kesel
letterer: Adam Kubert
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger
cover: Terry Shoemaker & Larry Mahlstedt (signed)

Mission Monitor Board:  
Shadow Lass, Mon-El, Dream Girl, Brainiac 5, Dawnstar, Star Boy, Cosmic Boy, Colossal Boy, Timber Wolf, Invisible Kid, Wildfire, Sun Boy, Blok, White Witch 

Guests: 
Shadow Lass' cousin Grev Mallor (Shdow Kid)


Opponents: 
The Persuader, Lady Memory

Synopsis: 
On Earth, Dream Girl as Deputy Leader assumes leadership in Element Lad's absence. She is having a meeting with all 14 active members. She orders Brainiac 5 and Dawnstar to work on finding their missing friends. Cosmic Boy wants to add new members, citing time to add new blood. Star Boy backs Dream Girl, who argues that all the applicants they are familiar with are not ready for membership. Cosmic Boy in his best old man's voice reminds them that the founders' standards were lower when most of them joined. He then folds up his lawn chair, grabs his newspaper, and leaves the kids playing on the lawn.
On Talok VIII, Grev Mallor is sneaking around the rebel camp situated outside the city. After an awkward explanatory monologue to explain that he is Shadow Lass' cousin and has the same powers she has, we see what he finds: a high priestess of something called Maakas, performing an ancestral worship ceremony. Unfortunately for Shadow Kid, she is accompanied by The Persuader of the notorious Fatal Five. He captures Grev with no problem whatsoever.
Back on Earth we check in with Science Police officers Gigi and Shvaughn. Shvaughn is moping around their apartment, missing Element Lad. Gigi goes out to find her old friend, Gim Allon (aka Colossal Boy). At Legion head-quarters Mon-El is perusing star maps trying to think of where Element Lad and the other missing members could be. Shadow Lass is concerned for her cousin, and wants to take a quick visit to Talok VIII to check on him. They manage to get approval from Dream Girl and head out.


On Talok VIII the mayor of the city under seige is whining about non-intervention United Planets policies when the city is attacked again. Lady Memory is happy to be partnered with the Persuader and anxious to take the city. However, Mon-El and Shadow Lass arrive, pausing the attack.

In Brainiac 5's laboratory back on Earth, he is working to try to boost Dawnstar's natural tracking powers so she can locate the missing Legionnaires. Timber Wolf is assisting (?) by moving machinery around, and gets to show off his special agility and acrobatics. They are not amused. Brainiac 5 boosts Dawnstar's powers, but she still cannot sense any trail of their friends.
On Talok VIII Mon-El asks the rebels to surrender, but of course they don't. They fire on him, refusing to give up. When they set a construction machine on him, he has to destroy it. Meanwhile, Shadow Lass battles the Persuader, remembering that the invasion of Talok VIII by the Fatal Five was part of the reason she ended up joining the Legion in the first place. She rescues her cousin, but then must face Lady Memory. Mon-El flies in confidently to help, but with one touch Lady Memory drives him insane by making him re-live his 1,000 year past.
Commentary: 
This is another good installment in the "other" Legion book. It's good to see all 14 active members all in one place, if only for three pages. However, the story seems a bit distracted. For example, I would have liked more references to the first time the Fatal Five tried to take over Talok VIII (Adventure Comics 365-366), and why the Persuader is back on that planet. The cover blurb says he's a mercenary, but I hardly believe Lady Memory and the Talokian rebels have a lot of money to pay him. Speaking of the Persuader, I did like that Shadow Lass was able to take him.
Speaking of the cover, I would have liked a more dramatic scene for it. Maybe somebody thought the backside of Lady Memory would sell more issues? But I would have liked more of a free-for-all fight scene between Lady Memory-the Persuader and Shadow Lass-Mon-El. Except for the cover Terry Shoemaker really knocked it out of the park this time, as he had to draw all 14 of the Legionnaires and make each look distinct. Just  check out that Dream Girl. Great job!

Science Police Notes:  
  • This story is placed chronologically after Legion (v3) #6 because in that issue Dream Girl and most of the Legion is still out in space near where Orando used to be. In this issue, they are back on Earth beginning the official hunt for them. 
  • The rebels on Talok VIII are inconsistently colored both blue and green. Lady Memory is green, but I would think that the mountain people and rebels would be blue, like all Talokians have always been. 
  • Cosmic Boy in his rant has his facts a bit off. This is currently Element Lad's term, which means Cos is referring to Dream Girl and Lightning Lad. But during their terms the Legion added Blok, Invisible Kid, and White Witch. In the meantime, they only lost five members:  Tyroc, Superboy, Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, and Light Lass.
Status: 
This issue has not yet been reprinted.

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