Monday, December 22, 2014

The Lightning Saga (chapter 1): JLA (v2) #8

Title: "The Lightning Saga 
Chapter One: Lightning Lad"
A Review by David Weter
Writer: Brad Meltzer
Penciller: Shane Davis 
Inker: Matt Banning
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover: Michael Turner
Variant Cover: Phil Jimenez

Mission Monitor Board:  
Karate Kid, Starboy (Thom Kallor)

Memory Loss, The Justice League, The Justice Society
Members of the JSA and JLA fraternize, with Mr Terrific playing a game of chess against Green Lantern and Black Canary at the same time.

Red Arrow, Geo-Force, and Wildcat play a game of capture the flag in a graveyard.

And, more importantly, Batman and Black Lightning examine the villain Trident, who was recently captured after being under the control of Starro.

But... Trident seems very, VERY different. Almost like he isn't the same person at all.

Batman runs a check against the files in the Fortress of Solitude to identify this stranger who is certainly NOT Trident.

He's our very own Val Armorr, A.K.A. Karate Kid. And, when Karate Kid wakes up, he does what he does best- FIGHT!!!

Batman is hardly a match for Karate Kid's prowess, which is why he cheats, and has Black Lightning zap the Kid.

Bats and Black Lightning take Val back to the JLA headquarters, where Val reveals that he is wholly convinced that he is Trident, except that he remembers JSA member Thom Kallor.

Thom is brought in to talk to Val, and says the magic words, which snaps Karate Kid's mind back to the forefront. Karate Kid reveals that he and Starman are 2 of 7 Legionnaires in the current time.

So, this leads to the JLA and JSA teaming up to find the rest of The Legion.

 Leading into "The Lightning Saga" readers were given no indication that the story would be anything more than the first post-Infinite Crisis team up of the JLA and the JSA.

And, yet... out of nowhere is The Legion.

Starboy (now Starman) had been hanging out with The Justice Society since Infinite Crisis. Hints had been dropped, but Karate Kid's appearance took me by surprise for a few reasons.

First, Mark Waid was writing Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes which was on stands simultaneously, and these Legionnaires didn't look like the Legionnaires in that comic.

The reason is as simple as the equation that Will Hunting solved. This was a stealth reboot of a rebooted Legion, but it was a retcon reboot, because it re-introduced the pre-Crisis Legion. My head still hurts.

Certainly, it will take a major-event-tie-in-mini-series to work out this continuity blunder.

The Good is: Val is ranked as a level 15 fighter. Batman is ranked at number 12. Mr Terrific plays chess, blindfolded, against two heroes- but he's actually playing them against themselves. And, Red Tornado nearly injures a pre-cat swinging Red Arrow.

The Bad is: Well, The Legion appears, despite The Legion appearing somewhere else. The two foremost superhero teams play games while the world is in peril.

Overall, the issue served to set up the team-up, and it moved a bit too quickly into a slightly contrived quest to find the remaining Legionnaires. So, it is very apparent that this is....


Science Police Notes:  
·    Thom Kallor becoming Starman was prophesized in James Robinson's Starman comic in the 90's, when Thom met Jack Knight.
·    The villain Trident first appeared in The New Teen Titans #33.

reprinted in "The Lightning Saga" Trade Paperback, and Hardcover

The Pre-Crisis Legion returns to the modern DC Universe.

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