Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tales Of the Legion of Super-Heroes #321

Tales of The Legion of Super-Heroes #321 (March, 1985)
a review by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage
title: "Into Exile!"
writer: Mindy Newell
assist: Paul Levitz
penciller: Dan Jurgens
inker: Karl Kesel
letterer: Ben  Oda
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger
cover: Dan Jurgens & Karl Kesel (signed)

Mission Monitor Board:  
Dawnstar, Brainiac 5, Dream Girl, Star Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad

xenophobia, lack of technology
After flying near a nebula in deep space, Dawnstar (flying free) and Brainiac 5 (in a cruiser) approach an unknown planet. Dawnstar has used her increased tracking abilities to lead them here. She is sure the missing Legionnaires are planet-side, so flies in without clearly communicating to Brainy. However, the nebula has scrambled the sensors of the the cruiser, and Brainiac 5 finds himself losing power. He has no choice but to crash-land. Dawnstar, convinced she is correct, does not notice hunters taking aim against her. They shoot her down with arrows, then surround her. They do not speak the intergalactic language of Interlac, so she is unable to communicate with them.
Back at Legion head-quarters, Dream Girl is concentrating on Legion business when Star Boy suggests that they take another vacation. She is annoyed at his shallow selfishness, and tells him so.
At a temple nestled in the mountains, a priest named Jhodan and his novitiate, Ina, are assigned to investigate the "fallen demon." They ride out to the tribe that has captured Dawnstar. Brainiac 5 walks away from his crash to try to find Dawnstar. Instead he finds that none of his technology will work: not the flight ring, not their communicators, and not his force-field belt. He wrenches his shoulder trying to escape from advancing armed natives, then collapses in the forest.
On Medicus One, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad are visiting Dr. Gym'll to make sure that Saturn Girl is in good health about giving birth to Graym. They talk about retiring so that they can raise their son personally.

Brainiac 5 awakens to find that he was cared for by a schizophrenic young man named Spliff. He babbles on enough to make Brainiac 5 think that he might have seen Dawnstar land. Brainiac 5 rests in his company, trying to regain his strength, and make sense of his current situation.
Dawnstar awakens, caged in a cave. Jhodan and Ina arrive to investigate the "devil spawn" who endangers their deity named Kol. Jhodan orders her released to escort her back to the temple. However, Ina thinks Dawnstar has bewitched Jhodan. For their part, Dawnstar and Jhodan both feel some type of attraction between them, although they are unable to communicate in any way.
This is a different type of Legion story, featuring only two members in the leads. It is a throw-back to some of the early-Seventies stories where fewer members were spot-lighted. Dawnstar and Brainiac 5 make for good protagonists, as they approach life in wholly different ways. The melodrama between Dawnstar and Jhodan is interesting, as long-time Legion fans know that she and Wildfire share a non-physical love. Will she find "true" love with this mysterious, handsome temple leader? A good scene has Brainiac 5 sitting down and analyzing his situation until he remembers that Dawnstar is in danger; he gets up off his posterior (literally) and sets off to find her. It's a nice moment to show Brainy's penchant for being over-analytical.
The art is awesome here. Dan Jurgens does a great job with all of the characters' faces. He also does well with the technology of the space cruiser and the Legion HQ, but we already know he could handle that stuff from his stellar debut last issue. This time he also has to draw forests, caves, and other native scenes, all of which he does well. Inker Karl Kesel also does a great job with the shadowing, and colorist Carl Gafford does an outstanding job with the colors.

Science Police Notes:  
  • The spat between Dream Girl and Star Boy is the first time we see this couple disagreeing. Clearly Dream Girl takes their Legion responsibilities more seriously than Star Boy does. 
  • This story takes place before the events of LSH (v3) #9, as Dream Girl is still concerned about the missing Legionnaires, who return in that issue.  
This issue has not yet been reprinted.

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