Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #11

The Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #11 (June, 1985)
A Review by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage
title: "Taking Care of Business: Old Business"
writer: Paul Levitz
artist: Ernie Colon
inker: Larry Mahlstedt
letterer: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger
cover: Steve Lightle & Larry Mahlstedt (signed)

Mission Monitor Board:  
Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad,; cameos by Lightning Lass, Sun Boy, Bouncing Boy, Superboy, and the full Legion membership

the thugs who started it all 

On Earth, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad (and baby Graym) sit together and chat after the full membership of the Legion concludes their monthly administrative meeting. Lightning Lass is happy to see her brother back on active duty, and is happy that the Legion waved the Constitutional requirement that each member must have a unique power to serve so that both Ranzz siblings could be members simultaneously. Lightning Lad tells Cosmic Boy that he and Saturn Girl are re-thinking being members, preferring to raise their son together to adventuring with the Legion. Cosmic Boy likewise tells them that he has thought about becoming some sort of "senior advisor" instead of just being another active member.

At Science Police head-quarters, Sun Boy wants to talk to SP Chief Zendak.

At Glacier Point, Antarctica the three founders arrive to escort certain prisoners back to Society. The drone guards do not recognize their Legion codes, and the men have to destroy them when they attack their space cruiser. Later, they go out to the ice fields and pick up two prisoners who are scheduled to be released. Bringing them back to Civilization, Cosmic Boy explains that these are the two men who threatened to assassinate RJ Brande all those years ago. The founders are satisfied that the men have been rehabilitated, and note the passage of time.

In Metropolis, Mojil Desai is inaugurated as the newest President of Earth. He vows to make whole-sale changes to society.

At Legion HQ, Superboy is chatting with Bouncing Boy regarding new members. Superboy offers to rejoin (again) but Bouncing Boy admits to him that according to history, Superboy never rejoined the Legion. He then offers to tell Superboy about one of the prospective new Legionnaires.

This is another "place-holder" story. The idea of the three founders checking on the two men who are directly responsible for the creation of the Legion of Super-Heroes is a good one. However, their calm rehabilitation, while a boon to society, does not make a great comic-book story. Ernie Colon is the fill-in artist here, handling the whole membership "fly away" poster as well as the three different looks of the the founders well. His page layout for the Antarctica prison is especially well-done.

title: "Taking Care of Business: New Business"
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller: Keith Giffen
inker: Karl Kesel
letterer: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger

Mission Monitor Board:  
Bouncing Boy talking to Superboy about Comet Queen


Bouncing Boy is on Quaal-III on a Good Will Tour when he is ambushed by super Legion fan Comet Queen. She wants to join the Legion and tries to convince him to take her with him when he leaves the planet. Bouncing Boy tries to let her down gently, telling her that she has to prove herself in order to convince the Legion to let her in. The next day, she decides to go to the Lava Seas in search of historic treasure to "prove herself." Her family and friends complain to Bouncing Boy that her danger is his fault, so he decides to go after her. However, he doesn't bring his Flight Ring. So when Comet Queen slams into him by accident, she breaks her ankle and can't fly, and he can't fly them out of danger. While they are sitting around wondering what is going to happen to them, she explains that she got her powers by diving into a comet....because she had read that that was how Star Boy had gotten *his* powers. When the lava starts to overflow, Bouncing Boy thinks fast, telling Comet Queen to emit her comet gases to short out the lava venting circuitry. People come and rescue them, and Comet Queen joins the Legion Academy.

Although Comet Queen had made her debut two years before this in Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #304, she had never been given a Secret Origin. In classic Keith Giffen absurdity, she and Bouncing Boy team-up to....save their own lives. The whole story would have been over if Bouncing Boy had been wearing his Flight Ring. Or why he couldn't just bounce away and bring back help, or bounce away while carrying her (which is what he was shown doing earlier) is not made clear, either. Suffice it to say that I am not a huge fan of Bouncing Boy, Comet Queen, OR Keith Giffen absurdity. If you do like any of those things, you will probably get a kick out of this story.

Science Police Notes:  
  • The iconic poses of the three founders by Steve Lightle on the cover have made quite a few re-appearances over the years in various ads, profiles, and in the LSH Role Playing Reference Book
  • This is the first time that Ernie Colon draws the Legion. He is most well-known for his work on the Legionnaires Three and Cosmic Boy mini-series.  
  • This issue is reviewed before Tales of the Legion #324 because there is an advertisement for that issue on the letters' page of this issue, making this story chronologically earlier.  
  • Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad return to active duty in this story after their maternity leave, bringing the total of active Legionnaires to 22. 
  • This story shows the first time Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass are Legionnaires at the same time since the days of Adventure Comics #312-317 (the return of Lightning Lad through her change to Light Lass). 
  • This is the first appearance of Superboy in this volume of Legion of Super-Heroes.  
  • Mojil Desai, one of the more infamous Presidents of Earth, begins his term in this issue. 
Reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes The More Things Change TPB. 


  1. Bouncing Boy insults Comet Queen's intelligence because she got her powers by doing something idiotic. I really have no idea of the irony was intentional there...

    1. Good point!
      I always liked BB if he was played straight, but these so-called funny stories always left me cold.