A Review by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage
title: "The Legion of Super-Executioners!"
writer: Cary Bates
artist: Mike Grell
editor: Murray Boltinoff
cover: Nick Cardy
Mission Monitor Board:
Superboy, Ultra Boy, Mon-El, Shrinking Violet, Wildfire, Karate Kid, Brainiac 5, Shadow Lass; Lana Lang as Insect Queen; cameos by Chameleon Boy and Phantom Girl
"possessed" Ultra Boy, "The Master"
Superboy comes to Lana Lang's house after her birthday party to escort her to the future as a special birthday present. However, as soon as they arrive they are faced with the problem of Ultra Boy being hopelessly insane. Superboy is allowed into his cell to try to reason with him, but Ultra Boy ties him up with his own cape, causing him to pass out.
It turns out that Ultra Boy is not the crazy one; he is the only one who is still sane. All other members have fallen under the control of "The Master." They pumped Ultra Boy up with some drug to make it look like he was insane so that they could send Superboy off on a wild-goose chase for his cure. The Legionnaires have now been ordered to kill him and Lana before Superboy returns. Ultra Boy tries to fight one last time, but is too weak. He and Lana are shot. The Legionnaires leave their bodies unburied, going back to their Master's bidding.
This is another great story the first time through. The pacing is great, and the art is beautiful. You totally believe that poor Ultra Boy has gone insane, and that his friends are concerned for him. The scene where Ultra Boy and Lana Lang face the firing squad is one of the bravest scenes I've ever seen depicted in a comic. There are quite a few Legionnaires milling about, which is always a plus.
Science Police Notes:
- Although Lana boasts that there are 25 members in the Legion, at the time of this story there are actually only 23 members. Perhaps she didn't know that Invisible Kid had died, and that Supergirl had quit?
- This is the second and last "100 Pages for 60c" issues of Superboy/Legion. Besides the new story, the reprints include the two-part expulsion of Superboy and Supergirl (Adventure Comics #350), the adventure of their replacements, Sir Prize and Miss Terious (Adventure Comics # 351), and a solo Superboy story from Superboy #88.
- "The Legion Lore" featurette included profiles of the remaining 9 Legionnaires by E. Nelson Bridwell and Dave Cockrum, plus a featurette on Ferro Lad and the 5 Reservists with stock Curt Swan art.
- This is Lana Lang's last Legion story for more than six years. She re-appears during the Reflecto story-line some 80 issues from now.
This issue's new story was reprinted in The Legion of Super-Heroes Archives (vol 11).