Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #19

The Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #19 (Feb, 1986)
title: "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished!"
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller: Greg LaRocque
inker: Larry Mahlstedt
lettering: Agustin Mas
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger 
cover: Greg LaRocque & Larry Mahlstedt (signed)
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Phantom Girl, Ultra Boy, Element Lad, Chameleon Boy, Shrinking Violet, Colossal Boy, Timber Wolf, Blok, Mon-El, Shadow Lass, Sensor Girl, White Witch, Brainiac 5, Wildfire, Dawnstar; cameos of others

Opponents: 
A discouraged Controller, the planet Tyrraz

Synopsis: 
On Manna-5, Colossal Boy, Phantom Girl, and Ultra Boy are helping the agricultural planet get through a flood when Phantom Girl and Ultra Boy suddenly disappear. Colossal Boy calls Legion HQ and reaches Timber Wolf, who does not understand the severity of the situation. Blok, however, calls Element Lad. While they are discussing possible plans of action, the Legion leader disappears, too.



The Legion gathers to discuss the five missing members, noticing that they are the same five who were in-between dimensions when Orando disappeared (back in LSH (v3) #5-8). Before they get too far in discussing their plans, however, a Controller interrupts. He tells them that he took the five Legionnaires and that he will return them if and when they are successful in their mission.

Elsewhere, the Controller explains to the five Legionnaires that he was building a sun-eater in order to destroy Tyrraz, a mobile world of war about to enter their universe. The Controller has been stripped of most of his power for allowing his sun-eater to be destroyed (back in LSH #8),  but before he can go off and die he and the five Legionnaires must destroy Tyrraz.
Back on Earth, the White Witch tries to follow the Controller's energy, but can not. Shadow Lass tries to talk to Brainiac 5, but he is still mourning Supergirl alone in his quarters. Mon-El and Sensor Girl cannot find them, either, so he, Dawnstar and Wildfire head off into space to try to track them. Wildfire makes a snide comment about not knowing Sensor Girl's powers. Brainiac 5 is watching, and he is beginning to obsess about Sensor Girl.

Meanwhile, the Science Police are determined to figure out why some of their officers were brainwashed into attacking the Techno Park (in LSH #15).

At the far reaches of the universe, the Controller teleports four of the Legionnaires to the surface of Tyrraz so that they can see for themselves how deadly it is. Watching from an asteroid, the Controller reminds Element Lad that Tyrraz will be in range of an inhabited world in only a few days.


Commentary: 
This is a great set up for a story. These five Legionnaires destroyed the Controller's sun-eater factory a few issues ago and now he appears, demanding retribution. What a great idea! I remember reading this at the time and thinking, "This is a heck of a problem!"

Artist Greg LaRoque does a great job with the cosmic scenes here. Just look at that page where the Controller interrupts the Legion's meeting: the "normal" environment gives way to the vastness of space in a very cool sequence. Props to LaRoque and to inker Larry Mahlstedt for a great job.


title: "Freedom of Choice"
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller: Chuck Patton
inker: Mike DeCarlo
lettering: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger 

Mission Monitor Board:  
Invisible Kid, Wildfire, Mon-El, Dawnstar

Opponents: 
A band of thieves, Destiny

Synopsis: 
On Medicus One, Invisible Kid is being examined by Dr. Gym'll. He tells Jacques that he has isolated "the gunk" that gives Invisible Kid uncontrollable teleportation powers. He has also isolated the invisibility serum. So Dr. Gym'll tells him that he can take away one or both of Invisble Kid's abilities. It is up to him to decide what he wants.

Jacques recalls that he first took the invisibility serum to fight Computo in order to save his sister. Now he can not decide if he should remain a Legionnaire, or return to a life of "normalcy." As he is considering his options, a group of thieves attacks. Invisible Kid stops them, with a little help from his friends. His mind made up, he decides to remain a Legionnaire.

Commentary: 
I never really thought of Invisible Kid as a "woe is me" type....maybe I wanted to like him, and I just ignored that aspect of his personality. I do like that he is given an absolute choice here: to remain a Legionnaire, or to quit. After this story Invisible Kid should have come out of his shell more; after all, he was no longer an "accidental" Legionnaire. However, I don't remember this story adding anything specific to his personality one way or another....

Guest-artist Chuck Patton does a great job here. I especially like his version of the medical satellite Medicus One. It always had a certain resemblance to the Justice League satellite, but former JLA artist Patton really makes it look the same!

Science Police Notes:  
  • The lead story was hinted at in the letters' page of LSH #13.  Letter writer Rex Joyner from Notre Dame University suggested that the creation of the Sun-Eater in LSH #8 might have been for a "benevolent" reason. Writer Paul Levitz admitted that there was "another story in that mix somewhere," and a few issues later we get this back-story.  
  • Manna-5 was the agricultural planet where Wildfire first blew himself to bits in Superboy #195. Colossal Boy and Phantom Girl were assigned to the planet for that mission, too. 
  • In the council chamber scene, Lightning Lass is sitting next to Timber Wolf. Also, there are only enough chairs for the number of members present. Besides the missing five members, Invisible Kid is also absent. But if they were there, where would they sit? 
  • Last issue Brainiac 5 was prodding and poking Invisible Kid; this issue, Dr. Gym'll has taken over. Is Brainy suggesting that he isn't as clever as the Legion's physician?
  • In a nice bow to inner-issue continuity, Wildfire, Dawnstar, and Mon-El leave Earth in the lead story and appear in the second story to capture the would-be escaping drug thieves.  

4 comments:

  1. I always figured that Earthgov took over the re-created JLA satellite from JLA 148 and turned it into Medicus One. Having Abengazar, Rath and Ghast show up is one dangler that Levitz missed out on, either when Darkseid was gathering magic, or during the Magic Wars.

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  2. Them showing up again would have been awesome!!

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  3. Them showing up again would have been awesome!!

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  4. This is the future. The Legion's meeting table contracts and expands according to number of members and only the proper number of seats are fabricated. Had the five missing members been there, the table would have just been bigger to accommodate them...

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