Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #27

The Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #27 (Oct, 1986)
title: "Going Home"
writer: Paul Levitz
pencillers: Greg LaRocque, Colleen Doran, Shawn McManus, and Gene Colan
inker: Mike DeCarlo
ink assist: Arne Starr
lettering: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger 
cover: Steve Lightle
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Sensor Girl, Element Lad, White Witch, Colossal Boy; cameos by Star Boy, Dream Girl, Quislet, Wildfire, Dawnstar, Invisible Kid, Blok, Timber Wolf, Shrinking Violet, Phantom Girl, Sun Boy, Lightning Lass, Magnetic Kid, Polar Boy, Tellus

The Royal Council of Orando, SP Officer Shvaughn Erin, the Sorcerers of Xerox, Marte and Wynn Allon, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad

Ignorance, Mordru

In a change of pace issue, there are four separate solo Legionnaire stories before they dove-tail into one wrap-around story.

On Orando, Sensor Girl aka Queen Projectra has returned to report on her mission for redemption. The Councilors of Orando believe her when she tells them she has paid her debt for bringing misery to her home-world. They offer the throne to her, but she declines. With her heightened senses, she now sees that the power of the throne is also an illusion. Projectra realizes that she can do the most amount of good by returning to Earth and continuing as a Legionnaire. Broken-hearted, she leaves Orando in its separate dimension, possibly forever.

On Trom, Element Lad has arrived with Shvaughn to show her his world. Although UP robots have buried all of the victims of Roxxas' slaughter and keep the weeds from over-growing, it is Element Lad's responsibility to maintain all of the grave markers. Together they go to his church, where they begin to pray. Shvaughn wonders if Jan is asking her to marry him, but he laughs, telling her that marriage is an Earth custom. If she wants to get married, she needs to ask him.

On Xerox, the Sorcerers' World, White Witch is a member of the council that agrees to free Mordru from his imprisonment. As soon as he is freed he threatens them, but their next step is to de-power him and cleanse his soul. He reverts to the innocence of a child. Successful, the sorcerers ask White Witch to remain with them. She is tempted to stay, but decides to return to the Legion for now.

On Earth, Colossal Boy and his wife, Yera, are having dinner with his parents. Marte admits that although she is out of politics, she does miss not knowing what is "going on." The couples laugh about having to get used to Yera's abilities, as Gim "got big" after he was no longer living with his parents.

At Legion HQ, many of the Legionnaires are relaxing. There has been an official election, and the majority of the Legion has voted that Projectra killed Nemesis Kid in self-defense, so she will not be expelled.

This is. literally, a hit or miss collection of stories. In my opinion, of the five chapters here, two of them are very successful, two are so-so, and one is downright awful. Care to guess which is which?

The story of Projectra returning to Orando is obviously the most important incident here. The details of why she became Sensor Girl are fleshed out, and we finally get a little bit of actual characterization from her. Her speech to the Councilors is fantastic; I still remember the gist of it nearly 30 years later. And the last bit with her crying under her mask is just perfect.

Likewise, the story set on Trom is fantastic. We forget that most of the Legionnaires are not Earthlings, so their religious and moral beliefs may not necessarily mirror ours. The interaction between Shvaughn and Element Lad is great here, and the crisp, clean art by Colleen Doran helps make the church scene especially moving.

On the other hand, the vignettes on Xerox and Legion HQ could have been so much better. Cleansing Mordru of his dark soul was noteworthy, but not very exciting. Also, White Witch doesn't really *do* anything. As written I think a panel or two or a toss-away page would have sufficed. And the art by Shawn McManus (who went on to fame as the artist of Dr. Fate, I believe) is good, but not great. I would have liked a more "trippy" story here, but maybe that's just me.

Likewise, the scenes of the Legionnaires hanging out are fun, but not really anything special. I especially liked the scene between Phantom Girl, the liberated woman, and Sun Boy, the playboy. I would have liked to have seen more interaction between Star Boy and Dream Girl (especially after the events we see next issue). It's cute that she is wearing one of his uniforms, and he is wearing a knock-off of his old one. Still, I would have liked to have read more of the overall reaction to Projectra being brought up on a charge of murder. It seems like everyone expected her to get voted in again, but I expected Element Lad, atleast, to raise more of a fuss. After all, he was a witness to Projectra breaking Nemesis Kid's neck! I'm not saying that she should not have been re-admitted, but I would have liked to have seen more of a debate about her. What does everybody else think?

And lastly and leastly, the Colossal Boy dinner "story" is actually painful to read. NOTHING of consequence occurs, and the art by Gene Colan is just not good. I can see bad perspective or postures on every single page. Gene Colan was the master of dark, mysterious, and shadowy; he doesn't belong in the 30th Century. And why in the world is Colossal Boy in his uniform?!?

Science Police Notes:  
  • Shawn McManus is listed as "MacManus" in the credit box. 
  • Polar Boy and Tellus are playing Trivial Pursuit. 
  • Invisible Kid's shirt is not colored in the first panel, which makes it look like he is hanging out bare-chested. 
  • Chameleon Boy, Brainiac 5, and Ultra Boy are absent on a mission in the past. They are appearing in Booster Gold #8-9. 
This story has not yet been reprinted.  

1 comment:

  1. I like the splash with the Legionnaires wearing off duty clothing similar to their regular costumes, especially Thom and Nura.