Friday, November 20, 2015
5YL: Legion of Super-Heroes #60
Let's open up this review with an apology.
This arc, End of an Era, rewrote the Legion, rebooting it. As a result, it ran in all three Legion-related books that were out at the time, Legion of Super-Heroes, Legionnaires, and Valor. But my faith in the Legion as a property and in DC in general at this time was wavering a bit. I was only getting the main Legion book. And as a result, I cannot cover all the parts of this arc. You'll only get the 3rd and final 6th chapter of the story. So you'll only see 1/3 of this tale which changed things for years.
As for me, this was truly the end of an era. I had been a Legion fans since my youth. It was the first property I loved. It was the first property I followed closely. And the Legion matured as I matured. The early 5YL stuff was perfect for the college-aged Anj. It was dense and powerful.
And the last year of this book and this story in particular seemed like it was flailing. We were heading to a reboot. And I decided I would be out. Because that meant a new history. That meant losing all the history I loved. And it meant that the 5YL series, which I loooooovvvvveeed at its inception, was also disappearing. It was the end of the Anj era of Legion. I dropped the Legion with next issue.
Mark Waid joined the Legion writers here. And kudos to him, Tom McCraw, Stuart Immonen, and Ron Boyd for trying to wrangle some satisfactory conclusion to this history. But I don't think it worked.
All that said, I love this cover. That is about as alluring a Glorith I have seen.
So we drop right into chapter 3.
Somehow, the insane Polestar has become a much saner Rokk Krinn. But he also has been kidnapped by the alliance of Glorith and Mordru. On Glorith's planet of Baaldur, Rokk is outnumbered and outgunned. With only meager magnetic powers, Rokk is overpowered.
But why was he singled out?
Well it turns out that somewhere along the way, a prophecy of Rokk being a child of destiny has been revealed. He cannot be killed. He needs to be contained so that the prophecy cannot come true.
So Rokk is placed in cuffs and is to be led away to prison when he makes the only move he can.
Magnetically grabbing the key, Rokk locks himself into the Infinite Library. Remember, the Library is an endless labyrinth of books where time doesn't pass. It's books are the magical tomes of history. And Rokk is trapped.
Glorith and Mordru think this is a fine way to keep Rokk away from their plans. He is separated and trapped. But they should think more critically about this. You have locked someone into a library with immense mystical knowledge and all the time in the world to absorb it.
So I did love a several page sequence in this issue where all the Legionnaires, young and old, gather on Winath to coordinate a rescue mission to get Rokk out of the clutches of Mordru and Glorith. We see different groups of Legionnaires recalling why Rokk is so important to the team, how he is an inspiration.
And it all culminates in this two page spread of all the members together.
They know that they have to head to Baaldur to fight Glorith. But they also know they need to keep their wits sharp in case an attack happens elsewhere.
For example, the Legion's former headquarters on Talus!
Glorith and Mordru appear at the Legion headquarters and begin to tamper with the only functioning time beacon.
The Legion squads arrive and try to intercept. But they are met with deadly force. Using her time powers, Glorith rapidly ages the Legionnaire Colossal Boy until he simply crumbles from old age. Immediately thereafter, the older Gim Allon disappears. It seems the SW6 Legion and the older Legion are the same people.
Of course that doesn't explain how the SW6 Chameleon Boy died years ago with effecting the current Cham. Heck that is one of a billion time conundrums I could bring up if we think that the SW6 Legionnaires are the Legion.
Together they free The Infinite Man. Given the time shenanigans we have already lived through with Glorith, I'm not surprised that these two went after the Infinite Man. But somehow, in short order, they are able to drain him of all his powers, dissipating him.
As I have said before, McCraw was definitely leaning on the Legion history during his short run. Bringing back the Infinite Man, even if only for a couple of panels, was great.
After draining the Infinite Man, the two villains seem to disappear. But time anomalies have rippled out in their wake. The older Ayla, deaged to school age, is suddenly back to her right age. Vi, who lost an eye in the Venado Bay battle, has both eyes again. Lightning Lad has his robot arm. Jan is in his Baxter series uniform. Imra and Luornu are in their 70s outfits. Things have simply gone insane.
If this was the end of an era, at least we got to see all these eras one last time.
Glorith and Mordru, already powerhouses in their own right, have absorbed the Infinite Man's, become sparkly, and seem unstoppable. They will rule the universe!
So if people were looking for a mega-event for the Legion, tying together all its history before resetting the clock, I suppose they will be pleased. But for me, as I said, this was an end of an era. Remaking the Legion history was, in essence destroying them for me.
And all of that meant that my time with the Legion is also ending.