Thursday, February 18, 2016

Superboy & The Legion #252

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #252 (June, 1979)
title: "Postscript to Holocaust"
writer: Gerry Conway
penciller: Joe Staton
inker: Dave Hunt
letterer: Ben Oda
colorist: Gene D'Angelo
editor: Jack C. Harris
cover: Dick Giordano (signed)
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Superboy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Princess Projectra, Dream Girl, Sun Boy, Wildfire, Mon-El, Shadow Lass

Brainiac 5, Matter-Eater Lad, RJ Brande

Star-burst Bandits

At the UP Medi-Center, several Legionnaires are visiting Matter-Eater Lad, who was made a "hopeless lunatic" when Brainiac 5 had him eat the Miracle Machine. Brainiac 5 suggests that Princess Projectra use her illusion powers to calm Matter-Eater Lad, and then Dream Girl can enter his thoughts and try to "bring him back" to sanity. Unfortunately, Dream Girl riding in on a white horse is not enough to bring Matter-Eater Lad out of his stupor. In fact, Dream Girl is almost pulled into his insanity.
As they leave their two hospitalized friends, the Legion encounters a group of Star-burst Bandits in an attempted robbery. Frustrated and angry, the Legion attacks wildly and are soundly defeated.

Back at the destroyed Legion HQ, Mon-El is cleaning up when the others return. Superboy tells everyone that he saw that the Bandits were trying to steal neutronium, the densest, most fantastic material known to science. So they go to the Sun, thinking that the Bandits will try to harvest some directly from its source.
At the Sun, the Legion encounters the Bandits. Rather than risk another defeat by fighting the Bandits head-on, they ram their Legion Cruiser into the Bandits' drilling ship. Sun Boy then heals the Sun's core, stopping the possible chain reaction that the Bandits' drilling was causing.
On RJ Brande's asteroid home, RJ Brande is told that he is bankrupt. He does not take the news well.

This story is a mess from start to finish. First of all, the Legion taking advice from the lunatic Brainiac 5 is just dangerous.

Secondly, Princess Projectra and Dream Girl visiting Matter-Eater Lad's psyche is interesting, but unfortunately that is NOT how their powers work. Saturn Girl is right there, so maybe the assumption is that she is somehow helping this attempt along telepathically? It's badly written, no question about it.

Then seven Legionnaires can't stop a group of Bandits? I understand if they are upset about Brainiac 5 and Matter-Eater Lad, but still, they are taken out like rank amateurs.

Lastly, even with Mon-El and Shadow Lass joining them, they are afraid to fight the Bandits again!?! This is just wrong. Shady could have blinded all of the Bandits and then Superboy and Mon-El could have disarmed them at super-speed, case closed.

This story doesn't bode well for Gerry Conway's tenure as regular Legion writer.

The art by Joe Staton and Dave Hunt is adequate, but compared to last issue's stunning Jim Starlin work, nothing special.

Science Police Notes:  
  • The scene shown on the cover does not occur in the actual story. 
  • Matter-Eater Lad's hair is consistently mis-colored as brown throughout this story arc. 
  • Dream Girl appears in Matter-Eater Lad's sub-conscious, even though that is not her ability. 
This issue has not yet been reprinted.


  1. And yet, these are the stories where my Legion fandom began. You're one or two away from my first Legion book, so these are the back issues I acquired through the Whitman 3-packs. So they had to be doing something right, sufficiently selling me on the characters to enthusiastically keep following them even after Superboy leaves...

    1. Sure, even bad Legion is better than nothing. But I would hope you agree this stuff isn't The Best of the Legion.

    2. True. Also, DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #1 helped a lot...