Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #57

The Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #57 (Feb, 1989)
title: "Under A Watchful Eye"
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller/co-plotter: Keith Giffen
inker: Al Gordon
lettering: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
asst editor: Art Young 
editor: Karen Berger 
cover: Steve Lightle
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Wildfire, Dawnstar, Polar boy, Sensor Girl, Invisible Kid, Timber Wolf, Tellus, Magnetic Kid, Lightning Lass, Blok, Quislet

SP Chief Gigi Cusimano, SP Officer Shvaughn Erin, Sarvisa, Antonio Stefanacci

The Emerald Empress

Somewhere, the Emerald Empress kills the Inquisitor for not finding out the secret of immortality for her.
On Earth, at the Legion HQ, Dawnstar is off-duty healing from recent injuries. Wildfire visits her, and she decides that the best cure for what ills her is to give Wildfire a kiss. Computo is shown eavesdropping on them.
Polar Boy is preoccupied trying to find the Emerald Empress, but Projectra knows that when the time is right "she will come to me."
On Agni, in the Ivory Coast of Earth, Invisible Kid is visiting his younger sister, Danielle, when the Emerald Empress invades Pan-American University looking for clues to immortality. Invisible Kid tries to save some of the teachers' lives by getting the Eye's attention. The Empress orders it to kill him. Invisible Kid manages to lock it up in a statis-preserver, but the Emerald Empress catches him and lets the Eye burn him as it escapes. Then the Legion arrives, saving his life.
At SP HQ, newly promoted Chief Cusimano starts to settle-in, toasting with her old friend Officer Erin.

In Cairo, the Legion has followed the Emerald Empress as she moves along searching for the secret of immortality. Timber Wolf tries to grab the Emerald Empress but she dodges, then tries to kill him. Blok blocks the emerald blast.

In Rome, Tellus, Lightning Lass, and Magnetic Kid  attack the Eye but it shrugs them off. As she moves along, Invisble Kid follows her discretely.
At the Museum of Mystic Arts, Sarvisa arrives from the Sorcerers' World with a message for... someone. He meets with the curator of the museum because he doesn't know where else to go.

Now in Metropolis, the Emerald Empress is tired of fighting with the Legion, who are joined by Polar Boy and Quislet in their attack. She grabs Polar Boy and threatens to destroy all of Metropolis by exploding the Fusion Powersphere if the Legion doesn't stand down.

Finally, we're in the midst of something exciting. It's nice to read that the "villain" from the last story arc, the Inquisitor, was actually under the employ of the Emerald Empress. That clears up one point from that pointless story-line. In true Emerald Empress fashion, she kills him when he cannot help her find out about immortality.

The Emerald Empress is as dangerous as ever, but she seems a bit out-of-character. She comes to Earth willingly, knowing that the Legion would fight her. Wouldn't she have started some distraction somewhere else so she could destroy search her targets without any interruption from them? It also makes me wonder what happened to the rest of her Fatal Five. I was hoping that they would eventually show up, if only to cause that distractions.

Invisible Kid stands out this time as a brave, though rather reckless, Legionnaire. His attempt to lock up the Eye of Ekron is clever, and reminded me that he has never faced the Emerald Empress before. Still, is she so strong that she could lift him up and hold him motionless while the Eye was burning him? That scene seemed badly choreographed to me, as the Empress was never shown to be THAT strong before.

On another subject, what is wrong with Dawnstar? When we last saw her she had been grabbed by cloud creatures, but didn't seem at all wounded. Seems like somebody forgot a dialogue balloon or a caption somewhere telling why she needed medical attention. I did like the idea that Dawnstar would eventually come around to wanting to make out with "humanoid" Wildfire,  so I applaud this development....I just don't understand why it took this long. If this wasn't what Levitz was going for when he decided to change the look of Wildfire, I can't imagine why else he would have done it. You don't just go changing a classic Dave Cockrum design for no reason....

Speaking of designs, this is the issue where I realized another of the reasons that I am not a fan of the Legionnaires' new uniforms. Standardizing them as a group is a novel idea, and if Giffen had kept this particular style unique to the Legion then the uniforms may just have grown on me and I might have eventually warmed to them. However, take a look at the Emerald Empress and the Science Police officers illustrated in this story. They're all wearing the same basic design as Giffen's new Legion uniforms!! Like I said, I don't mind the idea of the Legion wearing more standard uniforms, but not the same basic pattern as the SPs! And then to have the Emerald Empress boasting the same basic look....?!? This may sound harsh, but that isn't creativity, it's laziness.

And speaking of harsh, what is up with Computo (looking VERY much like a mini-Validus) peeping on Dawnstar and Wildfire? That is just too creepy.

Science Police Notes:  
  • Magnetic Kid calls Tellus "Blok" by mistake on page 20. Maybe it's the uniforms' fault? 
  • The lower body on the lower right-hand corner of the cover does not match any Legionnaire in the story. So whose crotch is that? 
This story has not yet been reprinted.  


  1. I believe that is Magnetic Kid's crotch...

  2. I really disliked Giffen's "fat face" era. Not quite as bad as his "elongated head" era, but still...bleh.

    Is there any other comic artist who has jumped back and forth with different styles as Giffen?