Friday, April 22, 2016

Threeboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #14

Recap: The war is over! The Legion using some brilliant strategy and a little luck, was able to defeat the machination of Praetor Lemnos and his Terror Firma. But war has its casualties and the Legion wasn't spared. Dream Girl has died, sending Brainiac 5 into a bit of a obsessive quest to save her, her body kept in complete suspension in his lab. But the big questions is 'what do you do the day after the war?'

The Threeboot Legion series started out on a creative high, mixing in the reintroduction of a new-ish team with a major interstellar war plot line. Kudos to writer Mark Waid and Barry Kitson for being so daring. They could have started out with the creation of the league or by doling out a number of short adventures which showcased all the members. Instead they took a big risk and gave us a huge story.

For the most part I think it worked. We met everyone eventually, some Legionnaires getting prolonged exposure and backstory; others got a couple of panels to give us a sense of character.

But while the Lemnos story was ambitious and well done, it seemed to mire a bit near the end. Thirteen issues is longform writing for a new title. Would new readers stick around long enough to get to the end? Or was this too long?

Add to that the tricky nature of Legion fans. This was called the Threeboot, but Legion history had been put into the blender in the years before this. Was this new Legion satisfactory to old fans? Comprehensible to new fans? And did a 13 issue story help either side embrace things?

But that arc is behind us. I like that Waid decided that we needed a breather. And nothing is better than a 'day in the life' issue, noodling around a team book and catching up on characters. Heck. Levitz and Giffen did the same thing after Great Darkness Saga.

The art on the issue is done by Ken Lashley and he brings a rough sensibility to the issue. But this was Kitson's book. Without that art, the book felt a bit off for me.

Remember, the United Planets weren't exactly allied with the Legion in this new reality. The Legion was inciting chaos by preaching progress to the youth of the galaxy. But it was the Legion who saved the UP by stopping Lemnos in his track. A reconciliation has to happen.

I love the fact that the Legion has become the symbol of victory and freedom in this new world. Like the Marines on Iwo Jima, this image of kids raising the Legion flag on the battlefield has defined the Lemnos war. And the UP needs to do something about it.

Saturn Girl's mother is in the ruling board of the UP and speaks the truth.

The Legion did warn the UP about Lemnos. The Legion did defeat the marauding army. And the Legion needs recognition. So why not keep your enemies close?

Amazingly, the UP offers the Legion a place in the hierarchy. They will deputize the team. They'll fund the team. And they'll work together towards the future.

It puts the Legion between a rock and a hard place. Without the UP credits, they can't function. With the UP credits they may not be independent. And with Cosmic Boy stepping down as leader, the decision has to be made by Lightning Lad.

And this Garth is much more of a hothead than the classic version. Will he make the right choice.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team is trying to clean up the disaster site of the Legion headquarters.

Invisible Kid was sort of shunned by the team during the fight. People weren't sure if they could trust him. In particular, Karate Kid has been the harshest. He thought it was Lyle who told Brainiac 5 that Cos was snooping in the lab.

After the arrival of Atom Girl, it is assumed that she told Brainy. But when Karate Kid tries to apologize, Lyle winks out. Something is up.

Still it was dissension within the team that hurt it early on. Seeing Karate Kid try to make amends made me think this was a team once more.

The rest of the team is resting in Micro Lad's home. This isn't Colossal Boy. This is a giant who can shrink to normal size. That means a lot of real estate in the giant homes for the Legionnaires to rest and recover.

Ayla's character is portrayed as a sexually liberated young woman here so much that she is teased for sleeping with two men, Gim and his brother (of course nothing happened as they are giants).

But Ayla is more surprised when she hears that Micro Lad's brother wouldn't be interested. She probably doesn't hear that too much. Phantom Girl outright says he is gay. I think this might have been the first time I read that stated outright in a mainstream book. Sure, we all kinda sort knew Vi and Ayla were in a relationship in the old book but it was never labeled.

Comics were progressing, just like the Legion wants.

Violet is one of the Legionnaires there and she is suddenly comfortable being around the team.

She very vocally defends Brainiac 5 during a conversation. And then we get a great new wrinkle. Brainy's mastery of miniaturization technology save the Imskian world. They view him as a god. And Vi is an acolyte. She will always be loyal to him.

That is definitely new. This isn't your grandfather's Legion book.

I do like this Vi though. She is one sassy character.

It turns out that Invisible Kid did tell Brainy about Cos. He blamed Atom Girl and now feels guilty.

She loves it.

She wants a reputation. She doesn't mind being looked on as a calculating, devious member of the team. And she wants him to tell everyone that she beat him up as well.

Nice. I have always like Vi. This seems evocative of the strength she had in her last incarnation.

On the Legion grounds a memorial service for Dream Girl is held.

One of the Legion faithful becomes emotionally unhinged. He declares that he and Dreamy were in love and were to be married. It was the Legion and this fight which took her from him. He begins lashing out with his powers, a sort of Reflecto ability to deflect anything thrown at him.

But old school punches thrown by Triplicate Girl? No deflecting that.

It turns out to be a delusion.

This new Reflecto had never met Dreamy. He had seen her from a distance and imagined the whole thing.

"Welcome to the dark side of fandom."

Given all the creepy things we see in social media these days, Waid was almost prescient.


The Science Police arrive intent on arresting the Legionnaires and Reflecto.

But in flies Lightning Lad who squelches the whole thing by saying that the Legion has signed up. They are the a Science Police now.

This changes the dynamic of this book dramatically. You can't say 'eat it Grandpa' when Grandpa pays the bills, can you?

The letter column is again illustrated by Amanda Conner! Amazing!

It also dropped something of an awesome spoiler. Starting in issue sixteen, Supergirl will be part of the team. Incredible!

The Lemnos war is behind us. Some new plot lines are simmering. And Supergirl is around the corner.

Will this book suddenly sizzle?


  1. "Of course nothing happened as they are giants" ??
    Boy are you naive.

    1. Someone hasn't read that issue of the Avengers where Hank and Janet get all freak nasty while at different sizes...

    2. That's one example. There are many others.

  2. Replies
    1. Have you read Gulliver's Travels? The full book,not the children's version?