Friday, June 17, 2016

Threeboot: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #21

Recap: Things aren't getting any easier for the Legion. A Dominator-spawned robot rebellion is brewing. A covert team of super-powered youths is being formed. A group of giants from Big City seem to be in cahoots with them. Brainiac 5 is unhinged as he tries to resurrect/recreate Dream Girl. And add to that an immensely powerful Supergirl who doesn't believe she is actually in the 31st century, believing instead that she is in a dream fugue. What else could go wrong?

We are approaching the two year mark for the Threeboot Legion. And it was about this time that I felt like the book was really starting to feel like the Legion I was used to.

The personalities on the team were gelling, becoming recognizable.
There were a bunch of plots going on in the book, many of which were gripping.
There were mysteries to solve.
There was a mad Brainiac 5.
There was a cool Supergirl.

Things were really starting to click for me. And Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #21 was a very good issue to highlight all of this. We have a number of plots touched on here. We have plot progression. We have powerful character moments, particularly from Brainiac 5.

Storytellers Mark Waid and Barry Kitson were hitting their stride. And Adam DeKraker had been on art enough for me to begin accepting his art instead of bemoaning the lack of Kitson.

But it is the end scene in this book, hinted at on the cover, that made this one of the better issues in the run. What was going to happen to Dream Girl?

 The issue starts off with Colossal Boy interrogating the imprisoned giants who last issue were committing robberies across the globe. We had learned that they were working for someone. But we didn't know who.

Colossal Boy was particularly irked because the media was blaming his status as a Legionnaire as the impetus for the rebellious acts of the prisoners. This thread of the UP and the Science Police using social media to destabilize support for the team is an interesting one and certainly still resonates today. Social media is powerful, for both good and evil.

Before Micro Lad/Colossal Boy can make any headway with his questioning, a group of super-powered teens breaches the prison to try to free the other giants. We see one has cold powers. He certainly doesn't look like the traditional Polar Boy. But this is the reboot so anything is possible.

 Meanwhile, Brainy is still trying to gather up all the information that makes Dream Girl and recreate her in a new body.

This has always seemed like madness. But now, it is getting to feel a little creepy. Element Lad, always the spiritual voice of the team, finally speaks up. This seems to be a debasement of who Dream Girl was. She wouldn't want to be treated like this. Her life force has changed.

I like that this Jan still feels like the classic Element Lad. There is that feeling of the sacred here, a nice contrast to the stark science Brainy is espousing.

My favorite scene in the book is when three of the female Legionnaires talk to Supergirl. Remember, Kara thinks she is safe, asleep on Krypton, and dreaming this reality. The three ask Supergirl some pointed questions in hopes of shaking her out of this belief.

Phantom Girl talks about how she never feels at home on either Bgztl or Earth, as is if she is torn between two worlds.

Triplicate Girl talks about how she can never go home again because the surviving copies on Cargg have shunned her.

Projectra talks about how her home was destroyed, her family killed, and how she is utterly alone.

All of these stories resonate with Kara for obvious reasons. It seems to shake her up a bit. She even admits she used to think Krypton had gone. But then she decides to keep on believing in her fantasy.

This thread is so interesting.

As for Colossal Boy, the three intruders get the best of one of him when one unleashes a quake power into Gim's guts.

That's right. It's Seiss, the seismic powered alien we saw recruited a few issues ago.

It looks like he has been brought into the fold of an evil crew.

And they succeed in freeing the giants.

How can I not include a panel that has one giant putting another in the Crippler Crossface submission move??

Sorry, my wrestling fandom showed there for a second.

For me, the most intriguing of the plots is the Brainiac 5 one. We have seen him lose his sanity in the past so many times. So even though this is a Threeboot, I feel like his losing his grasp with reality was merely a matter of time.

Here, he finally is able to activate his plan to deconstruct Dream Girl, coalescing all knowledge about her, and then recreate her.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work. She has been disintegrated. Alas, she doesn't reform. Despite all his attempts to resurrect her, Brainy has failed.

And then he seems to go mad.

He attacks Element Lad, threatening to kill Jan. Even Atom Girl, who is exceedingly loyal, has to try to hold back Brainy. It is almost frightening to watch.

But then things get murkier.
Alone in his room, Brainy is visited by the ghost of Dreamy. She tells him that she will always be with him moving forward. He did succeed in bringing her back ... but just for him.

And so I raise the question.
Did he succeed? Does this Dream Girl truly exist?
Or is she just a visual and auditory hallucination? Proof that he has indeed gone mad?

At this point, I think the latter. But that is based on continuities that no longer exist.

I have to admit. I am pretty invested in the book right now. The plot lines are grabbing, interesting. This was starting to feel like the Legion I was used to. And, as a bonus, we got Supergirl.

1 comment:

  1. It's not schizophrenia. That only causes audio hallucinations. So, no medication for Brainy needed.