Friday, July 15, 2016
Threeboot: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #24
Recap: The robots are rebelling. The Dominators are active. A super-villain team is working in the shadows, fighting the Legion. The Legion has had an intervention with Supergirl, convincing her that she is not in a dream state. She is alive; Krypton is gone. On Rokyn, she is powerless and coming to grips with what she now knows is reality. But Rokyn isn't immune to attack. The super-villain team is there as well.
For me, Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #24 is something of a turning point in the book. If Supergirl was going to be a fixture in the book, her idea this life was a fantasy dream needed to be dealt with. This issue deals with that in a wonderful way. The multiple subplots that were percolating needed to reach a higher simmer. I needed to learn more about what was going on, who was attacking the team. While we don't get a great progression, we at least see the members of the villain team, including an interesting member. But most importantly, the book introduces Mon-El.
Mark Waid clearly has a deep understanding of the DC universe. So introducing Mon-El grabbed me. What will his origin be? Will he be Valor? Will he be Mon? What is his origin and does it lean more towards the pre-Crisis origin? Or the post? And, it is clear (and known to be true) that Waid loves Supergirl. And Kara is really spectacular in this issue.
Barry Kitson is back on art and just sparkles here. There is a lot to love here, from the big splash pages to the page layouts with Mon-El, to the Rokyn landscapes. I am so happy that Kitson was on this issue and not any of the other fill-ins we have seen.
On to the book!
Now that is a juicy bit. The Threeboot Polar Boy is a villain? Interesting!
But even more interesting? The villains are there to steal a Phantom Zone projector. What do they want with that? I really love that Waid is infusing a lot of Superman lore into the book right now. This was Superboy and the Legion for a long time. So this felt like a nice homage to that era.
It is a wonderful splash page. I love the fierce expression and strong pose by Kara here.
I also love that these villains shake with fear on seeing her. They didn't think they would need to face off against Supergirl.
But then it hit me. She shouldn't have powers on Rokyn! And then the villains realize it as well. She can only be flying like this on Rokyn because of her flight ring.
However in this hall of weapons, Kara can read the labels. She grabs the Dru-Zod 360 seizure cannon, just like Mom used to use. So much to love in this sequence. The idea that Dru-Zod had a cannon named after him is fantastic. But hearing that Alura used it is wonderful.
Darting around the room and grabbing other weapons, Supergirl is able to free capture the villains and free her allies.
Realizing that her team has failed, Jera hits a fail safe transmatter device and teleports them away. Before blipping away, Jera screams "You've won this round Legion! But this is only the beginning!" Even Rokk knows that is a pretty corny line.
But look at Brainy! He curses himself for not foreseeing they would do that. Hmmm ....
Waid takes a step back from the action to discuss the culture of Rokyn and how it would impact Supergirl. The Rokyn citizens are more than happy to accept Kara into their city. But once she is on the planet she can never stay. And visitors to the planet are extremely rare. They are isolationists.
We then get a cool shot of the one city on Rokyn surrounded by land. It is as if the years of being trapped in the bottle affected their desires to spread out. You would think that once there was elbow room, that everyone would pick a vast parcel of land.
Instead we get this page that talks about how that life changed the people. They began to feel like they had a symbiotic relationship with their city, with each other. And so, this feeling of staying close permeated everything.
This is wonderful world building. And Waid, who is a huge Superman fan, probably loved dipping his toes in this place. I don't know if we needed this much time for the Legion story. But I appreciated this depth.
A snap decision is made that Kara needs to stay there. She isn't sure if that is the right thing for her. Again, given that the Supergirl in the main DCU at that point was an angry loner who hated Earth, you would think she might want to stay on Rokyn. But her time on the Legion has changed this Supergirl.
And Supergirl's time on the team have changed others. Here we see Light Lass, who hasn't exactly embraced Kara's presence on the team, realizes just how heroic Kara has been. Ayla warms up and actually hugs Supergirl.
It is a nice moment showing how great Supergirl's optimism and heroism is.
However, after seeing how this is effecting Kara emotionally, Rokk has a change of heart. He tells Supergirl that she should join them and head home. After all, once a Legionnaire ...
Did this happen too fast? Just last issue, the team was worried about Kara's stability. Has this brief time on Rokyn and Kara's rescue of the team changed their mind?
Again, it shows how powerful Supergirl's persona is.
We leave Rokyn and head back to Earth to catch up on the rest of the team.
We see how Lightning Lad is campaigning for the leader role. Dream Boy tries to tell him that his impetuous nature and basic inability to stay focused will be held against Garth in the election. As if to prove the point, Lightning Lad says he wasn't paying attention and instead goes to chat up the new Legion couple Element Lad and Triplicate Girl.
Fun little look into Garth's personality.
In a nice touch, Phantom Girl can see who the voice is coming from. Her dimensional powers allow her to see through layers of reality. She phases into the Zone. Saturn Girl links them all telepathically.
He call himself Mon-El but he can barely remember anything. He has been in the Zone 1000 years. "He" or "she" sent him there.
So how can Mon-El exist? There was no Superboy to meet him in Smallville and name him Mon-El in the current DCU. Could the 'she' be Supergirl? Could she meet him in the present and send him to the Zone? This is a major mystery! And it made the threeboot feel a little more classic.
I also love how the panels are double-boxed giving it a sort of separated feel.
The super-villains that have been attacking from the periphery have finally amassed. An army is swarming outside the Legion Headquarters.
So I felt like this was almost 2 issues in one. The first half wraps up the Rokyn storyline and cements Supergirl as being a team member. She is aware that this is reality. She seems to have come to grips with it. And she wants to stay. It araps up that major Supergirl subplot emotionally. We also get that peek into a new Kryptonian culture.
The second half touches on a number of subplots. Mon-El is introduced. And that subplot of super-villains coiling around the team is no longer simmering and is now at a boil.
I continue to be impressed with this run, especially on this read.