Friday, July 22, 2016
Threeboot: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes 25
Recap: Supergirl has realized she is awake and alive. Krypton is gone. And Earth and the Legion are her new home and family. But there is little time to celebrate. The team has discovered the Phantom Zone and Mon-El. An army of young powered individuals, a team which has been attacking the Legion in guerilla style, has now amassed around the headquarters and is ready to engage. And I haven't even touched on the Dominator plot, the robot rebellion, and the imprisoned Sun Boy and his team.
The Legion was two years into its threeboot. Creators Mark Waid and Barry Kitson were firing on all cylinders at this point. We were getting multiple storylines, reintroductions to classic characters, and deep DC Universe cuts. And this issue didn't derail that momentum.
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #25 drops several major plot bombs into the mix. There is so much happening in this issue that, as a long time Legion leader I was gobsmacked. As a new Legion reader, there was still a lot to digest here. But there might not be as many 'oh my God' moments as registered with me.
There is a ton of stuff happening in this issue. There is a lot of progress, several subplots moving forward. There are a lot of new faces in this issue, "new" being definitely in quotes. It is a continuity bomb for old time readers!
Plus there is big time action too.
And it all starts with the crazy cover which shows Supergirl choking Mon-El! Incredible.
Get ready ...
The book opens with the Legion captured in their own building. The members have been relaxed in their home and have naturally split into smaller groups of 2 or 3. The biggest collection is in Brainy's lab as they try to free Mon-El.
But with the help of 'Plant Lad' (their mole on the inside) and White Witch (!!!), the Legion's defense were down and the sorceress was able to cast a spell enveloping each room in an indestructible force field. Without a single punch, the Legion is imprisoned.
So is this a team of super-villains? We have seen how cunning and evil the telepath Jera has been. But we have seen characters we are used to being heroes on this squad as well. Polar Boy is on the roster as is Plant (don't call me Chlorophyll Kid) Lad.
But to see White Witch, a bona fide Legionnaire in prior continuities, was a gut punch. Waid was really playing around with history. And the hooded leader is mystery. Who is he?
But it is the internal monologue that gets me. Brainy is convinced that he isn't insane. These visions and this Dream Girl is real. That said, he isn't letting his teammates know that he sees Dreamy. He knows what they'll think.
As I have said, Brainy's history with mental illness is well known to fans. So this is a great little take on that character trait.
Not only are the force fields inside the headquarters invulnerable, they are impenetrable to communication signals. The members are essentially isolated.
And then, in the midst, four Legionnaires are teleported away - Light Lass, Ultra Boy, Karate Kid, and Star Boy.
Meanwhile, the Legionnaires in Brainy's lab are still trying to figure out what to do with Mon-El. Again, Waid drops some major continuity bombs into this threeboot universe.
The lead poisoning is weakness of a Daxamite remains. The population of the planet? Not so much. The people of Trom wiped out the race!
Given the Tromians ability to transmute elements, they would be the perfect race to defeat a super-army. But what little we know of Tromians make them sound like peace-loving hippies. To hear they committed genocide is just crazy!
Off world, the kidnapped Legionnaires are introduced to this army.
They are The Wanderers!
Whoa! That is another great new wrinkle for the Legion history.
The Wanderers were sort of a black ops team for the UP, sent out to pick off Dominator schemes and protect the galaxy from the shadows. Over time, the Wanderers saw countless Dominator troops on the outskirts of the UP. And they heard of a huge plot to overrun Earth.
Feeling they needed to know act independently, this leader made his way back to Earth and gathered new recruits. This man needs soldiers, people who will follow orders. He can't team up with a loose organization like the Legion so he picked the top Legionnaires he thought would be sympathetic to his cause.
So now we have the Legion, Sun Boy's team, and the Wanderers.
As for the leader of the Wanderers, he is revealed to be Mekt Ranzz.
Again, this is a stunning reveal for old time Legion fans. We know Mekt as the villainous Lightning Lord from the Legion of Super-Villains. Here he seems to have no powers and is just a soldier.
But Mekt Ranzz as a force of good, hoping to woo his sister to the cause?
This is just incredible.
Back on Earth, Brainy decides the best course of action is to release Mon-El and then force feed him an anti-toxin which he will develop from scratch.
Unfortunately, after thousands of years of physical banishment, Mon-El comes out unhinged. Enraged, he starts to bash his way around the lab. It is up to Supergirl to contain him as much as possible.
I love her dialogue ... but I don't know if it makes much sense. Pa said that sometimes to reason with a mule you need to use a two by four. Which Pa? Does she remember her brief time on Earth now? Are her memories back? Did the rebooted Kara by Loeb/Turner spend time on the Kent farm?
I don't think I care. Seeing a fierce Kara battering Mon-El is too fantastic.
And, as Brainy perceived or predicted, the power of this fight shatters all the force fields.
And its lucky the fields come down because the key ingredient for the anti-toxin is Kryptonite (a nod to the classic formula). Dream Boy brings it having foreseen that he would need to earlier in the issue.
Dream Boy just hasn't caught on has he?
But the big news is that the Wanderer army has left Earth with the four Legionnaires. The team isn't under attack any more. That means this whole thing was set up not to fight the Legionnaires but to recruit from them.
The rest of the team comes to the lab and together they are able to hold down Mon-El long enough for Invisible Kid to shove the antidote down his throat.
Now calm, Mon-El is grateful for the rescue.
And then he is teleported away. He appears before the Wanderers and Mekt makes his pitch again. Remember, the Wanderers were on Rokyn trying to get the Phantom Zone projector. They have wanted to free Mon-El.
Whew ... that is a lot of progress, a lot of reveals, a lot of Legion history seen through the warped mirror of the Threeboot. I forgot how much happened in this issue and rereading it this time I was pretty floored.
But I was also happy that the Dominator plot, introduced way back in #17, seems closer to fruition. Everything seems to be drawing in closer.
How was this not a huge hit?