Friday, July 29, 2016
Threeboot: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #26
For the better part of a year, writer Mark Waid has been weaving a tapestry of plot lines throughout the Legion book. From the mystery of Supergirl to Sun Boy's team to the initial robot rebellion to the enigmatic appearances of the Dominators to the Wanderers, there has been a lot happening in this book.
But in the last couple of issues there has been a sense that things were coming together, that sense that the woven plotlines are getting tighter, that everything is coming to a head. And, no big surprise, it is in this issue that everything suddenly seems connected. The robots, the Dominators, the Wanderers ... it all explodes into one big story by issue's end.
Despite the need to connect these things, Waid still paused to give us a retelling of the Ranzz's origin, giving us the backstory of Mekt we need in this new continuity. Mekt doesn't seem evil here. He isn't the Lightning Lord yet. But he seems a bit unhinged. For long time fans, we need to know the differences. For new fans, they need to know who he is.
Barry Kitson is on art and I have gushed about him in the past. His art is just sweet.
On to the book.
The Legion squad inside the headquarters is able to quickly locate their missing comrades and the Wanderers within the city limits. Flying to the site, they are met by Mekt who begins explaining who he is and what he is trying to accomplish.
First off, he knew about Mon-El and needed someone with that power level on his team. So he tricked the Legion into freeing and curing Lar.
I love Kara and Mon-El staring each other down in the top panel. So much said just with images.
Mekt continues to elaborate on his mission. He knows that the robot rebellion in Metropolis was just one cell. There is another in Megatokyo. Those robots are constructing another 'god machine' now, all for the Dominators.
And just like that a big piece of the puzzle is fit into place. We knew the Dominators were the ones that sent the techno-payload to Earth back when Supergirl first joined. We know that the Dominators are moving in on Earth (we saw them defeat Sun Boy's team). Now we know they are orchestrating the robots.
There is nothing like a Dominator plot to get the Legion fandom's juices flowing.
The teams send Mon-El, Supergirl, Ultra Boy and Brainy to the city to corroborate. Mon-El, suddenly physical after a wraith-like existence for a millenia, wants the most tactile experience he can get. He decides to cut right through the planet and the others follow.
There is a bit of mystery both answered and added to his story. He confirms that it was Superman who sent him to the Phantom Zone. And he says that he has met Supergirl in the past. But he won't say when. And he won't say how she gets back to her time.
Interesting. I have to say I was hoping that she was the one who put him in the Zone, enhancing her place in Legion history. Remember he wasn't sure if it was a he or she who did it when he first communicated with the team.
As I said, Waid gives us the Ranzz origin again. Once more, we see Mekt joy riding and forced into landing on Korbal. Ayla and Garth had stowed away, upsetting the delicate calculations Mekt made for this trip.
The trio get zapped by the indigenous Lightning creatures and gain their powers. Mekt uses the lightning to charge the ship's battery to get away. This is all classic Legion lore.
But the Lightning creatures aren't elephantine things anymore. They are weirdly humanoid.
While Ayla and Garth healed, Mekt left the hospital and went on the run. Mekt felt like he had nothing to keep him on Winath. He was lost. And so he went into space, living on the run and staying hidden.
What is sad is that he felt so untethered that he ran. I love how Garth yells at him about leaving the family. Garth tried to find Mekt but couldn't.
Family tension in the Ranzz family is a classic part of the Legion history. But I really like that Garth felt love for his brother. He wanted to help.
In Japan, the God Machine has been built. In a great series of panels, we see the Legionnaires standing on a red floor. The POV pulls back to reveal it is the dot on a giant Dominator robot head.
And then ... wham ... Kitson gives us a two page Kaiju-like panel, giving us the perspective we need. This thing is massive.
Big moments deserve big art. This merits big art. I love it.
While Mekt and Garth argue away from the group, Ayla addresses The Wanderers.
Mekt has had a death wish since he was young. It is why the twins stowed away on that ship. They needed to watch him.
The Wanderers is just another way to complete that quest. Whatever Mekt has been telling them about the upcoming battle, Ayla is convinced it is a one way trip. Mekt wants to go out in a blaze of glory.
I think excluding a background in this panel lends it power. We are focusing on Ayla and her words alone.
The Dominator robot wasn't built to plod through the city destroying building. It was a bomb, a delivery system for this red mist which we see covers a huge portion of the planet.
What is this cloud? We'll find out.
So this issue basically takes a giant step forward, tying some plot strings together. Suddenly there is a lot of interconnectivity. The Dominators, the Wanderers, the robot rebellion ... it is all one big plot arc. But, once again, Waid and Kitson deepen the Legion lore, retelling the Ranzz history and adding a new wrinkle to Mekt.
Buckle up! Things are moving fast.