Friday, February 17, 2017

Threeboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #49

Recap: A giant planet has entered our solar system, harboring technoconstruct 'emulations' which have been attacking United Planets for some time. And the UP has welcomed diplomats from this planet, allowing them to scan much of Earth and even drain the life essence from a UP official. Meanwhile, Princess Projectra has been supplementing her powers and preparing to wreak her revenge on the UP for allowing Orando to be destroyed by Praetor Lemnos. And there is the standard internal strife of this team during this run, sexual infidelity, and personality clashes.

My first set of reviews on this site was the 5 Years Later run by Giffen and the Bierbaums. I loved that book. But as I was reviewing the later issues, I was struck with ennui. There was a brilliance to the first three years of the 5YL run, especially the first year. As it rolled on, I was just more and more disappointed. The book was a fine super-hero book. But it wasn't the heady brew of those early issues. I was bored.

Now I am reviewing the Threeboot. And I am suffering in a different way in the later issues. These later issues don't bore me. They irritate me. Because this just doesn't read like a Legion book. Every issue seems to have problems. Whether the gratuitous sexual innuendo and cheesecake or Legionnaires acting horribly out of character or the meandering plots, nothing seems to be right about this book.

Don't get me wrong, the early Threeboot book had its issues as well. That wasn't 5YL either.

But this book ... I'm sort of done with it.

And thankfully I am almost done with it. One more issue.

We start out in a dojo where Princess Projectra is being trained in hand-to-hand combat from the surviving Orando citizens. They also have been streaming and consolidating all their planet's magical powers into her as well. Calling her the Imperiatrix, they want her to use her powers to destroy the UP and reign as their queen.

In this scene, we get a sample of those new powers. She not only projects the illusion of this Orandoan Fighting Coliseum, she also can enter people's minds. She can control this sparring partner's mind, triggering his reflexes and instincts.

Satisfied with her progression and victory, she heads to her chambers to be bathed by her handmaidens. Thankfully, page space isn't wasted on that scene. That would have fit in with this book.
Phantom Girl has been concerned about Jeckie's behavior. Tinya has seen obsessive thoughts, odd disappearances, and even violence from the Princess. She confides in Saturn Girl, hoping Imra could read the Princess' mind to discover what is going on. But Imra won't disobey Lightning  Lad's rules to not mind read fellow Legionnaires.

Timber Wolf overhears the concerns and goes berserk. He is fiercely loyal to her, and will even attack friends to protect her. That seems off, even for Brin. He is trying to claw Tinya's face. I assume at some point we'll find out he is being controlled by Projectra.
Meanwhile, Brainy once again has to explain just what these "emulations" are. It seems as if they live in the Matrix, scanning and duplicating all real matter to put into their ether, a digital reality that is stored on the fabric of space.

The plan will be to take a crew to the invading planet and scan everything there with the copied device he made.

I don't exactly know why these beings feel compelled to destroy everything in their wake as opposed to just copying it.

The alien planet is surrounded by an antienergy shield that Legion Reserve Sizzle is able to bypass.

Ahhh ... anti-energy! Where is Wildfire!?!

On the planet, the group discovers that under an emulation glamour of natural resources is a world factory churning out construct warriors. The Legion squad blows up one quadrant and retreats.

In space, Brainy has Micro Lad data-rip the entire planet. Somehow the data-ripper is able to store that much information but Brainy's computer in the LSH HQ can't. I don't quite get the range or capabilities of the ripper but I'll roll with it.

And then, in the most expected roll in the hay in comic history, UP President Kin'thea makes her move. With the threat of universal annihilation moments away, the two lonely leaders decide to have a little tryst.

In this comic run, this might be the most chaste thing we have seen!

But then things go even more topsy turvy. Phantom Girl won't read Projectra the comic book any more. And Projectra decides it is time to lash out. And boy does she.
Phantom Girl is near death, the result of an attack that is brutal, savage, one of intense power ... more than you would expect from Projectra.

Ugh ,,,

But then Shooter doubles down.

Suddenly Projectra has powerful mind powers. She can get into Imra's mind and rewrite it. She can control Saturn Girl. She rewrites Phantom Girl's memories. No one will be able to pin this attack on Jeckie.

It all seems too sudden and a bit inexplicable.

It also is pretty awul.

Remember when we saw Ultra Boy and Saturn Girl naked in the kitchen closet. Well it turns out that maybe they didn't do anything actually physical. Or maybe they did. Imra brought Jo into her mind. Things seem real there. Of course they were in the buff making me think something did happen.

And while she is pouring her heart and regrets out to Lightning Lad, she picks up his memories of shagging the President.

Yep, two major galactic threats looming and we still get pages devoted to the Legionnaires' sex lives.

In some ways, I am glad I didn't remember just how rough this end run was. I might not have volunteered to review the Threeboot!

One more issue.


  1. Looking back with your reviews (and I sincerely feel you deserve a cash prize for falling on this tawdry sword), I wonder if the awful Projectra story was Shooter trying to do the X-Men's Dark Phoenix storyline "right". He was still sulky even after Claremont & Byrne agreed to kill Jean off because she went out a hero instead of a villain, so why not "fix" it (like he did with the terrible pre-Simonsons issues of X-Factor) with this unrelated title?

    I understand Legion-mainly readers having respect for Shooter, but if you also read the X-Men, especially the great 80s stuff, you learn what a childish, petulant meddler he was. And that's on top of his highly unpleasant writing. He's burnt away any respect the work he did as a teenager might have earned him, frankly.

  2. "He was still sulky even after Claremont & Byrne agreed to kill Jean off because she went out a hero instead of a villain"

    Sulky? Killing Jean Grey was Claremont and Byrne's idea to start with when he vetoed their "planet prison" idea.

  3. I kind of stopped trying to figure out where Shooter was going with this. It is just too hard.

    I do wonder if he had been told to wrap things up by 50 and so sprinted to the end.

    Still, plenty of wasted pages on nonsense here when he could have told a better main story.

  4. Yes, according to Shooter's blog, the plan was to turn Projectra into a full-fledged villain, and then bring Cosmic Boy back from the 41st century to stop the Legion from going after her, because her and (presumably) T-Wolf's unborn child would grow up to lead the Orando and the United Planets into a golden age of prosperity or some such nonsense. But his run got cancelled so that Geoff Johns could bring back the Pre-Crisis Legion. Sort of.

  5. Shooter said this on his blog about his run's intended duration: "First of all, the story, as I intended, was going to run 16 issues. Later, we added two special issues, featuring the wedding of Dream Girl and Brainiac 5, which were in continuity but detachable (therefore usable as fill-ins), bringing the total to 18. Only TWELVE of my intended issues made it to print, #37-46, and #48-49, plus one of the planned specials, used for issue #47. So, only 13 out of 18…. And, everybody, please understand this: I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ISSUE #50. I DID NOT WRITE IT. IT DOES NOT REFLECT MY INTENTIONS. I DO NOT LIKE IT AT ALL."