Thursday, April 27, 2017

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #84

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #84 (September 1996)
title: "Emerald Legion"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Lee Moder

inker: Ron Boyd
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Mike McAvennie
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Alan Davis & Mark Farmer
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Leviathan (body), M'Onel, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, XS

Inferno, Karate Kid, Lori Morning, Marla Latham, Nura Nal, R.J. Brande (cameo), Shvaungh Erin, Spider-Girl, Metropolis Necrological Institute android, Science police

Emerald Eye of Ekron, Leland McCauley, two-bit crooks

Shrinking Violet has become possessed and corrupted by the Emerald Eye of Ekron in the wake of Leviathan's death. She's turned Science Police liaison into a baby, and the Legion into a group of green-clad heroes she can dominate...

As the "Emerald Legion" starts tapping into the Eye's immense power to refashion civilization, Inferno finds herself gladly fired from McCauley's Work Force for taking an interest. Though the Legion is now part of a group mind, the spell over Saturn Girl is broken when she detects the ghostly Apparition's thoughts. She tries to reach the real Violet and fails, being returned to normal by the Eye and escaping.
Meanwhile, a girl called Nura Nal calls the HQ, acting on a premonition that the Legion would be devastated in an explosion, but she's ignored. Inferno joins baby Shvaughn who, despite her apparent age, still has the ability to speak, and once Saturn Girl gives her a flight ring and transuit, to use a gun as well. They will have to take the fight to an orbiting satellite, which Vi has transformed into a giant Eye, which in turn has taken over the planet's telecommunications. The Emerald Legion would like to apply the design to Earth itself. But Gates' fierce independence makes him question the group mind and Kinetix turns him into an egg.
As the struggle for the Eye begins between Vi and Kinetix, the motley group of free heroes arrives and Saturn Girl tries to remind everyone of how satisfying it was to think independently. Some start breaking free, but after turning Kinetix in a wizened crone, Violet starts to freak out. All she wanted was to be part of a group, and it's all gone wrong. She asks the Eye to turn back time, and the giant Eye satellite explodes...
Eye am very tired of all this “Eye” talk. I guess it’s a good thing the Eye seems to be losing more and more control. Does it only have a certain amount of power it can spend before fading away? Or is it struggling too much between so many different sources of power? There are so many incredible beings around it, it doesn’t know who to focus on anymore, creating this sense of confusion within the ranks of the Emerald Legion. It’s interesting to see that the Legionnaires are brought back to themselves when confronted by something that’s totally against their nature. Gates can’t bear to become a tyrant. Brainiac and M’onel losing control over their minds, a place they consider as their sacred sanctuary. Good on Saturn Girl for being able to bring them back. A bit more confusing when it comes to her. Tinya seems to have phased through her and that would’ve done the trick… I don’t know, but it seems a bit farfetched.
That girl on the screen. Long white hair, a small star on her face and she’s having visions while she sleeps… She must be Dream Girl, right? She foretold the explosion at the end of this issue, so I can’t help but wonder if the rest of her vision will come true. Will only half of the Legion come out of this fight alive? I was going to say that I loved the cover of the comic. I always enjoyed the pureness of white against black shadows in art in general so that light effect really got my attention. Now that I know the light represents an explosion and the Legionnaire are right in the middle of it, I’m a bit less enthused. I’m afraid the writers weren’t kidding last week when they asked, “Who’ll survive?” and I really don’t like it. Come on! Don’t take them away. I like these guys! I’m in no mood to mourn over another victim of that damn Eye!
To answer your points... I hate the whole "Eye for an I" stuff too. And I've been enduring it a lot longer. It's silly and no one in the world itself would notice and just makes it a little harder to read. As for Saturn Girl's turn, I think 1) she was always going to touch an independent mind and that would help break the spell, and 2) the shock of finding Tinya alive awakened her fully. I buy it, and I'm glad someone else knows now. And yes, that IS the girl who in another continuity was Dream Girl. We'll have to wait and see if she's to have the same fate in the Reboot. You're perhaps right to fear because team books have a tendency to prepare a changing of the guard, and the arrival of Inferno and Nura could presage the departure of two established Legionnaires. I'm not telling though.
I liked this issue more than I have the last few, I must say. I wasn't keen on the confusion that reigned while the Eye was stretching its powers in the background. It's all on the table in this issue though, and the writers do a better than usual job of creating a flow, with scene changes cleverly answering the previous sequence's statements and questions. The new green uniforms are a mixed bag, but I like some of them a lot. Saturn Girl's isn't just hot, it's got a ring around the eyeball as its motif, which is pretty fun. The giant Eye on the sky. Shvaughn as a gun-toting babe. Gates the communist who nevertheless is too independent for the group-think. All great stuff. Shame it all had to blow up. ;-)

Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1996/17.
  • First appearance of Nura Nal who, in another continuity, would become Dream Girl (original first appearance: Adventure Comics #317 (1964).
  • Brainiac 5's emerald look, with its head electrodes, is based on his ancestor's. The Silver Age Brainiac wore the same.

First appearance of the Reboot's Nura Nal.


  1. Ugh. Eye have to say, Eye wasn't enjoying the book during the whole Eye mess.

    And the part with Nura? You know, where she's on the screen? Talking to Latham? And the others? That part?


  2. Spoiler Alert: the strong, confident and ultra-intelligent Nura that Paul Levitz created is gone. And in her place Stern, Peyer and McCraw have given us a stereotypical ditzy (platunum) blonde. SMDH

  3. The costumes are, indeed, a mixed bag. But I do like how at least some of the guys are showing more skin to show how they're evil now. Not as much as the girls, of course. But M'Onel has that ridiculous bare chest, and Ultra Boy is wearing shorts!

    There's also more facial hair, because, you know, evil.

    I thought this was a pretty effective issue overall. Although I am bothered on the continuity end of things how Shvaughn was all "goo-goo" last issue and is suddenly fully erudite this issue. One of those "the writers need to talk more" kind of things.