Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: Legion Secret Origin #6

Recap: RJ Brande has formed the Legion. The United Planets was initially conflicted about the young team. However, the Legionnaires help thwart and attack from another dimension. Deputized and accepted, the team is ready to help. But everything isn't rosy. The wormhole the attackers came from is still there. A shadowy figure is trying to assassinate Brande. And the UP Security Directorate is still trying to manipulate things from the sidelines.

This is it, the last chapter of the Legion Secret Origin mini-series. Writer Paul Levitz does very good job linking all the plotlines in this story together and bringing them to a satisfying conclusion in this issue. I haven't always been on board with this mini-series given it's tangential look at the Legion's origin. It is a shame that this issue is the best issue. Had the whole mini been written like this, I might have enjoyed it much more.

Moreover, and this shouldn't be a spoiler given last issue, Levitz cements the Time Trapper as the Legion main villain. We had seen the Trapper ascend to a prominent status in the Baxter series and even the Five Years Later run. Now we know he has been there from the beginning.

But of all the things that happened in this story, the one that I think will stick out the most is the characterization of Phantom Girl. She is fun, adventurous, and very physical in her interactions, as though intangible people don't understand physical boundaries. It is interesting that she gets the deepest dive in characterization (although Brainiac 5 gets screen time too)!

On to the book!

Last issue, we learned that the assassination attempts on Brande were being orchestrated by a shadowy, inky figure. In the end, it possesses Security Directorate member Mycroft. Mycroft has never been a fan of Brande so this seems appropriate.

Just when it seems like he will be successful, 'Brande' turns out the be Chameleon Boy in disguise. Very quickly Cham thwarts the 'accidental' death of the Legion sponsor.

I do like that part of the Legion strategy was to protect Brande at all costs. Invisible Kid followed him around as a personal bodyguard and now this deception.

Meanwhile, Brainy realizes that the wormhole threatening the United Planets is not only a spatial warp but also a time warp. The enemies could be coming from the past or the future.

This leads Brainy to question Phantom Girl about Bgztl. Does it exist elsewhen as well as elsewhere?

But look at Tinya. She is taking all this potential galactic destruction so well, smiling and flirting like it isn't a big deal. And look at her in the first panel, basically intangibly humping Brainy's shoulder. Last issue we saw her displaying her posterior. She seems completely smitten with Querl.

 I love the irony of the phantom character being the most physically unfiltered.

Last issue, the Legion team stuffed the invading wormhole armada back through the breach.

We finally get a little back story for Ultra Boy who was suddenly a member. Now we know that he was contemplating a life as a gang member on Rimbor. The Legion is a big upgrade.

But the discovery of Jo Nah and his recruitment would have been a fun story to read. Too bad this mini missed out on those opportunities.

Thanks to some of Tinya's discussion, Brainy has a breakthrough. He can collapse the time/space wormhole by exploding the damaged time bubble inside the breach.

It isn't safe. It could be catastrophic. But most likely, it will be fine.

I love Brainy and his cavalier look at safety based on probabilities. Yes, his solution will solve the problem. Yes, there is danger. But the risk is small and the benefit is great.

Again, Brainy gets a lot of screen time. We learn of his need for physical space and his lack of social skills.

Now Legion buffs know that eventually ends up with Ultra Boy.

Here, Jo pushes Brainy on how safe his plan is. In a nice nod to the future, Phantom Girl comes between them and stops there strutting. Neither is the alpha here. She is in charge.

And she is. She will be the one to drive the bubble into the wormhole and have it explode. This is her part. She is the one best suited for it. And she does it without hesitation. You can see how she is a true hero.

In fact, looking at her story ... traveling from Bgztl, the first traveler like this. Joining the team. Saving the day. She really shines here.

Meanwhile, the Time Trapper finally shows himself. He needs to stop Brande from forming the Legion. He can't manifest himself long here and only has a short time to stop Brande. Knowing what we know of how the Legion defeats the Trapper over and over, you can see why stopping the origin of the team is of primary concern.

But before he can attack Cham, Tinya destroys the wormhole. Without that time passage, the Trapper is sent back to his throne at the end of time.

Rokk thinks that Phantom Girl couldn't survive such an explosion and is ready to eulogize her. If only he knew that death will be a big part of the team.

But not today, Tinya returns. Look at the last panel. Her cheeky body language, the timing of her return ... she is just so bubbly and charming. She has a passion for life.

And a passion for Brainy. She'll stick around this universe and join the Legion officially. And Brainy will too.

Nice panel heavy with portent. Ultra Boy is there, waiting. Look at Brainy's expression. He is uncomfortable with this hug.

The Security Directorate finally signs on in favor of the Legion. In exchange for exoneration, even Mycroft agrees. Yes, the Legion will play a big role in the universe.

And Anisa has intuited a name. This villain was the Time Trapper!

But that is in the past (or future). We have a team now, 10 strong!

Long Live the Legion.

So I loved this issue which truly read like a Legion adventure and not a guide to politics in the 31st century. So this was a strong way to close things out.

However, overall, I think I am overall down on this mini. Levitz had plenty of opportunities to show more of the team member's origins but instead gave us a lot of political posturing and Security Directorate discussions.

So what did all you think??

1 comment:

  1. Well, during Levitz's 80s heyday, Legion fandom pestered him fairly frequently to do a story about how the United Planets formed, and he consistently begged off because he thought it would be boring. Maybe the political stuff here is intended to prove his point?