Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reboot: Legends of the Legion #2

Legends of the Legion #2 (March 1998)
title: "Resistance - The Secret Origin of Spark!"
writers: Barry Kitson and Tom Peyer
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Albert De Guzman
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Steve Lightle
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Spark, Star Boy, Ultra Boy, Umbra; flashback: Live Wire

Antennae Boy, Chuck Taine, Color Queen, Doro, Infectious Lass, Night Girl, Porcupine Pete; flashback: Feg Arzz, Dalya Ranzz, Garla, Hegga, Kirth Ranzz, Zakk Arzz, Winathians

Flashback: High-Brow, Klamorr, Lightning Beasts, Lightning Lord, Slopp, Violence Queen

Four Legionnaires have stumbled upon a kids' tour of Legion HQ and been asked to recount their origin stories...

It's Spark's turn to tell her story. But we know it, don't we? She and her brothers took a cruiser without permission, lost power, had to land on the stormy world of Korbal, and were zapped by lightning beasts. But what happened then? Well, Mekt was the first to show off his powers, used them destructively, and left home. Garth and Ayla decided not to reveal they were affected the same way lest their parents think they would go bad too. Garth takes off to find Mekt and winds up founding the Legion.
Ayla is left behind and becomes ostracized at school for being a "solo", a Winathian without her twin. She manages to keep a few friends, but most of her fellow students become her tormentors. That is until the presidents of Winath are held hostage at a mall opening by a quartet of criminals from off-world. She uses her powers to stop them and is heralded a hero. When Winath is asked to send the Legion a champion, she is chosen and the rest is history.
I was worried about this issue and oh was I wrong! I’m not going to pretend like it’s not a thing, I like Spark very much. I’m also not going to hide that I am no fan of Live Wire. This story just proved me right. I understand Garth’s reason to leave and search for Mekt, but he should’ve stopped to think about what his departure really meant for those left behind. He inflicted more pain on his parents and put his twin sister in a mess she clearly didn’t deserve. Again, we see her strength of character take over as she takes everything that’s thrown at her without snapping.
I can’t be the only who read this comic and saw a “coming out” metaphor. Everyone teasing you for being different while they actually have NO IDEA how much they are right. Wait! Gotta do a quick search through our “Hot or Not?” posts… Timber Wolf... yes… There we go! Spark and Violet were in a relationship in other continuities. Is this whole comic a reference to her past/future (I have no idea where the Reboot is situated in all these different continuities) relationships? Maybe I’m just reading too much into this too. All this being said, I still think that story was fun and well written. Even the villains were pretty fun – I’m totally digging Violence Queen’s look although it’s got nothing on Ayla’s red rompers!
Next up is Umbra with an anti-lesson about doing the right thing. I also assume the fourth and last member to be covered in this mini-series will be Star Boy, but it’s just a wild guess. *wink*

I hadn't thought of it as a coming out story, but I think you're right. A lot of effort has gone in giving Ayla more than a copy of her brother's origin, and this foray into Winathian culture, and how twins are the normal, is very interesting indeed. It not only gives HER a back story, but kind of explains how society failed Mekt as well. Given the character's history (yes, her relationship with Vi was before the Reboot), it would make sense, even if I think the LGBTQ+ community would rather she be straight up gay (uhh, you know what I mean).
Whether that's the subtext or not, we already knew Ayla had become a heroine on Winath (or else they wouldn't have sent her), so it's fun to see how it happened. For once, the villains aren't from the past (despite some of their old-fashioned code names), and I wish we could see these jerks again. My own favorite is Slopp, even if I don't know what she's talking about. We also know Ayla's relationship with Garth is strained, and here we see why. It's not just sibling rivalry, quite the opposite in a sense.
AND if you remember, Ultra Boy was sure Ayla would lie about her origin story, so it's fun to see the bit we already knew told with a sassy pro-Ayla spin. She drops the faux-cockiness after it, thankfully, and gets sincere with the kids. And hey, Jeffrey Moy on art. He's this era's signature artist.
Science Police Notes:  
  • Lightning Lass' original origin was told in her first appearance, Adventure Comics #308, as a one-panel retcon of Lightning Lad's. This version also had her keep her powers secret for a time.
  • The kids listening to the Legionnaires' stories are (or look like) members of the Legion of Substitute-Heroes.
  • This is the villains' only appearance.


  1. While I enjoyed this issue, the whole twin thing bothers me a bit. Most of the time it feels like they're just a "normal" sci-fi planet, just everyone has twins; but then there's all this interesting stuff about just HOW connected all the twins are. Like, the Presidents are twins. Okay. But also it seems like they have a fairly standard family structure, which you'd think would end up really modified by the whole twin thing.

    I guess I just want someone to really dig in and explore the ramifications in a way that they just didn't have time to do. Oh well.

    Other than that, an enjoyable read with lovely art. Moy's art kept me with the series all the way to the end -- I'd have stopped reading earlier if not for him.

  2. I had some of the same thoughts, specifically about family units. From on-page evidence, my theory is that weddings are about letting go of one twin, and making your spouse your new spiritual twin. It also seems probable that twins marry twins, so both sets of twins gain a spouse when they lose a sibling. Being a "solo" like Mekt would thus mean a life with little possibility of love, so the stigma has real consequences. And it's also possible that solos exist in society due to marriages, but that wouldn't happen while you're in high school, which is why it's odd and bullying-worthy in Ayla's case.