Monday, April 16, 2018

Spider-Boy & the Legion of Galactic Guardians 2099

Spider-Boy Team Up
Title: “Too Many Heroes – Too Little Time!”
Writer: R.K. Sternsel (A mash up of Roger Stern and Karl Kesel)
Penciller: Ladronn
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Colorist: Joe Rosas
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Ralph Felder
Editor In Chief: Bob Harras
Review: Jude "Sarcasm Kid" Deluca

Guys, I apologize for the lack of articles from my pen on this site. The last couple of months haven’t really been good for me, and it’s been hard to focus on the Legion without getting depressed about them.

Dawnstar hasn’t been in the latest Bombshells comics and I still have to work on those Action Comics reviews, but for now here’s a special one-off I ran by Russell. I originally proposed this as part of a series discussing different Legion homages and pastiches from other comic companies like the Imperial Guard, the League of Infinity, the Pantheon of Heroes, and Superduper. The Legion of Galactic Guardians 2099 were the easiest to start with because they only appear in one issue.

For those of you who don’t know or remember, Amalgam Comics was a crossover event between Marvel and DC that featured mash-ups of various DC and Marvel characters and concepts. The line was born out of several crossovers that DC and Marvel did involving a character named Access, wherein characters were unexpectedly merged together. You had Robin and Angel becoming Redwing, Superman and Bishop becoming Supermutant, Batman and Jubilee becoming Le Bat, and so on. The Amalgam imprint then used a number of the combos seen in the original crossovers, along with a lot of brand new ones. Most of the issues included letter columns and references to events that never happened, name dropping a lot of mash-up characters who never actually appeared.

Spider-Boy was a combo of the Kon-El Superboy with the Ben Reilly Spider-Man. The only other Legion reference in his original one-shot feature was Insect Queen, a combo of Mary Jane Watson and Lana Lang.

Despite what you might expect, this book didn’t combine the Legion with the Imperial Guard. Rather, its members were redesigned with aspects of characters from all over the Marvel Universe. But for the sake of simplification I’ll go over the combos at the end of the review. Although honestly guys the onslaught of DC-Marvel combos can be a bit exhausting to keep up with, even for me.


Things aren’t looking so hot for Spider-Boy, boys and girls! A simple trip out for some pizza and soda has turned into a battle of life and death against that old fiend, the Scavulture! The amoral avarian was in the middle of stealing the Black Diamond Soul Gem and assumes Spider-Boy was trying to stop him. Spidey has no idea what Scavulture is talking about, as the villain severs the line created by Spider-Boy’s webshooter, and our hero takes a tumble into a dumpster. Worse still, the dumpster’s on Suicide Street, which isn’t known for its ambiance.

Spider-Boy’s forced to stop and search for his web-shooter among all the garbage and crap in the alley, and has to hurry before he’s seen with a less than reputable crowd like that annoying Yancy Legion gang.

As the Yancy Legion hightail it out of there, one kid’s grabbed Spider-Boy’s web-shooter!

Unfortunately, that leaves Spidey open for another attack by the Scavulture. Spidey wishes the scientist types at Cadmus had given him something handy to know when danger’s coming, like some sort of radar sense. Scavulture corners the webslinger of steel and is ready to deliver the killing blow when suddenly Spider-Boy realizes the villain’s sure taking his sweet time.

Meanwhile, we’re given a brief intermission: Rex Leech at what appears to be the Daily Planet is planning the coverage for Spider-Boy and Insect Queen’s wedding.

Suddenly, the shimmering Asgodian avatar of death, the Silver Racer appears, foretelling a hero is going to die pretty soon. But that’s a story for Challengers of the Fantastic #1.
We then cut back to Spider-Boy, who’s been transported to a hi-tech, futuristic looking building. Three teenagers (Vance Cosmic, Psi-Girl, and Living Lightning Lad) are super excited to be meeting Spider-Boy. Spidey’s confused and disoriented as they explain to him that their “Time Square” worked; he assumes this is all the work of someone like Mr. Mastermind or the Mysteriomen. Living Lightning Lad corrects Spider-Boy, telling him that they were behind him arriving and then informing him that their group’s about to elect their new leader. ROLL CALL TIME!

After Spider-Boy’s received the rundown on all the Legionnaires, Psi-Girl explains he was their inspiration. Hell, he’s been the inspiration for many teen heroes throughout the 21st Century. Spidey’s impressed by this future, but Martinex 5 has to be a wet blanket. He reminds them that Spidey needs to be returned in about ten minutes. Why? Because anyone who spends more than ten minutes outside their proper place in the time-stream risks a catastrophic chronal collapse. Spider-Boy asks if bringing him to 2099, knowing that could happen, was such a good idea. In fact, what happens if he does something to make sure the Legion never exists now? Universe Boy thoughtlessly says that Spidey doesn’t have much of a future anyway, shocking the other Legionnaires with his lack of tact.

But then OH CRAP!

It’s the Frightful Five! Valinus! Tharlock! Manorb! Sparticus! And the Agamotto Empress! They’ve come to kill the Legion and they’ve destroyed the Time Square Generator!

The Legion battles the Five as Martinex explains it took him MONTHS to build that generator, and they have less than five minutes to get Spider-Boy home. Spidey suggests that he can help with the construction when a mysterious hooded figure appears behind the webslinger and mentions that HE orchestrated the generator’s destruction. Only Spider-Boy can see and hear this new arrival, when suddenly Spidey’s arm splits in two!

A traveler in another Time Square appears and warns Spider-Boy that’s the first sign of chronal collapse. The visitor explains Spider-Boy’s only hope for survival is to come with him. Spidey hops into the Time Square to get away from the hooded stranger, who exclaims things are gonna get worse for him. What follows is a rather on point jab at the 5YL Legion as Spider-Boy arrives in 2104, five years after the chronal collapse. You guys have to read this sequence for yourself.

Spider-Boy then seemingly returns to 2099, only things are a little… different.

Spidey asks if the Legionnaires have been redecorating since the last time he was there. Someone who LOOKS like Living Lightning Lad replies they haven’t had time since they’re choosing a new leader! It’s déjà vu all over again as Spider-Boy is shown the Legion roster, only this time it’s a bit smaller.

The Legionnaires tell Spider-Boy they need his help in activating an antique Phantom-Negative Zone Projector.

The Legionnaires are impressed, thinking Spidey’s smarter than their records showed. As Spider-Boy hops onto the platform for the generator, he adds he knows about his impending death and wants to head back before he mucks up time even further.

Back in the present, Spider-Boy manages to dodge Scavulture’s blast thanks to the delay granted by the Time Square. As he wonders what this’ll do to the time stream, the kid who stole his web shooter returns and enters the fray.

Spider-Boy is horrified and tries to save the kid, saying it’s his responsibility to protect bystanders. Scavulture’s about to fire again when something destroys the Neron Claw! It’s the Yancy Legion, or should I say…

Vance Cosmic! Martinex 5! Chameleon! Psi-Girl! And Myriad! They were the Yancy Legion all along! I wonder, had we gotten a good look at the Yancy Legion earlier in the book, would they have been the original versions of the character? This is clearly a nod to the time most of the Reboot Legionnaires spent trapped in the 20th Century after the first battle with Emerald Vi.

Marty tries to explain that if they’d acted sooner the time stream would’ve been wrecked, but Spider-Boy’s sick of hearing that. Spidey believes that they can save the boy by getting him to Project Cadmus in time. Psi-Girl gives Spider-Boy an anti-grav ring (standard issue for all Legionnaires) that will allow him to simulate flight.

Look at the detailing on that ring!

The heroes fly off while the Special Crimes Unit detains Scavulture. At Project Cadmus’s HQ located in Fantastic Mountain, Spider-Boy and the Legionnaires prepare to send the boy (whom Psi-Girl refers to as Mig-El) into the Phantom-Negative Zone as an alternative. They don’t know how to save him, but this will stave off death. When it’s finished, the Legionnaires thank Spider-Boy for ensuring the creation of one of the greatest heroes 2099 will ever know. Spider-Boy’s horrified at the idea Mig-El will be stuck in the zone for a century, when he realizes everyone’s suddenly frozen stiff. The hooded stranger from Spidey’s first visit to the future has come back, and he’s none other than…

Kang has brought Spider-Boy into Limbo for the sake of absorbing his energy so that Kang can conquer the Omniverse. Kang explains that Spider-Boy is some sort of nexus as he prepares to rip Spider-Boy apart so he can absorb his “Amalgamated life energies.” In doing so, Spider-Boy is briefly separated back into Spider-Man and Superboy! But look, a new hero has entered the battle and he looks just like Spider-Boy.

Now it's time to figure out who the megalomaniac behind the curtain is, and it, it's...

Honestly, I thought it was just Old Man Johnson trying to scare the locals from finding the hidden pirate gold. As Chronos Tut goes nova, the two Spiders are tossed into limbo, and end up back in the present era. Spider-Boy gets a complete rundown on how these events transpired, but is left more confused than ever.

Final Thoughts:

And now it’s time for our guide to the amalgamated Legionnaires:
  1. Vance Cosmic = Vance Astro + Cosmic Boy
  2. Psi-Girl = Saturn Girl + Psylocke
  3. Living Lightning Lad = Living Lightning + Lightning Lad
  4. ‘Lectron = Electro + Live Wire
  5. Universe Boy = Ultra Boy + Captain Universe
  6. Bouncing Ball = Bouncing Boy + Speedball
  7. Fantastic Lad = Elastic Lad + Mr. Fantastic
  8. Chameleon = Chameleon Boy + Chameleon (Spider-Man villain)
  9. Phantom Cat = Phantom Girl/Apparition + Shadowcat
  10. Shadowstar = Starhawk + Shadow Lass
  11. Star Charlie/Mass = Star Boy + Charlie-27
  12. Timberwolf-By-Night = Timber Wolf + Werewolf-By-Night
  13. Paste-Eater Pete = Paste-Pot Pete +Matter-Eater Lad
  14. Invisible Girl = Invisible Woman + Invisible Kid (Jacques Foccart for original, Lyle Norg for Reboot)
  15. Dream Date = Dream Girl + Destiny (Mystique's girlfriend)
  16. Lady Bug = Shrinking Violet + Wasp
  17. Growing Boy = Colossal Boy + Growing Man
  18. Living Colossus = Leviathan + It, the Living Colossus
  19.  Molecule Lad/Nucleus = Element Lad + Molecule Man
  20. Multiple Maid/Myriad = Triplicate Girl/Triad + Multiple Man
  21. Cannonfire = Cannonball + Wildfire
  22. Sun Lord = Sun Boy + Firelord
  23. Living Lightning Lass = Lightning Lass + Living Lightning
  24. Sparkler = Spark + Dazzler
  25. Martinex 5 = Martinex + Brainiac 5
  26. Phoenetix = Phoenix + Kinetix
  27.  Xcel = XS + Quicksilver
  28. Darkstar = Umbra + Darkstar
  29. Spider-Boy 2099 = Mon-El + Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O’Hara)
Charlie-27, Starhawk, Vance Astro, and Martinex are all members of the original Guardians of the Galaxy stories. These came out long before Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord, and many of the movie members had ever been involved with the comic Guardians.

I'm not sure if Kinetix has been combined with Jean Grey or with Rachel Summers since they've both been called Phoenix.

And then we have the Frightful Five

  1. Agamotto Empress = Emerald Empress + Eye of Agamotto
  2. Tharlock = Tharlok + Deathlock
  3. Manorb = Mano + Orb
  4. Sparticus = Persuader + Gladiator
  5. Valinus = Validus + Terminus
And finally, the Time Conqueror is a combination of Time Trapper with Kang the Conqueror.

So this issue is a lot to take in not just for a Legion fan, but someone who wouldn’t be too familiar with DC or Marvel. That said, the combos are a lot of fun and there are a few clever in-jokes, like how the “Silver Age” style Invisible Girl is based on Jacques, but the “Reboot” one is based on Lyle.
You might’ve noticed a couple of goofs, like the Agamotto Empress referred to as the Agamotto “Express,” or that Phoenetix and Phantom Cat had swapped colors.

My favorite of the Legionnaires are Timberwolf-By-Night and Phoenetix, and my least favorite is Bouncing Ball. Not the character himself, his design. The coloring scheme used on the cover works more, but that hair nightmarishly clashes with the rest of his design and simply does not work.

Ladronn’s visuals really carry the bulk of the story. He’s got a style that could be called a cross between Jack Kirby and Jean "Moebius" Giraud, which is especially appropriate for an Amalgam Comic. He’s able to make both versions of the future distinctive from each other, with a cleaner Silver Age take and a grittier Reboot take while still keeping it unique to his pen. I love how he switched to a nine panel grid for the 5YL joke and the amount of details on the background and close-ups. He’s especially good with Spider-Boy’s giant eyes and how expressive he is.

As a bonus, here's a pin-up of Spider-Boy included in the back of the issue.

And as an extra bonus, here are some LOGG con sketches (I really don't do much with Amalgam characters, unfortunately)

Timberwolf-By-Night by Neil Vokes

Living Lightning Lass by Jenna Amber

Psi-Girl by Sam Neukirch

Insect Queen by James Sherman - She wasn't in this issue, but as a combo of Mary Jane Watson and Lana Lang she belongs here

Nucleus by Brian Kong

Fantastic Lad by Mindy Indy

Vance Cosmic by Chris Batista

If you want to read the issue for yourself, you can find it here for free:


  1. Roger Stern is still at it: last year or the year before he did Mr. Mixit for Charlton Neo.

  2. I really dug the Amalgam characters, particularly "Iron Lantern" and "Doctor Strangefate". I also found amusing the sly references to events than never happened in issues that were never printed. And you gotta love anything that would produce a character named "Paste-Eater Pete".

  3. A couple other amalgams:

    -Scavulture: Scavenger + Vulture (at least, I'm assuming it's Scavenger, I'm not overly familiar with the character)

    -Black Diamond Soul Gem: Eclipso's diamond + Adam Warlock's Soul Gem (again, a bit of an assumption, but since the six soul gems had been renamed the Infinity Gems by that point, it's safe to assume they meant that one particular gem)

    -Suicide Street: Suicide Slum (in Metropolis) + Yancy Street (where Ben Grimm is from)

    -I feel like Rex Leech should be someone besides the Superboy supporting character of the same name, but I can't tell who (if anyone) from Marvel he represents. Actually odd that they'd use a character like that who wasn't a combination, though?

    -Asgodians: Asgardians + New Gods

    -Silver Racer: Silver Surfer + Black Racer

    -Time Square: The Legion's Time Bubbles + Dr. Doom's time platform (again, a guess, but it was square-shaped)

    -Mr. Mastermind: Mr. Mind (Captain Marvel villain) and Mastermind (X-Men villain)

    -Mysteriomen: Mysterio, but I'm not sure which DC character he's being combined with?

    -Phantom-Negative Zone (and Projector): Phantom Zone + Negative Zone (pretty sure that one didn't need explaining, though)

    -Neron Claw: Neron + Baron von Strucker's Satan Claw

    -Chronos-Tut: Chronos + Rama-Tut

    -Project Cadmus: probably Project: Pegasus + Cadmus, although Cadmus is sometimes called Project Cadmus, so it may be another odd "not an amalgam"?

    There's probably a few more that I missed, but... man, they sure did try to cram as many of these little references as they could in there, didn't they?

  4. Mysteriomen = Mysterio + Omen I think.

  5. did I NOT get that?! I'm such a Titans fan.