Thursday, June 28, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #105

Legion of Super-Heroes #105 (June 1998)
title: "Time Won't Let Me"
writers: Tom Peyer and Roger Stern
penciller: Jason Armstrong

inker: Ron Boyd
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor (Legionnaire Wrangler): Frank Berrios
editor (The Real Time Trapper): Mike McAvennie
cover: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5.1, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Ferro, Gates, Invisible Kid, Kid Quantum, Karate Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Monstress, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet, XS;
Silver Age: Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Invisible Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Boy (also as Lightning Lad), Matter-Eater Lad, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl (also in first costume), Star Boy, Superboy, Ultra Boy;
Bronze Age: Blok, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Wildfire;
Levitz era: Blok, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dawnstar, Element Lad, Katate Kid, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Magnetic Kid, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Quislet, Saturn Girl, Sensor Girl, Shadow Lass, Supergirl, Star Boy, Tellus, Timber Wolf, Ultra Boy, Wildfire;
5YL: Bouncing Boy, Celeste Rockfish, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy (also as Polestar), Inferno, Lightning Lad, Reflex, Saturn Girl, Timber Wolf (also as Fuzzball), Triad, Vi;
SW6: Alchemist, Andromeda, Brainiac 5, Computo II, Cosmic Boy, Dragonmage, Matter-Eater Lad, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet;
Older/other: Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Night Girl, Supergirl, Timber Wolf

Guests: 
Athramites, Lori Morning (Dialed identities: Galaxy Girl), Polar Boy (Silver Age), Proty, Tenzil Kem

Opponents: 
Dark Circle (cameo), Time Trapper; evil versions of Blok, Brainiac 5, Celeste Rockfish, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy (2 versions), Dawnstar, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Leviathan, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Sun Boy, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Violet, Wildfire

Recap: 
At least since part of the Legion was sent back into the past, the team has had recurring experiences where reality has been temporarily altered by something, or someONE. In this latest instance, a small number of Legionnaires have retained their memories of the proper timeline so have been called before the one responsible... The Time Trapper!

Synopsis: 
Ferro, Gates, Kid Quantum, Kinetix, Lori Morning, Monstress and XS have been taken out of space-time and been allowed to confront the Time Trapper because they are curious anomalies who do not feature in other Legion timelines (Ferro does, but is from a different era, so there may be a significant difference to the entity). The Trapper explains that he has been a player in every Legion timeline and is responsible for the various versions as well as the recent temporary mutations, which he has used to test the Legion in different ways.
He is also the one who gave Lori Morning a Hero Dial, and sees her as a possible partner. She accepts his invitation - under false pretenses - and he ages her to adulthood.
Meanwhile, various versions of the Legion from across space and dimension are fighting for his amusement. Lori was trying to deceive him and uses the Dial to become Galaxy Girl, a child hero with a cosmic hammer with the potential to break the Trapper's defenses. She manages to break reality to bring all the Legionnaires outside time. They realize they should all combine forces to fight the Trapper, at which point he sends them home, as they were (including Lori, who must now also worry that XS saw her dial). The Trapper, still alive in his realm, tells us he tested the Legion's multiculturalism and that they passed, presaging the forthcoming end of the experiment when they next meet.
Commentary: 
Shotgun
Oh, so that’s how Lori got the dial... Feels like this is a pretty plain and quick explanation for something so important. And of course, As someone who can manipulate time, it only makes sense that he will bring her back to her adult form in order to get her to work with him. Still, I wonder why he decided to give her such an important item as the H-dial and how he didn't foresee that by giving her this power and exposing her to chronal energy she could become an obstacle to his success. For someone who manipulates time and can control it, wouldn’t he see that one coming? Last thing about Lori, is it just me or does she look like a little like Rainbow Brite when she’s turned into Galaxy Girl by the dial? No? Anyone? Alright maybe not that much, but that’s what immediately came to my mind.
While I think the way the writers brought all the Legion’s realities together feels a bit rushed and hard to follow, I do enjoy the same characters interacting together. The advice they give, the things they have in common or that are different, it was pretty fun even from an outsider’s perspective. I clearly can’t get every reference they’re making but it’s still possible to enjoy this. I know enough about the different members, thanks to our Hot or Not series, to get most of it like the whole Invisible Kid 1 & 2 and Timber Wolf's different appearances. Really, the only negative in all this is seeing Sun Boy in the mix. Thank god we only see him briefly and don’t have to endure his awful personality!
OK, so the Time Trapper has been... vanquished? Can we actually say that? I mean, they’re all brought back to their own lives and he’s still alive in the end... Or is he? I think he’s fading away, right? So we won’t have to deal with surprise time travel again, I guess. Anyway, the ending here is confusing and very underwhelming after all they’ve been through, but I guess we’ll put this aside and move along to what the Dark Circle’s planning.
Siskoid
No, I think he's just fading from our view. He'll be back, but not in the Reboot per se. He was meant to, that's clear, but the era will end before he gets to make a comeback and make good on his threat. Of course when he DOES return, the Reboot Legion IS there and they DO have to fight for the sake of existence itself. It's just gonna take a good 10 years, is all. And it's gonna look a lot like this issue. To be continued in Legion of 3 Worlds I guess. (Also, if he needs to test the Legion, he is not omniscient, especially where the effects of his actions are concerned, so he would have been surprised by Lori's reaction.)
I'm glad you got something out of it with your not-that-limited Legion lore. I did too, of course. The only moment that might be missing is some Legionnaires commenting on how revealing the 70s uniforms were. But as a fan of every incarnation and era, it IS fun to see the various looks come back, along with some darker, villainous versions. Dark Lightning Lad ranting about his sister's death seems to suggest a whole history there. I would have loved it if they'd eventually told it (in a Secret Files, for example). Oh well.
You're right. Doing this in a single issue is a rush job and you don't get to spend enough time with all the characters. Some never appear you wish did. Some can't be clearly identified (frustrating for an old reader like me who has to assemble the profile above). But it's okay. I'd rather we not dwell on this for too long. It's over before it overstays its welcome, even if I do wish the "unique Legionnaires" had had more to do, generally.
And no, it's not just you. Definitely Rainbow Brite.

Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1998/12.
  • One of the versions of Lightning Lad has Lightning Boy on his shirt, just as he did in his very first appearance.
  • The evil version of Saturn Girl has a mask like that of Sensor Girl; one of the fan theories about Sensor Girl was that she was Saturn Girl in disguise.
  • The issue reveals the Time Trapper is the one who gave Lori Morning an H-Dial in between scenes in Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #91.
  • It further reveals/confirms that the Time Trapper is behind every retcon and reboot of the Legion.
  • The Time Trapper temporarily ages Lori and offers her a partnership. He says she's "so GLORIOUS to behold", a reference to his partner (and replacement) in other continuities, Glorith.
  • List of participating Legionnaires' home continuities is not always clear and mash-ups may be possible (as alternate realities). For example, one Matter-Eater Lad has the original costume, but the SW6 era shades. Others are impossible to identify at all.
  • When the Reboot's Invisible Kid meets Jacques Focquart, the original continuity's second Invisible Kid, they think the other is supposed to be dead, the first indication the Reboot has a Jacques.
  • In among the Legionnaires, there appears to be a cameo by green-shirted TOS-era Mr. Spock.
  • Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds will revisit the concept of various Legions meeting in longer form. The Time Trapper will be at the center of things once again.

6 comments:

  1. Cameo Spock. Ha ha. Good spotting on that one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wait a minute, is that GROOT on that "evil Legionnaires" page? (Look a little below and to the left of Dawnstar.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. In the upper right corner of the 4th photo, who is the guy in red and white?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it may be "Hawk" from "Hawk and Dove". The colors are right but that character wore a mask.

      Delete
    2. I don't see who you mean.

      Delete
    3. Ah you mean the left hand corner of the 8th picture... Yeah, it's Hawk-like, but the blond hair seems to make him Element Lad. Who knows. He's from an alternate reality of some kind, possibly an Easter Egg the artist recognizes.

      Delete