Monday, July 9, 2018

The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #8 (January 2008)

The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #8 (January 2008)
title: Three's a Crowd
writer: Jack Briglio
art & cover: Alexander Serra
colors: Heroic Age
letterer: Mike Sellers
editor: Jeanine Schaeder

Mission Monitor Board: Bouncing Boy, Lightning Lad, Matter Eater Lad, Phantom Girl, Superman, Timber Wolf, and Triplicate Girl.

Villain: Starfinger



Synopsis: Triplicate Girl is incredibly bored on monitor duty but her white-costumed incarnation suddenly gets ecstatic after a very nervous Bouncing Boy asks her to join him at a Maniac's game that night. She loves Magno Ball and they rush out, leaving her purple-costumed self on monitor duty while the orange costumed Triplicate Girl leaves to find something more exciting to do.
Orange-costumed Triplicate Girl runs into Superman, who invites her to accompany him to Capes & Cowls, a popular new night club in Metropolis. Clark is unusually confident at first but soon realizes he may have gotten himself in over his head.
White-costumed Triplicate Girl is having a great time with Bouncing Boy, while her orange-costumed self struggles with boredom back at headquarters. At Capes & Cowls, Superman is having trouble getting past the doorman when a large "BOOM!" heralds the arrival of Starfinger!
He brags that he is on the list to get into Capes & Cowls, and invites Triplicate Girl to join him. She is not impressed, and Superman warns him to back off. Starfinger attacks Superman, insisting that he leave them so Starfinger can continue on his planned date with Triplicate Girl. She tries to take him down but he uses his powers to push her away. Starfinger does apologize though, creating dozens of hearts in the air for emphasis. When Superman and Triplicate Girl continue to resist, he leaves to find one of her other incarnations.
Starfinger arrives at Legion headquarters and makes a pass at purple-costumed Triplicate Girl in just about the most inappropriate and aggressive way possible. Lightning Lad and Timber Wolf warn him off, but he quickly takes down the pair. His efforts are for nothing though as Triplicate Girl lands an nice punch, knocking him down. An embarrassed Starfinger leaves to try again with her third incarnation.
Bouncing Boy and white-costumed Triplicate Girl are still having a wonderful time together at the game and are in the middle of a cute but awkward embrace when Starfinger arrives to spoil everything. The pair realize they are floating and that Starfinger has used his powers to trap them. He tells Triplicate Girl he just wants them to be together like "old times" but she has no idea what he is talking about. In anger, he throws Bouncing Boy from the flying stadium. Starfinger warns her that he placed bombs around the stadium and if she does not surrender it will go sky-high. Triplicate Girl agrees to go with him as long as he does not hurt anyone else.
Fortunately, the Legion arrive, including Matter Eater Lad, who starts eating all of Starfingers bombs. Superman and Bouncing Boy take down Starfinger with a fastball special, but when the villain hits the ground he splits into three people.
They realize he must be from Triplicate Girl's home planet. He refuses to give up, insisting he only needs one of Triplicate Girl to take with him. Fortunately, Bouncing Boy and the three Triplicate Girls play their own version of Magno Ball to defeat Starfinger.
After the battle, Triplicate Girl still cannot remember ever having met Starfinger, although she admits to having hung out with a lot of different people at school. Bouncing Boy checks on her, and while it seems the orange-costumed and purple-costumed Triplicate Girls are a still little skeptical of him, the white costumed Triplicate Girl is quite fond of him.
Commentary
This story really went back and forth from being very cute to quite creepy at times. I am very fond of Luornu and Chuck so I enjoyed the scenes of their blossoming romance a great deal. Those moments were just charming. But despite the generally lighter tone to most of the story, Starfinger's behavior got so inappropriate at times that it made for some darker moments.

There were some nice touches to this, such as having two of the three Triplicate Girls skeptical of Chuck as dating material. Also, Matter Eater Lad! I get excited whenever he shows up in a Legion story so that was a real treat. Having him eat the bombs? Genius. And perfect for a kid friendly comic book.

It was also interesting that they made Starfinger a complete stranger to Triplicate Girl since that certainly does happen with many stalkers in real life. Of course, that was also one of the aspects that added a bit of darkness to this story. A reader cannot help but imagine how sad and obsessed Starfinger must be to not only create this entirely fictional relationship in his mind about someone who does not even know him, but to also come to believe its real.

As for how much enjoyment a reader will get out of this story, mileage will certainly vary, but it is definitely one of the most memorable issues in this series.

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