Friday, June 7, 2019

Review: Adventure Comics #505

 Adventure Comics #505 (or Adventure Comics #2, depending on your numbering preference) carried a cover date of November 2009. That means that this book hit the shelves about 18 months after the end of the Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes story in Action Comics by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

The Legion was in a bit of a transition here. The new timeline, which basically was the old timeline, was being re-established here. Gone were 5YL. Gone was the Reboot. And gone was the Threeboot. We were back to the timeline of the Baxter series.

Adventure Comics at the time was a really a Superboy book with the Legion taking the 'second feature' slot. I suppose the hope was that the Geoff Johns/Francis Manapul Con stories would bring them in and thus expose them to Legion stuff. (You can see this issue is from my collection and signed by Manapul.)

"Long Live the Legion, pt 2" was written by Geoff Johns and Michael Shoemaker with art by Clayton Henry and puts us back into the world where Earthman has been deposed and the Legion are trying to re-establish themselves. This chapter focuses on the original three members, and Lightning Lad in particular.

We start with Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl standing on the HQ roof awaiting Lightning Lad's return. They have news for him and they aren't sure they should share it. It seems this will upset Garth and he already is something of a loose cannon these days.

I think this melding of a 'Livewire' attitude into Garth is interesting as he wasn't really a hothead in the continuity we back in. Think of Garth in the Baxter series. He was pretty much a happy homebody, retired and raising the kids. Of course, Earthman and the changes in the UP might upset him.

I do like that Imra let's Rokk know that Ayla might appear more calm but is just as unpredictable as Garth.

And then we hear about an incident that indeed proves that Garth is short-tempered these days.

He used his powers to short circuit the communication boards while the President was giving a 'State of the Earth' speech. There is anger on Garth's face. After all, this president was complicit in the xenophobia of Earthman.

It is very Rokk to remind Garth of the principles the Legion was founded on, those of Superman.

While I hate seeing these three argue it sets the tone that while Earthman might have been defeated, things are still unsettled.

And then the news that Imra and Rokk had to share is revealed.

Lightning Lord wants to meet with Lightning Lad.

You think given all that has happened that Garth would refuse. But I guess these are the ties that bind him.

So it is off to New Takron Galtos.

The art here works very well. You can see how dangerous Lightning Lord is considered. He is in solitary. He is standing on a pillar in the the middle of a dome so he wouldn't have very far to roam with falling far. And he is basically being crucified by energy cuffs.

Given all his past crimes, this makes sense. He is one scary dude.

Then we get a little back story to fill in some of the history for new readers. Remember, this is a new/old timeline for the DCU. And this could be someone's first Legion story. So why not do a little info dump about the Ranzz's origin and how Mekt considers himself superior to Garth and Ayla, even if he doesn't have a twin.

It is done well in that the dialogue sounds natural even if it is basically exposition.

But then the hook.

Mekt says he does indeed have a twin! And he wants Garth to find that twin. So it is off to Winath for our hero.

I bought these books when they came out. And I remember being irked about this reveal since it is such a break from Legion history. But to be honest, I have no recollection how this all turns out so I'll be further irked or even pleasantly surprised along with all of you!

Johns and Shoemaker do a good job of painting the unrest in the planet, the politics, and even the Legion. Lightning Lord says the UP is tearing the galaxy apart and need to be stopped. He doesn't rant about it. He sounds like a freedom fighter more than a villain. So this whole thing has the feel of a dystopia with a hint for hope.

Clayton Henry's art is fair. There is nothing flashy here.

So color me intrigued by the ending. We'll have to see where it all goes!


  1. It's a nice story pitch. 5YL set up that part of Mekt's sociopathic behavior was due to his singleton birth. Now if Mekt has a twin, what does that really mean? His twin would not have lightning powers. Is his twin male or female? Is that person also a sociopath? It has possibilities for a story but more than likely would just upend continuity.

  2. I was annoyed that Garth 'acquired' some of Live Wire's hot-headedness. He rarely showed such traits in the original Legion. I do like how it is said that Ayla is a lot more like him than we usually see. And at the time I thought that it was a little bit goofy, but ultimately interesting, that Mekt might have a twin after all...

  3. I remember NOT liking this particular plot point. Here is a character whose entire reason for being is that he was ostracized as a child for being different, i.e. a singular birth. So if he really DID have a twin....did he know it all along, and just never tell anyone? That sounds wrong, character-wise. If he just found out recently, HOW did he find out? Their parents died years ago in a space-ship accident (unless that was ret-conned out).

    To me this was another example of a Geoff Johns eff-up of a perfectly fine origin story.

  4. I read this story when it first came out, at that point I was a newcomer to the Legion having only read the Action arc and parts of the Threeboot and I remember enjoying it. I thought the Threeboot was better, but... Revisiting it, though, it just brings home how much it represented the Geoff Johns Problem: it replaces an interesting present with a version of the past that’s both less interesting and highly misremembered.