Monday, December 30, 2019

Introducing....Soultaker!

It's the end of a decade, and the 2010s have... not been very kind to the Legion of Super-Heroes or its fans.

Actually, the 2010s haven't been good for anyone.

Following the end of The New 52 Legion in 2013, the Legion was in an extended period of getting pulled in and out of Comic Book Limbo several times. Delegated to guest appearances in other comics (Justice League United and Smallville), getting turned into an evil knock off of itself (Justice League 3001), and having its return teased throughout DC Rebirth (Batman and Supergirl), the Legion finally gained a new ongoing title this year by Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook.


From 2010 to 2019 there have been a handful of new Legionnaires joining the already plentiful ranks, including Chemical Kid, Dragonwing, Glorith II, Harmonia Li, Comet Queen, Monster Boy, Gold Lantern, and Superboy Jon Kent (whether he counts as Superboy III, IV, or V I haven't determined).

However, just before this decade comes to a close, Geoff Johns sneaked in one more new Legionnaire in the final issue of Doomsday Clock. While many are still working out the notion of Doomsday Clock finally ending after two years of delays, it was especially easy to miss the newbie. Oh, and she only appears shoulder up in ONE panel, so of course some (most?) missed her.

So, just before 2020 enters, let's take the time to look at SOULTAKER.


Doomsday Clock #12 finally(!) had Superman and Doctor Manhattan coming face to face as the world goes to Hell. Multiple international super-teams are converging on Metropolis to either take Superman down for his supposed crimes in Moscow or to help him against these false accusations. As a result, Superman is caught between multiple hostile meta-humans who were really looking for an excuse to beat the snot out of each other due to global tension.

Throughout Doomsday Clock, Doctor Manhattan kept having visions of an enraged Superman lunging towards him before everything goes black. He assumed this meant that Superman was going to kill him or he was going to kill Superman. When the two finally meet, Manhattan admits to Superman how he butchered the DCU's timeline way back at the end of Flashpoint and the start of The New 52. Manhattan has erased multiple allies and loved ones from Superman's life and even killed Jonathan and Martha Kent, just to see what would happened.

When it looks like Superman really is going to destroy Manhattan for what he's done, Manhattan is shocked when Superman instead SAVES him from an attack by Russia's knockoff of Firestorm. The Man of Steel offers Manhattan some words about complacency and hope, causing Manhattan to re-evaluate most of what he's done with his life and what he has done to Superman's world.

Reaching back in time, Manhattan undoes his callous murder of Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern. In doing so he restores both the Justice Society of America AND the Legion of Super-Heroes. As the timeline mends itself, the JSA and the Legionnaires appear in Metropolis and help Superman stop the chaos among the other super-teams.

Saturn Girl and the Legionnaires now have their Bendis Era outfits and designs. Considering Bendis' version of the Legion debuted before Doomsday Clock ended relating to how long the maxi-series was delayed, that makes sense. God can only wonder how the Legion would've looked if Johns and Gary Frank had the book out on time. Reusing their previous designs or something new; who knows?

Frank includes Bendis-exclusive Legionnaires Monster Boy and Gold Lantern in the splash page with the Legion and the JSA, but the next page features someone new.

With just one page, nay, one PANEL to her name, Soultaker appears to vaguely be the newest Legionnaire, which would make her the last one to debut this decade.

Upon first glance, my initial assumption was that Soultaker's actually a member of one of the international super-teams Johns kept propping up throughout Doomsday Clock, i.e. Knights Incorporated, Justice League Europe, the Doomed, etc. My guess was a Japanese team, due to her costume and code-name.


However, Soultaker refers to Saturn Girl by name, references the Legion's rule about killing, and seems worried about making a good impression in front of Superman....which sort of confirms that she really is the newest newbie of the bunch.


"Soultaker" is a reference to Katana of the Outsiders, being the name of her sword. The name kind of implies she's either a legacy hero or she simply got her hands on Katana's blade. Anything's possible until she appears again. IF she appears again. I would not be surprised if Johns planned to make her prominent by taking over the Legion title once more, until Bendis beat him to the punch.

Well, let's be grateful she got named if this is to be her only appearance. Otherwise I'm certain most of us would have gone past the point of exhaustion trying to find more info about her if she had just been in the background.

7 comments:

  1. The bigger question is: Did Doomsday Clock matter?

    I don't like the name of Soultaker for a Legionarie, as it sounds to violent and something out of Mortal Kombat.

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    1. Doomsday Clock matters as much as Watchmen matters, an overhyped, boring piece of crap that was 12 issues too long and spawned an entire generation of fake comic fans who laud the book as a masterpiece while completely misunderstanding whatever point Alan Moore was trying to make, simply because the book won an award and was like the first "Adult" comic.

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  2. As much as I like Katana (been a fan since BATO came out in 83), it makes no sense creating a legacy character in the LOSH based on her. Makes as much sense as inserting a D-list character like The Thorn into the LOSH mythos....

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    1. I'm sure she probably won't have any significance, like the third Karate Kid introduced at the end of LO3W, the LSV Espionage Squad, Mekt Ranzz's supposed twin, and every other plot point Johns never followed up on.

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    2. And the Knights Tempus, was it?

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  3. Doomsday Clock is the reason that this Rebirth Era Legion exists. Dr Manhattan soft-rebooted the universe, and one of the major points in the series was that when you mess with Superman’s origin, the DCU changes - he fixed it so that the JSA was around to inspire Clark into being Superboy which meant there was a Legion.

    It also established that ALL universes are still out there: the pre-Crisis Earth-1 is now Earth-1985, for example, with their version of Superboy that never got Byrned.

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