Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #7

Legion of Super-Heroes (vol 3) #7 (Feb 1985)
a review by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage
title: "A Choice Of Dooms!"
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller: Steve Lightle
inker: Mike DeCarlo
letterer: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger
cover: Steve Lightle & Larry Mahlstedt (signed)

Mission Monitor Board:  
Ultra Boy, Element Lad, Chameleon Boy, Phantom Girl, Shrinking Violet, Lightning Lass, Dream Girl, Colossal Boy, Sun Boy, Cosmic Boy, Mon-El, Shadow Lass, Star Boy, Blok, White Witch, Invisible Kid, Wildfire, Timber Wolf

none; the Legion is faced with a moral dilemma
The five Legionnaires who were stranded in "limbo" land on the planet that Ultra Boy sighted last issue. It is one big factory, and the have actually landed on a conveyor belt heading towards a huge slag heap! They split up to do reconnaissance.

On Earth, Lightning Lass demands to be re-admitted to active duty, then is surprised that she is welcomed back with no problems because her brother is off on paternal leave. She is overjoyed to hear that she is now an aunt. Blok goes to Timber Wolf to try to console him. He admits to Blok that he had hired a detective to find Lightning Lass and had just gotten the report that she was on Winath when she returned. Cosmic Boy and Wildfire are hatching plans for the future of the Legion.

On Winath, the private detective who Timber Wolf had hired is found dead. Also, it is revealed that he had been a descendant of Batman.
Back on Earth, after the meeting breaks up Colossal Boy intends to help his mother, the President, prepare to move out of her apartment as her term is coming to an end. However, before he can do much good he is called back on a mission. Lightning Lass is enthusiastic to go on her first mission, but is confronted by Timber Wolf. He admits to her that he tried to find her and was going to go after her, but she rebuffs him. She tells him that she grew as a person without him, so now she is ready to remain alone. She tells him she has no more love for him and walks off.

On the planet in limbo Ultra Boy believes his penetra-vision found all the important sites when Chameleon Boy points out the control center. The five head towards it but on the way they see more and more evidence that the factory is creating something incredibly dangerous. When they get to  the control center they witness a Controller speaking to an armorer. They are not speaking Interlac, so the Legionnaires do not understand their conversation. Then the Controller walks through a star-gate, and when he does the Legionnaires notice that Earth is also one of the destinations on the star-gate. Phantom Girl catches up to the others and tells them that she has irrefutable proof that the factory is building a Sun-Eater, the same menace that threatened Earth several years ago and was responsible for the death of Ferro Lad. The five decide that they cannot simply walk away from this murder-machine. Element Lad commits them to demolishing the whole planet or to die trying.
After a five part saga and a one-issue fill-in, this story feels like the Legion is back! This issue features a great Steve Lightle-Larry Mahlstedt cover of the five Legionnaires fighting robots, promising plenty of action inside. The interludes back on Earth and on Winath are not overly intrusive, instead serving as "breaks" between the Limbo Planet group and their reconnaissance. The issue flows well and before you know it it's over.

It's great to have Lightning Lass back on the roster, and her comments to Dream Girl about altering  her powers again certainly made all long-time fans smile. (Dream Girl was responsible for Lightning Lass turning into Light Lass in the first place.) And Ayla's face as she hears about her nephew is just adorable. Speaking of Ayla's face, Steve Lightle chooses to draw the confrontation between her and Timber Wolf without showing both their faces in the same panels. It's a great choice of camera angles, representing how these two are still not on the same page, emotionally.

Ultra Boy's characterization this issue is a bit off. He seems to be a "hit first and act questions later" dumb jock here, which doesn't jar well with his characterization as a two-term Leader of the Legion.

Larry Mahlstedt is missing as inker this time out, replaced by Mike DeCarlo. Fans of DeCarlo's work will say he adds a strong sense of delineation to Lightle's work; others will say that much of Lightle's subtlety is lost. Pick your opinion.  

Science Police Notes:  
  • Shadow Lass and Mon-El mention their recent mission on Talok VIII from Tales of the LSH #318-319, placing this story squarely after the events of those books.  
  • Science Police officer Shvaugh Erin joins the Legion in their mission to capture the remaining members of the Legion of Super-Villains, even though she is supposedly on duty in the Dark Circle world with Dev-Em, as shown in current issues of Tales of the Legion
Reprinted in the TPB The More Things Change

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great issue.

    For one, Lightle really explodes on this issue. Everyone looks great.

    For another, this issue continues to show the depth of Ayla. She is strong and hell bent on joining. She is brusque and cold with Brin. She is happy about being an aunt. I love Ayla in this series.

    Great stuff.