Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes

CROSSOVER! Everybody loves a crossover! 
Today the Legion of Super-Bloggers joins the illustrious Super-Blog Team-Up! 
Several different blogs have combined forces today under the banner "Parallel Worlds and Alternate Realities." Each blog in this crossover will focus on alternate versions of their favorite characters and niches. 
We are happy to present our own Tim Wallace as he reviews the Star Trek-Legion team-up from 2013. 

Hey Legionnaires, I’m back! Well, I never really left, I’ve been participating in the round table reviews, but haven’t done another outsider's perspective since my review of the Cosmic Boy mini-series way back when. Not only that, but I’ve changed my name! Yes, inspired by the likes of Sensor Girl/Princess Projectra and Mon-El/Valor, I began posting with the Legion of Super-Bloggers as The Substitute Blogger but now I’m now known as the Kord Kid! Anyway, several folks recommended I take a look at 2011’s Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover mini-series, written by Chris Robinson, with art by brothers Jeffrey and Philip Moy…who was I to argue?

There was a lot going on in this 6 issue mini-series…some good, some bad. Let me start with a quick recap, and then I’ll share my thoughts. 

“Space, the final frontier…” it’s a familiar opening, but the way this series opens is anything but. The first issue (heck, the first 2 issues really) is really all about set up. We find ourselves not in Trek’s utopian future, or DC’s 30th Century, but on an alternate Earth in the 23rd century. This world is similar, but not identical to Trek’s Mirror Universe. How do we know? Because everyone is wearing military uniforms and that familiar intro ends with “to boldly go where no man has gone before…and conquer!” It looks like some kind of mashed up Multiverse where characters and races from both franchises seem to exist in a single world. Someone with powers similar to Legionnaire Shadow Lass is helping a squad of soldiers corral and contain some Durlans, while on the bridge of this universe’s Enterprise someone that looks like a female version of Brainiac-5 relays a message from the ship’s captain to the Durlan planet, “Anyone who isn’t with us, is against us.” Yes, the Imperial Planets (as they identify themselves) are much different that the Federation we’re familiar with. For reasons that aren’t immediately clear, somewhere in the past a mysterious figure watches over a tribe of primitive men. Back in the time stream, the Legion (Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Brainiac-5, Chameleon Boy, and Shadow Lass) find themselves momentarily stuck. They then crash onto this mixed up world. On the (real) Enterprise, Captain Kirk leads an away team (Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura) to the transporter to attend a graduation ceremony…and in no time at all, the Enterprise Crew find themselves on the same Imperial controlled world as the Legion, just in different locations. B-5 and Spock come to a similar but separate conclusion…this is Earth…but not in either of their universes!

From there things get, well, predictable. Kirk and company get chased, and manage to steal a shuttle craft for their getaway. Brainiac-5 uses some tech from the time bubble to track a time anomaly…and both teams fight each other when B-5 leads the Legion to the crew of the Enterprise. 

Eventually, as expected, B-5 and Spock come to the logical conclusion that they should team up and work together so they can all get home. 

The two groups mix and split up. Spock and Brainiac-5 use a Legion chronometer and a Federation tricorder to turn a captured hover platform into a time machine, taking Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, McCoy, and Chekov into the past to try and understand how this world came into being. 

What they find is Vandal Savage using mind control technology to enslave the primitive humans and animals. Kirk and Lightning Lad lead the rest of the group into the city looking for a way home, and soon find they’re not the only time travelers to have made it to this world. They also find the man in charge, Flint…an immortal who Kirk encountered previously (in the original series episode “Requiem for Methuselah”). 

Well, sort of…Flint isn’t Flint, and Savage isn’t Savage. They’re this universe’s amalgamation…Vandar the Stone, Master of Earth. It’s then revealed that somehow, much to everyone’s surprise, back in prehistoric times Vandar captured Q and has been using his power to create and conquer ever since. 

Spock and B-5 eventually figure out how to free Q and set things right. As soon as he's out, no goodbyes, no final thoughts...the Legionnaires  are returned to their Time Bubble and Kirk and company transport to the graduation ceremony, as if none of this ever happened. We do get a short epilogue of sorts as we see Flint, retired as a painter, speaking with Q, who wonders about all the countless tomorrows and endless possibilities…the end.

Let me say this…I love Star Trek, and in the time I’ve been a part of the Legion of Super-Bloggers I’ve been developing a huge appreciation for the Legion. I love taking part in our round table reviews, getting to know the history of the team and its members. That said…this story left me…well, wishing it was something else. Team-ups and crossovers can be a challenge, I get it! You can’t please all the people all the time. Take any of the Marvel/DC crossovers from years past…some work, some don’t and you either love them or hate them. This story had its moments. Chekov telling the Legion that the Russians created...well, everything, made me chuckle. 

Shadow Lass shooting down Kirk's flirtations was great. 

The wide array of time travel devices represented was just awesome. 

I did wonder why they went with Q though. Being a story using the original Star Trek series crew, I think Trelane, the Squire of Gothos, would have been a much better way to go. Heck, in the epilogue they even dressed Q in a similar outfit! Plus Trelane was revealed in a later Trek novel to be a young member of the Q Continuum and would have been able to play the same role, but I digress. I guess in the end, this story just felt too cliche for me...I was hoping for something new, something different...and as I said before, it just felt predictable.

Here are the six covers for the mini-series, all by the talented Phil Jimenez. The first was also the cover used for the collected trade edition. 

Super-Blog Team-Up Links

As mentioned, several different blogs have teamed-up today to cover Parallel Worlds and Alternate Realities! While we're featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes here, you should visit these other comic blogs to see how they spotlight their own favorite characters and niches today. Visit them now, visit them later, and visit them often!

Our thanks to the Super-Blog Team-Up for inviting us to participate in this fantastic crossover!


  1. Hmm ... sounds like a case of two great tastes that don't taste so great together. They can't all be classics! But I can't help feeling this one must have seemed a better idea on paper than it ended up being in execution (that is, if we set aside the nagging suspicion that this one was driven entirely by the need to wring every last Quatloo out of a Star Trek license ...)

    Welcome to the Super-Blog Team-Up crew!