Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #24

The Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #24 (July, 1986)
title: "Suspicion"
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller: Greg LaRocque
inker: Larry Mahlstedt
lettering: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger 
cover: Greg LaRocque & Larry Mahlstedt
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Timber Wolf, Blok, Shrinking Violet, Chameleon Boy, Sun Boy, Ultra Boy, Phantom Girl, Magnetic Kid, Wildfire, Colossal Boy, Polar Boy, Sensor Girl, Element Lad, Brainiac 5, Dream Girl, Quislet, Tellus, Mon-El, Shadow Lass

Bouncing Boy, Myg, Gigi, H'hrnath

Emerald Empress, The Persuader, Flare

At Legion HQ, the Legionnaires are talking among themselves about who they think Sensor Girl really is. Shrinking Violet suggests that she might be Saturn Queen, the time-displaced villain. Timber Wolf repeats that he thinks she is a phony. Chameleon Boy reminds them that Sensor Girl might be listening to them....and we then see that she is.

At the Legion Academy, Wilfire leads a group to investigate the sudden disappearance of Mentalla. Bouncing Boy tells them that Mentalla left with all of her personal belongings. Polar Boy is impressed with the Academy, never having visited the facility before.

On Rimbor, the man named Javors that the Legion had been looking for turns up dead.

Brainiac 5 thinks that Sensor Girl is really Supergirl altered by the Anti-Monitor. Chameleon Boy was afraid that Brainiac 5 had made a Supergirl clone that had gotten out of his control. The friends start to fight, only stopped by Element Lad. Frustrated by the tension, Element Lad calls in Sensor Girl to talk to her.

Out dancing, Quislet sees Dream Girl out on the town with a man who is NOT Star Boy.

At the Fatal Five hideaway on Starshire, a vacation site totally off the social network of the universe, the Emerald Empress is meeting with Kamraq, a Khund warrior. She had sent him to find Validus, who disappeared off Takron-Galtos without a trace. Kamraq could not find him, but still wants to join the Fatal Five; the Emerald Empress executes him instead. The Emerald Empress and The Persuader talk of a new Fatal Five without Tharok or Validus, and neither wants Mano to re-join.

At Legion HQ, Magnetic Kid and Tellus are hanging out at the pool with Polar Boy. Magnetic Kid thinks Sensor Girl must be related to Saturn Girl somehow, as he was his brother's replacement. However, Tellus thinks he would "feel" if she was a telepath.

Out in deep space, Mon-El is working with Shadow Lass to get his self-confidence back after his recent experience in the Phantom Zone.

At Nullport, a thief named Flare steals a Mark 499 Overthruster spaceship. The Emerald Empress contacts her and suggests she meet her, instead of her actual employer.

Back at Legion HQ, Element Lad talks to Sensor Girl about her secret, telling her that although he doesn't mind not knowing who she is, her secret is driving a wedge between Legionnaires. Sensor Girl appreciates his position, but tells him that she cannot reveal her secret yet. She decides to leave, instead. Element Lad tries to stop her, but she flies off. He is afraid she will join the Fatal Five after all. As she flies by, Ultra Boy thinks to look at her true face with his super-vision....but there is nothing behind her mask.

This issue is the last issue before the big reveal as to who Sensor Girl was. That means that if you hadn't figured it out yet, you should have been able to read this story and make an educated guess. Did you?

I always thought the argument between Chameleon Boy and Brainiac 5 should have had repercussions. Chameleon Boy is basically telling Brainy that he thinks it's possible he would go insane again! I liked how Element Lad shuts both of them down here. And I enjoyed Element Lad "putting his cards on the table," sort-to-speak, with Sensor Girl. He really was a level-headed guy.

On the other hand, I never understood why we see Dream Girl out on a date with another guy. We never find out what that was about....the only explanation we ever got was that she and Star Boy had had a fight.

Building the suspense this issue, we get another glimpse of the Emerald Empress and the Persuader, building their new Fatal Five. It was cleverly creepy that the Empress' eye takes Kamraq's eye before he is killed. "An eye for an eye" indeed...

This is the last regular issue of Legion for Larry Mahlstedt. He had been the inker on Legion since he took over from Bruce Patterson during Keith Giffen's original run, circa Legion (v2) #291. That's a run of more than four years. Thanks for a long, fun ride, Larry!

title: "Togetherness"
writer: Paul Levitz
penciller: Norm Breyfogle
inkers: Mike DeCarlo and Arne Starr
lettering: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger 

Mission Monitor Board:  
Timber Wolf, Lightning Lass

SP Officer Shvaughn Erin

unrequited love

In Metropolis, two Legionnaires respond to a call for help clearing a traffic jam. When they are finished helping out, Timber Wolf admits that he arranged this mission so that he could get a chance to talk to Lightning Lass. She refuses, reminding him that when she needed his emotional support he wasn't there for her. She was always there for him, but he doesn't know how to be strong for someone else. She angrily flies off alone.

I'm not sure what the point of this story was. I guess Paul Levitz wanted to show us that Timber Wolf tried to get back together with Lightning Lass, but she would not take him back. I don't know what exactly she wanted from him at this point, though, an apology? He never really did give her one. I always thought this relationship was just sort of dropped after this incident, and Lightning Lass moved on. Anyway, this is not very subtle stuff.

Norm Breyfogle soon became famous as one of the great Batman artists, but his style is all but invisible here under Mike DeCarlo's heavy inks.
Science Police Notes:  
  • Shrinking Violet talks about Saturn Queen, a character who has yet to appear in Legion continuity. 
  • When Wildfire's group heads to the Legion Academy to investigate Mentalla, the text erroneously references "Sensor Girl" instead. 
  • Polar Boy mentions that if the Legion Academy had existed earlier, he might have joined there and then gotten into the Legion earlier. However, the Legion Academy has been around since Adventure Comics #371 (1968). 
This story has not yet been reprinted.  

This is the last regular issue of Legion of Super-Heroes for inker Larry Mahlstedt. From next issue, Mike DeCarlo would be the regular inker on the series. He would stay for more than three years.  


  1. Based on Ultra Boy's discovery, I had abandoned my idea/hope that Sensor Girl was Supergirl. Based on the clues hidden in this issue, I realized that Sensor Girl could only be... Quantum Queen!!

    Stop laughing... it all added up! They mentioned Saturn Queen in this issue, a character who at this point in time had only appeared in the adult-Legion stories from early Adventure Comics. Flare, introduced in this issue, seemed to me to be an updated version of another adult-Legion villain, Beauty Blaze! Two references to the adult Legion. Well.. Quantum Queen also appeared in one of those stories as a deceased Legionnaire in the Hall of Heroes along with Shadow Woman and Reflecto. Those latter characters already had their stories, but Quantum Queen had yet to join (and the Wanderer's rightly forgotten comic was still a couple of years off). Therefore, I could say with certainty, Quantum Queen was Sensor Girl.

    Yeah... I DID have a lot of time on my hands as a kid. How did you know?

  2. Not a bad guess. We'll talk more about this mystery in the weeks to come... but for now I'm keeping quiet. :-)

  3. There are a few lettering (?) mistakes like the one mentioned above. Wildfire calls Emerald Empress the “Emerald Express.” I don’t think he’s trying to be humorous, since there’s nothing funny or insulting there.

    Quislet says, “I could care less” when given trouble at the door of the club. That means he does care. The expression should have been “I couldn’t care less.”

    Lightning Lass uses her power to cause extreme agony for Timber Wolf. He just wanted to talk to her. Isn’t there something against the physical abuse of other Legionaries in their code? When Yellowjacket hit the Wasp in the Avengers, his reputation was tainted forever. Superheroes abusing superheroes has always rubbed me wrong. Seems not cool. Legionnaires don’t kill, but they don’t mind smacking each other around!