Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #39

The Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #39 (Oct, 1987)
title: "The One That Got Away"
writer: Paul Levitz
pencillers: Greg LaRocque and Curt Swan
inkers: Mike DeCarlo and Romeo Tanghal
ink assist: Arne Starr
lettering: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger 
cover: Steve Lightle
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Colossal Boy, Chameleon Boy; cameos by Sun Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl

Gigi Cusimano, Marte and Wynn Allon

unnamed escaped convict

Today, SP officer Gigi Cusimano is in her quarters with a personal problem. She is holding a jewelry box but can't decide whether to "accept" it or not. Sun Boy calls and leaves a message saying he needs an answer. She then reflects on her time at the Science Police Academy on Mars.

Several years ago, she and fellow cadet Gim Allon were a couple. They spent their spring vacation at the cheapest resort on Mars when, during a sand-ski run, Gim is hit by a falling meteorite.

While he is recuperating, a prisoner escapes from the infirmary. Gigi and Gim see him, but can't catch him.

After Gim is released he and Gigi hang out at the resort just taking it easy when someone is robbed. They respond, and deduce that he is still in the casino somewhere. Gigi finds him in the gaming room, but he over-powers her and attempts to use her as a hostage. Gim sees them and suddenly grows to colossal proportions. He manages to rescue Gigi, but the criminal gets away.

In order to prove that they are still viable SP candidates, they decide to capture the criminal. He has been buying medications (which he also stole from the infirmary) so they stake out the resort drug store until he returns. This time, they arrest him.

The next day Gim's parents arrive on Mars. The four of them discuss Gim's future, as the Science Police tend to not hire cadets with "extra" abilities. His mother suggests the Legion, a newly created newly deputized organization on Earth.

Colossal Boy meets Reep Daggle while both are on line during an open call for new members, and they strike up a friendship. Gim actually suggests Reep's code-name, which is a nice touch. Both are admitted, so he and Gigi part ways.

In the present, Gigi decides to accept the Chief Starburst (not an engagement ring from Sun Boy) and to head the Mars Science Police post.

This issue was probably supposed to be something like a "breather" after the recent Superboy-Time Trapper story-line. Unfortunately, it isn't very good. It tells a dull story about a dull character doing dull things. The attempt to add some more details to the secret origin of Colossal Boy sounds like a good idea, but 1. we never learn the identity of the escapee or what medicine he was after, which would have been a nice "detail;" 2. the whole point of the story seemed to be the relationship between Gim and Gigi, but then they end up breaking up in less than one page. So I guess it couldn't have been all that deep of a relationship.

The relationship between Gim and his parents and between Gim and Chameleon Boy are done well, however. The dialogue sounds natural and the postures of the characters look natural, too.

Speaking of relationships, the "tease" here seems to be that Gigi is considering a marriage proposal from Sun Boy. However, although the jewelry box appears the proper size to hold an engagement ring at the beginning of the story, it (like Colossal Boy) somehow grows larger by the end of the story so that it ends up being big enough to hold a Chief Starburst. And as I never for a minute believed Sun Boy had proposed, this mini-drama is just silly.

The art is acceptable, but nothing to really write about. Curt Swan's simple line work is made a little bit more "beautiful" by Romeo Tanghal's inks; just look at Colossal Boy's eyes! He's adorable. Other than that, this is nothing special. And Greg LaRocque's pencils are altered freakishly by Mike DeCarlo and/or Arne Starr; his Gigi is freakishly unattractive with a large forward and a whole mess of hair.

The cover by Steve Lightle is fantastic, however. It's the best part of the issue, hands down.

Science Police Notes:  
  • Although SP cadets and officers appear to dress the same, according to the scene on page 9 civilians can somehow immediately know which is which. 
  • Although Gim grows for the first time in this story, there is no mention about how his clothes expand with him. Are all SP uniforms made out of unstable molecules? 
  • An enthusiastic Colossal Boy almost tells his parents that the Legion is planning to go back in time and ask Supergirl to join them. (Who?)
This story has not yet been reprinted.


  1. First time I read the story, I remember thinking: well that guy is obviously going to become Starfinger 2.0. and that Lightle cover is spectacular. Did we ever find out what Sun Boy actually wanted? I can't remember that bit.

    1. Sun Boy wanted sex. I mean, he wanted to go out with Gigi that night. Nothing special at all.

  2. Gim's scenes with Reep are a nice foreshadowing of his later marriage to Yera, since it showed that he was always accepting of Durlans in a society that highly mistrusted them.

    Yes, since this is a retcon done decades after the actual meetup, it's not really "foreshadowing", but calling it "post-pre-foreshadowing" would be confusing.