Friday, November 6, 2015

5YL: Legion of Super-Heroes #58

Recap: The Legion has adopted new codenames and a new life as outlaws. Branded as traitors by the UP, they are being attacked from all sides. Despite being on the run, they have uncovered a plot where the Khunds are once again mobilizing a strike against the UP. Learning that the Khunds are planning to bomb the UP headquarters Weber's World, they streak to try to save the day.

Three weeks from now, I will be reviewing my last issue of the 5YL run on this blog.

And I am feel sluggish.

These last few issues have been crazy, action-packed brawls with the 'new' Legion punching in all directions. And in some ways that has been a lot of fun. It's been fun in the way that a Michael Bay movie can sometimes be fun. Who doesn't like over the top super-hero action?

But I also like substance. There have been a lot of changes to the characters here, no doubt. But we haven't had a chance to breathe here. I would like to hear a bit more about how Celeste feels about being disembodied. How does Brainy feel about being elderly? How does Ayla feel about being a kid? How does Vi feel about suddenly being leader? Writer Tom McCraw has certainly put the book in the blender. But I need more. I like these characters a lot. They have been put through the wringer. Show me some characterization instead of sending them off to the next brawl.

Stuart Immonen has been co-plotting the book recently. He is finally back on art. But I have to say, it feels rushed here. Ron Boyd is on inks. But this book doesn't have the polished feel I would say was the hallmark of the earlier Immonen books.

And yes, let me point out the elephant in the room. This title is not what it was. And I miss that 9-panel, convoluted, deep, dense 5YL book.

So I am finding it harder and harder to review these. The elan I felt in the dizzy early issues has waned. It probably shows in my writing.

The Legion team, warned by Khundian ally Fledermaus, has sped to Weber's World to try to stop the Khunds from blowing up the UP planet-base.

In a nice little stratagem, the team flies up to a Khund ship outside Weber's World and enter it stealthily. To make it look like they have been killed, Neon uses her powers to make it seem like the LSH cruiser has been destroyed in a giant explosion.

This isn't a quiet team in any way. Laurel, Jo, and Timber Wolf aren't espionage types. So trying to sneak onto the planet is interesting.

Meanwhile, Glorith, who we thought was killed a couple of issues ago, wakes up in the 'Infinite Library'. This page set-up reminds me of the Levitz/Giffen time period where blurbs from future books would describe settings.

Initially weakened, Glorith uses the powers of the room and the magic therein to rejuvenate herself. Casting a scrye spell, she realizes that she must team up with an old enemy. Knowing that she has to prepare herself to fight the 'him' who almost killed her, she teleports away.

So I don't get this at all. She was killed but not killed. The guy who defeated her, left her alone in a place where she could instantly recover?

Was all this done to show us the Infinite Library?

I know I opened up this review with a sort of damnation of this run. But there are bits that I find interesting. Ayla has been de-aging and is now a school aged kid.

Loomis ends up landing the Legion's ship onto Weber's world. He says they are civilians who were in the wrong place in the wrong time.

I love how Ayla hugs Loomis and calls him Dad.

What I don't know is if Ayla's mind is de-aging or just her body. Does she think like did?

Loomis ends up being brought before Ambassador Relnic and King John and reveals who he is as well as the Khund bombing plot. Their plot revealed, the Khundian ambassador party barricades themselves into a room and gets into a firefight. Some of them commit suicide.

Throughout the whole title, Universo has been lurking in the background. Is he a villain? Is he a mastermind? A pawn in someone else's plan?

Last issue we saw him upset about a possible UP/Khund truce. Here, he is recruited to hypnotize one of the surviving Khunds. The soldier reveals that a huge bomb has been placed in the planet's core.

Vi, who has been in hiding, realizes she is the best one to get there quickly and disable it.

But then it turns out that Universo hasn't learned it all. An ambassador from Titan uses his telepathic powers to mind-meld with the same Khund. The telepath learns that there are many bombs on Weber's World. The bomb at the planet core is one of many.

So what the heck is Universo's story? How is he working for? Why would he lie about this? Does he want to die on Weber's?
Meanwhile the Legion is on the Khundian ship which has landed on Weber's.

The team skirmishes with the Khunds on board, including Firefist and his team. Meanwhile, Brainy has discovered the presence of all the bombs. He tries to disable them remotely but Laurel knows this is a hands-on job. Frustrated by Brainy, she streaks off to do the job herself.

There has always been tension between Laurel and Brainy, some romantic embers that flare now and then. Here she has felt almost overly protective of the older Querl. But needing to keep one eye on him has been draining on her.

She has always been a woman of action so I am not surprised to see her decide to take matters into her own hands.

The brainwashed Heroes of Lallor have also been fighting the Legion. One of them is Duplicate Boy, the Amazo-like character on that team.

And Duplicate Boy is mopping up until he is knocked out with a blow to the head by Dawnstar.

Dawnstar and Wildfire have plenty of history. And both have been through a lot in the 5YL run. So this reunion is something I have been waiting for (Wildfire is my favorite Legionnaire, Dawny is top five.) I loved this moment, heavy with emotional weight.

That said ...

Dawny knocks out Duplicate Boy with a crowbar? I forget if he only has the powers of people he is near or if he has any power he has encountered. He has been ripping through the team. So his defeat seemed silly.

And how the heck did Dawny get there? When did she get there?

The brawl continues.

Veilmist, the Khundian teleporter, reveals that she can remove the bombs with her powers but only if Ultra Boy will claim her. But she can't when Firefist kills her.

Veilmist was a relatively popular minor character ... I can only imagine why many readers liked her!

But it seems both Laurel's efforts and Vi's efforts are wasted. A portion of the bombs do explode.

Have the Khunds won??

While this is a big moment, this wasn't a particularly effective splash page.

As for Glorith? Well her biggest enemy has always been Mordru. The two have been stalemating each other throughout their lives.

Glorith heads to Tharn and gives Mordru back some youthful vitality, telling him they need to team up to thwart whoever attacked her.

Mordru says he will need more power. The two head to the Wizard's World where Mordru quickly drains all the magical power of the leading sorcerors, those famous elemental figures we have seen lead Wizard's World since the Baxter series.

What is interesting is just how powerful Mordru gets. He doesn't charge up and look like he did in the early Adventure Comics days. He becomes his true youngest self, looking just like he did in the Giffen/Newell/Maroto Amethyst book. I really loved that mini-series so I appreciated McCraw and Immonen linking to that.

Check it out!

Anyways, we are heading to an ending of a sort and a beginning of another sort.

But what we are really heading to is my leaving the Legion as a property for over a decade.

Some super-fan and super-blogger I am.


  1. Duplicate Boy was never the sharpest knife the in the drawer and he's under hypnotic control. I assume he shifted his powers to something powerful but not invulnerable and let his guard down.

    I absolutely adore that scene with "Wildfire" and Dawnstar. Tons of foreshadowing with her "... I didn't..." I'm assuming she was going to say she didn't sense him using her tracking power which ties into what comes later.

  2. Will the super-bloggers be reviewing all the pieces for "End of an Era" including the Valor cross-over stuff? The "Out of Time" arc is pretty good in the end with that gorgeous Colleen Doran art.