Friday, November 27, 2015

5YL: Legion of Super-Heroes #61

Recap: DC Comics was in the midst of Zero Hour, another company wide crossover to clean up continuity gaffes. The Legion wasn't exempt from these sweeping changes. Their timeline was as effected as any. Within the book, the Legion and the Legionnaires were teamed up battling Mordru and Glorith as these two villains joined forced to gain control of the entire universe. But with timelines shifting, no one is safe from changing radically or simply disappearing.

Well True Believers ... this is it.

My last issue of the Five Years Later run.

My last review of this series.

We certainly have come a long way from 9 panel grids, back matter, and complex, layered stories that confused and vexed even the most studious of Legion fans. I suppose this wasn't for everyone. I have heard it maligned more than praised.

And I should compliment the last team of Tom McCraw, Mark Waid, and Stuart Immonen for throwing a creative Hail Mary pass, rocking the boat wildly hoping to get noticed. Things certainly happened in their run. But ... well ... it wasn't the same.

And so things had to change.
The book opens with the remaining members of both teams in orbit above the pocket universe Earth. This planet was razed by the Phantom Zone villains in the Supergirl Saga in the Superman books. Here, the Legion has somehow entombed Mordru within the planet. Interred, Mordru is powerless.

But this planet is unstable so Mordru's struggles to free himself could work. The planet shudders, lava and land shifting, cracking the surface.

The Legion has no choice but to head down and try to seal Mordru in.

You know that things are wild if the Pocket Universe is raising it's misunderstood head again.

Here is who is left. It looks mostly like surviving dyads, matched pairs from the Legion and the Legionnaires. Wildfire and Night Girl sort of stick out as the only singlets left.

Element Lads use their power to turn the lava to inertron. Star Boys and Gossamer use their powers to try to stablize gravity and mass. Ultra Boys and Wildfire and Sun Boy try to help. But most are powerless, simply watching and waiting.

Finally, Night Girl simply disappears. Even with Mordru captured, time is still in flux.

And if time is in flux, you know that the Time Trapper would be involved.

It was only a matter of time. We had heard Mordru and Glorith speak of their mutual enemy, 'he' who could thwart them or seize their power. All along, most felt it was the Trapper.

Now the Trapper had been killed ... twice ... in this book. But like an ugly penny, he keeps turning up.

And then this happened.

The Time Trapper turns out to be Rokk Krinn.

Remember last issue Rokk was trapped in the Infinite Library. And he used that time to learn all there was to learn. He becomes the Time Trapper.

It turns out that he was destined to be the Trapper all along. But with time in flux, he was able to make new decisions, to not be locked into his destiny. He has changed things in hopes of saving everyone.

Here is what he didn't save. My fandom.

Sure, you can change things radically. You can futz with continuity. But saying that every time I was watching the Time Trapper I was seeing Rokk Krinn. That was simply too much.

The last year of this book was something of a drag. The earliest issues were standing out more and more as a creative pinnacle.

And then this.

It was here that I decided, for the first time in forever, to stop reading the Legion.

But Rokk Trapper has a plan. If the Legion pairs, if the young and old version, merge into a true form, they can survive, stabilizing the time anomalies and saving everything.

It again sets up the idea that the SW6 Legionnaires were a time displaced Legion, not clones. That also doesn't make much sense given other events. But at this point, anything goes.

So what about the young Inferno? And Wildfire?

Well, it turns out that Wildfire is actually Drake Burroughs' energy inhabiting the elder Sun Boy's corpse. After his time in the sun, his anti-energy was unstable and needed a vessel to contain it. So Sun Boy's body was possessed.

Completely surprising. I was at a loss.

It explained a lot of things. Why he needed a sturdier suit. Why Dawnstar didn't know he was around.

And again, it is another radical change. Things are crazy. So why not a revenant on the Legion?

As a Wildfire fan, this was another nail in my Legion fandom.

There is one more matter.

Only the SW6 Phantom Girl was present. So what does that mean?

Well, Rokk Trapper was able to reach back in time, just once, to bring Phase back from the 20th century. At last, Jo and Tinya are reunited. This has been Jo's mission, Jo's sorrow, for this whole book and especially this last year.

I was happy to see this moment. These two are pillars of the Legion. Glad we saw some happiness.

The Legionnaires begin to merge into their new forms.

One thing I loved was this tender moment between Ayla and Vi as their lives change. They have been through a lot in life and have found love together. By merging with their younger selves, all those moments will be gone. But the universe is bigger than just them. Together they decide to end this life.

But I love how they are holding hands even at the end. And I love that Vi calls Ayla Sunbeam.

The end of that couple was another thing that irked me as a long time fan.

The only people left to fuse were the original three.

They have a nice moment and a nice speech saying that together they can do anything.

With a Long Live the Legion, they fuse.

Then we get the tried and true 'dissolve into whiteness' end of a universe. Here we see them original three saving RJ Brande, the event which created the Legion, slowly disappearing.

And that was that.

The Legion as we knew it, all the stories, all the history, all the comings and goings, all the planets, all the villains, all that collective knowledge that Legion fans prided themselves on knowing was gone.

We were going to get a new Legion.

But I was out.

And I wouldn't get back in until Mark Waid returned as a writer for the Threeboot.

It truly was the end of an era.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Anj-- Thank you for the reviews. I hope you continue to write articles about other versions of the Legion.

  3. Thanks so much for the kind words.

    I'm not going anywhere and will be picking up a new run of
    Legion to review soon!

  4. The Time Trapper is Cosmic Boy (Rokk)
    So the Superboy?/Legion Special where they exile him, and he turns out to be a controller (and Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad get married),
    That is not official Canon????

  5. Don't forget that by 5YL, we're in the post-Crisis Glorithverse, and that with Zero Hour in full swing, all timelines are hitting against each other anyway.

    Cos has always been a POTENTIAL Time Trapper (at least since his mini-series/Legionnaires 3 seems to me), and so he is one here without impacting the pre-Crisis continuity of which you speak.