Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #0

Last November, our good friend and fellow Legionnaire David Sopko sadly passed away, struck by illness even as he was preparing to cover the Reboot era of the Legion for the blog. Though Siskoid is now getting ready to cover the era, we did not want to jettison the work already done by David, and so we present his coverage of Legion of Super-Heroes and Legionnaires #0 in his chosen format, before other bloggers take the reviews over. If, like us, you miss David, remember him with us through his last works.

Legion of Super-Heroes (V4) #0; October 1994
“Time and Chance”
A Review by David Sopko

Story: Mark Waid and Tom McCraw
Art: Stuart Immonen and Ron Boyd
Letters: Bob Pinaha
Colors: Tom McCraw
Assists Mike McAvennie
Edits: KC Carlson

Zero Hour has happened.  The Legion of Super-Heroes is no more; Long Live the Legion.  DC rebooted their future team with an entirely new beginning, starting with this issue.  The two Zero issues (The Legion of Super Heroes and Legionnaires) were the beginning of a new Legion, with a huge nod to the past, while not beholden to it. This would become evident in the first issues and more so as time went on.

After the two Zero issues, the numbering continued from the previous incarnation. This is a move that seems odd today, in a world where comics are restarted every year or so for a variety of reasons. But back in 1994, they continued numbering. The two comics would carry on with Legion of Super-Heroes #62 and Legionnaires #19.

Legionnaire Roll Call: Live Wire (Garth Ranzz), Cosmic Boy ( Rokk Krinn), and Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen)
Villains: Roderick Doyle, unnamed assassins

Other characters: René Jacques "R.J." Brande; United Planets President Chu; SP Officer Shvaughn Erin; Luornu Durgo, R.J. Brande's assistant; Mekt and Ayla Ranzz [Flashback]; Alex Cuspin, Rokk's Magnoball Manager

The Issue:
On Winath, Garth dreams of the accident that gave him and his siblings (Ayla and Mekt) their lightning powers. He awakens and we learn that he has run away from home to try and find his brother. As he gets ready for his transport that will take him to Earth, he turns on the Vidscreen where we see (and then shift locations to) Rokk Krinn, Magno Ball Champion, on Braal. He is nicknamed “Cosmic Boy” and his brother is mentioned.

We then cut to Titan, where a Science Police Cadet Imra Ardeen is helping out on a theft. She fails to get information from the individual thought to be involved in the theft. She is chastised but suddenly gets readings from the person who claims to have lost the crystals. This gets her accepted for a position on Earth.

Garth boards the shuttle on Winath and sits next to Rokk. They begin to talk as a famous face enters the shuttle: "R.J." Brande. RJ is the developer of Stargate technology that allows for the United Planets to not rely on warp speed fuel. On Titan, Imra Ardeen boards and “hears" Garth's thoughts, much to his dismay.
When they arrive on Earth, an assassination attempt is made on RJ Brande. Imra reads the assassins' minds and realizes what is happening immediately. Alerted, Rokk and Garth do what comes naturally to them and disarm and capture the assassins. Luornu Durgo and Roderick Doyle come up to a distracted RJ.  He has an idea brewing.

RJ Brande meets with United Planets President Chu about his idea. Shortly thereafter Rokk, Imra, and Garth are all invited by Lournu to a meeting with RJ. As they arrive, they see that there are three Lournus. Rokk's manager, Alex Cuspin, is outed by Imra as an embezzler and is fired on the spot by Rokk. He vows revenge.

The three youths are led through a display of Earth heroes from 1000 years prior. RJ makes his pitch to them: the idea of a Legion of Super Heroes from across the United Planets, a symbol for the UP to rally behind. The three young heroes accept and the Legion is born.
We are left with the discovery that Doyle is the man behind the assassination attempt on Brande, and that he reports to someone else that will not be happy about the failure.

Continued in Legionnaires #0.

Omnicom Notes:
  • The Black Mace is mentioned by some random thugs that find themselves in the same cell as Garth. He was there for being in the wrong place at the wrong time asking questions about his brother to the wrong people.
  • The Legion's "new" origin is essentially the same as its historical counterpart. Minor differences, but recognizable.
  • Oddly enough, the three founders do not appear in costume in this issue.


  1. The numbering decision was just as odd at the time as it would be today, to be honest. My only guess is that it was a deliberate, line-wide decision to not reset any books after their zero issues.

    Or maybe they just wanted to 'beat' the length of the previous volume, which they were just a couple months away from doing, or have a shot at getting to a #100.

    1. Most of the line didn't reboot, just slightly retcon, so they didn't have to restart. The Legion really could have though.

    2. Don't forget at the time renumbering was considered a no-no. It usually reflected a title that was bad and inconsistent and it should be avoided. Even Marvel was going back to their original numbering.

  2. I remember being confused and thrilled about the zero issues. For a while I missed the "old Legion" and was hoping that they'd jump forward rather than rehash old continuity. Ultimately, I fell in love with what they were doing and even though I was a fan since I read my first issue (intro of Heroes of Lallor) this version became "my legion" Yeah, definitely some flaws along the way but when it was on, it was on.

    Based on this review, I wish I'd have seen Dave's full run but am looking forward to what he thought for as long as he did review.

  3. This. This issue is what got me into comics books. I was eleven. When I was young, my dad's old issues of Adventure Comics with the Legion were some of my favorite. And I'd never even thought about comics beyond that until I saw this issue at the rack in the grocery store. I mean, a NEW Legion of Super-Heroes comic book?? It was so exciting, and the artwork was amazing! Really blew the lid off of what comics could be. Took me a while to figure out the two series and catch up on the issues I missed, then I followed along loyally up until the Legion of the Damned storyline. Just about every comic book I read back then was because of the Legion, or because of something I started reading because of a Legion crossover.