Friday, June 10, 2016

Threeboot: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #20

Recap: Supergirl has somehow come to the 31st century and is making a big impact on the Legion team. But can she be trusted? Is she who she says she is? The Legion is losing face with its progressive followers by aligning themselves with the Science Police and the United Planets. Meanwhile, a Dominator plot to unleash a robot rebellion on Earth is beginning to reach a critical mass. And there seems to be another group waiting in the wings to bring even more chaos to the world. 

One of my early complaints about the Threeboot Legion was that the first arc with Praetor Lemnos took a little too long to wrap up for a new book. Legion fans wanted to meet this new team and learn about this new futureBut that first arc seemed to slow everything down.

It might be that storytellers Mark Waid and Barry Kitson might have heard this as a complaint. Because since Supergirl joined the book, the title became busier. There were a lot of subplots with an overlying plot of a robot rebellion. Now this is what a Legion book should be.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #20 continued this momentum. Waid and Kitson (as well as Tony Bedard) put the robot rebellion on the back burner this issue, deciding to cover the other subplots as well as adding a new one. Incredible.

Adam DeKraker and Mick Gray are on art duties and bring a Kitson-esque feel to the proceedings.

One of the plotlines that I have liked is the tension between the Legion and their benefactors, the United Planets. The battle cry of the Legion was always 'Eat it Grandpa!'. One of the underpinnings of the UP has been peace and stability through compliance and ennui.

It is hard to have those two ideas jibe.

But with the Legion broke, the team needed to join the UP to secure funding.

So now the new headquarters says "The Legion of Super-Heroes sponsored by the United Planets".

For the young Legion followers living in the pavilion around the headquarters, it is a very visible sign of the team selling out.

Things are even worse when the UP releases a short film about the Legion/UP alliance.

Despite this being a very impressive team shot, the dialogue talks of how 'real rebels embrace authority'. That is not what this Legion is about.

Still, this is a great shot of the team.

You might recall that it was Lightning Lad who signed the accord between the two groups when Cosmic Boy stepped down as leader. Who would ever expect Lightning Lad to have read the entire contract.

Imra's mother points out that the contract clearly says the UP is in charge of the public relations of the team.

Will the youth of the galaxy continue to follow the Legion if this is the message being delivered?

Meanwhile, Brainiac 5 has taken Element Lad, Atom Girl, and Light Lass into a space. In an old L.E.G.I.O.N. ship, Brainy hopes to use the energies inherit there to help resurrect Dream Girl.

Brainy's irrational desire to recreate the soul and save Dreamy is definitely reminiscent of prior moments of mental instability in the character. This emotional outburst at Element Lad shows that he is definitely unhinged.

But the big plot of the issue involves the youth of Colossal Boy's giant city.

Eight robberies are attempted by giants. Each seem to be attempting to steal unrelated items. Here Projectra and Timber Wolf try to stop one from stealing a cathedral's altar.

We see another attempted robbery as well.

What is the motive behind these?

Every robbery is eventually thwarted by Supergirl. She was not on any of the away teams. Cosmic Boy wanted her to stay in the headquarters.

But there she was, 'little Miss Perfect', coming in and saving the day, stopping the thefts and capturing the giants.

This Supergirl has almost Silver Age powers, able to handle every situation. She also has a sort of innocent perfection about her, also similar of the Silver Age. I can understand why there might be some question about her.

But as a Kara fan who was unhappy with the direction in her main title, this was retro and appreciated.

We finally get the origin of 'Big City'.

It turns out that a Bizarro Brainiac attacked Earth. And since Brainiac shrinks city, Bizarro Brainiac enlarges them.

Bizarro Brainiac enlarging cities?? This is what comics are all about. That is brilliant.

As for the giant robbers, they were working for someone ... someone who will supplant the Legion.

But before this guy can give us a name, he is shut up.

Is this the group that recruited Seiss?

This is a new plotline. Who could wield so much influence that they could convince these giants to go on a world-wide crime spree?

Back in space, we finally hear Brainy's idea and it sounds even crazier than I thought it would.

Praetor Lemnos' power was to warp knowledge. Lemnos was able to make it so people didn't remember him. He could shunt those memories away.

Brainiac 5 had the Imskians wire Lemnos' brain to gather all of the data about Dream Girl, including her soul. Brainy would then "deconstruct and then remake" Dream Girl, injecting the memories into this new body.

Now for me, knowing all of Brainy's prior psychiatric issues, this both made sense and was scary. You would think that the other Legionnaires would stop him, report him, do something.

But this is the Threeboot Legion. For all we know, this is Brainy's first breakdown. Maybe there is no history.

Remember I had said that Cosmic Boy didn't send Supergirl out on any of the missions. He tells other that he simply has an odd feeling about Supergirl to send her out.

But, after an awkward scene between the two (as above), Cos slips away and tells Star Boy he knows what's wrong. Cos knows why he feels weird around Supergirl. He is in love with her.

Well ... what's not to love?

There are a lot of moving parts in this issue. There are a lot of plots. And this issue didn't cover the robot rebellion! With all this going on, it really felt like the creators were clicking on all cylinders.

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