Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reboot: Legionnaires #32

Legionnaires #32 (December 1995)
title: "Here and Now"
writers: Tom Peyer and Tom McCraw
penciller: Jeffrey Moy
inker: W.C. Carani
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Mike McAvennie
editor: KC Carlson
special thanks: Mark Waid & Karl Kesel
cover: Alan Davis & Mark Farmer
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Brainiac 5, Chameleon, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid, Kinetix, Leviathan, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Triad

Athramites, Brad Majors, Lori Morning, President Chu, R.J. Brande, Rond Vidar, Shvaughn Erin, Valor, Science Police, President's bodyguards

Chronos, Neron (in flashback)

Recently... the Legion has gone back in time with Brainiac 5's new time machine to find the means to rescue iconic hero Valor from the Stasis Zone. It has worked, but they've kept him a secret lest it cause civil unrest. XS was lost on route, however, and after seemingly defeating the Neron-boosted villain Chronos, she decided to track down some 20th-Century family. But Chronos also attacks the 30th Century and is seemingly killed there too, though not before making part of the Legion HQ come down on the Legionnaires' heads and stranding the young girl he was keeping to steal youth from, Lori Morning, in the future...

Valor floats in his room and watches, just as he used to in the Stasis Zone for the last 1000 years. But not he can intervene, and helps the Legionnaires get out from the wreckage. Everyone's fine, but Chronos has turned to dust. Lori is now a young woman, more of her years taken from her in the conflict, but she really doesn't mind. And then there's Brainiac 5 caught in the time stream and unable to return except as a trapped image, because his time machine was destroyed in the incident.
In space, Kinetix's life support fails and her ship seems to teleport. On Earth, Rond Vidar of the Time Institute arrives to help with Brainy's problem, but a Science Police officer overhears and sells the Legion out to the President. She sends the cops to raid Legion HQ for illegal time travel tech. Their intrusion in Rond's attempts to free Brainy somehow recreates Chronos, who the Legion have to fight again. Brainy manages to telepathically communicate with Saturn Girl, telling her his plan, which is then put into action. Chronos is pushed into the time-locked Brainy and while they occupy the same space, the young Coluan uses the villain's tech to send/bring each of them home. The reunion is short-lived as the Science Police arrest Brainiac 5.
Back in time... in Impulse #9: XS finds her cousin Bart Allen, now going by the heroic name Impulse. She spends some time learning English, and about secret identities and other 20th-Century mores, and then both their speeds fail them - Savatar's speed ninjas attack!
Roll call – real nice how you can’t discern Violet and Cham in the debris. Glad that everyone’s safe and the fact that Valor went to their rescue is a good sign. I guess time travel is a taboo, a line that shouldn’t be crossed. For the President to react this way, there surely is a law against it. I understand the reasons why you shouldn’t mess with time. What is surprising is how intensely against it the government is. What happened before to create this fear or hate of time exploration? Maybe it’s just me, but the over-reaction when time travel is mentioned is bothering me. Are they hiding something? It doesn’t seem to me like the problem is only one of morality and ethics.
I love how the language barrier gave the Legion the upper hand on this villain. No way could he have known what was coming while he wasn’t able to understand a single word they were saying. Actually, why was Brainiac speaking Interlac while in the lab with Cosmic Boy, but not while at the Legion’s headquarters? It doesn’t make sense to me. Then again, now I wonder what happened to Chronos. Brainiac’s little trick to come back from the time stream surely had almost no effect on him. I can only imagine that he’ll be back in no time to, once again, try and steal the plans for the time machine. Plus, having Brainy behind the bars just seems like a way to help Chronos' ambition. It’s not like the UP could – or even would – protect him from a time traveling maniac.
Kinetix’s ship simply disappeared. Teleportation maybe? Can’t wait to learn more of her whereabouts and to see if she’ll ever get her powers back.
Impulse #9... I already hate Impulse. Sounds like a spoiled brat. I guess I can’t really blame him but still… His attitude is simply annoying! XS isn’t only fast on her feet she’s also a really fast learner. I love it! She keeps on impressing me. Now to find out how the bad guys took away the speed powers from them.

To quickly address some of your points/questions, SG, I love the way the roll call is done too. I think President Chu is less stressed about time travel than she is about the whole Legion experiment failing as a whole. It seems like a lot of trouble (because she's micro-managing, honestly) and this is a case of "what have those kids done NOW?!" coming off her public humiliation when Valor wasn't freed in front of her (she still doesn't know). Brainy and Interlac? He's not speaking Interlac at all in those scenes (or rather, he always is and we get translation) - read those letters in reverse and you'll find out what he was really saying. Temporal anomalies, amirite? When Rond stabilizes the situation, he can be understood again. And Kinetix, geez, how long has she been dying in space? Seems like it's been FOREVER.
So I'm ready to call it. The Chronos experiment was a failure. I THINK we're supposed to read his resurrection (as a temporal anomaly - he died/didn't) as flowing BACK into Legion of Super-Heroes #75 where he shows up alive again, but no, that doesn't work either. I can't even imagine a flowchart that would explain these two issues correctly, and that annoys me. Putting it behind me, I do like how Valor just stares into the distance in the opener, basically doing what he's been doing for the past millennium. It makes sense, and it's a little sad. Get him on the team already! And they're not going to force Lori to go back? I hope she's not historically important ;-).
Impulse #9... I loved this series a whole bunch. A lot of fun. Humberto Ramos was a great fit on the art, and XS is a nice addition to the cast, albeit temporarily. Maybe she can make Bart act more responsibly, eh? This is a sides-story, but we're going to review XS's time with the Flash family in passing over the next few weeks at the end of our regular Legion book reviews. I think she's one of Shotgun's favorite characters, so I can't just let her disappear like that ;-).

Science Police Notes:  
  • The issue is part of the Underworld Unleashed crossover event (and sports its banner), in which the demon Neron boosted the power of several B-villains, in this case, classic Atom villain, Chronos.
  • Impulse #9, "Running in the Family", was crafted by Mark Waid (writer), Humberto Ramos (penciller), Wayne Faucher (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Tom McCraw (colorist), Ruben Diaz (assistant editor) and Brian Augustin (editor).
  • Bart Allen and Jenni Ognats are both children of the Tornado Twins, the children Barry Allen, the Flash, had with Iris West while he lived in the future.
  • The Impulse story reveals that the basic Legion costume style (with a stripe running down the middle) was modeled on the same cut Bart was assigned and which has only slightly been changed for Impulse.


  1. The timeline between this issue and the previous one is one of my biggest grievances about this run. It just ... doesn't ... add ... up. Argh!

    For somone who is demonstrably smarter than everyone else in the room, it's kind of a shame that Brainiac 5's plan is "shove the bad guy into me." And the whole "occupying the same space outside of time" thing doesn't make any sense. Shouldn't he be in the timestream? Also, he's in temporal sync with everyone else, so I would argue that he ISN'T outside of time. Maybe the first time at HQ, but not at the Time Institute. He's spacially out of sync, clearly.

    But I guess those tend to be the issues that crop up in time travel stories. Start to pick them apart and they usually collapse like a house of cards. Otherwise, the pacing was nice and I thought Cosmic Boy's portrayal really got at the whole issue he's grappling with right now in regards to having to toe the line for the President even when its against his team's best interests.

  2. It's either this issue of Impulse or the next one that has one of my favorite moments: Impulse trying to teach English to Jenni.

    "Ball! BAAALLL!"


    1. Yes! This one. That scene made me laugh again when I pulled it out yesterday. A classic moment!