Friday, January 13, 2017

Threeboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #44

Recap: An unknown enemy is coordinating a galactic invasion of evolving technoconstructs, ripping into planets one at a time. The United Planets is basically at war against the Legion- withholding funds, forming a more compliant young group of heroes, and now invading the headquarters. Karate Kid and Triad have telported away with unknown allies. The team is fractured with a lot of internal griping. Now a group of Legionnaires is avoiding arrest on Rimbor. And another is has been defeated by space pirates.
Is anyone having fun yet?

Legion of Super-Heroes #44 was another interesting issue in this Jim Shooter run in that it continues to ignore several long building plots to focus on new ones. We are now 8 issues into this run.

We have no idea who is behind the evolving technocreatures which dominated the earliest issues of this run. This seems to be the primary plot of this run. Unfortunately they are no where to be seen in this issue.

Princess Projectra has turned the corner from Legionnaire to near-mad thief. Her descent into evil was another major focus of the beginning of this run. Unfortunately, she is also nowhere to be seen in this issue.

It is one thing to carry multiple plots in a Legion title. With a cast this big, an adept writer can handle that. But it is another thing altogether to simply ignore major plots that haven't been resolved.

Instead this issue, the bulk of the action is around the Ikonn pirates on planet Velmar. But this conflict doesn't seem to have anything to do with the bigger plotlines lumbering along. At least we get some sense of closure around the plot concerning the  Legion's financial woes.

Perhaps worst of all, this issue really dives into the sexual muck that Shooter has been spreading in the book. In this issue, there are plenty of characters implying that they are more than willing to gang rape the captured Legionnaires. It really veers straight into a creepy area that made my skin crawl a bit.

The art on the issue is by Sanford Greene and he brings a sort of angular style to the proceedings which gives it a rough appearance. I suppose it works for the story.

Last issue, the away team of Shadow Lass, Light Lass, and Timber Wolf were overrun by the Ikonn pirates. Karate Kid and Triad had skipped out on them. And Invisible Kid was ... well ... nowhere to be seen.

The pirates have the Legionnaires tied up. They leader claims Light Lass as his. No one else can have her ... only him. His female companion attacks him for thinking about raping Light Lass. In turn, he kills the girlfriend. No one will stop him from the spoils of war. He roughly grabs Ayla, says he'll lobotomize her to make her powerless, and tries to rip her costume off. Meanwhile, his colleagues drool over the other captured. Two say they'll take turns with Shadow Lass. Another says he likes the plump ones.

It is really disgusting. I don't quite understand why any of this needs to be in the story. It makes my skin crawl.

Meanwhile on Rimbor, the away team of Saturn Girl, Atom Girl, Star Boy, Colossal Boy, Chameleon Boy, and Ultra Boy are under a barrage from the Rimborian Police.

It is clear that unless they turn the tables and go on the offensive, they will be killed.

Saturn Girl realizes that things need to change. She will begin controlling the minds of cops she can get hold of and turn them away. She lets Ultra Boy and Atom Girl do what they need to.

I don't know if I need to read a long run where the Legion are under attack from everyone. I do like that Saturn Girl definitely steps up here realizing that the team needs to survive. So morals can be tweaked a bit.
In Jo's attack, a female Rimborian officer falls out her ship, seemingly to her death.

Ultra Boy flies down to rescue her.

I suppose this is more of Shooter's weird gender dynamics that this officer professes her love for Ultra Boy for saving her. Women too seem to swoon easily in this universe.

Readers of this blog will know that Shrinking Violet/Atom Girl is one of my favorite Legionnaires.

I really did enjoy this sequence when we see just how difficult it would be to fight Salu. Between her flight ring, fighting prowess, and shrinking/growing all the time, she is a nearly impossible target to hit. She almost takes out this ship single-handedly.

I will say that this Vi and her hard fighting edge was interesting character trait, a sort of nod to the later Vi in the Levitz era.

Meanwhile on Velmar, Invisible Kid arrives and challenges the pirate leader Ikilles to one on one combat.

Using some tricks, he knocks Ikilles out by crushing him under two statues. With the pirates temporarily distracted, he unties Ayla. And then an angry Light Lass gets her revenge, basically sending all the pirates into the upper atmosphere.

I am a big fan of strong Ayla. That prior scene was just awful. But this page is worth sharing. This is why she could be one of the more powerful Legionnaires if used correctly.

Now why she needed her hands untied to do this, I may never know.

Back on Earth, the Science Police seem ready to arrest the Legion for defrauding on loans and general disobedience. Suddenly M'Rissey comes out. He has secured a deal that solves all the Legion's financial woes. Furthermore, the UP probably owes the Legion a quatrillion credits for services rendered.

He has already made phone calls. The cops will leave.

And, in fact, they do. They get a call from the UP Attorney General to apologize to the Legion and leave the premises.

Hurray. At least this idiotic subplot is over.

After all, I don't buy the Legion to read how hard it is to make ends meet.

As for the rest of the team, by winning in combat Invisible Kid is put in a position of power in the pirate band and orders them to be better people.

The Rimbor team is en route to home.

Everything seems to have ended well.

At least we have a panel to take a deep breath. Maybe Shooter will concentrate on his lingering plots now.


Instead we learn that M'Rissey got the money by selling the patent to the Legion Flight Ring.

And, now, another threat looms. Something massive is en route to Earth. Is it a new threat? A phalanx of the technoconstructs?

I don't know. And surprisingly, I don't very much care.

This issue really amped up the disgusting aspect of Shooter's writing. We moved from gratuitous cheesecake to threatened rape. And not one threat, pages of threatened rapes. Yeesh.

The series is limping to its conclusion. I think I may need to shower for days when it is all said and done.


  1. I didn't really get the whole thing with M'rissey-- I don't mind in theory the Legion having a tough time of it, if it's something they overcome (though I got pretty bored of the legislative/financial woes, as I thought they were less interesting than the Legion/UP relationship Waid set up). But the Legion struggles for eight issues... and then some totally new character swoops in and saves them!? It makes our heroes look pathetic and powerless.

  2. The artwork matched the crap done by Jimmy Janes !

  3. I get the feeling editorial interference was the cause of the cheesecake and near rape scenes.

  4. Someone pointed out once how this issue's plot was supposed to be about Icahn and Perlmutter and the takeover of Marvel ("Velmar"), and I never had the patience to delve into just how that worked, but not cool, Shooter; that stuff doesn't belong in a Legion comic.

  5. Thanks Matthew! That is fascinating and explains Velmar and Ikann pirates as names!