Friday, May 12, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #300

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #300 (June 1983)
title: "The Future Is Forever"
writer/co-plotter: Paul Levitz
penciller/co-plotter: Keith Giffen (framing sequence)
inker: Larry Mahlstedt (framing sequence) 
letterer: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger
cover: see Tuesday's post for the list of cover artists

Mission Monitor Board:  
"All 24 active Legionnaires, plus a host of former Legionnaires, Honorary Legionnaires, Substitute Legionnaires, Guest Stars, and More!"

Editor's Note: 
Presenting the review of the fabulous 300th issue of Legion of Super-Heroes, with a special celebration-length 55 page story review featuring most members of the Legion of Super-Bloggers! 
Take it away, guys!

Framing Sequence
Review by Anj
There is nothing quite like an anniversary issue and DC really knew how to pull them off in the late '80s. That gold banner, the extra pages, and the nature of almost all these issues made them a true joy to read. And Legion of Super-Heroes #300 is a perfect example. But in particular, the thing I love about this anniversary issue is that it leans hard into the history of the team. Nothing gets a Legion fan more excited than the team's history. Within the 'visions' other super-bloggers will review, we see different ages of the team.

But even outside those visions, the framing sequence and the 'present day' Legion stories also hearken back to the mythos of the team. That feeling hits you right in the jaw on the opening page with Superboy flying towards the headquarters. Superboy had technically been off the team since Legion #259 (although he had returned now and then). So having him show up for a Legion party is a great way to start out an anniversary issue.

That feeling of history continues in the next few pages when who also shows up from the past but the Maid of Might, Supergirl! Supergirl hadn't been part of the team since way back in Superboy and the Legion #204! Yes, she made a cameo in the Great Darkness Saga but otherwise this was Levitz bringing her back into the fold a little. How wonderful she wants to find Brainy, her prior love!

But this isn't just looking back. The current stories still need to be touched on. So we see Invisible Kid and Wildfire return from their adventure in a dream dimension. We see Chameleon Boy talking about returning to Durla to regain his powers.
The main storyline concerns Brainiac 5, Rond Vidar, and Circadia Sensius working on curing someone of his madness and visions. This opens up the book for the chapters. These characters keep peeking into "visions," showing versions of the Legion from the Classic Silver Age to the '70s version to the Adult Legion stories.

I credit Levitz for giving new readers these peeks into the past. This was a time before compendiums, the internet, and Archives. You only learned about these eras through back issues, flashbacks, or one-offs like these.

And the actual identity of this person suffering and his ultimate destiny is wonderful as well, a nod to the past and closing a long-time plot hole.

But for me, the craziest and most suspenseful plot in the book is Mon-El and Shadow Lass defending a science post on an asteroid. Those of us steeped in Legion Lore immediately recognized this look of Shadow Lass. The white skin and one-piece uniform screamed the cover of Adventure Comics #354 , Shadow Lass's first appearance as a statue in the Hall of Heroes, looking just like this. How many readers of this story knew of that? Hard to know.

Would Levitz kill a Legionnaire in this issue? Was this Shadow Lass's destiny? Levitz certainly leads the readers there throughout the issue, including a one page splash where it appears she is vaporized. Of course, she does survive.

Again, I applaud Levitz and his co-creator Giffen for this issue. But the real excellence, the visions, are still ahead! So read on!

First Vision 
Art by Kurt Schaffenberger 
Review by Tim aka the Kord Kid

With the help of Rond Vidar, and Circadia Sensius, Brainiac 5 is able to witness the visions of the mysterious patient, a being tortured by what he's seen. What Brainiac 5 "sees" when he connects with the patient is Lex Luthor, with the help of a couple robots, threatening Superboy's friends Lana Lang and Pete Ross. Luthor challenges the Boy of Steel to make the choice: capture him or save his friends. Superboy laughs, telling his nemesis that he's picked the wrong victims this time. With that the robots are blasted by energy beams from the sky! Luthor cries that hes been tricked, that Superboy couldn't defeat him on his own so he called for help. Lana and Pete come to his defense, saying they know Superboy could have done the job. And that's when it's revealed that Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad have arrived on the scene in a Time Bubble.
They're not alone though! As Luthor pulls out a remote control to activate a matter transmitter, he takes a blow from an unseen hand...the hand of Invisible Kid! And when he reaches for the remote? It's smashed under the foot of Colossal Boy!

Luthor cries foul again, but Cosmic Boy clears it up...Superboy could have done this on his own...but Pete "Honorary Legionnaire" Ross activated his Legion signal device, and they just happened to be time-travelling to check in with the young Kryptonian anyway. It seems he's long overdue for attending an LSH meeting. As the Legion take Lana and Pete back to the future, Superboy hustles Luthor off to jail, agreeing to meet up with them soon.

We're reminded that Brainiac 5 is witnessing this vision through the patient, as he points out there's a rushing blur of images before we find ourselves outside the charmingly labeled "Super-Hero Club House." As soon as Superboy arrives he delivers the sobering news...he's resigning from the Legion!
Cosmic Boy takes Lana, Pete, and the others inside, while Saturn Girl speaks to Superboy in private. She senses his pain, and tries to understand and comfort him. He opens up, telling her that since the death of Ma & Pa Kent things have changed. He swore an oath to Pa, on his deathbed, to protect Earth for the rest of his life. And in his eyes, that means forsaking everything super-hero club, no space travel, and no time travel.
She understands, she just hopes it's the right does he. With that they enter the club house. Superboy approaches the table, as all the Legionnaires present sit at their assigned seats, indicated by United Nations style name plates. But as he begins to speak the vision ends!

Brainiac 5 is shocked and amazed! It was so real, so detailed, but he knows that the events as shown never took place! The timing and facts are wrong! The Club House was destroyed by the Fatal Five before Superboy TEMPORARILY left the Legion. Superboy NEVER gave up space travel either, Superman is a legend throughout the galaxy!
He, Rond, and Circadia theorize that the patient is either imagining these things, making them up, or perhaps he can see alternate realities? There's only one way to find seeing another of his visions!

If I haven't made it clear already, I'm sure Russell has: I love this era of the Legion! The Silver Age is my favorite so far! It's charming. It's full of optimism like the post war period that spawned it. Best of all though, it's labeled! I LOVE the labels. Labels on the club house and labels at the table so everyone knows where to sit, just like Thanksgiving dinner at my Mom's house growing up.
These are the Legionnaires I'm most familiar with, the originals. And I love them! Lightning Lad's extraneous cape and all.

Second Vision 
Art by Howard Bender & Frank Giacoia
Review by BITS Boy 

The second vision starts at the asteroid Shanghalla, burial place of the galaxy's greatest heroes. A group of Legionnaires along with the six original members of the Substitute Heroes pay tribute to fallen members Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Invisible Kid, Mon-El, Shrinking Violet, Element Lad, and Brainiac 5.

That so many of their colleagues perished at once comes as a bit of a shock; rarely in the Legion's history has more than one member died in battle at the same time. The only other occasion that comes to mind is when a handful of SW6 batch Legionnaires were exterminated by the Dominators.

Amid the memorials of the deceased at the "planetary cemetary", including those of Hate-Face and Leeta-27 (previously seen in the pages of Adventure Comics #341), our heroes vow revenge on Computo, who, with the aid of the Legion of Super-Villains, had perpetrated the murders.
Deputy leader Saturn Girl takes over the helm from Brainy, her first act being to admit all the Subs into the Legion proper. (This move would be repeated years later in the 5YL reboot, when the existing Subs were recruited to replace several Legionnaires during the Black Dawn crisis.)

The vision then drifts to Earth, where Computo and the three LSV founding members (Lighting Lord, Saturn Queen, and Cosmic King) have conquered the planet. The computer tyrant is now calculating the domination of the United Planets within six months.

But before they can do anything, the Legionnaires spring a surprise attack, forcing the villains into action. Saturn Girl and Light Lass take on Lightning Lord, whose bolts have no effect on his sister, presumably because she was also imbued with the same electrical power. But wait! Didn't Dream Girl change this with Naltorian super science? In any case, Imra knocks Lightning Lord unconscious by projecting Garth's “dying pain” telepathically into his brain. Hmm.
 Computo, meanwhile, has somehow rallied other villains to his side, including the Fatal Five and Nardo. Duo Damsel, having already lost a body to Computo, foolishly never learns, charging the machine again, only to lose her other two selves.

Polar Boy decides to destroy the mechanical monster by chilling its circuits into absolute zero, which, while successful, also backfires on him by freezing and electrocuting him at the same time, killing the unlucky Colossal Boy as well, who just happened to be at Polar Boy's side.
It's noteworthy that it's one of the newly-promoted Subs who saves the day. (In fact, in the last Legion series before cancellation, Polar Boy also defeated Tharok single-handedly, when all other Legionnaires were falling by the wayside. Brek's loyalty to the Legion traditions, demonstrated many times previously, and his effective thermal powers, prove he deserves to be regarded as one of the finest members of the team.)

The dream ends with the patient screaming a trademark Paul Levitz “Ayeeeee!”, the images of the dying Legionnaires ultimately proving too much for him to endure.

The chapter serves as a nice reminder of the simpler times of the ADVENTURE era, when tales drawn by either John Forte or Curt Swan featured mostly one-dimensional characters and Legionnaires who were truly noble, optimistic, altruistic and dedicated to teamwork for the greater good (as opposed to the in-fighting and squabbles that would develop in later years).

Incidentally, while artist Howard Bender tries his best to emulate the art of John Forte, his effort only goes to prove that the latter's stiff poses were just so bad that they can't be simulated adequately.

Third Vision 
Art by Curt Swan & Dan Adkins 
Review by Siskoid

I thought I'd gotten the booby-prize when I pulled this chapter because, and it may be shameful to admit it, I'm not a big fan of Curt Swan, especially his '80s work which tends to make everyone look the same and is rather stiff. But I did ask our great and benevolent leader Russell to give me the Curt Swan chapter mistakenly thinking it was the previous one with my beloved Substitute-Heroes in it! Well, there's no use crying about it because what I actually got was, narratively-speaking, the most important of Douglas Nolan's "visions".

It takes place in the "Adult Legion" timeline which, if we believe Brainy's theories about Nolan's ties to the time-stream and parallel worlds, cements its "reality" for long-time fans, despite growing discrepancies between the old Adult Legion stories and the ones we're reading now. And yet, the close of the pre-Crisis timeline, arguably "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" made use of that improbable history. One such potential discrepancy is the death of Shadow Lass as Shadow Woman, as mentioned above by Anj. She was depicted on the cover of Adventure Comics #354, prior to Tasmia Mallor's actual introduction in #365! On the cover, she was already dead, her statue in the Hall of Heroes mistakenly colored as if she had a Caucasian skin tone!
Well, who's sporting a Caucasian bronzer in this very issue? And who is right now on the Science Asteroid? And who will be involved in a nasty explosion there? Right! Shadow Lass. Levitz reminds us of this possible future and for a minute, a shiver runs through us. What if he means to loop back to her first, Adult-era, appearance? What if we're losing her in this anniversary issue?!
He plays another game with the Hall of Heroes, and that's putting Projectra there. Did he already have plans to kill Karate Kid on Orando? It's a story that would happen a few years hence, but already, he's thinking of this couple in terms of tragedy. Is this whole sequence an early fake-out, or worse, what he actually had planned, at least until he thought of Sensor Girl? All of this disguised as a sequence where Legionnaires reflect on the ones they've lost, most especially Douglas' brother Ferro Lad.

Oh yeah, sure, the Fatal Five are also in this, but the Hall of Heroes is what the chapter is actually about. That's much more exciting than slightly older Legionnaires fighting slightly older Fivers.

Fourth Vision 
Art by Dave Cockrum 
Review by Glenn 'Continuity Kid' Walker

I remember buying Legion of Super-Heroes #300 off the shelf at the mall Heroes World. I was unimpressed by the cover, while historic, I thought of the way the art styles conflicted with each other. What did I know? I was young. I had just been reintroduced to the Legion with the Computo Annual after not reading for quite some time, chased away by the awful Gerry Conway and J.M. DeMatteis post-Superboy stories. Now I was scrambling to find the Darkseid back issues and beyond, a hardcore fan of the Legion again. My immediate thought on reading #300 was disappointment that Mike Grell had not returned to do a chapter, but thrilled that Dave Cockrum had come back. It's the dynamic one's chapter I'm here to talk about.

This is an older Legion, not the "Adult Legion", but older versions of the characters that Cockrum himself had redesigned. We are told they are much older in this Fourth Vision by pseudo-narrator Brainiac 5, and Cockrum's art seems to verify this. I have always marveled over artists who can differentiate between Superboy and Superman. They are few and far between – Neal Adams, Nick Cardy, and here Cockrum, as this is definitely Superman alongside these Legionnaires. Colossal Man and Wildfire are prime Cockrum, looking almost if the artist never left the Legion. I'm even accepting of the silly goatees on Element Man and Tyroc. And I loved the Legion logo banner from back in the day.

This vision is dark, and full of oddities. Chemical King yet lives, and Tyroc is an active member. It's equally strange to see Superman as leader of this adult Legion. The Legion headquarters is a space satellite not unlike the animated Justice League's Watchtower, and the Khunds have invaded the United Planets. It's not just invasion though, it's war, and the Legion votes to use killing force. In their argument to do so, Cockrum conjures a parallel to the Last Supper brilliantly, followed by Superman's departure foreverr, his then-code about killing keeping him from joining the fray. You see, kids, back then Superman didn't kill. But enough of that. 
I loved the irony of the former Star Boy and Dream Girl watching news of the Legionnaires in killing combat with the Khundish forces. Star Boy was once expelled from the Legion for killing in self-defense, and they were both, in this vision, retired due to their marrying. They are disgusted, glad they are no longer members, and content to have a family. The vision ends abruptly with Tyroc killed on the battlefield. 

The visions all thematically revolve around death in the Legion, as of course the dreamer is Douglas Nolan, surviving brother of the late Ferro Lad. The issue makes us hope that someday Ferro Lad's brother might someday be released and join the Legion for reals, but it's just not to be. But then again this entire book is about what-might-have-beens. And it's true, while I wouldn't be interested in a killing Legion, I could get behind seeing this version of the adult Legion.

Fifth Vision 
Art by James Sherman 
Review by Michael Lane 

This vision opens with a large, ghostly-lit image of Mordru squeezing a cracked Earth in his hands as he gloats that his conquest is complete. Below is a large city filled with wreckage showing the destruction that Mordru inflicted on Earth. Our Brainiac 5 recognizes the scene as a warped version of Earthwar, in which Mordru conquered the Earth with the aid of the Khunds and the Dark Circle. Mordru intends to kill the remaining members of the Legion and he dispatches small demons to track them down.

On Korbal, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Light Lass gather around a campfire. Saturn Girl insists that they join forces with “them,” while Light Lass argues that it is useless. Before we can learn who “them” refers to, the trio are attacked by Mordru’s demons. Lightning Lad shouts that he is too weak to fight them all, but Saturn Girl reminds him of why they came to Korbal. Taking advantage of the atmosphere, the three channel their powers through Lightning Lad, who lets lose a blast strong enough to destroy all of the demons. 

The vision moves to Orando, where Princess Projectra, Dream Girl, and the White Witch sit at a seance. They are joined by Hagga, the Sorceress Royale,  and the Orakills, members of the ruling class of mystics. The White Witch has brought a spell that they hope will destroy Mordru’s power, although the spell comes at a cost.

Outside in the courtyard, Sun Boy, Colossal Boy, and Cosmic Boy are attacked by Mordru’s demons. Cosmic Boy is impaled by one of the demons just as the others feel themselves being pulled into a large glowing light. The light is the result of the White Witch’s spell. Someone describes it as being like a vacuum and those at the séance get pulled in as well. 

The light bursts from the surface of Orando and travels to Earth, where it surrounds Mordru and begins absorbing his power. As Mordru shrinks, the light spreads out like a large whirlpool, destroying his demons. Brainiac 5 theorizes that the spell had to act universally, draining all magic from the cosmos, including those who cast the spell, and we see the surviving Legionnaires swearing to rebuild Earth and its civilization.

I love seeing Sherman back drawing the Legion. It was a great idea to have him back to wrap up this alternative Earthwar given his early departure from the original story. Mordru has never looked as threatening as he did here. The story moves at an incredibly fast pace, but they still succeed in giving it an “epic” feel. Sherman’s wonderful splash page does a great job of conveying the stakes involved for Earth, and seeing the Legion survivors scattered also emphasizes the impact to the team. Having several more Legionnaires have to sacrifice themselves to stop Mordru is a powerful ending, even if these events may only be happening in someone’s mind.

Sixth Vision 
Art by Joe Staton & Dick Giordano 
Review by Jude Deluca

There's not much to say about the following sequence, other than we're clearly looking at a Legion where everything that could've gone wrong following Blok's introduction into the Legion DID go wrong. The Legion's on the verge of disbanding and everyone's either pointing fingers at who's to blame or just griping in general.

Lightning Lad helpfully recaps how Brainiac 5 and Matter-Eater Lad are insane, Ultra Boy is missing and presumed dead, Phantom Girl quit to mourn Jo, and Shrinking Violet left over loyalty to Imsk following a dispute with the United Planets. Over hunting rights. I'm familiar with everything (Brainy's insanity and Jo's disappearance) except Violet's departure, and I'm not sure if a plot point like that about Imsk ever occurred in Legion comics aside from the debacle with Yera and the war with Braal in the 5YL continuity.
Anyway, Blok leaves the Legionnaires to bicker among themselves, and runs into Dawnstar. Dawny's the only other Legionnaire showing a modicum of common sense, echoing Blok's doubts about the Legion and wondering if she has a role to play elsewhere in the universe. As Blok leaves Dawny to her thoughts, surprise! It turns out Blok's been working for the Dark Man all along, and through a portal opened in one of the Legion's monitors, returns to his master. The moment Blok is on the other side, the Dark Man drops off a bomb which blows up the HQ and kills all the other Legionnaires. And they lived happily ever after.

Oh Blok, you're just a big ol'... blockhead. :D

This sequence is probably the closest to events in the Legion's actual timeline than the other sequences, but it just feels so... I don't know, flat. It jumps straight from the Legionnaires fighting among themselves to Blok revealing he's a mole for the Dark Man, and then he conveniently abandons the HQ allowing the Dark Man to deposit a bomb which kills everyone. It feels too easy. It's just several pages of Legionnaires being awful to each other with no chance of happiness for any of them. It's like tragedy for the sake of tragedy, and it rubs me the wrong way.

I wonder if maybe this was supposed to be some version of an alternate plot idea, if Blok really had been planned as a traitor working for the Dark Man the whole time. Another Legion Judas like Nemesis Kid, or maybe a prototype of Terra from the Teen Titans.

Art by Keith Giffen & Larry Mahlstedt
Overall Review by Anj

Within all the visions, Brainiac 5 finally stumbles across one that includes Douglas. In this vision, Andrew dies battling the Sun Eater as in normal Legion history. But then we see that Douglas steps up and takes up the mantle of Ferro Lad. He is unanimously voted into the Legion to take his brother's place. And it is that timeline that sees Douglas' face ease and grower calmer and prouder. This is the reality he wants and, just like that, he fades away. He will live a life as a hero on that alternate timeline. As a Ferro Lad fan, I like the idea that Douglas is out there somewhere fighting the good fight.

As for the 'true' timeline, the hinted at Shadow Lass death turns out to be a feint from Levitz. Despite a full page splash that makes it look like she dies in an explosion, she comes out of that Science Asteroid mission relatively unharmed. Whew!

This was a fantastic anniversary issue for me. It touched on major periods of Legion history, it included a tremendous roster of artistic talent, and it brought Supergirl back into the fold for a short period of time. In the pre-internet days, this was a love letter to readers who knew the history and embraced it.

Editor's Notes: 
Thank you, Legion of Super-Bloggers for coming together and reviewing this issue as a team! With that, Russell officially hands over the Levitz-Giffen-Mahlstedt review job to Anj. Come back next Friday for Anj's review of LSH (v2) #301! You won't want to miss it! 

Well, after reviewing a story that celebrated 25 years of history of the Legion, there isn't much more I can say than....Back to the Future! 

Science Police Notes:  

  • Although every Legionnaire on the cover does appear some time in the issue, Queen Projectra, Bouncing Boy, and Shrinking Violet have the fewest "moments."  
  • The following characters are in the background at the ceremony: The Legion of Substitute Heroes, Batman, Lenny & Squiggy, Kid Psycho (Legion Reservist), The Heroes of Lallor, SP Officer Erin, E. Nelson Bridwell, Dr. Gym'll, Garfield, Spider-Man, Broot of the Omega Men, Circadia Senius, Dev-Em, Elastic Lad (Legion Reservist), the Wanderers, Light Lass, Rond Vidar (Legion Reservist), Keith Giffen, Paul Levitz, Larry Mahlstedt, Karen Berger, and Matter-Eater Lad. 
  • Anyone recognize who that is underneath Colossal Boy's left elbow? 
  • Although Lana Lang (Insect Queen) is a Legion Reservist, she does not appear at the ceremony. 
  • This story features the last appearance of the Dave Cockrum designed uniforms for Element Lad, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, and Shrinking Violet, and for the mid 80s Timber Wolf uniform. They would each get new togs in #301
  • This story features the debut of Shadow Lass' full-body-stocking uniform. 
  •  This story lays to rest once and for all the theory that the "Adult Legion" story from Adventure Comics #354 is canon. 
This issue has been reprinted in LSH: The Curse and LSH: 1050 Years Of the Future.

This issue celebrates the 300th issue of Superboy, which had morphed into The Legion in 1979. Former Legion artists Curt Swan, Dave Cockrum, Joe Staton, and James Sherman came back to draw chapters to help celebrate.


  1. Spoiler alert: you're gonna go "DUH!" in a few seconds.

    Anyone recognize who that is underneath Colossal Boy's left elbow?

    That's Wildfire, still sulking and refusing to wear his containment suit (draped over Blok's arm) after the Invisible Kids fiasco. (See Page 3, right below Supergirl's appearance.)

    Anyway, this issue probably represents Giffen/Mahlstedt at their absolute finest, even more than the Great Darkness saga. Several images stick in my head.

    --The full-page explosion behind Shadow Lass, filled with the most amazing Kirby Krackle.

    --The page with the alternating panels that show literally half of Douglas Nolan's mutated face.

    --The beautiful sky at the end, where the bands of color were, for the first time in my experience, NOT separated by black lines.

    --The director of the Science Asteroid being a truly alien form (and a terrifying-looking one), but a totally normal and non-threatening character (and Shady and Mon not even seeming to notice his differing appearance).

    That, I think, is one of the unsung highlights of this era of the Legion. Levitz and Giffen introduced truly alien characters who were not only totally non-humanoid, but in many respects terrifying in appearance (Queeg here would fit in perfectly in an alien horror story), but treat them as just people. No one seems to react to their appearance, they're just people.

    And no, I still haven't completely forgiven Levitz for the Shadow Woman fake-out...

    1. Great comments, you're absolutely right that this is the pinnacle of Levitz-Giffen-Mahlstedt.
      However, we recognize Wildfire.:-) Our question is in regards to the guy on the observation deck. You can see him peeking out between Gims chest and arm.

  2. Oh, THAT guy! I have no idea, but I'll offer a guess: maybe Larry Mahlstedt?

    In my defense, the article said "underneath" his elbow, and that is a pretty fair description of Wildfire's location.

    1. Okay, I'll give you that, my wording could have been better. But I think Larry is on the far right with the other creators. So maybe John Costanza or Carl Gafford? But then why not both of them?

  3. Let's not forget Batman and Spider-Man attending the ceremony! Great review! Haven't read the issue in years but I must go dig it out.

  4. The inclusion of Spidey got me thinking about a possible Spiderman try-out. Let's see, strength and agility, Timber Wolf has that. Swings from webs, mechanical devices are a no-no, and besides who needs that when you've all got flight rings. Spider-sense? Saturn Girl is just as good as an "early warning system". Sorry, Spiderman, your powers are just too ordinary.

    1. Clinging to walls is at least as legit a unique power as seeing through lead.

  5. The Shrinking Violet "hunting rights" subplot may be a reference to S/LSH #234 (the one with the Composite Creature on the cover) in which she leads a group of Legionnaires on a hunt for a space dragon. Or rather, the dragon's scales, which are important to Violet's people for some reason (don't ask me why, I haven't read the issue in years). I do remember a flashback scene, narrated by Violet, about the origin of Imskians' shrinking abilities (spoiler alert: the entire planet, including plants and animals, shrinks down to the size of a golf ball once every 7 years).

  6. You're right. Conway wrote a few times about Imsk fighting with the UP. This was just that plot taken to the extreme.

  7. I remember buying this issue and getting such a kick out of it. I started following the Legion shortly before the Great Darkness. As a kid without a car to visit a comic store, this was the only way to find older versions other than yard sale issues or the occasional digest.
    - Boston Moss

  8. It is Immorto, miscolored like many of the other Wanderers. :)