Friday, July 21, 2017

Legion of Super Heroes #309

Legion of Super-Heroes #309 is the penultimate chapter of the Omen and Prophet storyline and proceeds forward about as well as it could. The motivations of cosmic beings are often inscrutable and their heralds sometimes rave like lunatics. So why the Prophet and the Omen are doing what they are doing and why they are doing it now are questions I have always had when I have read this story.

The good news is that, per usual, the creative team of plotters Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen infuse enough Legion character moments into the messy melee to keep things interesting. Giffen's pencils continue to skew towards his rougher style and the epic nature of these fights make things a bit muddy. But this still reads like a fine Legion book, just loud. And, as usual, there are a bunch of subplots simmering to keep me thinking about the future.

Like the prior two issues, this one is split. The Omen story is the leading one. There is a back-up feature here focusing on the newly married Princess Projectra and Karate Kid. For me, knowing those characters future, this back-up story is powerful foreshadowing, reminding me that when Levitz was at the top of his game he was able to keep a ton of balls in the air. This one also has fine art by Pat Broderick and Mike DeCarlo.

On to the book!

 'As the Sky Burns' opens in the middle of a brawl.

The Legion team which has been trailing the Prophet since the decimation of Trewsk has finally caught up to him on Khundia and a massive brawl has ensued. Unfortunately, this fight has happened just as the UP was trying to create a peace accord with the Khunds. The Khunds think this is all a UP ruse. But the Legion is there to stop this threat.

The Prophet, in essence, is a good guy, trying to warn the planets that the Omen, an all-powerful scourge of worlds, is on his way. The Prophet is hoping that he can rally these places, or at least get them to flee, in order to save everyone. But when opposed, the Prophet attacks. Is he part of the problem? Or part of the solution?

Regardless, the end result of his rants always seems to be destruction and the Legion just keeps trying to incapacitate him. While Mon-El, Ultra Boy, and Timber Wolf are present, the other Legionnaires are Phantom Girl, Invisible Kid, and Shadow Lass. They aren't bruisers.

Still, it is good to see these heroes use what they have in the effort. Here, Phantom Girl crashes a Khundian cruiser into the prophet ... albeit with little effect.

Despite the ongoing brawl, Levitz cuts away to give us two key subplot reminders.

We once again are sent to an unknown medieval looking world where the Sun Emperor and his 'allies' are trying to take control. Long time fans know where this is going.

But then we get a reminder that Computo still lives within Danielle Foccart. We get a page of Brainy trying to cure her and failing. I am glad that Levitz showed us this scene. Sometimes side plots, like Danielle's possession, get lost. The truth is Brainy would be trying to cure her always.

We finally get to see the Omen, an eyeless rather serene appearing figure as he walks on Corvan IV.

But rather than raze the place, he seems quite happy walking its lush fields. We even see him smile as a butterfly emerges from a cocoon.

This is hardly a Galactus type devourer ... at least not here.

While the art is rougher, you definitely see Giffen experimenting with panels and pages such as here.

And another good page. The Legionnaires on Khundia as an honor guard for Ambassador Relnic are finally cut loose to help their friends fight the Prophet. But the added strength of Blok, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, and Dreamy doesn't add much.

I really love this page layout. Just brilliant stuff by Giffen.

Finally, Shady realizes that the Prophet's eyes always seem to be reflecting a sun, despite the gloomy skies of Khundia. Realizing that those eyes might be the conduit to his power, she covers them with her darkness. Suddenly powerless, he is able to be put down.

Earlier, the Omen had sensed his creation (the Prophet) was missing and frowned. The Omen tracks his herald to Khundia. If the Prophet was tough to beat what are the Legion going to do with this god-like creature?

Next issue, the finale!

"Monarchs of All They Survey" is the second feature. We open on Luxuris, a honeymoon planet far from Orando. Here the newlyweds enjoy a quiet afternoon of sunbathing and relaxation.

Well sort of ...

Before we move onto the story, I have to say that Pat Broderick and Mike DeCarlo's art is very nice here. Jeckie is gorgeous. And frankly, I think I would have to call her quite leggy. Do those seem too long for her body? Not that I'm complaining.

Unfortunately, Val can't seem to enjoy the downtime. He is bored.

Now why would you say that to your new wife on your honeymoon. Miffed, she decides to give him what he wants, conjuring an illusion of a combatant.

Seriously Val??? Really???

The quiet is broken up when Projectra's evil cousin and rival for Orando's throne arrives. He has been freed from his dungeon prison by 'mutual friends' and is eager to have his revenge.

Can I say, we just saw a medieval world in a subplot in the opening story. Then we hear how Pharoxx was freed from a medieval dungeon. How did I not put 2 and 2 together?

Of course, Pharoxx's magic isn't enough to defeat these two Legionnaires. In a nice sequence, Val actually throws Pharoxx in the path of the villain's own spell. Nice defensive maneuver!

Alas, before he can confess about this whole plot, Pharoxx is whisked away by a very Gil'Dishpan looking warp. Man ... the clues are all there. The Legion of Super-Villains takeover of Orando is right around the corner. I should have seen it.

I have to say, these back-up stories have been very nice, bulking up the depth of the Legion mythos, peeking in at characters we haven't seen in a while.

But Omen and the Prophet ... I am glad that is coming to a close.


  1. It's Invisible kid who notices the Prophet's weakness and alerts Shadow Lass. It's right there on the clip page. Still, it's a nice bit of deduction on Jacques' part and good teamwork for both.

  2. Humble apologies for my error.