Monday, January 29, 2018

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #6

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #6 (November 2007)
title: Attack of the Green Lantern Corps
writer: J. Torres
art: Alexander Serra
letterer: Mike Sellers
colorist: Heroic Age
editor: Jeanine Schaefer
cover art: Alexander Serra

Mission Monitor Board: Blok, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superman, Timber Wolf, Tyroc

Villains: The Star Conquerors

Special Appearance: The Green Lantern Corps

Summary: Lightning Lad and Bouncing Boy are returning from a mission in space when they come under attack from the Green Lantern Corps. The Corps departs after disabling their ship, and the boys call home to tell the team what happened.
Superman is unfamiliar with the Corps, so Brainiac 5 explains that they are an interstellar police force operating out of the planet Oa. Superman learns that at each member wears a power ring capable of generating emerald constructs, which may be the most powerful weapon in the universe because it is only limited by its wearer's imagination and willpower. But Brainiac 5 cannot explain why members of the Corps would attack their fellow Legionnaires.
The team realizes they may soon learn why when Computo tracks the Corps headed straight for Metropolis. Timber Wolf also smells them approaching but the team still barely has time react before coming under attack.

Superman leads the team into battle while Braniac 5 calls for help. The Legion is able to hold its own for a while but just barely. Saturn Girl appears distracted as her telepathy starts to pick up something unusual. Unfortunately, the tide of battle starts to turn in favor of the Corps. Even Superman finds himself getting overwhelmed by their sheer numbers and persistence.
Brainiac 5 confronts one of the Lanterns, Jordana Gardner, demanding to know why they are attacking. She merely replies "you are in the way," a statement the other Lanterns began to repeat. The Legion appears to be nearing defeat when suddenly the cavalry appears.
Their arrival catches the Corps off guard and helps the Legion regain its footing. For the first time in this title, we see heroes such as Blok, Dream Girl, Sun Boy, Tyroc, and Colossal Boy helping the team. Saturn Girl finally discovers the reason the Corps is attacking and uses her telepathy to show her teammates what has been hidden from them. Everyone sees a starfish on the face of each Lantern, and Brainiac 5 names their true enemy...the Star Conquerors!
Brainiac 5 explains to Superman that the Star Conquerors glom onto a person and take over their brain, making them a mindless slave. He says that they have to separate each Lantern from their star fish.
The team goes about freeing the Lanterns, each in their own way. Just when the team has freed the last Lantern and is about to celebrate victory, Brainiac 5 recalls that the small starfish are usually just clones sent out to take over victims in advance of their leader. The team looks up to see a giant starfish arrive over Metropolis. Fortunately, the team also sees that Lightning Lad and Bouncing Boy have repaired their ship and returned as well.
After the defeat of the Star Conqueror, the two teams of heroes mingle. Jordana Gardner introduces herself to Superman, who is impressed to learn that she is the youngest person ever recruited by the Corps. Cosmic Boy explains that she also comes from a long line of ring bearers dating back to his time and has Green Lanterns on both sides of her family. Jordana is telling him he will in fact eventually work with two of them in his own time, when she notices her sidekick getting antsy from excitement. It seems her sidekick Lantern, Gen'Ma, is a big Superman fan
This issue was so much fun. To long time comic fans who are familiar with the Green Lantern Corps, their appearance in this series is a special treat. To new readers brought in through the cartoon, the comic does a great job of introducing the Corps. We also get to see quite a few new Legionnaires appear in this title, at least beyond mere one-panel cameos that a few had done in the past.

This is one of the most action-packed issues of the series. Except for a few pages early in the story that provides Superman (and the reader) with a brief history lesson regarding the Corps, the story is almost entirely one large battle scene. And it is a very well drawn battle. Alexander Serra does a fantastic job of using the fight to showcase the abilities of both the Green Lantern Corps and the Legionnaires, particularly as to those who do not regularly appear.

The battle is exciting but not mindlessly so as we see the Legionnaires slowly piece together clues from the Lanterns' behavior, and Saturn Girl appears to be getting closer to making some sort of breakthrough in the mystery of what is behind their attack. Having the Star Conquerors appear only adds to the already strong feelings of nostalgia that long time comic readers would feel from this issue.

The meeting of Jordana Gardner and Superman at the end is cute, even if her background was made obvious from her name. The final panel of the two teams saluting each other was a perfect note to end on. I admit to being an easy mark for this issue, but I think the majority of long time DC comic fans would be as well. I also think the issue has enough fun and excitement to also please young readers brought because of the cartoon, and it provides a great introduction to an important part of DC mythology.

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