Thursday, January 11, 2018

Reboot: Superboy #45

Superboy (v4) #45 (November 1997)
title: "Invaders from the Future!"
writer: Ron Marz
penciller: Georges Jeanty
inker: Doug Hazlewood
lettering: Richard Starkings
colorist: Buzz Setzer
assistant editor: Ruben Diaz
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Tom Grummett and Doug Hazlewood
reviewers: Siskoid

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5 (flashback), Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Saturn Girl, Spark, Triad, Ultra Boy

Dubbilex, Roxie Leech, Sam Makoa, Superboy, Tana Moon

Silver Sword

The last time the Legion visited Superboy, they only found Roxie Leech, wearing S-Boy's Legion ring. Insulted, they promptly asked for it back...

In Superboy #44... Our favorite clone had a decidedly sexual dream about various superheroines, including Triad, who in real life has the hots for him.
This presages the actual arrival of the Legion in their ship the next issue. Superboy attacks it, not noticing the Legion symbol on the side, which only makes Cosmic Boy more angry about the whole ring kerfuffle. He rants at Superboy for not taking honorary membership seriously, a harsh message confused by Triad then giving him a Legion-style costume designed and sewn by Ferro.
She hopes he'll come with them back to the future when Brainiac 5 has cracked the time travel problem. Before he can make his answer, Dubbilex interrupts, having received news that Silver Sword has taken over the Hawaiian Historical Museum. Superboy heads over, the Legion in tow, and after his girlfriend, journalist Tana Moon, meets Triad - cold reception both ways - the heroes find Silver Sword has stolen the priceless Spear of Lono. There is a fight between the Legion and Silver Sword, at the end of which the latter escapes with the Spear.
Superboy believes himself a screw-up, but Cosmic Boy nevertheless offers him honorary membership back. Superboy accepts, though he has no plans to go live in the future. Still, he'll take it seriously this time, and the Legion can always count on him.
Letting Shotgun rest this week, in part to save her from having to talk about Superboy's disgusting wet dream, but this is strictly a side-story anyway. I don't even know why it needs to exist, unless Superboy's honorary membership is going to be important later, and I don't think it is. There is absolutely nothing story-wise that motivates undoing the previous scene where the flight ring is taken back. Never mind that for Legion fans coming to this issue fresh, it's not exactly a complete story. The villain escapes at the end, no closure. And the heroes have to act like dunderheads for that to even happen.
But what's really annoying is that the Legion isn't portrayed well at all. I wasn't a fan of writer Ron Marz at the time, quite the opposite, but while his Superboy is fine, his Legion is way off-model. Cosmic Boy throwing a tantrum, revoking Superboy's membership then restoring it (after S-Boy has made an even bigger mess of things, no less)? That doesn't sound like him AT ALL. What's even going on? If that's the Legion's plan, why have Triad give Superboy a costume and a standing invitation to the 30th Century? She has a crush on him, but is it proper to have her borderline suggest a foursome? Superboy seems to like the costume, but makes excuses not to wear it - is the art just not in line with the writer's intent? Ugh. From the moment the Legion ship arrives and we're kept from seeing the Legion logo despite the Legionnaires saying it was obvious, the issue's been a big mess.
Science Police Notes:  
  • Though Arnold Kaua first appears in Superboy #2, he becomes Silver Sword only in #5. Interestingly, Legion history also features a character called Silver Sword, a knight-like heroine once hypnotized by Universo and first appearing in Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #33.
  • The Spear of Lono was first seen in Superboy #3, in the sticky hands of Scavenger.
  • Superboy was offered honorary membership back in Legionnaires #31; the Legion took back the ring in Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #94.


  1. I think they did this for three reasons. The first, obvious one is money. Another crossover to get Legion fans to buy another non-Legion comic (and hopefully become regular subscribers/purchasers).

    The second reason is just because Superboy is one of the few heroes they already knew in the 20th Century before getting stranded, so it feels like they should have some interaction...

    But mostly it's because they wanted to have Superboy in the big three parter coming up, and if they hadn't done something in these issues regarding the flight ring then having Superboy magically appear in that would have required explanation.

  2. And yet, these issues could have been resolved within that arc.