Thursday, November 15, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #112

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #112 (Month, Year)
title: "Bound Together"
writers: Tom McCraw and Tom Peyer
penciller: Scott Kolins
inker: Ron Boyd
lettering: Pat Brosseau
colorist: Tom McCraw
assistant editor: Frank Berrios
editor: Mike McAvennie
cover: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Ferro, Triad

Takron-Galtos guards

Metal Eaters, The Plague (Gronk, Howl, Murdermaton)

Ferro has always had a hard time adjusting to being on the team and in the 30th Century.

Triad and Ferro are ferrying a trio of criminals known as the Plague - Gronk, Howl, and Murdermaton - to Takron-Galtos in a beat-up old ship, as the Legion's own ships don't have the facilities to keep them contained. While Ferro, Triad-Orange and Triad-Prime go check on the prisoners, the impulsive Triad-Purple decides to take a shortcut through a sort of cloud. Turns out it's full of metal-eating parasites, which start eating the ship. The Legionnaires free the Plague to save them from hull breaches, but these fanatics try to kill the heroes.
Triad-Purple blames Ferro for letting them loose, after Murdermaton feigns being damaged, and calls him an idiot, hurting his feelings. Still, the two groups must join forces to survive. Howl and Murdermaton do not, and Ferro almost gets eaten by the Metal Eaters. His transsuit damaged, he can't return to flesh form, but does after trusting Triad to save him. With the ship almost entirely digested, the Legionnaires flee with Gronk in an escape pod, and reach Takron-Galtos. Triad apologizes to Ferro, but is forced to admit that some part of her must have meant it when she said he was stupid, destroying their friendship. Triad-Purple gets punched in the face by her two "sisters", and Triad muses that sometimes, she really hates herself.
I love Triad, I really do. But she’s playing very hard to love in this issue. The thing I love about her is the way she splits into her extremes. While Orange is shy and silent, Purple is completely at the other end of the spectrum. Normally, I find it amusing. I even think everyone could use that power. To split for a while and forget our more extreme thoughts, having our emotions become immediately more balanced. The risk is to see your extremes go berserk without the others controlling them, like what happened here. It’s the first time I feel like Triad’s gone too far. Ferro wasn’t stupid for showing empathy towards these guys. He was played for a fool, but that doesn’t mean he’s an idiot. Purple should see that the real idiot was the one who decided to change their path, putting everyone in danger for no other reason than trying to arrive earlier. I’m very glad to see that Triad owned up to what her split self said during those moments without making excuses related to stress and frustration. She just admitted that a part of her must think it. I’m sure it hurt her to admit it, but she did. Hopefully they succeeded in knocking some sense into Purple now.
Now, Ferro’s behavior during this mission wasn’t exemplary. He made some weird calls and we all saw the results. As a matter of fact, his only real fault here is to be too trusting. He was so kind and calm when he learned how Purple was the one to blame for the bugs attacking the ship. He felt for the prisoners and wanted to avoid their coming to any harm. He didn’t like the ship, but still worked with Triad to save it. It’s very unfortunate that Purple had to blow off steam on him that way. Every time I feel like he’s finally found his place on the team, something comes up and prevents him from finding it. He’s very fragile, for someone who can turn into metal - and I know the character was built exactly that way. I just hope he’ll end up feeling at home with them sooner than later.
While overall, I can't say I really liked this story, there are some interesting elements at play. For one thing, throwing Triad and Ferro together makes sense as both characters were, at some point, institutionalized. There must lie their friendship because it's not really something that's been mentioned or seen before in any meaningful way. We have to accept it as given for the drama to work, but if you've been keeping track of these guys, it's a bit contrived. But not more so than Ferro's empathy for murderers about to be "institutionalized" in prison. I mean, come on now. Of course, that's not why he lets Murdermaton get the jump on him. That's just down to good old-fashioned kindness. And I don't think we (or two-thirds of Triad) begrudge him that. The other interesting thing is the theme of trust, which falls apart (much as the ship does) among the Legionnaires, and is unwarranted inside the Plague. Murdermaton essentially betrays his team mates and acts as a dark mirror of what is happening between Triad and Ferro.
But despite it's thematic grounding - which I always appreciate - this is a very slim story that requires the characters to act a little dumb, and jumps into a situation without explaining it (who are the Plague and why should I care about these villains?). Sorry, but with so few characters to focus on, things could have been handled much better.
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1999/4.
  • Given the number of Star Trek references made in this era of the Legion, the planet Yar is likely named after the NextGen character, Tasha Yar.
  • The issue marks the first mention of the 30th-Century holiday Klorndy in the Reboot era.
  • Page 5 includes background Interlac signs where Scott Kolins sends a message to his better half: "xoxo Kim".


  1. I usually enjoy smaller team missions, but the art on this story really turned me off. Triad's cartoony facial expressions ruined it for me, as well as her emotional extremes.

  2. By this point,the 2 Toms were undoubtedly running out of gas.Still like that final page,though.
    Ferro was wasted in the reboot Legion.He could've served as the reader's POV,exploring the future thru his eyes.Instead,he was treated as the village idiot,even by Legionnaires like Triad,which doesn't reflect well on them.

  3. Minor correction to the Science Police Notes: this is not the first appearance of Takron-Galtos in the Reboot era. We saw it back in Issue #77, and several issues of the Fatal Five story arc took place there. I don't think we saw it before then, but I'm not 100% certain.

    As to the issue at hand... yeah, I'm decidely "meh" on this one. It suffers from the "one-off" set-up they had going for a while, and as you mentioned Triad's characterization is just off. Purple always used to be the impulsive, intense, extrovert, but she didn't use to just be mean. There's something satisfying about seeing her other two thirds deck her on the last page--but the personality displayed in the issue (to justify that reaction) just wasn't earned. Could have been good if we'd seen the friendship with Ferro really develop over previous issues.

    Or if the villains hadn't been throwaways.

    Or if the way that everyone called the swarm "bugs" constantly didn't have this weird effect of making them all seem juvenile.

    ... I could go on, but for everyone's sanity I think I'll just stop there.