Thursday, December 27, 2018

Reboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #115

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #115 (May 1999)
title: "Imperfect Bizarros"
writers: Tom McCraw and Tom Peyer
penciller: Scott Kolins
inker: Ray Kryssing
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:  
Brainiac 5.1, Ferro, Invisible Kid, Karate Kid, Kinetix, Live Wire, M'Onel, Sensor (computer image), Spark, Thunder (computer image), Triad, Violet

Biz-Koko, Koko, Magno, Marla Latham, R.J. Brande

Biz-Brainy, Biz-Ferro, Biz-Karate Kid, Biz-Kinetix, Biz-Leviathan, Biz-Live Wire, Biz-M'Onel, Biz-Magno, Biz-Spark, Biz-Triad, Dr. Deacon, Lord Pernisius, Scurrches (computer image)

Brainiac 5.1's experiments with LexCorp Bizarro technology has led to the Legion Outpost, and about half the Legion, being turned into crazy Bizarro versions of themselves. Invisible Kid is left to his own devices to turn them back to normal before they give themselves an "origin" by assassinating R.J. Brande...

At the Legion Inpost, the Bizarros are about to atomize Invisible Kid, but he gets free and confounds their senses by making all but his skeleton vanish. They decide to put a dress on him while he tries to figure out how to reverse the transformation. It's the brilliant Bizarro-Koko who manages to separate the strands of DNA in a simulation, making it possible to project a beam that separates the Legionnaires from their Bizarro selves. First the beam is sent out to Mars, where Biz-M'Onel is suffering from glass poisoning, saving R.J. Brande's life.
Lyle then splits the Legionnaires at the Inpost, and the freed Legionnaires help round up the Bizarros. Thankfully, Brainiac 5.1 had been working on a shrink ray (as mentioned in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #113), so he uses it to free the space station from the enormous, huggy Biz-Leviathan, and then to shrink the Bizarros down to a manageable size. Placed in an aquarium, they are a problem for another day.
Invisible Kid confronts Brainy about their scientists' rivalry and concedes he is not the better scientist. He gives the credit to Koko, who actually saved the day, infuriating the Coluan. Elsewhere, Dr. Deacon and Lord Pernisius want Sensor and Thunder dead so they can have all the Eternium for themselves...
The Bizarro situation has been cleared up. There's still a bit of confusion on my side concerning the time frame this happened in. At least, we saw the short-circuiting when R.J. tried to call for help. So my guess is all this happened practically simultaneously with the release of the vessels caused by Dragonmage. Brande didn't speak of it when contacting the Legion HQ because there was too much to be dealt with. [Siskoid: I don't know. I think that zap came from Bizarro-Spark.] There will be a report submitted at some point and someone will have to deal with Brainy's ways. The good news is, we're hopefully done with the Bizarros.
So since Koko has been causing mischief with Brainiac all this time, I guess it makes sense that Bizarro Koko was the smarter one. What a weird hero we're celebrating! Interesting to see how Invisible Kid talked this over with Brainy. I am glad he did it too! Brainy put the Legion into yet another big mess and that one could've been way worse if it wasn't for a monkey and a guy who can control his powers enough to look like a skeleton. The conversation they had was brief but still pointed to a lot of unspoken frustration between the two of them. I really hope this served as a lesson for Brainy. You can be as smart as you want, but common sense and caution have to become part of his skills. He's his own worst enemy and it's brought trouble to the Legion for far too long.
While I went on record saying I liked the comedy of the storyline as a throwback to the Silver Age's Tales of the Bizarro World, two issues may have been too long. At least the proper Legionnaires are brought back to life, split off from their Bizarros so they can get into the action. M'Onel saves Brande, Brainy takes charge of the shrink ray, and so on. Invisible Kid is still the lead, but one frustrated because other characters (including a monkey) keep stealing his thunder. At the end, he gives Koko his due, but of course that's more to sting Brainiac 5.1. I do genuinely think he was serious about burying the hatchet with Brainy, it's just that the arrogant Coluan didn't want to admit Lyle was a viable rival, and so, one last barb. Like the Triad-Ferro friendship, however, this isn't really something that had been strongly set up. For this finale to really work, the story should have shown that the Bizarro experiment was SOMEhow the result of that rivalry.
But while there are some good Bizarro bits left - the glass poisoning, "say your swear words", etc. - there's still no explaining the logic of the story. If the solution is splitting DNA strands, how does the ray work on inorganic material like the Outpost? If you were to split my DNA in two like this, I'd be half the mass, but we don't get tiny Legionnaires. If Biz-M'Onel is vulnerable to glass, what's that aquarium made of? That last one is easy to answer (plexiglass is one solution), but is there no danger of Biz-Leviathan growing out of it? And no, they don't appear again. I don't want them to, but it's weird to think they're in a fish tank for the rest of the Reboot. Better they were pulverized or faded away at the end of the time limit.
Science Police Notes:  
  • All-inclusive Legion numbering: 1999/10.
  • The Bizarro Legion is never heard from again.


  1. At this point, I feel the same way about the McCraw/Peyer/Stern run on the Legion as I do about the year 2018: CAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO BE OVER!

    On the plus side, there's only 12 more reviews (6 LOSH + 6 Legionnaires issues) to go before Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning breathe new life into the Reboot Legion. I can't wait to hear what you guys have to say about the LEGION LOST and LEGION WORLDS mini-series. Not to mention the ongoing LEGION title.

    Happy New Year, indeed!

  2. I'm afraid there's also a Secret Files in there, so 13!

    1. So you'll get there the first Thursday of April instead of the last Thursday of March. The point is, you'll get there.