Friday, April 17, 2020

Reboot: The Legion #26

The Legion #26 (Early January 2004)
title: "Foundations Part 2"
writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
penciller: Chris Batista
inker: Chip Wallace
lettering: Jared K. Fletcher
colorist: Sno Cone
editor: Stephen Wacker
cover: Tony Harris and Tom Feister

reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Dreamer, Ferro, Invisible Kid, Kid Quantum II, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Sensor, Shikari, Spark, Star Boy, Superboy II, Triad, Ultra Boy, Umbra, Violet

Athramites, Science Police

Catastrophists, Darkseid, Servants of Darkness (Big Barda, Firestorm, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Lobo, Martian Manhunter, Orion, Superman)

Superboy has come out of a stargate with no memory of how he got to the future. A Catastrophist cult is calling this a sign of the Apocalypse, or perhaps just of Apokolips, as new Servants of Darkseid have appeared to prepare his return...

On Apokolips, the Servants of Darkseid and the Catastrophists have gathered to worship his statue, except it's not his statue, but the evil one in a dormant state. Several of his Servants give their lives to him and vanish in a blast of energy, but he requests "more". In the Nduku System, the Legionnaires, a boisterous but exasperatingly clueless Superboy in tow, investigate one of the decommissioned stargates when a cadre of Servants attack. The one that looks like Superman rips Connor's chest emblem off and they leave via Boom Tube.
On Legion World, Saturn Girl makes her daily visit to Garth's side in the Winath Habitat, but she can't bear to let him touch her and conveniently leaves for a briefing. Kid Quantum blanks during the meeting, a sign of whatever's ailing her, and the Legionnaires commit themselves to researching what's going on. Dreamer will make more precognitive checks and Brainiac 5 and Invisible Kid will head to the Time Institute to also figure out how Superboy's presence ties into all this. The Institute is surrounded by Catastrophists who just want the world to end already, and they may get their wish. The two heroes detect a Boom Tube opening in their lab and two Servants come out on the offensive.
Back on Legion World, it seems Cosmic Boy and Kis Quantum have had their date, and possibly more besides as they are evidently a couple now. They discuss Rokk's faith in the Spirit of the Last Son and Kid Quantum notices a small temporal anomaly, but can't confirm it because Dreamer's calling. She thinks she can't see the future because it doesn't exist anymore. Meanwhile, Ferro brings Superboy to the Athramites for a costume fitting, and they make him the original Superboy's costume, i.e. Superman's.
Unfortunately, the villain looks quality decreases incredibly fast when looking at anyone but the main three… and now they're gone? Come on! Flame face, cat looking guy and epic headpiece chick were so much better! I’m sorry but Robot guy is just a poorly made Iron Man costume. And Is that an alien?... I mean yes, it is, but like that’s basically THE Alien from the movies, isn’t it? Except with a second mouth on its belly… Yum! I guess cape gladiator dude has something going on, but he doesn’t seem to have a personality. Long story short, not a fan of these guys! Will we have names for them at some point. I can’t promise I’ll be able to baptize them all.
Whatever the bad guys are doing, it’s affecting time all around the U.P. I wonder if that’s what caused Quantum Kid to blank, or if that was related to the shadows we saw two comics ago. As much as this seems important plot-wise, what really interested me was that there's a new official relationship. Hello! What a power couple Rokk and Jaz make! Meanwhile, our other couples are badly struggling. No new information was provided on Jo and Tinya’s marriage and clearly Imra still has a long way to go before accepting Garth’s return in this appearance.
Final note: I will never – NEVER – refer to Cosmic Boy as Cee-Bee.

We see here the difference in how something plays for the new reader and the veteran comic book nerd, EVEN THOUGH Shotgun's been reading the Legion of Super-Heroes for the equivalent of almost 10 years. To her, the Servants of Darkseid are all looks (cool and not) in search of names. To a reader who recognizes Darkseid's shtick from The Great Darkness Saga and has a broader knowledge of the DC Universe, it's almost a game to try and figure out who's who. The original three were clearly Orion, Big Barda and Firestorm, and there's apparently plenty more where that came from, as the creators seem able to draw on all the characters from DC history. That armored dude I first thought was Metallo, but I know recognize as a Green Lantern. The "cape gladiator dude" is clearly a corrupted Superman, and I can't tell if he wanted Connor's chest emblem because he recognized it, or if it's some kind of holy grail for the Catastrophists, or what. The Alien is actually a Martian design, albeit a creepy-looking one. It's all meaningless to someone who is just reading The Legion, a parade of costumes and powers. Especially since we don't really understand what they're trying to do.
As I surmised, everything in The Legion Secret Files 3003 is reiterated here, and I can't even say the stuff that seemed on hold moved very much. Garth is still a sad sack and off to the side. Kid Quantum has experiences due to her connection to the quantum realm, but they're not clear. Superboy and Dreamer have joined, but we are denied actual scenes where this happened. And the same goes for the NEW information, that Cos and Kid Q are an item. Last time this was addressed, there seemed to be interest. We've jumped straight to massages and kissing, did not pass Go, did not collect our 200 credits. It's true that Legion books could often get mired in slow subplots, but DnA are intent on jumping from crisis event to crisis event and are taking shortcuts on the character development. I'm a little ambivalent. Fun to see a classic-look Superboy in the Legion again though (even if his immature behavior is a little objectionable).
Science Police Notes:  
  • In the previous continuity, the Servants of Darkness were corrupted clones of Superman, Orion, Kalibak, Lydea Mallor, and a Guardian of the Universe. In the Reboot, the Servants are apparently corrupted clones of Orion, Big Barda, Lobo, Firestorm, Hawkgirl, Superman, and also seems to include (a) Green Lantern (looking like Metallo), and a Martian figure who could be a corrupted J'Onn J'Onzz. Others are less obvious.
  • Superboy wears a t-shirt with Karate Kid's emblem on it, an icon that was only ever on Val's chest in one story (in Superboy #183) and was a fan design showcased in Adventure Comics #403. He was training with Karate Kid in The Legion Secret Files 3003.
  • Though corrupted Orion is destroyed in the first few pages, another corrupted Orion attacks the Time Institute in the last few. Like the armored Green Lantern who stood on the same dais, he may not have been destroyed.
  • The Athramites give Kon-El the original Superboy's costume with one difference - a Legion buckle.

1 comment:

  1. This arc was my first-ever Legion of Superheroes comics and what got me into researching Cockrum, Shooter, etc. So these comics can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned!