Monday, October 18, 2021

Valor #19

Valor #19 (May 1994)

title: "Deadline!"
writer: Mark Waid
penciller: Colleen Doran
inker: Mischa McDowell
letterer: Bob Pinaha
colorist: Dave Grafe
associate editor: Mike McAvennie
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Stuart Immonen & Jose Marzan (signed)

reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage 

The Legion of Super-Heroes (Saturn Girl, Triad, Element Lad, Brainiac 5) 

the Khunds

The Linear Men are monitoring the time quakes that are shaking up the time stream. As we already know, the cause is Glorith, who has mucked Time up by killing Valor in this time, preventing him from reaching his Destiny (to help create the Legion, among other things).  They send Wave Rider after Valor to try to convince him to "fix" the time-line, i.e. by submitting to 1,000 years in the Twilight Zone dimension again. Four Legionnaires are also chasing Valor to also try to convince him to "do the right thing" again. (The Valor they are trying to convince is the time-travelling one, who already spent 1,000 years in solitude; the Valor who was supposed to be fated to do that is the "past" Valor, aka the dead one. Does this make sense?) 

Meanwhile, Valor has been fighting a Khund warship and was captured at the end of last issue. He easily escapes from his bonds, telling the Khundian commander that he let himself be captured so that he could destroy the Khundian space-ship from inside. They battle for several pages.

The crew eventually deserts the ship as it begins to fall apart around them. Valor must still face off against Commander Khardon. Valor knows his name, although he says he has never met him. Khardon suits up in war armor, but Valor still manages to defeat him. Khardon is forced to retreat, threatening vengeance at their next encounter.  

As the Legionnaires near Valor's location in Khund territory, Alchemist (aka Element Lad) and Brainiac 5 also f-f-f-fade away, as Ultra Boy and Cosmic Boy did already. 

The Legionnaires arrive just as Valor has destroyed the Khund space-ship. Saturn Girl attempts to talk to him telepathically, trying to convince him that he has a Destiny; a responsibility to the future that he cannot shirk. He, of course, resents the burden they are trying to thrust upon him. Wouldn't you? 

Wave Rider arrives, telling him the same thing. In the most inane scene in the book, Triad (aka Triplicate Girl) beseeches Valor to sacrifice himself again for the sake of millions of future peoples' a speech she admits that he CAN NOT HEAR. 

Valor watches as Triad disappears, and THEN he somehow knows he has to destroy the Khund ship as he was fated to do. Huh? Wave Rider then SOMEHOW is able to convince him to agree to his Destiny: in other words, to go back to the Phantom Twilight Zone. Valor agrees, but needs to do all the tasks that he is "supposed" to do (have done?) before being sentenced to another 1,000 years in solitude. 

Unfortunately.....Wave Rider tells him he only has 48 hours to accomplish things that previously had taken him dozens of years.  

Russell's comments: 
Well..... The good news is that this series is almost up. Even if I didn't know that this was true, I think anyone could pick up this issue by itself, read it, and guess that the series is almost over. You can almost FEEL the oxygen rushing out of the room while reading this story. 

Some random thoughts on this issue.....For a time-line that is self-destructing and threatening the entire Universe As We Know It, the pace of this story sure. is. slow. 

The inclusion of Wave Rider AND the Linear Men makes no sense. Also, I have no idea what they do. Wave Rider is some sort of Silver Surfer slash Pariah mash-up, right? And the Linear Men do what exactly? They're like Marvel's Watcher, but of Time? I guess? 

It was nice to SEE the Legionnaires, but not very nice for them all to fade away WITHOUT HAVING ACCOMPLISHED ANYTHING. Also, Triplicate Girl begging Valor to do the right thing in a sound-proof environment.....?!?! I REALLY don't understand what that is about. The only thing I can guess is that it shows how much she (and by extension, the Legion) loves and trusts Valor. But....uh....we already knew that, right? The appearance of the Legionnaires in this story arc was monumentally depressing. 

But wait, there's more next issue! We actually have more "time" to spare after all.... 

This series has never been reprinted. And my guess is that it never will be 

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