Legion: Secret Origin by Paul Levitz, Chris Batista and Marc Deering (graphic novel review).

While I was still mopping up anything Legion Of Super-Heroes’ that DC Comics had left hanging around, I came across ‘Legion: Secret Origin’, from the 2011 mini-series, written by Paul Levitz with art pencilled by Chris Batista and inked by Marc Deering.

The only problem was to work out which version of the LSH it was the origin of. After all, this version has a haughty but reasonably sane Brainiac 5, a Chameleon Boy who speaks English…although that’s probably Interlac. Phantom Girl is now an inter-dimensional traveller and her home world far more advanced than the United Planets. Oh and an attempt to go into the past to recruit Superboy fails.

Other than a piece at the back showing some designs, there is nothing there to help as to which LSH. Based on this, I would think this was possible the one which leads into the Supergirl and the LSH tales.

Much of the origin is pretty much the same as expected, Imra Ardeen, Rokk Krinn and Gareth Rantz rescue multi-billionaire RJ Brande from assassination only this time it happens a lot more time, especially in recruitment. The United Planets Council is observing throughout and recognise an inter-planet band of super-humans can do more than their regular military forces. More so in a current crisis where a wormhole is opening letting an unspecified alien fleet through. The more villain can be worked out if you know Legion mythos. Don’t expect origins for any of them. This is more about the new origin of the Legion than its members.

Chris Batista’s art is stylised but functional. The faces convey emotion and the story rolls on at speed. The pace of the story, even over 6 issues, doesn’t make allowance for any time frame. This newly formed Legion acts like a team with practically no training. I often wonder if they over-estimate Colossal Boy’s power. Even allowing for the fact that he can by-pass the Square-Cube Law and can support his own weight, even his strength wouldn’t be enough to smash a spacecraft.

Let’s not even explore how his space helmet can grow with him. As far as we know, Gim Allon is the only being capable of changing size, well maybe the Durlans, so how was such a helmet produced so quickly. Granted we’ve never seen the full technology of the 31st century for the various Legions in recent years. Considering the size of the United Planets, other than cultivating various super-powers, you would technology would be more advanced than they have it.

GF Willmetts

June 2019

(pub: DC Comics, 2012. 144 page graphic novel. Price: varies, I pulled a first hand copy for about £ 6.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-40123-730-1)

check out website: www.dccomics.com


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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