Legionnaires Book Two by Tom McCraw, Tom Peyer, Mark Waid, Lee Moder and Jeffrey Moy (graphic novel review).

Let’s now go back to 1995 and the version of the Legion Of Super-Heroes from that time. This massive book of 392 pages contains Legion Of Super-Heroes # 69-73, Legion Of Super-Heroes Annual # 6, Legionnaires # 25.30, Legionnaires Annual # 2 and Showcase ’95 # 6.

If you remember my reviewing of ‘Legionnaires Book One’ last year, this version of the LSH was a remake and them in their first year. Some names were changed and a few different characters added to the mix, mostly accounting for the absence of Superboy and thus Mon-el or Valor from the mix. There are also closer ties to the Science Police and although RJ Brande is financing a junior super-hero team drawing members from a variety of United Planets, they clearly are an odd mix. After the first long story where the villain is an unusual Durlan super-soldier, there is an extended section looking at some of the Legionnaires and even an extended origin for some of them which doesn’t spoil the flow of the material. If anything, it fills in the gaps you wouldn’t know. There are currently 90 planets in the UP and less than 20 Legionnaires. Obviously, not all of these planets endow any of their native populations with super-powers although you should have fun identifying some of the planets from the list shown. You would have to wonder why Thanagar doesn’t have any representative hawk-police on Earth anymore.

The second major story here concerns the White Triangle separatists from Daxam, the home planet of Andromeda. They are also prepared to commit acts of genocide and stopping the stargates by destroying them. If they can get starships using the system at the same time, so much the better. As the stargates are also the creation of the Legion’s founder and financer, RJ Brande, he isn’t exactly happy. The LSH is thrown into this conflict from the beginning against some impossible odds. There’s even the formation of the LSH Espionage Squad which is nicely explained as to what the least powerful Legionnaires can actually contribute. There is also a showdown for the Workforce with their boss, Leland McCauley. Oddly, you don’t even need a scorecard, just the rollcalls for such a large number of characters.

The last major story introduces a familiar surname, Morgna, and we are thrown into a different version of whatever codename the son Dirk is finally going to get. Some of the events are pretty much the same as the original 1960s version but this time the LSH are thrown into the mix. None of this is helped by the fact that after two deaths, the Legionnaires are facing problems from the UP President, Apparition’s mother and all trying the patience of leader Cosmic Boy upsetting his own team by being forced to bow down to their demands. Even more so, as he’s not allowed to recruit any of Workforce and Live-Wire is determined to rescue his older brother from the madness created by their lightning ability. All of this is woven into a narrative that puts many of the Legion in the spotlight. There’s also an ending that is begging to see what happens in the third volume.

GF Willmetts

December 2018

(pub: DC Comics. 392 page graphic novel softcover. Price: I pulled my copy for about £14.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-78-1-4012-7381-1)

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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