Legionnaires TP Book One by Tom McGraw, Tom Peyer, Mark Waid, Stuart Immonen, Lee Moder and Jeffrey Mot (graphic novel review).

March 30, 2018 | By | Reply More

In the introduction, writer Mark Waid points out that after John Byrne rewrote Superman’s history, removing his junior time-travelling adventures, it stranded the 30th century where the Legion Of Super-Heroes existed whose tales were so intermeshed with Superboy.

I’m surprised the pocket universe aspect didn’t work, more so as the 52 realities of the DC Universe has come to the fore and so at least one where there existed a time-travelling Superboy would have kept the original continuity. However, a soft reboot eventually faded, so in 1994, under editor KC Carlson, Mark Waid and Tom McGraw decided not to patch an increasingly confusing continuity but to start afresh and create a fresh continuity. They kept some aspects of the original but not to the point of just re-writing all the old stories.

When I started reading this volume, I had a sense of déjà vu, having seen some of this material in another volume of LSH. It took a while to track down but the opening stories of this book is also in ‘Legion Of Super-Heroes: The Beginning Of Tomorrow’ although this one has a few more stories beyond it. Presumably, the second volume, out later in the year, will also have a similar extension. Undoubtedly, completests will end up with both but if you’re new to the Legion and want to see the 1990s version sans Superboy, then this is a good place to start.

The initial three team members, Rokk Krinn, Garth Ranzz and Imra Ardeen are heading to Earth and then act as a team to save multi-multi-billionaire RJ Brande from being murdered at the Earth spaceport. He then sponsors them as the nucleus of a team based on 21st century super-heroes to bring representatives from the formative United Planets to show how they can get on together. The current reality is not a pleasant place as interplanetary wars have been rife and no one like the shape-shifting Durlans.

What is taken out of Brande’s hands is the fact that a super-powered representative of each planet is drafted rather than volunteered, creating their own ructions. Live-Wire, Garth Ranzz, finds himself replaced by his sister Spark, with similar lightning abilities, and goes off and joins another team, Work Force, sponsored by Leland McCauley who only sees dollar signs and one-upmanship. Conflict all the way which is healthy for story generation. Mind you, if you’re up on old Legion lore, recognising some names will make you wonder why they will join the LSH themselves.

When you consider the old LSH had several other super-powered teams, like the Wanderers (who were briefly given their own comicbook) and the Heroes of Lallor around about only appeared briefly, this makes a lot more sense for them to cross over each other in a crisis.

In many respects, this version of the LSH reality is a lot less lovey-dovey and closer to how people would normally react. Resentments are still there behind the scenes. Some things, like leadership qualities, come out pretty quickly. If you want comparisons to the old Legion, always remember the original 1958 Otto Binder written tale of the Legion was seen as a one-off and grew over several years.

This time, the characters are less cipher-like and where they were often differentiated only by their powers. It also allows the likes of the original Invisible Kid, Lyle Norg, to come back and, although not as smart as Brainiac 5, is certainly a scientist in his own right.

You can find out more about the stories here yourself but they aren’t remakes and you get to see the decision process. The LSH isn’t exactly a democracy when it comes to leadership but already grown big enough for everyone to want to go on all the missions and resentment when choices are made that aren’t liked. It’ll be interesting seeing this develop as more members are recruited.

Anyway, it’s all history and even this version of the LSH is coming up to being 25 years old.

GF Willmetts

March 2018

(pub: DC Comics, 2017. 384 page softcover graphic novel. Price: I pulled my copy for about £16.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-40126-866-4)

check out website: www.dcccomics.com

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Category: Comics, Superheroes

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 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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