Posted - September 3, 2015
Crisis on Infinite Earths: Legion of Super-Heroes
The Crisis on Infinite Earths is raging in the Earth year 1985, so what does the 30th Century Legion have to do with it? Nothing yet. They will eventually be involved as all timestreams meld into each other, but as of yet, the only sign of the impending Crisis can be felt here:
The 30th century Time Institute is tasked with ensuring clear passage of the timestream to the 30th century and the Institute is starting to detect the early signs that all is not well with the timestream. Aside from that, it is business as usual with the LSH. As we look at the Legion, we come across two stories, both these stories are related to LSH origins. The first concerns the origin of the Legionnaire Sun Boy the next one concerns the origin of the Legion itself.
One of the best ways to start a story is with a well-rendered panel of my favorite male Legionnaire: Wildfire.
I'm a bit reluctant to show art panels of the women. Here's Shadow Lass.
What do you think? I think the legs are too long. I know "legs that go on forever" is a compliment but it's possible to over exaggerate.
Oh, here's a nice one.
Dream Girl, and on her left (our right) Star Boy and Sun Boy playing 30th century Dungeons & Dragons. Gary Gygax would be so happy.
Okay, I know this is about Sun Boy. It starts out with Wildfire leading a group of new Legionnaires. The team is attacked and everybody but Wildfire gets kidnapped by parties unknown. It is further stated that the new Legioannaires have not gone through the Legion Academy. Boy, have I got something to say about this.
Over the years the Legion has grown from its original three teenage members to a huge team with an equally huge support structure. Part of that structure is the Legion Academy. The Academy was created to train prospective Legionnaires. Going to the Academy is no assurance of Legion membership - a fair number have become security specialists instead of Legionnaires. The Academy exists for a reason, namely to avoid situations that happened with Wildfire's team. The new members should have gone to the Academy first. This panel showcasing an argument between Sun Boy and Colossal Boy presents both sides.
Well, what's done is done. Nothing else remains but to track down the lost Legionnaires. And track them the veterans do to the lair of one Doctor Regulus.
Ok, who is Doctor Regulus? For that, we need to go back to the origins of Sun Boy. Sun Boy, it turns out, was created by an assassination attempt. Doctor Regulus had a major mad-on for the then unpowered Sun Boy. Enough of a mad-on for Regulus to attempt to kill the young Sun Boy by exposing him to a deadly dose of radiation. The attempt failed, instead of dying, Sun Boy woke up with the flame powers he has had since. Incidentally, Doctor Regulus also has the same flame powers - he got those by experimenting on himself.
So this Legion kidnapping was done because Doctor Regulus is still so angry that he wants yet another chance to kill Sun Boy. You'll note that Doctor Regulus wanted to kill Sun Boy before because the Legionnaire cost him his job. That must be one hell of a job. I mean if you had the power of a small sun would you still be bellyaching after a job?
So it's Doctor Regulus vs. Sun Boy with the Legion promising not to interfere. It's a lopsided setup since Regulus arranged it so that Sun Boy can't use his powers. Nonetheless, the resourceful Legionnaire defeats his foe.
Shows just how useful the Legion Flight Ring is.
With that, Doctor Regulus goes back to being encarcerated in the prison planet Takron-Galtos where he escaped during the events of the Great Darkness. Stupid old fool, if you'd only laid low you'd be a free super-powered fugitive right now. Oh well.
R. J. Brande
R. J. Brande created the Legion of Super-Heroes. Brande is a billionaire and an attempt on his life was foiled by Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy. Brand had an idea, banded the three together to become the founding members of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Our tale starts with a second attempt on the life of Brande by a jealous competitor. During the course of this plot we are informed that this competitor could not find any record of Brande's past history - it was as if he popped out of nowhere already old and already super-rich. I don't know how Brande got the money but I do know why there are no records of Brande growing up. And that is because Brande isn't human. He's a Durlan - like Chameleon Boy. In fact he is Chameleon Boy's father. Brande's native Durlan shape-shifting capability went haywire and he got stuck in human form. Why is he rich? That I do not know.
Since Brande is the Legion's financier and pretty much it's founding father he gets special privileges. This panel shows this nicely.
This is the Legion launching a counter attack on Brande's attackers. Brand gets to use the Legion as his own private army. This next panel is very nicely done - it's Sun Boy participating in the counter attack.
Now for the big news.
That's right, Brande exits from Legion history at this point. One of the more obscure things that happened during Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Now we are given a visual gallery of every Legion member providing name and power. From my end, I get to do some color commentaries. I've read a bunch of Legion version 2 books a bunch of Legion version 7 books some old Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes stories so I do have some opinions about the roster.
I love Dream Girl because she's flirty and that attitude with that outfit just works. Always a winner. The power set has me classifying her as absolutely useless. That said, I think we are always going to see her because she is a Legion writer's dream (pun intended). Her ability to prophesy is a great foreshadowing tool.
One of the Legion's mid-level hitters. Shadow Lass' power set is wonderful for supporting her teammates - you can pretty much blind the opponent. She has an aristocratic mein and is a natural team lead.
Absolutely love Star Boy's ability to make things heavier - always a great visual. And his costume. That star field costume with the white gauntlets and boots is the best Legion costume of them all. Plus Thom is a laid back guy that's easy to like. What I don't like is when DC made him into an addle-brained buffoon in the pages of the JSA.
Powerful in any fight. Definitely a legion heavy hitter.
A natural member of the Legion Espionage Squad. Her costume is terrible but thankfully Shrinking Violet wears something different these days.
One of the sexiest Legionnaires. I always love seeing Dawnstar. Plus her power borders on the cosmic. Able to survive deep space and track through galaxies. One half of the Legions star-crossed lovers. The other being Wildfire.
Classic strong guy. Blok is a gentle giant who's naivete is a godsend for writers since they can leverage it to explain things. Blok is also great for comic relief, usually when teamed-up with the irritable Timber Wolf.
The most misused Legionnaire and a big pet peeve of mine. Writers keep treating Ultra Boy like Mon-El and Superboy. He is NOT like them. He can only use one power at a time. Please let me read the writer who does Ultra Boy properly. This is an interesting power limitation and it should be exploited..
If the Legion was a spear, Mon-El would be the spearpoint. He's not a heavy hitter, he is the heavy hitter. The most powerful Legionnaire of them all - just hide the lead.
Heavy hitter. Change anything to anything else. Definitely a big gun.
Every team needs an egghead but Braniac 5 isn't only a lab rat. It's that force field belt of his. Makes him invulnerable and he can contain nearly any enemy.
Redundant power and should be kicked out of the Legion since the team doesn't allow the same power set and brother Lightning Lad is the lightning slinger. What they did with Lightning Lass was they changed her power set. She is now Light Lass with a power set the polar opposite of Star Boy's.
The team weirdo but the power set is immensely flexible.
May this uniform never be retired. One of the sexiest Legionnaires. The phasing power is always useful, putting her firmly in the midrange.
Lame, I didn't miss the original Invisible Kid and I won't miss this one.
I'm very happy that he made it to the Legion from the now defunct Legion of Substitute Heroes. His power set should balance out Sun Boy's.
A favorite of mine. Can change into any creature with the creature's power included - just a wonderful power set. He's the permanent leader of the Legion Espionage Squad. Cham is also immature which just adds to his appeal. I don't like the fact that he's allergic to money though. You're Brande's son, Cham. Retire and live the life of the rich and famous.
The biggest giant in all of the comics universes. Legion heavy hitter. Always a great visual. And an Earthman so he's a planetmate.
Never a boring day with Timber Wolf. He has a hit first and forget the questions policy. The only reason this guy is still alive is because he combines super-strength with super speed. Power set places him right under the big guns.
My favorite Legionnaire. This guy can have his own series. He's an energy being and he's a tragic hero because of his lost humanity - and he looks great.
Taking over from big brother and founding Legionnaire Cosmic Boy. Magnetic Kid has some big shoes to fill.
Absolutely weird. Power set is very useful. I really don't know what to think of Quislet.
With Tellus, the Legion really wanders into non-human territory. I understand he comes from a sort of water world. He's affable and very likeable but his mind powers rank him among the weaker members together with Dream Girl.