Monday, July 22, 2013

LSH 1994 Reread, part eight

Covering Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 # 86-88 and Legionnaires# 42-45, 1996-97)

Major developments:

*The sorceress Mysa abducts Kinetix, her family, and the four Legionnaires traveling with her, furious that Kinetix failed to retrieve the Emerald Eye of Ekron. After a skirmish, Mysa agrees to restore Zoe's psychokinetic powers and to stop interfering in her life. On Earth, Garth agrees to RJ Brande's suggestion that he serve as interim acting leader. A few issues later, they have a proper election and Invisible Kid takes charge.
*The team takes on three new members to help with their comrades being lost in time. Dyrk Magz of Braal (Magno), Tasmia Mallor of Talok VIII (Umbra), and Princess Jeka Wynzorr of Orando (Sensor), who is a huge snake, are selected.
*A cave-in caused by some of the rejected applicants breaks open a tomb where the sorceror Mordru had been buried.
*Rond Vidar restores Lori to her correct age, and uses the chronal energy from the extraction to very briefly contact the team that is stranded in the past and confirm they are okay...
*In the 20th Century, the stranded Legionnaires (Cos, Saturn Girl, Spark, Brainy, Gates, Ultra Boy, and Apparition, with Shvaughn and Inferno) have been assisting the soon-to-be Justice League and other superheroes from "The Final Night," a very tedious crossover in which the Sun-Eater attacks the planet and it looks like a homeless kid who can turn to iron and is called Ferro is going to sacrifice himself to save the earth, but it actually ends up being Green Lantern Hal Jordan, in one of his funnybook deaths, who dies saving the day.
*Next, most of these heroes show up in a two-part story in the anthology book Showcase '96. While they're away, Jo and Apparition have a team-up with Deadman that ends with Apparition being restored to near-solidity, allowing her to be seen by everybody at last. They also have a team-up with Impulse and Max Mercury that ends with the team being evicted from their temporary headquarters in Metropolis.
*The creative team is as before: Tom McCraw, Tom Peyer, and Roger Stern writing, Lee Moder and Jeffrey Moy as principal artists. Guests Mike Collins and Paul Pelletier each pencil one-third of LSH # 87.

My biggest problem with the stuck-in-the-20th-Century Legion is simply that a huge chunk of their story is happening off-panel. It looks like the editors decided to really incorporate the hell out of the Legion and introduce them to all of DC's readers who had written off the LSH as too convoluted and confusing. So the team starts their exile right in the middle of the big 1996 DC crossover event and from there, they go everywhere. They guest star in everybody's book: Superman, Impulse, Sovereign Seven, you name it. Done right, these crossover appearances shouldn't be important to this book, but these aren't done right. Every issue of LSH either leads into one of these supporting titles, or it references the events from those titles. The only people who could possibly enjoy reading these books are Footnote Fetishists.

Actually, there's another small problem. At the time of the "Final Night" story, all of DC's biggest names were not actually in the Justice League. This was during one of DC's occasional periods where the JLA was staffed with C-listers. But the A-team - Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, the Flash - all show up here, working together, and drawn brilliantly by Lee Moder. About eight months later, Grant Morrison began writing the relaunched JLA starring all the big names. I started following that because I followed Morrison most places then. The stories were terrific, albeit needing a little editing and clarification and less influence from lesser titles, but the art was so bad. A guy named Howard Porter drew it and I loathed it. To see Lee Moder drawing these characters, who mainly just stand around and debate the next battle plan against the Sun-Eater, is to see what could have been. A Morrison-Moder JLA would have been a thing of beauty.

What's happening in the 30th Century is much more interesting, once this subplot of Mysa is finally wrapped. I am so glad that this pointlessly grouchy old lady has left the story and will be leaving Zoe alone. Now back to her original power set and, mostly, costume, she can impact the story and characters on her own, and not via some other person's manipulation.

Other than that - heck, we're down to just three issues - everything is terrific. I like the new take on Projectra a lot, though I remember some people just couldn't stand it. Sensor Girl was amazing in her day, but her day was the mid-1980s. I also like the new take on Shadow Lass, who's incredibly tough and cool even outside of her powers. Well, three out of seven isn't really terrible, but I hope this 20th Century story ends soon...

1 comment:

Arion said...

In some cases the crossovers make sense (after all, Impulse came from the future so there's that), but in others the whole thing was bit too forced.