The Legion of Super-Heroes’ efforts to stop the reborn Legion of Super-Villains’ reign of terror continue in entertaining, if occasionally infuriating, style.
The entertainment comes mainly from the action and interaction between the rich mix of characters on both sides of the morality line. There’s Professor Harmonia Li’s brushing off of Dream Girl with unknown powers when the seer protests at the pain Li is putting Star Boy through. There’s Star Boy’s reunion with Dream Girl when he comes out the other side, sane for the first time in ages. Saturn Queen’s murder of one of her lackeys. Ultra Boy’s assisted defeat of Immortus. Brainiac 5’s attempt to comfort his mourning people with a balance sheet. And more.
The infuriating part comes from Li, who can’t – or won’t – stop being mysterious. And Green Lantern torchbearer Dyogene, equally adept at speaking in riddles. Both have been playing Ms and Ms Mystery for months now, and while an enigmatic character is useful at the start of a storyline, I’m well past ready for them to spill the beans. There’s a good chance Li, at least, gives some answers to a demanding Mon-El and Dream Girl as they and Star Boy head for Colu, before setting off for the world of wisdom where the LSV are. After all, they have a whole journey to pass, and it would be weird were the Legionnaires to drop the subject simply because the reader is directed elsewhere. But we readers aren’t privy to any new information that does emerge.
So here’s what we now know of Li – perhaps someone has worked her out. She’s hundreds of years old. She not only turned down a chance to become a Green Lantern, emerald energy pains her. She spent time on a world of wisdom but left to undertake research into the time stream. She has wind powers. And she’s as enigmatic as she is arrogant. Anyone?
I spoke of scene changes earlier, and I’d like to renew a point I made awhile back – we really need caption boxes telling us where we are at any one time, for new readers, and old readers with memory gaps. Encylopedia Galactica entries would be best, but a quick ‘Colu’ or wherever would do.
Another wee mystery is: who’s inhabitating the body of invulnerable cyborg Immortus who, we find out this issue, is also long-lived, having planned his move to a robot form for centuries. My best guess remains Doom Patrol enemy General Immortus, whose immortality was something of a curse due to his having the body of a gnarled old man. Perhaps inspired by his enemy Robotman, he decided to forgo the flesh.
We still don’t learn the nature of this storyline’s bad guy, the child who controls the Blue Flame. A reborn Darkseid has been a popular guess, but now he’s a tweenie, he doesn’t have that look about him. He’s itching to take out ‘the one who seeks me as her power grows close’, which must be Li. Mustn’t it? Also, he speaks of a ‘dark lady’ to come, weakening ‘all barriers between worlds’. The Legion has its own dark lady in the Black Witch, but that’s too obvious. There was also Lydia Mallor, Shadow Lass’s ancestor, but she’s already shown up, years previously, as a servant of Darkseid. Again, all suggestions welcome.
So many questions, so many reasons to keep reading. Harmonia Li is getting on my nerves with her refusal to give a straight answer, while demanding help from the Legion, but the other enigmas are more tasty teases, and indeed, teasers. Another one: will Dream Girl’s vision this issue of, possibly, Star Boy’s funeral pan out? I do hope not, we’ve only just got him back after extended service with the Justice Society in the 21st century.
Writer Paul Levitz continues to impress with his handling of multiple strands, building towards a massive confrontation between heroes and villains. He’s ably partnered by Fernando Dagnino and Raul Fernandez, whose artwork is as run by one Master Kong – aka Confucius