And so ends another chapter in Legion history, as the Legion of Super-Heroes mops up the last members of the Legion of Super-Villains and the sacrifice of one hero destroys the blue being behind recent calamities.
But the Legion aren’t having it, and one member realises what has to be done. Earth-Man has Mon-El use his Green Lantern energy to link the Legion, allowing him to tap into everyone’s power at once. This proves enough to shatter the blue being, but Earth-Man dies in the process. His lover, Shadow Lass, flies off with his body to weep over it and, presumably, leave the Legion for a time. Mon-El, having fulfilled the mission entrusted him by Spirit of Oa Dyogene, gives back the power ring and affirms that his place is with the Legion. Dyogene, even as he resolves to rebuild the interplanetary police force, graciously admits that the Legion are the ‘proud successors to the Corps’.
And there you have it. Writer Paul Levitz clears the decks of plotlines he inherited – Earth-Man and the Green Lanterns – in time to begin the Legion’s New 52 book next month. There’s no xenophobe unconvincingly slotted onto the team, and Mon-El gets to be Mon-El again. Shadow Lass will be missed, but I can’t see her staying away for long – she’s just too interesting a character. And Harmonia Li announces that she’d like to stick around as a member, meaning we’ll find out what her actual powers are eventually.
Before the big finish, we see a few of the Legionnaires cut loose, with Colossal Boy engaging in an amusing bout of bowling and Phantom Girl showing off her melee moves. And Dream Girl, Star Boy and Harmonia Li let Earth-Man know that he’s done enough as a Legionnaire for them to call him a friend. While I’m no Earth-Man fan, he has been visibly changing; the Legion has seen enough sparks of goodness to trust him to do what’s right. It’s typical of Levitz to make Earth-Man believably Legion material just as we’re waving goodbye to him … oh well, perhaps Shadow Lass can toss him into a 31st-century Lazarus Pit and revive him.
Last Green Lantern Sodam Yat hogs a page – it’s clear he’s sending out his will and power to boost Earth-Man’s resolve and ability. As we don’t see either specifically reach him, and Earth-Man already has his own inner strength and the power of the Legion, this scene feels like a waste of a page. Still, perhaps Yat has some fans who want to see his subplot resolved.
The issue is drawn by Daniel HDR, meaning there are some great expressions to complement the story – such as Shady’s sadness – and plenty of excellent figurework. HDR knows how to give a story visual momentum while still studding it with standout panels. The spread of Earth-Man being charged up by the Legion, with reaction shots dotted around his central figure, is a winner, along with the climactic moment which follows. And the blue being’s eye blasts are wonderfully, unashamedly ‘comic book’.