Thursday, December 28, 2017

"The End" Week: Legion Lost #16 and Legion of Super-Heroes #23!

I actually have a small pile of Legion last issues next to me right now (and at least one Legion-related book!) but we'll double-down on what, unbelievably, is still the most recent of their finales: from 2013, Legion Lost #16, "Last Stand" Written by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Andres Guinaldo, inks by Mark Irwin; and Legion of Super-Heroes #23, "Aftermath" Written by Paul Levitz, art by Kevin Maguire.

The previous, pre-New 52 Legion Lost replaced the then-ongoing Legion books, and followed several members lost, and presumed dead, on the other side of the galaxy. This LL was an ongoing title to this point, and featured several members lost, and presumed dead, in the 21st century. (The Legion traditionally has a large cast, but none of the main characters overlapped between the two Lost books!) Unfortunately, they're a bit buried this issue, which also features Caitlin Fairchild (of Gen 13) Warblade (of WildC.A.T.s) a future version of Captain Atom (Adym), and the reboot version of the clone Superboy! And other characters with names like Leash, Thraxx, Harvest, and Daggor...and my eyes just glazed over typing that.

Several characters are redesigned to within an inch of their lives: Fairchild and Warblade are virtually unrecognizable. Although a couple Legionnaires are recovered, and a time loop seemingly closed, the villain is still up to whatever he's up to, and the team is still trapped in the past; and I don't believe either has been seen since. And I had a vague idea that New 52 Superboy's origin/status quo had been rejiggered since then as well.

Meanwhile, in the 31st century, we at least have Kevin Maguire art! Even if large chunks of the team are missing or dead, after the Fatal Five disrupted the United Planets' technology across several worlds. Brainiac 5 is trying to get the lights back on and lead the team, even though no one really trusts him to do that. Shadow Lass quits, before the Science Police come down to tell them the Legion is being disbanded. What's left of the team doesn't seem up to fighting it.

On her homeworld, Dream Girl feels like the Legion was disappearing like a bad dream; while Bouncing Boy mentions in other universes, where "Steppenwolf didn't send Superman to his doom," maybe things turned out differently. Bwah? That may be referring to Earth-2, so was this ever really "our" Legion? Well, it probably was, but this would be a way to leave the door open for another version down the line. Which has been hinted at, but hasn't turned up yet.

Man, I went out of my way to find both of these, and they didn't do it for me. Two Legion Last issues should do it for this year, the rest may have to keep...


Dale Bagwell said...

Man, I really liked that Pre-Phew52 Legion Lost series.
In your opinion, why do you think DC just can't seem produce a well-written LoSH series that actually has staying power?

googum said...

Part of it is the partially undeserved rep for reboots, although those have done some damage. But the Legion's storytelling was based on years of continuity: the relationships between members, the settings, the politics. It took a long time to build, yet everyone wants it right out of the gate.

To restart it now, the team really needs a Superboy: a character popular enough to be a draw, but that also serves as a gateway as well. The team always had to explain crazy future crap to him, and thus to the reader. The problem is that character often gets called back in: they had clone Superboy and Supergirl on the book at various times, but not for as long as might be needed. Best guesses there!

Dale Bagwell said...

As good enough guess as any really, and right on about the reboot stigma...which DC will always be on the losing end of if they keep on doing that to them constantly.