The Legion #1-33, Legion Secret Files 3003 #1 (December 2001 to July 2004)
Written by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Pencilled by Olivier Coipel (#1-4, 6-8, 10-12, 14), Peter Snejbjerg (#5), Stephen DeStefano (#9), Kev Walker (#10, 13, 15-16), Kalman Andrasofszky (#10), Alejandro Barrionuevo (#17-18), Chris Batista (#19-23, 25-30, 32-33), Steve Lightle (#24), Eric Wight (#25), Tony Harris (#25, LSF 3003 #1), Tom Feister, (#25, LSF 3003 #1), Dave Cockrum (#25), Paul Rivoche (#25), Keith Giffen (#31), Leonard Kirk (LSF 3003 #1)
Inked by Andy Lanning (#1-4, 6-8, 10-12, 14-18, 27), Peter Snejbjerg (#5), Stephen DeStefano (#9), Kev Walker (#13), Simon Coleby (#15, 18), Al Milgrom (#16, 25, 31), Mark Farmer (#19-23), Steve Lightle (#24), Robin Riggs (#25, 29, LSF 3003 #1), Chip Wallace (#25-30, 32), Doug Hazlewood (#25), Eric Wight (#25), Tony Harris (#25, LSF 3003 #1), Tom Feister (#25, LSF 3003 #1), Paul Rivoche (#25), Jay Leisten (#32-33)
Colour by Tom McCraw (#1-9), Jason Wright (#10-24), Sno Cone (#25-33, LSF 3003 #1), Eric Wight (#25), Tom Feister (#25, LSF 3003 #1), Paul Rivoche (#25)
Spoilers (from sixteen to nineteen years ago)
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning really shook up the Legion of Super-Heroes, wrecking the Earth with an alien invasion, destroying the stargate network that made the United Planets work, causing half of the Legion to be lost in space, disbanding the rest of the team, and then scattering them. The Legion Worlds miniseries showed us that Robotica, a race of alien AI, were attacking Affiliated Planets worlds, and making incursions towards Earth. The UP President, Leland McCauley, was clearly being played by his aide, Mr. Venge. The Lost Legionnaires were able to return, but we didn’t see that, and so aren’t sure that everyone made it back (we know that Monstress and Live Wire didn’t).
When The Legion opened, my interest in the team was at the highest it had been since the reboot began. New superstar artist Olivier Coipel was working with DnA, and the team finally had the mature feel that I loved about their original incarnation.
And yet, I don’t remember a thing about this series. Even when I look at the covers, which I vaguely recognize, I don’t remember reading this series. I don’t think DnA stayed through the whole run (which was less than three years), and so I might squeeze two columns out of this series. Either way, this marks the beginning of the end of my fifteen or sixteen-month long project of reading every Legion comic in my collection, starting in 1978 and ending before the threeboot took place. It’s been a long journey, and my fear is that it is going to end in a whimper. Let’s find out…
Let’s track who turned up in the title:
The Legion of Super-Heroes
- M’onel (Lar Gand; #1-4, 6, 8, 10-13, 15-18, 21-23, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Shikari (#1-4, 6-8, 10-19, 21-23, 25, 27-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Wildfire (Drake Burroughs; #1-5, 8, 10-16, 18, 21-23, 25, 27-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Kid Quantum (Jazmin Cullin; #1-4, 6-8, 10-19, 21-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Umbra (Tasmia Mallor; #1-4, 8, 10, 24, 26-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Chameleon (Reep Daggle; #1-4, 6-8, 10-13, 16-19, 21-23, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Ultra Boy (Jo Nah; #1-4, 6-8, 10-18, 21-23, 26-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox; #1-4, 6-8, 10-15, 17-19, 21-23, 25-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen; #1-5, 8, 10-17, 19-20, 22-23, 25-26, 28-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Triad (Luornu Durgo; #1-4, 6-8, 10-18, 21-23, 25-29, 31-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn; #3-4, 6-8, 10-16, 18, 21-23, 25-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Leviathan (Salu “Violet” Digby; #3-4, 6-8, 10-13, 15-16, 18-19, 21-23, 26-27, 29-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg; #3-5, 8, 10-15, 17-18, 21-23, 26-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Chuck Taine (#3-4, 8, 10-15, 18, 21-23, 25, 27-29, 31-32, LSF 3003 #1)
- Gear (I.Z.O.R.; #3-4, 8, 10-13, 15, 17-18, 21-23, 25, 27-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Sensor (Jeka Wynzorr; #3-4, 8, 10-19, 21-23, 26-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Spark/Live Wire (Ayla Ranzz; #3-5, 8, 10-16, 18, 21-23, 25-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Gates (#4, 6-8, 10-11, 13, 16, 18, 22-23, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Kinetix (Zoe Saugin; #4, 6-8, 10-11, 13-14, 17-18, 22-23, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- XS (Jenni Ognats; #4, 6, 10-12, 15-18, 22-23, 25, 27-29, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Star Boy (Thom Kallor; #4, 6, 10-14, 16-19, 21-23, 26-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Apparition (Tinya Wazzo; #9, 11-12, 14-15, 17-19, 21-23, 25-26, 28-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Timber Wolf (Brin Londo; #14-16, 18, 21-23, 27-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Karate Kid (Val Armorr; #22-23, 27-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Ferro (Andrew Nolan; #22-23, 25-30, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Dreamer (Nura Nal; #23, 26, 28-29, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Live Wire (Garth Ranzz, in Jan Arrah’s body; #25-26, 28-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Superboy (Kon-El; #26-33, LSF 3003 #1)
The Legion Cadet Program
- Amp Girl (Ming Sul; #25)
- Retro (Deen Toro; #25)
- Babbage (I-45ENG/NTH; #25, 32)
- Venge/COMPUTO (McCauley’s chief advisor/leader of Robotica; #1-4, 7-8, 10-14)
- Abyss (Oversight Watch; #1-2, 6-8)
- Twine (Oversight Watch; #1-2, 6-8)
- Brainstorm (Oversight Watch; #1-2, 6-8)
- Ra’s Al Ghul (also posing as Leland McCauley, President of the United Planets; #1-4, 6-8, 17-18)
- Terrorists from Corvan IV (#1)
- Repulse (Oversight Watch; #1-2, 6-8)
- Robotica (#4, 6-7, 9-14)
- Herros (Credo; #5)
- The Credo (#5, 13, 32-33)
- Rayl (Credo; #5)
- Singularity (Credo; #5, 13, 32-33)
- Tharok (#10, 15-16)
- Sharn Nux (Coluan; #14)
- Mano (Fatal Five; #15-16)
- The Emerald Empress (Fatal Five; #15-16)
- Persuader (Fatal Five; #15-16)
- Validus (Fatal Five; #15-16)
- The Emerald Eye of Ekron (#15-16)
- Universo (#20-23)
- Darkseid (#26, 28-30, LSF 3003 #1)
- Darkseid’s servants (#26-27, LSF 3003 #1)
- Orion (servant of Darkseid; #26-30, LSF 3003 #1)
- Big Barda (servant of Darkseid; #26, 29-30, LSF 3003 #1)
- Hawkman (servant of Darkseid; #26-27)
- Younger Darkseid (#29-30)
- Parademons (LSH #29-30)
- Timber Wolf (Brin Londo; #9, 11-13)
- Insect Queen (Lonna Leing, Uncanny Amazers; #17-18)
- Atmos (Uncanny Amazers; #17-18)
- Teenage Clark Kent (#25, 28-30)
- Pete Ross (#25)
- Lana Lang (#25)
- Superboy (Kon-El; #25)
- The Demon (Etrigan; #29)
- Jonah Hex (#29)
- Enemy Ace (#29)
- Flash (Jay Garrick; #29)
- Sgt. Rock (#29)
- Thomas Wayne (#29)
- Martha Wayne (#29)
- Bruce Wayne (#29)
- Flash (Barry Allen; #29)
- Anti-Monitor (#29)
- Lobo (#30)
- Firestorm (#30)
- Big Barda (#30)
- Mister Miracle (#30)
- RJ Brande (#3-4, 8, 10, 12-13, 15, 17, 32-33, LSF 3003 #1)
- Mekt Ranzz (fka Lightning Lord; #3, 10, 25)
- Leos (Kwai; #5)
- Enkenet (Matriarch of the Kwai; #5, 32)
- Trudy Trusoe (reporter; #6, 10, 15, 27-28, LSF 3003 #1)
- Vigo Toosalembi (news anchor; #6, 10)
- Winema Wazzo (Vice-President, then President, of Earth; #7, 10, 15, 25)
- Dreamer (Nura Nal; #7, 12, 19, 21-23)
- Q’Bahl (#7, 12)
- Orla Eidoor (Titanet; #7)
- “Cub” (Tinya’s baby; #9, 11-12, 14-15, 17, 19, 23, 31, LSF 3003 #1)
- Shvaughn Erin (Science Police; #10-11, 13-14, 17-18)
- Sharn Nux (Coluan; #10-13)
- Orin Fex (Coluan; #12-13, 15)
- Doctor Gym’ll (Legion doctor; #17-19, 23, 31-32, LSF 3003 #1)
- Aven (Imra’s former teacher; #19, 23)
- Chief Adept Lena Erqol (Titanet; #19)
- Athramites (#26)
Let’s take a look at what happened in these books, with some commentary as we go:
- It’s been a year since a number of the Legion of Super-Heroes went missing, and now an unidentified vessel is flying towards Metropolis. M’onel, as part of the Oversight Watch moves to intercept it as Earth’s defenses begin firing at it. M’onel tries to get them to stop firing, and works to guide the vessel down to a controlled crash in a park. Most of the missing Legionnaires – Chameleon, Kid Quantum, Umbra, Brainiac 5 (no longer 5.1, I guess), Ultra Boy, and Saturn Girl – along with new members Shikari and Wildfire, emerge. Imra looks to be unconscious. This is a huge deal, with multiple news broadcasts sharing the news, and speculating as to the whereabouts of the Legionnaires who are still missing – Live Wire, Monstress, Element Lad, and Gates. They also question who Shikari is. An Earthgov vessel arrives carrying Mr. Venge, the President’s advisor, and three of the Oversight Watch – Abyss, Twine, and Brainstorm. Venge tells M’onel that the Oversight Watch is needed in India, and they fly off. The Legion travels with Venge, as Shikari takes in Earth, and as Venge takes offense when they are surprised by the extent to which the Earth has been rebuilt from the Blight attack. Brainy expresses how much his team has been through, and is surprised to learn that RJ Brande is no longer President. The new President, Leland McCauley, is not happy to learn that the Legion is back, but decides that he’ll make use of them. When he arrives at the UP Congress building, there is a terrorist attack on him. Fighters from Corvan IV are there to insist that the UP provide aid to their planet, and threaten to execute delegates if their demands aren’t met. Ultra Boy disarms the terrorist leader, while Kid Quantum, Wildfire, and Shikari disarm the other terrorists. Brainy uses his force field to protect some of the delegates, while Chameleon infiltrates their ranks and attacks them. Umbra realizes that there must be a bomb, and Jazmin destroys the trigger. Brainy locates and disarms the bomb. The delegates go wild with praise just as the Oversight Watch, joined by Repulse, arrive. There is a tense moment between the two teams that McCauley calms down by defending his team, but also making it clear that there is a place for the Legion again. Later, Shikari is separated from the others so she can go through quarantine; the team is against this but Brainy agrees that it makes sense. Triad is not permitted to get to the Legion until they’ve been debriefed and decontaminated. The team is taken by underground maglev train somewhere. While travelling, Imra wakes up for the first time and yells that they are in a trap. We see the train explode.
- The Oversight Watch and some telekinetic drones controlled by Brainstorm, but without M’onel, move into the tunnels where the explosion was. They are looking to confirm that the Legionnaires were killed, but instead find a forcefield supported by quantum and darkfield energies. The Legionnaires are alive, and they start to fight. Imra gets into Brainstorm’s head, where she confirms that McCauley is behind the bombing. Abyss sends Wildfire into one of his portals. When Umbra attacks Abyss, her powers fade away. Brainy is easily able to take out Repulse, but Twine uses her lash to drain Kid Quantum’s strength. Wildfire returns from Abyss’s abyss, and is weakened. Imra decides the team needs to retreat, and telepathically triggers Brainstorm’s powers to cover for them. At the UP Presidential Tower, McCauley talks to Venge about what’s happened, and orders him to enter the tunnels and deal with it himself. He next goes to talk to M’onel (he mentions that his office is soundproofed, explaining why Lar doesn’t know what’s happening), and tells him that in light of last issue’s terrorist attack, he needs him to stay with him as a bodyguard. The Legionnaires wander through the tunnels, surprised at how large a facility Earthgov has built under Metropolis. Tasmia is worried that something has happened to her planet, and that’s why she can’t access her powers. Jo tries to talk to Imra (in Legion Lost, Imra created a telepathic version of Apparition to be intimate with Jo, and now he’s a bit confused) but she shuts him down. They discover a massive chamber filled with unfamiliar technology, but they also trip an alarm. They discover they are in “Genome Vault 16” as SPs surround them. The Oversight Watch is there too, with Venge leading them. At SP Headquarters, Triad, in disguise, manages to get Shikari out of where she’s being held. She leads her to a roof, where an invisible ship awaits them. The Legion fights the Oversight Watch, and Jo is surprised to learn that Venge has super strength. He tosses the Legionnaire into a large pipe. Imra can’t read Venge’s mind at all, and when Wildfire tries to burn him, it only singes his suit. Jazmin freezes Venge for a short time, and Jo suggests they escape through the pipe he found, even though it’s full of disgusting liquid. After Jazmin’s powers wear off, Venge realizes that the Legion is in a waste outflow pipe for the Metropolis reactor (I guess they don’t use fusion powerspheres in the reboot universe), and orders that the core coolant be purged. Brainy realizes that there is “trace radiation” in the tunnel (I would think it would be more than trace), and the team hears a large amount of water rushing towards them. They reach a grate that they hope is an exit, and discover numerous skeletons all around them. Tasmia thinks that one of them looks like McCauley (based on hair and glasses), and Brainy is able to confirm that it’s him, making it clear that an imposter is the President of the UP. Jo breaks open the grate, but they realize that they aren’t any closer to freedom; below is a massive pit filled with toxic chemicals. They plan to have the two or three Legionnaires who can fly to help them out of the pit (I guess their flight rings still don’t work), but just then Shikari shows up, having led the “Bouncing Boy” vessel we last saw in Legion Worlds to them.
- On the Bouncing Boy, the Legion sees Triad, Cosmic Boy, Leviathan, Invisible Kid, and piloting, their architect, Chuck Taine. They happily greet one another, and head to their footstep drive-enabled ship (which we saw Rokk steal in Legion Worlds). President McCauley presides over the launch ceremony for a massive terraforming engine which is going to be used to make the moon a living world. After the ceremony, he talks with Venge about the modifications he’s required on the terraformer. Venge tells him that the representative from Orando wants to see him, but McCauley refuses; he also wants M’onel kept away from the returned Legionnaires. The Legion arrives at their destination, which looks like open space; only Shikari can see what’s really there – a cloaked planet-sized satellite called Legion World. Rokk tells them that it’s been under construction for a year now, kept secret by their private funder. Brainy deduces that has to be RJ Brande. He greets them on a floating Segway and, giving out working flight rings, starts to show them around. Each section of Legion World is built to resemble a different homeworld, and Brande hopes it will help reunite the UP. We learn that Gear has been helping build the World. Sensor comes to greet them, and we learn that she’s helped keep the World hidden. Brainy mentions that he has figured out how to use the dimensional threshold system that brought them back. Brande gives a speech about how necessary the Legion is, and how he wants it to truly be a legion. M’onel is in deep space four days later, dealing with an extra-dimensional incursion of glowworm creatures at the sight of an old Stargate. He suspects that he’s being sent on these missions to keep him busy, and when an electrical shock shorts out his Omnicom temporarily, and he starts receiving messages from the Legion, he rushes off. Ayla Ranzz, Spark, is farming on Winath (which no longer appears to be covered by a tree canopy like it was in the Legion Worlds comic) when Shikari comes through a threshold portal. Ayla thinks it’s an attack, but Chameleon calms her down. Lyle reports that they had no trouble finding her thanks to Shikari’s powers. Cham catches her up, and tells her she should come back to the team. Ayla asks about Garth, and Cham tells her what happened to him (while Mekt watches from some shadows). On Legion World, Rokk and Imra talk with Brande about their next steps. He wants Imra to return to the Legion Lost galaxy to recruit the Kwai to help run the threshold system; Imra also wants to go back to make sure that Garth didn’t survive. Rokk mentions that he wants to go to Vyrga to see if they can solve the mystery of Gates’s disappearance. Brande now knows that McCauley is an imposter, and wants to deal with that too. Ayla announces that she wants to come with Imra. A Legion vessel arrives in what we are now calling Kwai-space, at the former location of the Rosette. Shikari doesn’t stay with them, but returns to Legion World (I’m not sure how they’d get back if the Kwai refuse to help). Wildfire pilots them to the exact location where Garth made his last stand, and their sensors pick up a dense object that is pulsing lightning. M’onel confronts McCauley about the fact that all of his Oversight Watch issued gear has been tracking and bugging him. When M’onel grabs him, McCauley has red lights switched on (I guess robbing M’onel of his strength), and starts beating on him. He calls on Venge, telling him that M’onel is not of any use to them now. McCauley stands revealed as Ra’s Al Ghul, the 20/21st century Batman villain (have I mentioned how much I hate it when writers of future-set stories play this card?).
- At the Footstep Drive Research Annex, we see that prisoners are being kept. The guard goes into Gates’s cell, and makes it clear he’s there to kill him. Just as he prepares the device he’s going to use, the damping field around Gates goes down and he frees himself. In the hallway, he finds that the Legion has finally come to rescue him (Triad guessed that he wouldn’t be grateful). Ra’s Al Ghul watches as the terraforming engine begins working on the Moon; Venge is surprised to see him smile. Ra’s puts his McCauley hologram on again, and continues to talk vaguely of his plans. Venge tells him they’ve found the Legion’s base, and Ra’s/McCauley sends him to lead the attack. The Legion frees the other prisoners in the Footstep Annex, while Brainy explains to Gates that upon examining the Legion’s footstep ship, he discovered Vyrgan teleporters in the drive. Gates explains that the UP was using his DNA to give teleportation powers to others on his planet, and started abducting many Vyrgans, using a cover story about a plague to cover their tracks. They also started gene-blending his powers into Winathians and Carggites (which explains the disappearances there referred to in Legion Worlds). Brainy explains that the Legion thought Gates was lost in the rift with the rest of them, so it was only recently realized that he was missing somewhere else. Triad wants to go directly to McCauley’s presidential palace to confront him, and Brainy tells Gates that McCauley is not actually McCauley. Saturn Girl’s team disembarks in Kwai-space and approaches the source of the lightning they can see. Imra counsels Ayla to not get her hopes up, but is herself disappointed when all they find are energized tromium crystals. Three Kwai fire on them and approach aggressively. Ra’s visits M’onel in a cell that drains his powers. M’onel makes it clear that he knows who Ra’s is, while Ra’s admits he knows that M’onel used to be Valor. He offers M’onel a place with him, but when he refuses, he shoots him with an old-fashioned pistol. M’onel is not yet weak enough for the bullet to penetrate his skin though. SP Officer Zoe Saugin is on patrol with her partner, talking about her days as Kinetix. They check on a protest against the moon terraforming. They feel an earthquake (even though they are in a flying car), and see a very bright light in front of them. On Xanthu, Star Boy and XS continue the fight against Robotica, completely alone. Robotica is basically mining all of Xanthu, and things look bleak. On Legion World, Sensor talks to Umbra about the fact that she’s put on very skimpy tribal clothing now that she doesn’t have her powers; Tasmia worries about the amount of evil in the universe. Chuck informs them that an Earthgov battlefleet has found them and is in orbit around them. Venge is on the main ship, and he gives the order to fire. At the same time, Ra’s shoots M’onel again, and we see blood splatter. Also at the same time, the SP surround the Legionnaires at the Footstep Annex. The issue ends with Legion World exploding.
- Peter Snejbjerg guest-art! I miss that guy’s work! Issue five is set entirely in the Kwai-space, as Imra, Lyle, Ayla, and Wildfire are confronted by five aggressive Kwai. There’s a short fight before Imra identifies them as the Legion. Wildfire notices that these Kwai are more like Shikari, with armored war-skins. Leos seems to be the leader, and he explains that they are there to protect the area they see as a shrine, and thought the Legionnaires were raiders. Imra warns her teammates to keep their connection to the Progenitor a secret, and while one Kwai, Herros, is pretty aggressive, the others agree to take the Legionnaires to their matriarch, Enkenet. As they approach the brief-home, the Kwai’s flying township, they are surprised to see many refugee ships surrounding it. The Kwai are looking after the refugees for now. Ayla sees some Progeny children, and Imra reacts very negatively to them. Herros kicks them away, and Lyle and Imra argue over her hardline stance, which comes off to Lyle as pretty racist. They go to see Enkenet, and explain how they hope the Kwai will help them navigate their new threshold technology. Enkenet mentions how many of the Kwai are becoming more like Shikari, and turning away from peace. She tells them to stay while she considers things. As the team leaves, Lyle mentions how many of the Kwai are embracing their old ways. Ayla wants to go looking for news of Garth, and Wildfire decides to join her. Lyle and Imra talk again, but they are interrupted when they hear a rally happening. A being called Rayle is recruiting for a group called Credo, which wants to hunt down the Progeny and any other race who collaborated with the Progenitor. Lyle points out that their rhetoric isn’t that different from what Imra was saying, and they argue again. We see Herro offer to join up, and tell Rayl where some Progeny are. Ayla and Wildfire have found a bunch of wretched Progeny in what looks like a tunnel. They hear weapons fire, and find the Credo, with Herro now dressed in their colours, massacring the Progeny. They try to stop them, and Ayla’s tracksuit gets torn. Ayla calls the others, while an ice caster called Brek (I guess that’s an inside joke) traps Wildfire in ice. Lyle punches Rayl, but when Brek casts some ice at him, he’s made visible, and Rayl shoots him. Imra, looking for them, comes across an injured Progeny child, and we see her hatred melt away. Imra stops the Credo telepathically, and informs them that Legion is now going to be protecting the Progeny. Later, Lyle is bandaged up and healing. Wildfire informs them that the Credo have left the brief-home, and Leos tells them that Herro went with them. He takes them to Enkenet to hear her decision. On another planet, the Credo meet with their leader, Singularity (from Legion Lost), who when he hears that the Legion is back, summons his army to move out. We see that there are a lot of Credo, as they march away from a burning city, leaving many Progeny impaled on stakes along the road.
- In Metropolis, reporter Trudy Trusoe is trying to broadcast a report about the anti-terraforming protest. She talks about the energy flare that we saw in issue 4, and then another flash of energy moves towards her. Zoe flies in, grabbing Trudy and her cameraman. The cameraman finds a soft but solid rock-like substance all over the place. The flare comes at them again, and Trudy’s broadcast is lost. Her anchor at the station then reports that the Legion has rescued hundreds from the Footstep facility. Rokk speaks out on the news, and then the Legion head to speak with President McCauley. Rokk, who is becoming a real badass under DnA, disarms the Earthgov guards there to defend the Presidential Palace. Jo opens the doors for them, and Shikari and Brainy figure out where McCauley is (on the roof, preparing to leave). Brainy also detects M’onel in the building, and they send Gates to go get him. Gates returns quickly, reporting that M’onel is hurt. Jazmin helps stabilize his wounds, while the others smash the red sun lamps. Gates and Luornu stay with Lar, who tells them that McCauley is really Ra’s Al Ghul, a name Rokk recognizes. As “McCauley” has the Oversight Watch load his genome samples on his ship, he receives word that Venge has destroyed Legion World. The Legion turn up, and immediately begin to fight the Watch. Rokk takes care of Repulse easily, while Cham, showing more fluidity than before, takes out Twine. Vi smashes Brainstorm’s puppets, while Jo throws them at him. Jazmin destroys Brainstorm’s TK bubble, and takes him out. Abyss tries to teleport Shikari away, but she finds the path out of the dimension he sends things too, and drags him into it. The team then confronts Ra’s, who reveals his true form to them. He feels no one on Earth will care if he’s exposed, and says that none of them can stop him or get through his force field. He points out what’s happening in Metropolis and all over the Earth, and makes it clear that while the Legion deals with him, millions are dying. Zoe finds herself confronted by a tall being that fires at her from its eyes. On Xanthu, Thom and Jenni continue to fight Robotica when the power appears to go out all around them. They see Robotica leaving Xanthu, and wonder where it is going. The Legion debate what to do, with Jazmin making it clear that she doesn’t believe in acceptable civilian losses. They leave to help, and Ra’s stays to gloat and yell about how he’s using the moon and his terraforming project to wipe humankind off the Earth.
- Ra’s Al Ghul sends a message to everyone on Earth, in which he discusses how the planet’s recent crises have pushed human evolution into high gear, which he calls hypertaxis. To help move things along, he is using his terraforming equipment on the Moon to somehow draw it closer to the Earth, releasing waves of energy. As this happens, some being transform into something called a terrorform, which is there to help protect the new stages of evolution that emerge (they are basically flying golems that, with their eye beams, turn people into bumpy soft rocks). Vice President Wazzo is leading an armed response to this threat, but doesn’t know what she should do about it. She’s not happy to see the Legion arrive as the energy wave gets closer. Brainy suggests that the team try to communicate with the terraforms, which immediately turn Brainy into a bumpy rock. When Shikari and Cham try to fight them, they meet the same fate. Rokk is able to use the metal on his costume to reflect the terrorform’s eye blast. One terrorform throws Violet into a building. It follows her, and is about to blast her when another terrorform, female, with flowing red hair and the ability to communicate telepathically arrives. Vi recognizes it as Kinetix. Zoe, who has been changed, telepathically suggests to Rokk that he use his magnetism to blind the other terrorforms, and they fly off to regroup, taking Zoe with them. In deep space, Dreamer warns the Khund fleet transporting the Xanthan refugees that something is coming towards them. They realize that the large object that blew past them is the Robotican baseworld, on course to Earth. Ra’s and the Oversight Watch arrive at the terraformer on the moon. The Watch members think about saying something to Ra’s, but are quickly silenced. Venge joins his boss, and is ordered to kill any Legionnaires that try to interfere. The Legionnaires on Earth ask to use the Titanet adept that Wazzo has with her, and after an icey conversation with Jo, she agrees. Orla Eidoor links the Legionnaires (who have been joined by Gates and Triad) to Zoe’s mind, giving them a better understanding of what she’s become, and why she’s different from the other terrorforms. She restores Brainy, Cham, and Shikari. Brainy has a plan. A few hours later, we see a threshold door open inside the terraformer on the Moon, as Cham leads the Legion and an SP swat unit. Rokk splits them into two groups, and they prepare to deal with this problem.
- Luornu has returned to the hospital to check on M’onel, and to see if he can help in the fight against Ra’s Al Ghul, and learns that the doctors don’t know how to help him. Luornu debates with herselves about revealing that M’onel is a Daxamite, and is Valor, when Zoe, in her new terrorform identity, shows up and does something to M’onel. Rokk narrates a recap of the threat to the team and the SP SWAT unit that’s come with them, not knowing that Ra’s is listening. He prepares Venge and the Oversight Watch to deal with the Legion, but Venge seems to pixelate and disappear. The Legion busts in, and the Oversight Watch immediately quit, surrendering. Ra’s takes off his robe and moves to attack on his own. He jumps at Shikari and hits her pressure points, immobilizing her. He uses a whistle to cause a seizure in Cham. He reverses Rokk’s polarity, and then maneuvers himself so when Jo tries to punch him, he ends up knocking down Violet instead. Jazmin approaches, and Ra’s admits that she has the most impressive power set; that’s why he has a quantum mirror in his clothes that send her powers back on her. He’s about to kill Jazmin, but Gates teleports her away, taking Ra’s right arm with him. Ra’s turns up the terraform device, pushing the moon closer to the Earth, while the outline of his arm appears (apparently he has the Lazarus Pit inside of himself now). He teleports away. Brainy tries to figure out how much time they have left to save the Earth (about two hours), and admits he doesn’t know how to fix the destruction it’s currently causing the Earth. Ra’s orders the computers to prepare his yacht, but M’onel comes out of nowhere to attack him. As they fight, Lar knocks him into a chamber filled with clones of Ra’s’s body. This surprises him, as he has no idea how there could be clones of him. He burns M’onel with his Lazarus hand, just as Luornu enters the chamber. She attacks him with her tri-jitsu, and manages to knock Ra’s into one of the clone cells. Luornu reports to the others that Ra’s is dealt with, but that does nothing to help the situation with the moon. Then Zoe leads the other terrorforms into using newly developed gravity powers to stop the moon moving towards the Earth. Brainy says that’s not going to be enough. Jazmin tells Jo and M’onel to go and help with her. They try to disconnect the terraforming machine from the moon, and have little luck. Jo notices something changing, and Legion World appears opposite the Earth, coming through a threshold gate. RJ Brande communicates with the rest, and then the rest of the Legion, including those that had gone to Kwai-space, join their teammates. They explain that they used an illusion of Sensor’s to make it look like the World was destroyed. Imra reports that the Kwai agreed to help them, and Lyle and Gear built a threshold big enough to move the whole Legion World. Brainy points out that Legion World now has to stay in counterbalance to the moon, but they feel okay with that. Luornu talks with Lar; they are concerned that the “Pandora’s box” of evolution has been opened, and wonder what that will bring.
- Apparition has a nightmare wherein she and Jo look like the Jetsons. Their baby is growing up quicker than is normal, Jo wants to watch TV, and Tinya’s mother is nice to them all. She wakes up screaming, and then looks at her baby and it looks green and sick, yelling, “Pain-hurt!” She wakes up screaming again, and Timber Wolf comes to check on her. We learn that they are still on the footstep liner to Earth, which is drifting in space after being hit by an energy wave. It turns out that Tinya’s baby is growing faster than is normal. She wants to go see the ship’s doctor, and leaves the baby with Brin to watch; neither notice that the baby flies away from where he was lying. As Tinya walks through the busy ship, she hears a voice yelling, “Pain-hurt!” in her head again. We learn that several Carggite passengers have been getting headaches. When she feels it again, she involuntarily phases into the engine room, where she writhes in pain. Brin, meanwhile, has trouble following the “cub”, who exhibits both of his parents’ powersets. Tinya starts to recover, and chats with the ship’s chief engineer. He recognizes her as a Legionnaire, and explains what happened to the ship (something really big passed it at such speeds that it created a warp-space ripple, which knocked out the footstep drive. Tinya wants the engineer to open up the footstep drive, but he explains that only McCauley Industries personnel are allowed to do that (which makes me wonder what use his job would be). He decides to listen to Tinya and orders some waldo-clamps brought over. Brin follows the baby to a bar, where they end up sparking a bar fight. The engineers can’t open the footstep drive chamber, and Tinya gets more frantic, feeling that something is living in it, and experiencing more psychic flashes. Brin knocks out a big robot thing in the bar, and as he leaves, the baby starts frying everything with his flash-vision. After getting it to stop, Brin yells at the baby, who starts crying. He sneezes freeze breath, and then phases through a wall. The baby phases into the engine room and right into the footstep drive, causing it to open. Brin shows up just as they all see that a triplicated Vyrgan is inside the drive. It’s in pain, and looks very sick. They all figure out what’s been going on; Tinya assumes that its emotions were being teleported into her head. She wants the Vyrgan separated from the machines, even though it might die, as she knows that is what it’s wishing for, even though it means that the ship might not be able to move again. The Vyrgan dies, and Tinya feels its emotions upon passing; she also learns that the thing that passed them was Robotica, that it’s going to Earth, and that they now can’t do anything about it.
- Shikari leads Sensor, Kid Quantum, and Triad to Xanthu through the threshold, and they are stunned to find the planet completely dead. XS and Star Boy come to them, and are happy to see Luornu summon an SP relief unit through the gate. On Legion World, Chuck flips through some news broadcasts, which lets us know that Venge is still missing, that no one knows what the terrorforms are going to do, and that Winema Wazzo has been sworn in as President of the UP, which doesn’t make Jo too happy. Rokk calls a meeting of all Legionnaires to order, and announces that Jazmin has been selected as the new leader of the team, especially since Rokk quietly campaigned for her. She’s surprised. Irma and Ayla talk telepathically about their doubts for Jazmin’s leadership. Ayla announces to everyone that she’s switching her code name to Live Wire in tribute to Garth’s memory. Brainiac 5 is with SP Officer Shvaughn Erin on Earth; he’s surprised that Jazmin got the job as well (he voted for himself). He and Shvaughn talk about the terrorforms, and how Kinetix is different from the other ones. At the Threshold Interface Chamber on Legion World, Umbra prepares to return to Talok VIII; she’s rude to Ayla when she asks her about her power loss. Ayla takes the threshold to Winath, where she finds Mekt waiting for her; he asks for news of Garth. On the Legion World command deck, Gear and Sensor summon Jazmin to tell her that the terrorforms have all taken up position in orbit around Earth. The next day, Lyle welcomes Sharn Nux, a Coluan, to Legion World. She’s there to consult on the Robotica threat. Jo works on an email to Imra when she comes to see him. They reveal that they do not have feelings for one another, despite what happened in Legion Lost between them, and then hear the alarm. Jazmin consults with President Wazzo, informing her that they’ve determined that Robotica will be in Earth space in fifteen hours. Sharn Nux suggests that the Legion should lead Earthgov and SP forces in intercepting Robotica; Wazzo agrees. She also tells Jazmin that her opinion of the Legion has changed after the Rift crisis and the Ra’s Al Ghul affair. Rokk and Jazmin talk briefly about why he believes so strongly that she’ll be a good team leader. Violet has a brief talk with RJ Brande about how he’s letting the team take the lead on things now that they’re back together. On Earth, Venge busts into the facility holding Tharok, the cyborg criminal that’s been modified by Robotica. He does something to him, and Tharok’s robotics start to grow. The next day, the large Navy Deep-Core fleet has assembled, and moves through mass-transfer thresholds. Jazmin puts Luornu in command of Legion World, while she leads the Legionnaires through their own gate. Brainy calls from Earth to tell Luornu that something has happened with Tharok – he’s taken over the facility he was held in, and is infecting it and the area around it with his extrusions, including data flow. The fleet has arrived at its destination; Imra’s attempt to communicate with Robotica through telepathy fails. As the fleet prepares to fire on the approaching Robotica baseworld, it disappears in a flash of light. At the same time, Triad calls Jazmin to report that something just changed on Earth, and the whole world has turned into a machine.
- On Earth, Brainiac 5, Officer Erin, and Terrorformed Kinetix try to get away from Robotica, which has taken over the planet. Brainy figures that when their baseworld exploded, they converted themselves into data and injected themselves into the Earth, using Tharok as their delivery device. They fight their way through the robot forms, trying to get to the threshold chamber to escape. Brainy figures that they must have some objective on Earth, and just as he is about to figure it out, he’s captured by Robotica, which calls him “hated of Colu.” Zoe, who no longer sees herself as Zoe, picks up Shvaughn and they fly away. On Legion World, Triad coordinates the Legion and the fleet’s attack on the Earth. The heroes try to fight their way into the atmosphere with little luck. The planet-shield around Earth keeps them out. Star Boy tries his best to break through, until M’onel has him stop. Shikari tries to use the threshold to get through the shield, but is also unsuccessful. Cosmic Boy informs the command deck that something is happening with the terrorforms in orbit – they’ve started to fight amongst themselves, as some of them have begun to turn into machines. Back on Legion World, Sharn Nux believes that the issues with the terrorforms means that evolution is backing the robots. Lyle sees it a different way, and believes that Robotica has come to Earth to hijack the hypertaxis process that Ra’s Al Ghul started; in other words, Robotica is trying to evolve. Sharn Nux wants Coluans to calculate a way through the shield, while Kid Quantum wants firepower. Robotica begins to invade Legion World. While M’onel fights with the others, he remembers something from the Legion Worlds miniseries. He leads a team through a threshold to Pluto, which he’s recently learned is actually Warworld. While the Coluan group mind works on the shield problem, things get worse on Legion World. Just then Apparition shows up (with Timber Wolf and her baby), and while everyone is happy to see her (Jo is on the Pluto mission), she wants to tell them something she’s learned about Robotica. Brainy wakes up and finds Venge standing over him. He’s surprised to see Ra’s’s man working with Robotica, until Venge reveals that he is actually COMPUTO. On Warworld, Lar explains that long ago, the Justice League defeated Warworld, and used it to replace Pluto, which was destroyed. Gear gets the massive battlestation online, and Shikari is surprised to see the early 2000s Justice League standing in front of her.
- The Legion team (Lar, Jenni, Gear, Vi, Cham, Jo, and Shikari) on Warworld are surrounded by the Justice League of America (Superman, Atom, Batman, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Martian Manhunter) who attack them. While M’onel fights Superman, the Martian Manhunter gets the drop on Cham, Jo drops Wonder Woman, Shikari and Batman match each other, and Rayner starts taking Gear apart, although that’s largely a ruse on Gear’s part. Vi turns the tables on the Atom, while Jenni tries to stay ahead of her Uncle Wally. Vi figures out that the JLA are actually hard light constructs. On Legion World, Jazmin coordinates the arrival of vessels from all over the UP and the Associated Planets, including the Khund fleet. Dreamer arrives with the Khunds, and is surprised to learn that Star Boy is around, despite having seen his grave. Nura tells Jazmin that Computo is behind Robotica, but she already knows that, having learned it from Tinya. RJ Brande takes Tinya to Jo’s quarters, and they discuss the baby’s accelerated growth. Tinya finds the datapad where Jo was writing a letter to Imra about the kiss they shared, and she gets upset. The team on Warworld continues to fight the JLA constructs. Gear works on appearing to be a victim so he can distract the GL construct and access Warworld’s systems. He’s able to shut off the JLA, and access Warworld’s operating system. When they bring it up to speed on what’s happening on Earth, it agrees to activate Warworld and come to Earth’s aid. We see that happen. On Legion World, Thom is reunited with Nura, who blows him off to attend a briefing. There, she explains how the AI they captured on Xanthu is slaved to Computo; Khund Major Dkar agrees with Lyle’s suggestion that Computo is trying to hijack the evolutionary event happening on Earth. On Earth, Brainy and Computo talk about this, as Brainy rejects Computo’s claim of being part of Brainy’s family. Jazmin organizes the strike team that will threshold to Earth once the fleet and Warworld, with the help of the Coluans, manages to get through the planet shield. Sharn Nux asks to go with the strike team. Jazmin’s team includes Lyle, Wildfire, Rokk, Sensor, and Ayla. She leaves Luornu in charge, while Imra coordinates everyone through the Titanet, and Thom works to offset Warworld’s gravity. As the team prepares, Sharn Nux communicates with Orin Fex, the leader of Colu, about how she must destroy Robotica, even if it means the end of the Earth.
- Computo tries to engage Brainy in conversation, asking him if he knows what Computo is. He tries to make his case, making this into a very wordy issue. On Legion World, Kid Quantum gives the order for the Khund fleet to start bombarding the shield around the Earth, relying on the coordinates the Coluans gave them. Legion World also opens fire, and Warworld, which has taken on a massive form, adds its guns to the mix. Timber Wolf watches things from an observation deck on Legion World, standing with RJ Brande, who he doesn’t recognize. Brande offers him a Legion ring. Computo explains some of his history, and how he was reactivated during the Imperiex war, and roamed space. On a planet called Akue, in the Kwai galaxy, a hero named Psiclone faces off against three Credo fighters. He does well against them, but is killed by Singularity. Computo is still talking, explaining how machines were almost given citizenship across the galaxy, but the Metallo Virus was introduced, and that led to genocide against them; this is the reason why Computo started Robotica. On Colu, Orn Fex talks to another Coluan, and from that conversation, we learn that Coluans were behind the Metallo Virus, part of their desire to keep machinekind subservient. On Earth, Shvaughn and the terrorformed Kinetix hide from the newly transformed other terrorforms. Zoe explains that Robotica is taking over the evolution intended for humans, and warns Shvaughn to run as she starts to become a machine too. Computo is still talking, but Brainy is not responding to his “Do you know what I am?” question to his liking. The barrage continues, and the Warworld operating system feels that there are errors in the Coluan calculations. Robotica starts to fire back, damaging some of the Khund ships, and firing on Legion World. The terrorforms join in this fight. Imra calls in from the Titanet hub, explaining that Robotica is attacking it. Jazmin still waits with her strike team in the threshold chamber, getting more impatient to be able to lead the attack. Computo talks some more, and Brainy finally starts to respond. He might be playing to Computo’s ego, or he might be agreeing that Robotica is the replacement for humans and other sentients. Now, Brainy finally calls Computo his son, and pledges to help him.
- Imra is in the Titanet Annex, which is under attack by Robotica. She calls for help, and is rescued by Timber Wolf, who shows her that he now has a Legion flight ring. Legion World, Warworld, and the fleet continue their bombardment, but Jo suggests that Warworld will have to pull back, as Thom has maxed out his gravity powers. Luornu gives the bombardment a sixty second countdown, during which time Chuck notices an opening in the shield above Metropolis. Shikari leads the strike team through the threshold, and they are surprised to find Shvaughn Erin waiting for them. She’s with Kinetix, who has become almost completely mechanical (she is the one who opened the hole in the shield for them). The strike team, including Sharn Nux, is hidden by Sensor, using a device Gear built to augment her powers, but it doesn’t much help. Robotica discovers them before they are able to get very far, and they start to fight. Sharn Nux leads them to where she believes Computo to be, and after Rokk pulls apart a blast door, they find Brainy with Computo. Brainy tells the Legion to trust him as he helps Computo reach the evolution he’s looking for. This sets Sharn Nux off, but Brainy makes some good arguments, and Jazmin and Lyle back him. Jazmin has the team stand down, but just as Computo is about to evolve, Sharn Nux tries to attack with her bio-weapon fingers. Lyle stops her, and Computo becomes a glowing being. Jazmin worries that Computo tricked Brainy, but as Computo evolves, he leaves behind the anger and hatred that defined him. Brainy likens communicating with him to being like communicating with God. That’s too much for Sharn Nux, who starts slashing at Brainy and then tries to attack the glowing light of Computo; they both disappear. Later, Jazmin narrates an update, and we learn that Robotica left Earth to live on Warworld (M’onel’s suggestion) and that they are being recognized as sentient by the UP. We learn that she’s talking to Brainy, who is floating in a medical vat; he wakes up as she talks to him. Next, Jazmin checks in on Tinya, who tells her that the doctors there think they can help slow her baby’s growth. Jo comes to see her (for the first time?) and asks to be introduced to his son. At the end of time, what appears to be a glowing Sharn Nux appears, and a voice says it’s been expecting her.
- Issue fifteen focuses on Timber Wolf, as Kid Quantum helps him get oriented to life in the Legion. It opens with him having received a beating, and then flashing back a day. Brin accompanied Jazmin to a UP Congress meeting, wherein some planets complained that Robotica was getting better treatment from President Wazzo than Xanthu did. Brin got into a bit of a verbal sparring match with Orin Fex, from Colu, and then talked to Jazmin about Winema. Wazzo announced that RJ Brande is going to be heading into the second galaxy to welcome the Kwai into the UP. Wazzo told Jazmin that she’d like some Legionnaires to accompany Brande, and also told Brin that she’d like him to come visit her at home some time. Later, at the Legion World Command Deck, Brin watched the Legion go about its business. We see him in the present again, where unseen figures are beating on him. Brin went to visit the cub (Tinya’s kid) in the medical center and chatted with Imra, who said she’s going to go to Titan to recover, after an upcoming ceremony. Brin found Jo spending time with his son, and things were clearly tense between them. It didn’t get better when the baby flew to Brin. Later, most of the Legion assembled on Shanghalla (this is the first that this graveyard asteroid has shown up in the reboot Legion). Jazmin led a ceremony to memorialize Monstress and Live Wire. After, Jazmin approached Ayla and urged her to keep the name Spark, and Ayla warmed to her. Brin asked who was behind these deaths, and Jazmin explained how Jan was no longer the Jan she knew when he killed his former friends. Later still, Jazmin took Brin with her to Trom, where she left the memory crystals of Jan (all of this references things in the Legion Lost miniseries) as a tribute to who he used to be. We see Brin is still getting beaten on, and keeps getting up for more. Earlier, Tinya came to see Brin in his quarters, convincing him he should go out to meet more of his teammates. When they got to the bar, Jo was there; he left, and Tinya went after him. The next day, Jazmin sent Brin as part of a team escorting Tharok to a starport for transport to Takron-Galtos. Brin met XS, Wildfire, and Shikari, and then wasn’t happy to see Jo on the squad too. They used the threshold to get to the starport, and Jo started an argument with Brin. Just then, the Legion were attacked by Mano, Validus, Persuader, and the Empress (with the Emerald Eye) – The Fatal Five are the ones who have been beating on Brin all along.
- Timber Wolf continues to narrate, through his mission report. We see his squad face off against the Fatal Five. The Persuader cuts through Wildfire’s suit, while Mano knocks out XS and the Empress knocks out Shikari. The Emerald Eye collapses the threshold gate and then makes it seem that the station’s coms traffic is normal, so no one will figure out they’re there. Brin and Jo try to fight Validus, but the giant manages to snag Jo with a mind blast, so soon, Brin is the only Legionnaire left standing. Persuader and the Empress free Tharok from his prison, while Mano and Validus beat on Brin, showing us the scenes we saw last issue. It looks like Brin is knocked out too. The Five decloak their ship, and tell Tharok they came to get him because it’s time for them to retrieve some treasure they hid long ago (which is a little weird, given that in the reboot, they were not really ever a real team, especially with Mano). The plan is for Mano to destroy the station as they board their ship, but just before he does so, the Empress stops him. It seems that their ship’s reactor interface is missing. They realize that Timber Wolf, who they don’t know at all, must have grabbed it (I’m not sure when or how, since it was cloaked). They start looking for him, but Brin knows that in a few minutes, their presence will be noticed, so he figures he just needs to hold out. Tharok sends the Five to get him. Brin manages to knock out the Empress, and then grabs Persuader’s axe and uses it to knock him out. Next, he drops on Mano, knocking him out too. Brin approaches Tharok, Validus, and the Emerald Eye (which we’ve established is not as strong as it used to be). Tharok has Validus prepare to rip Jenni in two, so Brin tosses the reactor interface to Tharok, but also tosses the axe into the Eye, releasing all of its energy (Brin is guessing that it is an energy being, and won’t be killed this way). Tharok attacks him in a rage, and Validus smacks Brin down. They are about to kill him when a threshold opens and a dozen Legionnaires come through. Later, Jazmin talks to Brin about his first mission, and we learn that everyone is fine.
- M’onel is with Shvaughn, about to go visit Ra’s Al Ghul in his very elaborate cell. We learn that Ra’s’s lawyers have gotten him revived. Lar talks to him, and Ra’s is pretty arrogant about his chances of being freed. He learns that his clones are all in stasis on Legion World. Finally, Lar explains that he’s there to ask for help. On Xanthu, Star Boy and XS are anticipating a plan to use the terrorforms from Earth to help restore the devastated planet. Insect Queen and Atmos come to let them know that the seed pods (the transformed fifth of Earth’s population are also being used to tap into the hypertaxis energy. Jenni checks in with Gear and Sensor, who are doing that work. The terrorforms arrive through the threshold, and begin, with coordination from Zoe, to restore the seed pods to human form. The Legion and various others lead those people back through the thresholds. Somehow, a massive Robotica attack tank thing that was overlooked before is reactivated and starts firing on people. Thom rushes over to stop it, but is hit by a wave of pain and collapses. Sensor somehow destroys the tank with a swipe of her tail, but it gets off one last shot that hits a terrorform, causing an explosion. Sensor and Zoe were caught in the blast, and Lar explains to Ra’s that Sensor is dying. He wants Ra’s to use his knowledge of hypertaxis to help save her. Ra’s gives a number of reasons as to why he needs to see her in order to help her, given her complex Orandan physiology. On Legion World, Brainy, Lyle, and Doctor Gym’ll struggle to help Sensor, while Cham watches. Tinya checks in with him, but his discussion of the miracles of 31st century medicine upsets her, because she’s worried about her baby. As she walks through Legion World, she sees Jo giving Imra a hug goodbye as she prepares to leave for Titan. Tinya doesn’t hear that Imra is asking him about Tinya. On the Command Deck, Jazmin and RJ Brande talk about his upcoming trip to the second galaxy to meet the Kwai. They acknowledge that he’ll be gone for months, and he starts to pick his escort team (he wants Cham, Ayla, and M’onel). Triad interrupts to tell them that all of Legion World is at a level of maximum security, because Ra’s Al Ghul is arriving. The Threshold Interface Chamber is locked down, and Ra’s is brought through under armed guard. As he moves on a flying skiff through the World, he keeps up a narrative of the things he sees, like the various habitat sections, and the power source. Shvaughn tells him to “bite his lip”, and as they pass a vacant habitat, he does just that. He spit blood into the face of one SP (perhaps the Lazarus Pit energy in him explains why the officer screams in pain), and knocks Shvaughn off the skiff. M’onel dives to save her, while Ra’s attacks the skiff’s pilot. It goes out of control and smashes into a wall, and explodes, clearly killing him. Lar worries that there is no hope for Sensor now.
- Lyle’s summoned Thom to help him with a mass problem; Thom mistakenly believes that Lyle knows that he had a problem with his powers during the Robotica fight. Instead, Lyle and Brainy are concerned that there is some mass missing from the crash that killed Ra’s Al Ghul. Jazmin is unhappy that M’onel brought Ra’s onto the station without clearing it with her first. Doctor Gym’ll reports that Sensor’s mutations are out of control, and that she might not survive. Brainy summons Jazmin and Lar to join them; he’s figured out that Ra’s escaped death. Lyle thinks that the Lazarus Pit energy is in Ra’s’s blood, as is his consciousness, which means he’s loose on the station. Lar figures he’s going for his clone bodies, so he and Thom race to their location. They are attacked by a naked Ra’s, who steals Thom’s flight ring and escapes, while his other clone bodies attack Lar. The Legion and the SPs on the station begin hunting for Ra’s. Shikari can’t figure out which clone is him, rendering her useless. Lar suggests using Thom’s flight ring to track him down, but of course, Ra’s hears that and ditches it. That allows Shikari to find him, so Gates teleports her and Zoe to confront him. Ra’s takes them down, and is about to kill Gates as punishment for tearing his arm off before, but M’onel arrives and punches him away. They fight (Ra’s is pretty strong, I guess), and argue. When Ra’s finally gets Lar on the ground, he grabs Shikari, threatening to break her spine unless she takes him through the threshold. When she asks where he wants to go, he pauses and realizes that M’onel will track him wherever he goes, and decides to give up. A little later, he’s taken to Sensor, and begins to work on treating her evolutionary ails. On Xanthu, XS reports that the seed pods have all become people again, as have the terrorforms; even though Xanthu is still barren, there is hope that it will become a viable planet again. Back on Legion World, we see that Sensor has changed a great deal. She still has a snake’s tail, but she has the torso of a humanoid woman now; she’s confused and looks a little distressed. Lar goes to visit Ra’s in his new cell on Legion World. He says he will check in on him from time to time.
- Issue nineteen features the debut of artist Chris Batista on the title; his work reminds me of a smoother, more elongated Chris Sprouse, and it looks pretty nice. It’s also the beginning of the Dream Crime art, and features a new logo. Saturn Girl has gone with Dreamer to Titan; Imra is seeking some rest and a resetting of her telepathy, while Nura is interested in connecting to Titanet to see if it can help boost her precognitive abilities, and serve as an early-warning system for the galaxy. They arrive through the threshold, and are met by Aven, Imra’s old teacher. Nura is left out of their telepathic conversation, which keeps happening to her. On Legion World, Brainiac 5 is trying to contact Karate Kid and Ferro on Steeple, but that planet’s proximity to a black hole makes it very difficult. Shikari, who is swearing a lot now, recognizes that she can’t find a safe path there. On Titan, Nura explains her idea to Aven, and he arranges a dinner so she can meet Chief Adept Lena Erqol, who runs the Titanet Tower. As they walk through a crowd of people, Nura receives a vision of everyone around her as skeletons, but downplays it with Aven. On Legion World, Tinya continues to worry about her baby, who everyone is just calling Cub like it’s his name, and his rapid growth. Doctor Gym’ll is stumped, so Jazmin offers to place him in a quantum structure to slow time for him. It means that Tinya can’t hold him, but she agrees. Jazmin is surprised that she doesn’t want to consult Jo about it. In a private room, Imra confronts Nura about the vision, and Nura tells her about how she saw a vision of Thom’s grave during the Robotica fight, but it never came to pass. She worries that her powers are receiving interference from all the telepaths around her, and feels like nothing is actually wrong. On Legion World, Thom uses his powers to lift very heavy weights (even though his power is to make things heavier, not lift them telekinetically). He can’t hold them up, and is saved from being crushed by Violet. Nura is bored during dinner, until Erqol starts to speak to her, and agrees that her idea is a good one. Cham goes to visit Sensor, who is very upset about her new appearance; she yells at him and tells him to leave her alone in the dark. Shikari talks to Brainy about Computo, and convinces him to go get some food, since she thinks he’s obsessing about Steeple as a way to avoid his feelings about his “child” leaving. After they leave the lab, Karate Kid responds to Brainy’s radio calls through the threshold. Nura is shown around the Titanet Tower, and receives another vision of skeletons, while hearing a voice riffing on Descartes’s whole “I think, therefore” thing. She sees a starry profile that we recognize as Darkseid; to confirm that, she says, “Darkseid is…” Imra is meditating with Aven, but she hears the same voice, and thinks that it’s Garth.
- The second chapter of Dream Crime starts in an obvious dream sequence. Imra works in a diner where she serves Rokk and Shvaughn, two SPs. She works for Brande, Tenzil is the chef, and when some Emerald Dragon gangsters (Jo, Tinya, and Wildfire) come in, she has to deal with Jo hitting on her. He tries to pick her up again when she goes off shift. After reaching home, Imra gets called back to work, where she serves Rokk again. Jo shows up again, and hits on her again. Brin, repping a rival gang, turns up and gets into a fight with Jo. Rokk pulls his gun on them, but Brin slashes him. When Brande comes out of the kitchen with a gun, Imra springs into action and kicks Jo in the face, and mindblasts Brin. She suddenly remembers that she is not a waitress, but a Legionnaire. She wakes up with the Legion Lost crew (Jazmin, Jo, Tinya, Monstress, Brainy, Shikari, Wildfire, Umbra, and Cham), and tries to tell them about her dream. Garth comes into the room, and she’s surprised to see he’s still alive. Later, they lie in the Outpost’s garden, naked, talking about what Imra remembers from the end of the Legion Lost series. She tells him about Jan, and the death of Monstress, as well as the Ra’s Al Ghul story, before they make out more. She tries to explain everything to the rest of the team, but Monstress rejects the way she is bad-mouthing Jan. They arrive at the Rosette and head into the fight. This is when the reader is brought out of Imra’s head, and we see that she is a captive of Universo (who hasn’t appeared in the reboot universe yet).
- Dreamer calls in to Legion World to let Jazmin, Rokk, and Luornu know that she has discovered that Darkseid is about to attack the United Planets. She shares that Imra is still in her therapy, and can’t consult. Gear and Chuck dig up information about Darkseid, just as a boom tube opens on the command deck, spilling out Parademons. On the medical deck, Jo talks to Tinya about her decision to place Cub in Jazmin’s quantum bubbles. They start to argue, with Tinya bringing up Imra, just as the alarm goes off; Jo sees Apokolips has materialized in orbit around Earth. We see many Legionnaires fighting the Parademons. In Sensor’s quarters, where she has been isolating herself in depression, she notices that things have gotten very quiet, but is afraid to go investigate. Darkseid comes through the boom tube. Thom moves to attack him, but his powers fail again. Unlike before, though, he begins to turn into a black hole, and Jazmin has to use all of her power to try to contain it. Because of that, on the medical deck where Jo and Tinya are fighting Parademons, the bubble around Cub turns black and then pops; it looks like a much older Cub falls to the ground. Shikari starts to hear a voice, and uses her pathfinding power to see where it’s coming from. Suddenly, her perceptions shift, and now she can see that all the Legionnaires and various support staff are just standing around doing nothing. They repeat phrases like “I am,” and “I am more.” She finds Sensor, who also can see through whatever is affecting everyone else. On the command deck, they find all the screens playing video of Universo; Jeka recognizes him as an evil Titanian criminal. She wants to use a threshold to go to Earth for help, but find Ayla, Wildfire, and Brainy blocking the thresholds. They attack Jeka and Shikari, who flee, and find other Legionnaires mistaking them for Parademons. We see that Jeka’s new body is very strong. Shikari suggests they use the other threshold gate that Brainy keeps in his lab. She explains that he was using it to contact Val and Ferro, and that the path to the world they’re on is distorted and dangerous. More Legionnaires attack them, so they have no choice but to flee through the threshold. M’onel destroys it, and a computer screen reports that there is a 100% chance that their bio patterns have been corrupted or lost.
- Universo is feeling pretty pleased with himself, gloating over the fact that he controls the entire Legion of Super-Heroes now. The team has been brought to Titan to do his bidding. In the threshold space, which is distorted, Shikari fights to keep ahold of Sensor; she’s able to grab her hand and drag her through the threshold on Steeple, but both are exhausted by the process. Universo continues to narrate about his victories; we learn that he used the image of Darkseid to confuse Nura’s precognitive abilities, so she didn’t catch on to his plans. He has some anger towards Imra, who continues to fight him; he is jealous of the fact that she received special treatment from the mentors of Titan, while he was locked up quite young, perceived as a threat to his world. He is now using the Titanet to augment his power even more. On Steeple, Karate Kid and Ferro do not recognize the two newcomers, but see that they are Legionnaires. When Sensor wakes up, she has to explain her changed appearance. A little later, she and Shikari bring Val and Andy up to speed on what’s happened, from the Legion Lost era to now. Shikari and Val fly around some, and visit the threshold gate. It turns out that Brainy was able to threshold its parts there, with instructions on how to put it together (I wondered how it would have been there, given the fact that Steeple was shut off from the outside world by the black hole). Jeka and Andy talk; we learn that Andy was healed from his injuries (sustained in Legion Worlds) by the monks of Steeple, but he is now stuck in his metallic form, and his mask is fused to his face. One of the monks has made torqs – devices that will help Sensor keep the others free of Universo’s influence. They prepare themselves to return, and threshold to Titanet Tower. They can feel the strain of Universo’s powers, and find him standing in front of a device that has the Legionnaires floating around it. He sees them, and sends the Legionnaires, who still believe they are fighting Darkseid or his minions, to attack. The four of them do pretty good for a while, but are soon brought down after Universo overpowers the torqs. In the end, he now controls the entire Legion.
- Universo is pretty pleased with himself for having caught the last four free Legionnaires, but then realizes that Sensor’s body is just an illusion, and that while he was distracted, she freed Imra and Nura from the devices that held them. He sends the mind-controlled Legion after them. Sensor gives the other two torqs to help fend off Universo’s control, and then forcefully orders the two women to help her shut down the Titanet amplifier. She gets angry when Nura questions her (this is not the same old Sensor at all), and has no time for Imra’s sadness. When they reach the primary controls, Nura has a precognitive flash that tells her to keep them from shutting things down. Sensor argues with her, and it gets physical between them. Imra stops them from fighting, but by then, Universo has arrived with the Legion. On Legion World, while Doctor Gym’ll and his staff stand still, caught in Universo’s control, the quantum field around Cub decays, making him immediately susceptible to Universo. Something strange happens though, and Cub’s babyish babbling carries through the link, and into the rest of the Legion. This brief respite gives Imra the chance to try to get him into telepathic inhibitors. Universo recovers his senses again and engages in psychic battle with Imra. He manages to defeat her, and assert dominance over the entire galaxy. At least he thinks so; in actuality, Imra made him think he was winning, and trapped him in the same kind of inhibitor chair he had her in before. The Legion, now free, are all fine, and every mind he captured is restored. Later, on Legion World, Nura and Thom talk. She’s now a member of the Legion, and shares that she’s still concerned about the Darkseid threat. Jo and Tinya rush to check on Cub, and are surprised to see a child of about six or seven in the med level. On Titan, Imra talks with Aven about all that has happened, and how by giving Garth back to Imra, Universo also helped make her strong again. Universo is being held on Steppe, where the Halpashar monks will watch over him. Val tells the head monk that Universo is now trapped in a daydream that Imra made for him; we see him working at the diner in the vision he originally gave to her.
- It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Umbra in this book, but now she gets a solo issue, drawn by Legion legend Steve Lightle. Upon arriving on Talok VIII through the threshold, Tasmia finds her world plunged into shadow. A vehicle flies past her, almost hitting her, and she hitches a ride on it as it enters a UP facility. The SPs there are scurrying to close the place down before their lights are seen. Tasmia reveals herself to them and they explain that the UP is no longer welcome on the planet, and that they are getting ready to leave before the shadow comes for them. A massive shadowform enters the facility, attacking everyone. It recognizes Tasmia, and says she shouldn’t have returned, as it engulfs her. Later, she wakes up in a room where Shadow Maven, her former teacher, sits over her. He explains that he sensed her return and found her in the ruins of the embassy. He tells her that her people were frightened by all of the problems that hit the galaxy (without mentioning the Blight) after the destruction of the stargate network, and decided to isolate themselves. Maven takes her out into the town, where she sees that the shadow has covered everything. Tasmia is upset that her people sent her away so she could learn tolerance, which she did, but they took the opposite path. Maven explains that the people chose a new champion, her cousin Grev, and used a technological suit to give him control of the shadow. Tasmia decides to go to Grev, and Maven advises her to remember her training. Upon entering the sentinel tower, Tasmia is attacked by the shadow. As she fights it, bits of it start to cling to her, and as the conflict continues, her control over the shadow begins to return. She fights his shadow self, gaining more and more control, until finally she is victorious. She realizes that Grev is dead, and has been for a while, victim to the technology they used to amplify his powers. Her powers restored, Tasmia draws back the shadow from her world. Later, she’s back on Legion World (the timing of this issue is weird – it seemed like she was only on Talok VIII for two days at the most, yet she’s missed over a year’s worth of issues) talking to Jazmin. Now Tasmia is surrounded by shadowforms wherever she goes, and appears to be sticking to a skimpy bikini and boots outfit. Jazmin welcomes her back to the team with an embrace.
- Issue twenty-five is oversized, and features some guest art. It opens in Smallville in the 20th century, where young Clark Kent is met by the three founding Legionnaires, in versions of their original Silver Age costumes; they know that he’s Superboy, and ask him to accompany them to the future. This sequence raises a lot of questions, as in the DCU of this time (post Zero Hour, pre-Infinite Crisis), Clark was never Superboy. In the 31st century, Ayla has gone to Trom to visit the memorial to Jan, where she tells his image that she doesn’t blame him for what happened to Garth. She leaves the crystals from the second galaxy there. Luornu comes to fetch her back to Legion World for a celebration, and for a guest she has coming. As they fly off, we see some lightning-like energy coming from the crystal she just placed on the ground. On Legion World, Jazmin is speaking to a large gathering of beings, declaring it Foundation Day, the anniversary of the Legion’s founding. She introduces the twenty new members of the Legion Cadet Program (One looks like Comet Queen, but the rest look like brand new characters, in matching jackets). Rokk and Imra come to address the cadets, and take them on a tour of Legion World. Two of them – Amp Girl and Retro – chat a bit. Babbage, the cadet from Robotica, tries to talk to them, but is frozen out. Rokk talks to him instead, but then hears of a dimensional storm happening near Braal, and decides to join the team being sent to deal with it. Rokk, Tinya, Brainy, Jazmin, Shikari, and Wildfire threshold to Braal space (in a sequence drawn by Tony Harris). They were summoned because President Wazzo’s yacht was in the area for some reason, when the dimension storm emerged from an old stargate that was being dismantled. The storm has left warp phantoms crawling all over the President’s ship. Rokk and Jazmin flirt a little while they deal with the problem. On Legion World, Mekt comes to visit Ayla, and they watch as Ferro and others pay tribute to Garth. For some reason, pages are given over to recapping Mekt’s life story, in a sequence drawn by Dave Cockrum. We see the usual story again, and then Mekt talks about the time Garth came to see him in prison, and showed him kindness. Mekt decides not to speak about Garth, and when he goes to use the washroom, we see that he’s wearing Garth’s uniform under his clothes. Tinya joins her mother on the Presidential yacht, and asks her why she’s there. Winema decides to show her. On Legion World, Imra shows the cadets the Command Deck, where Retro asks why there is no memorial to Jan. This leads to Imra giving a lengthy recap of what happened to Jan (in a sequence drawn by Paul Rivoche) in the second galaxy, and explains why she chooses to remember him as he was before going through the rift. The team in Braal space continues to work, and learns that the people dismantling the gate found something. Jazmin and Brainy manage to close the gate. Tinya calls them into the yacht to see what came through the gate – it’s Superboy (early 00’s black t-shirt version). The team returns to Legion World, where Imra and the cadets meet them, and learn that Jazmin and Rokk are having dinner together. Imra asks him to go with her to Trom. She wants to visit Jan’s memorial after her talk with Retro. They are surprised to find the memory crystals destroyed, and see Jan, in a crystal form, walk towards them. More shocking is that he identifies himself as Garth! Returning to young Clark Kent, he enters into a dark future. The three founding Legionnaires reveal themselves to be generic soldiers of Apokolips, and we learn that’s where they’ve taken him, but in the thirty-first century.
- Somewhere, we join what looks like a statue of Darkseid, as some cultists complete a ritual. Darkseid is surrounded by servants – there are recognizable versions of Orion and Big Barda, and another who might be Takion or Firestorm. The cultists leap into a firepit, and one of the servants believes she hears Darkseid’s statue say, “More.” Five weeks later, a squad of Legionnaires (Umbra, Sensor, Spark, Ferro, Ultra Boy, Star Boy, Apparition, Cosmic Boy, and Leviathan), accompanied by Superboy, threshold into the Enduku system to investigate an issue with a stargate (which Kon-El keeps calling a spacegate to Rokk’s consternation). Thom is pretty impressed with Superboy, and is surprised to see that Rokk is being hard on him. Kon is hopeful that the stargate will help him get home, and he rushes ahead, where three figures are waiting. They look like servants of Darkseid, and they attack him. The team gets into the fight, but don’t have much luck against them. One of them, who has a bit of a Superman look to his appearance rips the S off Kon’s shirt (through his transuit, I guess), and they escape through a boom tube; which Superboy recognizes as a problem. On Legion World, Garth, who is stuck in Jan’s crystalline body, watches the news in the Winath habitat, annoyed that everyone is more excited about Superboy being there than him. Imra comes to see him, but Garth feels her remaining distant. When he tries to hold her hand, she says she’s been summoned to the command deck; he doesn’t believe her. On the command deck, Rokk, Lyle, Jazmin, Brainy, Luornu, and Nura discuss what happened, and the presence of the boom tube. Rokk suspects that Superboy is related to whatever’s going on, especially since he has no memory of how he got to the future or from when. Brainy and Lyle decide to keep researching his situation. As they talk, Jazmin seems to pause oddly for a second. The Time Institute is surrounded by protestors from a catastrophist religion – they believe that the galaxy needs to start over, and that Superboy’s arrival is a sign. Lyle and Brainy slip past them and discuss their beliefs. As they begin to research Superboy, they record some time anomalies, and get attacked by some of Darkseid’s servants (including the Orion figure and someone who looks like Hawkman) who boom tube in. On Legion World, Rokk gives Jazmin a massage and they kiss. We learn that Rokk is part of a philosophy called “The Spirit of the Last Son”, and he admits that Kon is a disappointment. As Jazmin pours them drinks, the liquid somehow vanishes from their glasses. Dreamer calls in to say that she can’t read any futures now, because the future doesn’t exist. Ferro takes Kon to see the Athramites to help him with his costume – the one they give him is the classic Superboy outfit, and he likes it.
- Between issues twenty-six and twenty-seven came the Legion Secret Files 3003 issue, which had its art split between the conventional Leonard Kirk and Tony Harris, who was using his strange, more cartoonish style. The three Servants of Darkseid (Orion, Big Barda, and probably Firestorm) emerge from a boom tube and fly towards a planet. In Metropolis, Trudy Trusoe begins to narrate the news story that becomes the structure of the issue, as she gets picked up by Shikari for her tour of Legion World. Whenever she goes to a new room, we get a splash page by Harris, introducing us to the various Legionnaires we see along the way. Jazmin, Rokk, and Imra serve as her tour guides through the threshold chamber, recapping the Legion’s origin for the 1000th time. They give her a flight ring, temporarily, and then show her the command deck and one of the medlabs. She also gets to visit the bar, where she shares a drink with her tour guides. Jazmin reacts oddly when Rokk praises her, and excuses herself. In the hall, she has another vision, which rattles her. Rokk comes to her and calms her down, but she doesn’t tell him what’s going on with her. Rokk takes Trudy to the gym, where they watch Superboy spar with Karate Kid, and talk about the Believers of the Spirit of the Last Son. Rokk makes it clear that Kon-El is not someone to be looked up to. Next they run into Sensor in the hallway, and she reacts poorly to being filmed, rushing back into her room to hide. Rokk shows Trudy an observation deck, and talks about RJ Brande and his mission in the second galaxy, with a few other Legionnaires. He shows her Brainy’s lab, where he and Ayla show her a hologram of Legion World. Ayla takes her on a tour through some of the habitats, and in the Winath zone, they spot Garth, but Ayla discourages Trudy from talking to him. Garth broods. With her tour over, Trudy wraps up her news program, praising the Legion. The three servants of Darkseid bow to his statue-like figure and tell him his plan is working.
- Jazmin is woken up by an emergency call on Legion World, but somehow gets transported to a snowy landscape where she can see silhouettes of some figures fighting. She fires a blast, and damages her quarters. At the Time Institute, the two servants of Darkseid (based on Orion and Hawkman) attack Lyle and Brainy. They try to fight them, but can’t take them down. The two move to escape through a boom tube, and Lyle impulsively jumps in behind them, telling Brainy he trusts him to find a way to track him. Left alone, Brainy discovers a bomb they left behind. A little later, a squad of Legionnaires arrive to help sift through the wreckage of the Time Institute. Superboy turns up, wearing the OG Superboy outfit, which catches the crowd’s attention. We see a news broadcast explaining that many were injured, but that Brainy managed to save some of the Institutes staff and most important pieces of technology in his force shield. The reporter discusses Superboy’s presence, and how that has led to celebrations by followers of The Spirit of the Last Son, but it’s also led to riots. On Legion World, Rokk admonishes Kon for wearing that costume. Ferro tries to take responsibility, but Rokk won’t hear it, and refers to Kon as a disappointment. Brainy is using Legion World’s sensor array to try to track Lyle down. He explains to Rokk, Jazmin, and Violet that he’s discovered temporal anomalies from ten years in the past. Gear notices that something else is happening; Brainy explains that the universe is shrinking on a scale that is noticeable, while a “super-massive gravitational distortion” is also appearing at the edge of the galaxy. When Jazmin asks for some explanation, she sees a bunch of swirling figures around her. Just then, they receive a signal from Lyle – he’s on a stargate, watching as Darkseid’s servants modify it to teleport dark matter out of the universe. Lyle is discovered by a servant with a mouth for a belly, who is able to see through his invisibility. A group of Legionnaires threshold in, and start fighting the servants. Vi takes a blast to the ribs that hurts her. The servants escape through a boom tube, and excited to see that he’s okay, Brainy gives Lyle a kiss on the cheek (which reminds me that we never did see any more of Lyle’s relationship with the reporter Condo Arlick). The team is now certain that they are dealing with Darkseid. Brainy figures that they are using thousands of stargates like this one, and that there’s no point in shutting it down. Shikari feels like she can track the servants, so the team goes through a threshold and finds themselves in front of a massive boom tube, sucking in dark matter from many hundreds of stargates.
- The servant of Darkseid who looks like Superman turns up, confused, in the Smallville Heritage Site, in Metropolis, pursued by the servant who looks like Orion. He identifies himself as Clark Kent as Orion attacks him, but Superboy (Kon-El version) joins the fight before Orion can hurt the confused servant. On Legion World, Imra, Jenni, Luornu, Gear, and Chuck are monitoring what’s happening when Garth comes to try to get Imra to go to a meeting with Doctor Gym’ll with him. Imra blows him off, claiming she’s busy. Rokk leads a small squad (Umbra, Shikari, and Wildfire) into Smallville, and is annoyed with Kon for not listening again. Kon fights Orion, while the others tend to Clark. Rokk separates the combatants, but Orion boom tubes out before he can capture him. Wildfire tells Rokk that the servant is Clark Kent. Trudy Trusoe prepares to anchor the news, and can’t decide if she should lead with the time anomalies that have begun cropping up everywhere, or with the disappearance of millions of Catastrophists across the UP. Rokk, Kon, Ferro, Lyle, and Jo discuss their belief that Clark might be the teenage version of Superman, and Rokk makes it clear that Kon should not say anything to him. Clark explains to a larger group that he was kidnapped by three beings posing as the Legion founders, and had his powers amplified. The servants that took him mentioned having dumped another Superboy into D-space, explaining how Kon got there. Clark was brainwashed, but came to when he tore the S-symbol off Kon’s chest. We learn that he has one of their Mother Boxes. Brainy starts to see the bigger picture, and suspects the other servants are significant figures from other timelines (they won’t explain to Clark what makes him significant). Brainy figures that they are creating a temporal dam around something ten years in the past, but they aren’t sure why. They figure that with Clark’s Mother Box, they can travel to Apokalips, but they need Clark to operate it; he agrees to come along. Jazmin tells Rokk that with her powers acting up, she can’t go with them, and steps down as leader so he can run the mission. She suggests that he take the whole team, except for her and Violet, who is hurt. They kiss again. Rokk decides that he won’t take Kon with them, due to the time anomalies, and Kon sulks off, finding Garth. We see the Legion boom tube to Apokalips (M’onel, Cham, and Gates are not with them – you would think M’onel would be helpful on this mission). They can see that Darkseid’s forces are reigniting the firepits, and that the missing Catastrophists are sacrificing themselves. The landscape changes around them as Rokk orders them to find out what’s going on. Darkseid’s sizable forces engage them in battle, while the ancient rocky statue of Darkseid stands and walks towards a boom tube. A younger Darkseid emerges from it, and they clasp hands.
- We see how pulling the younger Darkseid out of the timestream, around about the eighth century AD, creates a ripple effect, destroying the timeline in a wave that moves both backwards and forwards, affecting the Demon during the Crusades, wiping out Themyscira in the 15th century (an odd choice, that one), and approaching Jonah Hex in 1873. On Legion World, Chuck figures out what is happening (pretty good for an architect), leaving Jazmin, Violet, and Kon-El about a half hour to figure out how to solve the problem. On Apokalips, the two Darkseids speak to one another while the Legion and Darkseid’s collected group of servants and Parademons watch, frozen. Old Darkseid explains that his plan is to reinvigorate himself, with the help of his younger self. This means that the timeline will collapse, but OD has created a quantum breakwater ten years prior, which should protect them from the collapse. After that, OD intends to rule the new timeline, in YD’s body. On Legion World, Kon, Jazmin, and Vi try to figure out what to do, and Vi suggests that the answer lies in when they should go, not where. We see the dissolving timeline affect Enemy Ace in 1917, the Golden Age Flash in 1940, and Sgt. Rock in 1944. Young Darkseid is not too fond of OD’s plan, and attacks him, calling on the no-longer frozen Legion to fight for him. The dissolving timeline takes out the Wayne family in 1976, absorbs the Anti-Monitor and the Flash, and then affects the futuristic (2019) versions of Robin and Batman. Jazmin starts thinking that her quantum powers might be able to fix things if they can return to the moment when the timeline collapse began, but Garth (still in Jan’s body) interrupts to say it won’t work unless he can encase them in tromium. He thinks that they won’t listen to him or trust him, and is touched when Jazmin calls him Garth. The Darkseids continue to fight, while Rokk has the team support the young one, while acknowledging that he wants to stop them both. There’s a lot of chaos, and Chris Batista draws the hell out of it in a number of splash pages. The Orion servant attacks YD, but he grabs him, and citing the prophecy that fueled a lot of the Fourth World comics, uses him to kill OD. Now victorious, Young Darskeid (now just Darkseid, I guess) orders the various Parademons and servants to kill the Legion. At the same time, Jazmin, Kon, Vi, and Garth, covered in tromium, fly into the timestream.
- Superboy, Live Wire, Leviathan, and Kid Quantum attack the younger Darkseid at some point after his victory over the older Darkseid, but as they fight, they realize that the time barrier OD set up didn’t work (or wasn’t finished), and see that the collapse of the timestream is coming for them all. Darkseid doesn’t know what to do to save himself, but Garth suggests that before the barrier completely collapses, they should jump back some thirty minutes into the “protected past”. As the wave of white engulfs Darkseid, the four Legionnaires jump through a time portal (that it appears Jazmin is now able to open, unexplainably). We go back to the moment where OD welcomes YD through a boom tube, while the rest of the Legion fought Parademons and Darkseid’s servants. The four push the younger Darkseid back into the tube. Jazmin tells Imra and Brainy to keep OD busy, while the four keep pushing YD back. Rokk and the rest of the Legion all attack Darkseid. In the boom tube, Jazmin realizes that the visions she’s been having are of them fighting YD, as they moved him through time. Old Darkseid starts to weaken, and so begins reabsorbing his power from his servants. As he drains them, we see their original forms returned to their proper place in time, which for Lobo means the middle of a fight somewhere. He also drains Firestorm and Big Barda, while the Legion and Clark Kent keep fighting. Jazmin’s squad finally succeeds in pushing Darkseid out into the time he came from. Clark ends up fighting Darkseid alone, and manages to take him down. The fight drained Darkseid to the point of going dormant again, and shut down all of Apokalips. Later, on Legion World, Rokk and Jazmin talk to Clark as they prepare to send him home. Kon is not happy that he’s the only person not going back to his own time, because they still haven’t been able to discern when he came from. Clark and Kon share a moment before Imra and Rokk take him home. Brainy asks Kon to help him shut down all the boom tubes that are still draining black matter out of the universe. In the 20th century, Imra erases Clark’s memories, and they say goodbye. On Apokalips, we see a small light begin to glow in Darkseid’s eye.
- Keith Giffen came on to draw the light-hearted issue thirty-one, which focuses on Chuck and Gear. They’ve snuck into Brainy’s lab to borrow something, and found a file of holophotos of the Legion ladies, which Chuck grabs for “insurance.” Gear talks about the almost 50 000 things that need to be repaired in the wake of Darkseid’s attack on Legion World, while Chuck talks about the fact that the two of them are always stuck cleaning up after a battle, and that it’s unfair. His plan is to make it look like they are working, using holograms, and then hide out in Chuck’s workshop and drink. They quickly figure out that whatever it was they borrowed from Brainy has gone missing. Cub finds them, but they blow him off. They check the Medlab, where Doctor Gym’ll praises Gear for how clean the lab is, while Chuck has a shower for some reason. Whatever they are looking for is not in the medlab, so they keep searching. They find the same suspicious level of cleanliness on the command deck, where Luornu appears suspicious of them. It becomes clear that they are looking for nanites. Chuck figures they need someone they can blame things on, and thinks of Superboy. They go to his room, which is a pigsty, and convince him to come help them look for a critter they claim grew out of the dirt in his room and clothes. They look around at the clubhouse bar, but get tossed out for their silliness. They head through some sub-levels, and enter a habitat deck that is stripped of all the plants and animals that should have been there. Kon finally figures out that they are tricking him, and as Gear tries to gaslight him, the nanite swarm appears before them. The swarm isn’t able to be contained by Gear, who gets cleaned really well, and the swarm escapes. They track it and argue. Suddenly, a large electromagnetic field grabs Gear and starts rubbing him up and down a wall. Kon looks through the wall with his super-vision, and sees that Kid Quantum and Cosmic Boy are having some fun together, which must be setting Rokk’s magnetic powers off. The swarm returns and attacks Kon. It flies him around, and then drops him. The cloud appears to collapse on itself. Gear believes that the swarm was infected with Kon’s 20th century germs and bugs, and ended up destroying itself. Later, Brainy returns to his lab and notices that his nanobots are gone. He also finds a datapad with a note suggesting he not report the missing nanites, so the person who left it doesn’t have to tell anyone about Brainy’s holo-collection.
- Garth has not needed sleep since coming back to life, so he talks to Doctor Gym’ll about how he came back, and the difficulty of getting his friends to see him as different from Jan, whose body he inhabits. He walks to the Threshold Chamber, where Brin is bringing some trainees back from a mission. Brainy, Shikari, Superboy, and Umbra are gathered around the threshold to the second galaxy, because Shikari feels like something is wrong. M’onel suddenly comes through the gate with a Kwai pathfinder. He’s in rough shape, and he yells for them to shut the threshold down. Before that can happen, a group of five Credo goons come through and attack. The Legion fight back, but it’s not until Garth enters the fray that things happen. The Credo see him and immediately flee back home, assuming he’s Jan, or as they call him, the Progenitor. Later, and dressed in something more resembling his classic costume, M’onel explains how he was with RJ Brande, Cham, Kinetix, and Gates on their tour of the second galaxy. They came across the Credo, who are on a mission of ethnic cleansing, killing anyone connected to the Progenitor. Brande met with Singularity, the Credo leader, who captured him and his Legion escorts. Lar managed to escape and return home. Garth worries that his presence made things worse when the Credo came, and Lar more or less agrees. Shortly, the entire Legion except for the ones held by Singularity, and Garth, thresholds to the second galaxy. Jazmin makes it clear that they are to keep their heads about them (that’s mostly directed at Kon-El), and it’s not long before the Credo finds them. Jazmin threatens them, and demands they take her to Singularity. The Credo have landed a massive ship right on a city. When the Legion enters the ship, they see how many followers Singularity has. When he comes to speak to Jazmin, she makes it clear that she wants her teammates freed. Singularity recognizes Jo, and talks about his mission to eradicate any remaining trace of the Progenitor. He says he will exchange his prisoners for Garth, and both sides walk away. Back on Legion World, Garth offers to go to Singularity himself, but the team rejects that. Jazmin makes it clear that she wants Garth kept safe, but he storms off. Violet asks to speak to Rokk about something. Later, some Credo goons deliver Garth to Singularity; he’s defied Jazmin and come on his own. He tries to explain that he’s not Jan, but Singularity doesn’t care, and decides he’s going to kill Garth, Brande, and the others.
- RJ Brande talks about the promise of the United Planets as Singularity punches him, and challenges his interpretation of things, accusing him of being progeny. He’s sent back to his cell to meet his new cellmate. He, Zoe, Gates, and Cham are surprised to see that Garth is alive, in Jan’s body, and a prisoner of Singularity (perhaps even in that order). He explains what’s happened, but Cham doesn’t believe him, expecting it to be a trick. They are all surprised when Lyle appears and punches one of the guards. He’s there with Sensor, Tinya, and Vi, but Garth didn’t even know that. They take out the guards and free their captive friends. Outside, Thom uses his powers to isolate Singularity’s command ship, while most of the rest of the Legion, under cover of Tasmia’s darkness, begin taking down the Credo army. Lyle’s group make their way to the command centre and start attacking. Outside, Brainy and XS keep the Credo pilots from getting to their fighters, while Rokk, Ferro, and Gear destroy the ships. Kon and Jo team up to destroy the Credo crawl-tanks, with some help from Wildfire and Ayla. Jazmin and Nura coordinate their forces. Nura knows that the team in the ship needs help. Superboy flies in and starts fighting Singularity. Sensing defeat, Singularity decides to commit suicide by blowing up his ship, which should also blow up the entire planet. His soldiers realize that they don’t want to be martyrs for their cause, and while the rest of the Legion starts to pull back, Garth dives in and transmutes Singularity into crystal, ending the threat. Cham makes it clear to the nearby Credo forces that their leader was going to kill them, and that it was the Progenitor who saved them. A little later, the Credo depart, having given up on their cause. Rokk and Jazmin talk about the promise of uniting their galaxy with this one, as the team celebrates. They all fly home together, with Ferro carrying Brande. Much later, we see that Imra and Garth have been walking around Metropolis talking, and it’s clear that their relationship is back on track. They embrace in front of the monument to the Lost Legionnaires.
I’m really glad that I decided to stick it out, rereading the bulk of the Reboot Legion to this point, only because this run ended up being way better than I remembered. I’ve long known that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are terrific writers, but I’d forgotten how good they were on this book after they relaunched it.
It feels very much like DnA were trying to return the Legion to their former glory, and slowly took steps to correct oversights and slights visited on the team during the reboot. We got Wildfire and Timber Wolf back, got Dreamer on the team, put Umbra back in a more traditional costume, did the same with M’onel, and generally returned the team to a place of prominence in their galaxy (and the second one). The team felt important during this run, after they dealt with the threat of Ra’s Al Ghul.
Not everything was perfect – I hate the extent to which they had to rely on the 21st century in this run. Leaving aside Superboy’s presence (more on that later), I didn’t like seeing them go up against Ra’s and Darkseid in such quick succession, with a detour to fight a bootleg version of the 2000 Justice League, but in all cases, I can’t argue that the stories were epic and widescreen. One thing that I thought about while reading these bigger stories is that this run feels a bit like DC’s answer to The Ultimates, which was running around the same time.
DnA really embraced the size of the Legion, with something like twenty-seven or twenty-eight members (I decided to count Chuck as an official Legionnaire, since he got more screen time than Kinetix, Violet, Karate Kid, or XS), an an equal-sized group of trainees that never really got to do anything at all. The Legion moved into a satellite the size of a moon, and made use of a pretty much magical form of transportation to be able to go absolutely anywhere in two galaxies. I like that Legion World had a big support staff, yet it is very clearly the Legion that runs the show (we stopped even seeing President Wazzo pretty quickly). It really did feel like the Legion got rehabilitated during these years.
The problem with the size of the team, however, is that very little character development took place over this run. Kid Quantum went from being an afterthought of a character into a capable and formidable leader, as well as being Rokk’s love interest. I really grew to like Jazmin over the course of this run, and wish that Brian Michael Bendis had brought her back in his current Legion title (he is also running with the expansive approach to the team, as there are characters we still haven’t met yet).
Some other characters got some work, but two of the ones that transformed the most, Kinetix and Sensor, were quickly ignored after their changes stopped being plot points. I’d hoped to see some resolution to both of their stories.
DnA left behind a string of other unresolved plotlines. Star Boy’s powers appear to be working properly again by the end of the run with no explanation, and we never revisit the love triangle subplot based on Tinya’s suspicions that something was happening between Jo and Imra. In fact, we never saw Tinya and Jo reconcile and get close again, nor did we get to find out what was going on with Cub’s rapid aging (or why any parent would have ever given him that name). I’d expected that at some point, we’d revisit the fact that Mekt was walking around wearing Garth’s uniform, but we never even got to see the two brothers meet again. Finally, I’d have expected DnA to address Superboy’s presence in the future before they departed. I also wonder why we didn’t see more of the team interacting with Superboy, especially given that Luornu had a crush on him before.
Granted, the series didn’t end when DnA left, but it did only stumble along for another five issues (which means you can expect my next column to come pretty soon). These dangling plot points leave me wondering if perhaps DnA cut their run short for some reason. I know that it wasn’t long after this that Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s “threeboot” Legion began, but I don’t want to talk about that here.
Artistically, this book was impressive. Olivier Coipel began the run, and his art matched the rough and tumble environments that the Legion found themselves in, as Earth was ravaged a couple of times, and the team had to scramble for their existence. For a while, Coipel had some of the team wearing matching jackets, which is something that I absolutely love in team comics. Jacket eras are always favourites of mine, from Morrison’s X-Men, through the terrible 90s Avengers comics, and even Justice League Task Force. I love me a good team jacket. As things began to look sunnier for the team, Chris Batista came onboard and did an amazing job of showcasing the team in a more positive light, and really captured their youth, and general litheness. I don’t understand why Batista didn’t become a bigger star.
I wish this run had continued for a lot longer. While it was not as strong as the Levitz/Giffen, or Giffen/Bierbaum/Pearson runs, it was the closest anyone got to that level of quality in a very long time. I would also argue that the Legion has not been this good since, including Bendis’s run (which has a lot of potential still). I do wish more characters had had more moments, and that the threats the Legion faced were broader than a selection of classic Legion villains and characters from the 21st century, but I found myself excited each day to pick up the next issue of this run.
Next time, I’m going to wrap things up with a fill-in issue, and then Gail Simone’s four-part story, and then that will be it with me writing about the Legion. I’m not sure if you can count the “Threeboot” as “retro” yet, but I also don’t have any real desire to revisit that series.
If you’d like to see the archives of all of my retro review columns, click here.
If you’d like to read any of the stories I talk about here, you are going to have to dig, but at least the Foundations storyline was collected at some point:
The Legion: Foundations
Tags: DC Comics, Retro Reviews, The Legion