Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Legion Spreads its Net Wide

TALES OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #339, DC Comics, September 1986
Reprinting the Legion try-outs from Legion of Super-Heroes vol.2 #14 (September 1985), this try-out occurs in the Paul Levitz era, which to me IS the Legion of Super-Heroes. It's not really his characterization, since many Legionnaires remain interchangeable. It's not the plotting, which is ok, but rarely memorable outside key story arcs. No, it's his total commitment to his 30th-century world.

The book is always full of throwaway lines, technologies, creatures and Encyclopedia Galactica entries that make you believe this is an intricately designed future. Look at this neat piece of gear worn by Shadow Lass to make herself grow hair after having spent too many years with the most severe of brush cuts:
That word, by the way, is Voila! Because that's another thing: The 30th century has its own language called Interlac, and Levitz makes sure all manner of signage is written in that invented alphabet. I love it! Thanks to Wikipedia, you can get your very own alphabet key and read all that stuff you never could before. Thanks Wikipedia! Now I know that the following sign says "Meeting in progress"!
Those Legionnaires are voting on an unprecedented number of new members because their original three are retiring and they were down a couple before that. Who will make it in?

For my money, they gave too much of a chance to Comet Queen, a thoroughly annoying character who can put you to sleep with her comet gas:
My thoughts exactly, Timber Wolf. I wouldn't mind her so much if she didn't speak like some kind of outer space valley girl. "Parse me to the Nth power!" "Boost me to stardrive, this is maximal!" "Prism you for C-speed fools!" "Burn me no more - glim your eye-sockets at the lizard lounge now." I don't know what any of that means, but it just leaves me wondering where Superboy is to scream out "REJECTED!"

Another loser is Energy Boy, who is wearing one of the worst costumes in Legion history (since the 70s, at any rate).
A nuclo-globe? Shades of Molecular Master, right there. Anyway, his audition is interrupted by Polar Boy, the leader of the Legion of Substitute-Heroes who never deserved to be rejected in the first place. He steals Energy Boy's thunder, and boldly asks the Legion to wave the rule requiring new members to be under 18 years of age (yes, the Legion has yet ANOTHER stupid rule when it comes to recruiting).

But this try-out is full of irregularities. If I had been rejected like Power Boy, Mentalla and those two goldfish I know nothing about...
...I would be mighty pissed. I mean, look at those new members:
From left to right: Magnetic Kid is Cosmic Boy's brother (nepotism). Tellus is a monster. Quislet (that little ship) can't even be seen and didn't even show up at the try-outs. Polar Boy is over 18. And Sensor Girl is there because Saturn Girl pulled rank and asked for this mysterious character to be accepted sight unseen.

Not that I'm complaining, you understand. Sensor Girl and Polar Boy are great. And cheers to the Legion for finally picking up a couple of non-humanoids. The days of the racist Legion are over. As for Magnetic Kid, well, nepotism is still wrong. That, and pink costumes.

TRY-OUT CHECKLIST: A, B

6 comments:

SallyP said...

Arrrgghhh! Not more of the Legion and their stupid tryouts! Why oh why didn't they take Infectious Lass when they had the chance?

Siskoid said...

But Sally, it's Legion Try-out WEEK. I can't help it!

googum said...

I love how Timber Wolf is alternately bored, sleepy, and/or goofing off the whole time.

Siskoid said...

I've been to enough auditions and try-outs to know there are definitely people like that.

rob! said...

i love those color holds to make things look like holograms and computer screen images. a really nice touch.

Siskoid said...

Yes, a staple of the Levitz era. I like them too.