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Mild Mannered Reviews - Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century

Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #11

Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #11

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 13, 2008

Cover date: April 2008


Writer: J. Torres
Penciller: Alex Serra
Inker: Alex Serra

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Brainiac 5 is watching a virtual holo recording of Superman's early days with the Legion. Phantom Girl jokes that it's a virtual obsession, it's no more a tactical mission analysis than it is a futuristic scrapbook.

Brainiac naturally shrugs off the idea he'd be involved in something so... creative. Phantom Girl sifts through photo's of the Kents and other memorabilia when she notices one of the holograms shows Superman on Mars...

Brainiac explains when Superman first arrived in the 31st century he longed for some home comforts and the Smallville simulator didn't quite match up to the real thing. A trip to the Metropolis Tree Museum was in order but naturally Clark accidentally sent himself across the galaxy to Mars by mistake and inadvertently came into contact with a big part of his future...

Mars in the future is a highly populated planetscape, too populated... Using his Smallville smarts Clark tries to retrace his way back but when he tries to use the trans-matter gate to go home he finds a queue so big he'd be waiting hours to get home! Clark shrugs realizing he is wearing the perfect device to get him a ride home - his Legion flight ring!

The high traffic in the area interferes with the signal and fiddling with it only causes it to crumble between his superstrong digits... looks like it might be a while!

Meanwhile back at Legion headquarters, Brianiac 5, Triplicate Girl and Timberwolf see the distress call from the flight ring before it was crushed. They quickly realize Superman never made it to the dullest museum in the universe... he's messing with the future! Possibly! Maybe!

A statue of a towering green hero stands in the city centre and beneath it a lost young Kryptonian... and a call to action. Martians are attacking the other civilians that have sought refuge on Mars - apparently if you aren't a natural born Martian you do not belong. Luckily Superman is on the scene and rescues poor victims from the city bombings.

The Legionnaires arrive too late and realize they are in the middle of a terrorist attack. Brainiac 5 fills in the team on the "Mars for Martians" terrorists.

The Justice League had one particular founding member that was very close to Superman... The Martian Manhunter, J'onn J'onzz. Apparently after the Justice League disbanded J'onn and his family recolonized Mars and restored its great history. The city became a beacon of peace and pride and his descendants have continued J'onn's work by integrating other races and species - a move the "Hyperclan" despise as they don't believe it was J'onn J'onzz's plan.

All the while Superman has been tracking the Hyperclan and tries to reason with them. Naturally they don't take kindly to an off-worlder bossing them around and proceed to fight to the death. Legionnaires intervene and Brainiac upgrades to his armour form. The Hyperclan take this as a mocking of their Martian gifts and smash him through the city.

Right to the city centre... right into J'onn J'onzz.

Seeing the rubble and J'onn destroyed, the Hyperclan realize they were wrong. J'onn would never, ever, have condoned destruction... the Martian way was always peace.

Brainiac 5 shuts off the recording and explains Superman was embarrassed his clumsiness had led him to Mars and inadvertently to information about his future, that's why the rest of the Legion were unaware of his secret Superman 'collection.'

Only it turns out Brainy can't really keep a secret and in walk Garth and Blok to have a laugh watching a naïve Superman... not sure I'd trust Brainy with my secrets!

4Story - 4: Well here we go, I have asked month after month, not just in this title but in JLU also for the books to take themselves and the audience more seriously and suddenly we get it by the bucket load. It's not really aggressive with the integral themes but it's there. If you've ever been the victim of racism, bigotry or even something as terrifying as terrorism you'll have a connection to the story and that's something the animated books have shied away from in the past.

I really enjoyed this 'lost tale' of Superman's early days. One thing I love is continuity and strong links to the series it is a companion to. It was nicely written in to bridge the season one and two changes. This book has suddenly taken a more adult overtone to it while still staying true to its animated action roots. Kids can actually LEARN something from this book now and parents can be sure it's not just "kiddie cannon fodder". Readers of Supergirl - if you've forgotten what a real comic should be like why not read this?

Bye Bye Johnny DC... you won't be missed.

It was also neat to see J'onn J'onzz, the JLU, and Pa Kent in cameos, enjoy!

3Art - 3: Though the inking was rather light, perhaps if the background color palette was limited to gradient washes or pastels, the vibrant characters would shine more? It isn't attention to detail because that is there in spades, hell it was nice to be able to identify some of the alien species and also the change in roster and age of the Legion members!

It's not easy to mimic the same style as the show but Alex Serra certainly knows his characters.

3Cover Art - 3: Not really a fan of this cover, perhaps a more provocative one was in order - it was a racist/terrorist attack storyline... this just seems a little... dull, given the content inside... more of a 'punch' please!

The DCUA books are unique as they have always tried to break the mold they have been forced into, they have the 'kiddie audience' in the bag it's the 'oldies' DCU readers that they now need to take notice now!

One whole point is added because Johnny DC is gone forever. (Ha Ha!)

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2008

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