Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heroes #257 – Reviews Of Old Comics
Wow. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Let’s skip the apologies and continue like nothing happened to keep me from reviewing old comics and sharing a love of the Legion of Super-Heroes. I even love the Legion when they shared their title with Superboy. I’m taking a break from reviewing every single issue put out in order and instead jumping to one that I remember getting at a discount store in a Whitman 3-Pack.
Writer: Gerry Conway
Penciller: Joe Staton
Inker: Dave Hunt
Colorist: Gene D’Angelo
Editor: Jack C. Harris
Chameleon Boy, Mon-El and Shadow Lass send Shrinking Violet in alone to deactivate alarms so they can get the identity of the individual that has bankrupted the benefactor of the Legion, R.J. Brande. Once past the Science Police, she is surprised by an automated vacuum cleaner which nearly sucks her in. She damages it with a piece of sculpture before it can do her harm.
Elsewhere, Superboy and a small group of other Legionnaires are under arrest for commandeering a floating amusement park. Brainiac 5 stops them from defending themselves against the charges, and Saturn Girl backs him up, frustrating the Science Police.
Elsewhere four other Legionnaires assure R.J. Brande that the Legion Headquarters that had been destroyed by Omega can be rebuilt, despite R.J. Brande’s bankruptcy, while Chameleon Boy, Mon-El and Shadow Lass sneak into Brande’s Penthouse to search the data banks.
As Superboy, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy are being arrested, the Captain expresses reservations about arresting the super-heroes. Then, an Earthquake rocks the amusement park. The Legionnaires fly off to stop the threat. Brainiac 5 explains that the earthquake is the result of years of ecological abuse by the amusement park. He directs Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad on how to use their powers to stop the quake. The Science Police let the Legion off after “deducing” that they took over the park knowing the damage it had done. The Legion plays along.
Meanwhile, The four Legionnaires in Brande’s penthouse learn that the President of Earth has been stealing the fortune of R.J. Brande!
In a backup story, Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel have anonymously settled on the colony planet of Wondil IX. They expose themselves as Legionnaires when a cargo sled goes out of control. Norsk, a miner in the colon,y is excited to have them there now, and is certain that with them there, the colony will be rich in not time. The couple are uneasy with being celebrities again, but decide to stay.
The next day, when exploring for Crystal Ore, Norsk sees a deposit on his scanner. Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel notice something and hatch a plan. Upon arriving at a cave, a large ice dragon emerges. The Legionnaires are knocked back and are helpless against it, with Bouncing Boy urging Norsk to use his pick to save them. He shatters the beast and is the new hero of the colony. Bouncing Boy admits that he knew from the scanner readings that the ice dragon was animated pseudo-life native to the planet, but now the colonists won’t be as reliant on them for protection.
The story has a serious, yet fun tone to it. Gerry Conway has some good Legion stories and some bad ones. This is a really fun read that progresses sub-plots, but entertains with its own story.The art is not Joe Staton at his best, but has its charm in places. The back-up story is succinct and has fantastic Steve Ditko art. It also shows that in the 30th century, the best good the Legionnaires can do is inspire everyday people. It’s something that gets lost in a lot of super-hero stories.
My favorite part, as silly as it first seems is the opening scene with Shrinking Violet battling a vacuum cleaner. It’s written as a serious threat, because Violet has to maintain the pretense that the Legion was never there, thus necessitating her not being able to enlarge enough avoid the vacuum cleaner. It works on the most basic of levels. It’s a Legionnaire against a threat that’s not grandiose and epic. It’s one of the scenes that you find in the best Legion stories.
If you’re looking for the issue itself, then you’ll be able to find it with some searching. Don’t pay more than a few dollars for it, depending on the condition. As of this writing, I don’t believe it is available digitally.
FINAL RATING: 8.0 (out of a possible 10) The art in the main story is at best, above average. Fans of a more modern art style will most likely not be able to appreciate the Ditko art in the back-up, to their loss. It’s very quaint, but most likely will not appeal to a reader not familiar with the Legion.