Reviews of Old Comics: Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #2

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ANNUAL #10

September 1983

LOSHv2_Annual201I’m a huge fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and before I brought this column over to Needless Essentials, I had started, on my own blog, a series covering a run of issues on the Legion’s issues from this time period, where I came into the ranks of Legion fans. I was hesitating on continuing it here, but for the brief time that I’ve been writing here, the most viewed review of an old comic has been consistently the issue of Legion of Super-Heroes that I reviewed about a month ago. Therefore, until I see a drop in interest for my Legion reviews, the majority of the DC Comics that I’ll review will be from the Legion, and in order.

When I was younger, and first buying comics at the convenience store, Annuals were extremely hard to find. This was a real problem with the Teen Titans’ story “The Judas Contract.” I remember stumbling across this one at a different store than my regular haunt, still on the spinner rack after a couple more issues of the Legion had come out. I was thrilled and tried for days to figure out where it fit in until I read the notes at the end of this issue. I was twelve and didn’t have the patience to read a lot of captions, especially after the story was over.

SYNOPSIS:

On Daxam, Dream Girl’s team of Legionnaires is working to assist in the repair of the reshaping done by Darkseid. Using their powersin conjunction, Cosmic Boy, Ultra Boy, the White Witch and Star Boy are able to add to the effort to repair the planet from where it was left as a statue of Darkseid himself. They are running late for the wedding of Karate Kid and Queen Projectra, and leave Daxam for the wedding on Orando.

On Orando, preparations are being made for the royal wedding. The Legionnaires are arriving, with Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl keeping a secret, as to not take the focus away from the wedding. As Dream Girl’s team arrives at Orando, they are caught in the time wake of Superboy arriving from the 20th century. Superboy tries to reassure himself that nothing can spoil this day, unlike past Legion weddings.

Dream Girl’s team is swept back in time to ancient Earth, as verified by Cosmic Boy’s powers. Ultra Boy’s survey of the planet reveals that they’re on Earth around 200 BC. Ultra Boy tries to break the time barrier, but cannot as when he uses his Ultra-Speed to go fast enough, his Invulnerability can’t protect him from the heat generated by it. They fend off an attack by soldiers, and decide to go into the nearest city after Dream Girl has a vision of them in it. On the way, Dream Girl offers Star Boy the position of Deputy Leader that Ultra Boy vacated, but before he answers, they arrive in the city, and the crowd, awed by their appearance and descent from the sky direct them into a temple. Unfortunately, in the temple, they are ambushed by what appears to be the pantheon of Greek Gods.

Back at Legion HQ, CHameleon Boy and R.J. Brande return from their trip to Durla, where Chameleon Boy had his powers returned. They notice that Dream Girl’s team has vanished. Cham contacts Dawnstar on Orando who checks for their trail. Amazingly, even though their abscence is noticed, none of the other Legionnaires seem to pay it any mind, chalking it up to Dream Girl wanting to take a detour for pampering or some other harmless detour. Everyone continues in the festivities before the wedding.

Dream Girl awakens first in the presence of the Greek Gods, and tries to apologize for their intrusion when Star Boy insults them getting everyone but Dream Girl put to sleep with gas. Zeus walks away with Dream Girl and divulges that they are from another planet as well. He is quite pompous and certain in his power, even threatening to kill the Legionnaires if they try to get word back their enemies on their home planet of their preparations on Earth for war back home. Dream Girl uses her powers to see the near future for Zeus’ homeworld and discovers that Zeus and the other Greek gods are actually from Durla.

Dawnstar gets word back to Chameleon Boy that she cannot pick up the trail of the missing Legionnaires, so Chameleon Boy contacts the Time Institute to look for the Legionnaires in time.

Back in ancient Greece, the Legionnaires escape where they have been confined and battle the Greek gods, faring very well by using teamwork to help each other as they get in trouble. Zeus directs Hermes to launch their escape vehicle, and the Durlans change shape and flee. The top dome of their temple rockets off, but Legionnaires are not stranded as Chameleon Boy arrives to their rescue, as once he knew to look for them in time, it was easy to track them with the help of the Time Institute.

On Orando, Karate Kid and Queen Projectra are wed, with no surprising tragedy or problems. Element Lad and Science Police officer Shvaughn Erin arrive just as the ceremony is ending, after confirming that one of the Legionnaires is actually an impostor!

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REVIEW:

Paul Levitz wrote a great self-contained story that fits nicely into the Legion continuity without being 100% necessary for any of the various sub-plots touched on here. That being said, it seems almost like a throw away, especially after the previous Annual introduced a new Legionnaire and had the entire team battling for their lives against a headquarters controlled by Computo. Dream Girl’s team, to have been overpowered so easily twice, made short work of their opponents and never really seemed to be in too much danger.

The artwork is by Dave Gibbons, best known for Watchmen. Here he is drawing in the earlier part of his career and while everything is technically sound, it’s a far departure from the artistic direction that Legion had taken. Everything seems too clean, and several of the Legionnaires seem off model, not looking much like themselves. It’s all sound, but just not the right style for the Legion.

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NOTES:

This issue has been collected in Legion of Super-Heroes: The Curse (ISBN #1401230989). I highly recommend it for many of the stories, as it covers a number of subplots from beginning to end.

An affordable copy of this annual should be able to be found, but you may need to search. I would suggest starting at a convention in the bargain boxes and not paying more than a few dollars for it in pristine condition.

FINAL RATING: 7.5 (out of a possible 10)