The Legion #4
By Zach MH
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artists: Oliver Copiel and Andy Lanning
In the 31st Century, the planets of the galaxy have formed a coalition called the United Planets. In the spirit of interplanetary cooperation, there exists The Legion, a team consisting of young superpowered beings from a variety of planets in the UP. The Legion has been through a lot lately.
In Legion of the Damned, the team got their asses handed to them by the Blight, a predatory alien species, before taking them down. In Widening Rifts, the Blight sabotaged the Stargate Network, a system of portals that allow for quick space travel, opening up a rift in space that threatened to envelop the galaxy. The Legion managed to close the rift, but in the process lost 12 members. So the team disbanded, thinking their team-mates were dead.
Actually, they had been sent to another galaxy, where they fought against a variety of threats to make their way home. At the end of this Legion Lost storyline, they had to stop Element Lad, a member of the team, who had gone rogue. In the process, they lost two members, Live Wire and Monstress.
Next came Legion Worlds, a six issue mini-series showing how the former Legion members who survived the rift were living. Issue #1 showed that M'onel was working with the government, as part of the "Presidential Oversight Watch", while Triad was acting CEO of Brande Industries, a huge corporation, and Kinetix had joined the Science Police, the defense force of the UP. Issue #2 showed us that Spark had returned to Winath, her home planet, and was working on her family's farm. Issue #3 was jam packed with Legion members: former member Magno, who had lost his powers, had also joined the Science Police; while Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid and LeViathen were undercover, attempting to appropriate a Footstep Drive, a new type of ship that allowed for rapid travel. Issue #4 focused on Star Boy and XS, as they tried to defend Star Boy's home planet of Xanthu from the forces of the Robotican empire. Issue #5 dealt with Karate Kid and Ferro, who were on a distant planet looking for inner peace. Legion Worlds closed out with #6, where Apparition gave birth, and met Timber Wolf, who'll likely become a Legion member.
The new ongoing series, The Legion opened with the team from Legion Lost returning to UP space, reuniting with the rest of the team, being hunted by the corrupted UP government, and gaining a new headquarters. The current issue, #4, picks up with the team dividing up. Brainiac-5 leads a team to an UP science facility, to rescue former member Gates and a bunch of other imprisoned folks. Saturn Girl takes a squad back to the lost galaxy to investigate Live Wire's death, and to contact a species known as the Kwai. Former Legion member and current government prisoner M'onel is offered a deal: work with the government, or die. He declines. On Xanthu, XS and Starboy use a "g-twister" a combination of their powers, to take out Robotican forces. The issue ends with a UP battle fleet seemingly destroying Legion World, Brainiac-5's team being ambushed by the Science Police, and M'onel getting shot. Oh, and the President of the UP is really Ra's Al-Ghul, the near immortal Batman enemy.
When it comes to The Legion, every page is chock full o' good stuff, so as you can imagine, picking just a few examples is tough, but I'll give it a try. In the opening scene, Gates busts out of jail, attacking a guard by teleporting behind him, and smacking the crap out of him. Gates used to be against using force to get what he wanted, but this scene shows just how much he has changed from his tenure of imprisonment. Later, Abnett and Lanning show that they are the masters of science fiction in comics, when we find out that the UP was using Gates as "their route-map to the Vyrgan Genome", then butchered his species, "while seeking latent teleporters".
Brainiac-5 and Gates show their cool under pressure. While the rest of their squad is fighting UP security guards, they calmly stroll, discussing what's been going on during the year they were separated. In another cool-ish bit, we discover that McCauley is actually Ra's Al-Ghul, the near immortal enemy of Batman. Al-Ghul has always considered himself to be an "architect of life", and seems to think that M'onel is too, and offers him freedom, if he joins him. M'onel's response: "Go to Hell". Ra's responds by shooting him.
Damn, this is going to be a big section, but I have to mention the Xanthu scene. In Legion Worlds #4 (the mini series that preceded this current series), Robotica, an empire composed of an army of billions of automatons, had conquered Xanthu, homeworld of Legion member Star Boy. Star Boy and XS, another Legion member have been working to liberate the planet, and this is the first indication that they have had a degree of success. By combining their powers, they generate "G-Twisters" and take out battalions of Robotican forces at a time.
The Legion is the best comic you can buy. Track down all the previous issues of the current series, and anything else by Abnett and Lanning. That would be the two arcs "Widening Rifts" and "Legion of the Damned" from the previous ongoing series, and the two mini series, "Legion Lost" and "Legion Worlds".
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