Sunday, January 06, 2008

3007: A Look Back (Part 2 of 3)

Part two of a look back at the Legion in 2007. This time, it's the ten Legionnaires that most distinguished themselves last year:

Top Ten Legionnaires of 2007

10. Sun Boy – I could have put Star Boy here. Both were spotlighted in the Bedard/Calero arc of S&LSH, both recently got small speaking parts in the cartoon and in LSH31C. The difference is, Sun Boy has a lot further to come back from. Sun Boy has lain fallow since Paul Levitz wrote the Legion: he was a tragic jerk Five Years Later, an immature jerk in SW6, and only made a cameo in the reboot. When he quit the team at the end of the Lemnos story it seemed like the threeboot wasn’t going to have any room for him either, but the Sun Boy renaissance seems to be underway.

9. Polar Boy – for his triumphant return appearance in Action Comics #860. “Go ahead, cut off my arm! I’ll freeze myself a new one!” Polar Boy knows how to keep the faith.

8. Infectious Lass – helped found the Substitute Heroes in the cartoon and made the greatest appearance of her career in LSH31C #3, and that’s not even touching on her contributions to the ‘Architecture and Mortality’ backup in Tales of the Unexpected.

7. Bouncing Boy – Got his own Happy Meal Toy this year, which also saw he and Triplicate Girl starting to date. But his real achievement was in earning leadership of the Legion in the last few episodes of Season 1, and leading the Legion to a costly victory over the Sun-Eater.

6. Matter-Eater Lad – Received attention both in the cartoon and the comics, and made an impact in all three places: he ate a bunch of bombs to save the Metropodome, he took a bite out of the Emerald Eye (which unfortunately put him in the hospital, a giggling wreck), and, most awesome of all, he bit off Mekt Ranzz’s finger.

5. Superboy – Okay, they call him Superman, but it’s Superboy’s Legion membership that’s the point of discussion here. His fond memories of the Legion in the ‘Lightning Saga’ JLA/JSA crossover reforged the connection between him and the Legion that continues to animate the cartoon, and which has reinvigorated many fans’ interest in the Legion.

4. Shrinking Violet – Lent her expertise to several cute tricks in the cartoon (attaching Lightning Lad’s new xtreme robot arm, getting the Fatal Five out of stir and putting them back in), and reproduced one of the Atom’s old power stunts on Lallor. Most importantly, not only did she show that, despite all appearances, she wasn’t a murderer, she convinced Wildfire he wasn’t one either.

3. Karate Kid – Karate Kid was just all over the place. He made his first appearance in the cartoon, he has his own plot-thread in Countdown, he dodged a lightning bolt in JLA/JSA, and Jim Shooter seems intent on using him prominently in the main title.

2. Triplicate Girl – The only female character not to see her screen time reduced in the new eight-year-old-boy-friendly girls-are-icky Season Two of the cartoon, and lost her third body to Imperiex’s depredations, which the cartoon explored very touchingly. Starting to date Bouncing Boy in one comic and Element Lad in the other. Also appears in Countdown. Played a key role in Cosmic Boy’s plan to put one over on the Dominators, showing great fortitude and moxie in the process.

1. Cosmic Boy – Okay, so he didn’t come off so well in Season Two of the cartoon; they’re kind of making a jerk out of him. He got his head handed to him in Action Comics and he hasn’t really appeared much in LSH31C. But he orchestrated the Dominators’ defeat under adverse and challenging circumstances, and did so without ceding any territory to the Wanderers or compromising the Legion’s principles. And now he’s been called up to a higher league.

Next: top ten Legion episodes/issues of the last year! Anyone care to guess which ones I picked, or suggest your own?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without compromising Legion principles?! His "orchestrated deafeat of the Dominators" relied on most of the Legion having no principles against killing the population of an entire planet. Whatever higher league he's with now, I hope he's in its prison.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

But he *didn't* kill the population of an entire planet. That's my point.

I would have liked some more exploration of these ramifications with the rest of the Legion too, but we got what we got, and what we got was that Brainy, Dream Boy and Phantom Girl would let the rest of the Legion in on it once the Wanderers were gone. I'd like to see that conversation, but I don't think I will. The fact remains that it was the most humane solution to the problem that could have been hoped for.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe he didn't compromise "his" Legion principles, but he certainly compromised the Legion's principles. No matter what explanation is given to the rest of the legionnaires later on, it remains that, at that moment, they let a race die.

What could be more humane? Letting the adults (yes, the adults) deal with the then-defeated Dominators. It might be messy, but it's more humane than essentially imprisoning an entire planet, then going back to a planet that needs a lot of help rebuilding, and then abandoning that planet because some folks appear and stroke your ego.

Still hope he's in prison.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

As I say, it was insufficiently explored, and some details fell off the table. (And it wasn't the first time that happened in Waid's run, either; there was a similar problem with Terror Firma.) I still give Rokk credit for leading the Legion to a big comeback victory.

In my review of that issue, I speculated about what if the Knights Tempus admired Cosmic Boy because they thought he had committed genocide. I still think it's an intriguing idea.

9:49 PM  

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