Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Legionnaires: Reflecto

I've taken care to leave my personal life out of this blog, and that continues to be my policy. I will say, though, that some complications are interfering with my ability to get to a comic shop promptly, so reviews will be late for the foreseeable future. I'm still doing them, don't worry, and I'll get 'em up as soon as I can, but I don't know exactly when. No reason I can't post other stuff, though. Like this!

Reflecto, aka Stig Ah of Rimbor, aka... aah, never mind; the details aren't worth it. Created by... it'd be a stretch to say that Reflecto was ever created at all, really. Shall we blame it on Jim Shooter? The Bierbaums?

These articles are supposed to be about what makes the individual Legionnaires great characters. Reflecto, however, was never a character. He was first mentioned in the famous 'Adult Legion' story, as a Legionnaire who had been killed in the line of duty sometime in between the current Legion continuity of the time, and the Adult Legion story.

And ever since then, Legion creators have been bending over backwards to supply Legion continuity with a 'Reflecto' who could join up and fulfill the destiny of the Adult Legion story. Not because they had a great idea for such a character; just to reference the earlier story.

I have full confidence in the ability of my intrepid correspondents to supply the details of the various Reflectos that have showed up in Legion comics over the years. And if they don't feel like it, there's always Wikipedia. But, to me, that isn't the point.

The point is, can we please drop dead with the Adult Legion stuff?

One of the best things Paul Levitz ever did was to write Legion of Super-Heroes #300 and free us from the tyranny of having Jim Shooter's bright idea looming over our heads forever. Not that I have a problem with the story Shooter wrote: he came up with an interesting idea, wrote it, DC published it, people liked it, everything's fine. What's not fine is the notion that we should be bound by it.

It's a big problem with the Legion, this unnatural attachment to the past. I love the fifty years of Legion comics as much as anyone does, but they're not a prison; they're fertile ground for something new to grow in. We don't have to have a Reflecto who's going to show up and get killed. We don't have to have a Reflecto at all. In fact, I'd rather not have one, just to make the point.

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