Friday, March 20, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes #100


Tom Peyer Co-Plotter/Scripter
Tom McCraw Co-Plotter/Colorist
Lee Moder and Derec Aucoin Pencillers
Ray Kryssing and Drew Geraci Inkers
Pat Brosseau Letterer
Frank Berrios Assistant Editor
KC Carlson Editor

Here is the special anniversary issue of Legion of Super-Heroes. For issue #100, we got ... 96 pages. I don't understand why DC couldn't have thrown in four extra pages of something simple like a timeline or who's who pages. But we also got this fun fold-out cover from Alan Davis and Mark Farmer. It shows exactly what happens in this issue — the Legion finally returns to the 30th century and is reunited with the rest of the Legionnaires. And I'm very proud that Impulse was chosen as one of the guest stars to stand beside Martian Manhunter and Superman.

Our story begins with C.O.M.P.U.T.O. wreaking havoc along the northeastern seaboard. Things have gotten so bad that even Green Lantern has come in to help prevent airplanes from colliding midair. C.O.M.P.U.T.O. also has disconnected 911, so Saturn Girl is using her telepathy to locate any and all emergencies. She then directs Impulse toward each home invasion, house fire and any other crisis that is going unrecorded. Apparently, they've been at this for quite a while, since the usually energetic Impulse is actually asking for a break.

Meanwhile, Brainiac 5 is holed up in the makeshift war room with Robin, Superman and Martian Manhunter. Robin suggests they feed C.O.M.P.U.T.O. a virus, but Brainiac says a virus will be too slow, and his ultimate machine would be able to quickly adapt to it and destroy it. But he does get an idea to create a large electromagnetic pulse, aided by Superman's new electric powers. Superman is willing to help, but as is custom for this era, he once again professes to not fully understanding how his new powers work. By the time he figures them out, he'll be back to normal again.

Superboy, meanwhile, is stuck guarding the time portal C.O.M.P.U.T.O. created above Metropolis. His job is to make sure nothing accidentally enters or leaves the 30th century, which he feels is a very boring assignment. Four minutes later, Brainiac finishes building his EMP rods, saying Superman needs to take one into the stratosphere, while two of them need to be placed at the North and South Poles. So they form two teams to head to the opposite ends of the globe.

Martian Manhunter leads a group to the South Pole, which makes sense because his base is in Antartica. C.O.M.P.U.T.O. sends the possessed Cosmic Boy there to stop them, but our heroes are able to save the leader of the Legion, largely thanks to Martian Manhunter's shape-shifting ability confusing the machine. Once freed, Cosmic Boy says he needs to head straight to the time portal.

Impulse was placed on the North Pole team with Green Lantern, and they are encountered by C.O.M.P.U.T.O. and the possessed Triad. As Impulse attacks the evil machine, something odd happens. C.O.M.P.U.T.O. says, "Impulse! I've been admiring your accelerated nervous system! Mind if I tap in?" It then blasts Impulse with some sort of electrical energy, and poor Bart begins having seizures on the ground. Soon, he's up and running around, but I can't tell if he's being controlled or is just running wildly. In any case, Green Lantern teams up with the teleporter Gates to finally catch Impulse in a net. But the poor kid continues to have seizures on the ground until C.O.M.P.U.T.O. is finally defeated.

And that happens when Cosmic Boy returns from the 30th century with the entire Legion roster as reinforcements. C.O.M.P.U.T.O. saw through Brainiac's plan and blasted the EMP rod out of Superman's hand. So Brainiac falls back on Robin's original plan of using a virus, counting on all the extra heroes to confuse and distract the machine long enough for the virus to take hold. The Legion comes through, largely thanks to the illusions created by Sensor, which mixed up everybody's powers — XS, for example, appeared to be turn invisible, while the Invisible Kid was apparently using super speed. Once the illusion is lifted, C.O.M.P.U.T.O. doesn't know what to do, and Superman is able to deliver the virus and destroy the evil machine once and for all.

We're then treated to a very fun two-page splash with everyone catching up with their long-lost friends. Bart is naturally thrilled to see his cousin, Jenni, again, but we don't catch any of their conversation. Instead, we just see them running circles around everyone and bugging people. Finally, the time comes for the Legion to return home, and they take Ferro with them, who was in tears over the prospect of losing his best friends. They also bring along the little white monkey Koko, much to Brainiac 5's displeasure.

There are also a whole bunch of backup stories in this 96-page special, but none of them involve Impulse, so I'll skip them. Overall, I thought this was a great way to send the Legion back to the future. It was an epic adventure, involving all the Legionnaires and a handful of great guest stars. Once again, the art was the weakest part for me, and I also wish they would have better explained what exactly happened to Impulse. But all in all, it was a fun ride, and I will miss having the Legion around. I was growing particularly fond of Brainiac 5.

Next time, we'll return to the main series with Impulse #33.

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