Superboy’s Legion books 1 and 2 by Mark Farmer and Alan Davis (graphic novel review).

April 24, 2013 | By | Reply More

Superboy’s Legion book 1 of 2 by Mark Farmer and Alan Davis

After reading ‘Modern Masters Volume One: Alan Davis’ from TwoMorrows Publishing last month, I earmarked a couple series he was involved in to have a look at his work. With a Legion Of Super-Heroes connection, I had to have a look at ‘Superboy’s Legion’. Put together as part of the ‘Elseworlds’ realities DC Comics were releasing at the turn of the century, it did dawn on me that now they have said that there are 52 realities then theoretically, this could actually be one of them. Although I’m normally dismissive of such what if’s as being canon, this series should be considered now as one of them. Considering the small page count per volume, if there is a reprint, I hope DC consider putting them both under one cover. As such, because of their small page count and it is a two-parter, this review has to cover them both.

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This reality never had a Superman. His life pod never got to Earth, having crashed into an asteroid belt and Kal-el stayed in suspended animation until the 30th century when he was found by RJ Brande and Marla. Things have changed a lot. The Science Police watch out for crime and stamp it out when found although some worlds, like Rimbor, won’t have them there. Computo and Universo, instead of being villainous, are actually AIs running the computer systems. A teen-age Superboy finds he is forever being told off by the Science Police for unauthorised flying and speeding, who are even prepared to sanction his rich step-father RJ Brande financially if he doesn’t rein in the Boy of Steel. Superboy wants to emulate the super-heroes of the 20th century. More so after he meets a Green Lantern who tells him that even the Corps is a dying breed. So for this reality, it isn’t Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad who form the Legion but the Kryptonian who inspired it after a rescue that gets the first two of these involved. This Superboy is also a bit of a precocious spoilt brat and a little lonely for people with his kind of power index.

In one of the early party scenes and I suspect it was done to see if readers were paying attention, there is a member of the Dominion as a waiter and even Nardo from ‘The Super-Stalag Of Space’ Nice to know someone else remembers him.

As this story is essentially an encapsulation of events, the initial members of the team are pretty much that of the members from the 1960s and for the most part similar costume schemes or, if not that, then certainly the same colour schemes. I suspect it also makes it easier on the reader in identifying who’s who and what they do.

Their first mission is to save the planet Rimbor from a meteor and then run into the Fatal Five who seriously beats them all as they lack teamwork. They are also working for Lex Luthor and abduct Brainiac 5 as a means to locate his home planet of Colu which has remained hidden over the centuries.

So ends volume one. There are a lot of surprises and character moments within. The second volume is essentially a resolution of these problems with them all acting as a team. It is very much as you would expect and a lot of growing up from key characters. As that is really more spoiler, I’ll leave that for you to discover.

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Alan Davis artwork is going to be best remembered for a lot of wide-eyed smiling characters, however this does this belie the more serious moments what are equally effective. Inker Mark Farmer as a writer this time does a credible job. The Legion Of Super-Heroes with such a big membership and back history needs a particular kind of mindset to write, mostly having read a lot if it helps. Doing an encapsulated story and tipping a hat to things that are known let alone distort even more so. It makes for an interesting twist.

GF Willmetts

April 2013

Superboy’s Legion book 1 of 2 by Mark Farmer and Alan Davis

(pub: DC Comics. 48 page graphic novel softcover. Original Price $ 5.95 (US), $ 9.95 (CAN) but as it was released in 2001 you’ll have to look around to get a decent price but about double this appears to be the norm)

 Superboy’s Legion book 2 of 2 by Mark Farmer and Alan Davis

(pub: DC Comics. 48 page graphic novel softcover. Original Price $ 5.95 (US), $ 9.95 (CAN) but as it was released in 2001 you’ll have to look around to get a decent price but about double this appears to be the norm)

check out website: www.dccomics.com

 

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Category: Comics

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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