Redefining a Universe: DC’s “Legends” Crossover, Part 2

Legends powers into its second month! Could the tie-in comics be as great as they were in month one?

Green Lantern Corps #207

This is a tie-in to Legends somehow. I think maybe “tie-in” isn’t the right term for this. Maybe “barely related?”

I initially suspected that something was going to come of the fact that this issue is about Kilowog being interviewed on TV about his recent battle with Black Hand, which was also televised. Surely, given what we’ve seen in Legends so far, he’ll be grilled for the fact that he’s a superhero, yes?

No, not the case at all.

Is it to remind us that Hal Jordan is, in fact, guilty of statutory rape as he’s dating a 13 year old girl who used her ring to artificial age herself so she could be with Jordan?

Nope, for as perturbed as John Stewart and Katma Tui are at Jordan’s new girlfriend, it’s never really talked about. So I guess it’s okay in the post-Crisis DC to have relations with a thirteen year old, as long as she’s an alien.

So how DOES this issue tie-in to Legends? Two words: Guy. Gardner.

Guy has been away from the Corps for awhile, but in this issue he makes his triumphant return in classic Guy Gardner style: he attacks them. He’s not trying to kill them, just trying to make the same point that Guy is often making, that he’s the best. It’s interesting that coming out of Crisis DC wanted to increase Guy’s profile, but I suppose this is an attempt at add some more Marvel-like characters aka those who are sometimes jerks.

Needless to say, Guy would play an important role in Legends.

Legends #2

The second issue of this series is basically more of the same, as we check in on various players and how they’re dealing with the new anti-superhero environment in America. Darkseid continues his philosophical debate with the Phantom Stranger. The Justice League fights Brimstone. Billy Batson refuses to turn into Captain Marvel because Marco Man died.

There are two key moments in this issue, one good, one bad.

The good moment comes when we see Rick Flag recruit Deadshot for Taskforce X. It’s only one page long, but this is the start of what would end up being one of the best comics DC has ever published. And the fact that Flag has Bronze Tiger with him when he recruits Deadshot is perfect.

The bad moment isn’t so much bad as it is horrible. Batman and Robin rescue some hostages just before the police burst in. One of the cops goes off on Batman, spouting the nonsense he learned from G. Gordon Godfrey. The hostages suddenly agree with the cop and they attack Robin. Batman goes to save him when someone throws a bottle of perfume that hits him in the face, temporarily blinding him. Because that’s the kind of thing that would happen to Batman, I guess.

Then Gordon tells Batman he should leave AND BATMAN DOES. Sure, he says he can’t leave Robin and sure, Gordon says the police will save the Boy Wonder, but really? REALLY?? This is just fucking awful.

And, of course, the issue ends with two cops finding a bludgeoned Robin.

Cosmic Boy #1

Cosmic Boy’s involvement in Legends is a clear indication that DC wants to remind readers that the Legion of Superheroes are an essential part of the DCU. The Legion and the Titans sold like gangbusters in the early 80s, and while sales weren’t as great in the second half of the decade, they were still important pieces to DC’s publishing plan.

The Legion’s history isn’t really all that more complicated than DC’s, particularly now. In the current DCU, there are multiple earths with variations of the same characters throughout. It just happens that three different Legions from three different Earths have had their own series. The team that’s currently running around is, believe it or not, the same way that this Cosmic Boy is a part of.

Cos’s involvement is also a precursor to a big event coming down the pipe in the Legion book, a story made necessary by Crisis: How can the Legion claim Superboy as a longtime member when Superboy never existed?

I suppose that’s another example of the Legion having a complicated history. And while Geoff Johns came up with a more elegant solution to this problem a few years ago, the one that John Byrne and Paul Levitz use packs a big punch and is well worth the read.

Another month down with very little to show for it. Can the half way mark improve?

3 thoughts on “Redefining a Universe: DC’s “Legends” Crossover, Part 2

  1. I don’t mind the Batman scene that much, at least, as described here (I should really pick these issues up digitally and read along), but these days I tend to long for a return to a Batman who isn’t nigh-invincible, and can sometimes just get blindsided by an attack now and then. I skipped the Cosmic Boy mini even though I was (and am) a huge Legion fan. Okay: next time, I will have recently re-read the issue in question!

  2. I don’t think Batman would abandon Robin so quickly/easily. That seems totally out of character to me.

    I’m not a big fan of a lot of the Batman comics coming out these days, but I hold out hope for the new (not yet announced) creative team.

  3. I (still) need to re-read the actual issue, but it sounds like you have a solid point about Bats bolting on the Boy Wonder, there. I too, hold out hope that the departure of Tom King might usher in some new era of the Darknight Detective that I might want to read!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s