Comic Book Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #30

The Revolution found the last issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes a total clunker. This entire Dominator storyline has been so massively anti-climactic. Waid and Kitson’s run on the Legion ends with this issue. Let’s hope that Waid and Kitson can go out on a high note with Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #30. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Barry Kitson
Inkers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Mick Gray

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with the Legionnaires all assembled around a monument to Mon-El who apparently has died. We then cut to seven days earlier. We learn that the combined forces of the Legionnaires and the Wanderers have won the war. That they have crippled the Dominator forces on the Dominator Homeworld. That Brainiac 5 has come up with a cure to the Dominator’s A.I. virus that they infected the Earth with and that they are setting up the transmitter gate that will teleport all of them back home to Earth.

The bad news is that Sun Boy learned while being held captive that the Dominator’s had a fail-safe strategy. That the Dominator shock troopers number in the millions and have been sent around the universe to spread the Dominator gene code beyond anyone’s control. That the clock is ticking and that the Dominator’s will rebuild and attack at some point in the future.

Sun Boy asks Cosmic Boy if he is willing to destroy an entire race of irredeemable monsters before they rise again. Mekt then comments that the Legion doesn’t have the guts to do that. Dream Boy comments that Mekt is wrong. That he has seen the immediate future. Dream Boy tells Cosmic Boy to tell them about the bomb he has Brainiac 5 building.

Cosmic Boy says that he has no idea what Dream Boy is talking about. Dream Boy responds that that is not what Dream Girl told him. Dream Boy explains that Brainiac 5’s plan to bring Dream Girl back to life didn’t succeed nor did it fail. That Nura is now in a higher state of Naltorian existence. That she comes to others in their dreams and walks them through the future. That is what has been behind Brainiac 5’s recent “hunches.”

Brainiac 5 then appears on the scene. Saturn Girl asks Brainiac 5 to explain what has been going on with Dream Girl. Brainiac 5 tells them he will do that later. That they need to step back since he has some inventing to do.

We cut to Mon-El and Supergirl. They are about to fly back to the moon rendezvous point, when Mon-El tells Supergirl that the lead poisoning is really taking hold of him and that he can’t fly. Supergirl carries Mon-El and tells him not to worry and that Brainy will whip up more of the antidote as soon as they are home.

We cut back to Cosmic Boy admitting to the assembled Legionnaires and Wanderers that it is true that he has had Brainiac 5 work on a bomb to kill off the Dominators. Cosmic Boy states that the Dominator threat must be removed by any means necessary. (The Revolution just loves talk like that!)

Mekt is impressed while Garth is not and Garth calls Cosmic Boy genocidal. Cosmic Boy then tells Dream Boy to come with him. That he wants to talk to him in private. The Legionnaires look at Brainiac 5’s bomb which is very small. Brainiac 5 says that the bomb must be carried into the core of the Dominator Homeworld. That it will be a suicide run for whoever does it.

Supergirl and Mon-El arrive on the scene. Supergirl offers to take the bomb to the core since she is “the obvious candidate for that kinda stuff. You know…invulnerable?” Brainy responds that Supergirl doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to handle being responsible for killing off an entire race of beings.

Mekt offers to do it himself. But, he can’t get to the core so he is not a choice. Cosmic Boy walks back over and says that Mon-El will do it. That even if they get back to Earth that Brainiac 5 might not be able to get his lab back together and find the ingredients in time to give Mon-El the antidote. And that the lead poisoning is probably already irreversible.

Mon-El accepts the mission. Mekt angrily disagrees and claims that he “owns” Mon-El and that Mekt is Mon-El’s leader. Mon-El ignores Mekt. Mon-El takes the bomb and then thanks the Legionnaires for the past several days where he has gotten to finally live life outside of the Phantom Zone. Mon-El flies the bomb into the core of the Dominator Homeworld. We see a massive explosion as the Dominator Homeworld is disintegrated.

We cut back to the present day where the Legionnaires are assembled at the ceremony for Mon-El’s sacrifice. Cosmic Boy finishes the eulogy and flies off with Phantom Girl and Dream Boy. Supergirl comments how terse the eulogy was and Light Lass responds that maybe the next Legion leader will give a better one. That the Legion election is taking place right now and there is no way a leader who sends a wounded soldier on a suicide mission is going to win.

We cut to Phantom Girl telling Cosmic Boy that he should let the rest of the Legion in on his secret. Cosmic Boy says that he can’t do that until Mekt and the Wanderers leave town. The secret is that Brainy’s bomb was really Phantom Zone projector powerful enough to send the entire Dominator Homeworld into the Zone. That this was the only way to effectively imprison the Dominators and to save Mon-El. That Mekt believes he owns Mon-El and this was the only way to get Mon-El free from Mekt. And it was the only way to end the standoff between The Wanderers and the Legion over how to handle the Dominators.

Therefore, Cosmic Boy says that they can’t tell the rest of the Legion the secret until after the election. Phantom Girl tells Cosmic Boy that it is clear that part of him wants out of leading the Legion. That he is deliberately letting the Legionnaires think he is an ass just so he won’t be re-elected. That Cosmic Boy won the war and could still win the election despite himself. Phantom Girl tells Cosmic Boy to take a break or take command. Just pick the path that excites him.

We see Cosmic Boy alone amid the wreckage of the Legion HQ. Cosmic Boy picks up a statute of himself, Saturn Girl and Lighting Lad, the three founders. Suddenly, a time portal opens up and two men and a woman step out of it. They tell Cosmic Boy that it is a privilege to meet him. That they are the Knights Tempus, galactic defenders of the 41st Century. That they have come to invite Cosmic Boy to their team.

Cosmic Boy responds why me? Why not Brainiac 5, Supergirl or Lightning Lad. The heroes from the future reply that they aim high. That Cosmic Boy is the one whose destiny guides them. That its his tales of heroism as a boy and as a man that inspired them to create the Knights.

We then cut to Lighting Lad and Saturn Girl searching for Cosmic Boy amid the wreckage. They are excited to tell Cosmic Boy about the surprise winner of the Legion election. Saturn Girl tells Lightning Lad that Cosmic Boy’s thoughts suddenly disappeared. Saturn Girl sees the statue of the three founders with Cosmic Boy’s ring around the statue. Next to the statute amid the rubble is a cover of an Adventure Comics comic book and a Legion of Super Heroes comic book from the pre-Crisis Levitz era. End of issue.

The Good: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #30 was a kick-ass read! I’m stunned. After a truly horrid wreck of an issue that we got with issue #29, I had lost any and all hope that we would get anything worth reading in this issue. I was wrong. Waid actually delivered a good read.

What a great plot twist having it revealed that Mon-El isn’t really dead, but is actually in the Phantom Zone along with the Dominator Homeworld. I didn’t see that coming. I was actually annoyed that Waid would kill Mon-El so soon after brining him back.

Without a doubt, Cosmic Boy is star of the show. And, obviously I’m biased, so you know that I love all the attention that Cosmic Boy has gotten on this story arc. I have to give Waid credit. Waid has done more with Cosmic Boy’s character than any other Legion writer. I love how Waid has handled Cosmic Boy’s character and how Waid has grown Cosmic Boy into a total stud and probably the most heroic of all the Legionnaires.

Cosmic Boy’s plan to have Mon-El “blow up” the Dominator Homeworld with Brainy’s “bomb” was genius. This was the perfect way to deal appropriately with the Dominators without committing genocide, it also saved Mon-El from dying from lead poisoning and lastly, it staved off a showdown with Mekt and the Wanderers on how to deal with the Dominators.

Cosmic Boy even sacrifices his own image in order to save Mon-El, take care of the Dominator threat and diffuse the tense stand-off with the Wanderers. The Legionnaires view Cosmic Boy has a cold hearted leader who sent a wounded soldier on a suicide mission. Other Legionnaires viewed Cosmic Boy as a murderer who sanctions genocide. Very few heroes would be willing to allow their teammates to view them in such a negative light.

However, Cosmic Boy is a true hero. All he cares about is doing his job. He doesn’t care about getting the love, praise and adulation from his teammates and the public. That is the mark of a true hero. There is no ego with Cosmic Boy. It is all business. Cosmic Boy is a leader that could care less if you love him or hate him. But, believe me, you will respect him.

I absolutely loved the ending. It was just incredible. The Knights Tempus are a very intriguing. A group of super powered teens from the 41st century who used the Legion as their inspiration! Very cool. The Legion has been inspired by the heroes of the 21st century. It only makes sense that the young brash upstarts in the Legion would eventually grow up and become icons. And that at some point in the future, the Legion’s tales of heroism would inspire future generations just like the JLA inspired the Legion.

I also like how the scene mirrors how the three original Legionnaires, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, appeared in Superboy’s time and told Superboy that he was their inspiration for forming the Legion and that they wanted him to join the Legion. Here the Knights Tempus consist of two males and a female. And Cosmic Boy is their Superboy.

Obviously, I love hearing how the Knights chose Cosmic Boy over all the other heroes including Supergirl because Cosmic Boy’s tales of heroism as a boy and man stand above all the other great heroes. That Cosmic Boy’s destiny is the greatest of all the other heroes. That’s right, baby. Cosmic Boy is a total big time stud! I completely dig that Waid catapults Cosmic Boy to the forefront as the greatest Legionnaire and the inspiration for a future generation of heroes.

I like the imagery of Cosmic Boy being approached by the Knights Tempus while he is holding the statue of the three founding Legionnaires. You can tell that Cosmic Boy’s tenure as Legion leader has taken a massive toll on him. Obviously Cosmic Boy yearns for simpler times when it was just the three original Legionnaires. Before all the responsibilities were heaped upon his shoulders.

Phantom Girl is completely correct. Part of Cosmic Boy doesn’t want to be leader anymore and he is using his excuse of not telling the Legion the truth about Mon-El and the Dominator Homeworld until after the election as a reason to get him voted out of office.

There is no doubt that Cosmic Boy really needs to get away from the Legion for a while. Going with the Knights Tempus is the best thing that Cosmic Boy can do for himself at this point. Cosmic Boy needs to get re-charged. He needs to once again experience that wide-eyed optimism that comes when brand new heroes decide to form their own group of heroes.

I definitely dig the Knights Tempus and am very curious to learn more about them. The Knights Tempus and Cosmic Boy’s adventures in the 41st century should definitely provide for some interesting storylines. Hopefully, whoever takes over for Waid doesn’t wait to long before revisiting the Knights Tempus and Cosmic Boy.

Waid then ends his run with a truly intriguing final panel. Among the ruins of the Legion HQ we see two covers of two old Legion comic books. One of them looks to me like the cover of Adventure Comics #372. The other one looks like Legion of Super Heroes #296 from 1983 where Sun Boy is holding the dead body of Cosmic Boy’s brother.

By the way, the following issue #297 was always my favorite issue. Cosmic Boy goes berserk and finally uses his magnetic powers to their fullest capabilities when avenging his brother’s death. Cosmic Boy uses the magnetic waves around Earth’s atmosphere to fly instead of the flight ring because it is much faster. Then Cosmic Boy uses his magnetic powers to boil the metals in the criminal’s blood. Now that is evil. No writer has ever made Cosmic Boy that powerful in any of the other versions of his character.

At any rate, the big question is what is the meaning of those two covers? Is it alluding to the fact that the Adventure Era Legion and the Pre-Crisis Levitz Era Legion both still exist in one of the 52 universes of this new Multiverse? Will we possibly be seeing these two Legions at some point in the future? I can only hope so. I know that we are getting hints that the Legionnaires in the JSA/JLA crossover are from an alternate universe.

I would love to see DC publish a comic book involving the Pre-Crisis Legion or the Adventure Era Legion. I’d most definitely take either the Adventure Era Legion or the Pre-Crisis Levitz Era Legion over this current version of the Legion any day of the week.

Waid also leaves us hanging and wondering just who won the Legion election. Clearly, it is someone who was not expected to win the election. Could it be a Legionnaire like Ultra Boy? I can’t wait to find out.

Oh yeah, I also liked that Waid told the reader that Supergirl was doubling her efforts to return to her own time. Thank god. Having Supergirl hi-jack this title failed to increase the popularity of the Legion. Which is exactly what I said at the very beginning.

Legion of Super Heroes #15, the final issue before Supergirl hi-jacked this title, sold 31,600 copies. Here we are a year later and Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #29 managed to sell 30,906 copies. That is less than before Supergirl hi-jacked the title. So, DC’s belief that Supergirl would increase the popularity of the Legion was incorrect. It is time that Supergirl gets the hell out of the Legion.

Kitson served up some solid artwork. This issue wasn’t anything spectacular looking, but it got the job done.

The Bad: Just one small question. What happened to Shadow Lass in this issue? She was white. Poor girl must have contracted whatever disease Michael Jackson suffers from.

I appreciated finally learning what is going on with Dream Girl. However, I can’t say that I’m particularly thrilled with the concept that Dream Girl is now in a higher state of being and visits people while they are sleeping. I’d much rather have Dream Girl alive and part of the team.

I still believe that Waid completely and thoroughly dropped the ball with the entire Dominator plotline. This Dominator plotline failed miserably to live up to the hype. It was terribly anti-climactic. Also, the vast majority of the conflict between the Legion and the Dominators occurs off panel and between issues. Waid wraps up the Dominator conflict way to quickly and conveniently.

The plotting for this storyline was terrible since the basis for the conflict was lame and all the action took place off panel. The pacing was poor as we had this huge build up to the conflict and then quickly raced through it with a rather cursory treatment.

Overall: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #30 was a satisfying end to Waid’s run on this title. I have had huge issues with the majority of Waid’s run on the Legion. However, the final scene of this issue was very emotional and well done. It definitely piqued my interest and I am looking forward to the next issue of the Legion.