Legion of Super-Heroes Book Club for June 12th, 2019: Legion: Secret Origin (2011-2012) #'s 1-6

Oh, to answer your great thought-provoking questions, Vroom…

The first question about Legion being a franchise that is hard to get into I kind of respond to above. For sure there are more than one Legion version that we are exploring. This series does a nice job of boiling down the various versions to a nice “root” for the other continuities.

My favorite moments in the story are the shadow government scenes and the scenes between Brainiac and Phantom Girl.

R. J. Brande: real hard to read. He reminds me of how Chief was on the Doom Patrol series we just enjoyed here. Gracious, super attentive to the needs of others around him, but that Emotional Intelligence is just that apparently; per most of the Legion continuities, like Chief, R. J Brande is a master manipulator.

Time to answer my Discussion Points:

  1. I’ve always been of the opinion that any comic can serve as a good jumping point. You just need to appreciate a particular issue for what it has to offer on its own and have a desire to learn more about the particular title said issue comes from.

If I had never read a Legion title, but then read LSO, it would make me hungry for Legion material. I’m very inquisitive, so I would certainly want to learn more about the Legion of Super-Heroes and experience at least a few other adventures of their’s.

  1. Favorite moment…it’s a teensy thing, but I thought Brainy and Phantom Girl’s back and forth was quite cute. It made me smile.

The action and everything else was fun, but sometimes it’s the little things that shine brightest through the bombast.

  1. Regarding R.J. Brande, he means well. He seemed a bit shifty in this series but it was ultimately to help the Legion as best he could.

In this mini, Brande seems like the type who will grease a palm or two in order for things to work out the best way possible in the end.

I dug this book as it came out, and very much enjoyed re-reading it for this edition of LBC.

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  1. The Legion of Super-Heroes is sometimes cited as a franchise that’s hard for some fans to sink their teeth into. Prior to reading this mini-series, did you agree with that assessment? If so, is Legion: Secret Origin the key that has clearly and concisely opened the door for you to confidentially step foot into the shining scion of science fiction that is the Legion?

I would not have agreed with the assessment that the franchise is difficult for fans to sink into. I became familiar with the Legion through their cartoon and every time they show in live action, it seems pretty easy for me to follow along. I would have thought the comics would be the same prior to reading this mini-series. That was not the case. Legion: Secret Origin kind of put me off of more Legion books, unfortunately.

  1. What was your favorite moment of the series?

My favorite moments were when Invisible Kid revealed himself to be present as Brande’s security and when Chameleon Boy also did that. Of course they’d be there, but I didn’t see it coming and it was a genuine fun surprise both times.

  1. What are your thoughts on R.J. Brande? Nice guy who wants to help the galaxy or a man with an ulterior motive?

No idea. The book focused so much on the Security Council sitting at their desks talking about what was happening, that I didn’t really get a feel for any of the characters. He seemed like he wanted to do something good, but also wanted to be known for having done something good. It’s hard to tell. This being the “secret origin”, I would have thought that we’d get more on that. We really didn’t get an origin at all, in terms of a reason for why they were put together by Brande. The origin and secret origin were both only half realized because they had to share the same space of only 6 issues, while a lot of that was dedicated to the Security Council just sitting there and the random attacks on Brande that then ended up being a weird shadow creature?

I really wish the villain would have been explained more. The art wasn’t my favorite either. The character designs were a bit bland for characters like Triplicate Girl and Gim. The three of Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, and Saturn Girl costumes were great like always. Invisible Kid’s look when he first showed up was awesome. When he took that jacket off and was just in a black suit, it was cool too, but not as much. I just wasn’t a fan of this artist’s work. The faces were kind of uncanny valley. Poor Saturn Girl got stuck with horrible hair :frowning: I just didn’t really find the wormhole subplot necessary. Did they really need to tackle the time travel aspect of the Legion that way? It also didn’t feel that important even though it was the reason the Time Trapper came over, Phantom Girl came over, and Superman will come over/the time bubble is functioning. The story would cut to scenes showcasing it, but not a true focus. That’s probably my biggest problem is that the six issues seemed all over the place and rushed in some parts while dragging on too long in other parts. I still like the Legionnaires a lot, so I’m interested in getting to know more about them.