blogging by Andrew Wickliffe


Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #263


Los263When I was a kid reading Who’s Who, I always thought Wildfire had one of the coolest designs. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen Cosmic Boy or whoever’s dressed like a male stripper (maybe I blocked it). But, as ever, Wildfire proves to be not cool; two big examples this issue, first being shitty to Dawnstar with some major misogynist vibes, then being shittier to Tyroc (the only Black person in the future?). Tyroc’s got something going on back home and has to get there. Wildfire yells at him for having obligations while Black and promises to see him ejected from the Legion.

Though, given his living situation, Wildfire’s very much an incel, so all of it tracks except why he wasn’t kicked out of the Legion already.

In other words, duck that guy.

Anyway.

The story’s about some Legion parents coming to Earth and getting captured by a new villain. Not Wildfire or Tyroc’s parents, or any of the issue’s Legion roll call, actually. Not having anyone be too invested—except Wildfire being super mad at Tyroc having agency—lets writer Gerry Conway off the hook for some character work. Though he’s got a surprising lot of it in the opening with the parents. It’s downright fascinating. They’re these future parents from different planets (some who’ve never been to Earth), and they’ve all got powers like their kids, only they don’t use them for superheroing. They’ve never met, so they’re bonding. It’s like a really good “Love Boat” first arc.

The parents don’t seem to know it was Brainiac 5 who created the monster who destroyed Legion headquarters and killed untold billions or trillions, then got a pass on it from his paramilitary gang. Weird thing for the Legion not to tell folks when asking for government handouts and demanding no oversight.

The issue ends on a rote cliffhanger. I wonder if they’ll save the parents.

Jim Janes pencils with Dave Hunt inks. Janes’s very bland, very generic. His heroes look like the illustrations on eighties, Made in China generic action figure packaging. So… not good, but could be a lot worse. Especially for Legion.


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