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Author Topic: Time Beacon  (Read 791 times)
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TELLE
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« on: August 29, 2006, 08:44:13 AM »

I just picked up Legion #300 in a cheapo bin at an antique market and have enjoyed skimming it with the idea of a thorough read later (I also picked up a Gerber Guardians of the Galaxy, a couple Superboys, a couple DC Comics Presents, a few Supermans and Actions, and several single issues from the likes of Chester Brown, Rick Altergott, and the Hernandez Brothers).

The Legion story, a great anniversary issue idea, involves Brainiac and a few latter-day Legionaires trying to cure Ferro Lad's twin brother who was driven insane when Ferro #1 sacrificed his life to defeat the Sun-Eater gack in the first appearance of the Fatal Five.  It turns out that Ferro Lad's bro, besides having his sibling's ability to turn into a super-hard isotope of iron, also has the ability to dream in alternate worlds of the DC multiverse.

This gives Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen the excuse to invite a bevy of past legion aritists back to illustrate some of these dreams, all of which seem to involve alternate worlds where Legionaires die.  So there is a great Curt Swan Fatal Five episode and a great Schaffenberger Luthor in Smallville episode, etc.  Wonderful stuff.

What I';m interested in, though, is something Brainy talks about: the Time Beacon --an invention of his from before the time he joined the Legion which allows time-travellers to home into their proper time without getting lost in a parallel world.  An interesting concept.  I wonder when it was first introduced?

The story is also interesting because of great touches, including every Legionaire wh ever existed, and some who didn't.  Duo Damsel has her remaining two selves destroyed by Computo in a rematch.  Great stuff.  And the interesting thing about all of these "dreams" is that they can be read as explanations for many of the discrepancies in past Legion tales, the idea being that, say, a certain Supergirl story that doesn't fit with later continuity actually took place on an alternate Earth.  Oh how I miss the parallel worlds of pre-Crisis days.

Anyway, the comic is heartily recommended, even if you were not a big fan of those later Legion comics, like I was.  I'm coming around --I love the now wonderfully retro 70s-dos and duds and the sexiness of the female characters.

It makes me think of my favorite Legion theory, that the people of the Legion's time were so far advanced from the people of our time, and yet so obsessed with the past, on a galaxy-wide scale,  that they adopted totally retro ways of thinking, speaking, acting, and dressing in honour of Superboy and the 20th Century, creating simple dichotomies and childish political systems as a sort of homage to a half-remembered history.   As well, I always assumed that Earth civilization had been bombed back to the stone age for several centuries before having a rennaissance in the Legion's time.
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