“Betrayal” by Paul Levitz is the 11th issue of the Legion of Super Heroes post-reboot. The Legion is one of the few titles essentially untouched by the continuity shift, and that may be part of why I’m enjoying it. However, Levitz’ writing is a major part of my enjoyment (as it should be) and he did a fantastic job with this issue.
The vast majority of the issue is the spliced together rescue team Star Boy assembled to save Dream Girl and Brainy from the Dominators, as seen last issue, in action. I really like a lot of what he did here, about everything actually. This issue focuses on just a few members of the cast, and a few new characters introduced last issue, and does it really well.
The Legion has been around for a long time, and it can be hard to find ways to show what they can do in a new way that doesn’t involve some weird ret-con. Levitz does it here masterfully. Comet Queen gets them into the base by hugely expanding her powers to cloak them in a giant fake comet. It pushes her powers, you can tell it’s a strain, but it makes sense and works well. However, I think my favorite bit was with Brainy. After the team frees him and Dreamy, he refuses to leave without his force field belt. They end up finding the room their gear was in, and he fusses about his flight ring being destroyed, but the real great scene was when Mwindaji, their new tracker, leads them to the Dominator version of a safe. He’s pretty sure the belt is in there, and then Brainy surprises everyone by not only sensing it himself, but activating it remotely, the shield coming on and breaking the safe apart. Everyone looks surprised, and he says, with his usual smirk, “You don’t think you know all my tricks, do you?”
The rescue falls apart as the Dominators turn the tables on the heroes and capture them, setting up for a cliffhanger for the next issue. The only other scene I also think was nicely done: Cosmic Boy is giving Mon-El a hard time about his leadership, and Mon-El puts him in his place very nicely. He tells Cos off, saying that he’s doing the best he can within the limitations of the United Planets’ orders, and Cos needs to give him a break.
The rescue team starts getting really beaten after Comet Queen apparently turns on them, dropping Brainy. Dream Girl had foreseen with her powers that someone would turn on them and attacks Comet Queen. However, earlier in the issue, Otaki, with her “mindsense,” had used her powers on several Dominators and had a very odd reaction. My bet is that she’s been overwhelmed/possessed/word of your choice by them, and is making Comet Queen attack.
I liked everything about this issue, and loved the bit with Brainy and his belt. Being the geek I am, the first thing I thought of was Dr. Who. I’m fairly certain it was “Silence in the Library” where you first see the Doctor make the TARDIS open without using his key, just snapping his fingers. The force field belt scene was very similar to me, and nicely done. Again, I’ll say Levitz came up with some new twists on extant characters by being creative within the limits of what we’ve seen them do before, not suddenly making up some weird new thing.
Gee, too bad DC overall couldn’t manage that. Maybe we could’ve avoided the entire reboot.
Just a thought.
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