Friday, November 08, 2019

LSH v4 #18 annotations: The Dark Circle

Annotations for Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #18

Here's the original art from this cover, from the collection of Miki Annamanthadoo:
LSH 18 Cover by Giffen Comic Art
Inker Al Gordon said about this piece: "This cover took me a day and a half to Ink... sigh. [...] I was just looking at the cover... and I don't think there's much Pen on it at all... Some of those last detailed guys in the far BG seem to be outlined with Brush and just a little Pen used inside the figures. Looks like I Inked the danged thing with Brush mostly. No wonder I was dizzy for a week afterwards."

  • Page 3 panel 4 – is that Marte Allon?
  • Page 5 panel 3 – Dr Gym’ll used to be the Legion’s doctor, he was last seen briefly in the Magic Wars (LSH v3 #62) before making a quick appearance in Furball’s flashback in issue 6.
  • Page 6 panel 1 – that’s a Lightning Ring Plantation ship, named after Andrew “Ferro Lad” Nolan
  • Page 8 panel 6 – Note that Cargg is now spelled Carggg with 3 g’s, because triplicates each need a “g”.
  • Page 10 – we have never been to Cargg (or Carggg) before, though we did get an intro page of it in “Who’s Who in the Legion” #4
  • Page 10 panel 4 – note that Shadow Lass is wearing a protective suit (and not a transuit). The high exposure to solar radiation makes the planet dangerous to visitors, as they are required to wear protective gear at all times.
  • Page 15 – Valor is almost worshipped as the seeder of Carggg (among other places)
  • Page 19 – the action on this page suggests that not a lot of time has passed since the battle on 3/22, and we saw the deaths of the Tornado Twins on 3/27 (next issue takes place 4/11), so this is likely the last few days in March to the first week in April
  • Page 20 panel 6 – set up for a future showdown with the Dark Circle
  • Page 22 panel 1 – Celeste, Bounty, Jan, and Devlin returned to Earth a while back (issue 15, about 2 months ago story-wise). Celeste was healed by the green glow back in issue 12
  • Page 22 panel 4 – Last we were told, the trio was with Jan, but Circe doesn’t know that (if that’s who this is here), and also doesn’t know that Bounty is spying on her
  • Page 23 – the Underground, aka Khundish sympathizers, bombed the holo-studio where Marella Tao was reporting. We last saw her in issue 10 
  • Page 24 – Jo has finally made it to Earth, but 5000 years in the past (circa 2000 BCE). Recall that he’s been there since issue 10 (on 12/3/94, which was 4 months ago story-wise).
  • Page 25 – Dark Circle propaganda. Notice the repeated use of “intellectuals and elitists”. This is a common class-based charge by right-wing groups, because anyone who is intellectual or elite is not “one of us, the common people”. 
    • Via Wikipedia on Elitism: “Some synonyms for "elite" might be "upper-class" or "aristocratic", indicating that the individual in question has a relatively large degree of control over a society's means of production… As a term, "elite" usually describes a person or group of people who are members of the uppermost class of society, and wealth can contribute to that class determination… In politics, the terms elitism and elitist are often used to disparage a politician's views as out of touch with the interests of the "average Joe". The implication is that the alleged elitist person or group thinks they are better than everyone else, and put themselves before others as a result. The definition of elitist is similar to that of the word "snob".”
    • Here’s a 2016 Salon article explaining how the terms are used in modern America. “The juxtaposition of the “real America” with “elitist America” exposes the actual meaning of all the endless denunciations of the elite. It is not anti-elitism. It is anti-intellectualism. … Many Americans reflexively distrust anyone who demonstrates expertise or excellence in analytical intelligence. It is not that Americans are not smart, but that they often view the intellect as functional, namely in its capacity for commercial success.” In other words, they don’t trust the experts because the experts are intellectual elites, and not part of “real America”.
Following this issue, we have to digress into a Superman story arc called “Time and Time Again”. Big picture: Superman bounces around through the time stream and meets the Legion during three separate time periods (Silver Age, Bronze Age, and 5YL Age), with some dramatic consequences that directly impact this series - which is why we're doing them now. I think we can do that storyline in two episodes, plus we’ll also have LSH v8 #1 to review, so we won’t be returning to issue 19 for a few weeks.

Here's what we know of the timeline to date. I'm color coding them based on whether the date appeared in the 2995 Sourcebook (yellow), it's a confirmed date that was given in the comic (green), or an estimated date based on keeping track of events and days (blue). Bold text is something new added this issue.
  • 2/17/89 – Mekt admitted to Labyrinth Penal Institute (LSH v4 #10)
  • 6/23/89 – Magic Wars end (LSH v3 #63 – date as given in the 2995 Sourcebook)
  • October 2989 – the Great Collapse
  • 4/13/90 – Communique from Earthgov President Wellington, trying to legally disband the Legion, with Imra, Rokk, and Cham “currently out of the picture” (LSH v4 #1) 
  • April 2990 – Validus Plague ravages Winath; former Legionnaire Brainiac 5 helps (LSH v4 #3)
  • 6/7/90 – Legion Academy closes (LSH v4 #16)
  • 7/6/90 – Former Legion Academy heads Chuck and Luornu Durgo Taine open the United Planets Militia Academy (LSH v4 #16)
  • TBD 2990 – Earthgov secedes from the United Planets, and the Science Police Earth splits from the Science Police Proper. (LSH v4 #2). Since then, “resistance forces have opposed Earthgov since the introduction of repressive measures… but with little success to date.” (LSH v4 #13)
  • 4/12/91 – Tinya goes missing (LSH v4 #2)
  • 5/8/91 – Search for Tinya called off; Sun Boy is leader (LSH v4 #2)
  • 5/27/91 – Mekt released from Labyrinth, rehabilitated (LSH v4 #10)
  • 6/9/91 – Planned date of wedding of Tinya and Jo (LSH v4 #2)
  • TBD 2991 – Garth and Imra, having left the Legion, start the Lightning Ring Plantation (LSH v4 #3)
  • 1/21/92 – Rebirth Summit (LSH v4 #1) 
  • 7/6/92 – LSH leader Polar Boy disbands the Legion, mentions Black Dawn which “cost” the Legion (LSH v4 #1); Mordru coronated as the Supreme Teacher of Sorceror’s World (LSH v4 #6)
  • TBD 2992 – Brek Bannin arrested for insurrection (LSH v4 #11)
  • 4/11/93 – Announcement of upcoming wedding of Grev Mallor (of the City People) to Kahnya Nahtahnie (Lady Memory of the Hill People) on Talok VIII
  • 8/14/93 – wedding of Grev Mallor and Kahnya Nahtahnie 
  • 1/17/94 – Marzal reappears over Africa and the corrupt Earthgov destroys it, but not before Tyroc escapes (LSH v4 #16)
  • 10/22/94 – Raid on anti-government terrorists, but ringleader Vidar (aka Universo) is not captured; Cham tells Marla he’s leaving (LSH v4 #1) 
  • 10/23/94 – Cham begins to recruit members for the new Legion, first approaching Rokk; Vi leaves the Imsk army for Winath; Dominator agents help Roxxas escape from Labyrinth (LSH v4 #1)
  • 10/25/94 – Attack on Jo and Kono on Rimbor; Loomis and Lydda en route to Kathoon (LSH v4 #2)
  • Fri 11/21/94 – Blok is killed by Roxxas the Butcher [Sourcebook] (LSH v4 #3)
  • Thu 11/27/94 – Mordru crushes Rond Vidar’s ring; Rokk and Cham finally meet up with Jo and decide to go to Tharn to rescue Mysa; Dominators and Shvaughn Erin watch the tape of Roxxas and Blok, whose body is delivered to Winath; Mon-El resurrected (LSH v4 #3)
  • Fri 11/28/94 – Mon-El goes to Talok VIII, then Shadow Lass and Mon-El visit Brainiac 5, then Mon-El destroys the Time Trapper (LSH v4 #4)
  • Sat 11/29/94 – Mordruverse (LSH v4 #5)
  • Sat 11/29/94 – Cham, Rokk, Jo, Kono, and Furball arrive on Tharn and are captured by Mordru; after being hired by Earthgov to find Blok’s killer, Celeste, Devlin, and Bounty leave for Trom (LSH v4 #6)
  • Sun 11/30/94 – Celeste, Devlin, and Bounty meet Jan on Trom (LSH v4 #6); with the help of Laurel Gand, Rokk’s crew rescues Mysa and Rond from Mordru but are teleported to Grocz; Celeste, Devlin, Bounty, and Jan leave Trom for Winath (LSH v4 #7)
  • Mon 12/1/94 – Rokk, Cham, Jo, Kono, Furball, Rond, Laurel, and Mysa travel from Grocz to Zirr (LSH v4 #8)
  • Tues 12/2/94 – Rokk, Laurel, and Rond take some R&R time on Zirr with baby Lauren, while the others go to Winath; Marla reminisces (LSH v4 #8); on Cygnus IV, Roxxas watches a holo of Laurel Gand; Celeste, Devlin, Bounty, and Jan arrive on Winath (LSH v4 #9)
  • Wed 12/3/94 – Rokk and Rond arrive in the morning, having left Laurel behind on Zirr; everyone (Rokk, Rond; Cham, Jo, Kono, Furball, Mysa; Celeste, Devlin, Bounty, Jan; Brainy, Garth, Ayla, Vi, Imra) is on Winath when Roxxas attacks; Bounty, Mekt, Cham, and Celeste are seriously injured, while Jo disappears and is presumed dead; Earthgov linked to Roxxas; Tenzil arrives on Earth (LSH v4 #10)
  • Thu 12/4/94 – On Winath, Roxxas is on the loose, and kills a doctor and nurse in the Bloomfield Free Clinic. On Earth, Tenzil participates in the Batcave dig, meets with Shvaughn and Brek (who is released for the first time since incarceration 2 years prior), has dinner with Prosecutor Jakobi, then falls asleep. (LSH v4 #11)
  • Fri 12/5/94 – Tenzil and Brek in court; Holo Scene news article on the trial (LSH v4 #11); Celeste is healed by a green glow; the former Legionnaires team up to capture Roxxas, who reveals Dominion control of Earthgov (LSH v4 #12)
  • Wed 12/10/94 – All-points bulletin on Persuader, who meets Kent Shakespeare in on Quarantine trying to attack Char Burrane Jr. (LSH v4 #12) Persuader is defeated by Kent and SP Captain Gim Allon, who then takes Kent to Toonar. (LSH v4 #13)
  • Thu 12/11/94 – Kent leaves Toonar for Winath; Laurel fights Khunds in deep space; Tenzil and Brek on Gnogg. (LSH v4 #13)
  • Sun 12/14/94 – The Legion is formally reinstated
  • Mon 12/16/94 – Tenzil, Brek, and Calorie Queen are taken to Tartarus by Prince Evillo; Tenzil banished to the Realm of Darkness (LSH v4 #14)
  • Thu 12/25/94 – Garth, Cham, and Rokk remotely survey Talus (LSH v4 #14)
  • Fri 12/26/94 – Tenzil and Sugyn return from the Realm of Darkness, only to hear that Tenzil has been declared dead and his Senate seat vacated. (LSH v4 #14)
  • Sat 12/27/94 – Loomis writes his report on Talus’ suitability for being the new HQ; Tenzil leaves Brek behind on Tartarus and heads for Winath (LSH v4 #14)
  • Sun 12/28/94 – The reformed Legion establishes headquarters on the asteroid world of Talus
  • Sat 1/3/95 – Tenzil Kem rejoins the Legion
  • Sun 1/11/95 – Orando falls to the Khunds  (LSH v4 #15)
  • Mon 1/12/95 – The Legion agrees to team with the United Planets Militia to beat back a Khundish invasion that threatens the heart of the United Planets.  (LSH v4 #15)
  • Exact date unknown – Cham meets with a Khundish double agent; Venegar falls to the Khunds, who then make a deal with the Hill People of Talok VIII; the UP Militia tries to decide if Xolnar or Talok VIII will be attacked next; Valor and Shadow Lass appear on Talok VIII; Khunds attack Xolnar; Circe wants Dirk to give a pro-Dominator speech (LSH v4 #15)
  • Exact date unknown  Last stand on Xolnar; introduction of the Resistance on Earth (LSH v4 #16). 
  • Sun 3/22/95 – Khund decoy fleet arrives at Talok VIII, while the main fleet attacks Xolnar, leading to the death of Jed “Power Boy” Rikane; after destroying the Talok fleet, the Legion and the UP Militia arrive at Xolnar to finish the Khundish fleet; Glorith sent to the end of time; the Khunds are driven back to pre-2995 borders, and the Legion concludes its participation in the war against Khundish encroachment (LSH v4 #17)
  • Wed 3/25/95 – Don and Dawn Allen are arrested by Earthgov (LSH v4 #17)
  • Thurs 3/26/95 – Don and Dawn Allen are put on trial (LSH v4 #17)
  • Fri 3/27/95 – Tensions increase on Earth with the execution of Legion friends Don and Dawn Allen. (Note that 3/27/95 is a Friday, while the comic says it happened on a Monday) (LSH v4 #17)
  • Sat 3/28/95 – Daily Planet article on the Allen executions (LSH v4 #17)
  • Exact date unknown – Valor and Shadow Lass help counter a Dark Circle attempt on Queen Projectra’s life on Orando, then remove the Dark Circle cultists from Carggg; Universo and Jacques meet; holo studio bombing allegedly by one of the Resistance groups (LSH v4 #18)
  • April 2995 – Imra & Garth’s twins due (LSH v4 #3)
Unknown dates:
  • Black Dawn: something big and bad happened. Polar Boy says “you know what that cost us”. Sun Boy was a previous leader. By the time it happened, Chameleon Boy had left the Legion and “watched everything fall to pieces” (LSH v4 #1). Timber Wolf was irradiated during Black Dawn, eventually turning him into Furball. Char Burrane (Starfinger II) was somehow involved. (LSH v4 #12)
  • Rokk and Loomis are injured at Venado Bay on the Braal side, and Rokk lost his powers. Salu was somehow involved on the Imsk side. Imsk won, as the army is occupying Braal. (LSH v4 #1) She says that Braal attacked Imsk, and they were just defending themselves. She was head of security on the damper project and knew what it would do, but fought against it (not hard enough, in her admission). (LSH v4 #10)
  • Kent Shakespeare and Gim Allon are both ex-Legionnaires, but it’s unknown when or under what circumstances they left. (LSH v4 #12)

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