Friday, February 21, 2020

LSH v4 #24 annotations: Quiet Darkness part 4

Annotations for Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #24

  • Page 2 panels 6-7: did Furball do something to fix the reserve coils?
  • Page 3 panel 1: Carole is calling him “Francis”, which is the male form of the name, except for the last 3 issues he’s been “Frances” which is the female form
  • Page 4: the artwork is identical to page 3, except for the bottom tier of panels
  • Page 5: Lobo has brought Aria back to Darkseid and her father
  • Page 10: Darkseid’s insult “Your minuscule awareness of this is so obtuse and vain that to even consider yourself sentient would be a monumental disservice to those who are.” Brainy gets OWNED by Darkseid! Reminds me of this from The Wizard of Oz:
     Image result for what would you do with a brain if you had one
  • Page 14: Welcome Gemini, a “step between man and god”
  • Page 15 panel 6: Lobo’s glasses get knocked off and he’s revealed to be a Probe, then Darkseid promptly psszzatts him
  • Page 16 panel 7: Darkseid snaps his fingers and turns Furball back into Brin, but being Furball is keeping his degeneration in check…
  • Page 16 panel 9: … but someone forgot to tell Kent that Furball is Brin
  • Page 17: Gemini does something to Darkseid that he wanted, but we don’t know what that is
  • Page 18 panel 6: Darkseid meets Coda (WTF?)
  • Page 18 panel 8: Jo: “Brainy, are you going to publish a journal on all of this?” Brainy: “Sure, Jo, just as soon as I figure out what happened.” I think Brainy speaks for us all. What did we just read?
  • Page 20: BION is tracking the SW6 Legionnaires from when they left the chambers to when they rescued Devlin, using Saturn Girl's telepathy as enhanced by Dominator technology (per IOKIAS). Note that BION has a disk on his head just like the Dominators, but it's Earth, not a red disk.
  • Page 21 panel 7: BION thinks he’s tracking SW6 Laurel, but it’s really regular Laurel in disguise as Celeste as seen last issue
  • Page 23: I think I wet my pants when I first saw this page. The SW6 Batch is revealed to be (apparently) a bunch of Silver Age Legionnaires! (art on this page only by Dusty Abell/Brad Vancata; the different artists are because this is the splash page from next issue)
  • Omnicom: mumbo jumbo about Gemini; may need to turn Brin back into Furball to stop his degeneration disease; Darkseid disappeared; gratuitous insult of Jo
  • Project Champion
    • BION has the powers of all 20 of the SW6 Legionnaires – essentially a new Composite Superman
    • BION must capture the SW6 unharmed, but not at the expense of BION itself
    • Subject number assignments seem to be based on the Legionnaires joining order
For me, this story didn't work. I didn't buy emo Darkseid, in his fancy clothes, being all erudite, not at all like every other incarnation of bombastic Darkseid we've seen before. I don't buy that after only about 10 years since the Great Darkness Saga that he's grown bored and weary with life and is looking for a way to commit suicide. I did a quick search to see what others had said about this arc, and picked these two:

CBR did an article about it in 2009, in which this was one of "A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments of the Day":  
Darkseid, meanwhile, is depressed - he's sick of the so-called "Quiet Darkness" he has been living in, where he has no peers and no real goals in life, so he's just sitting around depressed. … "The" moment is almost certainly the point where we realize that Darkseid has done all of these machinations simply to create a creature that could kill him, as he finally goes into the "quiet darkness" that he EMBRACES, rather than fears.
Matthew Elmslie blogged about it in 2013 at his Legion Abstract:  
Here's what I think: I think the real "quiet darkness" is loneliness. The characters in this story are often lonely for the counterparts in their identified pairs (even Lobo tries to hold a conversation with a severed head that he comes across). Yet all the characters are also able to resist that loneliness through whatever companions they have; Aria has Lori, and the Legionnaires have each other, for instance. Only Darkseid has no counterpart, and no way of defending against his loneliness, which, given his situation, must be profound. Throughout the story, Darkseid considers himself above all the mortal characters, who are all stumbling around in the dark, bumping their heads and thinking that everything they hear is a rat. (Count up all those examples.) All the characters are united in this ignorance, guard and child and Legionnaire alike. Darkseid, though, with his godlike knowledge and perspective, is above all that, but this also separates him from everyone else. This is where the Gemini Matrix comes in: it combines Aria and Coda into some kind of cosmic superhuman, "the step between man and god", but one that's manifested as a grown-up Aria, while Coda is only sort of there but is also sort of dead: in the last panels of the story we see Coda and Darkseid meeting in some cloudy pink realm, walking and chatting together very cordially. I'm aware that this contradicts me a bit: Darkseid's embrace of "the quiet darkness" has solved his loneliness, not exacerbated it. Still, it's clear that what Darkseid has found is not oblivion but companionship.
I see what they're getting at, but I don't buy it.

But we're not done with Gemini yet, she reappears in a little while during the Timber Wolf miniseries and then she even jumps companies!

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.
  • 3/26/78 Dark Circle obtained updated cell samples from when Dr. Zan Orbal restored bodies and powers to Matter-Eater Lad, Lightning Lad, and Bouncing Boy on Tartarus, to complete their collection (LSH v4 #22)
  • 10/78 Doppelganger substitution during Dark Circle invasion (LSH v4 #22)
  • 2/17/89 – Mekt admitted to Labyrinth Penal Institute (LSH v4 #10)
  • 6/23/89 – Magic Wars end (LSH v3 #63)
  • 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)
  • 10/8/91 – Imsk sets off the Damper weapon on Venado Bay on Braal-13 during the Imsk/Braal War. Rokk lost his powers, Loomis lost an arm. Salu was head of security on the damper project and knew what it would do, but fought against it (not hard enough, in her admission). Imsk won, as the army is occupying Braal. (LSH v4 #1) She says that Braal attacked Imsk, and they were just defending themselves. (LSH v4 #10)
  • 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 (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). 
  • Fri 3/13/95 – SP Officer Roon Dvron’s police report on Sussa Paka (LSH v4 #22, 23)
  • 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)
  • Thu 4/9/95 – Valor and Shadow Lass leave Carggg on their way to some R&R in deep space (LSH v4 #22)
  • Sat 4/11/95 – Luna is destroyed, ravaging Earth. (LSH v4 #19). The mysterious “SW6" Legionnaires awaken in an underground Dominion chamber on Earth. (LSH v4 #20)
  • Sun 4/12/95 – Jo Nah returns from an extended journey through time (LSH v4 #19) and is added to the reformed adult Legion team (LSH v4 #20)
  • Mon 4/13/95 – Dacey and Doritt Ranzz are born to ex-Legionnaires Garth and Imra Ardeen Ranzz. Rokk recalls the events of Venado Bay as the Dominators start executing Science Police Earth officers who are revolting against the Dominators. (LSH v4 #20)
  • Wed 4/15/95 – Furball meets Aria on Zuun, unaware that she’s being hunted by Darkseid; Atmos revealed to have been killed by Project Champion; the Dominators begin harsher punishment of insurrectionists on Earth. (LSH v4 #21)
  • Fri 4/17/95 – Jo, Celeste, and Kent on the way to Zuun to get Brainy and Furball; on Talus, Kono reads Nura’s unanswered messages to Mysa; on Altair, Valor finds troubling news from a Dark Circle computer (LSH v4 #22)
  • Tues 4/21/95 – Jo, Celeste, and Kent arrive at Zuun  (LSH v4 #22).They are briefly detained but they escape to the surface and meet up with Brainy and Furball, but Lobo captures and leaves with Aria; during the escape, Celeste generates a burst of intense green energy. On Earth, Resistance leader Jacques has Laurel and Bounty meet up with Circe, who has turned against the Dominators and Earthgov. Valor leaves Shady to go to Earth to check into what he found. (LSH v4 #23)
  • Wed 4/22/95 – Lobo brings Aria to Darkseid, followed by Jo, Kent, Celeste, Brainy, and Furball. Lobo is revealed to be merely a probe and Darkseid vanishes him, and then turns Furball back into Brin. The Gemini Matrix activates and Aria turns into an adult Gemini and blasts Darkseid, per his secret wish, who then disappears. Back on Earth, BION discovers the adult Laurel Gand while looking for the SW6 version, and the SW6 Legionnaires reveal themselves to Devlin. (LSH v4 #24)
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)
  • 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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