As if the events of “The Culling” weren’t bad enough…
The members of the Legion of Super Heroes sent back in time to prevent a species supremacist from spreading a gene-toxin have really come through slaughter. They’ve found themselves not only trapped in the distant past (how would you handle downtown Jerusalem, circa 1112AD?). But also, they’ve categorically failed to prevent an incident that would radically change the future they came from.
Then, through no fault of their own they’ve come into conflict with Earth authorities of the present day. And they’ve come into conflict with local superheroes in the form of the Martian Manhunter. And by the simple act of being trapped in the past, their own future grows ever more distant.
Then there’s The Culling. It was a ritual event that takes place in the N.O.W.H.E.R.E.-sponsored underground world known as The Colony. During The Culling, teens with the metahuman gene that manifests superpowers are pitted against each other in mortal combat. N.O.W.H.E.R.E. had been stealing metahuman teens for years until the Legion banded together with the Teen Titans to put a stop to it.
Coming out of this most recent, and final, Culling, the Legionnaires got what they believed was the means to return home. This should be their happy ending, except…
I’ll stop there and let you read this exclusive preview for yourself. It must be said though, that this is some of the most beautiful pages of the series to date. It’s such a necessary part of a story you know will continue for many issues still. There’s dramatic irony at play here. There’s no way for the Legionnaires to return and find their world as they left it. Because that would mean the end of the Legion being Lost. So you know, whatever they find, the Legionnaires’ hopes will need to be dashed.
And their hopes are indeed dashed. But Tom DeFalco’s scripting of this very necessary scene belies the hand of a master. Rather than focus on narrative exigencies, Tom crafts out a long, slow scene of characterization. Who moves? And why? And perhaps more poignantly, who doesn’t move? These few pages are as stirring as any moment yet in the series. If for no other reason than its loving portrayal of a leader frozen in time, unable to act, and apprehending a history that he cannot recognize.
Legion Lost #10 goes on sale Wednesday 6/13. Please enjoy your exclusive review here:
// Short Ends and Leader
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