Wednesday, May 03, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 123: Here Comes the Sun-Eater Again

Yesterday (for the purpose of both time-travellers and those of you keeping track of when I actually post these darn things, "yesterday" may be a mere social construct), I invited you to guess which Legionnaire would die at the hands tentacles of the deadly Sun-Eater!

Splash page from the Legion of Super-Heroes story in Adventure Comics #353 (February 1967), script and layouts by Jim Shooter, pencils by Curt Swan, inks by George Klein, letters by Milton Snapinn

Well, a classic Legion story deserves a cool encore, especially when the history of the DC Universe was rebooted with the events of Zero Hour, which brought us what is my favorite incarnation of the Legion of Super-Heroes, now sadly rebooted away itself two or three times now. Still, remember when half the Legion was trapped in the twentieth century, teaming up with all the biggest names of the DCU including Booster Gold? And here's the 20C Legion with some obscure hero pals you might recognize as they all team-up to defeat the all-new, all-different, Post-Crisis, Post-Zero Hour, pre-Flashpoint Sun-Eater in the massive crossover event The Final Night!

Panels from Legion of Super-Heroes (1989 series) #86 (November 1996), co-plot and script by Tom Peyer, co-plot by Tom McCraw, pencils by Lee Moder, inks by Ron Boyd, colors by Tom McCraw, letters by Pat Brosseau

Trapped inside his metal mask, Ferro (the Post-Zero Hour name of Ferro Lad) is a native of the 20th century in this history, but desperate to be taken seriously as a hero and into the company of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He's got an idea how to stop the Sun-Eater, and he stole it from a Jim Shooter comic book!

That improbable duo of Lex Luthor and Brainiac 5 can build the bomb, but who's going to sacrifice themselves in order to fly it into the heart of the Sun-Eater? Why, it certainly isn't going to be the guy who has five comic books and provides monthly income to Warner Brothers now, is it? OH COME ON SUPERMAN

In preparation for his final mission, Superman writes a last letter to Lois Lane! Lovingly. The note's probably mostly taken up with his insistence than she not adjust the thermostat and that the leak in the bathroom is just fine, all you gotta do is jiggle the handle.

Panels from The Final Night #4 (November 1996), script by Karl Kesel, pencils by Stuart Immonen, inks by Jose Marzan Jr., colors by Patricia Mulvihill, letters by Gaspar Saladino

Oh hey wait! Good going, Supes! You missed your own suicide mission! So if that's not Kal-El behind the wheel of the brave little ship S.S. Sun-Eater-Exploder, then who is it, you may ask? Oh, for Pete's sake, have you never read a comic book before?

All salute Ferro, who in the ultimate act of defiance and sacrifice, releases the swarm of nano-bombs intended to stop the Sun-Eater. Granted, it pretty much isn't going to work properly, so please give a moment of silence in remembrance of the month of November 1996, when they stopped publishing DC Comics.

(plays 'Taps' on my little bugle for Ferro and Earth-1)


Hal Jordan as repentant Green Lantern-slash-Parallax-slash-I'm not the Spectre yet phums ferro back to Earth, and in atonement for his crimes under the influence of Parallax, sacrifices his life and power to defy and destroy the Sun-Eater and reignite the Sun. Ehhh, I'll give him that one.

Thus ends the Second Saga of the Sun-Eater.

But, because he's cool and I like him and we don't get to see him once the Legion is threebooted, here's what eventually happened to Ferro Lad. When the 20C Legion at last return to their proper Thirtieth Century in a Very Special Anniversary Issue, Ferro gets to come along with them. Hooray! Also: Koko the monkey.

Panels from "OK C.O.M.P.U.T.O." in Legion of Super-Heroes (1989 series) #100 (January 1998), co-plot and script by Tom Peyer, co-plot by Tom McCraw, pencils by Lee Moder and Derec Aucoin, inks by Drew Geraci and Ray Kryssing, colors by Tom McCraw, letters by Pat Brosseau

But even in the future world of wonder and amazement, Ferro hasn't lost his feelings of inadeuacy. He's not certain he belongs in the Legion, let alone the 30th Century. Luckily this blue alien with a Big Gulp is there to talk him through the difficulty of adjusting. Wait, could this alien be...Gillian Taylor? (Answer: no.)

Panels from "Legion Day" in Legion of Super-Heroes (1989 series) #100 (January 1998), script and inks by Mark Farmer, pencils by Alan Davis, colors by Tom McCraw, letters by Pat Prentice

Yes, it's a world that loves and adores the Legion, even the ones we barely remember anymore. And the ones I really miss, like Kinetix, Sensor, and Gates. (sniff.)

The blue guy's conversation helps Ferro remember that he not only belongs with the Legion, the Legion needs him. This guy must be the best psychologist in the United Worlds...oh hey, it's that guy! (Chameleon!) Well, that was a cool twist.

So, this time around, Ferro lived! I like that. It's as simple as that.


joecab said...

That's what I like about you Bully; the subtlety. :P

Dave said...

"I been readin' about you ... how you work for the black skins ... and how on a planet someplace you helped out the orange skins ... and you done considerable for the purple skins! Only there's skins you never bothered with -- ? ... the blue skins! I want to know ... how come?? Answer me that, Mr. Ferro."

Blam said...

I'm not sure why Ferro's plan to leap into the sun with a bomb required an illustration, but I have a soft spot for the guy too.