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Legion Lost
Legion Lost 12.jpg
Cover to Legion Lost #12. Art by Oliver Coipel.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Genre , science fiction, superhero
Publication date May 2000 – April 2001
Number of issues 12
Main character(s) Legion of Super-Heroes
Kwai
Creative team
Writer(s) Dan Abnett
Andy Lanning
Penciller(s) Oliver Coipel (1-3, 5, 7-8, 10-12 + all covers)
Pascal Alike (4, 6, 9)
Inker(s) Andy Lanning
Letterer(s) Comicraft
Colorist(s) Tom McCraw
Editor(s) Mike McAvennie

Legion Lost is a twelve-issue comic book limited series published by DC Comics starring the superhero team called the Legion of Super-Heroes. The series was co-written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, often collectively referred to and interviewed as "DnA", penciled primarily by Oliver Coipel, with Pascal Alike filling in for some issues, inked by Lanning and colored by Tom McCraw.

Contents

Publication history

The commissioning of the series followed a slump in sales in the two extant LSH comics, Legion of Super-Heroes and Legionnaires. Abnett, Lanning and Coipel (in his first comics work) were then commissioned to end both series and write a twelve-issue limited series - which became Legion Lost - with a resumed ongoing series contingent on the sales of the limited series.

While sales did not hugely increase over the course of the series, it proved to be critically acclaimed, and thus, following a further miniseries - Legion Worlds, focusing on the characters "left behind" - a new ongoing series, The Legion, was launched with the same creative team as Legion Lost.

Plot synopsis

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1: Legion Lost

The story opens with three insect-like humanoids, with shiny black exoskeletons and dragonfly-like wings flying into the tail of a comet. Two, Kamlos and Reos are males wearing only loincloths, while the other (narrating) is a female wearing a red sleeveless dress. As they enjoy the sensation, however, they are attacked by the "Progeny" and Reos is killed instantly, leaving only a skeleton. The other two flee, but Kamlos shouts to Shikari that he's tiring, and she replies that they are Kwai and "will find a way," moments before Kamlos dies as Reos had. Shikari screams "NO!", but cuts off her instinct to mourn to try and survive. Accepting she cannot outrun the Progeny, she flees into a nebula cloud in an attempt to hide. As her "pathfinding senses" are fogged by the "electromagnetics of the nebula", she sees a badly-damaged spaceship. Looking at it, and not recognizing the Legion of Super-Heroes L* insignia on it, she accepts it as sanctuary.

Immediately, however, she is confronted by a hologram of Element Lad, which says it was triggered by lifesigns appearing on the ship, and begins to explain the events of Widening Rifts, where the damaged Legion Outpost and several members were lost into a Rift, when the first recording ends - only for another to begin, apparently made a day later. He continues in a series of recordings, explaining that he believes he was catapulted outside the universe, all the clocks and many of the systems had stopped, and he had placed the "others" in Tromium sheaths to protect them - and doesn't know if it is safe to wake them. Throughout, his costume becomes more and more tattered, and he visibly ages. In the last recording, he says he believed he found a way to get them back into the normal universe, having to make and check his data longhand, and finishes with an explanation of the Legion and a plea to help his friends, since he may not survive the transition.

In the meantime, Shikari has retracted her exoskeleton, revealing the grey skin beneath, with some black markings, but redons it as the last message finishes, and turns to see several humanoid figures in green crystal, like flies in amber. However, at that moment she is found by two Progeny, beetle-like sentient creatures, and retracts her wings into her body as they begin firing at her - which inadvertently cracks the green crystal, releasing the Legionnaires within. Just as they are about to kill Shikari, a bolt of lightning forces them away, and the Legionnaires present are revealed - Monstress, Brainiac 5.1, Umbra, Kid Quantum, Saturn Girl, Live Wire and Chameleon.

Speaking in Interlac (which is not translated for the readers), they confront the Progeny, and Shikari calls them the "Lee-Jon". The Progeny leader orders his troops to "delete" the "filthy variants", but the Legion quickly trounce them to Shikari's amazement. As Chameleon helps her up, she retracts her exoskeleton, but says she doesn't understand, which Saturn Girl rectifies by giving her a telepathic earplug. She introduces herself as "Shikari, of the Path", but proves unable to pronounce Chameleon's codename properly.

Saturn Girl takes a roll call, and after the eight Legionnaires present call out, she asks where they are and Brainiac says the star patterns are completely alien, so he has no idea where they are, and they could be on the other side of the galaxy - whereupon Shikari mentions Element Lad's message and says they could be on the other side of the universe. Saturn Girl asks where Element Lad is, but Ultra Boy breaks in, freaking out over not knowing where Apparition is, and the possibility of never seeing her again, and is holding Live Wire against the wall when Apparition apparently comes up through the floor and calms him down. As they embrace, however, Brainiac points out the huge warship which has suddenly appeared beside the Outpost's remains.[1]

2: Enigma Variations

The Progeny ship begins to tow in the Outpost, as Monstress thinks how they have no propulsion and "laughably little life support." Shikari has explained that they are highly xenophobic, determined to exterminate all other forms of life. She doesn't think she's going to like them.

Saturn Girl takes control of the situation, suggesting they use the situation to get information, supplies and a viable means of transport while freeing themselves, then directs Umbra to give them cover. Once they get out of the Outpost, Live Wire discovers that his flight ring's flight function no longer works - and Brainiac 5 confirms moments later that the Valorium metal which was the basis of their ability to fly had become inert - except for the natural fliers, they're all grounded. Using what sensors the Outpost has working, he has managed to locate their command deck and should have a rough translation of their language shortly, but can't find their engine room and weapons sensors. Shikari then says that she is a path-finder and can find them. She stands still for a moment as a pink flash appears in front of her face, then gives directions to the shocked Chameleon. Chameleon, Shikari, Kid Quantum, Monstress and Umbra follow Shikari's directions, while the others head for the command deck.

On their way, Chameleon's group witness the Progeny victims, some still alive, being broken down for "recycling," as Shikari explains, also saying that her people, the Kwai, were declared "variant" when they entered the Progeny's expanding space and were struggling. Monstress, appalled, demands to be allowed to stop them from continuing to "recycle". Eventually, while arguing that they could help more victims by disabling the Progeny ship, Chameleon agrees to split up, taking Kid Quantum and Umbra to the engine room while Monstress and Shikari attack the "recycling" section. Umbra objects, saying that it doesn't seem like anyone had been fighting back. Shikari finds Umbra's "hardness" "unpleasant", and Monstress says that, while Umbra had never been congenial, her experiences with the Blight had changed her for the worse, then recounts her own origin to Shikari. The two attack.

The scene cuts to follow Chameleon's group as they quickly disable the ship's power supply, but Kid Quantum has to prevent the other two coming to blows over Umbra's attitude. Meanwhile, Saturn Girl's team arrive at the bridge and, after subduing the Progeny there, get no cooperation from the ship-master who calls them "vermin" and say they have no rights, even after pointing out that they've disabled everything they have to fight them with. They then just take what they need, including a "tugboat" to tow the Outpost. Finally, though Monstress and Shikari defeat the Progeny they were fighting, they find all the prisoners dead, gassed by the Progeny to prevent their escape. Monstress, livid, walks away before she kills the Progeny at hand.

On their way, Chameleon comments to Saturn Girl that the Progeny won't just let them go, and she agrees, saying that they saw themselves as doing the right thing and were revolted by the "variant" Legionnaires. Monstress says the feeling was mutual. Back on the Progeny ship, when the ship-master finds that all their shuttlecraft were disabled by the Legionnaires as well, he says to contact Progeny Command to send reinforcements - then to recycle him. Since he failed, he was clearly defective and should be deleted.

The issue closes with Saturn Girl going to see Monstress, who was disturbed by the Progeny, to tell her that she admired their stand, and they were going to the "Brief-Home" - the mothership of Shikari's people, to warn them about the Progeny and ask for help. Monstress says they were "really lost" and "not just geographically." Saturn Girl says they're "Legion" and those values don't change. Monstress isn't convinced.[2]

3: Lone Star State

The Legion visit the Kwai's home, and the Kwai begin preparations for departure on hearing of the Progeny's proximity to them. The Legion help them speed up the process with their powers, while the Kwai help them to repair the Outpost and integrate the tug into it. They also find that the "feral star" which had appeared, and the Kwai had followed into the sector of space, thinking it good luck, was in fact the energy making up the Legionnaire ERG-1. Brainiac 5 then constructs a new containment suit for him with the Kwai's help.

The Progeny then attack en mass, but the Legion manage to delay them long enough for the Kwai - minus Shikari, who remains with the team - to escape.

Later, some Progeny discover a pyramid floating in space, and are killed while investigating.[3]

4: Makeshift

After a training session between Apparition, Chameleon and Umbra, which ends with Umbra storming off after Chameleon makes a remark about your opponent not minding how they mess with your head, as Apparition thinks how "brittle" Umbra had become since her experience with the Blight; and Saturn Girl, visiting Live Wire's hydroponic farm, is distracted by it too, leading to Live Wire making a crack about being low on his fianceé's list of priorities as Monstress helps out.

Apparition visits Ultra Boy, who's on the hull of the Outpost - now fully integrated with the Progeny tug - trying to make connections for an experimental drive Brainiac plans to try out. They kiss and Apparition reenters the ship. Saturn Girl then visits Brainiac, who's boasting about the "miracle" he's performed in making a FTL drive out of "everything short of sealing wax and string," but who is shortly rendered speechless by Kid Quantum's ignorance of how her own powers worked. Apparition then enters Umbra's room while she was communing with her ancestors, and gets thrown out roughly. She then visits Kid Quantum, who's in the shower, and asks how she survived being Blighted without any apparent problems while Umbra was falling apart over it. Kid Quantum stumbles for a moment, then says she blocks it out, and that she never fully gave in to the Blight's "seduction." As she exits the shower, complaining about not having a proper sonic shower, she says Umbra will be fine if they support her, and Apparition asks her to keep an eye on Umbra, Kid Quantum says she already is, and will do what she can.

While Chameleon and Live Wire square off against Saturn Girl in a sparring session (which Saturn Girl apparently wins hands down), Shikari and ERG-1 talk, which ends with Shikari accidentally calling the other "Wild Fire", which ERG-1 likes and adopts as the name Wildfire.

Later, they test Brainiac's drive - but while it seemingly moves them sixteen light years, it also brings a horde of extradimensional energy parasites down on them, forcing them to jettison the drive. Apparition reassures Brainiac, while Saturn Girl says how tired she is to Live Wire, and he reassures her in turn.[4]

5: Omniphagos

Shikari leads them to the pyramid last seen at the end of #3, where they encounter an interdimensional doorway which they could use to get home - but which turns out to be a prison for a creature called the Omniphagos - a literal translation of its function: it eats everything. They are forced to reimprison it, apparently losing the chance to get home.[5]

6: Burnout

Saturn Girl tries to calm Umbra's fears - but it backfires, leaving Saturn Girl comatose; a fearless, supremely arrogant Umbra running loose, and a shadow-beast loose on the Outpost. In the confusion, Apparition vanishes and Umbra leaves the ship to go down to a nearby planet and sighs when she is about to be attacked by a flying, white-haired man with a glowing fist.[6]

7: Singularity

Ultra Boy and Monstress go down to the planet's surface to retrieve Umbra and see her fighting Singularity, the man from the cliffhanger, who is the obsessive protector of his planet. Ultra Boy goes after Umbra, who attacks him and says she doesn't have a clue where Apparition is, while Singularity attacks Monstress, who doesn't flinch from his punches and retaliates after continued attacks - which leads to him hitting her through the air. On the Outpost, they discover that the shadow-creature is basically Saturn Girl's mind and manage to contain it, while Apparition reappears. Meanwhile, when Ultra Boy switches powers to invulnerability, the city he sees vanishes, replaced by an empty desert. Brainiac then discovers that the shadow-beast also contained all of Umbra's fears.

A small ship approaches the Outpost and docks - revealing Spark, Element Lad, Violet and Cosmic Boy, ready to take them home.[7]

8: Lost & Found

The Legionnaires land the Outpost to go after their members on the planet, and intervene just in time to save Ultra Boy and Monstress. Ultra Boy tells Brainiac what happens when he switches to invulnerability, and Brainiac discovers a psionic field blanketing the planet - the whole city is a huge illusion, designed to keep Singularity out of the real planet's way. They shut it down, and Singularity angrily flies off, refusing to accept what they say.

They then retreat to the Outpost to restore Umbra and Saturn Girl. They restore Umbra successfully, who collapses, crying, into Chameleon's arms, but Saturn Girl, who is generating a huge amount of power, refuses to accept the transfer. Brainiac resorts to injecting her with a drug to temporarily disable her powers, and manages to restore her mind - but as he does so and the transfer takes, both the four newly-arrived Legionnaires and Apparition vanish.[8]

9: Lost & Alone

Saturn Girl feels hugely isolated amongst the group after her deception was exposed, and she visits all of them, finding some in groups and some alone. Live Wire is sitting in his hydroponic bay, decimated by the results of landing, and is hugely depressed. She turns over the leadership to him and leaves. Beyond, Wildfire is understanding, Shikari and Monstress are hostile, Ultra Boy walks straight past her without looking. She then listens into Kid Quantum, Chameleon and Umbra - Umbra is finally recovering from her Blighting, Chameleon is depressed and Kid Quantum is disturbed at having confided in a fake Apparition - which Saturn Girl thinks in return that people trusted Tinya more than her, since Apparition wasn't a telepath. She visits Brainiac 5.1, who likens it to the propensity of his experiments to blow up, and she realizes that most of his attempts to get them home have been fakes designed to keep them hoping. He confides that he doesn't have a clue how to get them home - and that he'd always hated the ".1" name "upgrade" he'd been saddled with after his experience with a space anomaly. As she leaves, she reassures him - and makes a point of calling him Brainiac Five, a name he retakes thereafter.

She finally goes after Ultra Boy, and their tense exchange ends with them having a huge kiss, which ends with them breaking apart and being awkward as Wildfire comes to fetch them. Thousands of ships are fleeing directly at them. After a collision knocks out one of their engines without anyone slowing down to help, they come face-to-face with a huge fleet of Progeny warships.[9]

10: Rosette

Cover to Legion Lost #10. Art by Oliver Coipel

They put up a fight, but are overwhelmed and captured by the Progeny, who are confused as to why they were ordered to capture them alive by their lord, the Progenitor, who they obey without question. They are taking them to the Rosette, the Progeny Command, created from a ring of fused planetoids. After the Progeny leave them in their brig, they settle down - realizing they would be overwhelmed again and have more chance of "reasoning with [the Progenitor] than its unimaginative Progeny".

When they arrive, they are shocked by what they see - the Progenitor is Element Lad.[10]

11: One Billion Years of Solitude

With the Legionnaires still shocked by the identity of the Progenitor, who has trouble remembering their names - since he had become separated from the Outpost as it reentered reality, and became stranded billions of years in the past. In that time, he had created thousands of species to keep himself company, acting like a god, comparing his time with the Legion to the first few seconds of his life. He had also opened the Omniphagos' prison wide, a "doorway to anywhere", and had fed it until it dwarfed planets and then forced it into dormancy. He then healed the Legion of all their problems - restoring Live Wire's lost arm in the process - and sent them to chambers that had been prepared for them.

Alone, they were highly disturbed by his power and conflicted as to what to do. Eventually, they split up to investigate and be ready if things went badly. Brainiac investigated the ark and found that it was, indeed, a way home - but the Progeny kept losing ships because they couldn't guide them - and Brainiac says they have a way, and finally admits he was wrong to doubt Shikari's abilities.

The others go to see Element Lad himself, who briefly forgets them once more, and when Monstress says he didn't make her, he calls her a variant and kills her with a touch.[11]

12: First & Last

An enraged Chameleon attacks Element Lad. He is almost killed when Element Lad begins to transmute his blood to molecular acid, but is saved at the last minute by Saturn Girl. Elsewhere, the other Legionnaires determine that they need to find a ship to close the doorway. They regroup, with Brainiac 5 and Umbra preparing a ship and Ultra Boy, Kid Quantum, Wildfire, Live Wire and Shikari rushing to rescue Cham and Saturn Girl.

While Imra manages to stall and distract Element Lad, he soon proves too much and causes her mind to temporarily shut down, and he beats the other Legionnaires too. However, the Omniphagos escapes during the chaos and attacks Element Lad. The Legionnaires flee, and Live Wire suggests to Brainiac 5 that they close the doorway after the Legionnaires go through it.

Just as they are about to cross the doorway, Element Lad and the Omniphagos merge into a hideous crystalline beast. It chases after the Legion, and Live Wire decides to stop it. He paralyzes Chameleon and Ultra Boy, resigns from the Legion, knowing that he will have to kill the creature to stop it; and he tells them to tell Saturn Girl that he loved her.

He jumps out of the ship and uses his electricity to kill the Omniphagos, knowing that its crystal form had left it vulnerable. The last thing he sees is the Legionnaires making it through the doorway back home to safety.[12]

Notes

  1. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Legion Lost" Legion Lost (1) (May 2000), DC Comics
  2. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Enigma Variations" Legion Lost (2) (June 2000), DC Comics
  3. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Lone Star State" Legion Lost (3) (July 2000), DC Comics
  4. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver, Alixel, Pascal (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Makeshift" Legion Lost (4) (August 2000), DC Comics
  5. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Omniphagos" Legion Lost (5) (September 2000), DC Comics
  6. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Alixel, Pascal (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Burnout" Legion Lost (6) (October 2000), DC Comics
  7. ^ Abnett, Dan, [Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Singularity" Legion Lost (7) (November 2000), DC Comics
  8. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Lost & Found" Legion Lost (8) (December 2000), DC Comics
  9. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Alixel, Pascal (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Lost & Alone" Legion Lost (9) (January 2001), DC Comics
  10. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "Rosette" Legion Lost (10) (February 2001), DC Comics
  11. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "One Billion Years of Solitude" Legion Lost (11) (March 2001), DC Comics
  12. ^ Abnett, Dan, Lanning, Andy (w), Coipel, Oliver (p), Lanning, Andy (i). "First & Last" Legion Lost (12) (April 2001), DC Comics

References


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