Posts tagged ‘Universo’

Adventure 360 – The Legion in chains

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Adventure 360 (Sept 67) cuts between the Legionnaires imprisoned on Takron-Galtos, those running a resistance movement on Earth, and a mysterious villain whose identity is subtly hinted at, but not revealed until the conclusion of Jim Shooter and Curt Swan’s tale.

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After checking to see that Superboy, Mon-El and Ultra Boy are still safely imprisoned, Kandro Boltax goes to check on his very immobile and unemotional son.  Really perceptive readers might be able to identify this lad, but this scene is about as close as the story gets to giving away the identity of the mastermind of the plot.

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Invisible Kid leads a breakout of the Legionnaires imprisoned on Earth, bringing them to an underground lair of Lex Luthor’s.  Though some of the team want to lead a breakout of those on Takron-Galtos, Invisible Kid insists they solve the situation on Earth first.

Duo Damsel gets to put her powers to use, infiltrating Kandro Boltax’s office and discovering secret info on the water purification plant (remember that?), which has been used to chemically control the minds of people on Earth.

Brainiac 5 devises an antidote, and Invisible Kid’s team leads an assault on the water plant, while the imprisoned Legionnaires manage to break out on their own.

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Everyone comes together as Boltax is revealed to be Universo in disguise, and the son, who managed to get the cure into the water, is, of course Rond Vidar, who is granted honourary membership at the end of the story.

Despite Universo not appearing, except in disguise, for the bulk of this 2-parter it works very well.  The story would heavily influence an 80s Legion tale, The Universo Project – in fact it would be the very similarities that would alert the Legion members to Universo’s actions in that tale.

 

Adventure 359 – The Legion gets outlawed

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Jim Shooter and Curt Swan pull off another unusual but very effective 2-parter, beginning in Adventure 359 (Aug 67), which sees the Legion outlawed, disbanded, and imprisoned.

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The Legion return from a mission in space to discover that they have been outlawed, disbanded by the government, and their Clubhouse sealed.  They are arrested for breaking a curfew none were aware even existed.

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Duo Damsel gets the story from her parents.  After the death of the president of the United Planets, his vice-president, Kandro Boltax (in his debut appearance) took the reigns of government.  First he built a new water purification plant (gee, will that be significant later?), and then passed a number of draconian laws, including the ban on the Legion, which were supported en masse.

When Dream Girl foresees a monorail crash, a number of Legionnaires go into action to save the passengers, which results in them being arrested and sentenced to the prison planetoid, now called Takron-Galtos.

The ones who were not sentenced wind up in the middle of a riot, during which Princess Projectra is critically wounded, winding up in a coma.

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Invisible Kid tries to keep the remaining Legion together, to figure out what is going on, but discovers that even his parents have turned against him, and are spying on him.

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He leads the remainder of the team to RJ Brande, whose support founded the Legion, but even he has turned against them, and summons the Science Police.

On the run now, hiding out in the sewers, the Legion decide they must do whatever they can, willing to break the law to figure this situation out and return things to normal.

The story concludes next issue.

Adventure 349 – The Legion vs Universo

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Jim Shooter introduces another classic Legion villain, Universo, in Adventure 349 (Oct 66), as well as giving the first view of the Chrono-Reasearch Lab and its Time Cube.  The lab would return under the more appealing name of the Time Institute.  Curt Swan returns to draw this issue. A good thing, as all the time travel means lots of detail in the various locations.

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Universo makes a sort of bizarre debut, breaking into the Clubhouse to demand membership.  And it’s not like he even wants it.  His true purpose is to hypnotize the Legion, and he succeeds, even with Superboy, except for Brainiac 5.  He steals a time bubble, and the Legion head to the Chrono-Reasearch Lab to use the Time Cube recently invented by young Rond Vidar.

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At the lab they determine that Universo went to five different time periods, so Legionnaires head to each era.  None of them find Universo, but each falls prey to his hypnotized pawns in the different eras.

But all this was just another ruse to get the Legion out of the way as Universo tries to take over the United Planets with his hypnotic abilities.

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In the end, it’s Rond Vidar who saves the day, rescuing each of the Legionnaires with his Time Cube, so they can capture Universo, who is revealed to be Rond’s father.

All in all an unusual story, extremely complex plotting for a straightforward goal.  Universo, and Rond, would return again before too long, in a much better tale.

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