Star Boy's multiversal energies are used by Professor Harmonia Li to open the gate to her homeworld of immortals, currently under attack by the Legion of Super-Villains. Thom and Harmonia stay behind to maintain the portal while the rest of the heroes fly through, along with Oan spirit Dyogene. On the other side of the barrier, everyone fights.
That's it. That's the story Paul Levitz gives us in the penultimate issue before this series restarts as one of DC's New 52 in September. And it's great. We've had several issues of set-up, with encounters between LSH and LSV sub-teams along the way, but I'm ready for a big blow-out. And here it is as the good guys show the bad guys what's what, not quite wrapping up the story, but inflicting a fair few bruises. Dawnstar and Tellus are on especially good form, taking on the formidable Saturn Queen. Star of the show, though, is Gates, who well and truly saves their bacon as the hyper-hypnotist's strength of mind tells on his colleagues. Tyroc also shines - or rather, screams - while Sun Boy shows Sun Killer who's the number one solar act.
Polar Boy proves that super powers aren't just for violence when Timber Wolf is hurt, Lightning Lass, as ever, heads straight for mad brother Lightning Lord .... even Mon-El gets to do something other than chat to Dyogene. Not much, mind - he provides a travel bubble and makes a cage; methinks Levitz finds Mon as Green Lantern as boring as I do. Hopefully the notion will disappear post-Flashpoint.
The mysterious Adversary pops up once more but remains unnamed and doesn't yet reveal his hand.
Saturn Queen gives him a big hand, mind, on a typically attractive page by penciller Yildiray Cinar and inker Jonathan Glapion. Cinar has improved with every outing - and I enjoyed his work from the off - while Glapion adds a terrific, gritty edge where appropriate, as in the Dawnstar shot here.
The pair's work this issue is exemplary - if I didn't know this was Cinar's last issue I'd think it was his last issue. He really pulls out all the stops, nowhere more so than on a tremendous spread focusing on the overall melee. It's the kind of overview I want to see when the Legion faces a threat that requires the massed membership. I don't know whether Levitz arranged the script - lettered by the talented John J Hill - to leave room for the spread, or Cinar got the nod to move things around to accommodate it. I'm simply glad someone sorted things out - it's the perfect sign-off. (Cinar is illustrating the new Fury of Firestorm book debuting in September, using a greytone style. I'm there.)
The cover by Cinar, Glapion and interior colourist Hi-Fi is well done, but really, Sun Emperor again? Enough with the flaming covers already, weren't #11 and #13 enough? More group shots, that's what the Legion covers need. Maybe next series ...