Lightle draws Paul Levitz's script 1 of 5, in which Invisible Kid encounters a gang stealing something from the hospital where his sister's been looked after for years. A combination of invisibility and Shadow Lass-taught martial moves sees him capture most of the motley crew, but one gets away with their prize. As it turns out, the item stolen wasn't the 'Computo circuit' which once turned Danielle Foccart into a menace, but a gold chip used to power longtime Legion foe Tharok. After Ultra Boy and Mon-El's bid to recapture the chip fails, Brainiac 5 delivers his doom-laden supposition - someone is trying to recreate the Fatal Five.
The script is typically efficient, with plot and character melding nicely, but unmemorable baddies. This book sorely needs villains as powerful and charismatic as the Fatal 5, so let's hope Brainy's correct. I was surprised by Jacques' reference to his sister still being in hospital, as I recall Brainy exorcising Computo from Danielle. Either I'm forgetting something (hugely likely!) or a bit of continuity has been tweaked, for story purposes down the road.
The art is a total treat, with nostalgia not necessary to get a kick out of it - history or no history, Lightle is a master. His Legionnaires sit firmly between godlike and all-too human, while his layouts are stunning - the fight scene starring the sorely underused Invisible Kid features minimal narration but is easy to follow. In the old days he used inkers, here Lightle's work looks crisp and bright with 'only' the aid of colour artist Javier Mena.
Mena also tones the second story, Founders' Night, which sees Levitz gift Turkey's own Yildiray Cinar a sequence set in 31st-century Istanbul (not Constantinople). I think I spotted Sultan Ahmet Mosque, but obviously, architecture has moved on, meaning the cityscape is barely recognisable. The vibrant city is the perfect spot for a night out as retired Legionnaires Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad drop by - at Brainy's request - to force team leader and fellow founder Cosmic Boy to take a much-needed break. It turns out they're not the only Legionnaires there, with Academy teacher Night Girl lying in wait for Cosmic Boy - her former flame. Sneaky old Imra and Garth were apparently as confused as readers by the revelation that Rokk and Lydda had broken up off panel, and decided to get them back together. They're certainly having a great time as Garth flies off to sort out a problem with the local weather patterns, allowing Cinar and ever-superb inker Dan Green to show Lightning Lad versus lightning storm across two pages.
Where the previous story is setting up an arc, this is a much-needed catch-up between old friends - the founders and the readers. The action sequence is obviously tacked on, but it's flashy fun and shows a hero cutting loose, something I always enjoy.
Lightle's cover is de-Lightle-ful (I know, there's really no excuse), though I wish it were split between the two stories, with room for Cinar to strut his stuff too. Still, this is a great breather issue, a callback to the Legion's storied past and a hint at what the future holds ... and isn't that what a Legion book should be?