Wednesday, March 27, 2024


 Unlike many of our comic book friends, I am not given readily to gasping.

The Battle of the Empty Costumes

But gasp I did upon seeing "THE REVEAL" of who the mysterious "Legionnaire" was in the most recent Justice Society.

Literally the last person you'd expect.
Or is it...?

I assume most of you already know, but Mordu is an evil sorcerer who was introduced by writer Jim Shooter as a foe for the Legion in Adventure Comics #369 (JUN 1968). He is generally considered their most powerful single enemy, because the Time Trapper is too passive-aggressive.

This cover strikes me as odd, since sealing Mordru in an airtight container IS the way to defeat him.
Because magic.  

Mordru's original design was, to put it kindly, of its time.

Although I suppose seeing anyone THAT unconcerned about fashion-norms is going to be pretty disturbing, especially in the 30th century where fashions norms are already quite ... broad.

He had repeated dust-ups with the Legion.  And by dust-up, I mean "and now Mordru has All Teh Magickz in the Universe" or "history has been rewritten and now Mordru is the ruler of the Universe." Mordu is a not a "poison Gotham's reservoir" level villain.

In the 1987, a redesigned Mordru was repurposed as a foe for the Justice Society of America.

Because in the '80s "The Dark Lord" was deemed cooler than "The Merciless".
These things go in cycles.

It's involved, of course, because JSA arcs are involved and Legion arcs are involved and Mordru is a Legion villain.

All I will tell you is: it's completely Jean Loring's fault, which should surprise no one,
because nothing that lives OR HAS EVER LIVED is safe from Jean Loring.

So, on the one hand, the LAST person you would be expect to be a Legionnaire is effing Dark Lord Mordru the Merciless.  Even a mysterious metal-masked Legionnaire in the present.

The Legion has a history surprisingly rich in mysterious masked members, because the Legion is what happens when comics are actually written for kids (or BY them, in Shooter's case).

Especially given that the redacted bio for "The Legionnaire" clearly shows him with a different, non-Mordru-ish haircut.

On the other hand...

OF COURSE it's Mordru.  Even if Geoff Johns isn't writing this storyline, his DNA is all over much of what goes on at DC, especially anything that smacks of repairs to damage that Dan Didio has done to the timeline.

Theory: Dan Didio is the Glorith of our universe. 

And Geoff Johns always relies on making organic connections between characters in unexpected but reactively logical ways.  If you create a "The Legionnaire" character to connect the Legion to the JSA, you make it an already-existing character who already-connects them:

Okay. Fine. YES, Starboy/man would have been a much more obvious choice. But it's been done; it was TOO obvious.

And (setting aside Starboy), MORDRU is the best known character with strong ties to both the JSA and the LSH.  EVIL ties, yes, but strong ones.

And DCU is not averse to using strong evil ties.

Plus, the current arc for the JSA  (as is being made PAINFULLY REPEATEDLY LOUDLY CLEAR) is second chances for the redemption of villains.  And few characters are more irremediably evil than Mordru.  He's got no Arkham-crazy excuses; he's simply a terrible person.

With a terrible hair-care routine.

So redeeming HIM would be the ultimate impressive feat for the JSA.  What I find interesting here is that several Mordru stories in the past have implied that it is POWER that corrupts Mordru and that in the JSA story he mentions "these new powers".  Are we going to watch the battle for Mordru's soul happen right before us...?