Legionnaires #21
Legionnaires #21 cover


January 1995


“Enter the WorkForce!”
(Cover Title: “Enter the Work Force”)


On a secret asteroid storehouse of forbidden weapons, Leland McCauley’s WorkForce attempts to stop a gang of thieves from stealing the weapons, but gets their collective hat handed to them.  At Legion headquarters, Brainiac 5 gives a briefing on the Legion’s next mission: repairing the gateway to a prison at the heart of a star, Planet Hell.  At the prison, the Legionnaires split up into teams, but then a mysterious ship enters the star and attacks, shutting down the power grid controlling the force field cells of the thousands of prisoners.


Tom Peyer (Writer) • Jeffrey Moy (Penciller) • W.C Carani (Inker) • Pat Brosseau (Letterer) • Tom McCraw (Colorist) • Mike McAvennie (Asst. Ed. [Assistant Editor]) • KC Carlson (Editor) • Jeff Moy / W.C. Carani / Tom McCraw (Cover) • Curtis King (Cover Editor)


Date of Change Content of Change
Name correction
Reprint status update
Tracking corrections
Name corrections
Tracking updates from Legionnaires #22
Notes updates to 14:3-5 and 15:3
Typo correction
Tracking updates from Legends of the Legion #1
Added Appearance Counts and associated Notes

Tinted cells and text indicate missing or incomplete information.

Character and Object Tracking



Previous Appearance

Next Appearance


Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Spark (Ayla Ranzz) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
XS (Jenni Ognats) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Triad (Luornu Durgo) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Chameleon (Reep Daggle)
(also appears as a Coluan security disc)
Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Apparition (Tinya Wazzo) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Leviathan (Gim Allon) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Live Wire (Garth Ranzz) Legends of the Legion #1 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Inferno (Sandy Anderson (footnote #1)) Legends of the Legion #1 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Evolvo (Sev Tcheru (footnote #2)) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Ultra Boy (Jo Nah) Legends of the Legion #1 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Karate Kid (Val Armorr) Legends of the Legion #1 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Spider-Girl (Sussa Pakka) Legends of the Legion #1 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Valor (Lar Gand) No appearance; mention only
Superman (Clark Kent) No appearance; mention only


Lightning Lord (Mekt Ranzz) No appearance; mention only
Bur Rac None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Highbrow Legends of the Legion #4 None to date
Klorn (techno-thief) None None; dies in this issue
Brainiac No appearance; mention only
Darkseid No appearance; mention only
One-shot or Untracked Villains:
unnamed techno-thieves/White Triangle operatives (4)
unnamed Coluan scientists (4)
unnamed inmates on Planet Hell (19; allegedly up to 10,000 behind the scenes)

Supporting Characters

Leland McCauley Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #64 < >
One-shot or Untracked Characters:
unnamed prison guards (mention only; deceased)


Asteroid 42464-ST None None to date
Planet Hell None Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65
Briefing room, Legion headquarters Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #62 < >
One-shot or Untracked Locations:
unnamed sun housing Planet Hell

Alien Races and Creatures

Talokian Legionnaires #19 < >
Wakeet No appearance; holographic image only
Coluan <flashback with Brainiac 4> < >
One-shot or Untracked Races:
orange blank-faced alien
reptilian alien
head-finned alien


Transuits (McCauley design) (footnote #3) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #63 < >
Floating holoscreen projector None Legionnaires #22
Frameless glasses Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #63 < >
Techno-thieves’/White Triangle ship None Legionnaires #22
Omnicom Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #63 Legionnaires #22
Mark-459 cruiser Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #63 Legionnaires #22
Gravcar Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #63 < >
Jetpacks None Legionnaires #22
Solar protection goggles None Legionnaires #22
Force-field prison cells None Legionnaires #22
One-shot or Untracked Items:
assorted high-tech weapons, including a sonic rifle
holographic display system
electromagnetic gateway tunnel
Coluan security discs
lapel communicator

1. Name unrevealed, but “Sandy Anderson” was given as her name in the first timeslip story (Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #92) and all the characters’ names were close to their real ones, so that will be used until a better name is supplied.

2. Real name assumed to be the same as in the preboot.

3. All transuits, regardless of manufacturer, are tracked as the same type of object.


Analysis Notes

1-10 The narration in this first scene is from Live Wire.
1:1 It is unclear if there is any significance to “42464-ST”.  42464 is the zip code for White Plains, Kentucky; “ST” could be indicative of Roger Stern, sometime mentor of writer Tom Peyer and later Legion writer himself.  Or perhaps, as Garth’s narration implies, it is nothing more than a forgettable name.
Despite the “WHOOM!” sound effect being next to the ship, the explosion seen in the lower half of the panel is probably from a hand-set charge.
1:2 The blue-skinned man is a Talokian, although from which planet is unknown.  Talok VIII is still a largely barbaric/feudal system at this time, although it has probably joined the United Planets (or will in the near future).  Representatives from Talok VII were off-planet perhaps fifteen years before this story, though.
1:2-3 The little badges the criminals are wearing, and which also appear on some of the crates, are tractor-receptors, items which allow for selective retrieval by a tractor beam.  And thus the crates get “tagged” for later retrieval.
1:3 In the preboot continuity, one such unthinkable weapon was the Concentrator.  One wonders if it might not be in this storehouse somewhere.
“Infomart”: aka the 30th century Internet.
2 Jeff Moy is already playing with the Legion Roll Call, not only indicating the appearance of the featured Legionnaires, but also their powers in some cases.
Despite the cover text, “WorkForce” (one word) is the correct spelling.
“WorkForce” is in part a play off the term “task force,” but it is also a tweak off of Marvel’s Avengers spin-off title, Force Works.
Roll call images do not count as panel appearances.
Professionals?  Well, they get paid, so technically…
The bands on their left arms are indicative of transuits, protecting them from vacuum exposure.  These are a different design than the one seen in earlier issues, notably missing the device on the back of the right hand.  These are probably (inferior) McCauley knockoffs.
3:1 Leland McCauley: the 30th century’s foremost micromanager.
4:1-4 Inferno apparently killed Klorn here, marking her as a murderer; this gave some fans fits when she was treated as a hero during the “Team 20” stories.  She has probably killed before, too, given her displayed ambivalence to the action.  The reaction of Spider-Girl indicates that such killing hasn’t been done in her presence before.
4:2-3 Inferno, as will be seen in her later mini-series, was more or less raised by McCauley — not that he did a good job of it.  If she could be expected to follow anyone’s orders, it would be his.
4:3 Just like inhaling.
4:5 In the last couple years of the preboot continuity, the adult Spider-Girl had the hots for the adult Ultra Boy.  This is a carryover from that.
5:3, 5:5 Interesting sonic weapon than can literally propel its targets through the air.
5:6 Why, Mr. McCauley?  Maybe because they are stupid orders?
6:2 Both the visual effect and the physical one are different in this panel — and there is no audible effect — so the sonic rifle apparently has multiple settings.
Garth’s brother is Mekt Ranzz, the eventual Lightning Lord.
7:1-2 The comments here indicate that Ultra Boy is one of the newer WorkForce members.
Spider Girl’s comments could simply refer to an attack during an ape-form rage, but possibly an attempted rape.
So we all gather around the unconscious guy and ignore our foes?  Is this a strategy?
7:2 One of those mysteries of “unstable molecule” costumes: where does Evolvo’s outfit go when he is in his ape form?
7:4 The absence of Klorn’s corpse indicates that Inferno’s flame damaged his tractor-receptor.
8:2 Despite the blur effect, Ultra Boy is not using super speed in this panel.
8:3 Recall that Ultra Boy can only use his powers one at a time.
9:3 Jo is rolling his eyes.
9:3-5 It’s possible that, having worked for McCauley for a while, they’ve come to realize that he is incapable of acknowledging acceptable failure, and thus this is as close as they will get to an inspirational speech.
9:5 Spider-Girl continues to see this as all fun; that she is still smiling this way even after Inferno burned someone to death may point to a psychological problem.
10:2 Note that Spark is sitting in the back, away from the others.  She may be feeling a little resentment from the other Legionnaires due to “bumping” one of the founders.  As well, though, Ayla is a farm girl, while the rest of the team includes Brande’s personal assistant, two former Science Police cadets, a sports star, the granddaughter of the Flash, an ambassador’s daughter, an alien who doesn’t even speak English, and a haughty scientist.  Invisible Kid is the only one whose known background isn’t automatically off-putting to Spark.
What scares Garth is the possibility that the lightning is what made Mekt go bonkers, and thus the threat that it will do the same to him and Ayla.  As seen in Legends of the DC Universe 80-Page Giant #2, Mekt’s problems don’t stem from the lightning, although it may have made them worse.
10:3 Observe the poses of the various Legionnaires, especially Leviathan: militaristic seriousness and stiffness combined with a need to prove himself after the failure of the Tangleweb mission.
10:4 Brainiac was, of course, Brainy’s ancestor — and an interstellar villain.  In the preboot, Brainiac 5 was the descendant of Brainiac 2, a Coluan boy associated with the android supervillain; a later revision had “Brainiac” being a title bestowed by the Coluan scientific community.  In the postboot, the reasoning behind the naming is not yet known; Brainy’s mother is termed “Brainiac 4,” and Brainiacs 2 and 3 maybe be Vril Dox II and Lyrl Dox, although they have not used such names.  The “upgrading” of Brainy to Brainiac 5.1 and of the original Brainiac to 2.0, 2.5, and all the way to Brainiac 13 further confuses things.
“Darkseid 2” arguably is taken, by Orion of the New Gods.  In Kingdom Come, an older Orion was seen ruling Apokolips, looking much like a less stony version of his father.
10:5 Jeff Moy’s art is significantly informed by Japanese manga stylings.  This mechanism of using a background pattern to specify an emotion is a manga-ism.
11:2 Cosmic Boy and Triad are in silhouette.
11:3 “Bad Guys”?  The display actually says “bad guys”?
11:5-12:3 Five years ago?!  Self-sustaining is one thing, but no rescue mission?  There must have been one heck of a political fight going on to pressure the Wakeets — and perhaps the Coluans — to give ground and deal with things, but five years?  Five weeks, maybe, or even five months.
12:1 Saturn Girl’s comment further feeds into the “years” angle being massively wrong.  On the other hand, later events with the Affiliated Planets and Universo’s takeover of Titan indicate a real problem with internal communication policy throughout the United Planets.
12:4 The blond character to the right of the tunnel generator is Brainiac 5.
13:1 Dialogue is from Brainiac 5.
13:2 Inside a sun.  This one is the wrong color to be Earth’s sun, but it could potentially by Aarok’s, and thus what Jenni would think of as the sun.  Still, there are probably abundant suns without planets (or at least without habitable ones) around which could have been used to hold Planet Hell.
14-22 All the scenes taking place on Planet Hell have washed out colors and very little in terms of shadows, an intentional decision to emphasize the pervasive ambient light from being in the center of a sun.
14:3-5 This vehicle is just a special purpose gravcar.
14:5 Leviathan is coming down the walkway after Saturn Girl.
15:3 Why would Invisible Kid be doubting the warden?  (Or maybe the “truth” he refers to isn’t about knowing the location of the power grid but whether Bur Rac is being truthful about being the warden.)
Actually, Bur Rac isn’t the warden; he overthrew (and probably killed) the previous one, as revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #65.
15:5 Those staying behind: okay, ten Legionnaires to fix a piece of equipment may be overkill (and note who is going with Brainiac 5: electromagnetic based characters and two who can work in/around/through obstructions), but what are they going to “learn”?  Perhaps they are after the state of the prison inhabitants, determining the insanity level and other problems which will need to be dealt with once the tunnel is operative again.
The initial personal transport method for the preboot Legionnaires was individual jetpacks (followed by bulky flight belts and finally flight rings).  This is a nice echo to that.  The basic design of these jetpacks will be reused in the Legion’s 1940s “timeslip” adventure in Legionnaires #< >.
16:3 Bur Rac was the only prison personnel for several years?  No wonder he’s insane!
Invisible Kid is sticking his tongue out at an inmate.  This may well indicate that it is someone Lyle has personally encountered in his pre-Legion days.  Further, the character design is close to that of Highbrow, who figured in the origin of Spark, and tangentially in that of Star Boy (Legends of the Legion #2 and 4).  Of course, that would be impossible if five “years” is the correct length of time, but would be fine if it were “weeks” or “months;” we will assume that “years” is wrong and this is Highbrow.
16:5 Hmm.  Did they try to escape willingly?  Was there any “damage” to the ship before it left?
Left to right: Invisible Kid, Saturn Girl, Bur Rac, Triad, Leviathan, XS.
17:1 Left to right: Cosmic Boy, Chameleon, Spark, Brainiac 5, Apparition.
17:4 Brainy’s schematic would presumably show access panels if such existed, but the Wakeets and the Coluans designed Planet Hell to be self-sustaining and to not break down, and thus enclosed it completely inside the planetoid.  The presence of access routes would have only provided temptation and perhaps risk in the event of a prison riot or breakout.
17:5 During the “Team 20” stories, a friendship of sorts was seen between Spark and Brainiac 5.  This would seem to be the beginnings of that.  Part of the reason for the friendship, then, would involve the two of them coming to the team at the same time, after the initial groups had been able work with each other and bond.
17:5-6 Spark presumably pulverized the rock to dust.  Otherwise, there might be risk to equipment below from falling debris.  (On the other hand, Brainy would have taken that into consideration and directed Spark to make an access in a location which would minimize that problem.)
18:1 It’s entirely possible that the warden wouldn’t even be given that capability.  Combine the potential for insanity and the galaxy’s worst criminals, some of whom (such as Titanor) are telepathic, and the disabling of security devices is simply a Bad Idea.
18:6 No, I don’t think electroshock therapy is the best way to get the message across.
19:1, 19:3-4 Chameleon probably appears as a Coluan security disc in these panels, but he cannot be identified conclusively, so these do not count as panel appearances for him.
19:5 Brainy looks uncomfortable, and perhaps for good reason: Spark can generate lethal discharges of electricity, and she’s inside the range of his force shield (if Brainy has even created it yet).  Add in the emotional reactions of teenage human girls, and Brainy is justifiably nervous.
19:6 Observe the beginnings of Chameleon’s “secret admirer” passion for Ayla.
20:2 It isn’t clear why there is a pink smudge on Saturn Girl’s glove.  The color from her uniform stripe can’t be running from the heat and sweat, can it?
20:3 Art error: her communicator was on the right wrist in the previous panel, but now it’s on the left.
20:4 Bur Rac may not be as insane as he seems to be.
20:5 This ship is the same one seen in 1:1 and on pages 7-8.
This ship must have come through the electromagnetic gateway tunnel, just like the Legion’s ship did, or it would have been destroyed like the prison guards’ ship allegedly was.
21:1 Dialogue is from Saturn Girl.
21:1-2 This must be the work of one of the weapons stolen earlier this issue.
22 Coloring error: the starburst on Triad’s belt was left white.
Tongue Count Triad (14:5), Invisible Kid (16:3)
General This issue was reprinted in the Legion of Super-Heroes: The Beginning of Tomorrow trade paperback collection.


Appearance Counts

Character Name


Panels / Speaking

Saturn Girl (Imra Ranzz) 17 / 10
Spark (Ayla Ranzz) 21 / 14
XS (Jenni Ognats) 15 / 5
Triad (Luornu Durgo)
17 / 4
Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn)
26 / 18
Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg)
14 / 4
Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox)
30 / 24
Chameleon (Reep Daggle)
     (also appears as a Coluan security disc)
10 / 5
2 / 0
Apparition (Tinya Wazzo)
10 / 6
Leviathan (Gim Allon)
12 / 3
Live Wire (Garth Ranzz) X 11 / 35
Inferno (Sandy Anderson) X 6 / 1
Evolvo (Sev Tcheru) X 11 / 6
Ultra Boy (Jo Nah) X 19 / 6
Karate Kid (Val Armorr) X 8 / 1

Spider-Girl (Sussa Pakka)
X 16 / 7
Warden Bur Rac
18 / 17
1 / 0
Klorn (techno-thief)
8 / 0
Supporting Characters
Leland McCauley X 16 / 12