Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #97

Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #97 cover


October 1997


“Dwarfing the Infinite”
(Cover title: “Legion of Super-Heroes vs. Mantis!”)


During a break in the battle against the forces of Darkseid, after Saturn Girl and Spark have returned from their unsuccessful mission inside the Source, the Legionnaires regroup on a small forested planetoid.  While most of the team fights Mantis and a squad of Para-Demons, Spark learns that her electricity powers are completely gone, replaced by weight control ones.  Elsewhere, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, and Metron make a deal, trading Saturn Girl’s knowledge of the Source for a Mother Box, which will help the Legionnaires get home.  And on Earth, Phase tries to recover her touchstone, but it ends up recovering her, instead.


Tom Peyer (Co-Plotter / Scripter) • Tom McCraw (Co-Plotter / Colorist) • Lee Moder (Penciller) • Ron Boyd (Inker) • Pat Brosseau (Letterer) • Frank Berrios (“Para-Demon” [Associate Editor]) • KC Carlson (“Highfather” [Editor]) • Alan Davis / Mark Farmer / Patricia Mulvihill (Cover)


Date of Change Content of Change
Tracking update from Lobo #50
Tracking updates from Supergirl Annual #2
Tracking updates from Genesis #3
Tracking updates from Genesis #4
Typo correction
Name corrections
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #99
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
Name correction
Added Appearance Counts and associated Notes
Tracking method revisions

Tinted cells and text indicate missing or incomplete information.

Character and Object Tracking



Previous Appearance

Next Appearance

Heroes (footnote #1)

Apparition (Tinya Wazzo-Nah) Genesis #4 Superboy v3 #45
Ultra Boy (Jo Nah) Genesis #4 Superboy v3 #45
Ferro (Andrew Nolan) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Lobo #50
Triad (Luornu Durgo) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Triad-Purple:
     Superboy v3 #45
Triad-Orange and Triad-Neutral:
     Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
Gates (Ti’julk Mr’asz) Supergirl Annual v3 #2 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen) Appears during Genesis #4
Also appears in flashbacks to Genesis #3 and Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96
Spark (Ayla Ranzz) Appears during Genesis #4
Also appears in flashback to Genesis #3
Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn) Genesis #3 Genesis #4
Also appears in flashback to Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96
Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox) Appears during Genesis #4
Flash III (Wally West) Appears in flashback to Genesis #3
Donna Troy Appears in flashback to Genesis #3
Martian Manhunter (J’Onn J’Onzz) Appears in flashback to Genesis #3
Metron Previous Legion appearance:
     Genesis #3
Next Legion appearance:
      Genesis #4
Officer Taptree Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
Phase (Tinya Wazzo #2) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
One-shot or Unnamed Heroes:
     Steel (John Henry Irons)
     Captain Marvel (Mary Batson)
     Warrior (Guy Gardner)
     Queen Hippolyta
     Prysm (Audrey Spears)
     Atom II (Ray Palmer)


Para-Demons Appear during Genesis #4
Darkseid No appearance; mention only
Mantis None in Legion books None in Legion books

Supporting Characters

Sgt. Shvaughn Erin Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
Koko Genesis #2 Genesis #4
Tiffany Cross Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
President R.J. Brande No appearance; mention only


The Source (interior) Appears in flashback to Genesis #3
New Genesis No appearance; mention only
Tiffany Cross’ apartment (interior), Metropolis <Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #87> Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
One-shot or Untracked Locations:
     unspecified location near the Source Wall
     unspecified asteroid near the Source Wall

Alien Races and Creatures

New Gods No appearance; mention only
Coluan No appearance; mention only
Imskian Globeetle No appearance; mention only


Banyo-seeds No appearance; mention only
Mother Box Previous Legion appearance:
      Genesis #3
Next Legion appearance:
      Genesis #4
Metron’s Möbius Chair Previous Legion appearance:
      Genesis #3
Next Legion appearance:
      Genesis #4
Bgztlian Touchstone Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #< > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
One-shot or Untracked Items:
     carved stone head
     Mantis’ power-pod
     Mystery Science Theatre 3000 t-shirt

1. This issue indicates that several of the Legionnaires and Shvaughn Erin were active during the Genesis event, although they were never seen in those issues.

Analysis Notes

General This issue is part of the Genesis event, in which Ares attempted to corrupt the Source and caused a universe-wide crisis of faith.  As a side-effect, several characters lost their powers, and a few found theirs changed.  Genesis #1 indicated that Spark and Ultra Boy were affected, but it turned out to only be Spark, who gained gravity-affecting powers, a lá the preboot Light Lass.  (Genesis itself was pretty roundly panned.)
Most of the characters who went into the Source found their powers or their faiths changed or tested in some way.  No direct hint of this occurred with Saturn Girl.  On the other hand, her powers had recently undergone a major philosophy shift, and she had only started to come to terms with that in the previous issue.  It is possible that the trip into the Source helped to stabilize things for her.
Except for the scene in 5:1, this issue occurs during Genesis #4, pages 12-16.
One of the core parts of this issue is Metron probing Saturn Girl’s memories of her trip inside the Source so that he can learn about it.  On the surface, this makes little sense, since Metron himself was part of the group that entered the Source, marking this is a major editorial gaffe.  But the burp can be explained by that fact that Metron, as an immortal, experienced the Source in a way different from how a mortal would, so his probing of Saturn Girl is a means of more fully rounding out his experience with the Source.
1:1 Note that Jo and Tinya’s lips are phasing through each other.  Tinya is trapped in a phantom state due to the death of her body at the hands of a White Triangle Daxamite in Legionnaires Annual #2.
2/3 It is unclear where this battle is taking place.  The white background would indicate that it is inside the Source, but that is impossible.  The floating stone head appears to be an artifact from the Source Wall, however.  Presumably this is near the Source Wall, perhaps some crumbling part of it, and the white backgrounds are due to a nebula or gas cloud or some similar stellar phenomenon.
Triad is using tri-jitsu.
Role call images do not count as panel appearances.
4:2 Apparition gained the ability to affect machinery by phasing through it in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #< >.
The para-demons are shocked at having been teleported.
5:1 The heroes in silhouette are Donna Troy (between Captain Marvel and Martian Manhunter), Warrior (to the right of Martian Manhunter), Queen Hippolyta (above Spark), and Arzaz (between Prysm and Atom).
This scene occurs just prior to Genesis #3, page 18.
Coloring error: Spark’s Mother Box is colored blue.  In fact, several of the characters do not seem to be wearing Mother Boxes on their arms at all.
5:2 The airborne Legionnaires are (left to right) Apparition, Ultra Boy, Triad, Spark, Ferro, Brainiac 5, and Gates.
6:1 Banyo-seeds would be the seeds of the banyo fruit.  Postboot, one was seen in < >; preboot, an accident involving the peel of a banyo fruit caused the death of heroine Leeta-87.
Spark’s Mother Box is missing.  Maybe it was destroyed when she crashed into the Source Wall in Genesis #3, page 18:2?
6:3 Does Mother Box not like Brainy, or did Saturn Girl prompt it to shock him?
6:4 Ferro has been wrapped up fighting para-demons for the past several hours.  This is the first time that being in outer space has had a chance to sink in.
8:2 It isn’t clear whether Brainy’s agape expression is due to Metron’s pronouncement at the end of his dialogue, or if Metron’s identity has completely stunned him.
8:4 “The one in red” is Ultra Boy.
9:3 The silhouetted Legionnaires are (left-to-right) Spark, Gates, and Triad.
10:1 Gravity control is only puny if it is poorly used.  That’s a standard for many Legion characters: working together to use their powers in great ways.
10:2 Spark’s powers actually changed in Genesis #1.  No mention of that being made here is symptomatic of the poor editorial work that surrounded the Genesis event.
10:5-7 This counts as three panels.
10:6 This is a flashback to Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96.
11:1 Cosmic Boy wears his flight ring on his left hand, despite the overloading of that finger with the location of where a wedding ring would sit. Invisible Kid does likewise.
11:5 Brainiac 5 met his ancestors Brainiac and Vril Dox in Showcase ’98 #11-12.
12:1 That is a neon sign advertising Tiffany Cross’ palm reading/psychic business.
12 Presumably Bgztlian’s have a natural ability to sense the location of their own touchstones.
13:1 Mantis may indeed be too powerful for the Legionnaires.  On the other hand, neither of their leader types (Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl) were in this group, which would reduce their effectiveness.  And of course, this is occurring during the universe-wide crisis of faith brought on by Genesis, which can’t help matters any.
14:3 Ayla is using her new gravity powers.
15:3 Brainiac 5: the world’s mightiest suck-up.
15:4-5 In his awe of Metron, Brainy temporarily forgot about the need to acquire a Mother Box.
18:2 The characters in silhouette are (left-to-right): Cosmic Boy, Spark, one of the Triads, Ferro, Apparition, and the other two Triads.
19 Ultra Boy appears to have used the pod’s energies to power himself up.  Perhaps this is another power of his: ultra power absorption?  Alternately, given that his powers come from consuming the internal radiations of a space whale, Mantis’ power-pod may work on a similar basis, and if Jo were to stay in the pod long enough, the special powers gained from it might become permanent like his standard ones.
20:2 “I’ve got more power in my little finger than you’ve got in your entire body.”
20:3 “Light Lass” was the preboot Ayla’s name when she had gravity powers; the SW6 clone of her went by the name “Gossamer.”  The “Hero Formerly Known as Spark” is a dig at recording artist Prince’s name change.
Saturn Girl’s Mother Box is missing.  Metron may have taken it with him in 15:4.
21:2 This Mother Box is larger than the one Saturn Girl has strapped to her arm, but it is not tracked separately.

Appearance Counts

Character Name


Panels / Speaking

Apparition (Tinya Wazzo-Nah) 18 / 7
Ultra Boy (Jo Nah) X 27 / 17
Ferro (Andrew Nolan) 16 / 3
Triad (Luornu Durgo) 16 / 3
Gates (Ti’julk Mr’asz) 26 / 14
Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen) 24 / 11
Spark (Ayla Ranzz) X 20 / 10
Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn) 29 / 22
Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox) 24 / 15
Flash III (Wally West) 1 / 0
Donna Troy 1 / 0
Martian Manhunter (J’Onn J’Onzz) 1 / 0
Metron 18 / 14
Officer Taptree 3 / 5
Phase (Tinya Wazzo #2)
4 / 0
Para-Demons (footnote A) 18 / 7


X 19 / 16
Supporting Characters
Sgt. Shvaughn Erin 11 / 6
Koko 19 / 1
Tiffany Cross
6 / 6

A. Tracked as a single entity.