Death of a Dream
Eric S Brown
Death of a Dream is the second, collected trade, of Mark Waid’s epic run on DC’s Legion of the Superheroes as its writer. It collects issues seven through thirteen, weighing in at two hundred pages of Legion goodness. And it really is a fantastic storyline, following up the reboot of the team that Wade did in the first trade, Teenage Revolution. As the entire United Planets is coming under attack by a force, the Legion itself it splintering into two factions, one led by Cosmic Boy and the other by Brainaic 5. Sunboy wants to quit the Legion altogether while even their teenage followers living outside their headquarters are beginning to have doubts about the Legion. The tensions between Cosmic Boy and Brainiac 5 come to head and the team breaks out into a literal slugfest with each other before it’s resolved. Neither faction truly wins, instead the team is brought back together stronger than ever before, and turns its attention to the threat that looms over the United Planets.
As most Legion fans can likely guess from the title of this volume, Death of a Dream, not only refers to the danger the team faces and overcomes, as what the Legion is and stands for is nearly shattered, but also the death of Nura Nal, aka Dream Girl. A major character of the Legion since her first appearance Adventure Comics # 310 back in 1964. Though DC has since returned her to life in later Legion reboots, this death is a very powerful and emotional one. Her death is deeply tragic and leaves Brainiac 5 a mere shadow of the person he was. As Dream Girl’s power is to see the future, directly after her death, Waid backs up the story and shows how she foresaw her on death coming in a sad and almost painful to read series of flashbacks looking at key moments from this Legion series as Dream Girl herself experienced them.
Death of a Dream, like Teenage Revolution, remains one of the best collections of the Legion of Superheroes ever published and is certainly a must read for any fan of the team.