In my previous installment of this series I mentioned a few minicomics I actually managed to find and a few I didn’t. Mentioned in the article was Legions Of Power, what appears to be Tonka’s attempt to replicate Robotix but with vehicles. Just look at the commercial.

 

The backstory for this toyline is set on the planets of Konn and Prolon, two planets at war as the Tech Dynasty, led by a guy named Wartech so you know what his parents had planned for him, wants to add Prolon to their empire. Prolon’s Star Legions goes up against Konn’s forces. Then one day a bunch of high-tech components rain down on both planets because a space probe explodes between the two planets. I have to wonder how big this thing was and how it was designed because there’s enough of the right junk to allow both sides to use them to create battle vehicles to…well, go into battle in vehicles. Why stop now? It’s what they’ve been doing all this time anyway.

Finding information on this was difficult and finding the minicomics was even harder. While the line has a small fanbase it’s gone into obscurity, and that’s where I found our one minicomic, on the “Journal Of Obscurity“. I was hoping to start with the first issue but from my research it appears to be the fourth and final issue, but that’s all I can find right now. So since that’s what’s next in the rotation that’s what I’m going to go with. I’m lucky to find this because looking for “Legions Of Power minicomic” gets me the Super Powers collection minicomics, DC’s Legion Of Super Heroes, and for some reason Masters Of The Universe.

What happens when you merge Wacky Races with Death Race 2000.

Our tale begins as Jeffron, leader of the Star Legions, and his team find a valley called Wrex Ridge (not the best name to draw tourists) they’re sure the Techs could use for a secret base. Not that they definitely are using it but that they could. Jeffron is either paranoid or forward thinking. Luckily one of their guys has installed new computers into their vehicles that should make them more efficient. His name is P.C. so make your PC/Mac jokes here. Another member, Rob-bart, thinks that if Wartech and pals are there they could be driving into an ambush. Wartech, Jeffron, P.C. (which could be a nickname granted, and Rob-bart. It seems both planets suffer from really bad names.

As it turns out, they’re right that the Tech Dynasty has already snuck on. Wartech and his companion Reighnor did get there, assuming they’d never have a notion based on nothing that the enemy might have popped over from next door. I should note the rest of the names for the characters in this line.

You won’t find these in your baby name books.

Note that two of the villains are named Nimrod and Jondice. Tonka isn’t very good at coming up with scary villain names. Explains names like Cy-Kill, doesn’t it? The vehicles are also called Computer Power Units, or “CPU”s. Computer geeks just groaned I think. At first I thought they were talking about upgrading the computer power units of their vehicles until I read further.

Jeffron and Wartech both go out to scout in their vehicles away from their respective parties. It’s here that (while not the first time chronologically) we first get to see the Robotix connection I made earlier in action. Like the robots, the Legions Of Powers vehicles could reconfigure for different tasks and terrains. It’s not a bad idea but reconfigurable motorized robots version configurable motorized vehicles. Which would you choose? Jeffron is attacked by a “Ridge Lizard” (it’s a dinosaur) who apparently doesn’t realize metal is hard to digest. He escapes by putting his vehicle into “speed mode” and firing a few shots off, his teammates back at camp just figuring that he’s testing the defensive systems. Or being attacked by Wartech, but they don’t even bother to call to see if he’s alright. Instead they tell the newbie how the war started, before the probe went boom so enjoy a few pages of this 16 page comic without the title vehicles in the last of four comics. So I guess reading this first actually does have some advantages.

So how do these things transform? The toys have to swap parts around but his looks more like magic. Even the Robotix showed actual conversion in their lone comic.

In the days before the war the Star Legions were actually Prolon’s version of NASA, only they actually went past the moon with manned flights. Jeffron led the first mission to Konn, but thanks to electromagnetic storms (which makes me wonder how any of the probe bits that fell to Konn even functioned) they couldn’t get any readings on the planet. When the ship landed the crew were taken captive and brought to Wartech. Apparently the Tech Dynasty had no problem observing Prolon and decided now was a good time to conquer it because that’s what evil warlords do. Jeffron goads him into removing his chains and fighting for their ship. Jeffron proves to be the more clever fighter and wins while Marker used the fight as cover to knock out a guard, free his own cuffs, and take their gun. They leave and the war has been going on ever since. Presumably the Tech Dynasty managed to come up with their own form of spaceship and then the probe exploded. As origins go this isn’t that bad. I haven’t read the first issue, but only the story of the probe exploding and showing the early creation of the Computer Power Units would make a better first issue.

In the present Wartech follows the sounds of the weapons fired Jeffron used to chase off the Ridge Lizard and starts attacking him. Unfortunately for him Jeffron’s vehicle was configured for speed and the canyon they were in was configured to fall apart when someone sneezed. Wartech is forced to abandon his vehicle in hopes of reclaiming it later but the Star Legions find it first. P.C. asks how the test went otherwise and Jeffron said it was perfect, including their secret weapon…Wartech’s own stupidity.

The art is not too bad for a pack-in mini-comic not produced by DC, who made a number of minicomics in the 1980s for their own toyline, Atari, MASK, and of course series 2 of Masters Of The Universe. There isn’t a lot of time to flesh out the characters and the villain is one of the usual hotheaded “I want more power” tyrant villains but those are fun sometimes. I don’t think it really showcases the gimmick of the toyline very well but the story itself is pretty decent for a 16 page mini-comic and they fit in more panels than you’d think. Then again I don’t know how big the pack-in comics actually were for this toyline. I didn’t even know they had them until I started this article series and went looking for promo minicomics to review for this series. I am curious to see the other three, and maybe by the time I get back to it in rotation I’ll be in luck.

DC wasn’t the only one making minicomics but Marvel usually only did promotional tie-in comics on store shelves plus a few promotional things like the Drakes snack cakes I’ve already reviewed. They also threw an Iron Man comic into the VHS tape box based on the 90s Iron Man cartoon. Our next installment will look over that one.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

5 responses »

  1. Sean says:

    I vaguely remember the commercial for Legions of Power now that I’ve watched that video again of it after over 30 years ago. The toy vehicles actually look quite nice. Fairly good story too in the mini-comic. Too bad Legions of Power wasn’t as popular as other 80s creative properties.

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  2. Sean says:

    On the Journal of Obscurity blog that you linked here, the Shadow Strikers toys also sound interesting. There was even one direct to video animated episode. That would be a cool video to show on here if you could somehow track down that obscure one shot cartoon episode, Tronix! The Chamelon Man action figure was quite intriguing. In fact, there’s lots of toys from the 70s, 80s, and 90s that could have had some exciting cartoons and comic books if given the chance. Perhaps, that’s up to the modern comic book artists and writers of the 21st century to take on those creative possibilities. Anybody at IDW or Dynamite want to create a Shadow Strikers comic book series?

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  3. Sean says:

    Your Legions of Power article made me think, Tronix. I know that you no longer do the Friday night Fights as a regular feature. Well, how about a Friday night retro toy article as a new Friday night tradition? Yes, I know that you’ve written articles about your Transformers and Transformers-like toys on your clutter blog. But this could be a weekly article on bwspotlight where you either write articles about retro toys that you have or ones that you don’t have but conduct research about. It could be a weekly article that looks at toys from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

    What do you think of this idea, Tronix? Friday Night Retro Toys?

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    • Doesn’t match the theme of the site. There are plenty of site out there doing that with more experience than I have.

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      • Sean says:

        True. For instance, Retroblasting is my favorite retro toy video series on Youtube. Maybe not a weekly feature, but you could create an article two to three times a month that focuses on a retro toy. You definitely have a good amount of action figures, Tronix. So you do have a pool of potential classic toy review articles that you could write twice a month on bwspotlight.

        But it’s your site, and you get to decide the direction of it. Just sharing an idea that came to my mind when I was reading that toy blog’s write up on Chameleon Man from Shadow Strikers.

        Will Sing Me A Song become the new weekly Friday night feature?

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