Or – “The First Real Moments Of The New Legion Era…”

LSH10.jpg

I admit it… Like many nostalgia buffs, I’m terrible about change. I got a new car recently, and have been complaining about it steadily ever since, even though the previous vehicle hasn’t run in over a year. They added a channel to my movie tier six months ago, and I’m still getting used to the addition. So, when a writer I love AND an artist whose work has defined the Threeboot Legion to date have left the title, I can’t be sure how much of my response is coming through as criticism of the current work and how much is just “I miss Waid and Kitson.” Adding to my discomfort, one of the most prominent CHARACTERS has gone missing as well, and the story is headed in an entirely new direction…

Previously, on Supergirl & The Legion of Super-heroes: The Dominators attack on Earth LSH1.jpgwas successfully repulsed by the combined efforts of the Legion, The Wanderers, and Sun Boy’s Terror Firma commando team. Though Mon-El is once again lost to the Phantom Zone, (along with the entire Dominator home-world) the Legion has settled in to try and rebuild Earth and the United Planets. In the spirit of a fresh new start, Legion elections have been held, and just as the winner was to be announced, Cosmic Boy has been offered membership in the Knights Tempus, traveling to the future to join a hero group much as Tom Welling and Supergirl did to join the Legion. Unfortunately for him, the timing is horrible, and the LSHers are confused about the REASONS for his absence. This issue begins with the populace finally poking their heads out to see what has happened after the massive battle. They’re greeted by none other than Brainiac 5, who confidently tells them that it’s safe to come out. When they ask him about the details, Brainiac is oddly talkative and pleasant, explaining patiently…

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

Did it seem a little odd that he was spilling the beans on the super-secret plan that quickly? I immediately wondered why he was acting so oddly (and also lifting huge chunks of rubble with his bare hands) and at first I wanted to chalk it up to a problem with the new writer. (Issues with change, I know… I’m working on it.) Turns out that yesterday’s Hero History was a little bit prophetic, and the very FACT of it’s precognition is part of the fun. After all, even death itself can’t stop a dedicated Legionnaire like Dream Girl.

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

I love those ‘thought bubble’ thigh boots. As for Querl’s dilemma, Brainiac’s fear of losing his grip on reality is a very real and potentially dangerous one, as anyone familiar with his history (coming soon!) can attest to. Nura lets him know that something huge is going on, and that she’s here with some advice for him. As she starts to explain, Star Boy rushes into the multi-lab, waking Brainiac from his slumber to tell him about Cosmic Boy going missing. “Bloody nass, Star Boy. I was in a meeting!” Heh… I like that line, even if the faux cursewords are starting to get a little TOO much use. Brainiac 5 knows already, indicating that Nura at least gave him SOME information, but he can’t implement any response plans until he knows who won the election. Theena (the girl with the picture tube symbiote-creature hanging on her shoulders) seems to be finding a nice way to tell him he DIDN’T, but his demeanor indicates that he knows that already. As for the new Legion leader, she is currently racing around the globe, freeing people from the broken remains of their machine age…

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

It’s Tenzil for the defense! Actually, it looks remarkably like Tenzil for the prosectution, but still, any Tenzil is good Tenzil if you ask me. The artist formerly known as Matter-Eater Lad explains to her that Brainic didn’t have a chance, and that Cosmic Boy’s actions to end to Dominator war sent his approval rating through the floor, leaving the field open for the massive Supergirl write-in vote. She quickly takes to the role, collecting all active Legionnaires, as well as the Wanderers and Terror Firma in the convention center. The first act of the Supergirl era is to offer full Legion membership to Sun Boy and Mekt’s respective crews. “I’d rather offer EVERYONE Legion membership than have us compete with each other, especially since we have to find Cos!” Maybe it’s just me, but this issue’s dialogue doesn’t have the ‘zing’ that I’ve come to expect from this title. Tenzil steps forward to explain why he’s actually present…

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

Point of order? Saturn Girl’s balloon there is a SPEECH balloon, rather than her usual telepathic bubble. It has been established that she is mute, from a telepathic society where speech is as useless as a second appendix. It’s a minor point, but one that irks me anyway, (especially since two word balloons are switched on the previous page making Mekt and Garth speak one another’s dialogue.) And also, that orange-clad hero with the shiny faceplate behind Sun Boy on the right seems vaguely familiar. As for the question of what’s up with Cos, Supergirl is unsure of how to act next. Mekt immediately seizes upon her hesitancy, and makes a blatant powerplay. “Maybe we should re-think these election results… appoint temporary leadership better suited to this time of Crisis?” Sun Boy calls him on his arrogance, and the chamber erupts in argument. Brainiac 5 quickly catches his new leader’s attention to lay out his new plan, but Supergirl isn’t certain she needs friends like him…

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

A quick burst of super-speed puts her in his path (and given their Pre-Crisis relationship, I’m watching this dyad rather closely) and Supergirl gets the information A fight threatens to break out between Mekt and Sun Boiy, but Kara suddenly reminds everyone that she’s more than just Britney Spears in a cape by raising her Kryptonian voice a bit. “This is the ONE intact structure within a hundred miles that would agree to HOST us… Anyone leaves so much as a scuffmark and they answer to me!” While the kids of the Legion puzzle out what a scuffmark is, she puts together three teams to investigate the possible whereabouts of Cosmic Boy. Team one consists of Timber Wolf, Shadow Lass and Atom Girl (aka Shrinking Violet.) “Apparently,” says Vi, “this job requires the meanest mothersprokkers on the roster.” And the future cursing gets on my last nerve officially with this permutation. The terrible trio heads for Lallor, only to find their reception less than warm, facing a small battle tank and a cadre of blasters. “You do NOT want to point those at us,” warns T-Wolf, but they don’t listen, and the three Legionnaires wade into the unsuspecting dummies with abandon. Watching from above, a mysterious voice asks if the Legionnaires are “friends of yours.” “Unlax. They’re Legion. Definitely NOT my friends…”

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

Holy hell in a bucket, is that Chuck Taine? I can’t say for certain, but that haircut, the round face and the blue costume (combined with the reference to a “stuffed suit”) makes me think we’re seeing our first Threeboot Bouncing Boy appearance! It’s also worth nothing that Lallor has a heroic tradition of it’s own, with Violet’s pre-Crisis main squeeze Duplicate Boy hailing from there, as well as his old friends Beast Boy, (not the Titan) Gas Girl, Evolvo Lad and Life Lass. As for team two, they’re on their way to the Gobi rainforest, consisting of founding members Lightning Lad & Saturn Girl, as well as Supergirl herself. “We have several thousand hectares to cover,” advises Kara Zor-El, “so let’s keep moving.”

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

The founders try to warn Supergirl of Brainy’s insidious influence, but this team, too, is being watched, by a floating creature with a huge cranium who looks remarkably similar to the phenotype of the previously mentioned Evolvo Lad himself. The third team, consisting of Terror Firma leader Sun Boy, Wanderer leader Mekt Ranzz, and Star Boy (Cosmic Boy’s right-hand man) is even more conflicted than the first two teams, arriving on the planet Winath, home of Lightning Lad, Light Lass, and big brother Mekt. Not only that, their target is the very farm where the Ranzz siblings grew up, making Mekt think that Cosmic Boy is planning a frame-up.

IMAGE REMOVED BY DC LEGAL DEPARTMENT

Because, you see, a mystery gives him an appetite. And you DON’T… Ahh, skip it. Now, this begs a particular question. Obviously, the three locations seem to be linked (since the name-check of Lallor and the separate presence of a Lallorian hero invoke Occam’s razor in it’s purest form) so one must ask whether Tenzil is actually an impartial prosecutor, or whether he’s involved with whatever is going on here.

There is a lot to like with Bedard’s Legion thus far, but I’m not feeling the pacing. Maybe it’s just that we, the reader, KNOW where Cosmic Boy is, and I can’t see any connection between the three locations and his exit, or maybe it’s just that I’m acclimating myself to a new writing style, but the whole issue feels somehow unfinished. The use of bits of Legion lore is nice, but the future curse-words come across as writer Tony Bedard trying a bit TOO hard to immerse us in the world of the LSH. Still, it’s competently done, with a favorite character returning, (possibly two, if I’m reading the situation right) and the plot makes sense. The suppositions about where Cos has gone are interesting, but it’s essentially the teaser shot, the first two minutes of program before the commercial break. Penciller Kevin Sharpe has guested on S/LSH before, and the new regular penciller presumably won’t be on board until next month, so I’m going to reserve overall judgement on the new Legion for a while, but this issue was a series of peaks and valleys. What worked for me worked very well, and what didn’t work was very jarring, resulting in a middle-of-the-road 2.5 stars out of 5. Hopefully Bedard’s run will hit stride quickly and not leave me missing the Waid/Kitson team quite so much…

25stars.jpg

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

Previous post

If I Were in Ohio, I'd go to This

Next post

New Releases for July 5, 2007

5 Comments

  1. Brent F.
    July 3, 2007 at 7:24 am — Reply

    I don’t understand why the reboots insist on making Matter-Eater Lad and Bouncing Boy older than the rest of the Legion. The art kind of bothered me, there are moments where Starboy’s costume looks like it lost the signal and all it’s receiving is static.

  2. July 3, 2007 at 8:27 am — Reply

    I don’t understand why the reboots insist on making Matter-Eater Lad and Bouncing Boy older than the rest of the Legion. The art kind of bothered me, there are moments where Starboy’s costume looks like it lost the signal and all it’s receiving is static.

    I’m actually not sure that Tenzil is that much older than the Legionnaires, perhaps the difference between being seventeen and being twenty. Either way, like I said, as long as they’re taking him seriously and realizing that the character DOES have a purpose in LSH stories, I’m not quibbling too strongly.

    As for the art, it’s a fill-in issue, and he’s doing an okay job of evoking the departed Barry Kitson and maintaining the flow of the book. When the regular artist arrives, we’ll see how the flow and tone of the book changes…

  3. Baal
    July 4, 2007 at 1:37 am — Reply

    Apropos of nothing: This is my favorite web site. (and I am including porn when I say that)

  4. Jerry S.
    July 4, 2007 at 8:20 am — Reply

    i hate the art… is there anybody who would agree with me, to the suggestive opnion that, that’s probably the ugliest drawn Dream Girl in the Legion’s whole history of artists?

  5. July 4, 2007 at 9:51 am — Reply

    i hate the art… is there anybody who would agree with me, to the suggestive opnion that, that’s probably the ugliest drawn Dream Girl in the Legion’s whole history of artists?

    Mmm… she’s got strange eyes, but most of the characters do. I think it’s more a case of an artist working in the style of ANOTHER artist.

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section