Saturday, April 29, 2006

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes Issue #17 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

What didn't happen?

The Legion, including Supergirl and in semicooperation with the Science Police, has a fight with some robots and a big electrical guy in the 'undercity'. Apparently this is the kind of thing the SP has to deal with all the time. We hear more about Supergirl and how she figures all this is a dream; Cosmic Boy's theory is that she's got a couple of screws loose after all the recent changes in her life. (There are a couple of suggestions in the story that maybe it *is* all a dream, but I think they're just trying to fake us out.) The Legion's new HQ is under construction, Dream Girl's still dead, and Brainiac 5's still off somewhere seeing what he can do about that. And at the end, Supergirl accepts Legion membership, with the full flight ring inner-circle status and everything (despite Light Lass's misgivings).

We don't find anything out about what exactly Supergirl is doing in the 31st century.

Oh, and it seems someone mysterious is recruiting small-l legionnaires with superpowers.

And the Legion has planted a spy in the Science Police.

And there are Dominators plotting someplace. They sent the missile from last issue on purpose, to deliver some kind of "technorganic payload". One of the Dominators, in discussing how much he hates Earth, says, "Remember the fifty-two," which seems to be a reference to the 52 series about to start back in the 21st-century DC universe.

Questions That Need Chewing On:

1. Is it really just Supergirl's dream?

Answer: No. I insist that it is not.

2. Well, is that really Supergirl?

Answer: I'm not sure anymore. Some points: a) in #16, the thing the Legion was sent to intercept had the S-for-Super logo on it, and was humanoid-shaped and -sized. I don't know where the Dominators' thing showed up from. b) the Dominators didn't mention Supergirl; they said the Legion destroyed the missile. c) a fake Supergirl might be described as a technorganic payload. d) both the Supergirl guest appearance and the 52 reference suggest that this is a post-Infinite Crisis kind of stunt, and we shouldn't be surprised if they have to do with each other. Overall, I'd guess that it is the real Supergirl, but I'm not as sure as I was last issue.

3. Who's the spy in the SPs?

Chameleon's the obvious candidate. But we'll see. It's not Invisible Kid.

4. Who's the shadowy guy building a new super-team?

The obvious guess is Terror Firma, but I doubt it. I think it's someone new.

5. What about the Dominators?

Dude. I wouldn't even want to speculate at this point. It'll be quite a while before we have all the information we need. Like maybe a year.


What a great issue. The art is as good as it's been (although the new paper is a bit weird), important stuff is happening all over the place, and yet it doesn't seem rushed. Last issue I was worried that the Supergirl thing wasn't going to go anywhere... well, it's gone a few places already. Nice character stuff with Light Lass, Invisible Kid, and Star Boy.

Most of the screen time was taken up by Supergirl, which I suppose is natural. She's being written in much the same way that Dream Girl (and even Phantom Girl, now that I think about it) was: smart, cute, competent, very aware of what's going on, but coming across as a little spacey. I don't read Supergirl's regular series, or anything else she appears in, so I don't know if that's consistent. Anyway, I'm not complaining; I just don't want to see Waid fall into a characterization rut.

Nice touches: the final shot of Supergirl and the Legion flying over the city echoes back to Invisible Kid's first flight in the Titans/Legion Special. And for Supergirl's flight ring to be presented in a jewelry box from Brainiac 5... I wonder if that's foreshadowing something.

Rating: LLLLL

Membership Changes:

Supergirl joins, as noted above, and Brin Londo is confirmed in his membership and in his 'Timber Wolf' codename.

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