Sunday, August 27, 2006

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #21 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

Micro Lad, interrogating the giant prisoners from last issue, is suckerpunched by a bunch of superpowered teenagers (including Seiss (I guess it’s Seiss), now known as Quake Lad) disguised as SPs. Other members of this small group are a guy with ice powers and a guy named Nemesis Kid (!). They're in communication with Tarik the Mute, who was the leader of the Legion of Super-Villains in the original Legion stories. Anyway, Gim puts up a good fight, but loses, and the giants get busted out, and they really pound on him.

Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl and Projectra try to draw Supergirl out a bit and convince her that this isn't all a dream. Doesn’t work.

Dream Girl's resurrection goes awry as her body disappears when Brainiac 5 throws the lever. Then Brainy freaks out and attacks Element Lad, who had been (unsuccessfully) trying to talk Brainy down out of the water tower for the past issue and a half. It's not clear what's going on, and it becomes even less clear afterwards, when a vision of Dream Girl appears in the dreams of a sleeping Brainy.

We also get the interesting piece of information that Brainy has made himself somehow immune to the powers of the rest of the Legion.

Oh, and there's going to be an election for Legion leader in which all the legionnaires will get to vote.

Review:

No Kitson again this issue, which is never good.

I liked the action scenes with Micro Lad against the... well, let's call them the LSV. Everyone in the fight acted intelligently and the bad guys were appropriately brutal. And I don't think you'll see vomit used any better in a fight scene than it was here.

I'm starting to think we've seen the last of the robots for a while, which is nice. But hold on: the LSV were disguised as Science Police, just like the poor yutz who got his dome retracted in #19. Coincidence? In any other comic I'd say yes, but in Mark Waid's Legion, coincidences are rare and seldom glimpsed. There could be a connection here between the robots and the LSV. You heard it here first.

Also welcome was the scene with all the female Legionnaires. The characters in this comic are all so different that any interaction between them is worth watching just so we can see all the differences explored. Even if it doesn't do anything for the plot.

Now, the idea of Brainy being immune to everyone's powers. If what he means is that he's set his force shield to go off under a list of conditions sufficiently long as to include attack by any of the Legionnaires... maybe. I buy it as something he'd do, especially after having his lab broken into. If it means, though, that he's found a way to simply negate all those different superpowers as they apply to him, ridiculous. How's he going to have a giant guy stepping on him simply not work?

I'm stumped on the Dream Girl thing. I don't know what's going on there. Maybe Element Lad made her body disappear by sublimating it into air for a while, just to try to stop Brainy. But the ghost of Nura that appeared before Brainy? Got me, man. It could be a figment of his imagination, of course. I'm pretty sure it's not the real Dream Girl, because her words and actions aren't consistent with the Dream Girl backup story from issue #13.

This issue was like a lot of Legion issues under Waid and Kitson. It's not that not enough happened; it's that not enough was resolved. I don't think our time is being wasted, but it is being spent on relatively few things. What was the last new plot to start? Brainy’s been trying to bring Dreamy back for about ten issues now. Seiss was recruited into the LSV back in #17; Supergirl showed up in #16. Brainy’s been a black sheep since, what, #3? #8? And Cosmic Boy said he was going to step down in #16. There we go, then: the newest current plot in this series is five issues old, and the oldest ones go back to the beginning. We need more turnover.

Rating: LLLl

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6 Comments:

Blogger Jim said...

I think this was a great issue of the Legion, but this book still hasn't become what the Levitz/Giffen run was with the Legion, so I understand your remark about not enough happened. Still it is a good version of the Legion and I hope it has a long life.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I hope so too. Another reboot would frustrate me immensely. I think there's a lot of good in this series, and a lot of potential for it to be even better than it is now. But its biggest (but not only!) problem is fans who won't let go of their favourite previous version of the Legion, and reject this one.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

I've never really been interested in the Legion before, but based on what you've written I might have to give it a try.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Cool. I hope you do, and I hope you like it. It's funny, there's something about the Legion that I've never understood: it gets its hooks into you and you're a fan for life. More so than other comic books and superhero characters, I mean. I wonder if you'll be able to notice anything like that, coming to it fresh.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when Mark Waid leaves this title what's going to happen?

I guess they can just quit talking about some of the things in this reboot and people will forget certain elements were ever there. Stuff like the Kids vs. Grownups movement, the alienation from social interaction kinds of things. How did these adults ever build a civilization? They don't seem competent enough to do that.

The 30th century is just a plot device and support mechanism. The real story is the Legion and it's members.

Making these sorts of social commentaries in this book is a mistake.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I wonder about that too. I guess it's up to whoever takes over.

I see the generational stuff as more of an element of the setting than any kind of social commentary, but I'm not sure Waid and Kitson agree with me. In any case, I don't think it's a mistake to do it. I think you have to tell your best story, and trust that the people who come after you tell theirs.

4:17 PM  

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