Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #34 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

In this issue, we skip over to the adventures of Timber Wolf, Shadow Lass and Atom Girl on Lallor. They arrive in the middle of a civil war between the pro-United-Planets government and the anti-United-Planets rebels, and some of the soldiers aren't happy to see them. There's a bit of fighting, and eventually Shady uses her status as Shadow Champion of Talok to get in to see the president of Lallor. They ask for permission to look for Cosmic Boy, and while they're there Brainy secretly instructs Atom Girl on just how to handle defending the Lallorian president about the assassination attempt that's coming. The assassin is the threeboot version of Wildfire, who has a history with, and a minor grudge against, the Legion, but doesn't really seem like all that bad of a guy despite that his brother is hiring him out as a killer. Anyway, Wildfire attacks, and in the ensuing fight, some kind of new feral power seems to awaken in Timber Wolf (thanks, presumably, to Brainy's tactics).

Review:

The cover is a surprise substitution that features a depiction of Timber Wolf so unsettlingly feral that I can't support it at all. Calero's art is so choppy in places that, after seeing the first page, I actually flipped back to the cover to make sure he was the listed artist for the comic.

The story is another Part 1 of 2. I had been kind of expecting it to be a standalone, so that's a little disappointing, but oh well. Bedard weaves the dialogue in this issue in with the Brainiac 5 scenes of previous issues, so we know how the time synchs up. That's appreciated.

Remember when I said I wasn't too nuts about the idea of Tenzil Kem as a U.P. lawyer? Well, I'm still not, but I wasn't put off by it or anything; I just thought it wasn't that fruitful a choice.

What does put me off is all this villainy among the good guys. We've got Wildfire as an assassin, the White Witch, Polar Boy, Inferno and Chlorophyll Kid in a new Legion of Super-Villains, and the Legion offering membership to Lightning Lord, Jeyra Entinn and the destroyers of Orando. Let's not forget that these are supposed to be superheroes.

Which brings me to Bedard's characterization of Atom Girl. As written by Mark Waid, she had an undue amount of attitude, but was portrayed fairly realistically with it. Bedard is making her quite bloodthirsty and I can't say I like it at all.

I'm sure a lot of people will be quite excited about the 'return' of Wildfire, especially one that's so close to the original version (probably closer than the one in the Lightning Saga Legion, in a lot of ways). I can't really get enthusiastic about it, though, because (like with the reboot Wildfire) I can't see what he brings to the party other than, "Hey, everybody! It's Wildfire!".

I don’t want to sound too negative about this issue. Calero’s art is still a plus overall, and the story is knitted well into the rest of the series. The plot seems to be moving along sensibly. It’s just that there’s something kind of muddy and distasteful about the goings-on this time, and I don’t mind owning that I’m not frightfully keen on it. It’s only one issue, and the next couple could be just as good as the couple before this one, which would be nice, but right now I’m not feeling so bad about Shooter and Manapul taking over.

I wonder how this Lallor mission ties into whatever weird conspiracy Brainy and/or Dream Girl have going on. Are they really here to find Cosmic Boy, or to rescue the president of Lallor, or to recruit Wildfire, or what? Need more data.

Membership Notes:

Wildfire shows up but there's no hint yet that he's going to become a Legionnaire. According to his backstory, he was almost a Legionnaire at one point, way back when, but it didn't work out. This was before any of the three Legionnaires in this issue, or Brainiac 5, was in the Legion. So we're approaching a kind of membership-history of the threeboot, here... we also know that Karate Kid joined well after Atom Girl, for one thing.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Ken Warren said...

I think the bad cover did color my view on the art a bit, but after I did a little mental reset, I was fine. But what the hell is with that awful cover? Does that happen a lot in comics?

Also, the coloring was really murky. But overall, still a great book. If the next month picks up, this is a minor isstep.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

But what the hell is with that awful cover? Does that happen a lot in comics?

I don't think it happens a lot in hell.

8:48 PM  
Blogger SteveM said...

Was that Scott Kolins' art on the cover? I thought he got tons better after he left the LSH the first time. It mostly reminds me of Christopher Taylor, who did LSH v4 #51 (the Kent/Celeste/Ivy vs. Grimbor on Quarantine story). Strange style to try to emulate...

7:45 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think it was Kolins. When was he on the Legion before? I don't recall.

10:28 PM  
Blogger SteveM said...

Scott Kolins penciled the Legion of Super-Heroes title between Jason Armstrong and Oliver Coipel days - v4 #110-115, 117-121 (source: LegionWiki).

1:28 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Thanks.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Luke said...

I thought this issue was pretty neat. I got the same vibe that you did about Wildfire, that he is not that bad of a guy but he is young and angry at the LOSH, so he is willing to do something to hurt and humiliate them. I think part of this goes to my still being a new reader of the LOSH and not knowing the history, so I am taking everything at face value; ie, Atom Girl being a smartass. I look forward to the next installment when Timber Wolf and Wildfire hopefully will beat the tar out of each other.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I don't know if Wildfire has tar anymore. Does anti-energy have tar? I think it doesn't.

10:54 PM  

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