Monday, February 09, 2009

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #3 Review

Countdown: Two Legion comics left.

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Mon-El talks Sodam Yat into stopping feeling sorry for himself and helping out the Legion. The retroboot Legion's fight against the giant group of bad guys is going badly until the other two Legions show up and help. Superman tries to reason with Superboy-Prime but gets nowhere. Brainiac 5 diverts some of the Legionnaires away from the fight to summon Bart Allen out of his lightning rod. Casualties: Karate Kid II and threeboot Sun Boy.

Meanwhile, Polar Boy, Dawnstar and Wildfire, in the 20th century, steal a hair from Lex Luthor, back when he had any.

Review:

One thing that this issue brought home to me was the timespan covered by this series. It looks like the five issues, all together, probably fit into not much more than a day or two. (And when you consider that Mon and Shady flew all the way to Oa and back in that time...) I guess that's good. Makes for some immediacy, keeps things moving.

George Perez continues to be George Perez. One panel that struck me particularly was the one in the bottom left of page 19; three Legionnaire silhouettes in the Smallville evening sky.

We do actually get some motion on the redemption plot this issue, which I appreciate. Glad they haven't forgotten it. I wonder what has to be done to get Prime to shut up and listen for five minutes. Could Phantom Girl do it? He can't hurt her, after all, or at least I don't see how he could.

One complaint about this story. Earth-Man should be, right now, the most powerful being ever to exist. He's been in proximity to Superman, Superboy-Prime, Mon-El, Sodam Yat, Ol-Vir, M'Onel, Andromeda, Mordru, and several dozen other members of four different Legions of superpowered beings. He should be able to end reality with a thought. But does he? No. He's nowhere near as tough as he was in Action Comics.

That's because, for the most part, this is a Chumbawumba fight: everybody gets knocked down, but they get up again; nobody's going to keep them down. (Sun Boy and Myg are the exceptions.) Don't you think that if you were one of the characters in this fight, you'd take steps to make sure your opponents didn't reenter the fray? Somehow? I don't mean that the Legion should be cutting throats or anything, but they should have some provision for keeping these clowns in custody.

There's been a lot of speculation about what Polar Boy wants Luthor's hair for. All I'll say at the moment is that I have not been shifted away from my idiosyncratic wild theories.

I don't like the way 'Sub' has become an insult.

It's become interesting to see which Legionnaires Geoff Johns writes consistently with their previous portrayals and which ones he doesn't. So far, I'd say that he's way off on retroboot Lightning Lad and Blok, and I don't like it. He's slightly off with retroboot Brainy, but I don't mind it, and he's got a very different take on Polar Boy, which I do like. His Wildfire is a bit too moony over Dawnstar, and his Dawnstar is far more dedicated to the Legion than she ever was before, but that's okay. I don't like his threeboot Brainy, but he seems to have Gates down pretty well.

There's been some speculation that Superboy-Prime is going to be the villain in the new Adventure Comics. I'm against that. You know one thing that would prevent this miniseries from being one of the all-time classic stories? If it didn't have an ending. Which is to say, if there was no change to the status quo for these characters, especially Prime, after #5. Be it never so skillfully told, I don't want to read five issues of churn.

Anyway, it's coming along. Still looking forward to #4 and #5.

--

More thoughts about the general state of the Legion, in the wake of #50 and Dan DiDio's comments at NYCC.

Basically here's what I figure is going on. DC is good at accomplishing their top priorities, and at doing so with, at worst, some level of artistic plausibility. DC is not good at giving their full attention to their lower priorities. In this model, the weekly comics and Final Crisis have recently been among the top priorities, FC:L3W has been a priority but not quite at the top, and LSHv5 had become a very low priority. As such, FC:L3W has been pushed around on the schedule and LSHv5 has ended up taking it in the shorts.

I'm sure DiDio and everyone else at DC weren't happy about what happened with LSHv5 #50. Look, if we thought it wasn't good, they must have thought the same thing. And their colleagues, both at DC and at competing comics companies, must also have thought that. You think DC wants to look bad in front of all those people? But, at this stage, they didn't have much choice. The only way for them to play it was, “Here it is. Let us never speak of it again.”

It's not a good situation. I think it's a shame that the threeboot was reduced to this. But, having said that, what I really want to know is what we get coming out of this. If it's just a one-buttocked time-share in Adventure, and that's all, then it's not worth it. If there's something bigger than that for later on, something well-conceived, then maybe. Still won't change the fact that DC really dropped the ball on the threeboot, but the Legion is bigger than any one version.

One problem that the threeboot has is that it lacks that one tour-de-force centrepiece story that everyone loves and knows is an all-time classic. The original Legion has Great Darkness, the reboot Legion has Legion Lost, and the threeboot has... what? The Lemnos arc? Good story, but not that good. And there'll never be a better candidate, now. Might have been, might have been.

Labels: ,

46 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to figure out why they didn't just turn round and say what Threeboots universe was. At that stage, I'd be unsuprised at anything... Like if they turned out to be the last remains of Prime's Earth.

I was expecting Karate Kid to di, but not that Karate Kid. There were jokes about it during countdown. If theres a character a writers goingto write out, K.Kid is no.1 on their list.

The arguments over Winath and how to say it, was that a dig at the people who argue over how all the names are suppose to be said?

5:43 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I do think they're setting up the threeboot universe to be Earth-Prime. Don't blame them for wanting to save the reveal.

And I don't think the Winath thing is a dig; I think it's a joke more than anything.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Marina said...

I could have a whole volume just about 3 Brainiacs interacting! Same here with the Phantom Girls, the Ultra Boys and TWO remaining Karate Kids. That sure made me a very happy customer. Hope you enjoyed the issue, too.

About Earth-Man: He may be powerful beyond imagination, but that doesn't exclude the fact that he's freakin' retarded.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

A lot like Duplicate Boy, really.

8:40 AM  
Blogger SPM said...

"... this is a Chumbawumba fight: everybody gets knocked down, but they get up again; nobody's going to keep them down. (Sun Boy and Myg are the exceptions.)"

That was pretty funny.

I'm convinced the threeboot Legion is from a variation of Prime's Earth.

The Luthor hair has got to be for B5 to create a new Conner Kent clone.

Waiting for someone to simply ask why Prime is even in the future. Time Trapper appearance in later issues?

9:50 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, *we* know it's because of the Time Trapper, and I assume Brainiac 5 has figured it out.

You may be right about the Luthor hair, and if you are, you're in good company. I have another theory involving the White Witch, which you can hear more of on the podcast linked in the next blogpost, or which you can figure out by checking out reviews of previous issues.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Andres said...

"I'm convinced the threeboot Legion is from a variation of Prime's Earth."
Its funny you said that SPM. I was just re-reading JLA #0 and in one of the 'future' scenes Batman, Superman and WW are discussing how there are 2 Earths. They mention the multiverse, so its not one of the other 50ish multiverse earths but something totally different.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prime mentions reading Comics of Superman, lookie back at Threeboot; their comic book collection of hero that inspired them. Since this is based on a lot of attention detailing on writer planner part, that would be a nice mention.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, Barry Kitson did mention on the Legion World boards that his and Waid's notion was that it was just regular DC Earth, but that the comic books were possible because of some time-travel scheme where you could never go back to the same past twice, or something. But he also said that it never came to anything and he wouldn't be at all surprised to find that DC had decided to just make it Earth-Prime.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if Prime is the *hero* of the new Adventure Comics?

3:40 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I don't know.

I'd like to see how such a status quo could be established, I know that. Could be interesting. I imagine some readers might choke on the concept.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Christopher Bird said...

Although it could be just editorial miscommunication (and knowing DC these days that's more than possible) - it's worth noting that in this week's R.E.B.E.L.S. #1, Vril Dox II is rescued (sort of) by the threeboot Brainy, who refers to him as an "ancestor."

So maybe the threeboot Legion remains the "primary" Legion? Who knows.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Marina said...

@ Christopher Bird: I chose not to build a lot of expectations about wich Legion it's going to be the primary one. Let's see how the "Big Plans DC has for the Legion"[/skeptical quotes]turn out. For me, it looked like a good choice of Brainiac 5 for that particular story. He's as big an arrogant sneaky jerk as Vril Dox (and oh, how I love them both!). Besides, if that's the Supergirl who's been in the Threeboot run, it makes sense that's the right Brainy to use. But that's one person's opinion.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I haven't been to the comic shop yet to get R.E.B.E.L.S.. But I think all that stuff is covered by the FC:L3W #3 revelation (which most of us figured out for ourselves long ago) that you can switch Earths by accident when you time-travel.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous eddie blake said...

i cannot believe how badly edited this book was. months late and still-

if karate kid was saved/ rescued/ brought back to life, as mentioned in book one, is pictured as one of the missing members, and is active in the twenty first century, why the fuck wouldnt ultra boy know about it? why would the two dimensional counterparts know a damned thing about karate kids status?

geez


and if johns is saying that everything up until, oh, say #15 or #16 in the baxter edition happened to this legion, then where did they get the miracle machine that brainy gives superman at the end of final crisis #6?

did he follow tenzil around with a baggie waiting for him to poop?


seriously..i dont know what's worse- the storytelling or the lack thereof

6:38 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Don't confuse continuity with storytelling. I can come up with sensible answers to all the points you raise (including the ones that, strictly speaking, don't have anything to do with L3W), but that's not the important part. The important part is how good the comic book is on its own merits. It's okay if you don't like it, but I haven't heard a reason why yet.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous eddie blake said...

ok, so why wouldnt ultra boy know about karate kid?

12:25 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

As depicted in Action Comics, Lightning Lad was there when Superman was shown the bodies of Karate Kid and Una. Nothing is more natural than that he told the rest of the Legion, including Ultra Boy, about it upon his return to the 31st century.

And the other two Karate Kids know about it because someone told them about it a couple of minutes before, on their way to the battle.

(As for the Miracle Machine... ask Grant Morrison where it came from. If it's a flaw, which I don't think it necessarily is, it's not a flaw in FC:L3W.)

6:50 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

They should have brought in Keith Giffen to guest draw the page with Myg's death. Just because.

What can stop Prime? Laurie. (At the very least, two Jeckies and a Jeka can create an illusion good enough to stall him for a while.)

Why did reboot Brainy, in the first team up flashback, have the marking she only got after the 5.1 upgrade, while the others were from pre-Tangleweb days? Error, or does the "and different times" line salvage that?

Loved the "Chumbawumba fight" reference. That's a good one!

The Miracle Machine in Final Crisis could easily have been (re)acquired by the Legion in the lost years between the Levitz era and the Johns era. It doesn't look like the old one, s it may not be the old one. MM2, if you prefer.

Cool. My Captcha word is "vallar". Close enough!

5:59 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I'm sick of the whole thing with Keith Giffen and Karate Kid and I think it's time we all moved on from it.

The Laurie idea is reasonable, but it depends if you're trying to stop him for a couple of minutes or for good. I don't think you can stop him for good by deceiving him.

I actually do have one idea for how they can stop him, but I think I'll save it for my review of FC:L3W #4, which will probably be a few months from now.

I wouldn't call the Brainy thing an error; I would say that it's Perez's way of making all these characters as distinct as possible from each other.

And your Miracle Machine explanation is at least as good as any. I was thinking, "Well, maybe they time-travelled back to before Tenzil ate it..." but yours is better.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous eddie blake said...

stopping prime?


well, in the universo project, saturn girl pretty much LOOKS at mon-el and ultra boy and shuts down their gullivers...


pretty sure she could do the same thing to prime...

and (going back to adventure comics days) if color kid can turn a green cloud of kryptonite blue, im also pretty sure he could turn a yellow sun red...

infectious lass could give him a kryptonian virus...

star boy could increase the gravity till it was at kryptonian levels...

calamity kid could give him really, really bad luck?

but i like the idea before....

jeckie...

not snake jekie...but sensor girl

she could leave him in a sensory abyss

like she did persuader

and thats how you shut him up too

9:26 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Regarding the "wrong" Brainy -- Perez has said he's interested in showing all the costume variants correctly and such, not so much in differentiating the characters visually. That would seem to mean that either this is an art error or that Reboot Brainy (and thus maybe some from each team shown) is not from the same time as others on his team. I haven't examined the other 30-odd characters there to see if I can find other such discrepencies, maybe they are there.

I agree that an illusion of Laurie would not be enough to stop him for more than a few minutes, although all three Jeckie/Jekas working together should be able to keep Prime in check for at least a while. I'm strongly expecting, though, that the one way to redeem Prime is to restore to him what his greatest loss was -- his girlfriend and his family. That loss has been a big piece of Johns' characterization of him; it's the difference between the control of Superman and the non-control of Prime. And if an illusion won't do it, then a revelation that Earth-Prime wasn't actually destroyed like he thought would be. There are still a few of the 52 Earths out there unseen, and Starman's costume is a map to the multiverse, so if Laurie, et al, are still around, the exit path from the Prime scenario can be had. (Despite its use in JSA, Starman's suit map was probably made to be used in this series.)

Eddie's right, the Legion should have ways of grinding Prime to a halt, but it's a trope of superhero comics that those often don't get used except when it's convenient for them.

Of course, the redemption of Sun Boy is another piece of this series, and he can make red sun energy even easier than Color Kid, so that's a likely item for early in #5. (And it's a better solution for not taking out Superman, Mon-El, M'Onel, Andromeda, Ol-Vir, etc. at the same time.)

That's certainly one of the strengths of the Legion, having lots of interesting ways to approach any problem!

2:36 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Eddie: Yes, there are lots of ways of doing it, but, again: Chumbawamba.

Jim: I'd rather call it an art error than introduce an unnecessary complication.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Jim Davis said...

Why is everyone speaking of Sun Boy's redemption? Did he do anything wrong?

2:52 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Go read the recent Legion appearance in Action for info on Sun Boy. "Redemption" may not be the right word; maybe "turn around"?

6:55 PM  
Anonymous eddie blake said...

well the last time we saw THIS

dirk before the resurrection was

the Five Years Later arc

and he did NOT distinguish himself

in the annals of heroes


and it seems to have carried over

9:31 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I agree that "redemption" isn't the right word, but it was all I could think of at the time.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Dirk's current state doesn't connect with (stem from) his Five Year Gap version, since that's from an out-of-continuity (this year) timeline.

It has everything to do with how he was used and abused by the "Justice League" and the hole he has dug for himself as a result. He blames himself for what the JL did and by proxy, for the state of the Legion. (And of course there may be more, since we don't yet know why the Legion was scattered through space and time.)

You could certainly argue that both scenarios stem from the roots laid down by Levitz in the 80s, of course. "Party boy crashes hard, has to pull himself back out of it or die in the process."

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering the extreme of any project reference this many characters at once from different parts of the storyline, there is bound to be a hint of incorrectness. Art incorrectness is no biggy.

On the methods to stop prime, the Legion has a horde of Super Villians right now to deal with. Up top of that, the issues passing gives up an idea everything is happening fast. Every Legion has to look in 6 different directions before reacting to anything. Plus, if you go to take down one villian one way, chances are the villian you don't want is going to get in the way and spoil it.

Coming up with a plan to stop Prime is one thing... Getting it enforced is another. Which is why Brainy has to come up with this kind of ubba plan to stop him. We've got two MEGA villians in the mix at least and at least 3 villians are spurred on by Prime image they have of him so far. On top of that, Prime is currently fuelled by rage and anger, which is not only the worst state of mind to be in, but any extreme amount of emotion can overwrite the senses. If Prime was taken out by something before, his rage would spur him to inore it even if it hurt him seriously. Its the liken to a calm patient person loosing their anger and breaking their arms by putting it through a wall and not actually feeling the pain until several hours later.

Someone mentioned Infectus Lass, in Action Comics she was thrown into the Timestream. So I.L. was out before they begun. Plus, this is the "Legion" involved not the "subs" who will just be fodder.

3:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Matthew,
Just checked out your site after listening to you on the Substitute podcast. Great fun. I'm going to have fun exploring the site.

How do you think that Geoff Johns has got Blok's characterization wrong? I'd agree that his version of Garth bares no resemblance to pre-boot Garth, unfortunately, but I haven't twigged to anything about Blok that's bugging me. He's barely had any screen time. What are you seeing that's rubbing you the wrong way?

Murray

8:12 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Mostly I'm reacting to how he was shown in Action Comics. As I recall, Blok had exactly one word of dialogue in that story: Ultra Boy said to Earth-Man something like, "How are you going to get by without friends to back you up, like we have?" And Blok chimes in, "Yeah!"

1. Blok doesn't use the word, "yeah". He would use the word, "yes".
2. Blok doesn't speak in exclamation points.
3. Blok has a hard time keeping his sentences under ten words.
4. Blok doesn't me-too. He raises doubts or misgivings or he mentions how humans confuse him. He says things thoughtfully.

His appearances in FC:L3W haven't been quite as off as that, but not quite on either, and it's going to take a lot to make up for that one word.

Obviously Johns is the one driving this bus, and he has to write the characters the way he conceives of them; no problem there. But I reserve the right to prefer one interpretation to another.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, and thanks for the kind words; I hope you find something you like here.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Matthew,

Yeah (I mean, Yes.). What you say about Blok makes sense. He's not a "me too" guy, or a particularly enthusiastic character.

I also am not happy with Garth's portrayal, but I am happy to see a gentle, warm Shady back after years and years of savage warrior princess Shady.

You're also right when you say that since Johns is the one driving the bus, he's the one that gets to choose the characterizations that he uses. Still, if he is going to make such a big deal of this being "the real Legion", I wish that he would make more of an effort to recapture what made the real Legion so special.

If this were going to be *my* real Legion, instead of Johns'... I'd want to see Ayla and Vi back together... Polar Boy would be closer to the leader who tries too hard instead of the Legion cheerleader...

There are other things that irk me with Johns' Legion... little things that look to be gone, now that we've turned back the clock (kinda), but they aren't springing into my head right now.

Murray

8:16 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

if he is going to make such a big deal of this being "the real Legion", I wish that he would make more of an effort to recapture what made the real Legion so special.

I wouldn't put it quite like that; for one thing, they're all the real Legion. And he is using a couple of elements (the Legion's role in Clark learning how to be Superman, the champions-of-diversity angle) that, while never part of original-Legion storytelling, do make the Legion special.

But it's true that there are many ways in which the retroboot Legion doesn't feel like the original, so much so that I'm surprised that so many diehard reboot-and-threeboot-hating original-Legion fans like it so much.

8:40 AM  
Blogger murrfox said...

>I wouldn't put it quite like that; >for one thing, they're all the >real Legion.

Oh I agree with that. I've liked all the versions of the Legion... but Geoff's version is certainly being pushed as the real Legion... the original... when really, it's just another reboot.

Also agree that some of the elements that he is adding are pretty cool. I'm not convinced that he's going to have a handle on the characters, but I like the ideas that he's bringing into the book.


>But it's true that there are many >ways in which the retroboot Legion >doesn't feel like the original, so >much so that I'm surprised that so >many diehard reboot-and-threeboot-
>hating original-Legion fans like >it so much.

Yeah, that surprises me, too.

Murray

5:34 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I've liked all the versions of the Legion... but Geoff's version is certainly being pushed as the real Legion... the original... when really, it's just another reboot.

You can call it that. It's more of a reboot than the post-CoIE Legion, less of a reboot than the Glorithverse Legion, far less of a reboot than the post-Zero-Hour Legion or the threeboot. Depends on your standards.

8:25 PM  
Blogger murrfox said...

You can call it that. It's more of a reboot than the post-CoIE Legion, less of a reboot than the Glorithverse Legion, far less of a reboot than the post-Zero-Hour Legion or the threeboot. Depends on your standards.

How do you make italics?
In any case, my standards for reboots is how much of the history or storyline is intact? Obviously threeboot and archie Legion are reboots... the shake-up with Glorith in the five year gap - not really, because for me, most of the history is intact. Stories that I grew up reading are still there... a little different, but still there.

Johns' Legion wipes out much of what I really liked in the Legion. All of the growth during the Baxter Legion... all of the five year later history. That's all gone and replaced with whatever Johns feels like adding. To me, that's a reboot, but I totally get why people are ready to embrace it.

Murray

8:52 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I know. 5YL was my favourite era too. It's a waste for DC not to draw on it in some way.

You make italics by surrounding whatever you want italicized with the letter "i" in pointy brackets. The first "i" should be just "i" in the brackets; the second "i" should be "/i". The "/" turns it off.

If you look up anything on basic HTML, you'll get a better explanation than the one I just gave you.

9:05 PM  
Blogger murrfox said...

I know. 5YL was my favourite era too. It's a waste for DC not to draw on it in some way.

I really enjoyed the 5 year gap stories when they came out - some more than others. But that run up to issue 50 had so many great moments. And great artists. What followed issue 50 was less interesting, imo, but I was still *so* bummed when it was all wiped out by Zero Hour.

You make italics by surrounding whatever you want italicized with the letter "i" in pointy brackets.
You mean, like this? I"m crossing my fingers and hoping that it works. Cool. You learn something new every day.

Murray

8:30 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That's also how you do boldface, only with a "b" instead of an "i". And from there, it's just a short step to learning how to do links. And if you can get all the way up to learning how to do cascading style sheets, you'll be ahead of me.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Regarding how Blok is being portrayed, do remember that some period of time has passed for the characters -- probably a few years (I'd say 3-5) -- so some shift in characterization for any of the Legionnaires should be expected. Perhaps more in the case of Blok, since he experienced great growth and curiosity about human interactions in the time we saw him. So a certain shift of his language could, even *should* be expected.

How much, that would be open for debate. But damning things based on a single line of dialogue? Please.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, two things. First, I didn't really "damn" anything. I've been trying to treat this retroboot as openmindedly as I can, despite how much certain aspects of it annoy me.

Second, if Johns and DC are going to try to sell this version of the Legion as the originals, they should expect people to take note of how much they don't resemble the originals. I'm taking note of it, and commenting on how I like some of the changes and don't like others. That's fair, isn't it? And one line of dialogue can be very telling.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Second, if Johns and DC are going to try to sell this version of the Legion as the originals, they should expect people to take note of how much they don't resemble the originals. I'm taking note of it, and commenting on how I like some of the changes and don't like others. That's fair, isn't it? And one line of dialogue can be very telling.

Not just one line of dialogue, but one word.

I see that there are only a few choices here:
1. Immerse yourself in the story, but lightly enough that you don't really notice things like this.
2. Notice things like this and think "Hmm, that's not what I would expect." And then consider continuity, time lapsed, and so on to come up with a plausible explanation. And then go back to reading the story.
3. Fret about it and declare to all who will hear how wrong this is (whether it's one word of dialogue or a costume error or a villain last believed dead), and never really be able to get back immersed in the story without this issue nagging at you.

Take your pick. (I just hope none of the Brainy's use a contraction in this series! What a travesty that would be!)

3:08 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Not just one line of dialogue, but one word.

I know! I must be really perceptive.

Look, the characterization of any one Legionnaire is just a detail. It's not going to make or break the... the whatever it is that's going to be made or broken. I know that. And I'm not sweating it.

If we get a good comic book out the other end of this extended Legion metamorphosis, then I will have no complaints. If we don't, then I will have complaints. In the meantime, I'm looking at the details

a) for indications about whether the eventual Legion relaunch is going to be any good or not
b) because they're all I have to look at, and
c) because they can be worthy of study themselves. (And that I would say that should come as no surprise to anyone who's been reading this blog for a while.)

I just went back and looked at my half of the Blok-related discussion, and I don't think I'm fretting all that much.

Here's a question. Johns's portrayal of Polar Boy is about as divergent from his original portrayal as Blok's is. Possibly more so. And I can't explain how he might have gotten that way any more than I can explain how Blok might have. But I like what Johns is doing with Polar Boy.

Do you object to me saying so?

3:41 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Here's a question. Johns's portrayal of Polar Boy is about as divergent from his original portrayal as Blok's is. Possibly more so. And I can't explain how he might have gotten that way any more than I can explain how Blok might have. But I like what Johns is doing with Polar Boy.

Do you object to me saying so?


No and yes.

No: I'm glad that you are saying so. Any conversation is better than none.

No: We had a whole lot more Polar Boy in the Action issues than we did Blok. I'm sure Johns would be happy that you like what he's doing with Polar Boy.

Yes: It leaves me wondering which other characterizations you are also boggled by. Or maybe more, which ones you aren't. Given how much the Lightning Lad and Brainiac 5 ones annoy me (yet I accepot them), if Blok's is the one that you've chosen to reference thus far, I wonder if there weren't rafts of things that you didn't like.

Yes: It bothers me that you can't (won't?) posit a path from Polar Boy 1987 to Polar Boy 2008 that makes you comfortable as something viable. I know that purging the 5YG Brek from mind can be hard. What stops you from saying "This is plausible"? Is it that you don't trust what you conceive of to not be later violated by what Johns might reveal?

4:18 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, I really don't like sullen-greaseball Lightning Lad, and I prefer Brainy with more wisdom, the way Levitz wrote him. But both of them are being written vaguely closely to how subsequent versions of the Legion portrayed them, so it's not like I'm not used to it. Wildfire didn't used to be this annoying about Dawnstar. That's about it, really. Trust me: if there's anything I don't like, I won't keep it a secret. The thing about Blok is that, not only did that one word jar on me, I was proud of myself for being able to recognize why on such slight evidence. That, and we really haven't seen much of Blok in years and years, and I miss the big lug.

As for Polar Boy, it's not 5YL Brek I don't see here; it's Levitz Brek. He used to be the Frank Grimes of the Legion; now he's... I don't even know what he is. He's gained a kind of swashbuckling toughness without losing his dedication or principles. He grins now. And, as I say, I like it, but I don't really think people change in just that way.

And as far as I'm concerned, Johns can change whatever he wants. I just want it to be good and interesting (and recognizable as the Legion, in at least one arbitrarily chosen sense)... and the jury's still out on that. And will be for at least another year, far as I can tell.

4:54 PM  

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