Thursday, November 10, 2011

Legion Lost #3 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The Legionnaires pursue a hypersapien who's been hypertaxed into some kind of Okaaran beastie. Timber Wolf catches up with it in a mall and fights it; turns out it's Yera trying to harvest Durlan DNA from her victims to reconstitute herself. And it seems Timber Wolf has caught the virus himself and it's given him disturbing new powers.

Review:

Lots of stuff in this issue I don't like. I don't like Brin shooting his claws across the room; ew. And I don't like Yera killing people, whether she's in her right mind or not. But then I'm not supposed to like it, and it doesn't make this a bad comic. It's just what the Legion has to deal with.

Nicieza's getting a lot of compliments for this thing he's doing where he rotates the POV to a different character with each issue. It's a perfectly reasonable way of doing things, but I don't see what's so revolutionary about it. To me it doesn't really work in this issue as well as it could, because it feels like we're getting so much of Tellus's point of view.

But, still, what can we learn about Nicieza's view of Timber Wolf from this issue? He's angry a lot of the time. He's a loner and he has a strong pack instinct; wonder how that works. He's the guy in the group who challenges Tyroc's leadership (interesting; you'd think that'd be Wildfire's natural role, but Wildfire didn't do much of that in his spotlight issue). He's animalistic enough to lick blood off a corpse without getting skeeved out. He's not dumb.

Part of Nicieza's intent seems to be to box these Legionnaires in, to put them in a situation where their options are severely constrained: can't go home, can't call for help, Presumably he's got something in mind of the form, "...and when the Legionnaires are in such a situation, here's what they'll do!" And in the meantime we are getting characterization and setup and action and stuff. So in this case I'd have to say that my nagging feeling of not-enough-comic-book probably comes from the fact that it's only 20 pages.

Getting back to Yera for a second. Okay, so she's still alive, and trying to get over what the hypertaxis virus did to her. Very good. And for all I know she's not even really herself now; she's this weird Okaaran monster. But the Okaaran monster has killed people; to what extent has Yera killed people? Legion code against killing, guys; this is serious. Of course, there's a lot about how this works that we don't know. Do you keep your mind when you hypertaxi to another form? The experiences of Dr. Scanlon and Timber Wolf suggest that you do. So what's Yera's excuse? Out of her tree from being cut in half, or whatever? Okaaran Rdrayyjes are killing machines whether they like it or not? This is one of those plot developments that, if treated properly, is going to be with us for a while.

Sorry; I've got a cold and am not at my reviewing best. It's entirely possible that I've missed a bunch of really cogent points about this issue but, if so, they ain't coming to me tonight. I need some sleep.

Notes:
- I like Tellus's human-illusion form
- what's-her-head on page 1, panel 3; she's going to be a recurring character. You can see it in the marks on her face
- Nicieza is casting Dawnstar as a perfectionist. I think that's a good call
- to spell it out for anyone who didn't pick up on it: "Red Rage" = "Rdrayyj"
- "I'm tasty delicious."

Art: 96 panels/20 pages = 4.8 panels/page. One two-page spread of 17 panels.

Thing about Pete Woods? He sometimes outlines things weird. Check it out; he gets some interesting effects.

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16 Comments:

Blogger karl said...

Dawnsatars always been something of a perfectionist...since the 80s she always relied [too much] on her tracking power, even once berating Brainy for boosting her power to track down some space pirates and it not working.
As for Yera...Ive never liked her, not since her 'innocent dupe' role in Vi's kidnapping all those years ago. Did she back then honestly not know or care or even ask what happened to the girl she was inpersonating? Hope this ish means if shes cured she gets kicked oout of the LSH. But then never mind her...what about GATES?!?!?

5:03 PM  
Blogger Martin Gray said...

I've certainly praised the rotating narrators, but not as revolutionary - more a neat device.

You're right about the Yera killing business. I'm giving her a free pass until we know more.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Dylan said...

The fact that Yera is alive leaves me quite worried for Gates. Keeping one of the two alive and killing the other seems, for some reason, more likely than having both be alive (or dead, when that was an option).

Which is a shame. Gates was, by far, the more interesting character.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I suspect Gates will be back.

As for Yera, I did like her; Levitz successfully sold me on her in the '80s. But I like her best as a supporting character, not a Legionnaire. The Legion has enough members that they need good supporting characters more than they need Legionnaires.

9:18 PM  
Blogger snell said...

May I make a bold prediction? It's going to turn out that this Hypertaxis virus, which is sowing future alien DNA into present day, is actually going to be the origin of all these alien races, which eventually go on to settle the galaxy? Thus, by this little time "paradox," Legion Lost is giving us the secret origin of the United Planets.

Just a theory...

12:59 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I had thought of that myself. Which I guess changes Mon-El's history a bit, although in a way that simplifies it.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yera's alive?! *GASP!* (Did anyone really think otherwise?Fanboys--eternally gullible.)
The backstory of the United Planets was due for a revision,and the Hypertaxis idea is as good as any.If it simplifies Mon-El's backstory,all the better.
I like that the lost Legionnaires isolate themselves from the rest of the DCU because they carry the plague.If it was up to me,no other character from the DCU would appear in this title,but I know that's too much to hope for.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, I don't know; half the fun of putting the Legion in the present day is having them interact with other present-day DC characters. No point in cutting your comic book off from that.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Did Yera get infected and kill or was she was one of the victims, eaten but using her Durlan talents as a way of reconstituting from the DNA of other victims?

9:15 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I assumed she got infected.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would have ventured into reading this book, if they hadn't killed Gates! ...so yera's back, which means they really killed Gates! i miss the DnA Legion, and that version of Legion Lost.

-trollith

9:54 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I really liked that era of the Legion too... but don't count Gates out yet. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that he also had survived.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous AJay said...

I'm pretty sure that we'll be seeing Gates again. He's a character with great potential. I was just thinking that he joined a legion filled with adolescents and just possibly Gates was an adolescent or a pupa of his race. Was he cut in half or is he merely in two places (via warpgate) at once? Maybe he is in chrysalis form sleeping somewhere waiting to burst from a cacoon transformed. A visit to his homeworld would be something to see.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

We've seen his homeworld, Vyrga, in an issue of LSHv4 or possibly Legionnaires. I agree with you about his potential, but for some reason Legion writers tend not to see it. DnA didn't; Levitz didn't. I think Nicieza gets him, though; I asked him about Gates on the CBR boards and he gave me a promising answer. Which of course is no guarantee that he's actually going to use Gates...

11:46 AM  
Blogger Murray said...

Well, now Nicieza ain't ever going to be using him to any great extent, seeing as he's leaving at the end of issue #6. But I'm pretty sure that we'll see the bug return before that, and that new incoming writer Tom Defalco has plans to use the character (at least based on some of the interviews that he's given. Newsarama quote - "And then there's grumpy old Gates, who in many ways, I'm beginning to identify with a little bit too closely! " Granted, he could be talking about flashback scenes... but I doubt it.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Yes. I will certainly have something to say about all of that.

1:17 PM  

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