Monday, May 21, 2012

Legion of Super-Heroes #9 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The Dominators send a couple of monsters or something to raid the Time Institute and capture Brainiac 5, and they get away with Dream Girl too. The United Planets won't let the Legion violate Dominion space, but Star Boy quits so that he can do it.

Mon-El confirms that Validus is still safely locked up on Takron-Galtos.


The Dominators' actions this issue, as always, are an amusing mixture of sensible and ridiculously foolhardy. It makes all the sense in the world to try to get a sample of Brainy's genes so they can breed superintelligence into their own people. And it's ridiculously foolhardy to antagonize the Legion in this way. It's probably even more ridiculously foolhardy to bring Brainy to your planet; who knows what he could get up to. The Dominators continue to be screwups of the highest order.

But why did Ultra Boy and Harmonia not go through the portal themselves? I mean, I wouldn't have, but I'm too sensible to be a Legionnaire. You'd think Jo at least would have been all over it.

I was wondering what Circadia Senius was doing during the fight, and finally located him heroically cowering behind a chair in panel 1 of page 12. Hey, I'd leave stuff like that to the Legionnaires, too.

- are those just special Science Police boots or does Gravity Kid really have feet like Bugs Bunny?
- the idea of genetically analyzing food and matching that to the alien race that eats it was also used in Illegal Aliens (Pollotta and Foglio), an excellent novel
- what's that symbol on Comet Queen's costume? Doesn't match any of the Interlac symbols in Wikipedia. Some nonstandard Q or something?

Art: 82 panels/20 pages = 4.1 panels/page. 1 splash page.

Portela returns!

Membership Notes:

Star Boy quits this issue, but I don't really get the vibe from it that this is supposed to be a permanent thing. We'll see. Also we get a couple of headshots of prospective Legionnaires who seem to be named Otaki and Mwinadji.

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Blogger Jugularjosh said...

I'm amazed that someone else has read Illegal Aliens. That was a fun little book.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It was awesome! But when you're published by TSR Books, you don't get much reputation.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Chris Cottingham said...

Haven't read it yet, Matthew - have to get up some time for the trek to the next county for the comic shop. Did you *like* it? How did it compare to other issues? I haven't been commenting much, but I was surprised how much I liked the first couple issues of this rebooted run - better than anything in the previous 16, with fights being much clearer and more sensible, characterizations and individual personalities suddenly clicking better, etc. I was disappointed that a promising mystery antagonist turned out to be a lone Daxamite renegade, and that the Dominion plot was seemingly so easily wrapped up. So it's either a) good that the Dominators are still up to stuff, as it seems I was too quick to let my eyes glaze over at Levitz's use of them, or b) bad that boring Dominators are boring.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I dunno. It was too short. I mean, it's not one of those comics where nothing happens; clearly something happened. But I would like to see comic book writers try to cram as much story as they can into their 20 pages. They aren't doing it.

One thing I like about the Dominion is that they're plotters. They don't just come right at you. They scheme elaborately. Much more interesting than, like, the Fatal Five, even.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Cayomagnetking said...

I was going to send this comment directly....since it doesn't apply to LSH 9....but I couldn't get the EMAIL link to work. A few years ago, I came across on the web an index to every artist who had drawn the Legion. It was organized by how many Legion issues they had worked on. I printed a copy but recently misplaced it. Do you ever remember seeing an index like this? Thanks! -Janarrah1atAOLdotCom

10:12 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Sorry about the problems with the e-mail link; I don't know why it doesn't work but that is a valid e-mail address.

I think I've seen a list similar to what you describe but I'm not sure where or even if I've seen the same thing you have. It might be one of the various comic book databases out there, like or something.

10:27 AM  
Blogger RicG said...

Thanks for the reviews, always read them as soon as they're up and glad you're continuing with at least the Legion books.

Mwinadji comes up on google as the Swahili word for 'hunter' so we may have an inkling into why he's apparently on the cover of #12.

Not a permannetn replacement for Dawnstar,but maybe a skills overlap.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous benmc47 said...

Is this the first time that Validus has appeared in the Retroboot? Or was he in Legion of Three Worlds? Has there been any info about who he is - any connection to Garridan Ranzz, etc.? Maybe this is old news, but I couldn't remember.

4:38 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Ric: Hunter? That's interesting; like Shikari then. I did search for it but didn't find anything.

Ben: Yeah, Validus was in FC:L3W. Remember, Chameleon Girl disguised herself as him and fought him that way?

1:19 PM  
Anonymous eddie blake said...

yeah, but for some reason, so was THAROK, so who knows what's going on...

5:22 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It's true.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three Legions in FC:L3W means up to three Fatal Fives. (Although we never saw them, there was one in the threeboot continuity, mentioned by that Legion's Brainy in REBELS.) And thus up to two other Tharoks we could have seen. Yellow trunks or blue body suit?

2:55 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, no, because Superboy-Prime didn't raid the Takron-Galtoses of Earths Prime and 247; just Earth-0 or whatever we were calling it. So just the one Fatal Five. (That said, we did see the threebout Fatal Five once, in Waid's Brave and Bold run.) But there's always room to fudge things a bit with Tharok with no explanation that you can't do with Validus/Garridan.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True. Tharok never *died*, just vanished with the Dark Man. One of the longest "missing character" danglers in modern comics, actually.

(Not unlike Variable Lad and Cosmic King going "poof" together. Hmm…)

3:18 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I don't think I actually read those stories. That gap between Archive #12 and Levitz's second run is only partially filled in my collection.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was one of the Roy Thomas stories (could have been the end of Conway), right when I started reading the Legion. It's when Blok joined.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Then either I just missed it or I have the comic but don't remember it well, because I've got stuff from all around there. I certainly have the one where Blok actually joins the Legion.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's probably not nearly as good as faulty memory makes it. ("The Golden Age is 12.") It was in the first year, maybe first six months of me reading comics, 1979 or 1980.

But overall, a story with a villain who flips over to the heroes (and never turns traitor after that), the apparent death of two more villains (who never come back from the dead), and the fallout from that over the next decade or two (think how prominent the Emerald Eye became in multiple series after Tharok was gone as leader of the Fatal Five), and being finally followed up 30+ years later -- that's something significant.

(Or course, the strongest memory for me was of Brin and Ayla -- an unmarried couple -- sleeping together. First time I had encountered that in something allowed for kids.)

5:31 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Ah, well, maybe I'll take a quick dive through the back issue box one of these days. There may be something to be gained from it.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous stile86 said...

Tharok's disappearance during his clash with the dark man was in LSHv2 271 written by Gerry Conway. It was definitely written as two opposites destroying each other, but hey this is comics. No body, no death. Blok changing sides to help the Legion was a major part of the plot. He joined the Legion in the next issue 272.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Thanks. I remember Blok had a different personality at the time, too; snarky and sardonic.

10:13 PM  

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