Thursday, January 17, 2013

Legion Lost #16 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

There's more fighting, and more extraneous stuff with Harvest and Captain Adym and Superboy and all those malarkeys. The doomsday device gets set off, but Gates teleports it away, possibly sacrificing some kind of alternate time-travel version of himself to do so, and simultaneously defeating Daggor and Thraxx. Wildfire gets his old good containment suit back. Apparently Daggor summoned his master right there at the end, and the Legionnaires don't end up going home.

Review:

I'm worried that we're not done with this nonsense yet. The Legionnaires are still in the present day! Is DeFalco going to use them in his other titles? Because I ain't buying 'em, I'll tell you that right now. I put up with this action for sixteen issues and I'm done with it now. Seriously though: does anybody think that Tellus is a good present-day character?

The main problem with this issue is that it isn't really an issue of Legion Lost. Or only partly. Too much time is spent dealing with Superboy and Harvest and all the intrigue surrounding them and their associated characters. And I honestly don't see what the point is of that. Who's meant to be reading this comic, anyway? Legion fans? Harvest fans?

See, what I wanted out of this series was to read about Legion of Super-Heroes characters trapped in a difficult and complex situation. There were hints of that, but no more than hints, because neither Nicieza nor DeFalco really had a good handle on the Legion and both wanted to spend time on other stuff that wasn't very interesting.

I'll have more to say soon summing up the series as a whole.

That one line of Gates's this issue, where he tells himself to keep an eye on Timber Wolf... I guess, as far as DeFalco is concerned, Gates and Timber Wolf are particularly close friends? I like to think that I'm a good enough reader that I would have picked up on it if they'd done a better job establishing it.

Tyroc's strange destiny doesn't seem to come to anything. Wildfire's either. Really I don't think any of the subplots do. Did nobody tell DeFalco that this was going to be the last issue?

Anyway. This was neither a particularly good issue nor a particularly final issue. Whatever redemption this series might have gotten, it didn't get. Failure all around.

Oh well: we still have Legion of Super-Heroes, which is pleasant and competent and may be about to do something interesting. Looking forward to it!

Cripes! I forgot to pick up the latest issue of Action with the reboot Legion in it. Oh well; I'll get it next week.

Art: 73 panels/20 pages = 3.7 panels/page. 3 splash pages; 1 two-page spread of 5 panels.

Andres Guinaldo on art again, denying us a last look at Pete Woods in these pages. He does okay. That one splash page of the reunited Dawnstar and Wildfire at the end is probably intended to be a crowdpleaser, and probably is, to the extent that any crowd will ever see it.

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20 Comments:

Anonymous Nate said...

I guess we probably wouldn't have gotten the nice hardcover of the Abnett/Lanning/Copiel Legion Lost, if not for the need to promote this series, but that's probably the nicest thing I can say about this run.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I'd hope that DC would make the thing available eventually; the DnA run was some of the least available Legion material out there compared to its quality. But you might be right.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Dave Mullen said...

I think you're generally too hard on this series Matt, I think myself that DeFalco did a very good job with the thin premise he was handed and worked hard to really pump some substance into it. Obviously the last minute cancellation left him in a tight spot given the weight of all the stuff he'd set up and I agree that bringing in the Ravagers and Harvest wasn't the wisest move he could make given this time constraint.

Having just read this issue it's going to take time to absorb it as there is just so much going on and way too many characters with subplots and agendas.
Some questions were tied up nicely but others left dangling - What is/was Tellus hiding? What about the subplot with ECHO hiding prisoners in the 21st Century? What the heck is this stuff with Daggor and his construct not being what they appeared to be?! What is Harvest's interest in the team, and Adyms secrecy for that matter?

I admit to being surprised by the ending as I'd expected the Legion to either dissapear in a puff of ambiguous smoke or outright die in Doom Patrol style to fullfill the various doomladen prophecies being thrown about like confetti...
I agree this team has no place in the 21st century but DC must have an idea what they want next from them, perhaps they will be sent back to the 31st soon, or perhaps there's still a major story to be had in the Adym/Captain Atom/Harvest triangle.

Nontheless not a bad issue for me, I'm glad they didn't do something stupid with then as most of these are favorites of mine and far too good to be thrown away on a failed series like this...

7:16 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think you're generally too hard on this series Matt, I think myself that DeFalco did a very good job with the thin premise he was handed and worked hard to really pump some substance into it.

Well, I'm glad you like it, and am sorry you'll be deprived of a comic you like, but I disagree with you: I don't think DeFalco did either of those things.

I hope they go back to the 31st century, once Levitz is ready for them. I can't imagine what kind of nonsense will be forced on them if they stay in the present day.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Jim Davis said...

What is Harvest's interest in the team, and Adyms secrecy for that matter?

I thought it was made very clear that Harvest is Adym.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

See, I didn't even pick up on that. Of course, I'm intensely uninterested in Harvest...

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'll probably never find out now, but I would love to find out who thought LEGION LOST would be a successful,long-running title.
A fish out of water has two choices;either it perishes or it learns to breathe out of water.Then it's no longer a
"fish out of water",so to speak. Once the Legionnaires got used to the 21st. century,the whole point of this series is lost.Then it becomes just another superhero comic.
LEGION LOST might've worked as a mini-series,or a maxi-series,but not as an ongoing one.

2:22 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It's a good point. Usually with superhero comics the idea is to establish some kind of status quo and then use that as a basis for your storytelling. Obviously that was never going to work for this title. So what they had to do instead was have a strong idea of the team's continually changing circumstances, and have the story develop without ever reaching a status quo.

I think this would have been an ambitious undertaking, but it was certainly not impossible to pull off. But if I was going to commission such a thing, with this premise and these characters, stap my vitals if I'd pick Fabian Nicieza and/or Tom DeFalco to drive it home.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Levitz should have been tapped as co-plotter from day 1 to have made this series work. As least readers would have known that things happening in this title would have a consequence in the main Legion title.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think that would have come with its own problems.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Ric G said...

At least it's finally over. The best that can be said about the book was that it's a wash.

I thought it started strongly with Nicienza having a clear idea where he wanted to go but it got lost even before he left and never recovered.

While I'm grateful that no character as been killed or turned evil or irrevocably ruined this book was such a huge lost opportunity I'm still a little bit sad to see it go under.

But instead of taking us to interesting places, like finally giving Tyroc a backstory or moving Drake & Dawny out of the decades long go-nowhere lockstep they've been on (or giving Dawny more than an almost cameo status in the book, exploring how Gates works in the new millieau or showing why Tellus is such a dedicated Legionnaire... )it was a mess of half-baked conspiracy hints, bad scifi ideas (time travel witness protection, really?)and unwanted set ups for other hero books.

Thanks to you, Matthew, for writing them up on this blog. Occasionally your opinions helped me decide I'm not insane over the book.

Maybe with the time it frees up you'll find other Legion subjects to visit?

1:35 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

You're welcome.

Yes, well, I'd like to find other Legion subjects to write about, and I do have such intentions, but then I can't really say that Legion Lost is the reason why I haven't done 'em already. So who knows.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

I wish I was intrigued by the idea that Nathaniel Adym is Nathaniel Adam and thus both Harvest and Captain Atom and tied to the 31st century. But that would mean there would have had to be a hint of that beyond my recognizing the modified name spelling. Let's hope that they just forget about that possibility.

My only closing comment on this series is that I pray Paul Levitz devotes a single panel soon -- hell, a single word balloon of dialogue -- to bring the Losters back to the 31st century before they get used as cannon fodder in some present day crossover, killing one or more of them.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It may not be up to Levitz. That could be one of those editorially-driven things. In fact I think it's likely.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Shh, don't remind me of that.

The New 52 book I have been most impressed with has been All-Star Western -- fleshing out, revising, and expanding the "Western" heroes (including a complete revamp of Tomahawk), plus "wow" bits like tying the Joker's origin to both Jekyll & Hyde *and* Eclipso. And Demon Knights as well. I look forward to the potential for Threshold to do the same sort of "important stuff outside the main DC throughline".

Despite the reluctance DC has had over the years to tie the Legion too hard to the current continuity, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to introduce some of that sort of stuff into the "future" book like they've done with the Western, Medieval, and probably Space books.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I'm okay doing that with Superman stuff, but I think non-Superman present-day-DCU elements are a less good fit. Especially considering how mutable it tends to be; you end up getting the Celeste/Darkstar problem.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Except this is the DC universe. We pretend that nothing from the 20th/21st century is permanent, but we know better.

"Oh, no, we can't show Green Lanterns in the Legion's era! They might not exist by then." And we all nod and under our breath say "Bullsh*t."

Not that I want a Green Lantern and a Reach scarab in the Legion, but would I mind seeing such characters on the Legion fringes? Sure. Would Harmonia leave the Legion to become the next Doctor for the 31st century Stormwatch, and try to bring Brainy along as the Engineer? Is there any reason to believe that Etrigan isn't still around? Or the Amazons?

How about bringing in the new Andromeda as an Amazon?

(Of course, you do risk clouding the Legion view by having all this intruding in their book. Maybe a 31st century Stormwatch book -- The Wanderers -- could hit those angles. Work with the Legion book, without stealing it.)

3:05 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

You've been reading Bleeding Cool again, haven't you?

3:10 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Um, no. I saw an article on the Legion there today, but since I won't have the latest LSH issue, I haven't read it to avoid the spoiler content.

Am I simply being psycho, er, psychic again?

6:08 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

No, you're being reasonable. You'll see what I was getting at if you go back and read the thing afterwards.

9:28 PM  

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