Legion of Super-Heroes #21 Review
Oh, yeah. I suppose I'd better review this issue. Sorry there.
What Happened That You Have to Know About:
Invisible Kid and Polar Boy chat with a few dead Legionnaires.
Our big group of Legionnaires shows up to help Ultra Boy and Chameleon Boy fight the Persuader in the middle of a devastated Metropolis, but Tharok and the Emerald Empress also make the scene, and the fight goes against the Legion, until Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl show up on the last page.
At first I wasn't sure that a whole lot of progress was made in this issue, but then when I think about it... We get some strong hints that not everything is at it seems. Levitz may be screwing with us here. I'm not sure how much of what we're seeing is actually happening.
I speculated before about how Projectra is the missing member of the Fatal Five. Maybe she's unhinged because she couldn't handle Karate Kid dying again or something; maybe Tharok's been manipulating her somehow. But remember: we've had those illusions of Validus and the Atomic Axe. That's an indication for Projectra.
And in this issue a whole lot of things happen for no apparent reason; they happen just because they do. Or that's what it looks like, anyway. The Empress just sort of shows up on Earth fighting the Legion, because Tharok controls "digispace", which reminds me of the end of the threeboot, in which Projectra was evil for another reason. The quark relays coming on and off. The Persuader doing stuff that... well, how exactly does that work?
And Harmonia on the Legion cruiser. Where'd she come from? If she's there, why isn't Dragonwing there? Who's side is she on? Is she really there? Was she ever really a Legionnaire, or just some kind of manifestation of Projectra?
Now, clearly there's something serious going on, but I don't think we know what. I do think that Invisible Kid and Polar Boy are going to be key for sorting it out, though. Notice that in this dead-Legionnaire dimension where they are, the Happy Frunting Grounds, Sun Boy wasn't there. Now, Star Boy and Duplicate Damsel are only maybe dead, so that's not definitive, but shouldn't Sun Boy be? I don't want to put too much weight on that, because we didn't see Chemical King or Karate Kid either, but I do think we might have some trickery going on here.
Levitz only has two more issues to sort all this out. I honestly wonder how it's going to go, and how the Legion is going to be cleared off the decks to make room for DC's new stupid idea. I hope Phantom Girl comes back.
Art: 84 panels/20 pages = 4.2 panels/page. One splash page.
Jeff Johnson carries the ball this issue, and I guess he does okay; I'm not really a fan of the loose cartoony style he brings to the table. Really it's hard to get away with the loose sketchy stuff when you're drawing the Legion; Keith Giffen can get away with it but most people can't. Most of your classic Legion artists have been very definite with their renderings: Forte, Swan, Cockrum and Grell sorta, Lightle and Larocque, Moder and Moy, and especially Barry Kitson. Portela. Not Coipel, which is interesting. Anyway, on the one hand Johnson gives us some dubious faces on page 8, but on the other he gives us, uh, hm. I can't really point to anything that knocked me over. But really it's not bad: not to my taste, but I've seen far worse on this title and it wasn't that long ago.
Star Boy was marked as "possibly dead" a couple of issues ago, and that got some support this issue; Dream Girl believes him dead.