Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Legion of Super-Heroes #22 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About: Tharok, the Empress, and the Persuader fight Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl. It ends when Lightning Lass takes down the Persuader, and Tharok and the Empress teleport back to the Promethean Giant with Saturn Girl captive, and Lightning Lad tags along. Once on the Giant, Saturn Girl takes down the Empress, and Tharok wakes up the Giant, who is the secret fifth member of the Fatal Five. But Sensor Girl and Karate Kid (?) show up out of nowhere and Sensor Girl frees the Giant's mind from Tharok's influence. Then Polar Boy (who showed up with Invisible Kid right around then) freezes Tharok solid and the fight's over. The Legion starts to pick up the pieces and Brainiac 5 says it's all his fault; it's not clear if he's just taking the responsibility for the universe on himself or if he really did something to cause this.


I suppose it was a satisfying ending; it didn't come easily, and there was a big revelation, and a couple of impressive power stunts from some Legionnaires. I'm comfortable saying that this was the best long Legion story since Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds. I wonder how many people read it.

But, looking back on it... the Fatal Five. Who were they? What did they want? Compare this to the story that ended Abnett and Lanning's The Legion series, "For No Better Reason". Both had supervillain teams as the enemy, teams who attacked the Legion and their surroundings by turning off the technology. Both had a lot of nice moments for some of the Legionnaires. Both of them had unclear motives for the villains. (Interestingly, the villains in "For No Better Reason" were a kind of future Justice League, like the one that's going to be supplanting the Legion in DC's schedule.) Both were good stories. But I still want to know what the bad guys thought they were up to.

No Phantom Girl. But we'll see what happens next issue.

One touch I particularly liked was the lettering on Tharok's voice as he cooled to absolute zero. That looked cool. (All that was missing was him starting to sing "Daisy".)

Where'd Sensor Girl get that spaceship? It looks nice.

I have a lot of thoughts on the end of this series, but I'll wait until next month to share them. I'm not looking forward to it, but I am looking forward to reading the comic book. See you then!

Art: 86 panels/20 pages = 4.3 panels/page. 1 splash page.

Still not a big booster of Jeff Johnson's art on the Legion. Not that it's bad by any means; I just don't think his style is a fit. There were a couple of things I particularly liked about it: I like how he draws Bouncing Boy, and Jeckie was looking pretty sassy at the top of page 16... not like she's supposed to look, but good anyway.

Membership Notes: Duplicate Damsel, not dead. Plus we seem to have another Karate Kid now; he's said to be from Earth, and to have the original KK's soul, but it doesn't say who he really is.

In Other News:

This dirty great book that DC's publishing, Brainiac 5's history of Superman.

I don't know what I'm going to do about this thing. The Brainy thing gives it a Legion connection, but is it enough of a Legion connection to spend seventy-five clams on it? I mean, I like Superman and all, but...

And then of course it's written by Matthew K. Manning, and I have all kinds of time for Matthew K. Manning. Guy wrote three cracker Legion comics in his day and I'd be thrilled to see more Legion content from him.

I just don't know.

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Anonymous Jim Davis said...

Compare this to the story that ended Abnett and Lanning's The Legion series, "For No Better Reason".

I thought Gail Simone wrote that story.

11:34 PM  
Blogger stuorstew said...

She certainly did; presumably Matthew meant that story ended out The Legion book not DnA's run.

I rather enjoyed this issue even though the Five were taken down a little easily in the end and it would appear Jeckies powers have changed since we last saw her.

Giffen must be kicking himself leaving before nuVal appeared.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That's what I meant, yes. Thanks.

I don't think Jeckie's powers need to have changed. Since she became Sensor Girl she's had a pretty broadly defined control over all sensory data and perception, and what she did with the Promethean Giant falls neatly into that category.

I think the Giffen/Karate Kid thing has been made too much of, and it's time for us all to put down the joke and move on.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

I agree this was probably best long Legion story since Legion of 3 Worlds, but I'd still count that as a little bit of a disappointment, since the Giffen issue that kicked this arc off was probably the best issue since early in the threeboot or maybe even since the end of DNA's run.

The radical shifts in the quality of the art in this story, from the always interesting Giffen to the awful Kolins issue to Portela and now Johnson are going to make this an odd and frustrating story to revisit in a collected format.

I think I'm being too negative: I liked this story; at times, I liked it a lot; but I can't help but think the seeds were present for something so much better than what we got.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That's fair. Which I suppose makes it comparable to Earthwar. I wonder if Paul Levitz would appreciate that comparison.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Dave Bakas said...

So this storyline's death count ends up with: Sunboy, dead with remains eaten; Starboy, presumed dead and buried under the Legion HQ; and at least one Luornu duplicate (though there were several Lu bodies scattered around the background in LSH#21). Mon El is still alive, but mangled. No explanation for how the Eye did that regardless of Tharok. We also learn that Lu's new powers allow her to lose duplicates without killing all of her, though she kept fretting that the next time she "dies" she thinks it's for keeps.
Black Witch, Blok, Glorith and Phantom Girl all out of the universe, but Sensor Girl returned to this universe. Since we recently saw Jeckie when she intervened with the UP during the Dominators storyline, just how long has she been hiding this new Val? And why did she first find him lurking outside the Legion Academy campus?
We also found out through Mysa that Glorith is "the heir of time"-whatever that means! :)
That leaves us one issue to clear up a heck of a lot of dangling plot lines. Not to mention the 7 Legionnaires still not back from the Legion Lost debacle.
Dream Girl, Cosmic Boy, Shrinking Violet, Shadow Lass, Dragonwing, Chemical Kid,Bouncing Boy all did pretty much nothing but flee and hide!Night Girl, Colossal Boy, Matter-Eater Lad and Comet Queen still out and not worthy of having Tharok come and find them.
Oh,and apparently some crucial form of 31st century tech never before mentioned remains not operable.
XS and Quislet are apparently forgotten!

So how long till we can get yet another LSH reboot? Total fresh start again? I know I could care less for any Justice League 3000, especially since they are taking great pains to be "not related to Legion" while in their century, so hope that experiment ends quickly!


2:42 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I go back and forth on another reboot. On the one hand I think it would be tough to salvage the retroboot, and I'm not sure what's worth salvaging from it. A good reboot might be just what's needed. Surely this Legion won't bring in any new readers; this Legion can't even keep the old readers.

On the other hand: another reboot? Really?

2:47 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Hey, you know what? The thing with Polar Boy and Tharok, Levitz has done that before. Remember the Computo story in LSHv2 #300?

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Best story since Legion Of 3 Worlds" is damning with faint praise.This run of Legion falls between unmemorable and stuff you want to forget.
When the Legion returns,just have some good ideas as the basis for a series.Never mind rebooting;hit the ground running.James Bond movies don't concern themselves with continuity,and people still watch them,even comic book fans.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Martin Gray said...

Oh, good catch on LSH #300. Matthew - it's been a while ...

6:41 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Anonymous: I'd be happy with that approach to continuity, but I think we have to accept at this point that DC is simply not going to do that. But, yes, damning with faint praise.

Martin: Thanks. Hey, I have to get one of those every now and then; usually it's you guys pointing them out to me.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous AJay McL said...

So essentially Projectra was hallucinating Karate Kid.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It is certainly a possibility.

I wonder how much else of all this she's hallucinating.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous stile86 said...

Hmmm. To me this last issue felt much too rushed. Projectra and Val turning up with no lead in (although if that first "mysterious" page of them had been in an earlier issue it might have worked). The last of the Fatal Five being really big and unbeatable but lasting, what, three pages? Invisible Kid and Polar boy just turning up again with no real indication of what happened in the other dimension - oh wait there was a little last issue but didn't it suggest one would die?

I'm wondering if Paul Levitz originally planned another issue but the powers-that-be cancelled the book so he had to wrap up quick.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Could be... but then, the storyline had gone on quite long enough anyway, so I'm just as well pleased. The Projectra thing might have been a bit rushed, but then, it was supposed to be a surprise. No problem with the Polar Boy/Invisible Kid thing.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never could've guessed the idenity of the fifth member of the Fatal 5.Talk about hiding in plain sight.As one of the non-fans of his third time at the LSH,I have to applaud this one time he put one over on me.
This is probably Levitz's best retroboot issue,because things actually happened this issue. That's a novelty in this run.Don't even care about all the loose ends left dangling;just give me a comic where stuff happens.
Liked the art a bit more than you did.Not spectacular,but it is servicable.It tells the story,and you know what's going on.I'll settle for that.
One more issue to go.It's cruel to give us an issue that was actually interesting,right before the end.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

A lot of people seemed to be impressed by the thing with the Promethean Giant as the fifth member of the Fatal Five. I didn't really have that reaction. I mean, he was there and dangerous all along, so it wasn't a surprise that he continued to be a menace, so in a way it was a break for the Legion that he was the fifth one. It meant that there wasn't some sixth threat out there to worry about! My reaction was more along the lines of, "oh, is that how they're doing it. Okay."

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biggest complaint is the lack of motivation for Tharok: what was his goal? Even terrorists are trying to do *something*.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That's fair.

2:44 PM  

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