Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Legion of Super-Heroes #10 Review

 What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The Legion splits up to achieve several purposes: Superboy and Saturn Girl go to Gotham for a date and get involved with the hunt for Mordru, also bringing in Doctor Fate to help. Brainiac 5, Blok, and Gold Lantern deliver Crav the General Nah to Oa so the Guardians can lock him up. Chameleon Boy, Phantom Girl, Colossal Boy, Shadow Lass, Karate Kid, and Wildfire go to New Krypton to find Mon-El, who seems to think he's quit the Legion. Lightning Lass consults with Brainy and Computo about whether she belongs in the Legion. Ultra Boy takes Monster Boy, Bouncing Boy, Dawnstar, Lightning Lad, and Timber Wolf with him as he tries to get Rimbor sorted out, and ends up becoming the leader of the planet. Mordru, it turns out, has gone to Xanthu, where he meets Rogol Zaar, who is apparently some kind of a guy or something.


Review:

See, this is better. This is more like it. We're still following a lot of Legionnaires, but not all of them, and in smaller groups at a time. And it pays off: we get motion on a few plots and subplots, and insight on a few more Legionnaires. This is the first issue of a new burst of story, and first issues are always easier, but this is certainly the kind of thing I've been asking for, and now that I've got it, I like it.

I haven't been reading the Superman titles, so all of this stuff with Zod on New Krypton and Rogol Zaar is a mystery to me. I have no intention of hunting down information on any of it; I'm just going to rely on whatever exposition Brian Michael Bendis provides in this title. I'm basically okay with this storyline, however it ends up going.

Really that's true of all the storylines. Great Darkness, Mon-El sulking, Mon-El with three kids, Ultra Boy leading Rimbor, Superboy and Saturn Girl dating. Sounds good; do a good job telling it to us.

A brief word on the Aristotelian unities. Basically, as I understand it (which may very well be inadequate), Aristotle had some ideas about drama and laid out some rules about how stories should take place in a single place and at a single time. The way I understand this is that he was guarding against amateurs with no technique jumping all over in time and space and losing their audience, and providing guidance to mitigate against that. Of course, the state of the art has advanced quite a bit since then and writers these days have all kinds of techniques for how to use different settings without confusing anybody. But I think Bendis may have made a slight mistake in this issue. Nothing terrible; just a little jarring.

See, we've got this comic where the superhero team has split up into smaller groups to accomplish various missions. We've seen this kind of thing before. The idea is, they're all simultaneous. So it's weird for us to see Brainy on Oa with Blok and Gold Lantern and then again on Earth with Lightning Lass and Computo. There's no logical reason why not; Ayla just goes to see Brainy when he gets home from Oa. It's fine. But we do have the expectation that these things are not happening sequentially but simultaneously. Not a big thing, but not ideal storytelling.

I got a kick out of Rimborean politics: "(POW!) As I was saying..." It seems to be pretty easy to become leader of the place, though; they should look into that. Last thing you want is some bad-faith mattressflipper becoming your leader; what if it turns out you can't get rid of them?

I also appreciate Cham entertaining young Laraz. I wonder where Laraz's mom is. And if Conner and Lane are the same age and, therefore, if the mother is Carggite. 

There's some kind of shenanigans going on with this title in the new year; I hope it's temporary and the steady supply of Legion comics continues, in this or any form.


Art: 107 panels/22 pages = 4.9 panels/page. 2 splash pages; 1 double-paged spread of 10 panels.

This time Sook gives us a header image introducing whatever planet the story happens to be visiting at the time. I like it when artists do stuff like that. Otherwise it's a normal good Sook performance. No standout panels for me. I did like Blok's face on page 8 panel 5.


Membership Notes:

It's possible that Mon-El has quit the Legion. We'll see how it plays out.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Lucas Schimmel said...

This one was far more interesting that the previous issues.

I'll give a brief summary of some stuff in Brian Michael Bendis' Superman if anyone desires to read it, if you don't want to know just skip the arrows.

Mind you, his stay on Superman is highly divisive with some people praising it and some people saying he failed characterisation, pacing and exploring the consequences of things he wrote.

-> -------- <-

Zod on New Krypton. The idea of Zod and New Krypton is not really Bendis', Zod has always been interested on resurrecting the culture of Krypton, either by forcing it or directly resurrecting Kryptonians. In the Rebirth era, we were shown that Zod had enslaved a planet and forced them to act like Kryptonians (but still his slaves), in Bendis' Superman, Zod becomes a pacifist (?) and leaves his New Krypton to make a new New Krypton but we don't now much about that one. He shows up in the creation of the United Planets.

Rogol Zaar was supposed to be this huge and menacing villain, but in reality is just a very generic alien monster, later revealed to have been created by Superman's dad, and he hates Kryptonians. Rogol Zaar is universally considered a bad character and boring villain, and even people who praise Bendis' Superman seem to believe Rogol Zaar was a waste of time. I don't know why Bendis would want to bring back such a poorly received villain, but it really kills some of my interest in the series.

-> -------- <-

Back to the issue. I like the division.

New Gotham with Superboy, Saturn Girl and then Dr. Fate;
Oa, with Gold Lantern, Brainiac 5 and Blok;
New Krypton, with Chameleon Boy, Shadow Lass, Karate Kid, Wildfire, Phantom Girl, Colossal Boy and Mon-El;
Rimbor, with Ultra Boy, Timber Wolf, Dawnstar, Lightning Lad, Bouncing Boy and Monster;
And later on Earth with Brainiac, Computo (don't remember if she has a speaking line) and Ayla Ranzz (Wearing a featureless variant of her outfit, so she's neither Light Lass nor Lightning Lass?).

Beyond the interpersonal drama of the Legion, we learn that Mordru has escaped. Expected, since this new Great Darkness saga appears to have him as the main antagonist, or maybe he will get drained again who knows. We learn that some people like precognitive folks and the new Guardians of the Universe knew about the Great Darkness, but they didn't tell anyone. And Mordru seeks to use Rogol Zaar against New Krypton/Mon-El and Superboy. I could spend the rest of my life without ever seeing Rogol Zaar again.

Within the Legion, we know that Jon Kent and Imra are still dating. I don't know what I should be feeling about it, but right now I wish it didn't happen. Ayla Ranzz is still conflicted about the Legion, but Brainy seems to have calmed helped her a bit. Jo Nah is now the leader of Rimbor, likely making him ineligible for the role of leader of the LOSH or even a member.

And there's Mon-El. I'm confused. Really confused. How long did it pass since the trial, I think it has been hours to a couple days at most. Yet he grew a short but significant beard. Also, he has three kids, presumably a partner in New Krypton, yet he was dating Shadow Lass AND Phantom Girl (possibly at the same time, since the Legion appears to be very recent) and neither seemed to know he had a family and kids. Also, how old is he supposed to be? I was under the assumption this Legion is full of young adults. I guess Mon-El could've just had the three kids at once with different women.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Thanks.

I don’t think Mon and Shady were dating in this series; I think Shady was with someone else. Cosmic Boy, maybe?

11:34 AM  
Blogger Mohundros said...

I think Cosmic Boy and Shady were dating.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Tks.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Lucas Schimmel said...

In issue 8, Mon-El breaks up ("no longer coupling") with Phantom Girl.
In issue 10, when Cham asks Shadow Lass why Mon-El acts like a toddler, he says she "coupled" with him.

In issue 7, Shadow Lass supports Cosmic Boy and is very physical with him, but we are not told that they date.

So, it's possible Shadow Lass dated both Cosmic Boy and Mon-El; and Mon-El dated both Shadow Lass, Phantom Girl, and the mother(s) of his children.

Of course, I wouldn't rule out that the writer forgot he had written him as having dated Phantom Girl and thought he had dated Shadow Lass. Mind you, he has been shown to be prone to make those types of mistakes both in the Superman books and Legion, as you are very aware.
I'm far from trying to decipher his mistake, but if I had to guess he thought of Phantom Girl, who has the power of intangibility, leading him to think of Kitty Pride, a favourite character of his, Kitty Pride is Shadowcat. Shadowcat, Shadow Lass. A stretch, of course.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Must have forgot the thing in #10.

Also I think I’ve heard the word “coupled” as many times as I need to for this lifetime.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Ian said...

This is more like it. I really liked this issue. I think for the next two issues (#11, 12) we're going to be treated to Ryan Sook uninterrupted for the "New Metropolis" 3rd act to Bendis's first year.

We've pretty much touched on everybody that's been on offer visually except for Chemical Queen? (https://imgur.com/a/D7SVQc8), the Khund and Shrinking Violet. Wonder if we'll get something about/from them?

Issue #3 had the scene where Rokk and Tasmia "couple" up and via Mon's reaction (and what Tasmia's admission that her and Mon coupled) it was implied that there's some history between Lar Gand and Tasmia Mallor (https://imgur.com/a/ySrFCZ2)

So Bendis exits the Superman books with December as his last issues. January and February are comprised of a pop-up event called Future State. It's the rumored Dan Didio-5G idea where the current heroes are replaced with the next generation. The Legion are going to be getting a 2-issue series written by Bendis with art by Riley Rossmo on the first issue (https://bleedingcool.com/comics/dc-comics-january-2021-solicitations-in-full/). An appearance by the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

It looks like we have until February at least.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Yeah, it's what happens after that that I'm wondering about.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Ian said...

An uncertain future. Possible cancellation?

A great darkness.

The Legion leitmotifs seem almost inevitable; self-replicating.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Lucas Schimmel said...

DC is going through some restructuring and will have a filler event, it will feature the Legion. It will put all books on hold so we don't know if it will be cancelled, but as far as we are aware, the book was spared from cancellation and there's no talks about Brian Michael Bendis leaving it - that's interesting because every other project Bendis had on DC seems to have been swiftly put out. Including his Superman and Action Comic runs, with only 2 issues each. His Young Justice has just been cancelled very abruptly. His Leviathan thing has been canned indefinitely.
So, since there's a talk about he leaving everything but LOSH, I doubt it will be cancelled right now.

---> Solicitation containing spoilers <-----

Whatever happened to the Legion of Super-Heroes? The team is no more, and the United Planets are in total chaos as one of the Legion’s own has turned on the entire galaxy! Everyone is affected...and not everyone survived! Ultra Boy tries to put the Legion back together to face the future head on! Find out the fates of all your favorite Legionnaires like Shadow Lass, Triplicate Girl, Brainiac Five, and Bouncing Boy. Plus, a shocking twist in the Legion mythology—and a long overdue appearance by the Legion of Substitute Heroes! It’s all here in a truly way-out tale by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist extraordinaire Riley Rossmo!

----> End of spoiler <----

10:44 AM  

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