Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #4 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

The Legion is fighting the Fatal Five, and Brainiac 5 has a plan all mapped out for them. But the Five don't behave as predicted, and Brainy concludes that his intelligence must be deserting him. He returns to Colu for testing. Saturn Girl wakes from the healing trance she'd been in since the fight, and reveals that she read Tharok's mind: Tharok knew Brainy was spying on them, and had fed Brainy false information about the Five's plans. The Five raid a factory on Colu, but the Legion shows up and beats them this time; the fight includes a part where Brainy outthinks Tharok.


Steve Uy does the art this time, and he brings a different style to it. The characters are small-featured and lightly detailed, and the backgrounds behind them are dark, often with a starfield pattern, and have a photographic quality that I'm not sure where it comes from. It's kinda different but not unpleasant. The dark-haired characters - Superman and Bouncing Boy, and occasionally Phantom Girl - are lit in such a way that it looks like they have white streaks in their hair. That's distracting.

Christine Boylan writes, and comes up with another good issue for us. That's three in a row since the disappointing first issue, so I'm very pleased with this series. Even more impressive, it's three in a row from three different writers! This one is basically a look inside the head of Brainiac 5, always a topic that I have time for, but there are also good character moments for Superman and Bouncing Boy. But basically it's the core Brainiac 5 story: he thinks he's smart, and he is smart, but that's not enough by itself. He's an effective superhero to the extent that he can connect with the other Legionnaires and see himself as one of the team. Every version of Brainy has to learn this.

Some little plot holes:
- why does Brainy call his flight ring a chatty piece of junk? What's so chatty about it?
- that's a pretty big team Superman sends to Colu with Brainy. Is there nothing else these people could be doing?
- just who exactly is in charge of the Legion? Brainy? It doesn't seem to be Bouncing Boy. Both Lightning Lad and Superman seem to be using some authority in Brainy's absence, but, depending on just when this takes place, shouldn't it be either Lightning Lad or Bouncing Boy?

Nice touches:
- Bouncing Boy kibitzing Brainy's plan at the start
- Saturn Girl's earrings when she's in her healing trance
- "It's the lighting."
- Superman patrolling the entire galaxy while listening to Bouncing Boy complain
- "What would I learn from that?"

Uh... what else to say... I can understand why they haven't done it, but I'd like to see more Legionnaires than just the core group. Also, the Fatal Five aren't the only villains out there. And I know I said it last week, but: I hope Tony Bedard is taking note.

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