Thursday, November 29, 2007

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #36 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Supergirl beat Evolvo Lad and discover the time machine he's got hidden below. Saturn Girl coerces some answers out of him (and, later, Brainiac 5 and Dream Girl) and finds that this was all a setup by Brainy and Evolvo Lad to send Supergirl home. Supergirl goes home on her own, leaving Lightning Lad as Legion leader. Turns out that Dream Girl's prediction for Brainy was just that Cosmic Boy would come home on his own and don't chase him... but Brainy took the opportunity to do a bit of housekeeping, rigging the three missions to get rid of the Wanderers, clear Cosmic Boy's name, improve things on Lallor, make amends with Wildfire... the whole thing.


We bid a fond adieu to Tony Bedard and Dennis Calero with this issue. Their six-issue run turns out to be a very compact little story, with all the simultaneous action. There are still points of confusion (was that other Coluan really responsible for that jiggery pokery on Winath? Does the Legion know about Dream Girl or not?), and a lot of the events seemed editorially mandated (Supergirl going home, obviously, but also the additions of Wildfire and Tenzil Kem), but overall Bedard got a lot done in a little time, and with some elegance. I would have liked to see what these two could do if DC handed the title to them and said, "This is your chance; go nuts."

I continue to think highly of Dennis Calero's art. Looking back, his first Legion issue may have been his strongest, but there's nothing wrong with his performance here. Calero draws an awesome Star Boy.

Saturn Girl characterizes Lightning Lad for us in this issue: he can seem stupid, but in combat ("where it really counts") he's really smart. I'm not sure what I think of that. I suppose it's consistent with how he's been shown so far in this series, and it ought to make him an entertainingly bad Legion leader.

The main Legion title continues to be the place where the interesting experiments are happening. The animated-series title does some cute tricks in its snappy done-in-one issues, but it's constrained by its audience and by its source material. Action Comics is quite readable but basically it's just giving us an old-style story with old-style characters. But this title is the place you have to go if you want to see these characters do something new. Anybody know what Shooter and Manapul are going to put the Legion through? Me neither!

So, no more Supergirl on this title. Hmm. Well, it's okay with me; I like Kara but I don't insist on her. I just hope that there isn't going to be a mass exodus of Supergirl fans from the sales numbers. How many new readers is Jim Shooter going to bring in? I'll be interested to see.

There ought to be a way for Dream Girl to manifest herself outside of people's minds. She could be like a hologram. Why not? Oh, sure; it's cool this way because her name's 'Dream Girl' and she actually is a dream. But I think that's exactly the sort of thing 31st-century science could handle.

- the ghost of a smile on Brainy's face on page 19, Lightning Lad's slouchy wave on page 21
- haven't seen any of those typos and colouring errors I mentioned back in the... was it the #31 review?... in a while
- in last issue's review I listed characters who I wondered if Shooter would be using. Another one: Theena. Also: the Knights Tempus
- whose stint as Legion leader was effectively shorter: Supergirl's or Shrinking Violet's back in the reboot?
- throwaway line that might not have been a throwaway: in #31, Evolvo Lad said, of the approaching Legionnaires, that he'd miss them all when they were gone. Well, where are they going? Supergirl's gone, but what of the rest of them? They're still there!
- Saturn Girl seems pretty confident in her knowledge of what people are going to look like in a billion years

Membership Notes: Supergirl leaves in this issue. The notion is floated of Tenzil Kem, in addition to Wildfire, becoming a Legionnaire, but nothing official yet. Brainy speaks of Evolvo Lad in such a way that suggests his membership, but he could just be a friend of Brainy's. Sort of the way Brainy had Brin running errands for him before he officially joined.

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