Sunday, March 02, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes #39 Review

Sorry for the lateness, but that 50th-anniversary thing sucked up a lot of my reviewing time. I'll try to get the Action Comics review up tomorrow.

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The spine of this issue is about Projectra: she has no legal standing anymore as the ruler of Orando, and all of her stuff has been repossessed. Saturn Girl's mom wants to help her out a little bit, but her political career is being jeopardized by her association with the Legion. Jeckie breaks up a theft at some kind of personal-possessions depot at the end of the story, but takes the opportunity to give herself a five-finger discount on a bracelet while she's at it.

The aftermath of the action on Triton shows the increasing friction between the Legion and, uh, everyone else: the media are giving all credit to the Science Police and blaming the Legion for letting things get out of hand. Timber Wolf displays his temper and Saturn Girl misuses her powers a few times.

Ultra Boy, Element Lad and Colossal Boy are on a mission rounding up stinkrats. They get that done, but there's a little incident where a catacombs-dweller steals Colossal Boy's flight ring and they have to get it back. I wonder if this is actually going anywhere, or if it's just a routine small incident? I hope it's a routine small incident; it wrecks my suspension of disbelief if everything leads to a larger plot.

Someone is lurking in Legion HQ reviewing Mission Monitor information. We don't see who it is, but it's almost certainly M'rissey from last issue. According to the information he calls up, Brainiac 5 has just come up with some kind of wormhole teleport technology that'll make things a lot easier. Meanwhile, Karate Kid and Light Lass seem to be becoming involved.


Remember when I said that Shooter was moving things along a lot faster than Waid was? Turns out that he just shifted things over to his story fast; this issue didn't advance much.

Maybe I'm being too harsh. There's nothing wrong with an issue that spotlights Jeckie's current problems (while touching on what the other characters are up to). But I'd like some more motion on whatever's happening with the Pointy Purple Monsters. As for Jeckie and her petty theft, well... in general I don't like seeing superheroes do stuff like that. But in this case I'll give her a mulligan, assuming she's not making a habit of it. She's lost everything, after all; if she wants to lift a bracelet to stand in for all the riches she once had, well, I don't approve of it, but it's something a teenage girl might do and it's not the end of the world.

Speaking of bracelets, though... Min, the woman who jacked Gim's ring did so when he was large-sized and was wearing it as a bracelet. I'm trying to figure out just how the bracelet parallelism works. Two women steal bracelets. One, the superheroine, gets away with it; one doesn't. Jeckie has recently lost all her riches; Min never had any. I suspect I'm supposed to get something out of this, but so far I haven't. Alert readers?

Francis Manapul's art is once again excellent.

I keep wondering about Orando. Why was it such a rich and important planet, even though it was so hopelessly medieval in so many ways? And how can it have so totally ceased to exist as an entity--were there no off-planet holdings of any kind? Are there no Orandans left to acknowledge Projectra as their queen? (Or is the United Planets hiding information from the clueless teen for reasons of their own?)

Shooter has continued the transition that Waid and Bedard started: the generation gap Waid used to introduce the series has been phased out in favour of a more conventional bureaucrats-versus-superheroes opposition. The catch here, though, is that the Legion is getting it from both directions, as the more avant-garde teenagers now see the Legion as sellouts. It's a target-rich environment for storytelling; nice job.

The future-swearing fake slang continues to grate and be overdone. I am reminded of nothing other than Leland Fenster in Gordon Korman's A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag. Zung my nut.

Membership Notes:

According to the Mission Monitor Board thing M'rissey was looking at, Sun Boy isn't officially a Legionnaire, and Dream Boy is. Plus, of course, M'rissey is still hanging around and so is Giselle.

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Blogger Jim Drew said...

I kind of figured the same thing regarding the fate of Orando's riches. There's got to be something going on here with the UP trying to disenfranchise the remaining Orandan and secretly keep the otherwise unclaimable wealth for its own use.

(At the very least, Projectra should own salvage and space-mining rights to the planetary rubble, which should be massively valuable on some level.)

This might just come down, in the end, to "Hey, Jeckie, remember that even though you're a Princess and a sole-survivor of your planet, you're still part of a team. Between whatever political weight Garth might have as Legion leader, Imra's connection to the head of the UP, and Brainy's smarts (and maybe Dream Boy's powers), you don't need to be pursuing this by yourself."

3:20 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Either that or it's just something that Waid/Bedard/Shooter didn't/doesn't want to go into in any depth. Wouldn't be the first time in this series.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just keep in mind that -this- version of Jeckie became committed to the Legion for rather transparent reasons. First because it was a whim she got a kick out of following...she was a stereotypical spoiled rich chick with a pet cause. Then she stayed on because she lost everything so had nowhere else to turn -but- the Legion.

Neither reason speaks of her being converted down where it counts to the Legion's ideals. Yet. I'm thinking the consequences for this theft will be the thing that either softens or breaks her heart to the point of a true commitment.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I don't think that necessarily follows. Yes, she was a stereotypical spoiled rich chick, but that doesn't mean that she only joined the Legion on a whim. True, we don't know for sure yet, but superheroes are unusual people. We'll see.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but that doesn't mean that she only joined the Legion on a whim."

I can can only judge this version of Jeckie by how she was written by the time she finally got a speaking role on panel...and in that first Jeckie-centric story her Legion membership was played up as being something she did she thought it was a kick, not necessarily because she had a deep moral commitment to it.

Granted, that was back when Waid couldn't decide whether any of his non-Brainiac 5 and Rokk Krinn characters had an inner life beneath the obvious surface traits...Shooter may go back and fill in some of that.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

True. But I remember that one line, "maybe they'll let me do something important!" The point about hidden depths is that they're hidden.

6:57 PM  

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