Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes #42 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Saturn Girl leads a team of Star Boy, Ultra Boy, Chameleon, Atom Girl and Colossal Boy to Rimbor to fight what I guess we're calling the destroyers. They eventually win. Brainy and Chameleon independently notice a piece of the destroyers' equipment that has some mysterious, possibly analytic, probably very significant function.

Invisible Kid is released from prison and reconciles with his father. Some Legionnaires have new uniforms, thanks to, presumably, M'rissey.

The U.P. bureaucrat Popoff dupes Lightning Lad into sending another team of Legionnaires offplanet, and then sends the cops in to bust the remaining Legionnaires and close the place down. Meanwhile, the victorious Legionnaires on Rimbor are apprehended by the local cops who have some outstanding warrants on Ultra Boy.


This was a strong effort all around. Manapul's art isn't quite as polished as his first issue on the title was, but it's fine; I particularly liked Chameleon's face on page 3 and Colossal Boy coming up out of the ground.

The whole fight scene against the destroyers was well-done. There was a sense of place, and there was the difficulty that the Legionnaires kept having to find new ways to win. Star Boy's air-hammer tactic (though not completely new; I remember it from the eleventh Wild Cards book) was particularly inventive.

I like it that the book was relatively self-contained: the big fight on Rimbor began and ended in the same issue, plus we got movement on a couple of subplots and two cliffhangers for next issue.

But I wonder how much it matters in the long run. I don't know the truth of the rumours about Jim Shooter leaving the title, but if it happens, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a fatal loss for the threeboot Legion. I mean, Waid and Kitson left; without Shooter, just who is it who's the advocate for this version of the Legion? I can't think of a candidate. Mike Marts is the editor, but I can't imagine it's any skin off his nose which version of the Legion DC uses. And meanwhile, Geoff Johns seems to have big plans for his retroboot Legion. (And, honestly, it fits better with DC's recent editorial policy to have Johns's Legion supplant the threeboot, in much the same way that Hal Jordan returned, Ollie Queen returned, and Supergirl once again became Superman's Kryptonian cousin. Back to basics, is the idea.)

I mean, whatever DC wants to do is okay with me as long as they do it well. But the threeboot Legion has not been particularly well-supported by DC's overall direction, and I think it deserves better than becoming just a fifty-issue footnote to Legion history. We'll see.

- I like Gim's Suzy Porter memorabilia. It's a nice touch.
- Atom Girl's a quick learner. "Hit 'em like Napoleon!"
- Shouldn't Brainy have figured out what Popoff was up to?
- Hippogriffamus. I can almost picture it.
- The next-issue blurb mentions that Brainy reveals the Legion's biggest secret to the SPs. I wonder if that means the thing about the Dominator world in the Phantom Zone.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't say Brainy's interaction between himself and Legion leader isn't likeable. He takes to Lightning Lad better then Cosmic boy (he was always behind his back doing something when Cos wasn't looking) and Supergirl (always seemed like he felt like he was talking to the dumb blonde). For some reason I liken this to when Reboot Legion's Brainy finally took to Koko and began to talk to the little white monkey. Not only that, but in little bits of instances Lightning Lad is reading Brainy's actions and seems to understand what Brainy is thinking (in this issue it was him noticing Brainy was admiring his uniform in the monitor reflection). For someone who Voice proved was simple minded, thats not bad.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think Waid and Bedard took Brainy about as far in one direction as it was reasonably possible to do, and Shooter is backing off from that a bit. It's probably wise. As for Lightning Lad, I don't think he's simple-minded; I just think he's doing a lousy job of playing to his strengths at the moment.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been too lazy to check back issues, but wasn't there an error in this issue re identifying Colossal Boy as from Earth and as having the power to grow large? I thought the conceit for Colossal Boy this time around is that he comes from a planet where everyone is big and he's actually shrinking down to be "normal sized". Doesn't he make a joke in one of the earlier issues about how his name should really be Micro Lad or some such? Maybe I'm hallucinating this. :)

9:28 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

No, you're right. I wouldn't call it a mistake, though; I think it's just something Shooter sees as an unnecessary complication and he doesn't want to use it. Which I don't see as a big thing.

9:44 PM  

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