Thursday, July 24, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes #44 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

On Velmar, Invisible Kid defeats Ikilles and frees Light Lass, who takes care of the rest of the marauders. On Rimbor, Saturn Girl's team fights back against the Science Police and wins. On Earth, M'rissey (the Legion's new business affairs manager) reveals some legal mumbo jumbo he arranged that essentially makes all the Legion's bureaucratic trouble go away. They're now funded by the licensing rights for their flight rings, and independent of Earthgov and the U.P. As the Velmar and Rimbor teams are about to come home, the president calls for help: a huge planet has appeared and is disrupting the solar system.


There are things to like and things not to like here. Sanford Greene fills in on the art. He's drawn a couple of issues of LSH31C, and well, but his style isn't as suited for this book. He does a good job of continuing Manapul's kinetic style, and his backgrounds and action and stuff are fine, but his characters' features are too exaggerated. Fine for a fill-in, but I wouldn't want a regular diet of it.

The thing I liked best: we get some resolution. The Velmar plot ends, the Rimbor plot ends, the government-versus-Legion plot ends (at least, I hope it's ended). And we get a new plot thread: the appearance of this mysterious planet. (For those keeping score: we've still got the destroyers thread and the Projectra thread going on. And we don't know where Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl went, although Val left behind the message 'OKKK' to reassure them, which is a nice callback to Shooter and Manapul's first issue.)

Other than that, the story didn't take many turns. I guess that's typical, with endings (which this partially was): the complications are in the setup, and the endings are simple. I wonder if it has to be like that, or if there's a better way of doing it...

I wasn't impressed with Invisible Kid's denouement. Straight out of an after-school special. But then, maybe that's appropriate for his character. Similarly, Ikilles. I guess Shooter meant for him to be all over the map like that...?

Atom Girl's characterization was pretty good. It matched what I think of her and the way Waid and Bedard portrayed her. But don't mistake her fight against the SPs in this issue with her annoyance at Colossal Boy's brother back in #14; two entirely different things.

- makes perfect sense that the Legionnaires' uniforms would be rip-resistant like that
- still no real screen time for the Peril Men. I was looking forward to a Legionnaire named Peril Boy
- again, too many pretend swears (however, Ultra Boy's exclamation of 'Holy Ni Neveh' was completely appropriate)
- Norima: recurring character, or not?
- I was hoping M'rissey would have some actual superpower besides just being smart in a special way

Membership Notes:

M'rissey becomes a... I don't know if he's a Legionnaire or not, but he's affiliated with the team. We'll see.

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Blogger Richard said...

The ability to manipulate money successfully might be the best super-power ever. It's certainly the one I wish I had! ;-)

If M'rissey is going to be an Legion fan turned administrator/business manager for the team, that would be an appropriate tribute to Richard Morrissey, who was among other things the first (and possibly longest-serving) Central Mailer of Interlac, the Legion APA. Richard was never a businessman of any sort, nor a dealmaker or manipulator...but he always did good for the Legion and its creative personnel. And his favorite Legionnaire was Brainiac 5, so I think he'd approve of that aspect of his namesake as well.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Unfortunately you have to have it before you can manipulate it.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Cristiano Silva said...

At last the Legion is independent! I'd like to see the original Waid idea coming back: the youth movement revolution.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I guess with M'rissey we have a "RJ Brande" replacement now. But as a kid...

M'rissey is kind of fun. And now Lightning Lad has no distractions like business to take care of he can go back to the Lightning Lad a lot of threeboot fans like. But could they at least given M'rissey a name we could all pronounce without sounding like we're sneezing or something.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Cristiano: I'd like it too, but I think it was always a tough sell for a lot of fans.

anonymous: The thing I wonder about is what consequences there'll be of licensing out the flight rings. That's the kind of thing that can come back and bite you.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the flight ring thing will be a problem, considering a few issues ago they did the thing about what the Flight Rings are. Brainiac 5 wouldn't just give someone something. Sure they have the flight rings, but there will be either something missing from them thats in the Legions version. Alternativly, Brainiac 5 will have something that gets in them to ensure they never become a complete problem for the Legion.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like it too, but I think it was always a tough sell for a lot of fans.

It was a tough sell because it fundamentally wasn't the Legion, on numerous levels, beyond "superheroes in the future." Utopianism, gone; dedicated heroism, mostly gone; idealism, definitely gone. What remained? Spandex, flight rings and little else.

(It also wasn't executed particularly well in large chunks and the writing was particularly charmless for the most part, but that's not a problem with the concept.)

5:05 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think the flight ring thing will be a problem if Shooter thinks there's a story in making it a problem.

And I couldn't disagree more about the youth-movement premise being not-Legion. Okay, it's not how the Legion has been portrayed historically, but it doesn't make them less heroic or less idealistic, and I dispute the notion that the 30th/31st century was ever really a utopia.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

There are two easy outs on the Flight Ring front:

* The license was bought by a subsidiary of the RJ Brande corporation, whose owner has largely altruistic motives -- he believes in the Legion's goals -- but might also have some specific corporate request in return, both in terms of PR and in support of his nascent star-creation business.

* The license has been bought, but without (a) Coluan-create equipment invented and patented by Querl Dox and (b) element transmutation possible only by the last surviving Trommite, actually producing the rings en masse is not cost effective. (You have to mine an active quasar to start with.) Anyone got an extra 45 billion mega-credits lying around to purchase one with?

1:24 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, there are any number of things that'd work. The important thing, though, is, what does the writer want to do with it?

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The secret of Karate Kid and Trips is simple: Go read the Lightning Saga and Countdown.

The KK in those issues wasn't the KK from Kal-El's past, as everyone assumed. He was from the current Legion comic series.

Starman stated they celebrated KK being brought back to life. Only thing is, this KK from a different Legion is on a mission initiated by B5 from Kal-El's past.

This is why there were two different "time windows": One where the Legionnaires re-entered the future, and one that warned KK from re-entering.

This is also why it's Una helping KK, not Luorna, as well as Sensor Girl using the three Triplicate Girl bodies in her illusion, rather than that of Duo Damsel.

In Countdown, I think it was determined only one body of Una was sent back as well, so two of her remained in the future.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That is possible. It could work. However, I'm not yet convinced that it's actually what happened. Do you have any kind of evidence, or is it your theory?

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Legion issue #43 has those two recruited by a mysterious person.

Four people are standing in the "light", which is probably a dimensional portal, which would look different than a time portal.

The way the person recruiting talks, it's a lot like how B5 from Kal-El's Legion would talk. Plus B5 from Kal's universe is fully aware of the other Legions.

Then go to the Lightning Saga, JS-A #6. Look at the interaction between Sensor Girl and Val (towards the end of the issue). Does it look like a long lost love was returned to her? To her a bit, but to KK? He doesn't act like it.

The following JLoA issue reiterates this a bit, when the lightning is about to strike: Sensor Girl thinks of her own protection, rather than that of KK also. KK himself says "Lightning Lad", instead of thinking about SG.

Sensor Girl uses Triplicate Girl as the illusion. Why her in particular? Why the Computo illusion? Because Sensor Girl is aware from the recruitment that KK and Triplicate Girl aren't the same ones from Kal-El's (thus Sensor Girl's) universe.

Triplicate Girl was recruited for a reason, and Sensor Girl knows this, thus using her as the illusion.

When the Legion goes back to the future, KK is stopped in a seperate window, rather than being stopped in the one the others entered. Then in Countdown, the other person recruited joins KK: Triplicate Girl (but only one of her bodies), and then goes by the name of Una instead of Triplicate Girl. Una is an alternate universe Triplicate Girl, not the one from Kal-El's Legion.

Thus, you end up with the two people who were recruited in the first place from Legion #43, and we know for sure that the Karate Kid from the Lightning Saga is the same one as in Countdown. So it makes sense that he ends up with the same person that was also recruited, thus identifying them both as from the alternate reality Legion.

7:03 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Fair enough. I wouldn't call that proof, but it's a plausible theory, and you've made its case well. And we'll see what happens.

7:53 PM  

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