Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #10 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

The Fatal Five play cat-and-mouse with Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl in Legion HQ. The two Legionnaires eventually neutralize all their opponents, but the Five teleport away (I hate it when that happens).


I'm on record as saying that I'm sick of the Fatal Five. So it should be an indication of just how good this issue was that I wasn't conscious of being sick of them at all.

Sure, it was mostly action, but, like many episodes of the cartoon and issues of this series, it was shaped action, plotful action, not just generic fighting. This isn't always true in the superhero genre! Even with the on-the-run nature of the goings-on, though, there were still character moments for Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and also-appearings Bouncing Boy and Brainiac 5.

Alex Serra provides the art (I'm going to have to go back and chart out just who's done the writing and drawing for all the different issues (Matthew K. Manning is the writer this time). We've had a lot of the same names over and over, but it's been a rotating cast. Serra's penciled quite a few issues, I know that), and acquits himself well. I like the split effect on the splash page. From certain angles he draws Lightning Lad as very boyish and appealing, and Saturn Girl's face in the last panel is particularly nice.

Given the nature of the intended audience of this comic and its source cartoon, I'm sure we're never going to see Lightning Lad's and Saturn Girl's relationship get past the early stages, much like with Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel, but at least they are giving us the early stages, and alluding to the rest (i.e. Saturn Girl making a great mom--especially considering who one of her sons turns out to be!).

I'm trying to come up with some analysis of how some of the elements in this story--Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, the Empress, the power core, Tharok--relate to each other. It's not coming, though. If it clicks for me I'll post it in the comments. But there ought to be something, especially after that issue where Lightning Lad fought Superman. Like, I know that the Empress is Saturn Girl's counterpart. I suspect that Lightning Lad can be juxtaposed with the power core. But I haven't been able to extract a point from it yet.

Possibly the best issue so far. It's a page-turner.

- "Yeah... I really should have seen this coming." But does the Legion really have to have a Danger Room? The Legion is cool enough without having to steal from the X-Men.
- "Been eating a lot of those protein bars..."
- Page 12, panel 2. Cool.
- Are we supposed to believe that Mano is scared of rats? Not any Mano that I know.
- I've seen the Atomic-Axe-used-against-the-Emerald-Eye done better than this.
- "Sparks flew." Completing Lightning Lad's trifecta of good lines this issue.

More like this!

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