Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes #40 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

As we saw suggested last issue, Brainy retrieves Shadow Lass from Talok; the two of them have to team up to fight another one of those burly monsters. Some things come to a head at a meeting later: Brainy reveals that the 'alien destroyers' are teleporting in from way out at the edge of the universe; he sends Legionnaires out to try to recover any of their bodies for analysis but they all self-destructed except for one, and the Science Police have that. Projectra's legal troubles continue, and may or may not have pushed her too far by the end of the issue. Timber Wolf and Saturn Girl get called on the carpet for misuse of their powers. We're still not done with Giselle.


I wonder if Francis Manapul was in a rush this issue.There were a few panels that made me wonder if Sharpe or DeKraker were back.

One of the complaints I've seen about the threeboot, as opposed to the reboot Legion it replaced, is that too many interesting details were lost. For instance, the reboot Legion used Threshold technology to teleport around. It was based on the Kwai's pathfinding power, and grew organically out of the Legion's relationship with Shikari and her people in Legion Lost. The threeboot Legion used standard boring 'transmatter gates'; ho hum. Well, now we've got a replacement for the transmatter gates: Brainy's new wormhole-conduit teleporter. It's amusing feature is that whenever you travel that way you throw up. Does that count as an 'interesting detail'?

One of the reasons why Saturn Girl is such a great character is that she really does go too far a lot of the time. She abuses her superpowers. Always has. And now, Timber Wolf and Lightning Lad (and others) have called her on it... but talk is cheap. I wonder where this is going to go. Because I really doubt she can resist the temptation...

The thing that ticks me off about this issue is that, once again, nothing ends. Nothing is resolved. Look, I don't mind having story elements that extend over a long time. And I agree that it's interesting to explore the implications of events rather than just let them lapse into the background. And there's some good characterization going on here, and the action is fine. But it feels like we aren't getting anywhere. Every wheel is spinning. Can't we stop one before we start another one? Stupid sixteen-issue mega-arc.

Also. The question about whether Legionnaires kill or not has been much debated in this version. I thought Bedard had finally put the issue to rest with his second Lallor issue during his minirun, but I guess not; Jim Shooter has the Legionnaires butchering these big brawny motorscooters all over the place. Now, I know that this is a science-fiction comic as well as being a superhero comic, so I'll cut the writers some slack on this point. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Unless it's specifically said that Legionnaires do kill at times, I'm going to assume that they don't. I'm going to assume that these monsters are just constructs and that cutting them in half is no worse than cutting mannequins in half. But it'd be nice, if they are constructs, for that to be established. Because I do prefer it that the superheroes I read about don't kill.

But sleeping around is okay. Especially in the future. I expect there to be some criticism of Light Lass's behaviour in this storyline: she goes to bed with Karate Kid, and then says afterward that it was great but they're just friends. This is of a piece with what we already know about her: she's had quite a few boyfriends among the Legionnaires. I've seen several references to Ayla being a slut because of all this. But I say that the critics can pack it, because a) contraception and disease prevention ought to be pretty reliable and unobtrusive by the 31st century, b) Ayla's behaviour is pretty consistent with that of many perfectly nice young women of today, never mind after a thousand more years of social progress, and c) what's wrong with it anyway? Light Lass has become one of my favourite characters in this version of the Legion, because of a couple of her personal qualities that both Waid and Shooter took care to portray: she's the warmest and most affectionate person on the team. This showed in her dealings with Supergirl, with Lightning Lad, in the lettercol that she and Star Boy hosted, and now it's showing in a different way, in her friendship with Karate Kid. Her depiction in this series has my full approval.

- "Legionnaires have been expelled for less." Really? I'd like to hear that story
- I wonder if Projectra was telling the truth about that bracelet having been hers before
- Remember when we thought Tony Bedard was setting stuff up for Shooter? Wrong again. I don't think Shooter has used a single one of his plot developments
- I like the way Shooter is setting this story in our solar system. It's not always necessary to make up exotic planets orbiting distant stars; there's some cool stuff much closer to home

Labels: ,