Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Adventure Comics #4.1 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

After the events of Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, Blok is kinda falling apart. He heads to the Sorcerer's World to find Mysa, with Wildfire and Dawnstar along for the ride. They find Mysa; she's using her Black Witch persona to harness Mordru's evil energies and turn it to good ends. She heals Blok and he remains there to help her.


Eleven pages this time; long for a backup story but two of those pages were full-page splashes. It was all right in a charactery way. I don't know; what was there to say about it? I can't tell if it's just killing time or not.

It's nice to see that Mysa's still basically herself, I guess. I presume that the intrepid denizens of the internet are hard at work identifying all those screaming stone-encased faces surrounding Mysa's throne.

I continue to be tired of the Dawnstar-Wildfire relationship.

Membership Notes:

It sure looks like Blok quits this issue.

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Blogger Greybird said...

You "continue to be tired of the Dawnstar-Wildfire relationship"? Well, that hadn't even been around in print, until Lo3W, for a mere 14 years. Are you sure you simply don't want to see it at all? Or see them, for that matter? Hmmm.

Not a word on the parallels between Blok-Mysa and Drake-Dawny. Did you laugh at "Worst story ever"? I certainly did.

As for Clayton Henry, he makes the reworked looks for Dawny and Drake look positively beautiful — notably more so than the sharper lines of Gary Frank managed in the first place.

Henry's sensitive rendering of their hesitant physical touch — for both couples! — could have engendered some comment, couldn't it?

You didn't mention the one page of the Legion dropped into the middle of the main Superboy-Prime story. I got a chuckle from the allusion to comic-book deposits being buried in "old San Diego." (Not at all likely, given that the Comic Conners fold their metaphorical tents each year.)

Could you set up some context for us as to how the Earth-Prime Legion is, apparently, thus brought into the "Blackest Night" narrative? Or why it's digging for pulp fiction? Some of us don't have $300 to spend on trying to follow "BN." *sigh*

11:38 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

You "continue to be tired of the Dawnstar-Wildfire relationship"? Well, that hadn't even been around in print, until Lo3W, for a mere 14 years. Are you sure you simply don't want to see it at all? Or see them, for that matter?

All right, all right, take it easy.

No, I like both Dawnstar and Wildfire; I just want to see them expand their circle of friends, that's all. I thought Paul Levitz did a good job of resolving their relationship back in the '80s (pre-Crisis, I might add) and I don't need to watch it happen again. How about we see what happens when they interact with [i]some other[/i] characters?

Seriously, when was the last time Dawnstar had a conversation with someone other than Wildfire?

The parallels between Blok-Mysa and Drake-Dawnstar don't do much for me. For one thing, Blok knows that he's a normal Dryadian and that physical compatibility is a real possibility; Wildfire doesn't even have that much consolation. (I did enjoy "Worst story ever.")

With Clayton Henry, what struck me the most was how he drew Mysa, especially as the White Witch.

I may have given this story short shrift, but a) it disappointed me after last issue's quite decent story, and b) I can't help but wonder what these stories are for. They're not that great on their own, and they're not setting something else up, because Levitz is going to do his own thing regardless. So what's the point?

I'm not following "Blackest Night" either, so I can't help you with that, but presumably the Legion is digging for comics to try to keep some kind of a line on Superboy-Prime. They aren't very good at time travel, after all. It was nice seeing the threeboot Legion again but the whole Superboy-Prime story struck me as too clever for its own good.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Brainy Pirate said...

I loved when Dawny and Wildfire held hands!!! That's the most emotionally satisfying moment so far of the Legion's return over the past two years. But then, I don't recall their relationship being resolved pre-Crisis, so I don't feel I'm seeing a re-run.

I never really cared for Mysa and Blok before, but I've really enjoyed their relationship since Lo3W. And Mysa looks beautiful here--stunning in both her black and her white forms!

Heck, I actually liked Superboy-Prime in this ish, and I was sick of him halfway through Lo3W! But I loved the idea that he has to remove people's fear and hatred of him in order to save his own life.

And what a great joke about the internet being an outlet for people's rage -- how true!

8:35 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

This the first time we've seen Superboy-Prime and the threeboot Legion since the end of "Legion of 3 Worlds", so whatever we've read here is the first we've seen of it.

3:44 AM  
Blogger Ben Rawluk said...

The main feature is the worst piece of dreck ever imagined, I'm reasonably sure.

The back-up's not bad. I like how casually we're reminded that Quislet exists, which I think is the first we've heard of him in this version. I'm not sure where to go with Dawnstar and Wildfire to make them more interesting, I'm afraid. I think the problem is that these feel like Levitz subplots from the 1980s, but crammed into 11 pages and focused on, rather than being spread out over a whole comic with some room to breathe. Legion DOES NOT WORK as a back-up feature for any length of time.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Murray said...

Taken on their own, I've found the back-ups to be enjoyable enough. This particular story was probably a little stronger than the first two, but not quite as good as last issue.

The problem, as you have stated, is that the back-ups give the impression that they are building to something... but there aren't anymore Legion back-ups scheduled as far as I know. And then they come back (at some point) as the lead (or only?) feature.

Presumably, Levitz will take some of these threads and work them into his ongoing tale. But I have a feeling that it's going to be a long wait.

As for the actual stories in this book... I'm still tired of Prime and was far more interested (far more interested than I ever thought I would be) in the ongoing story of Connor Kent in Smallville. So I was bummed to see that particular story sidelined for a weak installment of Blackest Night, which seemed like all intro, no payoff.

The Legion story had some good moments, though. I'm not sure how I feel about the progression of the Blok/Mysa relationship. They were always so tentative and innocent which is how I remember them. Not that the forward movement is a bad thing... just that I think that I needed to see some of that movement in order to buy into where they are at right now. Still though, it's an interesting development.

Has the Sorcerer's World always been ruled by an evil force? That's not how I'm remembering it. It was a planet of learning and knowledge for a long time, too wasn't it? Or was this a reference to Mordru's rule (did that last centuries?) or the Arch Mage (from the Magic Wars)?

I'd disagree that Levitz closed the book on the Dawny/Wildfire relationship. He was always putting them together, pulling them apart. But you make a great point that they dont' *always* have to show up together. It would be nice to see the two of them develop friendships outside of one another.

Dawny was getting kinda friendly with Timber Wolf at some point towards the end of the Levitz run, I think. But I suspect you are looking for interactions that aren't necessarily romantic. Which would also be fun to read.

Thanks for the reveiw

9:42 AM  
Anonymous peter vandeneng said...

y'all *did* notice that two of the black lanterns that confront prime on the last page are 3boot dirk & 3boot jan, right?

6:59 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I kind of cruised through the main story and didn't sweat the details too much, but I did hear about it afterwards.

So how'd they get back to the present day, anyway?

8:32 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I didn't recognize any of the Black Lanterns with Alex on the last page there. L3 Sun Boy is obvious now, as the guy on flame in the middle. I guess that's L3 Element Lad with the cape to the upper left. Who are the others?

Word verification: "Scalia".

9:26 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think it's all other people who've been killed by Superboy-Prime over the years. I forget who exactly.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

According to a thread on Comicbloc, the Black Lanterns who appear at the end are
* Charaxes
* Ballistic
* Major Disaster
* Bushido
* Element Lad
* Sun Boy
* Geist
* Razorsharp
* Baron Blitzkrieg
* Nightblade
As one commenter wrote, "It's like a Bloodlines family reunion."

10:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Have you seen the Legion in Color yet? My favourite is Atom Girl.


8:04 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Michael: I think someone said they also saw Pantha in there somewhere.

Farthing 'n: That's kind of neat. And if DC made that change it wouldn't bother me a bit. Unfortunately I think I'm in the minority; look at the arguments that flared up when threeboot Star Boy first showed up.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You're probably right. I don't even like all of the changes myself. Still, some of the before/after's are disturbing, especially the ones with crowds.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Brainy Pirate said...

I like the Legion in Color idea too -- you'd think a group that has room for green and blue people (not to mention rocks, tiny spaceships and whatever you want to call Tellus) could find more room for the red, yellow, black and brown people from earth. Is it so hard to draw Val Armorr as Asian? And where are the Latinas/os and Middle Easterners?

5:13 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I guess, unfortunately, the Legion was mostly created back when such ideas were unAmerican, and now that we know better, nobody can change anything without raping somebody's childhood.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

An interview with Levitz indicated that a couple issues of Adventure will be dedicated to the current Team 20 Legionnaires, and then he'll do an Adventure Annual to launch his stuff.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Is that in this week's DC Nation? I thought I read somewhere that there was something with Levitz in DC Nation. Or somewhere else?

9:01 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

No, this week's DC Nation (see scan here) talks about what it's like for Levitz to come back to the Legion.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, okay. Thanks.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

DC Nation this week:

"and listen to Keith Giffen make time for the future by revisiting the past."

Curiouser and curiouser.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

There's nothing I like better than trying to recapture past glory instead of pursuing new glory.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

"There's nothing I like better than trying to recapture past glory instead of pursuing new glory."

Totally agree.

Especially when the last few attempts at anything new pale in comparison with Levitz and Giffen's classic Legion work.

Having them back in any capacity to guide the Legion into new territory will be welcome.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Don't get me wrong; I like Levitz and Giffen's work on the Legion, whether together or separate. And I don't expect what they come up with (assuming Giffen is coming on board Adventure in some capacity) to be bad or uninteresting. I just mistrust the mindset that says that only someone who has succeeded before in this context can succeed now. At best, it's a poor way to make the decision; at worst, it leads to mediocrity. Why can't DC try to find the next Levitz and Giffen?

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

I see your point.

Unfortunately, like all media (and sometimes "art" as well) it is backed by moneyed interests that want to see a return on investment and will conventionally bank on the closest proximity to "sure thing" or "proven commodity" as they can get.

We should remain ever-hopeful though. You can't judge a book before even seeing the cover. ^_^

12:50 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, I'm looking forward to it. I just wish I was looking forward to something new.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Then maybe you shouldn't be reading a comic about characters started 50 years ago?

Less snarkily, the more the Legion veers away from the directions it pursued at its mid-80s height, the more vocal the fanbase gets about it (or maybe the less vocal, as they just stop buying).

I think we can see that most clearly with the DnA "The Legion" series. That's the series in the past 20 years which no one particularly complains about (in big picture terms) and meshes most with the Levitz years in tone and direction.

Compare to 5YG/TMK, Legion on the Run, Reboot/Archie Legion, Legion Lost (Coipel), Threeboot/WKRP, and Shooter Returns. The major complaints about the Retroboot Legion so far tend to be "Why don't they tell us what happened to get this character to this place!"

2:27 PM  

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