Sunday, April 11, 2010

Brainiac and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Part 1 Review

Adventure Comics #8
Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #1
Supergirl #51
Superman #698
Adventure Comics #9
Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #2

I was planning on putting up a review of this arc before now, but I found that I really don't have a lot to say about it. I haven't been following the Superman titles, and so there's a lot of this stuff that I really don't know or care about. Kryptonian politics? Yawn. But I might as well get to it.

What Happened That You Need to Know About

Uh, a lot of stuff. Apparently there's something called New Krypton now, ruled by General Zod, and Superman lives there, and Brainiac is threatening the place, and Superman and Mon-El and Supergirl and Superboy and all the Legionnaires in the 21st century are trying to fight him. Brainiac is on track to win this fight and kill Superman, which will throw off history and is creating rifts all over the 31st century, so Brainiac 5 comes back to do what he can to prevent that.


It's a perfectly acceptable crossover so far, with a good villain, a reasonable premise, passable art, complex and competing motivations for the heroes... the ingredients are all here. I'm happy with it.

As a Legion story, though...

It's like pretty much every other appearance of the retroboot Legion, really (especially Legion of 3 Worlds); the Legionnaires are definitely not the stars of the show here. I don't mind that in the sense that anything that increases the visibility of the Legion in preparation for their return to starring status in their own books is welcome, but it doesn't make these issues any better as Legion comics.

Having said that, Tellus's efforts to unite the competing guilds of Kryptonians is a very Legion kind of thing to happen in any story; they're not just there as wallpaper. (Compare the way that FC:L3W turned out to be pretty much a Legion story in the end.)

- am I being too much of a purist or traditionalist or whatever if I say that Robinson and Gates really don't get how Quislet talks?
- all the stuff that was set up in the Adventure backups? R.J. Brande's will, and Element Lad as a chemistry teacher, and all that? The payoff on it could not possibly have been weaker.
- I count at least three Legionnaires who are on the scene who could basically defeat Brainiac all by themselves: Element Lad, Quislet, and Sensor Girl. In fact, the end of S:LSoNK #2 could be a big Sensor Girl ruse.

It's pretty good; it'll probably read well when it's all collected. I look forward to the rest of it, and I'll kick in another review when it's over.

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Anonymous Paul Newell said...

on World pointed out that Quislet was talking like K-9 from Doctor Who.

I was put off by it, but then noticed, as I progressed through the issue, that his speech pattern appeared to be returning to normal. Not in-story, just as if the writers were finding their feet with him.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Paul Newell said...

That first post should have "Someone at Legion World..." at the front.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

There were a couple of parts that sounded about right. Aah, well; it doesn't matter. Obviously Levitz knows how to do it, and he's who's going to have to do it.

(Comparison: only Bill Sienkiewicz, among New Mutants artists, knew how to draw Warlock. His successors couldn't resist simplifying him down to a humanoid figure whenever possible. Although I seem to recall Arthur Adams doing a good Warlock.)

8:47 AM  
Blogger Murray said...

I noticed Quislet's voice was off, too. There were little moments when he sounded right... but no poop a doop to be found!

Tellus was kinda off, too. Not his personality so much as his appearance. His tail would vanish depending on who was drawing him. And some of the artists seemed to depict him as a lumpy looking hunchback shambling about on his back legs. And I'm also thinking of the scene where Tellus used his hands to connect to Supergirl's mind. Tellus isn't a "hands" kinda guy. That's Imra's thing. Tellus uses those hands to support himself and that's about it.

Couldn't agree more about some of the disappointing resolutions to the situations set up in the Adventure back-ups. I wasn't expecting much from the Brande will... but I was really looking forward to the LSV espionage squad. Hopefully that will be something that Levitz picks up on and runs with. It certainly seems like that could make for a pretty interesting story that eventually brings the Legion back to the 21st century for a sales bump/crossover with Superman.

But as you say... anything that increases the team's exposure before their return to their own book and stories is a good thing!

8:57 PM  
Blogger La Belle Esplanade said...

I'm not following this at all except that I subscribed to Adventure Comics for the promised Legion back up tales. So far, I've been very disappointed and I doubt I'll keep with it. This seems to designed to get me to buy more comics dealing with things I don't really care about. I just want to read my Legion stories and not be bothered by what else is going on the DCU. I can't follow what's going on and, frankly, I'd rather save my money.

I'm a Legion fan from way back and I'd like some new tales. Too bad it seems like I have to buy a half dozen books for a few pages of Legion action.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

If it's Legion you want, you should definitely stick with Adventure; the Legion is taking over the lead role starting next issue.

8:18 PM  

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