Friday, October 22, 2010

DC Legacies 6.1 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About: The Legion comes back to 20th-century Smallville to invite Superboy to join their club. And then things get a little confusing.

Review: Len Wein is listed as the writer for this story, and Keith Giffen as the artist, but... See, I've certainly read comics by Wein, but I don't know his stuff well enough to recognize his fingerprints on a story. Giffen, on the other hand, I know much better, and this thing reads to me a lot like a Keith Giffen story. I am going to assume that Giffen had some input into what Wein wrote. I may be wrong, and I may not give Wein enough credit, but that's what I think.

I got the first couple of issues of this series, but dropped it when I realized that it wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know. It was only because the Legion appeared in this issue that I flipped through it in the store and decided it was worth getting. 'Cause, see, this isn't just another retelling of Adventure #247; it's a funny story that makes a point about the Legion: that anything to do with the Legion is too confusing to be worth getting into.

Now, for me and probably for you, this isn't a welcome point. It's something that we could argue with, and to the extent that it's true we wish people would get over it. It's something that we don't like it when people say that.

Which is why Keith Giffen is so great. Because, you know, sprock us if we can't take a joke.

- nice to see the threeboot Legion for a second here
- which Brainiac 5 was that at the bottom of page 7? Looked kind of like the one from the Legion episode of Justice League Unlimited
- that last comment on the bubbles... anybody think it could also refer to the identification bubbles that Legion writers have been relying on for the past six years?

Panel Count: 57 panels/8 pages = 7.1 panels/page (including one 17-panel page!). No single-panel pages. Giffen's art is just what you'd expect from him; jawy faces and shadows and all. Not his best, but fine.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can take a joke,and certainly some fans need to lighten up.But Giffen's sometimes overbearing "superheroes is stoopid" attitude can get under anyone's skin.If he is really so embarassed by the genre,he should leave the field.

2:47 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I don't always enjoy his sense of humour either; he's kind of hit-and-miss for me. But the attitude you mention isn't necessarily a sign that he's embarrassed by the genre; it could be why he likes it in the first place. Like Lester Bangs with rock music.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Martin Gray said...

There's no way Keith Giffen would have spent decades working on superhero books - love him or hate him, Anonymous, this is a man with a unique mind ... he could be doing other things.

Great little story, lots of fun. Interesting speculation on the bubbles comment Matthew, but I'm taking that one as read.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

If I keep throwing 'em out there, eventually some of 'em'll be right.

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a difference between having fun with superheroes and making fun of superheroes.The latter is a form of deconstruction,and while it's fun for a while,it's still deconstruction,and has the same result.
Giffen has a unique,creative mind that results in some unique comics which get a unique reaction from me.Either I really like them or I really don't.No in-between.At least he's never dull.
I don't know whether or not Giffen is embarassed by superheroes,but he does seem to chafe against them sometimes, particurarly against the restrictions of working in the DCU and the expectations of the more vocal fans.That would chafe anybody.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Martin Gray said...

... and apologies for missing off the end of my thought. As Anon spotted, I meant: There's no way Keith Giffen would have spent decades working on superhero books if he didn't enjoy the genre - love him or hate him, Anonymous, this is a man with a unique mind ... he could be doing other things.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are we going on about Giffen? Wein is the writer here.Maybe he's the one suffering from superhero chafing.

1:16 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

True. What do you think: does this seem like a Wein story, or do you think Giffen was an unofficial co-writer?

9:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That 'mystery' Brainiac 5 is drawing from his 'blink and you missed it' appearance in the Superman: The Animated Series episode 'New Kids in Town.' Brainy only appeared in a brief pan of 'other' members of the Legion of Superheroes, with that hairdo, lack of pupils and Brainiac sigil on his shirt.

In the JLU episode, he'd ditched the chest symbol gotten himself some pupils and decided to cut off the super-mullet.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

That makes sense, thanks. I just got the DVDs of Superman: TAS, actually, but I'm still on Season 2.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't read the comic and I don't plan on buying a copy,but there's no reason to doubt the billing.Wein isn't known as a credit hog and Giffen isn't the self-effacing type,so he wouldn't keep quiet about any co-plotting.
It's highly likely Wein got the idea to riff on the Legion's perceived imperceptibility on his own since that's the average layfan's perception of the Legion. Since Giffen is known for irreverence towards superheroes, the script was offered to him,and he accepted,and just illustrated what was written in the script. Sometimes,what you see is what there is.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I have no evidence to the contrary. The style of the story does remind me of Giffen, but that could easily be my brain getting fooled by the Giffen art.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Jim Davis said...

Will there be a Supergirl Annual #2 review?

10:21 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I expect so. I won't be picking it up until this Wednesday, though. In the meantime, Mart has one up at Too Dangerous for a Girl.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Martin Gray said...

Thanks very much for the cross reference, Matthew. I'm dying to know what you think of the annual too.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked it....really good self-indulgent fun, spotting all the diverse Legion looks. Yes, Giffen is a bit full-on but for many [including me] he made the LSH in the Eighties.

7:01 PM  

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