Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Legion of Super-Heroes #10 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Cosmic Boy finally gets through to Mon-El, wherever he is, to tell him that he won the election. Mon-El doesn't want the job, but it looks like he's going to come back and take it anyway; in the meantime, Brainy's in charge. Brainy sends Cham, Phantom Girl, and Yera to Brande's estate to poke through the records and figure out what the Durlan assassins are really up to. This forces a confrontation with Cham's aunt, which turns into a fight that the Legion wins.

Meanwhile, Dawnstar wakes up and flies off after the blue space baby in her underwear.


Man, these comic books feel short now! Oh, well; it's a lot better than an eight-page backup.

The interesting thing is that there was a twist in the story of the Durlans: they weren't zealots; they were thieves. Kind of like in Die Hard. I like that. It would have been more interesting if there had been more riding on it, although I'm not sure how that could have been accomplished. As it is, I'm interested that their plan is different from how I thought it was, but there's no consequence to me because of it. Unless, perhaps, the Legion's finances are now all messed up?

So right now Brainiac 5 is the acting leader. This is not such a bad thing. Original-Legion Brainy is actually a nice guy, and obviously he's smart. He has social skills. Now, retroboot Brainy has a few spikes on him, but he's still nowhere near as bad as reboot or threeboot Brainy. He might actually make a decent leader. If this issue is any indication, he'll be fine.

Okay! Enough Durlans! Let's see what the LSV is up to these days.

- What's the rush, Dawny?
- Yes. "Relieved." That's the word.
- Once again. Vyrga. Not Vyraga.
- I do like the distinction drawn between Cham's and Yera's specialties. It might be nice, someday, to see a situation where Yera's acting skills are more useful than Cham's, what, combat experience.
- Dr. Gym'll with four arms again.
- I'm assuming there's more to be said about Chief Zendak's death. It's like the destruction of Titan; one of those things that I think Levitz wants to take a long look at.

Art: 90 panels/20 pages = 4.5 panels/page. One single-panel page. Another nice job by Cinar.

Membership Notes: Dawnstar's out of her coma and Mon-El seems to be coming back to active duty. Yera, aka Chameleon Girl, shows up in this issue, but a lot of emphasis was placed on her acting career, suggesting that she's a reserve member just helping out. I prefer that. I like Yera just fine, but I also like my superhero titles to have a strong supporting cast, and, to me, that's where Yera belongs.

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Blogger snell said...

Once again. Vyrga. Not Vyraga.

Or Vyagra...which might explain far too much about Gates...

11:03 PM  
Anonymous stile86 said...

I guess Dawny is a bit peeved about being knocked on her (barely clad) butt - and if your body can withstand the rigours of space why worry about what you're wearing? Still it surprised me too.

Reep:"Caught in one of those forms-but-not-substance shifts, huh?" As we have seen in the retroboot Durlans can have powers when they shift - sometimes. I guess this is meant to help explain that. Maybe it isn't easy and takes practice. Perhaps changing not just the appearance but the entire internal structure?

Yeah those four arms really annoy me too, and as you've pointed out previously, Tellus was much more interesting when his front limbs weren't hands and he "swam" everywhere. Now he even appears to be standing on his rear limbs. Yuck.

My favourite part: Brainy: "Hmmm... easily done." Rokk: "Talking to yourself again, Brainy?" Brainy: "Why should I be denied the pleasure?" That just felt so right.

3:16 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I wonder if the changes are intentional on Cinar's part.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Durlans are getting out of hand. Not content with just looking like anyone they choose,now they can duplicate their abilities.They can grow as tall as Colossal Boy and as small as Shrinking Violet.If Cham ever mimics Duplicate Girl's abilities,we might as well disband the Legion. Let's dial back on the Durlans--aping appearances should be a sufficient power for any Legionnaire.
Ultra Boy has retrobooted into the team jerk,hasn't he? Not only unconcerned with causing explosive decompression on those errant astronauts,his words of comfort about Wildfire's ladylove were priceless:"Glad your girlfriend's getting better,but I never cared for her myself." Yow. Amazed at how calmly Wildfire took that--time was,he would've blasted Jo right out of his medieval boots.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I didn't take Jo's comments in that sense; to me it sounded more like he was sorry that he wasn't better friends with Dawnstar. (Of the two: which one is more likely to not meet the other person halfway for the purposes of friendship, Jo or Dawny?) And it seems like that's how Wildfire interpreted it.

As for the Durlans, Levitz established fairly early in his third run that sometimes Durlans could duplicate special abilities and sometimes they couldn't. This was a way of making it easier for himself as a writer: if he wants Cham or Yera to be able to duplicate a power, they can. If he doesn't, they can't. It's a thoroughly admirable bit of shameless cheating.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Greybird said...

Who cares, or should, about whether Jo likes her? (Drake knows he can't sand-blast his friends for their opinions. Besides, this Legion is living with not everyone being harmonious friends, all to the better as to the writing.)

Or that she is out in space underdressed? (Looks to me more like a swimsuit. Anyway, she doesn't feel space any differently.)

Or, for that matter, that Dr. Gym'll will have a payment delay? (Nothing's changed in ten centuries.)

Dawnstar is healed, whole, and out of her coma! And ready to at least be part of an arse-kicking! That's what matters.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I wonder if Dawnstar might not be biting off more than she can chew, trying to hunt down the space baby. Which is not something she usually does.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Jim Davis said...

The interesting thing is that there was a twist in the story of the Durlans: they weren't zealots; they were thieves. Kind of like in Die Hard.

This really didn't make much sense to me. You might as well posit someone trying to assassinate Obama to cover up the fact that he's managed to hack into Bill Gates' bank account.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, Levitz did try to sell it to us by having Brainy say that it's a Durlan kind of thing to do to do something but make it seem like something else. And the mechanics of the plan were there, with the attacks on Pheebs and Cosmic Boy.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still think Ultra Boy came off as being ultra-dismissive about Dawnstar.If he regretted not being closer to Dawny,that's what he should've said.He's never been shown to be that bad with words before.
So that's it with the Durlans.All that way for that.If your reaction to a story's finish is "Glad that's over",that's not a good story.Had a similar reaction to the other wrap-ups in this run. Levitz needs to put as much thought to a story's pay-off as he does to its build-up.
Brainy came off well this month--logical,but with enough attitude to avoid coming off as a round-eared Mr. Spock.But those last two panels!He's congratulating himself on his deputy leadering as the walls come tumbling down around him(guess the LSV has come a callin') Even for him,that's detatched.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It was better than "glad that's over". I found I just didn't have a lot to say about the issue; it seemed kind of short. I think this storyline with the Durlans was partly successful.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Friday said...

Little continuity error with this issue and the Anual bugged me. In the Anual we had the single panel appearance of dawnstar fighting... something. A flowing rock beast? I dunno. But that made me think that it took place after this issue, but in it Rokk was still in charge, then he mentions the new Emerald Empress here, so we've got a bit of confusion. If we had two different writers it wouldn't bug me but I expect more when its only the one person having to keep his ducks in a row.

On issue length, it feels much shorter because before Legion was at $3.99 but it used all the pages for legion story, no backup. I don't remember the exact page count, but if it was 24 with an 8 page backup normally then we had 32 pages to a Legion issue and now we're down to 22 is it? A roughly 1/3rd cut for us.

As for the issue, I love Brainy as the interium leader. Mon-El can play Green Lantern for as long as he wants. I'm glad the Durlan subplot is wrapped up. It didn't do much for me and seemed to lead us to stand around waiting for Durlans to show up. I did really like the whole "he's already logged in" bit.

I do think that Dawnstar should have put on Pants though. At some point she's going to regret not getting dressed.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I don't think it was a continuity error; I think it was just that the Annual was originally supposed to come out much sooner than it was, and that scene of Dawnstar fighting the rock monster (and therefore the whole Annual) happened before she ran into the blue space baby.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Martin Gray said...

I wonder if the Durlan plotline didn't change slightly, as Paul Levitz had to rejig events in order to hit the new page counts while still keeping the two regular books, the LSV special and Annual in sync as far as possible.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Could be. I'd be surprised if anything substantial had to change, though.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Still not used to how short these new 2.99 issues are. I suspect that the issue would have benefited from more exposition to explain Cham Boy's sort-of-mom's motivations. Surely Brande would have left her quite a lot of money in his will?

Anyway, yeah, I'm glad too that the Durlan story is over. Let's hope the LSV stuff is amazing.

Oh, I echo comments about Ultra Boy coming across as a bit dismissive. You don't tell friends or colleagues in real life that you don't like their partners. But I think the purpose of the exchange was to set up a bit of friction or difficulty between Dawnstar and Phantom Girl in the future. Either the two of them being forced to work together or that Dawnstar won't be able to find PG when the team needs her.

Really annoyed with this whole preview stuff in the last few issues. I don't care about the green lanterns and Oa and all that. Just give me a few more pages of the comic that I actually wanted to buy!

9:39 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I agree about the purpose of the Ultra Boy/Wildfire conversation. Probably didn't come out as smoothly as it sounded in Levitz's mind.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Wish there had been some mention of why Aunt Daggle wasn't going by the name Ji any more.

The idea of Yera's acting abilities being useful is cool. It also maybe reflects on Reep's ability to sometimes mimic abilities as well as forms: he has put more effort into that side of things and can do it better, she has put more effort into the believability side of things (so she is unlikely to be found out where he might be). Makes her a good Espionage Squad addition.

Dr. Gym'll's 4th arm: maybe his race are mild shapeshifters/forced evolvers, adding a 3rd and sometimes 4th arm as needed. Variable Lad then becomes a member of that race with the powers a bit stronger/warped.

Does the Dawnstar/Phantom Girl reference have any textual precedent in the 5YG stories? Did Dawny try to find Tinya after the wedding shuttle "exploded"?

7:14 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I remember there was a story where some raiders were using a Bgtzln to attack spaceships, and Dawny couldn't find them; it was only when Brainy put Phantom Girl on the case that the Legion were able to hunt them down. I think that was in the Baxter era.

10:03 PM  

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