Saturday, June 04, 2011

Adventure Comics #527 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The Academy students continue their training, and Comet Queen tells Glorith her origin story. Some of us have seen it before, and some haven't; basically, she always wanted to be a Legionnaire and let herself get strafed by a comet, Star-Boy-style. And it worked. Then there's the part we haven't heard before: she graduated from the Academy, was assigned to the Subs, and got nailed by Saturn Queen after Titanfall. Saturn Queen damaged her mind so much that it stripped out all her training and a lot of her memories, so now she's back at the Academy to start over.


These comic books are too short and it's ticking me off.

We've been having The Comet Queen Story teased at us for a while now, and I have to admit I was expecting something a little different. I figured she would have suffered all that mental damage while doing something heroic. Maybe she threw herself on some psychic bomb or other, to save a bunch of trapped children, or like that. Instead she was an unlucky victim. Granted, we do get the added bonus of amping up Saturn Queen's villainous status, which is worth doing.

The other thing we get is a more sustained focus on Comet Queen herself. Visually, she is, as always, striking: alien and weird and lithe, but not exactly sexy. Her dialogue, well... that needed to change. When she was first introduced, she spoke basically in Valspeak, but that won't fly in 2011, so Levitz had to come up with something analogous. Now she sounds more affectionate and, oh, cosmic, I guess, which is weird and may be all Levitz was hoping to achieve. Personality: she used to be meaner than this, I recall; now she's flighty and oddly attracted to Bouncing Boy, a radical interpretation of previous texts.

Maybe I'll take a minute here to kick around the big announcements from DC. The digital-release thing is okay by me. I don't plan to take advantage of it, but I like to see people try stuff. As far as the mass reset to #1 issues of 52 different series, well... I suppose I'm going to lose some things I like, such as Bryan Q. Miller writing Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, but in general the only thing I care about is whether there's going to be a Legion comic or not. And my understanding is that there is. (Rumour has it that it's going to be some kind of Legion Lost deal, at least at the start.) So that's fine.

What do I expect from this Legion comic? Honestly, I just want it to be interesting. Interesting and good would be better than interesting and not good, but I'd rather interesting-and-bad than uninteresting-and-good.

I wonder if Levitz is going to write it. (We know Cinar is moving over to the new Firestorm comic; best of luck to him.) I don't mind if he doesn't, tell you the truth; I always like to see someone new get a shot at it, and Levitz is something of a known quantity.

I also wonder if it's going to be a reboot or not. There's been speculation that this whole effort is commercially driven and the big idea is to make all the new comics maximally commercially viable. (Which would be sensible enough.) As such, do you leave the Legion pretty much as it is? You might. Or you might strip them down even more, make them a group of, oh, ten alien-futuristic superheroes trapped in the 21st century, and let all that complicated 31st-century stuff with the hundreds of characters boil away. It could happen! Anyway, I don't really care so much if the thing does get rebooted; the retroboot hasn't been around long enough for me to really get attached to it. I'm still waiting for it to grab me. And if it doesn't, well, maybe the new thing will.

As long as it's interesting.

- Not really a fan of Grava's attitude toward the Subs, but I accept that she might think that way
- One of the letters in the lettercol was written by intrepid correspondent Martin Gray
- Does anyone else think that Levitz missed an opportunity by not having Comet Queen come from Tamaran? Would have been easy to do, back at the time
- Comet Queen was the fastest to graduate from the Academy, ever? I find that hard to believe

Art: 108 panels/20 pages = 5.4 panels/page. No single-panel pages! That hardly ever happens.

Actually the comic book wasn't that short; the panel count was significantly up, which I appreciate. Borges was especially good rendering Glorith, but I appreciate how he let us know exactly how Comet Queen's skull was shaped; the whole hair-energy-contrail thing makes more sense to me now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Size doesn't matter.What matters is what you put in the comics.Will Eisner's Spirit comics were only 7 pages long,and they were a full read.No reason present-day Legion comics,working with 20 pages,can't give us a reading experience equally as full.
"A Comet's Tale"? Punny.If puns rule,how about "Queensbury Rules" cuz of the Queen vs Queen fight. Considering Saturn Queen's recent nastiness,Comet Queen can count herself lucky she only lost her first kiss memory.Maybe CQ's sudden passion for Bouncing Boy was a side-effect of SQ's mind-maiming.
Another Legion revamp? Any excuse to slap another #1 on the cover. Fans have only themselves to blame;DC only prints #1s because we keep snapping up #1s.
Sorry to see Cinar go;he's done well by the Legion(but Firestorm? No accounting for taste)As for Levitz's possible departure,I find myself strangely unbothered.No one writes a better Legion story,but while I like many of the story ideas he's come up with this past year,I don't like how they just....go....on....with no end in sight.I don't find myself eagerly awaiting the next issue of a Levitz Legion comic book nowadays. Maybe a new writer can give LSH that sense of forward momentum and resolution every comic needs.Screw the reboots;just make the Legion interesting and exciting.

3:43 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Size doesn't matter.

That's just something people say. Of course it matters.

Will Eisner's Spirit comics were only 7 pages long,and they were a full read.No reason present-day Legion comics,working with 20 pages,can't give us a reading experience equally as full.

You're right, though, about this; only problem is that they don't seem to be doing it.

10:26 AM  
Blogger karl said...

I dont want another reboot of the LSH...weve only just got our authentic Legion back after years away, with reboots, threeboots and the like.
I can only hope DCs intention to 'youthenize' its heroes leaves its 31st century counterparts alone. Another 'Legion Lost' retro? No thanks and DEFINITELY no 'stranded in the 21st century' series either. I want the entire LSH together, not split off.
Why cant DC just leave well enough alone? Bad enough theyr messing with my beloved Wonder Woman [more than they already have, gggrrrr!].

4:45 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Because maybe they don't think it is well enough.

I don't know. Maybe they will leave it alone. Nothing will surprise me.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

I can't help but think that a lot of the dissatisfaction (not mine personally) with Mr. Levitz's current run is due to a huge mishmashed combination of: tiptoeing through the "Flashpoint" minefield, the sudden page count drop, the shoehorned in '31st Century Green Lantern' nonsense, and his personal way of plotting so far ahead of himself. It's not that his style is somehow outdated (all this 'write for the trade' foolishness has caused me to drop most of Marvel's books as well as a few from DC), it's that there were far too many corporate initiatives at the onset of his current run to allow him to jump back in with both feet.

I am hoping that once all the dust settles that PL will jam pack his monthly 20 pages once again in the way us older fans are acquainted.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Could be. It's hard to know, though, what went into making something the way it is. I'm pretty sure Levitz won't be talking.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Prof. Lemaris Lang said...

Regarding Legion Lost 1:

A piece in Bleeding Cool today hints that Legion Lost may be a mini-series. I'm not good at linking and the like, but I'm sure that most of you can find it.

Also, some of the information regarding the relaunch shows that some books and characters are surviving this with little changes in personal history.

Given that the Legion is tucked away in the future, The current Legion book may skate through somewhat unscathed, with a short-lived companion.

One can only hope.

PS: I think it is interesting to learn that Levits, as Publisher, nixed this idea.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, sure; they don't have to change a thing. But then, they don't have to change any of their other series either.

If we do lose the current Levitz ghostboot, though, I can't say I'll miss it much. Hasn't had time to grab me.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Avalon Lad said...

Am I imagining it? Or was there not talk of some sort of mini planned that recounted the missing years between Magic Wars and Justice League Earth? "Legion Lost" (as in 'lost years') might be that.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

May have been. I'm sure some fans were pressing for it; I don't know if I recall anybody at DC behind it. Anyway I don't think it's a good idea, and this Legion Lost seems to be another thing entirely.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Prof. Lemaris Lang said...

Having read the solicitations, Im not sure how I feel about the two books. It is good to learn the Levitz will still write the main book, but like a depressing, dystopian future. This could occur due to Saturn Queen and the little blue guy, but probably not. The second book, probably a mini, may be interesting, but I am a little tired of the "change the past to save th3e future' plot line. I don't know if I can hold my breath until September.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, you don't have to hold your breath; we have Legion comics coming out between now and then. We can just read those.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what do you think about the new Legion lineup of books? The Legion Lost(vol.2)series looks fun,at least in the short term. Legionnaires in our time,and those Legionnaires,shows promise.Pete Woods looks good.I've not read any Fabian Nicieza comics recently,but I remember his snappy dialogue.At least he'll give Paul Levitz some needed competition.
As for the new LSH #1(seems like we got one of those just last year--because we DID!)I'm happy to have Francis Portela stay on and am not unhappy that Levitz lingers on(if Levitz had left,who else would you want writing the Legion?)It's rather vague what,if anything,gets revamped in LSH #1 vol. whatever, but at least some of the team will get new costumes.For most of them, they will be an improvement.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I'll post my opinions next week when I review the next issue of LSH. Short version: things could be a whole lot worse.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

We can call Comet Queen's crush on Bouncing Boy as something gone awry in her recovery, an imprinting caused by the stuffed Chuck doll, retroactively affecting her memories by its presence.

Levitz has also given an "in" to a future Legion traitor story. Since Saturn Queen didn't kill her, who knows what nasty crap she might have left behind, tucked into something Tellus didn't fix up. He next first kiss memory could be deadly...

2:20 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, obviously Saturn Queen has to work with the tools available, but if I had the choice between "turning Comet Queen into my sleeper assassin" and "not turning Comet Queen into my sleeper assassin", I'd definitely pick the second one, as it's far less likely to blow up in my face. If she really wanted to use Grava to sink the Legion, she should have figured out a way to trick them into thinking Comet Queen was competent.

2:32 PM  

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