Monday, July 25, 2011

Legion of Super-Heroes #15 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Harmonia Li uses Star Boy's power to bring the Legion to Utopia, where the LSV is already trashing the place. Then they fight.


Where exactly did all those extra members of the LSV come from? Radiation Roy and Chameleon Chief and all those guys. Was Saturn Queen keeping them in her ear for just such an occasion? I regard that as not exactly fair play on Paul Levitz's part. (Oh, wait, now I see it; Mekt explains it on page 4. Still don't like it.)

So there's not much in this issue except fighting, but it's interesting fighting, taking place in different locations and with different groups of characters. It's exactly the kind of thing that can work really well in Legion comics, and it works well here. I suppose really I should go back and reread Sun-Killer's first appearance, so I can refresh my memory of just what the trick was that Timber Wolf and Sun Boy used to beat him. Eventually I will.

The one Utopian guy says, when faced with the prospect of his world being destroyed, that he has lived long and learned acceptance. I don't think acceptance is necessarily that wise a policy. What's so wise about allowing bad things to happen? (Obvious answer: well, Matthew, you're obviously not wise enough to understand it. I reject the obvious answer.)

We've only got one issue left to wrap this storyline (and LSHv6!) up for good. Anyone think we actually make it to Oa in that one issue, or does it all end here on Utopia? (Not that Oa would be a big loss; the only one there is Sodam Yat, and he can survive in space unaided. All he has to do is stuff the extra rings in a big sack, tie a tow rope to the giant power battery, and he's good to go.) From a dramatic point of view you'd think that the LSV would polish off Utopia and the Legion would have to make their last stand on Oa, but from a time-management angle you'd have to say that we don't want to spend any of those last twenty pages traveling from one planet to another.

- hey, Black Mace is there! When does this story take place, compared to the Adventure story about the Academy?
- notice, on page 3, the starfield effect has faded from Thom's costume
- Gates's homeworld? Still Vyrga. Still not Vyraga
- blue space baby is even older now; I guess we have to call him the blue space guy

Art: 83 panels/20 pages = 4.2 panels/page. Two single-panel pages plus one double-page panel.

Cinar's work is fine here, and basically up to his usual standard, but I'm wondering if he isn't suffering from Francis Manapul syndrome a bit.

In Other News: Obviously a lot of interesting stuff coming up for the Legion. This fall there will be four monthly Legion series on the stands: LSHv7, Legion Lost, LSH: Secret Origin, and the LSH/Star Trek crossover miniseries from IDW. Plus there's supposed to be some kind of flight ring giveaway for October. I don't know if this compares to the LSH golden age we had a few years ago when the cartoon was on the air, but it's certainly impressive, and it's going to make a lot of work for me here, which is all to the good. Let's hope that there's some quality to go with the quantity!

Have there ever been four Legion comics going on at once before? Must have been. Late '90s, maybe?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Francis Manapul syndrome?Please elucidate.

Cannot recall 4 Legion series debuting at the same time,even in the late '90s.Of the 4,the odd one out for me is Secret Origin--looks too much like that"early days"fan-fiction that padded out the Adventure run.But that Chris Batista art does make it tempting.

My guess is,Utopia will turn out to be Oa,or Oa will be Utopia,or some damn thing like that.Absurd idea,but this story needs some kind of a lift.

1:47 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

No, I think they're clearly different places.

Francis Manapul syndrome is where a good artist takes over regular Legion duties, starts like a house afire, but soon it becomes apparent that there's too much stuff to draw in the Legion to keep doing it the way he did in the first issue, and you start getting hints of sketchiness here and there, or a higher percentage of detail-free backgrounds.

I don't want this construed as a slam on either Manapul or Cinar, both of whose work I like very much. But the Legion's a tough assignment.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Madman2001 said...

I also agree that having all these new bad guys suddenly appear out of nowhere is just bad plotting on the writer's part. It's a variety of deus ex machina.

And, honestly, I thought that while the fighting was interesting, it was seemingly meaningless as it has been for at least a couple of issues.

For example, does it make a difference in any way that Sun Boy was able to defeat Kodama or that Mon-el caged the Hunter? Not that I can see, particularly since the writer is pulling all these other villians out of thin air. I'd like my fighting to affect the outcome or another.

Thanks for your blog.

4:44 PM  
Blogger karl said...

Saturn Queen was fabulous, but her LSV? Below par...Tyr, very boring hunter, Akka, woman with a knife [Oh, the LSH must be shaking!!lol] and Sun-Emperor, who gets taken out with one punch by Tasmia in a previous ish.
Hey, good news about FOUR new LSH books later this year but whats this about a flight -ring giveaway? Ive already got th eone from years ago, whats this one?

6:55 PM  
Blogger Brona said...

Madman: You're welcome. No, it doesn't matter so much how Sun Boy beat Sun-Killer... but it does matter that he did it because Timber Wolf used a lot more applied intelligence than he's usually given credit for.

karl: Yes, but the LSV also includes Immortus and Questor, both of whom are pretty intriguing.

As for the rings, check the Legion: Secret Origin #1 solicit here.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Dylan said...

...Well, after reading the solicit for the Legion: Secret Origins (why does the Legion need a more expanded origin? I've always thought there's was a pretty dang good one was far as these things go), I really hope they don't go with the "RJ Brande staged the attack on himself for the express purpose of getting the super-powered people on the ship involved" angle.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I would be very surprised if that was what they had in mind.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous eddie blake said...

sorry was working and unable to access books...

just wanted to hit a point we were talking about on your other post

wildfire's body..

so yeah, it WAS nagging me and i got to looking and there in #60 of the baxter run, the first issue with sensor girl as leader (and brin as deputy!), wildfire specifically states that he can't hold his humanoid form together since quislet left..

now, you can say, as you did, that it was writer's convenience to do away with something levitz either didn't want to deal with anymore or had already said what he wanted with it (even with a body, drake and dawny are not to be)

but that was the excuse quislet, no body..

and now what's the excuse?

how MANY times are we gonna see the old ruptured containment suit joke that was cool when magno lad did it way back in LSH #1 but has gotten SO stale at this point...

11:45 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I guess it's up to Nicieza what happens with it from here on in. Presumably there'll be some kind of solution, as he probably won't be able to get replacement containment suits in the 21st century.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Brainy Pirate said...

Nicieza made a comment in the DC Legion board that he intended to avoid what he called the overdone trope of Wildfire's suit getting blasted.

Now if Levitz will avoid the overdone trope of Gim being the first Legionnaire to fall in a fight...

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Brainy Pirate said...

Also, someone mentioned that one of the recent Legion issues mentioned that the story takes place 1000 years after the Flashpoint. When was that? And what could that mean given the new continuity? Was it written before the DCnU was announced? Or is this run of the Legion already set in the new continuity?

10:40 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

This all assumes that Colossal Boy survives the next issue of LSH.

The Flashpoint reference... I vaguely remember it. Might have been in the Action story, or FC:L3W. I suspect we'll be able to say that LSH is already in post-Flashpoint continuity, but I don't think it really matters.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Paul Newell said...

Wasn't it in issue #1? When Harmonia Li is about to view the beginning of time at the Time Institute. One of the others mentions that they could view Flashpoint.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Could be. Might have been more than one place.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Flashpoint reference was indeed made in the first issue on pg. 7 by a character named Usalus who also referred to the "Great Intervention" and "the Revelation itself".No idea what those are;probably more plot-seedlings that will never sprout.

However,I can't see anything in Sun-Killer's prior appearances that explains his defeat this issue.Timber Wolf fought Sun Emperor in issue #11,and Brin won with a knockout punch(Nothing to do with anything,but I like Brin's spiky ears.They give him a lupine look without going the hirsute route.)Both times,Brin suffered no more than a singeing going up against someone with the power of a sun.Must be one punk-ass sun.

Someone looking like Cosmic King can be seen in the background also being in two places at once,like Black Mace.Asleep at the continuity wheel,DC?

2:50 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think the Vyraga/Viagra thing is not intentional.

As for Cosmic King and Black Mace... I just don't know enough about how the timeline is supposed to fit together.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Cosmic King was never named in this issue, and in fact his face wasn't seen (blocked by the cage bar or some such). An easy hand-wave is that this was actually Magno Lad or some other Braalian, miscolored to look like Cosmic King.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

And I don't think there's much consequence to it anyway; it's not like there's something that just won't make sense unless we know what the deal was with Cosmic King.

2:29 PM  

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