Friday, December 30, 2011

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #3 Review

Sorry for the delay on this. I'll try to have things caught up relatively quickly. Superhero/comic-book related loot received: Volume 2 of the collected Terry and the Pirates, Knight and Squire, the xkcd book, this T-shirt, a giant Peanuts collection in a slipcase, and Seth's Wimbledon Green.

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The Legionnaires and Enterprise crew fight briefly, then decide not to fight. They trade information, and this world's version of the Fatal Five show up and try to apprehend them. The good guys are triumphant in this fight, and then they split into two groups to try to crack this time-travel situation.


Now, see, that's much better. I call that a good first issue. We had a lot of stuff happening here, and it looks like we're actually getting somewhere. I was worried that the fight between the Legion and the Treks would take a whole issue to resolve, but I was pleasantly surprised.

It really is starting to seem to me like the main attraction for Roberson in this series is in combining the various villains and alien races from the two franchises together. And I can't deny that this is a fun kind of thing to poke around with, and would probably be irresistible to me too were I Roberson. I just hope that the final resolution of the story doesn't derive its narrative force only from the identity of the villain.

On the two two-page spreads where Roberson and the Moys introduce the Legion and the Enterprisers to each other... I'm not sure Roberson really gets at the heart of these two groups of characters. They're okay descriptions of the Federation and the United Planets, I guess. When Kirk says, "We're not soldiers. We're humanitarians, explorers," it's a bit of wishful thinking, isn't it? They want to be humanitarians and explorers, and most of the time they can be, but every now and then they have to be soldiers, don't they? They're clearly in a military organization. As for the Legion, well, you and I know what superheroes are, but Kirk and Spock don't, and it might have been appropriate to throw in a couple of words about Superman there.

Anyway, good! Not too late to make this series a net positive!

- "I had no choice but to shoot first." Really? Is this really consistent with Kirk's character? Please advise
- not to be mean about it, but the initial fight seems to me like someone took twelve action figures into the sandbox and filmed it
- everybody catch Supergirl there in that two-page spread? Well, IDW certainly isn't going to tell 'em to leave her out!

Art: 74 panels/22 pages = 3.4 panels/page. Two double-page spreads; one splash page.

The Moys haven't gotten back into that groove they were in in #1 of this series. Look at Brainy's and Imra's faces, page 1, panel 1. I mean, it's basically competent, and they don't skimp out on the backgrounds much, but I was hoping that the characters would look more consistently like themselves. But doesn't Shady give you a bit of a Diana Rigg vibe on page 9?

And it's still not a lot of content for the money. 74 panels is relatively few panels. I don't mind hammering on this point again: an issue of this series may seem two pages longer than a regular Legion comic, but really it is effectively about five pages shorter, and costs a dollar more while we're at it.

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Blogger snell said...

Kirk's "we're not military, we're explorers" is essentially verbatim from the original series, on a couple of occasions (although obviously Starfleet didn't always live up tp that).

11:55 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

To be fair, it's not really a question of living up to it or not. Sometimes you need soldiers, and who else is there to do the job?

12:02 AM  
Blogger Novelty said...

What's the issue with this Supergirl again?

10:42 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, the Supergirl shown here is the pre-Crisis-on-Infinite-Earths Supergirl, who doesn't exist anymore, and DC has a different Supergirl they're using now, one whose history with the Legion is unexplored. Not IDW's problem, of course, but certainly something DC would rather hadn't been there.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous stile86 said...

For that matter in the New 52 once again Superman never was Superboy, wasn't even wearing his costume when he first acted in Metropolis, and now has a different costume. I've been working on the assumption that this Legion really is the original Legion, not the retroboot, and that this adventure never really happened in either current continuity - it's just a fun story. Let's hear it for fun stories.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, yes, but that's easy for you and I and IDW to say. What would DC say?

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DC would say,"Buy the damn book!Why else do we put up with you anal fanboys?!" That's what DC would say,if they had the guts.

Kirk's "explorers,not military" attitude is the same as his attitude towards Starfleet's Prime Directive:always cited,never obeyed.

11:36 AM  
Blogger karl said...

I could take this series more seriously if the Moys art was more dramatic; their characters look like Mattel toys, with 'plasticky' faces, I simply cant muster any serious drama from something that looks so childlike.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

anonymous: DC's been a lot more rigorous about the use of Supergirl (and Superboy) in Legion comics than any fan ever has.

karl: Yeah, I don't know. Go take a Moy-drawn issue of the reboot Legion and put it next to ST/LSH and it's like night and day. Don't get it. Maybe the reboot Legion had a great unsung inker?

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Moy's regular inker on the reboot was W.C. Carani.Maybe that explains the difference in Moy's art between then and now.

1:48 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Could be. I wonder what Carani's other stuff looks like.

8:46 PM  

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