Saturday, March 26, 2011

Legion of Super-Heroes #11 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Some Legionnaires go to Rimbor to round up the LSV escapees from Takron-Galtos. They don't get any of the big fish. Brainy wants Dawnstar to help investigate what Saturn Queen's up to, but she insists on chasing the blue space baby instead. Dream Girl returns with Star Boy, and Mon-El shows up to assume leadership, so Brainy can treat Star Boy's mental condition. Timber Wolf searches for Sun-Killer in Japan, but finds Sun Emperor instead, and defeats him. Whatever the LSV is up to on Colu, it's severed all communications to the rest of the galaxy. And Harmonia Li shows up to accept blame for the Colu situation, for some reason.


One of the principles of Paul Levitz's writing technique, he has said, is that every time you revisit a plotline, you should advance it in some way. This comic book was written by Paul Levitz. Therefore, we should be able to see how plotlines advanced in every scene of this comic.

I guess the progress in the Rimbor scenes is that this is the Legion's first engagement with the LSV. They round up a bunch of infantry, but none of the commanders, so that's not significant. Fume and Frost are introduced as new villains, but they get caught, so... are we going to see them again? It is unclear.

Can't tell what progess was made on Takron-Galtos. Nothing we don't already know.

Dawnstar going rogue is new information; fine. Also Dreamy returning with Star Boy, and Mon-El showing up, and the stuff with Colu and Harmonia Li.

The main part of the story seems to be Timber Wolf versus Sun Emperor in Japan. I would suspect this part of being gratuitous fighting except that a) I don't think Levitz does that, and b) Saturn Queen's first appearance in this series was quite similar and that turned out to be a big setup for this storyline. So I don't think Sun Emperor's appearance here is just a throwaway. Maybe he's part of Sun-Killer's backstory somehow.

I think the part of this comic book that's going to go over biggest is Brainy's conversation with Dream Girl where he says that he stays with the Legion because they're his friends. It is an important side of Brainy's character. If he was really as arrogant and obnoxious as he was famous for being, he wouldn't stay with the Legion; he'd do something else. And this version of Brainy, as I recall, never really had to learn the lesson of friendship, not like reboot and threeboot (but not animated!) Brainy.

I am curious about just how Harmonia Li is involved with whatever it is on Colu. Because that suggests that she's tied into the whole thing with the LSV and Saturn Queen and the blue space baby and the Olduvai Gorge and everything. But then she's already connected to Saturn Queen because it was her time-travel experiment that caused the destruction of Titan, which is what brought Saturn Queen into the story in the first place. Possibly too many connections here. I mean, it's not ridiculous yet; the blue space baby didn't cause Mysa to become the Black Witch and Sun-Killer isn't Dyogene's long-lost twin brother or anything. But still. It's okay for some things not to have anything to do with each other. Makes it more realistic sometimes.

Having said all that, it's quite possible that Levitz's idea of how he wants this story to go is a good one and I should keep my yap shut until I actually see what he's got in mind.

- the letters page has the vote totals for the election. Phantom Girl was fourth. I wonder if that was because of us
- notice they're calling him "Star Boy" and not "Starman"
- Colossal Boy must be the most incompetent superhero this side of G'nort. When was the last time he actually won a fight?
- the Moys are going to be drawing XS in Adventure this spring. Haven't they already had their chance at her?

Art: 81 panels/20 pages = 4.1 panels/page. 1 single-panel page.

This month we get a fill-in from Daniel HDR and Wayne Faucher, and it's very good by fill-in standards, although I'd rather have Cinar or Portela. HDR has a different style with faces that sometimes makes the Legionnaires look unfamiliar, and, at worst (see the first panel of page 2) approach a kind of Sharpeian minimalism that I've come to dislike. Other than that, the look of the comic is well within tolerances for this series. Note: this issue was very consistent in its panel count from page to page. Except for the splash page, all the pages had four, five, or six panels; none more than six or fewer than three. That's unusual; typically there's a larger swing.

Membership Notes: Mon-El comes back to active duty. Star Boy shows up, but I don't know if we can really call him an active Legionnaire yet.

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