Thursday, September 15, 2011

Legion Lost #1 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

A group of seven Legionnaires (Wildfire, Dawnstar, Tyroc, Gates, Timber Wolf, Tellus, Chameleon Girl) are stuck in the present day, in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, chasing a guy named Alastor who hates humans and has released some kind of pathogen. The Legionnaires aren't coping well with their surroundings and their technology doesn't work. They nab Alastor and try to return him to the future, but he blows up, apparently destroying Gates and Chameleon Girl along with him. The Legionnaires don't know what to do.


This is a fast-moving comic book. I appreciate that, and I hope Nicieza can keep it up. It's totally in my face and the Legionnaires are always off-balance. More, they're off-balance in every way; there's nothing they can count on. Not their flight rings, not their transuits, not their time bubble. Not even each other, the way they keep dashing offscreen while you're trying to talk to them. It's an excellent situation for short-term tension but I have no idea how Nicieza plans to maintain this comic in the long run. Are they going to reach some kind of status quo? Or is it just going to be one damn thing after another forever?

We don't get a lot of backstory here. My experience with comics suggests that issue #2 is going to be pretty flashback-heavy, which, oh well. Also if anyone doesn't already know about it, Nicieza gives us some extra material on Alastor and his motivations here.

I'm on the fence about Gates and Yera being dead. I'd miss 'em both. Yera's got the exact right type of powers to survive what happened to her. Gates doesn't, but he might have lived through it anyway, somehow, maybe. Plus look: both these characters, especially Gates, are quite distinctive for superhero characters, and killing them off is a waste. But we'll see.

Some nice touches. Alastor hates humans because of what happened to his sister, but can't kill the little girl who can't find her sister. Always good to have a villain with a motive. I don't have a clear idea of his powers, though; does he just hulk out? Or what is the deal?

Remember, everyone: first issue syndrome. Setup is easy; follow-through is hard. We won't know where we are with this series until we're well into the second arc. But so far I'm intrigued, because I don't know where this is going. LSHv7 #1 next week!

- License plates: one says "POX 102", which is appropriate for the disease theme of the story; one says OU812, which is probably but not necessarily a Van Halen reference
- I like Tyroc's goggles. Don't know that I've ever seen the character so cazh
- Also fond of Woods's approach to Timber Wolf and Dawnstar's faces
- I imagine that Nicieza has considered that only Brin and Tyroc (and Yera, if available) are really publicly presentable, of all the characters on this team
- Not yet a huge fan of the LOST part of the logo. It's too big!
- Is that the famous woman in the purple hood at the top of page 10?


88 panels/20 pages = 4.4 panels/page. 0 single-panel pages; one spread of 3 panels over 2 pages, one spread of 5 panels over 2 pages.

I wasn't previously familiar with Pete Woods's art, but it has a jump-off-the-page quality that I haven't seen before on the Legion, and I like it. "Cartoony" isn't exactly the word I want, because I use it for stuff that doesn't really look like this, but it's almost the word I want. Some of the character renderings were a little scrunchy, but not objectionably so. The panel arrangements were unconventional and the panels seemed often to be zooming in more than they usually do, bringing us right into the story. Overall I liked looking at this comic book.

Couldn't help notice that Tellus was drawn with hands and feet. Ah, well; I guess all characters eventually become humanoid no matter what they start off as. How long before we find out that that's Darrell Dane flying around in Quislet's little white spaceship?

Membership Notes: With this issue, Wildfire, Dawnstar, Tyroc, Gates, Timber Wolf, and Tellus can be considered to be inactive Legionnaires, since they aren't with the main team in the 31st century anymore. Plus Chameleon Girl isn't available as a reserve member either. If and when this series comes to an end and these characters return to the future, they'll go back on the active roster, naturally, but what shall we do if these Lost Legionnaires make a friend in the 21st century? What if, I don't know, Miss Martian starts hanging around with them? We'll have to come up with a way of deciding whether such a character has become a Legionnaire or not.

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