Thursday, December 01, 2011

Legion: Secret Origin #2 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The Legion gets a headquarters and someone is still trying to kill R.J. Brande. Brainiac 5 and Phantom Girl fight some guy on Anotrom. Young Gim Allon seems to be considering Legion membership. The security directorate decides to try to use the Legion for its own purposes.


I constitutionally don't believe in a Paul Levitz comic in which nothing happens. This seems like one, so let's look more closely. (When I say "nothing happens", I don't mean nothing happens; I mean that the plots do not seem to be advanced.) There is much more action than in the first issue, so that's one good thing. Plus we get some progress toward the growth of the Legion as an institution: the HQ, Colossal Boy, and Brande's "search lists".

But there are also some hints about stuff we used to know about that may now be different, or about stuff we don't know anything about. There's R.J. Brande's past, for one thing. There's whatever Saturn Girl might have been reading in his mind on page 18. There's the Naltorian on the security directorate not being able to read anything off of Phantom Girl. There's whatever disaster has befallen Cargg. There are the raids on Bgtzl's colony worlds. The unique power source for Brainy's force shield belt. It's a bit of a step back from the first issue, but then, second issues usually are.

I'm enjoying the rapport between Brainy and Tinya. I don't recall the two of them interacting much in, well, in any other Legion story, but it works here. Both of them ridiculously confident in their own ways, presumably because they both know perfectly well that there's nothing around that can hurt them. And yet they're also both shy--Brainy obviously so, but Tinya too: look at how much time she spends with her arms folded. That means she's feeling the need to protect herself.

I wonder if we're going to see Superboy or Supergirl in this series.

Notice how Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy are already pretty good at fighting? It's just crooks in little spaceships, of course, but they seem to have already crested the learning curve. I might have started them off less competent, but I guess Levitz only has so much time to cover everything he wants to cover.

Anyway, it's coming along. I imagine things will pick up next issue.

- the covers continue to be my least favourite thing about this series. Sorry, Tom Feister: I am not the right reviewer for you
- but look closely at that cover! Tiny tiny writing
- have we ever really heard the story of the Quintile power crystal? Or is it just like Lord Peter Wimsey and the Attenbury Emeralds?
- sort of a shame to introduce Luornu and then not give her anything to do. Oh well; there's time
- hey, look, it's Pheebs! Hi, Pheebs
- Levitz is still playing with Brande's accent
- Myecroft seems to be Mycroft in this issue

Art: 96 panels/20 pages = 4.8 panels/page. 1 single-panel page.

Batista kind of flattens out the faces for us in this issue. It's not my favourite look and in some cases I don't think it works at all; see Luornu on page 2, panel 3. Also, the backgrounds are blank a little more than I'd like. Still, though, it's Chris Batista, so I'm just nitpicking here; the issue looks fine and the art works very well.

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