Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Legion: Secret Origin #3 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The wormhole near Anotrom opens wider and produces a giant spaceship, which the United Planets defeat with Brainiac 5's help. Phantom Girl gives the security directorate some data and joins the Legion. More attempts on Brande's life.


We're halfway through this miniseries now and I wonder if we know what it's about yet. The plot points we've seen have sort of been repeating themselves. The assassination attempts on Brande, whatever that business is with the wormhole, the security directorate... None of it seems to be moving very fast. It's interesting and it's done well, but I wonder if it needed six issues.

One thing I kind of expect to see is that Brande is behind the attempts on his own life, because he's looking for an excuse to put the Legion together. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the Time Trapper mixed up in this. I also wouldn't be surprised to find out that Brande is the Time Trapper, somehow.

I do like Phantom Girl's attitude in this series. It seems like Levitz has really enjoyed writing her since he's come back to the Legion. And I'm glad; she was always one of my favourites.

Given the premise of this series, I wouldn't expect much discussion of what the Legion is all about. Some, maybe, and we do have that in this issue with the Superman reference. Mostly I'd expect to see what the UP thinks the Legion is all about, and there hasn't been much of that, yet, because of course the UP has no idea what to make of them and Brande has been playing his cards close to the vest. I hope the series does touch on it, though.

The way Legion membership has traditionally been chronologically arranged, this is the stage right now with the lowest male-to-female ratio (2:3 or 2:5 if you count Luornu as three). (The early reboot era took it even further, with the high-water mark for female membership being 8 out of 13 or 10 out of 15 (depending on whether you count Luornu as one or three).) It is unusual for superhero comics; supergroup membership is almost always predominantly male. Yet I don't recall ever seeing a panel where Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy take note of the favourable odds. I would. I suppose it's in character, though; Garth has been a one-woman man right from the start, and Rokk tends to be the pursued rather than the pursuer.

And we're all caught up!

- is it just me or is R.J. Brande starting to sound like Quislet? Hmm...
- is the security directorate ever going to do anything? And do they still exist?
- I would like to know about those other Legion applicants, eftsoons or right speedily. Especially the Starman-cowled guy and the catguy with the goggles
- who? Reep who? No, no; just happened to pick him out at random. Complete coincidence

Art: 93 panels/20 pages = 4.7 panels/page. 1 splash page. Batista still on his game.

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Blogger Novelty said...

I lol'ed at your comment that RJ was starting to sound like Quislet. I thought he was doing a Yoda impersonation when I read the issue. Nice review there and I do agree, we need to find out more about those other applicants.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I really do wonder about the Quislet thing.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Murray said...

There's got to be something going on with RJ's speech patterns. Levitz played with them quite a bit during the Adventure story (to RJ's detriment... his speech sounded ridiculous) and he's continuing to play around with the way the character speaks now... although, thankfully, not to the same extent.

I can't figure out if he has a plan behind it (perhaps he wants to emphasize RJ's alien-ness in some kind of subtle way) or if he's just using the restart as a way to put a different kind of stamp on the character.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, one of the things about it is that he's doing it retroactively. I don't know why. One thing we should remember is that Levitz was never in on Brande being the Durlan from L.E.G.I.O.N., so he may be trying to... deal with that in some way, to the extent that this is still a true thing.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I buy this series for the art. Batista must take over the main Legion title when the regular artist goes.
The mystery of this series is what the secret of this origin is supposed to be. The motives behind the attempts on Brande? That always gets changed. If RJ's reason for forming the Legion is different than before,that could have unintended consequences.But if RJ's still just trying to make the cosmos a better place,then what's the point of this series?
Maybe RJ's new accent is the secret of this series.Or maybe Levitz is just tired of typing "by damn" all the time.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, the other thing we've never seen before is the United Planets machinations that accompanied the formation of the Legion. The stuff with the security directorate. Now, I don't know if it's going to come to anything interesting, but if it does, then there's that.

Also, there's some utility in going over the early days of the Legion for the benefit of new readers.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous AJay McL said...

I would think that it is obvious that the former Ren Daggle is trying to reconnect with his abandoned son. Money, as they say, changes everything.
I am loving Tinya in this. She is awesome. More Wazzo! I'm liking this series immensely and hoping that it connects to what Grant Morrison has in store in Action Comics. I'm happily anticipating who will show up next. Is it Salu Digby? LLL

1:06 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I would think that it is obvious that the former Ren Daggle is trying to reconnect with his abandoned son.

Oh, sure, sure, but that's all previously established stuff, from back in the '80s.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Jim Drew said...

Quislet: we never did get back story on just how Quislet came to decide that the Legion was the place for it, did we? He was forced out of Teall, became an explorer, (stuff happened), found our universe, (stuff happened), and joined the Legion.

(And I dearly want to ignore the idea that Alastor's hypertaxis includes the the DNA of energy creatures from Teall. Would have been better to use DNA from Lume's people.)

LEGION: at this point in the New DCU 52, they are ignoring the space concepts. It's likely that Invasion! never occurred. LEGION and REBELS may not exist now, and we can bet that the tie-ins to TMK and Earth-247 continuity (Durlan, Phase) are even more unlikely to have survived.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think it makes sense that they're ignoring the space stuff... but that doesn't mean that they are. Consistently.

And it's true that we don't have a lot on Quislet's motivations and history, but then you have to give Levitz a break; in every way but one he's the least comprehensible of all Legionnaires.

4:24 PM  

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