Saturday, January 21, 2012

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #4 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

One of the two Legion teams goes back in time and fights some cavemen. The other one investigates their current time and infiltrates the capitol of the evil empire. The two groups discover that the main villain here is both Flint and Vandal Savage, but there also seems to be something else weird going on.


You know what this is starting to remind me of? That two-part The Brave and the Bold story where it was the Legion and the Doom Patrol in the first issue and then you got the other side of the story with the Subs and the Inferior Five. I never did review that here. I had been looking forward to it, just like all of you were, and then I read it and my reaction was, I can't possibly review this. There's nothing here! The whole thing felt like just an exercise. The menace was dull and a cliche, the characters weren't given anything interesting to do, and the story seemed designed to fulfill the parallel-structure idea and nothing else.

ST/LSH isn't that bad. Roberson does seem to be trying to let the characters be themselves, and the premise he's come up with is more interesting than just "there's a rift!" But it's still an exercise. The fun of this series is the correspondences between elements of the Legion's universe and elements of the Star Trek universe, and can we figure out how Roberson has mapped it out before he shows us. It is perfectly natural for a fan of these two franchises to enjoy this, and if you're into it then I hope you like this series. I am not into it and that's why I've been impatient since the first issue. Some of you may think it's awesome and I won't disagree as long as you'll admit that something can be awesome without actually being good.

As for this issue, well, I guess we're getting somewhere; our heroes have confronted the main villains, and we've gotten hints of the villains behind the villains. That's acceptable. I was hoping to be able to say more about this series than "it's acceptable", though; I expected better from Roberson.

- "Don't count on seeing any more of it than this." Shady, there isn't much more of it than that
- crackpot theory time: the mysterious "he" that Flint is consulting is Quislet and that's why he's not in LSHv7
- why is Vandal Savage a surprise? Wouldn't it be more like, "Ah cripes, of course; freaking Vandal Savage again. What a pain"
- I hope nobody's being misled by these covers. "Where's Timber Wolf?! The hell?"

Art: 78 panels/22 pages = 3.5 panels/page. One splash page. I compare the Moys art on this series to Kevin Sharpe's on Adventure: in both cases you can't really count on faces looking right from page to page, but the Moys are more consistent and thorough in their renderings. I expected better from the Moys.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has the Legion ever met Vandal Savage?

1:47 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Actually I don't think so. Sure seemed to recognize him, though, didn't they?

9:08 AM  
Blogger karl said...

They probably have heard of him; they also would doubtless have records of 20/21st century villains from their interactions with Superman/boy anyhow, and we know from past stories they knew all about Lex Luthor.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Aha! But! Remember that this is the pre-CoIE Legion of Super-Heroes, from Earth-1, and that Vandal Savage was an Earth-2 villain! Sure, they could have heard of him, if Superman (not Superboy!) told them about some crossover, or something he heard from the JSA, or...

Obviously it's just a case of Roberson using a character because he wanted to use a character, and to hell with continuity, all of which I support.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vandal did plauge Earth 1 superman in Action comics an issue or 2 after or b4 the Brainiac/Luthor upgrade.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I was thinking they could have heard of him during the JLA/JSA/LSH crossover, myself, but that works too.

8:51 PM  
Blogger karl said...

This issue was a marked improvement for me. The conversations between the two teams was exciting; the banter [I hate that word but cant think of another right now] with them was spot on, a slight rivalry making itself known. Certainly a more absorbing read, even if the plot has only finally got going and the Moys artwork still resembles 80's Hasbro action figures.
And I thought itd be Universo behind it all so relieved it was somebody else for once!

4:35 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Still might be Universo. Actually I think the odds are decent.

8:16 PM  

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