Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Legion Lost #7 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The Legionnaires go to New York, chasing Alastor. Timber Wolf rips off some drug traffickers and makes a friend; Tellus debates whether to help out a young woman who turns out to be suffering from our barbaric 21st-century medical science. He doesn't and she dies, but he learns a Valuable Lesson first.


New York, huh? Gee, a superhero team in NYC; never seen that before. It's about time they left that stereotypical superhero setting of small-town Minnesota.

Of course, the first thing to check on is, does DeFalco seem to have a feel for the characters or not? And, I dunno. Timber Wolf seems like he was under Nicieza, which is not exactly the same as classic Timber Wolf but is better than Johns's take. Gates doesn't seem right at all. And Tellus... is Paul Levitz the only guy who knows how to write Tellus? All these other writers keep trying to make a human being out of him. He's not. He's not human, and that's part of the whole point of the character. He's alien. Doesn't have legs, doesn't have fingers, doesn't like air. On the other hand, DeFalco casts Tyroc as a "diplomat", which is kind of cool and could probably work.

It's kind of a filler issue, which is weird, considering that it's DeFalco's first. But I guess he figures that he doesn't have time to do much before the big crossover starts. You know what it reminds me of? The most recent incarnation of Adventure Comics. Personnel changes, interruptions by crossover...

And, biggest problem of all. Just what is it the Legionnaires are actually going to do? Seriously. I wanted to know how Nicieza was going to address this, and now I want to know how DeFalco is going to address this. The Legionnaires are irrevocably trapped in the present day, and the virus has leaked out beyond hope of containment, and the seven superheroes present have basically no skills appropriate for dealing with these problems. My problem is not that the challenges are too great--that's a good thing--but that I don't even see how they can set goals. I mean, like what? What can they try to accomplish that will help? We've had seven issues so far and we're no closer to that answer than when we started. (And the next couple of issues sure won't help.)

There's nothing standing in the way of this being a good series. There are good characters and interesting story ingredients. But they won't put themselves together; DeFalco is going to have to make it good, and I have to say that the Vegas line for that outcome is not favourable.

Oh, and Tellus has a secret. Again with the secrets. First Tyroc, now Tellus, and maybe Gates too... I don't know. I suppose it's in the tradition of the original Legion Lost limited series. But I think it can be overdone, and I think it may be being overdone.

- I guess Oz is going to be sticking around for a while. Okay, Tom DeFalco, sell me on him
- "Good job, Gates! You found a deserted alley." This is awkward exposition
- Does Gates sound like Ben Grimm to anyone else?
- I don't understand this Kardashian reference
- Page 5: "In principal." No, Brian Cunningham; it should be "in principle"
- I do like Yera in fast food regalia
- Is it just me, or were the Legionnaires getting a little too comfortable with 21st-century pop-culture references?

Art: 98 panels/20 pages = 4.9 panels/page. (That's high, and impressively so.) Two double-page spreads, one of 4 panels and one of 7.

Strong work by Woods again; I liked that thing with the syringe on the first page. That worked. Also, Tellus and Katia's dreamscape is pretty cool; give colorist Brad Anderson some credit too.

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Blogger Matthew E said...

Notice how this place is now at ""? That's kinda odd; I'm not sure when that happened, but I might have liked it pointed out to me.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Jim Purcell said...

URL still says here.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I guess Blogger knows which country we're viewing the site from, and acts accordingly.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous David in SLC said...

Thank you for pointing out the lackluster characterizations for Gates and Tellus. Gates not making insinuating remarks about oppressive regimes or chastising people for bowing down to the Man is simply not Gates. And Tellus lacks any real voice, just some dialog that any one of them could have said.

I'm bored with this book and its vision has faltered considerably.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

It's frustrating since Nicieza, in a message board post, agreed that if Gates wasn't politically outspoken, there was no point in having him in the book...

...and then Nicieza kept him offstage for most of his six issues. And it is at best not clear if DeFalco agrees with him.

Presumably the whole reason Geoff Johns plucked him and XS out of the reboot Legion for use in the retroboot Legion is that he was one of the most interesting characters in the reboot Legion. But Levitz didn't know what to do with him any more than DnA did.

Do we need to get Stern and Peyer and McCraw back in here?

8:45 AM  
Anonymous AJay said...

I see implications that Gates is in the larval form for one of his race. I hope he doesn't go Mothra.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Hmm. That might be really good or it might be really bad.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gates going Mothra: great way to kill the character. Seriously, if you do a whole body (and likely power and personality) makeover, you've disposed of the old character.

I'm assuming/expecting (hoping to God!) that The Culling crossover does give the Legion Lost crew a direction of some sort. If not, this is surely a New52 Round 2 culling (ahem) candidate title. (But fortunately, it's also a book that in one issue -- in a page or two -- they can wrap up adequately, just by sending them back to the 31st century.)

I suppose if I were 1000 years out of time, stuck in a motel room for a week or two, lots of TV and the resulting pop culture references would burn into my head, too. Assimilate!

1:34 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

You don't think it'd be cool to have a superhero who was, on the one hand, a pretty butterfly, but on the other, a sarcastic Communist?

1:51 PM  
Blogger Angbard said...

The way it stands now Legion lost is a great set up for a DC version of the X-Men and the Mutant Problem.

I could see Tellus floating a view inches above a wheelchair as their Prof. X-analogue, or perhaps with a red wig (or a psi glamour) he could be the Jean Grey analogue! :) I could go on, but I'm sure that image is disturbing enough.

The point is that the only thing ghtseothey can do to mitigate the potential chaos of the "exo-virus?" is to educate the world about its effects.

"The exo-mutates transmogrified in a world that hates and fears them!"

5:33 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

And you think this group was selected for that purpose? Interesting. I could see Tyroc, and maybe even Tellus and Gates and Yera, but Wildfire, Dawnstar, and Timber Wolf are pretty obvious failures as ambassadors.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I welcome a redesign for Gates.I've always liked the character,but not his look:half-bird,half-bug,all-ugly.They can change the guise,but not the Gates beneath.

I wish I didn't get the Kardashian reference.Pop culture is so pervasive--which probably explains why the lost Legionnaires are so quickly comfortable with current pop culture references.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, if you get it, explain it to me, please. I don't see what the Kardashians have to do with this comic book.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kardashians are lifeforms based in L.A.They are famous mostly for being famous.They have nothing to do with anything,yet they turn up everywhere,even in a comic book.Thank your Canadian stars you've been able to escape their reach.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh, I know who they are, all right. I just don't see why Tellus mentioned them.

12:11 PM  

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