Sunday, April 22, 2012

Legion of Super-Heroes #8 Review

Apparently Chris Roberson has cut his ties with DC Comics. I gave Roberson a hard time for the, oh, density level of Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes, but I still liked him as a writer and will continue to seek out his stuff. Looks like that's the only Legion writing we're going to get out of him, which is everybody's loss. He cites this blogpost as his reason for not wanting to work with DC any more; it's certainly an excellent blogpost and I support Roberson in his decision. I had my thoughts on just this kind of thing earlier this year; they're available here if you missed 'em and are interested. (Oh, and, don't forget: The Avengers is hitting theatres pretty soon; make sure you don't go to see it!)

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Invisible Kid disrupts a theft but some of the thieves manage to get away with the goods, at least as far as Mon-El and Ultra Boy. Unfortunately, the thieves sent out a bunch of copies of the booty, which turns out to be the chip that makes Tharok Tharok; Brainiac 5 speculates that someone's trying to put the Fatal Five back together.

Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl show up to take Cosmic Boy out for a night on the town in Istanbul. Cosmic Boy may be reuniting with Night Girl and Lightning Lad has to do some real work for a change and stop a lightning storm from getting out of control.


A slight issue. Felt like a fill-in. Here are the things it got done:
- screen time for Invisible Kid, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad
- kicking off a Fatal Five story
- walking back Geoff Johns's breakup of Cosmic Boy and Night Girl
- giving us some Lightle and Cinar art

All of which are worth doing. (Depending on how you feel about Night Girl. Me, I like her.) But it doesn't really add up to a comic book.

The first story was best: interesting villains, good action, real stakes. Only thing I didn't like about it is that the Legion came off looking like a bunch of chumps. But I guess that's par for the course in the superhero life.

The second story, on the other hand... well, was it really a story? There wasn't any conflict in it, unless you count Lightning Lad's chore, which is about as routine an affair as I can recall.

Here's my question. Who would be trying to put the Fatal Five back together? Not a lot of candidates I can think of. Basically just the Five themselves, and not all of them. Obviously not Validus (whoever Validus actually is, now that Garth and Imra have Garridan back). I doubt the Persuader would bother. There is no Tharok at the moment (right?). Mano, don't know. There is no Emerald Empress at the moment, that we've seen, anyway, but maybe the Eye could be doing it on its own? I could see Caress or Flare wanting to do it; it was their one shot at the big time. But could they?

The problem with anybody else doing it is they have to know that the Fatal Five can't be controlled. Is anyone out there stupid enough to believe that Tharok or the Empress or Validus will take orders? And if they can't be controlled they why exactly would you want them around? Which brings us to one possible answer, as the Dominators are exactly stupid enough, and they might not need to control the Five anyway; they might just want to turn them loose on the U.P.

Levitz has gone to some trouble, with his portrayal of Brainiac Five, to make it clear that he isn't just arrogant, that he actually does care for his friends and respect them. Still, he's a lot more arrogant in this run than he was in Levitz's second run; read 'em back-to-back and see for yourself. It's not entirely to my taste; I prefer Brainy when he's nicer. Like in the cartoon. That was good.

- what's the deal with the Interlac on page 2?
- so the Legionnaires go out on the town in their regular costumes, huh? I guess it makes it easy for new readers
- Saturn Girl sounds like she's planning on dancing with some other guys after Garth


First story, by Steve Lightle: 51 panels/10 pages = 5.1 panels/page. One double-page spread of 6 panels.

Second story, by Yildiray Cinar: 43 panels/10 pages = 4.3 panels/page.

Nice to see the boys back again. In particular check out Cinar's take on 31st-century Istanbul on page 14 and Lightle's designs on the thieves (specifically I'm not sure how he got away with Jerl. Jerl looks like a Phil Foglio character, and I mean that in a good way).

Membership Notes: Nothing much interesting here; just that Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad are still on the off-duty roster.

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