Thursday, September 20, 2012

Legion of Super-Heroes #0 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Way back when, before Brainiac 5 was a Legionnaire, the Legion showed up on Colu to fight some robotic bugs. They got out of Brainiac's ancient sealed-up vault somehow, and the vault itself is behaving like a threat in some way that isn't really well specified. After some fighting and destruction, Ultra Boy throws it into space. Oh, and we learn the secret origin of Tharok; he's a thief who wants to loot Brainiac's stuff and gets, what, cybernetically possessed or something by it. Oh, and we learn that all this trouble started when Brainiac 5 opened the door to the lab.


I think DC should stop trying to get Paul Levitz to do special issues and crossovers and stuff. He doesn't seem to be able to mix into the spirit of it, and we probably would have come out ahead if he had been free to just go ahead and do a regular comic book.

Take this issue. To fit in with this zero-issue thing, it has to be set in the early days of the title character(s), and to reveal secrets and stuff. And Levitz delivers on that. But the story itself is not really that interesting; it contains one interesting detail (Tharok's origin) but is otherwise unremarkable. Brainy's secret, for one thing. In-story it's shocking enough, because of course there's a taboo with Brainiac here, but we all know that Brainy tends to stick his nose in where it doesn't belong, and get in over his head, and so on. We aren't shocked.

What else happened? There's a Coluan baby who might turn out to be important. How old would she be now... teens, I suppose. Natural to wonder if Levitz is planning on easing Brainy out of the Legion and another Coluan in.

The most interesting characterization is probably Phantom Girl and her relationships with Brainy and Ultra Boy. She's pretty flirty. I wonder how she came to end up with Jo and not Brainy. I suppose the most likely thing is that Brainy just wasn't interested enough.

Looks like some Fatal Five action coming up next month. That'll be okay, I guess.

Art: 92 panels/20 pages = 4.6 panels/page. 2 splash pages.

Art by Scott Kolins this issue, and while I can't say I'm a big fan of his style, he acquits himself decently well here. I like Ultra Boy's brawniness and Kolins's attention to the background. Oh, and I like the page borders; nice touch.

Membership Notes: A text page at the end of the issue gives a quick synopsis on just who the Legion is, and lists their membership as Mon-El, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Chemical Kid, Ultra Boy, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Dragonwing, Colossal Boy, Comet Queen, Star Boy, Element Lad, and Sun Boy. This is not an accurate list of active Legionnaires. First of all, Colossal Boy quit. Second of all, what about Shadow Lass, Shrinking Violet, Lightning Lass, Glorith, Harmonia, and Invisible Kid? Third, it's interesting that Star Boy and Comet Queen are included, since they're supposed to have quit to rescue Brainy and Dreamy.

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