Monday, November 17, 2014

Justice League United #6 Review

This review is a few days later than I'd like it. Oh well.

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The JLU and the Legion polish off the Cadre, but before they can take a victory lap, Black Mass finds Ultra and teleports him out to where Byth is in space. Byth does a ceremony or something to turn Ultra into Infinitus. I guess. The JLU starts to head out there, but Brainiac 5 says that he's already dispatched a Legion team to the area.


Second-issue syndrome: the energy of the setup in the Annual has run out, and now we just have some fighting. The plot advances in what I suppose is a timely enough fashion, as Byth gets his hands on Ultra. With three issues to go, I hope that there's room for something unexpected in the rest of the story, now that we've got the expected development out of the way.

The Legionnaires don't distinguish themselves in this issue. The only point of interest is the return of the Lost Legionnaires on the last page as Brainy's ace-in-the-hole, prompting a reaction on my part of, "Oh, is that what they're doing".

I dunno. Am I spoiled? Do I expect too much? Is this really a decent comic and I'm just too much of a grownup to appreciate it? I mean, it's not a bad comic. It's just sorta there. (At that, it's ahead of much of Paul Levitz's third run.)

I think if this thing came out in the 1970s it would be remembered fondly. As it happens, it's 2014, and I wish we'd never seen Dawnstar's arm in JSA #1, because this is just more retroboot slog. It's not Bad LSH; it's Caretaker LSH. Stupid retroboot. Remember when Legion comics were interesting, and not just a sop thrown to a bunch of complainypantses who can't let go of 1983?


Pretty much the same as in the Annual; sometimes the characters look good (Brainy, page 21) and sometimes not so much (Phantom Girl, page 3). Skimpy backgrounds. I've certainly seen a lot worse.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was actually excited to see the Legion Lost team on the final page. I hated that they were just left behind when their series was cancelled, and that Levitz did't see fit to bring them home to the 31st century before he finished up his run. It's fitting to get the Legion reunited if we are ever to have a new Legion series someday.

I don't mind that the book is focused on the Retroboot Legion. What is better than the continuing adventures of the Original?

My real problem is that the Legion didn't do anything in this issue that was Legion oriented. Other that calling in the Legion Lost team on the final page, the Legionnaires featured could just as well as been any DC character guest starring in the Justice League United. They really had no purpose this issue. That was a bummer if DC had hoped to use this arc to relaunch the Retroboot Legion in a new series in the near future. I hope the Legion contributes to the storyline the next 3 issues and isn't used just as filler.

What I'm not looking forward to is for Dawnstar and Wildfire getting left behind and joining the JLU team as was suggested by the Future's End of this title. If would be better that the whole Legion Lost team return to the 31st century and come back on planned visits that fro some members remaining lost in the 21st century DC has foreshadowed.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Taking your points in order...

I certainly don't object to seeing the Legion Lost characters. I don't think it was necessary to do it this way; they could have just included the characters in with the rest of the team and pretended that Legion Lost never happened. But it's fine.

I am not a supporter of reboots. I think that DC should have stuck with the original Legion in 1994 rather than rebooting them. But I do like the Reboot Legion and the comics they appeared in. The comics moved on and so did I. I think that DC should have stuck with the Reboot Legion rather than rebooting them. But I do like the Threeboot Legion and the comics they appeared in. The comics moved on and so did I. And I think that DC should have stuck with the Threeboot Legion rather than retrobooting them. I kinda like the retroboot Legion but I mostly don't care for the comics they are appearing in, because the comics have not moved on, they have moved back and I don't want to move back.

The Legion is about progress and the future. The retroboot Legion is about stagnation and the past.

It is certainly possible to use the retroboot Legion to tell good Legion stories about progress and the future, but it hasn't happened. What has happened is that DC figured that the way to sell Legion comics is to sell the same old characters written by the same old writer to the same old audience. It didn't work and it doesn't work. (Not that I think either Shooter or Levitz was just phoning it in in their third runs with the Legion. You could kinda tell that they were trying their best. They just didn't have it, that's all.)

Legion comics require creators with a vision of the characters and the setting and the stories to be told. The great Legion eras of the past have all had that. We don't have it now.

I agree that this issue was light on LSH content. I have to say that I don't see this story leading to a regular Legion title. Not that there never will be a regular Legion title... but I don't think this story is a stepping stone to it.

And I also don't agree with Dawnstar and Wildfire being cannibalized from the LSH for use in JLU. The Legion deserves better than to be stripped down for parts.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those Legion fans who do care about continuity, the Legion Lost team needed to be brought back in some fashion like this. Though, I'd rather had a story focused on a team from the 31st century tasked with trying to track them down rather than this. Still, bringing back the Lost team in this way does tie up some loose ends.

I'm also glad DC didn't just forget Legion Lost ever happened. For all of the flaws of that series, there were a few concepts that I'd like to see retained: the friendship between Timber Wolf and Gates, the cool portrayal of Tyroc's powers (Pete Woods and the inkers deserve kudos for the way they brought his power to life), and some plot elements about the Science Police's ECHO division. I'd like to see the ECHO storyline developed more fully down the road by some writer.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Legion Lost had some good moments amidst all of its flaws. There was some forward movement with characters like Timber Wolf, Tyroc and Gates that I' appreciate. On the other hand the constant rehashing of 20 year old plot threads between Wildfire and Dawnstar were damn annoying.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well said. But I draw the line at having Timber Wolf shoot his claws across the room again.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the Legion Lost showing up, does that mean that this is the Legion from the end of Levitz' last run wherein Mon-El lost an arm and Starboy and Sunboy got killed, and Levitz attempted to move them into being the Legion of Earth-2?

2:53 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think the answer to your question is somewhere between "yes" and "no". I mean, yes, that's them. Did all that other stuff happen? I think it sorta did and sorta didn't. Or maybe Lemire's setting this story before all that and will keep the Losters in the 21st century. I dunno. We shouldn't spend too much time thinking about it.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not bothered. I liked having access to those characters and having Mon-El not maimed.

The Earth-2 connection always came off as Levitz' wishful thinking but I have no way to prove that.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Remember, continuity mechanics is what DC uses to distract us from whether the story is any damn good or not.

4:05 PM  

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