Monday, June 08, 2015

Convergence: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #2 Review

This review is so late! I know it is. I'll put together something about the Blue Beetle and Booster Gold miniseries too, I think, once I actually go to the comic shop and get the second issues of them. Anyway!

What Happened That You Have to Know About: The Atomic Knights attack Metropolis and are doing pretty well fighting the Legion until Wildfire shows up and turns the tide. The Legion eventually talks them down, although there's some jiggery pokery with a canister of death virus mixed in there.

Review: You know, it's actually a nice little story. There's not a lot to it, but it's not badly done and Stuart Moore, the writer, quite properly represents the Legion as not wanting to fight these guys. (I'm not saying that's much of a bar to clear. I'm just saying he got it right.)

Also, it uses the Legion's and Atomic Knights's future settings in effective contrast with each other. I was all, "Well, one way this isn't a Legion story is that... oh, wait. No. It is." The more I look at this thing, the more solid it seems. I only have one serious objection, and that can wait for a future article.

The problems are a) that the premise and the ending of the thing are forced by the requirements of Convergence, and I can't muster any interest in Convergence, and b) even the continuity of this story seems to be a temporary one, just thrown together for this story. I mean, are these characters going to remember Convergence afterwards? So we get what's supposed to be a key growing-up story for Superboy, and we're burning it on this... exercise.

Or maybe I'm just old and cynical. Are there people out there who are really into Convergence? Who are really invested in it? I am so not, but it could be just me.

Also. Of all these sets of characters who are supposed to be ripping up each others' cities. Are any of 'em actually doing it? Really they shouldn't be, considering heroism and all.

Invisible Kid's invisibility seems to be one of those superpowers like Projectra's illusions in the sense that just what it can and can't do depends on who's writing it. The Knights beat him in this comic by looking in the infrared spectrum, but I could swear that I've read stories where he's invisible to infrared too. Seriously, in the 31st century, what good is invisibility that only works on visible light?

Legion continuity has been really hard to pin down in recent years. It took us a while to figure out what the deal was with the retroboot, and then once we did, it was gone. When Paul Levitz took over, he changed the rules on us a little, especially after Flashpoint, and also we've had the Star Trek crossover, all of Grant Morrison's stuff in Action, the Infinitus Saga, and now this Convergence story. And they're all not quite the same as the retroboot Legion, and not quite the same as each other. I suppose it's intentional?

I like Lightning Lass's costume here. Reminiscent of her brother's Cockrum-designed costume, but more elegant. I think it's a keeper.

Art: Looks like Gus Storms was only around for the first issue. This time we get Peter Gross and Mark Farmer, and everybody seems to like that better. Certainly it's more conventional than the first issue was, and it looks like they had more time to get it finished. But, I mean, let's not get carried away. I just opened to a page at random; turned out to be page 6. And there's nothing inspired here. It's drab. It's not kinetic. The character renderings are certainly nothing special, except in panel 2. The panel layout makes room for Colossal Boy to speak in panel 3, and panel 4 is squared up to us to reinforce the effect of the energy blast on Sun Boy, so that's fine. And they put the background in, which I always appreciate. So, you know. It's all right.

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Blogger Dylan said...

A thoroughly decent story, and not unlike the Star Trek crossover, one that easily relies upon the fact that the Legion's basic principle is that we didn't screw up the world and that we can find a way to live together in peace.

I seem to remember reading something (at least during his one appearance in the post-ZH Legion) that Jacques' invisibility did work a little different than Lyle's, and that he was invisible to some things that Lyle hadn't been.

I liked this a lot, though I will say that I found the Knights' ability to keep up with and hold their ground against the Legion a little unbelievable, but mostly only because the Legion had Superboy on their side.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Dylan said...

Also, only a handful of the characters roped in are fighting full out. Most ran went like this issue, where they team up to try and find another way. But a few candidates in the brawl have been straight up villains (like the Extremists) or from nastier Earth's to begin with (like the Flashpoint universe, the Future's End universe, or the Wildstorm universe).

8:41 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Oh yeah, the Extremists. Thanks.

I agree that LSH vs AK is a mismatch, but at least they hung a lantern on it by having the Legionnaires talk about how rusty they were. Whatever, dudes.

8:55 PM  

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