Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Legionnaires: Dragonwing

Here's one who seemed to fall off the table.

Dragonwing, aka Marya Pai of Earth. Created by Paul Levitz and Phil Jimenez.

Dragonwing was one of the Academy graduates who joined the Legion as the New52 started. The new Legionnaires of this period seemed to be part of an effort to bring in more female and nonwhite Legionnaires, which was entirely appropriate.

Dragonwing herself was not super interesting. Her powers included flight, fire breath, and acid breath, which is workable. They gave her a little storyline where they had to go back and deal with some part of her backstory; her brother was in trouble or something. Then in the final storyline of LSHv7, with the Fatal Five, she disappeared. Like, she just stopped appearing in the story. I think Levitz and Giffen forgot about her.

There's nothing wrong with her as a character; she'd be a perfectly good Legionnaire if she appeared in any good Legion comics. (If and when they ever bring the Legion back, I'd like to see her era represented in the cast of characters just as much as all the other eras.) The one thing I found most notable about her was her costume. Look:

You see her cloak there? Transparent, with a dragon design on it? It's cool: futuristic, and unlike any other superhero costume I've ever seen. I must imagine that Phil Jimenez gets the credit for this; go ahead, Phil.

But here's the thing. Wouldn't it be a pain to draw?

If I was running a Legion comic, with the huge cast of characters, cosmic storylines, and futuristic setting, I wouldn't go out of my way to make the artists' jobs any harder than necessary. If you're a longtime Legion reader, you know how tough it is for artists to stay on schedule with this comic. Why don't they make the costumes as simple and distinctive as possible? Cripes, make something easy. So, Dragonwing: cool costume, no question, but I wouldn't sign off on it.

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