Friday, December 27, 2019

Legion of Super-Heroes #2 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The Legion defends Aquaman's trident from the Horraz. The fight comes to an abrupt end when the trident's function as a portal to the elemental plane of water is activated, washing away the Horraz leader. Rose is working as the LSH liaison to the United Planets. The Legion sends some mission teams to planets Gotham and Rimbor, and Superboy goes back in time to recruit Robin (Damian Wayne) to the Legion.


I suppose I'm going to have to go through this thing with an Interlac alphabet in front of me. After all these years, I still can't sightread it.

The problem with this issue is we really don't have a story. It's a fight followed by two or three boardroom meetings. There's a danger here that I'm going to focus on the trees at the expense of an understanding of the forest, so I'll try not to do that... It's very possible that this Legion run will be best appreciated when looking back at a large number of issues as a whole. So what does that leave me to do as a reviewer? Mm, we'll see.

On the one hand, this comic is making me appreciate Mark Waid and the threeboot a lot more. Remember LSHv5 #2? The Dream Girl issue. That got a lot more accomplished than this did, and it was a self-contained story, which this comic is decidedly not. On the other hand, remember LSHv6 #2 and LSHv7 #2? Me neither: Brian Michael Bendis is bringing a lot more snap to this enterprise than Paul Levitz did in his third run. (And those weren't even really bad comics!) So there's some interesting stuff going on here even beyond the novelty of just having Legion comics again.

Bendis seems to have decided just to put Rose in the role of LSH/UP liaison, without showing us anything about Rose explaining herself to the Legion. On the one hand, Rose has some things to say about what her deal is that we really do want to hear. On the other, I definitely support anytime Bendis wants to skip over the boring parts and get to the juicy stuff. Presumably it's just a matter of time before we get Rose's info. I'm not being naive about this, am I? It's not like they can just not tell us.

I would categorize the inclusion of Robin in this series as a cheap trick. (That's not a condemnation: I have a deep respect and affection for cheap tricks.) Outside the story, it gives the Legion some visibility for Batman fans, which is obviously advantageous. Inside the story, though, it kinda distracts from learning about this Legion whom we only met one issue ago. Dilutes the attention. Really seems like a distraction to me.

The smaller teams going to Rimbor and Gotham, though? Good, yes, more of that. That should help.

Who would you say we've gotten to know the best so far? I guess Saturn Girl, Ultra Boy, maybe Brainiac 5, but none of them really strongly... I know what I said about Bendis's setting-first approach to the title last month. I would still like to get a better sense of the individual Legionnaires. It'll take forever, I know! But let's start.

Hmm, so, the 15th again for #3? Okay, be that way.

- when did we find out that the Horraz leader was named Tortor? Just this issue?
- is time-travel just really easy?
- are the Frichtman tags helping any of you? I haven't really taken the trouble to squint at any of them

Art: 85 panels/22 pages = 3.9 panels/page. 1 splash page, 2 double-page spreads, 3 instances of multiple panels spread across two pages. Ryan Sook is still giving us a lot of one-panel pages, but he partially compensates for that with several pages with six or seven panels each. The quality of the rendering is good, but it's extremely busy and you really have to *look* at it. This is a quality that has its advantages; I just noticed a bunch of things while doing exactly this: Bouncing Boy on page 2; Phantom Girl, if that's who that is, on page 5.

Membership Notes:

A lot of stuff really isn't clear yet! When I can give some kind of comprehensive update, I will, but for now: there are a lot of Legionnaires.

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Anonymous AJay said...

A roll call should have happened in #1.
Who is Soultaker?
Why are the costumes/uniforms so deliriously complex and unmemorable?
I'll trade you a black Lightning Lad for Jacques, Jazmin, Danielle or Tyroc.
I'm happy that there is a Legion comic book, but more substance and less flash would sustain my interest much better.
When's Harley rushing into the 31st century with a big baseball bat?

1:37 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Did I miss Soultaker? Was this an Interlac thing? I haven't done that yet.

I like some of the costumes. I like Saturn Girl's, for one thing.

This isn't everything I could have hoped it was, but it's plenty good enough for me to be patient for more.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Jim D said...

"Soultaker" was referenced in Doomsday Clock #12, with Saturn Girl telling a character to control herself (or something like that) —a character who would otherwise appear to be the new Light Lass.

At this point, I think of it as evidence of ongoing tiny meddling by the Time Trapper, just like in previous continuities. I'm sure it will be referenced again by some writer somewhere, as such things happen.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Well, I'll have my eyes out for the name next week. Thanks!

12:37 PM  

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