Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Legion of Super-Heroes #7 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

The fraught relationships between the Legion, the United Planets, and Rimbor continue to be fraught. This time it ends with Krav the General Nah arresting the Legion to put them on trial next issue. Also, the Legionnaires elect Ultra Boy their new leader.


The core of this issue is the disagreements between Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Brainiac 5. Note what the core of the problem is: Saturn Girl is used to a world in which everyone can just casually see what each other are thinking, and Cosmic Boy is not; Brainiac 5 is used to a world in which everyone trusts each other with whatever they're interested in investigating; Cosmic Boy is not. Obviously our sympathies are supposed to be with Cosmic Boy, but that's not the point. Saturn Girl's and Brainy's positions are not unreasonable! It's just that these people are all strangers and don't know how this is going to work yet, and anyway they're dumb teenagers.

You know what this is really like, is the threeboot. Remember in the first arc of the threeboot there was all that infighting between Cosmic Boy and Brainiac 5? This is like that. It's different in the sense that, in the threeboot, the two of them were actually jockeying for power, while here in the fourboot the disagreements seem more innocent and unintentional. (Which I like better.) But I am gratified that the threeboot is such an influence on Bendis.

Not a lot of action this issue, but plenty of characterization, which is welcome. One thing I don't care for is that really not much new happens. Arguments with R.J. Brande, disputes with Rimbor, Lightning Lad's family, Mon-El has some kind of issue with Superboy... I guess the election is new. (And over quickly. Do we not get to vote on this?)

Let's take note of how different Ultra Boy is in the fourboot. He's generally been portrayed as a brash physical type, more of a follower than a leader, not a complex thinker. This new Ultra Boy has the same powers but isn't drawn as burly as original, reboot, threeboot, and animated Jo was. He's more thoughtful and more of an independent operator, and I wonder if Bendis sees him as the protagonist of this series. Imagine any other version of Ultra Boy investigating Aquaman's trident and taking the initiative to go and steal it from the thieves who have it all by himself. Doesn't fit. And for him now to get himself elected leader based on an argument about styles of leadership? He's a whole new character.

Next issue we start into this super-artist-spectacular thing, which, uh... I mean, I like it when people try things. I'm sure the results will be worthy of note. But I'd be satisfied with a good comic book.

- Monster Boy seems to be Arune somebody from planet Tor-Etto
- I hope Krav the General Nah's entourage gets some kind of character development
- Computo seems to have recovered since last issue

Art: 85 panels/22 pages = 3.9 panels/page. 2 splash pages, 1 double-page spread, 4 cases of multiple panels being depicted across 2 pages.

Ryan Sook only draws the first page of this one, and Stephen Byrne takes over the rest of the way. I don't begrudge Sook the time off; it's got to be a demanding book to draw. Anyway, Byrne does his very best Sook impression all the way through; the panel layouts are Sookesque and the character renderings not so very different. Only distinction that stands out to me is that some of the characters have goonier faces. Check out Superboy, for instance. One of the most seamless fill-ins I've ever seen.

Membership Notes:

There'll probably be a lot more to report here over the next couple of issues, but one thing we can say from this issue is that both Light Lass and Lightning Lass seem to be Legionnaires. Ayla is there, with her lightning powers, with the rest of Garth's family, and she has a flight ring, so I think that must mean she's a Legionnaire. And the woman we've seen with the feather emblem is *also* there, separately, so if she's Light Lass (as we have been assuming), then Light Lass is a different person from Ayla Ranzz, who I guess we should call Lightning Lass. (Scrutinize pages 16-17 to verify this for yourself.)

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