Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Legion of Super-Heroes #9 review


The focus this month is on the mysteries of Durla, Chameleon Boy's homeworld, as the Legion continues its bid to track down the shape-changing assassins targeting the United Council. Cham and Brainiac 5 are there, trying to learn what its leaders know about the conspiracy, while Timber Wolf and Tyroc guard UP representatives on Earth. Colossal Boy, meanwhile, is pointing out to Science Police officer Gigi Cusimano that the injured tracker Dawnstar needs to recuperate, not be out looking for the missing, presumed alive, Chief Zendak.

Gigi's acceptance of this leads to my favourite scene this issue, as telepathic Legionnaire Tellus enters Dawnstar's head and taps into her still-working power to conclude that Zendak is likely dead (he is, killed by the Durlan who impersonated him). Penciller Yildiray Cinar, inker Wayne Faucher and colourist H-Fi tweak their approach to give the panels a painted finish that looks excellent. I'd love to see a whole issue in this style, at the very least a few covers (click to enlarge).


The regular art style serves the rest of the book nicely, with the scenes on Durla being the standouts. Cinar and co really capture the all-out eeriness of Cham's people and the hero's rage when he tires of their condescending treatment. And I can't wait to see more of their cute-yet-cutting Gates - the Legion's teleporter shows up to aid Timber Wolf and Tyroc, but isn't around nearly long enough.

Because writer Paul Levitz's Gates is huge fun, with his proletarian ways. Actually, Levitz writes every Legionnaire well this time; I especially like the continued expansion of sonic boom boy Tyroc's usefuless, and Brainiac 5's stumbling attempts at detective work.

The action this issue stems from the type of Durlan attacks we've see a fair bit of lately and while the orange dragons have become a shade passe, the events surrounding them are compelling. We're getting closer to the truth behind the Durlan conspiracy, though I'm disappointed that the person at whom the finger is pointing is, I think, a shiny new character whom we really should have heard of previously. *

Look kids, it's another DC Icons cover! I wish someone had decided to use Bouncing Boy as the spherical backdrop for the Legion's falling star symbol. How I'd laugh. Still, the illo by Cinar, Faucher and Hi-Fi is as eye-catching as this entertaining comic deserves.


Please see Comments below - my memory has holes; I blame the Crisis! Mea culpa.

11 comments:

  1. Spoilers for who the finger is pointing at:

















    I don't think this character is a complete unknown. From what I recall, she's the person Reep thought of as his mother until he learned that Brande was his dad. She's never had much on-panel time, though, but she's been mentioned as a character since as far back as the Secrets of the LSH miniseries of the early 80s.

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  2. Thank you ... I don't remember Character at all. Good to know.

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  3. That Legion insignia on the cover - isn't this the one used for the Five Years later LSH (cover to #12 for example) or does this symbol predate even that?

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  4. Good question Dave. There was a fun discussion about the symbol's origins at the Legion Abstract recently. Rather than attempt to summarise, here's the link:

    http://legionabstract.blogspot.com/2011/01/adventure-comics-522-review.html

    Start with Matt's review, and zoom down those comments!

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  5. So it was V4! Always will have a soft spot for that run even though it destroyed the Legion as a viable product....

    Always greatly look forward to the Legion these days, I wasn't a regular reader back in the 80s but it was V4 that really ignited my interest and made me want to buy a substantial amount of the back issues to learn more. There are very few books that are as comfortable for me to read as the current Levitz book is, it's nostalgic yes but its also a genuine quality book with characters who I recognise instantly and haven't alienated me as certain others have over the years. In that sense it's why I liked the current New Mutants relaunch so much; initially at least....

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  6. I think I have about four issues of the latest relaunch still to read. From about a year ago. That says something ...

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  7. Now, if we can adjust the mask, get Projectra out of that hooker-wear outfit and a few other costume adjustments, it would be a cooler book...but minor things. Great review, Martin!!

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  8. Agree - Projectra put the bazongas away. You're classier than that gurl!

    There's an early 80s back issue in which Cham Boy's 'mother' (now revealed as her aunt) visits LSH HQ and gets captured by Dagon the Avenger. So I think she's an established (if very tangential) character. But I wouldn't put money on it as I'm sure a super-fan (I'm only a fan) would know the precise details.

    Overall, I thought this issue was slow. I enjoyed the Tellus art too and like it whenever he gets panel time. But not enough seemed to happen. Too much exposition and people talking rather than moving plot on.

    Oh, and sorry to sound a critical note Martin, but you tagged this issue as "Legion of Suoer-Heroes" (so I couldn't find it at first).

    But I do keep coming back to read your reviews as they're good tho!

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  9. Thanks Rob, I've re-typed the label. It may be worth hitting that Follow link up top or at right, then I'll be bookmarked somewhere useful and you won't be at the mercy of my typing :)

    Cheers for the Dagon reminder, I remember the basics of that issue, but had forgotten the details. Wasn't that around the time that the LSH comic got its X-Menny logo?

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  10. Can't remember the logo. But that was the era in which they had Steve Ditko do some (typically Ditkoesque and, in my opinion, really ugly) fill-in art. Not a memorable time for the Legion.

    Stories weren't great either - although the Dagon one was probably one of the more memorable ones. I can't really remember much else story-wise from that time until we get to the Reflecto thing a coupla years later.

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  11. It certainly wasn't one of my favourite Legion periods. Not even a space circus cheered it up.

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