Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Legion of Super-Heroes #10 review


I can't resist a 'smashed logo' cover and this is a spiffy spin on the concept from Yildiray Cinar, Wayne Faucher and Hi-Fi. There's a real sense of power, of the momentum of the giant lizard as it lunges at Chameleon Boy.

You won't recognise the lizard, but if you've been paying attention to this book you'll likely have guessed it's one of the Durlans who have been making so much trouble of late. It is, in fact, the Durlan Troublemaker-in-Chief, signalling the end of the storyline. And it wraps on several high notes, as writer Paul Levitz packs the pages to bursting with incident and character.

From Ultra Boy and Wildfire's opening discussion of their girlfriends, to Brainiac 5's hasty dismissal of a prophecy, via new Espionage Squad member Chameleon Girl's career woes, this is pure pleasure. Add in outer space action and Earthbound antics and you have a classic tale of the Legion. Subplots include Mon-El's reluctance to accept the leadership role, Brainy's embracing of his status as acting leader and Dawnstar's refusal to consider convalescing.

The plot is something to admire, and the dialogue is equally good. There are plenty of lines to relish here, one being Cham's '...keep your antennae wobbling', another, this exchange between Cosmic Boy and Brainy.

Hiding in Plain Sight is drawn by Yildiray Cinar, whose work gets better every issue - and it was gorgeous to start with. The nobility of the Legionnaires, their determination in the face of tough odds ... Cinar nails it. And I doubt you'll find a better dinosaur tussle in comics than the one presented here. What's more, Dawnstar boosters should be very happy with her, likely temporary, new look.

Talking of new looks, Cinar could make me very happy by changing Ultra Boy's Gary Frank-designed costume, a spin on Jo-Nah's classic duds that makes him look like an inebriated court jester. Far better is Chameleon Girl's look, with its cute Capri pants and slippers. Give her some pearls and bobby pins and Yera Allon will be the 31st century's Doris Day.

Costume apart, Ultra Boy's stopping of a potentially dangerous spacecraft is one of the visual highlights of this issue, along with a wonderful downshot of Brainy and Cosmic Boy in Legion HQ, and any panel featuring Phantom Girl. Inker Wayne Faucher ensures the pencils print with a pleasing slickness, while Hi-Fi offers us a blaze of colour, lending each scene the required mood. John J Hill letters with the neatness you'd expect of one of the comic industry's steady Eddies. 

Tightly written, beautifully illustrated, Legion of Super-Heroes #10 is a treat for fans of colourful, sci-fi superheroics.

8 comments:

  1. Another stellar issue. This is once again one of my favorite books.

    Though as much as I like his art -- it really is gorgeous -- I think Cinar dropped the ball on conveying one of the plot points. On the last page, those other Legionnaires should have been piling on Reep for it to count as the moment that Beren foresaw. Though on second thought, I doubt this was really an art problem and more of a pacing problem. Levitz had to cut 20 pages out of his story, and some of that was undoubtedly some brutal fighting on Reep's part, so much so that the rest of the Legion would have to forcefully stop him. Without that moment, a pile-on wouldn't make sense.

    Anyway, once again a great review!

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  2. I felt like this was the first issue of this title to 'feel' like a Levitz LSH book. I think he was sort of arranging things to get characters where he wanted them to be. So I am looking forward to the LSV arc.

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  3. Excellent point about the looks-to-have-been-fumbled pile-on. There was a similar note of 'what happened?' in a Legion strip a month or so back, when we never saw RJ Brande's secretary Pheebs killed. Your thinking on the matter makes good sense, Rob.

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  4. Anj, I'm in heaven with all the Legion material we're getting right now and yes, the Levitz cylinders are beginning to fire rather than tick over nicely.

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  5. I know you like looking on the bright side but the art in this issue was terrible - not only is it really amateurishly executed but it failed on the basics of telling the story.

    The ending made little to no sense because the fight scene was so badly handled.

    It looks like the lay outs were done by a 5 year old.

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  6. OK Andrew, produce that five-year-old. There's a problem been noted with the art, by Rob, but it's not bad by any definition.

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  7. This issue only gets about 6 out of 10 from me. But I'm willing to give Levitz the benefit of the doubt, given that DC Comics hath proclaimeth that comics should be at the 2.99 price point and therefore loads, loads shorter. Rob S's point that the prediction that the Legionnaires would attack Cham Boy would probably have made a lot more sense in Levitz's original plot.

    Bring on the LSV. I'm hoping that this new plot arc will be amaa-azing. Fingers crossed.

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  8. It's funny, I'm not missing the two lost pages at all from other books, it seems everyone is making a big effort to provide best value. It's only really Legion, with its precision advance plotting, that seems to have been hit, and I've faith that within a couple of months Paul Levitz will have the storylines back on track.

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