Thursday, 24 March 2011

Legion of Super-Heroes #11 review

Following on from this month's Legion of Super-Villains #1, Lightning Lass, Sun Boy, Phantom Girl, Wildfire, Ultra Boy, Tyroc and Colossal Boy help with the clean-up after Saturn Queen's destruction of the prison on Takron-Galtos. Along with such old 'friends' as Tyr, we meet two new would-be LSV members, Fume and Frost.

Elsewhere on the prison world. Shrinking Violet spits on the body of Micro Lad – murdered by a fellow criminal – shocking Chameleon Boy. Vi points out that she has good reason, given their history, while Cosmic Boy, recently relieved as offical Legion leader, relaxes and allows his natural man management skills to flow.

On Earth, interim leader Brainiac 5 confidently appraises Science Police chief Gigi Cusimano of Legion activity, though he shows more vulnerability once he's gone. The Legion's resident genius is especially perturbed that Dawnstar has gone off on a mission of her own, then Dream Girl arrives to further irritate him. And thrill me. For Nura Nal is carrying on her back (she's long been a whiz with the Legion's gravity rings) Star Boy, back from an extended sortie in the 21st century. That trip mangled his mind somewhat, and she demands Brainy sort him out. Brainy reasonably points out that right now isn't the best time, what with the LSV busy regrouping, but an unexpected arrival lightens his load. It's new Green Lantern Mon-El, who announces that he's figured out how to be in two places at once and is ready to take up his duties as Legion leader. So Brainy is free to try curing Star Boy of 'multiversal disorientation accelerated schizophrenia'.

That facilitates my favourite scene of the issue, as Brainy and Dream Girl discuss the former's feelings for the team. It's dead-on character work from writer Paul Levitz.

Levitz also gives a good showing to Timber Wolf, in Kyoto looking for new solar villain Sun Killer. There he finds old solar villain Sun Emperor, mighty peeved that the new guy wants his LSV spot, and willing to take it out on Timber Wolf. Pure plasma vs flesh and blood? You might think Timber Wolf hasn't a chance, but Levitz uses the fight to show his Legionnaire chops.

I counted 16 members in this issue, and bar the sleeping Star Boy, they all get something to do – no one juggles characters like Levitz. He doesn't skimp on the villain characterisation either, with even probable throwaways Fume and Frost showing potential. I also love the way he uses the 31st-century setting to not only show us exotic worlds, but to predict how Earth might develop.

Bringing the script to life is guest penciller Daniel HDR and regular inker Wayne Faucher, who inject their characters with vitality and charm. The big match between Timber Wolf and Sun Emperor is particularly pleasing, having real intensity; I wasn't at all convinced Timber Wolf would make it out alive. As it is, the incident is akin to the worst haircut ever.

Lending fire to the flames is the Hi-Fi colourist, likely Brian Miller. As well as the usual solid work, extra effort seems to have gone into giving texture to the Legionnnaires' skins; it's appreciated. John J Hill letters with his usual detail for individual character signatures.

Hi-Fi and Faucher also work on the rather spiffy cover, pencilled by Legion regular Yildiray Cinar. The issue closes with a lettercolumn including the results of the recent reader poll for Legion leader. Turns out that almost 20,000 unique readers voted, with my man Tyroc getting just over 500 – hardly a screaming success, but there's always next time. The horror is that the awful Earth-Man came third. If anyone reading this voted for him, I'd love to hear your reasons.


11 comments:

  1. *blink* "man management skills" Uh, I didn't know he swings that way ;) Great review as usual, and together with the pictures of the great food, I'm beginning to think that there is nothing you don't do well!

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  2. You voted for Tyroc, too? Good man.

    And yeah, I'd *love* to know the reasoning behind any votes for Earth-Man.

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  3. Earth Man came third?! Really... It always surprises me where characters fall in a popularity poll.

    Tyroc would have been a great choice, but I casted my coin the way of Cosmic Boy. Not that original but I still think we haven't seen the best of him yet.

    Nice review!!

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  4. To be fair, Legion elections aren't *quite* a popularity poll, though no doubt there's a lot of overlap. There are a lot of voters who vote for Legionnaires they'd like to see get more exposure (like I did with Tyroc), even though he's not my favorite member. And others will vote (and I suspect that many of the Earth-Man supporters fall into this category) for a character that's a real curveball, and they want to see what kind of stories Levitz will come up with from that premise (and in Earthman's case, how he would even justify it!). That motivation influenced my Tyroc vote, too -- I knew Levitz had struggled with the character in the past, and thought putting him in the leadership spotlight would be worthwhile.

    If it were simply a popularity contest, I'd have either choose Cham or Phantom Girl.

    For the next election, I'm inclined to vote for Lightning Lass. Colorist Brian Miller makes a great case for her in the lettercol.

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  5. Hello, Martin! Nos I find ya :) tua is a lot for Your comments! I really limes Legion since my childhood. When I've worked on Legion #8 pages, my head explode :) Now, this entire issue is a dream come true. Thanks again!

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  6. Novelty, you're so smutty - keep it up ;)

    Vote for Tyroc? I did indeed Rob, I even declared it on the blog!

    I'm a longtime Cos fan, Dan, but I'd like to see someone new have a crack at the leader role.

    Excellent point, Rob - if I were going for favourite Legionnaire, it'd likely be Tinya too.

    Lovely to hear from you Daniel, it's good to see you popping up across the DCU.

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  7. Novelty, you're so smutty - keep it up ;)

    Vote for Tyroc? I did indeed Rob, I even declared it on the blog!

    I'm a longtime Cos fan, Dan, but I'd like to see someone new have a crack at the leader role.

    Excellent point, Rob - if I were going for favourite Legionnaire, it'd likely be Tinya too.

    Lovely to hear from you Daniel, it's good to see you popping up across the DCU.

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  8. I imagine a lot of the people who voted for Earth-Man did so for the same reason I voted for Tyroc - to screw over the writer.

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  9. See, I'd say that was very naughty, but look at how well such naughtiness worked out with regard to Dream Girl - it was the making of her!

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  10. Oh man I really dug this issue, and I love to see Timber Wolf (a top 3 Legionnaire for me) kick some ass. I too worried he may not make it out alive, but once he took that first onslaught from Sun Emperor I figured he would be okay.

    My vote went to: Gates. Underused, unappreciated insectoid from the '90s.

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  11. Gates is one of my favourites from the reboot Legion, I'm so glad we're at least seeing something of him (reverse this comment and you have my feelings on XS!).

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