Friday, 22 July 2011

Legion of Super-heroes #15 review


Star Boy's multiversal energies are used by Professor Harmonia Li to open the gate to her homeworld of immortals, currently under attack by the Legion of Super-Villains. Thom and Harmonia stay behind to maintain the portal while the rest of the heroes fly through, along with Oan spirit Dyogene. On the other side of the barrier, everyone fights.

That's it. That's the story Paul Levitz gives us in the penultimate issue before this series restarts as one of DC's New 52 in September. And it's great. We've had several issues of set-up, with encounters between LSH and LSV sub-teams along the way, but I'm ready for a big blow-out. And here it is as the good guys show the bad guys what's what, not quite wrapping up the story, but inflicting a fair few bruises. Dawnstar and Tellus are on especially good form, taking on the formidable Saturn Queen. Star of the show, though, is Gates, who well and truly saves their bacon as the hyper-hypnotist's strength of mind tells on his colleagues. Tyroc also shines - or rather, screams - while Sun Boy shows Sun Killer who's the number one solar act. 

Polar Boy proves that super powers aren't just for violence when Timber Wolf is hurt, Lightning Lass, as ever, heads straight for mad brother Lightning Lord .... even Mon-El gets to do something other than chat to Dyogene. Not much, mind - he provides a travel bubble and makes a cage; methinks Levitz finds Mon as Green Lantern as boring as I do. Hopefully the notion will disappear post-Flashpoint.

The mysterious Adversary pops up once more but remains unnamed and doesn't yet reveal his hand. 
Saturn Queen gives him a big hand, mind, on a typically attractive page by penciller Yildiray Cinar and inker Jonathan Glapion. Cinar has improved with every outing - and I enjoyed his work from the off - while Glapion adds a terrific, gritty edge where appropriate, as in the Dawnstar shot here.

The pair's work this issue is exemplary - if I didn't know this was Cinar's last issue I'd think it was his last issue. He really pulls out all the stops, nowhere more so than on a tremendous spread focusing on the overall melee. It's the kind of overview I want to see when the Legion faces a threat that requires the massed membership. I don't know whether Levitz arranged the script - lettered by the talented John J Hill - to leave room for the spread, or Cinar got the nod to move things around to accommodate it. I'm simply glad someone sorted things out - it's the perfect sign-off. (Cinar is illustrating the new Fury of Firestorm book debuting in September, using a greytone style. I'm there.)

The cover by Cinar, Glapion and interior colourist Hi-Fi is well done, but really, Sun Emperor again? Enough with the flaming covers already, weren't #11 and #13 enough? More group shots, that's what the Legion covers need. Maybe next series ...

10 comments:

  1. "There...I feel the taint below."

    Dawny is naughty little minx, isn't she?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The adversary "doesn't reveal his hand"? A subtle gem, man. Did you realize who it was before this issue? It never occurred to me -- but it makes perfect sense.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Imlooking forward to this LSH/Star Trek crossover coming later this year, with art by the Moys and Jimenez.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Aw, yeah! Between that and the Secret Origin mini, we might get weekly Legion fix. That's insane.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoy Levitz' plotting a lot but here is an example of a book that has been hit hard by the September bombshell, like Superboy it is a newly launched book setting down a long ranging arc only to have it forcibly curtailed, and it shows.
    I wonder if the days of long arcs like this are a thing of the past now, the current publishing model (especially with DC) has moved away from such luxury and I don't think reader loyalty is rewarded much these days - I'm split on investing much on the new DC as you can just see another reboot of some sort as an inevitability, I give it two years tops!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hadn't been certain who the blue flame adversary was, but it is all starting to come together rather satisfyingly, isn't it?

    I was expecting some kind of big reveal as to who Harmonia Li was. But actually, I now no longer care. She was just a device for peering back into the mists of time to the beginning of the universe and Krona's hand. It's been a rather clever long-term plot on Levitz's part to bring the ancient adversary of the GL Corps and Oa back to the 31st century, hasn't it?

    I only hope that the next issue will be able to wrap up all of the loose ends in a sufficiently satisfying way, given that these comics have only a meagre 20 pages in which to tell their stories. Bring back the 3.99 cover price, I say - I'd prefer to pay a bit more for a few more pages every month!

    By the way, I don't quite understand why Timber Wolf was on Earth hunting Sun Emperor a few issues ago. That didn't seem to tie in much to the current story, or am I missing something?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Marvelboy, tut. And very well done.

    Rob, I had the odd suspicion, but basically, no :)

    Dave, I'm with you. But as we hear LSH will be the least-changed DC book post-Flashpoint, I'm hoping the alterations will be purely cosmetic and to do with detail - costumes, more in-depth origin, Earth Man dead ...

    I'm so with you on the $3.99 thing, Rob. I want a bigger book! And the Timber Wolf thing was a bit random, yes. I hope that once Krona is done, the GL bit will be dropped.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is how we get a Legion Lost, isn't it? Trapped in the dimensions following this battle.

    Although the Legionnaire mix is close, it's not exactly as previews picture it, is it? Wildfire, for example?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Or Chameleon Girl. I can't wait to see what happens.

    ReplyDelete