Sunday, 18 December 2011

Legion Lost #4 review

The forward momentum nevers stops in this series, which follows a group of Legionnaires trapped in the 21st century out to stop a virus that's turning humans into alien hybrids. This month sees Timber Wolf, Tyroc and Wildfire tackle the creature Chameleon Girl has become, as Tellus and Dawnstar search for Alastor, the terrorist who released the virus. Along the way we see how well Tyroc and Wildfire fight as a unit, as they escape a bunch of ungrateful policemen, and watch Timber Wolf become increasingly amused by the ridiculous odds they're facing. Tellus uses his telepathy to help super-tracker Dawnstar sift through all the information she's absorbing until a eureka moment finally allows her to pinpoint their prey.

And because Tellus is linked to the other Legionnaires, Dawnstar is perfectly placed to take the series' narrative baton. As she comments on her teammates and the action, we see that she admires their capacity for optimism, their 'See. Do. Simple' attitude. Eventually she throws her natural caution to the wind, presaging a typically explosive conclusion.

Typical, but not boring. Writer Fabian Nicieza provides another perfect cliffhanger, topping off a chapter choc-full of well-plotted superheroics. The overarching virus plotline moves forward as we learn the current state of Alastor and new players enter the game, while the characterisations are polished nicely as the action plays out. And I learned a new word on looking up the issue's title, Coseismic, so feel smarter. Nicieza is on his A-game and it's a shame personal circumstances have him leaving the series with #6.

Artistic partner Pete Woods continues to make this Legion sub-team his own while having fun with the alien/human hybrids. Favourite moments this issue include Dawnstar showing off her in-flight yoga and Tyroc and Wildfire's takedown of the misguided cops. The range of facial expressions is impressive, and the power depictions suitably flashy - I'm finally noticing Tyroc's wonderfully loopy flight trail. Plus, there's eye-catching colour work from Brad Anderson, and energetic lettering from Carlos M Mangual.

If you've not tried this series yet and were put off by early reviews (ahem), go back, find the issues - physically or digitally - and dive in. I doubt you'll regret it.

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Building work is preventing me from accessing my scanner so the cover image this time is borrowed from the Grand Comics Database, one of the best comic websites around. Thanks chaps. hope that's OK.

8 comments:

  1. This book is really chugging along well now. I'm glad Woods will be remaining once DeFalco comes on board with issue 7 -- his art is some of my favorite of the new 52.

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  2. I wish this review was a bit longer, but I understand that you were probably pressed for time writing this. So what did you think of Dawny's actions?

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  3. I'm with you Rob, I'm glad Peter Woods is an artist willing to commit to a book.

    A rushed review, Novelty? How very dare you ;) Honest, the space given is what the issue needs!

    And I liked Dawny's impetuous moment - she's far too cool, that one.

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  4. My review probably won't happen until after the holidays. But I am with you, this is an underrated book.

    All along, I have said that the big plot of a time-travel plague isn't one I care for. But the characterization on the book is wonderful. This issue's look at Dawnstar was great. That is the draw for this book.

    And Woods is wondrous.

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  5. Looking forward to your review, Anj, and in the months after that, to how Tom DeFalco approaches the book. Maybe he'll bring in his old mucker the Human Cannonball?

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  6. This book improves with each issue, and I adore how Dawnstar is being written; she and Wildfire [and Tyroc, come to think of it] have been off the LSH for years and been relegated to sub-characters, its good to see her and them finally getting their dues.

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  7. This comic really is getting better and better. I liked the characterisation of Dawnstar - that she's cool and in control, partly because of the amount of data she sifts but also partly because it's simply in her personality.

    The snappy dialogue between Timberwolf and Wildfire is fun too.

    I can't wait for Tellus to narrate an issue as I'm interested to see Nicieza's thoughts on his personality.

    After a weak first issue, this really is picking up steam. I hadn't been a fan of Woods' artwork either to begin with, but it's growing on me. But the storytelling and dialogue is 70 per cent of what's making this one of my favourite books at the moment.

    And I echo the sentiment that it's a shame that Nicieza has had to leave the book!

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  8. Spot-on Karl - in the Seventies and Eighties Dawny and Drake were often spotlighted (spotlit?), but it's been decades since we've seen much of them, and I've missed them.

    With luck, Rob, Nicieza will find time eventually to return to DC. hHe seems to love the universe too much to stay away longer than necessary.

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