Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #27 Review

What Happened That You Have To Know About:

This issue starts off two days after the last one finished. That red stuff was an AI virus, which has turned all of Earth's technology (including flight rings!) against humanity. The Legion and Wanderers have spent the last couple of days fighting robots and machines all over the world, and have taken some casualties (including Ultra Boy, Timber Wolf, and, as we watch, Invisible Kid; Saturn Girl is missing). Cosmic Boy and Brainiac 5 have a plan to rig up a transmatter gate to get the United Planets delegates offplanet, so they can bring back help, but it doesn't work: some delegates are killed and wounded, and Cosmic Boy is captured as the Legion and Wanderers find a place to make a stand.

Meanwhile, we see what's going on with Sun Boy's team. They've been captured by Dominators, who've been copying their useful genetic abilities (except Sun Boy's, which they can't crack) and building some superDominators, which they're planning on unleashing on the Legion.

Phantom Girl and some Wanderers are looking for something under Legion Headquarters.


It's a short issue, because the last four pages are used for a tribute to the late great Dave Cockrum.

One of the first things I noticed was that the Dominators seem to use the same symbiotes that Theena does for their telecommunication needs. I wonder what the implications of that are.

It was announced recently that Mark Waid and Barry Kitson are wrapping up their run on this series (which I'll have more to say about in the future), and I think we can see some signs of that in this issue. Earth is being ravaged as thoroughly as if the comic had been written by Abnett and Lanning, and the United Planets are counting on the Legion to save the day. What this means is that the high-concept setting that this series has had since before issue #1, the futuristic generation gap, need no longer be in play once this storyline is over. This is okay, because its main importance was in providing the conditions under which a Legion could come to exist. Well, the Legion exists, so now it can be phased out so that the next writer doesn't have to write about it. This will probably be popular with many Legion fans; I don't know of anybody who really liked the generation gap. I thought it made sense but that doesn't mean I wanted to read about it all the time (not that I think it was overdone; in fact, it wasn't). Legion HQ has been destroyed after having been standing for less than ten issues; the new writer can put the Legion wherever he wants. Legion membership may be in a bit of a flux with so many wounded characters and the Wanderers around, so the new writer can make some changes.

Similarly with the characterization. We're out of the character-development phase now, and the characters are too busy being themselves in action to show much complexity. The exception, I guess, is Mekt, who isn't impressing the Legionnaires much, but who also doesn't seem like that bad of a guy. That's an improvement; Lightning Lord used to bore me to tears almost every time I saw him in a comic book. He's much more interesting now.

In an earlier review I said that this storyline was the Legion's chance to show their stuff, to prove that superheroics were the way to go, as opposed to Mekt's black-ops methods. Well, the Legion isn't doing so well so far. Cos and Brainy's plan to get the U.P. delegates offworld, a plan that Mekt opposed, ended disastrously. And now the Legion is scattered and wounded. If I didn't know better I'd swear that they were in trouble.

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