Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes #42 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Saturn Girl leads a team of Star Boy, Ultra Boy, Chameleon, Atom Girl and Colossal Boy to Rimbor to fight what I guess we're calling the destroyers. They eventually win. Brainy and Chameleon independently notice a piece of the destroyers' equipment that has some mysterious, possibly analytic, probably very significant function.

Invisible Kid is released from prison and reconciles with his father. Some Legionnaires have new uniforms, thanks to, presumably, M'rissey.

The U.P. bureaucrat Popoff dupes Lightning Lad into sending another team of Legionnaires offplanet, and then sends the cops in to bust the remaining Legionnaires and close the place down. Meanwhile, the victorious Legionnaires on Rimbor are apprehended by the local cops who have some outstanding warrants on Ultra Boy.


This was a strong effort all around. Manapul's art isn't quite as polished as his first issue on the title was, but it's fine; I particularly liked Chameleon's face on page 3 and Colossal Boy coming up out of the ground.

The whole fight scene against the destroyers was well-done. There was a sense of place, and there was the difficulty that the Legionnaires kept having to find new ways to win. Star Boy's air-hammer tactic (though not completely new; I remember it from the eleventh Wild Cards book) was particularly inventive.

I like it that the book was relatively self-contained: the big fight on Rimbor began and ended in the same issue, plus we got movement on a couple of subplots and two cliffhangers for next issue.

But I wonder how much it matters in the long run. I don't know the truth of the rumours about Jim Shooter leaving the title, but if it happens, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a fatal loss for the threeboot Legion. I mean, Waid and Kitson left; without Shooter, just who is it who's the advocate for this version of the Legion? I can't think of a candidate. Mike Marts is the editor, but I can't imagine it's any skin off his nose which version of the Legion DC uses. And meanwhile, Geoff Johns seems to have big plans for his retroboot Legion. (And, honestly, it fits better with DC's recent editorial policy to have Johns's Legion supplant the threeboot, in much the same way that Hal Jordan returned, Ollie Queen returned, and Supergirl once again became Superman's Kryptonian cousin. Back to basics, is the idea.)

I mean, whatever DC wants to do is okay with me as long as they do it well. But the threeboot Legion has not been particularly well-supported by DC's overall direction, and I think it deserves better than becoming just a fifty-issue footnote to Legion history. We'll see.

- I like Gim's Suzy Porter memorabilia. It's a nice touch.
- Atom Girl's a quick learner. "Hit 'em like Napoleon!"
- Shouldn't Brainy have figured out what Popoff was up to?
- Hippogriffamus. I can almost picture it.
- The next-issue blurb mentions that Brainy reveals the Legion's biggest secret to the SPs. I wonder if that means the thing about the Dominator world in the Phantom Zone.

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