Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes #45 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

President Kieselbach of the U.P. asks them for help dealing with the giant planet that has just shown up in the middle of the solar system and is throwing off all the orbits. M'rissey takes this opportunity to squeeze a few more concessions out of the U.P. before the Legion agrees to help out. Brainy, Star Boy and Light Lass head off to the U.P.'s Gravity Office on Earth, where Brainy funnels Thom and Ayla's powers through the instruments there to stabilize things. It doesn't work until Brainy insults them enough to get them trying extra hard to push their powers, but eventually they get it done. A message from the planet suggests that it's peaceful.

One of the things M'rissey accomplishes is to get Projectra released from the clink. Doesn't seem like she's learned her lesson, though. Atom Girl is having trouble coping with losing a fight back on Rimbor. And Invisible Kid discovers Ultra Boy and Saturn Girl getting it on in the pantry.


This was almost like a done-in-one issue. You know, if I didn't know that we didn't have those anymore. It's a cosmic menace that stretches the abilities of the spotlighted Legionnaires (in this case, Brainy, Star Boy and Light Lass) to their utmost. Ideally there'd be some kind of moral issue to test them, but we get bits of that elsewhere in the comic book.

The one I like best is the situation Invisible Kid finds himself in. Obviously it's a problem if Jo and Imra are keeping company, because Lightning Lad's going to be ticked. And if he is, that's bad for two reasons: first, he's the leader and if he's upset it destabilizes the Legion. Second, if there are any Legionnaires likely to lose their tempers and do something stupid in a tense moment, Lightning Lad and Ultra Boy are two of them. Therefore Invisible Kid knows he ought to do something about it. But what? He can't tell Saturn Girl and Ultra Boy to knock it off or to come clean with Lightning Lad; they're not going to listen to him. He can't tell Lightning Lad, because that'll cause the trouble he wants to stop. Plus he doesn't want to be the sneaky spy guy they can't trust. So what does he do? Tune in next month.

Strong art from Manapul this month. check out the bottom of page 9, with Lightning Lad and Element Lad flying to meet the president. It's just very nice work all around.

One of the concessions M'rissey got from the U.P. is that the Legion is now officially an "interplanetary conservator organization," which carries diplomatic immunity with it. Even without the immunity that sounds damn useful. You must get all kinds of authority with that.

The characterization of Saturn Girl in this issue... I won't say that it's bad. Ultra Boy says that she has low self-esteem, and she must agree, since she joins the Pantry Club with him after some pretty cheesy advances. She's certainly not the same girl as original or reboot Saturn Girl. I prefer Saturn Girl as relentlessly formidable, formidable even when she shouldn't be, so I'm not frightfully keen on seeing her with feet of clay of this kind. But we'll see how it works out; Shooter may have some kind of cool story in mind for her.

We see some more people trying out for the UPYH in this issue. Now that the Legion's just about its own sovereign galaxy, I wonder what the UPYH's role will be. I mean, the UP can't exactly hold them over the Legion's heads anymore. Maybe M'rissey will wangle them into becoming the new Legion Academy--Shooter did say one was coming, after all, and I spotted Night Girl and the other three new Legionnaires mentioned in the most recent solicit in that tryout crowd scene.

Quite a strong issue. Might be my favourite from Shooter and Manapul so far.

- what with the Scattered Disk in #37 and the Lyapunov Terminus in this issue, I'm learning a lot about astronomy from Jim Shooter. Comic books!
- although 31st-century astronomers seem to have backtracked on whether Pluto's a planet
- check out Element Lad's costume--he's got an Interlac E as the clasp for his cloak
- "El"?
- M'rissey really took Kieselbach to the cleaners. I wonder if he got her wallet too
- "Mister Five" is actually a pretty cool name

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