Thursday, September 11, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #18 Review

About the Save the Legion campaign to keep this title going. In addition to the petition, it'd probably be a good idea to write some letters. Not e-mails, but actual paper letters sent through the postal system. Recommendations: keep it brief, to the point, and civil. I'm sending mine to:

DC Comics
1700 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

Attention: Dan DiDio, Senior Vice President and Executive Editor

Let's not delay too much; there are only a couple of issues left on the schedule.

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

There's chaos all over the place because Mordru has removed the language Interlac from the world. Brainy sends a small team to fight Mordru while the rest of the Legion holds the fort, and between them, Nemesis Kid and the White Witch defeat him. But there's a lingering sense of mistrust towards Nemesis Kid (whom no-one seems to know much about) and Brainy (because of last issue's revelation about the flight rings).


Ethen Beavers returns to do the art for this issue. I don't remember his work being so chunky in his earlier efforts (check the first panel of page 2), but that's okay; I like it. In particular I like his White Witch; it's a good adaptation of the Levitz-era look to the animated-series style.

Writer J. Torres is trying to get sneaky with us again. Mordru's idea is to remove Interlac from the world to cause a breakdown in the United Planets (he refers to the Babel legend, in fact). If all these people of different species and planetary origin can't communicate, they'll be far more vulnerable to an outside threat, in addition to the natural entropy that will set in. Kind of subtle for Mordru, but what the hey. It's also a good counterpoint to the diversity/xenophobia theme that Geoff Johns is using in his Legion-related writing.

But then, at the end, Sun Boy says to Brainy (in reference to their mistrust of him for his flight-ring-override of last issue), that "sometimes, it's like we're speaking a different language". So lack of communication is the Legion's adversary in two different ways here.

This whole business of there being issue-to-issue continuity... I'm on record as being a big defender of the done-in-one comic-book story, and that's what we've got here, so we're still cool. But this whole deal with Brainy and the flight rings has extended over two issues now, and it sorta seems like there'll be more about it next issue, and I'm really not sure that we need that kind of thing in this title. It's probably pleasant for Torres to have the freedom to do it, but I think there's something to be said for having each comic book as a self-contained unit, at least as much so as possible.

I also can't say I'm nuts about the use of Harry Potter spells in the Mysa-Mordru duel. Legion comics have enough lore and tradition of their own without having to borrow someone else's mythology. Then again, it may just appeal to the intended audience.

It's weird, you know. This series has been as consistently good as any I've ever read. Just about every issue has been as good as this one (okay, a couple were a little weak, but they were balanced out by a couple of damn excellent ones). Does DC have so many high-quality series that they can discard them so readily? I guess it's more of a sales thing, which is either less depressing or more depressing.

Membership Notes:

We get actual appearances for Ultra Boy, the White Witch and Nemesis Kid, which we haven't really had before, and a mention of Dawnstar.

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