Friday, November 14, 2008

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #20 Review


Sorta looks like the Save-the-Legion campaign has failed to bear fruit. It was worth doing, though.

This was the last issue of Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century. The animated Legion had a run of twenty-six televised episodes and twenty comic books. That's pretty comparable to the size of the run the threeboot will end up with.

Dan DiDio said some stuff in a recent interview about how there were big plans for the Legion. He was enthusiastic in his vagueness. I'll start paying closer attention once I hear some specifics. You know, assuming there are any specifics.

There are six Legion comics left.

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

Somebody steals Kryptonite from Brainiac 5's lab. At first, it seems like it's Metallo, out for a rematch with Superman, but it turns out to be Tharok in disguise. They fight and the Legion wins.


Former reboot-era artist Phil Moy provides the art for this issue, and does well. Is it just that all the artists we've seen have been really good, or is this Legion easy to draw? I particularly liked Lightning Lad on page 17, panel 2.

It seems like an issue that wasn't really supposed to be the last issue. There's nothing particularly intriguing about the Metallo/Tharok story; it's the latest in a long line of Fatal Five appearances in this title.

The revelations about Brainiac 5 and his kryptonite would have been interesting a year ago, before the Brainy/Superman relationship was resolved. Now, though, it just seems like the revisiting of an old story. Similarly, the issue of his mutual trust with the rest of the Legion is something that was dispensed with last issue.

But that just means that the story didn't manage to be better than a normal issue of LSH31C. That's okay. It was a normal issue of LSH31C.

Obviously, the parts of this issue that will draw the most attention from hardcore Legion fans are the Brainy-dimensional-travel pages and the last page. (When Brainy is exploring his dimensional portal, he sees glimpses of other Supermen and other realities, including Superman-X and his future, Superboy's audition in Adventure #247, Mon-El in the Phantom Zone, what looks like a Siegel-and-Shuster-era Superman, and a black-clad, leering Superman who I suspect is intended to be Superboy-Prime.) In particular, the last page suggests that this Legion was one of original-Legion Brainiac 5's projections, or maybe just a TV show he was watching. Or, given that the original Legion is one of the ones that animated-Brainy saw in the portal, maybe it was some kind of dimensional viewer.

I like the idea that the animated Legion was one of original Brainy's projections, intended to explore the implications of the Silver Age Legion going back in time to meet Superboy. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work: the original-recipe Lightning Lad shown here has an artificial arm, so they've already met Superboy and the trip to Smallville they mention is not the first.

It was a good series and it's over too soon. Thanks to J. Torres and Alex Serra and Jack Briglio and Matthew K. Manning and Sanford Greene and Ethen Beavers and everyone else who turned in the fine work that they did. Won't be forgotten.

Membership Notes:

I just want to note that this Legion's run has come to an end with Nemesis Kid still a member in good standing.

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