Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adventure Comics #516 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About: R.J. Brande's will is read. The will includes the story of Brande's early years and how he came to start the Legion. Nothing radically different from what we already knew.


Look, are we just supposed to be grateful to have a comic called Adventure Comics? Is that it? I haven't read every issue (I spared myself one or two of the Superboy-Prime-centric ones that had no Legion content), but the ones I did get have been pretty light on content. It's the fluffiest damn comic I know of. Of all things, I was not expecting this from Paul Levitz.

Still Kevin Sharpe on art. Is he improving? He might be. The story looked pretty good at times. There was still the odd panel that made me wince, but Sharpe may be finding the range. Panel Count: 97 panels / 20 pages = 4.9 panels/page. One 1-panel page.

I have to assume that the point of this story is to introduce the Legion's origins to new readers. It's a worthwhile goal. I think the story has been told better than it is here, but then I've read it so many different times in so many different versions that I could just be jaded.

There were a couple of interesting hints of things here... for one thing, Brainy seems to have a preoccupation with trying to kill roaches. Ever since Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, roaches have been a symbol of the Time Trapper. So that's intriguing. (Although Circadia Senius is also compared to a cockroach in this issue. I'm inclined to view that as a coincidence.)

(Of course, Levitz has also said in a recent interview that almost nothing DC has published about the Legion since the Magic Wars is in continuity as far as he's concerned. Including not all of Geoff Johns's stuff--possibly including FC:L3W! It's like another little reboot that got sneaked in there. A ghostboot.)

Another pair of details that caught my notice, and I can't help but wonder if they're connected. First, Pheebes, Brande's private secretary, with his four arms and his French accent. Pheebes is a little too well-detailed to be a throwaway character; I imagine we'll be seeing more of him. Second, Brande's new accent. In Levitz's run back in the '80s, Brande had a kind of old-school Irish (or maybe German?) tone to his English, but he was much more proficient in the language. Now, his English is much more broken. I don't know why Levitz would have made this change, but I have a suspicion that Pheebes is Brande in disguise. Brande recovers his Durlan powers sometime during the lost years, fakes his death at McCauley's hands, drops one false accent and puts on another, and shapechanges into Pheebes' form. That works, right?

I should say that it threw me a bit to see the contemporary-future Legionnaires going back in time to bring young-Superman Superboy to this meeting. But it was just that somebody thought Superboy, not Superman, should be at the will reading.

I am not looking forward to the next issue. Saturn Girl and the eternal triangle? Pfui. I had more of that stuff than I wanted in the reboot.

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