Saturday, November 24, 2012

Legion of Super-Heroes #14 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About: Element Lad and Chemical Kid track down the pirates. Element Lad gets knocked out and Chemical Kid has to rise to the occasion; he revives Element Lad and they beat the Braalians, and then more Legionnaires show up to handle the annoying details.

Meanwhile, Cosmic Boy arrives at Medicus One to recover from his wounds, and Night Girl is there, concerned. Plus it's possible that Cosmic Boy doesn't have powers anymore. Also, Brainiac 5 discovers that Comet Queen's attack on him was a result of when Saturn Queen mindwiped her; big surprise. One new thing: Comet Queen's was brainwashed to specifically kill Brainy. That's kinda odd.

If that wasn't enough, Phantom Girl and Sun Boy discover that the Persuader's Atomic Axe has secretly been stolen.


The coming-of-age of Chemical Kid was well done, but... well. Here are the five Legionnaires who joined in the most recent wave:

1. Chemical Kid. Male. Formerly arrogant and lazy, until he had a moment of truth that taught him to take superheroism more seriously.
2. Comet Queen. Female. Flaky and incompetent, but with a lot of heart. Currently incapacitated.
3. Dragonwing. Female. Brash and undisciplined.
4. Glorith. Female. Shy and tentative.
5. Harmonia. Female. Mysterious and secretive, with a long history that has nothing to do with superheroism or the Legion.

So which of those do you pick for a story in which he or she has to finally stand tall as an independent Legionnaire? I could see arguments for any one of them (although you probably couldn't do it with Comet Queen just now), but I'd say Chemical Kid needs this story a bit less than the other four. But he gets it anyway. And, also, he's the only male character of the bunch.

To come at this from a different direction: Levitz seems quite taken by the interaction of Element Lad's and Chemical Kid's superpowers, and their mentor/protege relationship is something we've never quite had in the Legion before. (Plus I have the idea that Levitz wants to succeed with Chemical Kid where so many other Legion writers failed with Chemical King.) As such he wants to do a story with them, and here it is, and it's pretty good. And next issue has Chemical Kid and Dragonwing and Glorith in some kind of Spanish time-travel adventure in which Glorith seems to be the focal character, so it's not like those other Legionnaires aren't being used at all. So I guess everything's okay?

Kinda looks like Levitz is thinking about removing Cosmic Boy's powers. Not the first time this has happened, of course. The man will continue to try to evolve the Legion roster. I support this, of course; ironic that Levitz is just about the only Legion writer who'd be allowed to get away with it. (Maybe Shooter.)

Perfectly good issue again. Stay tuned for Legion election results next month!

Art: 78 panels/20 pages = 3.9 panels/page; 2 splash pages.

Scott Kolins' style continues not to do it for me. Check out Lightning Lass in the last panel of page 20; I don't like it like that. And even worse: check out page 9 panel 3 and page 10 panel 1. Looks like a direct copy to me, and that's not cool. I paid three bucks for this comic; would you mind drawing all the panels? If you were trying to get me on your side, this is not how to do it.

Oh well; at least we get Portela back next issue. Yay!

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