Sunday, March 24, 2013

Legion of Super-Heroes #18 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About:

In this issue we get looks in at different groups of Legionnaires around the galaxy, as everything stops working, falls apart, and sometimes explodes:
- Harmonia and Dragonwing confront a riot of frightened Earthlings outside a crumbling Legion HQ
- Mon-El, Cosmic Boy, Shadow Lass, Lightning Lass, and Shrinking Violet decide to investigate Weber's World
- Ultra Boy, Glorith, and Chameleon Boy try opening a mystical gate to the Sorcerer's World to see what the Black Witch can do to help the situation
- inside Legion HQ, Brainiac 5, Element Lad, Dream Girl, Chemical Kid, and Star Boy build a cruiser out of bottle caps and shoelaces to try to go after Tharok, but a combination of riots and explosions causes Star Boy to be left behind; his fate is uncertain
- Polar Boy, Phantom Girl, and Invisible Kid, stranded on the Promethean Giant, are in danger of being scratched off like fleas

And it turns out Tharok is controlling that Promethean giant.


Middle-volume syndrome; lots of activity this issue but it seems less substantial than #17 because #17 is the one with the beginning of the story. I wish the art was better but it still seems like it ought to be a strong story. I like how all the available Legionnaires are involved, and all groups are simultaneously taking sensible independent action. (More or less.)

It really does seem like the 31st century will be very different after all this is over. Certainly Paul Levitz aspires to living with the changes that he makes (as he did with the destruction of Titan) and exploring their impacts, and certainly he and Giffen seemed to be trying to shake the rust off with this storyline. But without Giffen, how well will he be able to keep things shaken up on his own? Because Levitz has always been a very status-quo kind of writer. His 30th/31st century generally always seems to drift back to, oh, let's say LSHv3 #12.

Something about the way the different teams are on the different missions reminds me of the Earthwar story. I wonder if Levitz has had that thought too. Now that I think of it, the use of Weber's World and the change in artists also fits into that.

I also wonder how long this story is going to be. The solicits have it continuing past issue #21 at least. Is this a trade thing? The first trade collected #1-7. The next one, presumably, is going to be... #8 up to something-or-other, plus #0. Could they put #8-16+0 all in one collection, and then have #17-22 (or whatever the end issue of this story is) in the one after that? Anyway. As you know, I'm not such a one for long stories. Keep 'em short and sweet is what I say. (There are exceptions.) Well, anyway, it looks like it could be a good story, perhaps the best one since Legion of 3 Worlds, and you can take that however you like.

- Harmonia is the deputy leader. I wonder if that's by Levitz's fiat or reader vote
- At first I thought that "It's hideous, Thom. Hold me." was unusually clumsy writing by Levitz, but now I wonder if Dreamy had a sudden vision and was saying goodbye
- How come Brainy and his group made no attempt to pick up Harmonia and Dragonwing on their way offplanet?
- And what's going on with Comet Queen anyway?
- Man, Dreamy's got some long fingers on that front cover

Art: 73 panels/20 pages = 3.7 panels/page. 3 splash pages.

Scott Kolins returns to do the art on this issue, which disappoints me. There are times when he does okay (Harmonia on page 2, Mon-El on page 5) and times when he doesn't (Phantom Girl on page 10). Plus he varies the borders of his panels in different ways, which is fine, except there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for which pages get which border style. I don't get it. I wonder if we're going to get any more Giffen at all on this series for a while.

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