Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: Legion Of Super-Heroes #13

Legion of Super-Heroes #13 came out last week and continued the Legion of Super-Villains arc. This was a middle chapter in this arc of Saturn Queen's quest to destroy the World of the Wise before turning her army towards Oa. The sad thing about this chapter was that in many ways it was a place holder. Not much happens in this issue to progress the overall story. Now don't get me wrong, there are some nice moments and small revelations here. But no major events happen in this issue. As a result, this issue felt a little flat for me.

Paul Levitz does do a good job juggling the large cast of the Legion, checking in on some members who haven't been seen in a bit and giving them distinctive voices.

I did feel that this may have been Yildiray Cinar's weakest issue on the book. It just seemed a little rough and scratchy in some places as opposed to the more finished look I am used to seeing from him.

While Saturn Queen has left Colu with Zymyr, the remaining Super-villains do their best to recreate the landscape with destruction.

I am pretty interested in this Immortus character. We know he was constructed on Zuun. But now we learn that his inertron body can regenrate. How can that happen? At first I wondered if this might be a suit housing another living Tromite. Then I thought maybe it is the Doom Patrol villain General Immortus' downloaded into this thing. Both are unlikely.

I was glad to see Element Lad thinking a little out of the box, using his powers for something other than disintegration or encasement. Another thing I liked was Invisible Kid calling Element Lad the mightiest Legionnaire currently on Colu. Element Lad could be unbelievably powerful.

In what was one of my favorite moments of the issue, we get a look at our maturing blue flame entity.

When Saturn Queen cannot find the World of Wise through her Coluan research, she calls upon the blue flame. He drops some hints about his powers and persona. He spreads terror, terror gives him form, and he has been exiled for centuries.

I am going to stick with my original guess that this is Dark Opal from the Amethyst series. Any other guesses? Any terror or fear based villains I'm not thinking of? Maybe Lyssa Drak who kept the Book of the Black in Green Lantern?

Another thing that Levitz does very well is show just how good a team the Legion are, how well trained they are, how well they work together. We've already seen Phantom Girl take out Atta last issue. Here we see Polar Boy and Quislet run interference while Shadow Lass takes out Sun Killer. Again, there is more to Tasmia than darkness. She can throw down with the bad guys too!

It reminds me how in every Legionnaire's Who's Who entry they have some stock statement saying they 'passed Legion combat training and now martial arts'. I guess this proves it.

Here was my favorite moment. Before the villains teleport off of Colu, Hunter finds Earth Man and makes him a proposition. If Earth Man betrays the Legion and aids the LSV when the time comes, he will get Earth 'to cleanse'. It makes sense. I never quite understood why Earth Man would have such a sudden change of heart and join the Legion to begin with. And he surely will be tempted.

But we also know that a Legionnaire dies at the end of this arc. I suddenly have to put Earth Man at the top of the death list. Can't you see him die just as he proves to the Legion that he has put his xenophobia behind him, lashing out the villains one last time? It would show he has changed, is a 'true' Legionnaire, and have him die as a hero. Plus, he isn't a long-time Legionnaire so there will be less ripples through fandom.

This was my least favorite moment of the book.

While discussing the World of the Wise, Tellus senses an image in Gates that was also in Harmonia Li's mind. Maybe she knows something?

Umm ... I am pretty sure she does since she just told Brainy she was responsible for what is happening on Colu two issues ago. Now why he didn't talk to her about that 'confession' since then, I have no idea. But he can't be surprised, can he?

I also liked this splash page showing Mon-El trying to coordinate the team from the Legion headquarters. Surrounded by screens, talking to the Legionnaires, you can see him trying to put all the pieces together. But he doesn't look comfortable.

I still can't believe Mon-El won the election. He has never struck me as a dynamic leader.

I had to include this panel because Wildfire, my favorite Legionnaire, finally got some action. He and Ultra Boy arrive on Colu just in time to help get Immortus away from the unconscious Element Lad.

And then Zymyr shows up and teleports all the members of the LSV away, including the members recently beaten by the Legion - Atta and Sun Killer too! Seems strange that the Legion would just leave them unattended and lying around for the other LSV members to drag them through a portal.

So the Super-villains are now reunited and the Blue Flame will soon impart to Hunter the location of the World of the Wise.

So a lot of noise on this front but basically the teams are exactly where they were last issue.  

Back on Earth, Harmonia Li again tries to tell someone that she knows something about this threat, telling Dream Girl that Star Boy will join her in sacrifice to stop the Blue Entity. Hopefully Dreamy actually asks her a few questions this time. Hmmm ... could it be Star Boy is the Legionnaire that dies? Nah. Too obvious.

I hope the mystery behind Professor Li is explained soon.

So there are some nice little moments to this issue as we get to see the villain evolving and the internal intrigue of the temptation of Earth Man. But the main story of Saturn Queen's threat sort of just tread water this issue.

Still, even if this issue sort of underwhelmed, the arc continues to intrigue me. And I think Levitz is getting a handle on the massive cast here. And again, the art wasn't the usual crisp work I am used to on the title.

Overall grade: B-

1 comment:

valerie21601 said...

I agree with you, Anj, #13 is the weakest issue so far in this arc. I am hoping Levitz is simply moving the characters into place to get it really moving when the end of it comes. When all is said and done we will see what we thought was nothing or next to it, and find out it really did mean something ultimately.

BTW I was re-reading issue #1 of LoSH and I noticed aside from Flashpoint being mentioned by Harmonia Li, (just before the explosion at the Time Institute) she also mentioned the Great Intervention. I wonder what that storyline will be like?