Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Legion Lost #10

With The Culling behind us, Legion Lost can start to move out on its own under the guidance of new writer Tom DeFalco. The Hypertaxis virus storyline is basically behind us as well so DeFalco in essence has a blank slate. And he is starting to put some new plotlines for each individual Legionnaire on the table. Yera is on a secret mission. Tyroc is worrying about a prophecy. Tellus has a dark secret. What does it all mean?

Well for me, I am starting to think that the title of the book no longer just means that the team is lost in time. For me, it feels like this team has lost the 'Legion' ... the concept of it. They have lost all the things that make the Legion great: honor, ethics, and fierce camaraderie. Surely this can't be the Legion when so many team members are hiding things from their friends.

On top of that, DeFalco adds some future intrigue, having the Legion try to travel home only to find their bright future world a wasteland. It is clear this team has some work to do to stop this reality from unfolding, which is a different feel than the plague-riddled world they were trying to stop earlier.

Last issue, while running from Harvest's compound in Antarctica, this team found a Time Bubble. Given all the knowledge and powers Harvest has, it is clear that he has somehow traveled from the future to the present. I thought for sure that this bubble would be DC's ace in the hole, a pre-existing way to bring this team back into the fold of the Legion when/if the title was canceled.

But DeFalco has the team use it immediately to try to get back home. One thing I wish would be handled better is the sudden lack of the Hypertaxis threat. It hasn't been elegantly dealt with. I find it hard to believe that this team would abandon that mission so quickly without knowing for sure it was a non-issue. And even if the plague is a done deal, Alastor is still stomping around in the past.

Anyways, when the team uses the bubble to return home, they find it to be a post-apocalyptic wasteland, no life forms detected, and the vegetation run amok. And they haven't overshot the mark by that much. This is the future.

Some interesting points happen immediately. Yera seems to think that this is Harvest's fault. She knows more about him than she is letting on. So he must be part of her mission. Tyroc is near catatonic by what he sees, needing to be physically snapped out of his fugue by Brin. And Wildfire/Dawnstar realize that this wasn't the result of some attack on Earth. This is a home grown disaster. So lots of subtle information here.

Meanwhile, the gathering of the Legion team a couple of issues ago has not gone unnoticed. Nor did Psykill's psychic EMP. The military has taken notice and they want the Legion taken down.

In an interesting recycling of the initial plot, DeFalco has Major Nicholson assigned to their capture, but now under the auspices of Homeland Security rather than A.R.G.U.S. Later we see that Nicholson has been put in charge of a group of 4 elite and enhanced soldiers including the Metamerican. I have said it before and I will undoubtedly say it again. I hate that the US military is used so often as the villains in comic books.

As for Nicholson, I wondered back then if she wasn't infected with Hypertaxis (given her scar maybe from an attack by a plague victim). We shall see.

And nice use of the Legion Lost #1 cover in that first panel.

Meanwhile in the desolate future, another Legionnaire is dealing with some problems. Wildfire's suit is damaged and there isn't a spare for him to leap into. If this current suit isn't fixed, he will slowly dissipate.

I don't think the others know this. And I don't know how Drake will be able to repair this suit.

Now I consider myself a Wildfire aficionado. So his suit has been blown up before and his 'essence' has never dissipated. So this sounds new to me. Still, this adds some imperative to Wildfire's character as well as adding another layer of deception within the team.

As for Tyroc, we get a little more of a hint of the prophecy he is concerned about.

That gravestone he is looking at ... it has to be his own! He sees that he died in the past and has been wondering about it ever since. Interesting.

One scene I liked was Timber Wolf going into the Legion headquarters and discovering statues of the Legion Lost team in the Legion memorial cemetery.

If the Legion thinks they died, they aren't working on bringing them home. It means this team has to figure out a way home, it's true home and timeline, on their own.

Trying to get to a point before this global catastrophe, the team jumps into the time bubble with the plan to go back a handful of years. But the time bubble doesn't seem to respond. It takes the Legion back to the present, back to Harvest's base, and the the bubble explodes. So much for my theory of this bubble eventually reuniting the team. Yera says Harvest must have pre-programmed the bubble, again showing she knows more than she is saying.

With nothing left of the complex the bulk of the team returns to NYC.

There they run into local conman and friend Oz. Oz has already been compromised by Nicholson and seems to deal with whomever he thinks will give him the most. The military squad is in NYC too, shadowing Oz.

With a 'get them dead or alive' order in effect, the sniper of the military group takes her shot, putting several rounds into Brin's chest. Is this the end for Timber Wolf? Doubtful.

Still, I think this issue felt like a 'zero issue' for DeFalco as he continues to show us where he wants to take the book without the constraints of fitting in The Culling. Most of the characters seem to be dealing with something hidden. It feels like Dawnstar, Gates, and Timber Wolf are the only ones above board here. Add the possible dystopian future and there is a lot on the table. I hope we get some finale to Hypertaxis, even if it is something as simple as Gates reverting to normal showing the plague has run its course.

Pete Woods stuff remains solid. I do think this issue felt rougher than prior ones. Some pages seem completely wonderful and fully rendered. Others felt rushed.

Overall grade: B

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great analysis! I do wish the lost legionnaires would remember to work together as a team, as the Legion! I hope DeFalco and Levitz are consulting with each other some bit so that that lost legionnaires don't lose their Legion identity.