Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: Legion Lost #16

'It all ends here!'

The cover says it all as Legion Lost #16 marks the end of this troubled title. And while the issue is certainly filled with insane action, the title ends with something more akin to a whimper than a bang.

This title has never really grabbed me. Even though it had Pete Woods art and starred Wildfire and Dawnstar, two of my favorite Legionnaires, the book seemed to struggle from the beginning. The initial plot of a mutating virus let loose in present time, the Legion trapped in the present, was never one that I thought had legs. We have seen the concept of marooned Legionnaires in the present before - from the 1970s solo Karate Kid title, to the Cosmic Boy mini-series in the 80s, to the Timber Wolf book in the 90s. None of those floored me either. And none seem to address the idea of people from the future dealing with backward world of the past. I can only imagine what I would do in 1013 other than go mad. These Legionnaires seemed to adapt easily, driving cars and using phones without a hitch.

Once the virus plot seemed to fizzle, the book took a left hand turn, morphing into an intrigue book where each Legionnaire was harboring a secret that weighed on their individual souls. It was more interesting than Hypertaxis, giving a new twist to the actual words Legion Lost. But before those could breathe, the book became mired in The Culling, entwined with The Ravagers, and the plug was pulled.

With little time left, would we get a decent ending, an understanding of the secrets, and most importantly, the lost Legion back in the 31st century? This is the New 52 ... what do you think.

You might recall that the plot has some powerful beings called Thraxx and Draggon coming to Earth as the vanguards of some universal threat. The Legion, the Ravagers, Superboy, and even Harvest and his crew try to stop them.

About 3 months ago, I guessed that the SciPo Captain Adym would end up as Harvest. Looks like I was right. It is practically spelled out in some heavy dialogue between the two. Adym goes off into the time bubble to set of a singularity bomb to stop Thraxx and Daggor before their plot even starts.

With Adym's fate set up, Harvest and his cronies leave.

Thankfully, Gates, who had a lapes in conscience last episode, finally realizes he's a Legionnaire. He can't just live out his life in a tropical paradise in the 21st century. He has to head back.

Now I don't know if I quite follow, but when Gates does arrive, he is confronted by another him from the past. You would think the current him would remember this but time travel logic is always iffy.

As if things in this book weren't ridiculous already, Thraxx and Daggor are dispatched by Gates, sent to a black hole. It seemed too easy for a number of reason. But there it is. We have to wrap up this whole thing in 20 pages.

And as for Adym, he has been given a null field device by Harvest, a way to protect him (them?) from the bomb.

Sure enough, Adym detonates the bomb within the Daggor/Thraxx force field as they are being whisked into space. I guess that Adym is some mishmash of all three of those beings. I guess we'll see before the issue is over.

Oh wait ...

Nope. We don't get the payoff here. Just like that, after several issues brawling, adym, Thraxx and Daggor are simply gone. And with no real closure about anything. Who were they the vanguard for? What happened to Adym? Where will these guys show up again to wrap up these stories.

On top of that, in their last issue, a lot of time is spent on other characters. First Harvest. Then Adym. And now Superboy.

I wonder how Superboy fans feel about this. He spent 2 issues yelling 'Kill. Maim. Destroy.' Then he has this moment where he realizes that he isn't free of Harvest's control.

So will we see that again. I don't think Harvest is done. He probably is going to torment the Titans and/or the Ravagers. So will this power over Kon be revisited? I suppose, in theory, he is as much a Superboy villain as he is for those teams. But we have seen the post-H'El Superboy book is a new start in a new city. Maybe all the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. business is behind us.

Still, this is a Legion book, and this team's last issue. I would rather have seen some time spent on Tyroc, Yera, and Tellus than these guest-starring characters.

Now there is a lot not to like here. But as a Wildfire/Dawnstar fan at least I got this moment in the issue.

In an effort to delay the Legion from following them, Harvest's crew tosses the team Wildfire's original red suit (he had been in The Culling white for a while). And with that, Wildfire is back.

And, maybe ... just maybe, Dawnstar finally realizes the depth of her feeling for Drake after 'losing' him for a couple of minutes.

Still, just a great splash for me.

And ... that's all she wrote.

The Thraxx/Daggor threat gone and with Harvest escaping, the group strikes a pose and yells 'Long Live the Legion'.

Except ... they all pretty much still have to deal with the fallout of their secrets. We never even learned Tellus' secret. And I was really really hoping the book would end with these characters back in the future, joining the main Legion book. Instead, the book ends on this note.

I don't know. I can't say I thought this was a good book. There were some decent moments scattered here and there. Pete Woods gave us great art. But this title seemed doomed from the beginning. And now it is gone. And these characters are stuck in a sort of limbo. Will they be absorbed by the Ravagers? Yeesh. Or will they simply be here in the present but never seen. Or will there be some Brainiac 5 miracle in the main book?

At least I have Dawnstar hugging Wildfire.

Overall grade: C


Anonymous said...

So, will the review of this series be replaced by another series?

valerie21601 said...

Good riddance!!! Is all I am going to say about this series ending.

valerie21601 said...

Off topic here Anj, I heard the Trinity War has gone through at least 4 complete changeovers since it was announced. I wonder if instead of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. It will be a war between the three Justice Leagues.

Geoff Johns talked in his latest interview about the JLA . He said all three Leagues will be very important in the Trinity War.

Anj said...

Hmmm ... was thinking the new Snyder Superman book (albeit months away) would slide into that spot. That said, I also lost Superman Family Adventures.

Any ideas for a new title to review?

Martin Gray said...

Thanks for troubling yourself with this review, Anj - I did some notes but simply couldn't be bothered, it's that bad. What a rubbish ending! So cares about Harvest and Adym, wrap up the Legion's story and THEN move them offscreen. I mean, what point was served by having Adym be a timelost piece of Captain Atom, as shown in the last issue of Firestorm? Why have him 'Monarch' into Harvest? Dearie Lord, at the very least DC should have sewn up the Hypertaxis business and sent the team home.

I asked Legion of Super-Heroes writer Paul Levitz is he knew where the Losties were appearing next, but the answer was 'no'. I say he just grabs 'em back.

Martin Gray said...

Oh, as for what to review, how about Captain Marvel? She has at least two strong links to Supergirl.

Anonymous said...

I was so happy to see the cover of this issue. I bought the series because it was Legion and hung in there for the better part of it but prior to this issue I probably hadn't read the three previous issues. I couldn't bring myself to like it less and less each month but wanted to show it support.

Can we and the lost Legionnaires just forget this time together ever happened? Well, except for the Dawnstar/Wildfire splash page. It looks great so I'll remember that. Too bad it had to be cluttered with that dialogue.

William Vaughan/ said...

If you eed a new bookto review, how about Earth 2. I enjoyed the one review of it you did before.