Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: Legion Lost #13

We recently learned that Legion Lost is being cancelled in January and Legion Lost #13, which came out last week, felt like the beginning of the end of the title.

We have moved beyond the opening arc of the Hypertaxis virus. We have been teased with hidden secrets for all the Legionnaires stuck in the past. Now, in this issue, we finally had some reveals of the Legion secrets. And we get introduced to a new powerful villain, one we have never heard of before, who will act as a catalyst ... speeding up the inevitable finale.

I have to say that I am glad that with the lead time of a few months, writer Tom De Falco appears to be trying to wrap up things nicely. I don't know if I would be too happy if the book ended without us seeing what all the unknown histories of the characters were.

The book starts with images of a distant inhabited planet being destroyed by some unknown powerful being.

Hey wait ... I thought that the Phoenix was defeated in one of the AvX titles! (snicker)

Anyways, the death of an entire planet sends a sort of 'disturbance in the Force' to Tellus all the way here on Earth. I didn't realize that Tellus was that powerful of a telepath. I kind of put him a notch below Saturn Girl. So this was either a powerful psychic moment or a sort of writing legerdemain to get the story rolling.

One thing I have enjoyed in this book has been the emergence of Tyroc as a leader. Despite the team's difficulties in the past, he states the team is still Legion, still there to protect people. And if this threat is coming to Earth, they have to deal with it. He sends Wildfire out to reconnoiter. I thought it was a nice small moment.

Meanwhile, Yera keeps pressing him that the real threat is Harvest and the team needs to deal with that present threat, not one galaxies away.

And in a flashback  we learn more ... finally! Turns out that Yera has been an agent for the Science Police, specifically the ECHO subdivision, within the Legion ... well ... forever. Talking to her superior Captain Adym, she talks about gaining begrudging respect for the team and not just because of her marriage to Colossal Boy.

ECHO is worried about the time stream, including the Legion's meddlings. He has agents in the Legion ... not just Yera ... agents, plural. He is worried that a rogue Legionnaire exists and he thinks it's Gates. And somehow Adym has handpicked/manipulated into existence this Legion team. Yera's mission in the past? Root out the rogue and if needed, eliminate him/her.

It is an interesting turn for Yera. She has been a double agent forever? And this is after her also having replaced Shrinking Violet for Imskian rebels way back when. Back then, Yera seemed an innocent actress duped by Micro Lad. Now she is a nefarious spy. Was her love and marriage 'real'?

We hear again how Timber Wolf's concerns about the Legion having been duped by ECHO. And we learn even more in another flashback with Yera.

Wildfire's cracked faceplate has been found in the past. And Tyroc's mystery ... his own gravestone shows he has died in the past. (I think I called that back in June when we first saw it).

Is it really going to be a one way trip for the two Legionnaires?

Meanwhile, Wildfire has his hands full with Lord Daggor and his talking dragon Thraxx, the planet-killing beings from the beginning. Moreover, they sound like emissaries for a 'conqueror supreme'. So that sounds a bit like a Galactus-like being, complete with advance scouts.

But why is Earth of such interest?

Nothing speeds a story along better than a big powerful enemy. So I doubt we will be seeing any more of the street-wise teen that befriended Timber Wolf. I doubt we will see more of the military group chasing the team. We need to get to the end quickly. There is no need to build up the supporting cast moving forward.

And as if the impending destruction of Earth at the hand of Daggor and Thraxx, a time bubble arrives. And someone not necessarily surprised by that is Harvest, who talks about the sacred circle of events. He summons his strongest warriors (we have seen Psykill and Warblade before).

It has been hinted at all along that Harvest is from the 31st century. And anytime 'circle' is used in time travel stories, I start to think about what paradox could be coming up that will wrap everything up neatly.

But it does make me wonder about all the other stuff ... the Culling, etc. Why would Harvest go through all that if he knew about this stuff.

The time bubble isn't a Legion team. It's Captain Adym from ECHO again. And he isn't here to rescue. He's here to help fight against a big threat.

So I have read these sort of things enough to know that Adym can't be a 'good guy'. He has to be the threat. He has to be manipulating things for his own end. And I wonder if he somehow 'becomes' Harvest. The 'circle' is that Harvest somehow is around when Harvest is created. And somehow, some irony about his name being Adym (Adam) will play out.

One small moment I liked is Gates asking why didn't Adym ring the bell for all the super-heroes of the time, the JLA for example. It is a good question and one I always ask when one hero squares off against a planetary threat.

Wildfire crashes on Earth, a beaten energy construct. And right behind him is the presumed threat Adym is here to fight ... Daggor and Thraxx. It is a decent cliffhanger even if we don't know these guys. How can this group of Legionnaires beat these two if they are strong enough to raze a planet? And will Harvest and his team join the fight to defeat these guys?

So, with a mere three issues left, we are moving forward a bit more briskly than we have in the last year. We know about Yera and Tyroc's secrets. We learn more about Wildfire's 'fate'. And we start to put all the moving parts in one spot. I don't know if this title every really 100% grabbed me. And maybe the lagging sales are indicative of that. If a diehard Legion reader like me can't get pumped over a book starring 2 of his favorite Legionnaires, what hope does it have on the big market.

All that said, Pete Woods has just been great on this title. I will miss seeing his Dawnstar and Wildfire month in, month out.

Overall grade: B


Dave Mullen said...

I thought this issue was Jam packed with detail and now I know why... :(

I enjoyed this issue a lot, Tom DeFalco has done a commendable job on the book in turning it around but like others (Firestorm) the sad truth is it got off to a bad start and lost its audience because of it. I'm disspointed in this case as this book genuinely has a lot going for it, in ways it's better than the main LSH book, and as this issue showed it has a distinct place in the 21st century that the other super-teams (Titans, Stormwatch) just don't have. I'll miss this book.

Anj said...

Yeah. I think the writing has been on the wall.

I do think there was great potential here. And Pete Woods' art has been fantastic.