Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Review: Legion Of Super-Heroes #11

Legion of Super-Heroes #11 came out this week and was another rapid-fire romp around a few worlds of the United Planets. Between the action and the big font planet names, it sort of felt like one of the Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movies. I had a  blast reading this. Brian Michael Bendis does a great job of leaping from planet to planet, squad to squad, and giving us both plot and character progression. Now that is a Legion comic.

What is interesting is that all the plots seem of equal weight. Classic Legion had the A, B, C plot algorithm. Here, thrown into this new continuity. They all seem equal and all seem weighty. It really keeps me engaged with all of them. And I can't help but feel that The Great Darkness, while a sub-sub-plot now is really going to surge and dominate the book at some point.

As an added bonus, we get Ryan Sook interiors for the second issue in a row. Sook is just fantastic. The book flows so well. The pencils are gorgeous. Give me 6 Sook issues a year and I'll be thrilled.

There is a lot to unpack here, so on to the book.

We start, as always, with a character spotlight page.

Mon-El here comes off as a little immature, a little hot-headed, a little envious. Not exactly the best look for him. He wanted to be called Superman. He doesn't like Superboy arriving. He thinks Brainy is hiding something about Jon's timeline. It all seems a bit childish.

I do like how he is looking off camera, out from under his eyebrows. It is a different feel from every head-on face shot we have seen on these pages. Certainly it is vastly different from the smiling, beaming Jon we saw three issues ago.

And I also can't help but notice the dearth of Interlac on the page. I wonder if enough people complained about the dense Interlac passages that we won't see them that much any more.

We open on Mon's New Krypton where the mission team dispatched there to retrieve him are still floored by the news that Mon has three kids. In an aside, we learn Colossal Boy's people are born as adults, not kids. Weird.

But there isn't time to dwell on Mon for too long. Rogol Zaar, riding what looks to be a Fellbeast from Lord of the Rings, shows up with an army of spaceships.

And Zaar proves that 1000 years hasn't diminished his power. He wades through the Legionnaires, even brutes like Wildfire, and takes on Zod. 

I do hope we get some information about Zaar. Who is he really? Where has he been these last 1000 years? Why hasn't he attacked New Krypton beforehand?

On Xanthu, Saturn Girl, Superboy, and Dr. Fate are on Xanthu trying to track down Mordru.

They find the villain's lair. And they find Superman's cape inside it too! Now that is a mystery.

But before too much can be figured out, Fate basically explodes. 

I can't imagine we have lost a Legionnaire this soon. And I suppose the Helmet is eternal. But this looks pretty permanent.

The colors here are a bit too blue to really make out the action. I get it is supposed to show the dim nature of the cave they are in. But it was hard to make out what is going on.

On Rimbor, Ultra Boy accepts the role as General/ruler. But then his first act is to make Rimbor a full on democracy with elected officials and not war councils. And if he has to break a few heads to get people on board, he will.

For me, as a complete sucker for character moments and Legion romances, seeing Dawny give Jo such a come hither look is squeal worthy. 

I love the Wildfire/Dawny doomed romance. But this isn't your daddy's Legion.

And then back on Earth, Triplicate Girl finds Dream Girl and reveals that 'Blue' has had a Great Darkness vision. They aren't precogs. They don't dream. So how could she get this prophetic nightmare.

I'm wondering if the actual Great Darkness isn't a physical assault like the original. Maybe it is a more psychological one. What if people start getting depressing visions of total despair and as a result can't act, become fearful, become more controllable?

Maybe 'Blue' is a symptom of this curse?

Just a theory.

And then we are on Daxam as Rose and her squad are trying to track down some leads. We don't know who she is meeting, or why, but they are in some seedy bar. 

Before the scene particulars, this does give a sort of Rimbor-like feel to this place. Classically, Daxam were isolationists. So new continuity, new rules.

If you blink, you might miss this priest of Darkseid proselytizing to Ayla. The Great Darkness is close, and mobilizing.

They get interrupted by Mordru himself who shows that he is a legit threat. 

With just a wave, he removes Blok from the combat.

Sook is brilliant throughout. But I love how he changes the panel borders to thorny spikes when Rose begins to change.

Back on Earth, Brainiac 5 is concerned about something he suspected when on Oa with Gold Lantern. What is the source of power for the Power Battery? He asks that White Witch analyze the ring.

I love that Brainy is smart enough to actually block the Oans from being able to monitor the Legion. 

He is pretty smart and definitely careful.

So what could be the power source? Dr. Regulus? Nah.

Brainy's investigation is interrupted by alarms. 

The Daxam team is getting trounced by Mordru. And New Krypton is under attack by Rogol Zaar.

The Earth members all amass and teleport off to Krypton.

But before they arrive, Jon gets there.

And we get this great closing splash of Jon facing Zaar, the planet on fire, his friends and people at Zaar's feet. This is an amazing piece of art.

Here we go.

When you have a book with a cast the size of the Legion, you need to keep up and catch up on all of them. We have 4-5 distinct settings, groups, and plots in this issue. It felt full but went fast. The art is dazzling. I want more now. And that is always a good sign.

Long Live this Legion.

Overall grade: A

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

A fantastic issue indeed, so much going on. I really hope Bendis isn’t going anywhere after the two-issue jump, there’s so much to follow through on.

Interestingly, as you likely know, Gail Simone has been asking people on Twitter who their three favourite Legionnaies are. Hmmm....

And yeah, three kiddies, I think I said four in my review, having assumed Colossal Boy was looking at one in the crib. Stupid boy!