REVIEW: LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #16

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I commented that last month’s Legion of Super Heroes had not had a whole lot happening. This month, too, seems to be more a setup for future storylines than a lot going on now. In various vignettes, Phantom Girl and Ultra Boy muse about the election for leader, Brainy tries to test Glorith to see why she triggered a “time-storm,” and Chameleon Boy and Shrinking Violet go to examine Validus as part of the Fatal Five story that’s been lurking in the background for a while now.

None of the scenes go smoothly. Phantom Girl remarks she doesn’t want to be leader because “No one notices me and that’s just how I like it.” Can you say “Foreshadowing”? Brainy’s gear falls apart as he tries to figure out what’s going on with Glorith and she wanders off in the confusion, while Brainy also drops vague hints about whatever is going on with the enigmatic Harmonia Li. Chameleon Boy, following a hunch, finds out that the “Validus,” a great rampaging monster of immense power, is not actually on the prison world of Takron-Galtos. What’s been in its cell is an illusion which Cham dispels by touching it. That one is really disturbing. Validus is capable of fighting much of the Legion on its own, and it being unaccounted for bodes ill. LSH_Cv16

This is one of the few reboots to touch the Legion book since the DCNU started. The Fatal Five have been longtime Legion foes, and been the source of some of their epic battles. Now, the Fearsome Five keep getting referred to as “legends.” It would seem the LSH and the FF haven’t met yet. I’m not sure I see the point of that particular reboot, but hey, I didn’t see the point of most of the changes in the DCNU.

The issue ends with the new leader being announced... Phantom Girl. Guess folks notice her after all. The Legion election is a tradition, the members voting in the book, while the fans vote in the real world. Last time, it was done by email. This one was “snail mail,” and that was annoying enough that I didn’t vote.

I guess Levitz is taking his time building up to the Fatal Five confrontation. There’s nothing wrong with letting the characters catch their breath, in fact, I wish more comic writers would do that occasionally. Two issues in a row is a bit odd though. Especially with the huge cast the Legion has, there should be more going on, I would think.

Scott Kolins’ art continues to slightly bother me. His cartoony style reminds me a lot of Erik Larsen, who I know has a good sized following, but I’ve never much enjoyed. The faces especially just look really wrong to me. He has managed to rein in the “smile takes over the entire head” look Larsen does a lot, but it’s still just not art that I like.

Even if it’s needlessly (IMHO) rebooted, I am looking forward to the no doubt impressive clash between the Legion and the Five soon. Hopefully we get there before too much longer.

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Wayland Smith

WAYLAND SMITH is the pen name for a native Texan who has lived in Massachusetts, New York, Washington DC, and presently makes his home in Virginia.His rather unlikely list of jobs includes private investigator, comic book shop owner, ring crew for a circus (then he ran away from the circus and joined home), deputy sheriff, and freelance stagehand.Wayland is a four time participant in, and survivor of, NaNoWriMo, having made the 50,000 word goal each time.A black belt in shao lin kung fu, he is also a fan of comic books, reading, writing, and various computer games (I”ll shut Civ down in one more turn.Really).He lives with a beautiful woman who was crazy enough to marry him, and the memory of a much loved, if somewhat goofy, dog named Jamie.

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