Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #40

The Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #40 (Nov, 1987)
title: "What Starfinger Touches..."
writer: Paul Levitz
pencillers: Greg LaRocque & Dan Jurgens
inker: Mike DeCarlo
ink assist: Arne Starr
lettering: John Costanza
colorist: Carl Gafford
editor: Karen Berger 
cover: Steve Lightle
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Dream Girl, Element Lad, Timber Wolf, Dawnstar, Mon-El, Polar Boy, White Witch, Sun Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid, Tellus, Wildfire, Quislet, Sensor Girl, Shadow Lass, Lightning Lass

Guests: 
Star Boy, Laurel Kent

Opponents: 
Starfinger and his organization



Synopsis: 
Above Earth, three Legionnaires and Star Boy are on alert because of Dream Girl's prediction. Timber Wolf says it's a waste of time, which starts an argument until an attack actually begins. They are unable to stop the space-ship from pushing through the polymer shield around Earth and landing in the Mkuze Preserve in Africa. However, when the goons inside the ship attack, the Legionnaires capture them quickly. They won't say anything except admit that they are working for Starfinger.

On Tharr, Polar Boy has brought a team to his home planet to investigate damage to the planet's mining operations from Starfinger, who demands a cut of the profits for "protection." Polar Boy explains that because the temperatures were so high, the people evolved the power to create cold, but that they live under-ground in tunnels. White Witch passes out from the heat. She then uses Polar Boy's powers with hers to keep her body temperature lower. An earth-quake is triggered by Starfinger's explosive relays, but the Legionnaires are able to stop it.

Somewhere else, Starfinger is upset that the Legion is causing him problems. He wants the Legion destroyed, once and for all.
Back on Earth, Star Boy leaves without really talking it out with Dream Girl or explaining why he will not rejoin the Legion. She is distracted, but Sun Boy and Laurel Kent have no sympathy for her. Wildfire sees Quislet and seems to want to talk to him, but he suddenly departs.

Suddenly, the Legion head-quarters is attacked. Sensor Girl leads a group out into space as Brainiac 5 moves the building out of the range of the laser beam. Sensor Girl finds the solar amplifier shooting at them, in orbit around Earth. Sun Boy adds his solar power to it, destroying it. Sensor Girl sends a message to Starfinger telling him that they will track him down. He vows revenge.

Commentary: 
This issue starts off well, with a few different teams coming across a few Starfinger teams. The intention seems to be to ratchet up the drama as we head towards the conclusion. However, the end result is that this story seems like a re-run of the last time Starfinger attacked (LSH #29). A lot of posturing by said bad guy and some destroying of his own machines doesn't really make him a threat. Am I missing something, or is he just an extortionist? It might be nice if we understood who or what he was, but so far we know nothing. He is obviously able to teleport enormous solar amplifiers into orbit around Earth, so why isn't he more interesting?

Speaking of missing something, I was seriously upset by the scenes of Dream Girl and Star Boy in this issue. I had hoped that he would return to the Legion after Atmos had returned.  (He was drafted to serve as their planet's champion after Atmos went missing, kidnapped by Universo.) Unfortunately, not only does Star Boy not return to the Legion, we never get an explanation as to WHY he isn't returning. This is very disappointing.

And speaking of disappointing, the art continues to inch lower and lower in quality. The scenes at Legion HQ are dull, with almost no backgrounds. The shot of the HQ being blasted on page 21 is laid out without any drama. On page 24, I have no idea what is happening. After all, a large "Kaboom!" and a lot of red Kirby crackle does not necessarily make good drama.

The credits list Dan Jurgens as an additional penciller, but I am unable to tell which pages he worked on. My one guess is page 27, because the shot of Sensor Girl on the screen looks like a Jurgens pose to me. If he did more than that one page, it's a sign that Mike DeCarlo uses too thick of an ink brush because I can not differentiate between the pencil work of LaRocque and Jurgens.

Science Police Notes:  
  • Special guest Star Boy is on the cover, directly behind Dawnstar. 
  • Timber Wolf doubting Dream Girl's abilities makes him look like an idiot. 
  • White Witch's hair (?) is shown sweating on page 8. 
  • If everyone on Tharr has cold-creation powers, why are workers armed with water hoses? 
  • Although Quislet boasts that he is always around, he immediately disappears for the rest of the story.  
  • Wildfire self-explodes on page 26 for no discernible reason.  
Status: 
This story has not yet been reprinted.  

3 comments:

  1. Oh but that cover is amazing! It's a shame the story isn't as good as the promise of the cover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, this is another example where the cover is the best thing about the issue.

      Delete
  2. Starfinger is one of those Legion villains who is always far cooler in theory than in practice.

    ReplyDelete