Friday, August 26, 2016

Threeboot: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #28

Recap: The Earth is in shambles. The Dominators have released an anti-technology virus which has plunged the planet into the stone age. Their super-troopers are invading. And The Legion and their semi-allies The Wanderers are scattered. Exhausted and wounded, it doesn't look good for our heroes. Especially when the Legion leader Cosmic Boy is captured.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #28 continues the Dominator War storyline that has been been working its way through the book since Supergirl first arrived. But the subplots have all finally come together. It's war and everyone is effected.

Storytellers Mark Waid and Barry Kitson continue to keep the gas pedal down now that the battle has begun. In this issue, we have a wonderful mix of action and plot progression. There is definitely a sense of momentum here which is great. As a reader, I really felt like I was on the edge of my seat as every scene has a sense of high pressure and suspense. I am completely invested in the story here and wanted to reach for the next issue right after reading this. High praise indeed.

That pressure all begins with the cover. We have been used to seeing Supergirl breeze her way through fights almost effortlessly, all with a smile. The cover definitely has a different vibe. Supergirl is dwarfed by this drooling Dominator. And she looks scared. Nice image to ramp up the tension.

On to the book.

The book opens up with Dream Boy having a precognition dream. In the vision, Dream Girl shows up.

I love that Dream Girl, while dead, remains an important part of the team. Whether in Brainy's mind or here, Nura continues to advise.

This dream is concerning (a precognition of nothing but a great void can't be a good sign). What does this mean? And how can Dream Boy change things so we don't get there? He has sort of been a non-entity so far.

But I love Nura's sort of snark despite the potential universal cataclysm, commenting on Dream Boy's stupid pants. It fits her personality.

And then Waid and Kitson take us around the planet, showing us how distraught the Legion is. Things are pretty hairy right now.

For one thing, Mon-El is dying. The initial anti-lead poisoning serum is wearing off. And without a functioning lab for Brainy to work in, he can't make more.

Suddenly the problem of not having working machinery has a face. This is now very personal.

Meanwhile in another section of the world, some of the Legion and the Wanderers are holed up healing. Timber Wolf is near death. This is a war. And war has casualties.

One thing that I like about these scenes is that the political and ethical differences of the Wanderers and the Legion stand out. They might have a common foe. But they aren't friends. This is truly 'the enemy of my enemy ...'

Here Projectra puts it succinctly. The Wanderers are driven by fear. The Legion is inspired by hope. She believes in her team and their abilities to defeat the Dominators.

It isn't quite as powerful as the 5YL #12 summation of the Legion. But it is pretty good. This is who the Legion is.

And elsewhere, you see the courage and tenacity of the team. Despite being injured and almost unconscious, Ultra Boy still gets up to defeat a giant robot threatening his teammates.

What I like here is that we see just how savvy Ultra Boy is with his powers. He has no flight ring. So he needed to switch his powers quickly to both defeat the android and survive.

But it takes a lot out of him. He collapses.

So far, between Dream Boy's vision and the injuries to Mon-El, Timber Wolf, and Ultra Boy, things look pretty bleak.

Meanwhile, at the Legion Headquarters, Phantom Girl continues to phase her way into the wreckage looking for something. And at last she has found it.

We don't know what it is but this was a least a glimmer of hope in this dark issue. It made me think there was a plan.

But then Waid and Kitson pull the rug out from under the reader.

What little hope we got from Tinya feels very small when we see Cosmic Boy being old-school tortured by the Dominators. This is a grisly scene as they try to get him to reveal the site where the Legion rebels are going to assemble.

This isn't pretty. We are used to Rokk being ... well... the rock of the team. So to see him strapped to a table and being beaten and cut really heightens the sense of futility. But, like I would expect, he doesn't give up the information.

So instead, the Dominators attack what they perceive to be a weaker link.

They use gloves which can forcefully and only partially rip apart Triplicate Girl, causing her extreme pain. In agony, one of her selves gives up the information.

Now I know I am putting a lot of Legion history into the comment. But I sort of understood why she would give it up but only in the context of seeing how hard a death of part of her hit the prior Luornu. We have seen her suffer in the past as long time readers. So I almost want to give her a pass here.


Except it turns out to be part of a bigger plan.

The Dominators open up a portal to send their shock troopers in. But it turns out the Legion wanted to give them that information. Because that portal is a 2 way door. The Legion was on the other side waiting to walk through and begin an offensive on the Dominator home world.

The strongest Legionnaires are poised and fly through.

Okay, I think it is an interesting plan. And how gripping is it that Cos allowed himself to be tortured to add to the realism of this whole thing. He wanted someone else to reveal the site. And bringing the fight to the Dominator homeworld is a way to quickly turn the tables.

But ....

How did Cos now that sending in infantry was their plan? What if they planned to nuke from orbit to be sure? What if they were going to open a portal from some fringe world? Or a battle wagon?

This plan works. But the Legion is very very lucky that the Dominator played into their hands. Otherwise, things could have been very different.

With the plot hatched, Cos no longer needs to hold back. He uses his powers to capture his interrogators and free himself. I love this panel of a determined Cos saying that he doesn't need any help. He's still standing.

That said, I don't know if I am keen on Triplicate Girl kneeling beside him like some alien princess he just rescued. She had a role too. She should either be standing next to him just as defiant or in the background. Don't make her less to prop him up more.

I also don't quite now how all the Legion did get together so quickly. How are Mon-El and Ultra Boy suddenly looking so spry?

Okay, I'll try to move past that. Because now there is a front on the Dominator homeworld. And that is a new and exciting twist.

And so another fast-paced and very good chapter of this book comes to a close. How will a two front war play out? Where are the Ranzz's? And can a small team of super-powered teens really fight a whole planet?

Can't wait to read the next issue!

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't stand the first dozen issues of this title but once they added Supergirl and Mon-El back in the mix the storytelling and art were great and the book was a good read !

    Too bad it was canceled as the first year most likely lost a lot of readers with the exception of long time LSH fans !

    I'd like to see them start it up again sans the "Eat it Gramps" nonsense !