Friday, December 30, 2016

Threeboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #42

Legion of Super-Heroes #42 continues the Jim Shooter run and pushes the bubbling plot lines forward a little bit. There isn't much that happens in this issue that makes us know more or understand motivations in any different way than where we were at the end of issue #41. And if you are like me, wondering just what the heck Shooter is trying to do, this felt like a little bit of a waste of pages.

That isn't to say there aren't interesting moments. Maybe I am looking with a sharper eye given the proceedings of prior issues but there is the usual amount of unnecessary sexiness and sexism woven into the story. There is a moment with Invisible Kid which is an emotional beat that also hearkens back to an early Legion hypothesis. And we have new costumes (I presume designed by artist Francis Manapul)!

But for the most part this is more of the same that we have seen before. And I am ready for a little more.

The art is the usual fantastic work by Francis Manapul and Livesay. The fight scenes are appropriately kinetic and muddy. And the quiet scenes are composed well.

Is this what DC wanted for the Legion at this point?

Last issue ended with the news that Rimbor is going to be under attack by the techno-constructs that have been plaguing the galaxy for the last several issues. Even without UP consent, the team is heading out to help.

When they go to get into their uniforms they find these new togs. Atom Girl is now in a mini-skirt/ And while it is a nice nod back to her earliest days as Shrinking Violet, it is a bit odd of a style for a brawler. Would she want that much exposed?

And, of course, we have Ultra Boy checking out Saturn Girl's backside. Jo has always been a bit of a frat boy but he is happy she looks less 'dumpy' and 'more like a girl'.

I don't know. If it was just Jo's attitude I would take it as a personality quirk. But cheesecake and sexual mores and now this. It makes me wonder if Shooter was told to amp up the sexiness or maybe wanted to do it on his own.

Ultra Boy is wanted on Rimbor. But he knows he needs to defend his planet. But the techno-constructs have evolved from Squirtle to Blastoise mode. Incredibly powerful and occasionally huge, the beast are able to shatter even the Legion ranks.

But there is this moment between Imra and Jo. She needs him ... for battle of course. But he is thinking she wants him in a lusty way.

And that scene plays out.

That top panel looks like the cover of a cheesy romance novel. And then Ultra Boy forces a kiss on Saturn Girl. That doesn't sit right.

Saturn Girl has at least deduced that Ultra Boy has the best chance against these things because he can switch powers so quickly they can't react and evolve further. She he flies off into melee.

But look at Imra in the bottom panel. There is no reason for her to be in that position except to make us gaze at her sexually. And then for her to say he is a good kisser.

I don't know ... this just isn't my Saturn Girl. Some of this stuff might work with Dream Girl. But this seems wrong.

Meanwhile, Invisible Kid who had been arrested last issue is sprung by his father, the Science Police Commissioner. You might recall that Commissioner Norg wasn't happy that his son was in the Legion.

There is a nice scene where father and son reconcile. Lyle hears that his father is proud of his son and recognizes all the Legion has done. And he is thrilled that Lyle is finally interested in a girl! (Of course, it was long rumored that Invisible Kid was gay in the old Legion.)

I think the one problem with this is that we haven't seen the Commissioner or heard from Lyle about this relationship in a long time. So this reconciliation seems to come out of nowhere.

At the Legion Headquarters, Lightning Lad hears that the new uniforms weren't ordered by the team itself. They are an upgrade to the usual body armor the team has. But who authorized the purchase? Adept readers probably have a good guess.

At least we hear that the constructs that the Legion are slaughtering are so intertwined with the technology components that they might not even be alive. So at least we don't have a murdering team. But the idea to slowly invade in the manner of these beasts is still strange.

Okay ... we are six issues in ... we get it. These things are strong, evolve, and attack in an old-fashioned way. Give us some answers!

Thankfully, the invasion on Rimbor is repelled. Star Boy is able to smash them with columns of heavy air. And Jo is able to switch from one power to another to become a human bullet.

Again, the battle scenes are well paced and gorgeous. The inky splatters really show just how dirty and dusty these proceedings would be.

But the victory celebration is muted when the Rimborian police arrive to arrest Ultra Boy.

And at home, the UP hatred of the team reaches a fever pitch. The United Planets lure the remaining Legionnaires off world leaving the Headquarters basically abandoned. And so, with warrant in hand, the Science Police prepares to invade and tear the place apart.

So is there anything new here outside of the costumes and Ultra Boy's over lecherousness? Maybe Invisible Kid's relationship with his father is a step forward but it wasn't an upfront storyline that needed a conclusion.

We took a baby step forward here. But I want a giant step!

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