Friday, January 6, 2017

Threeboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #43

Recap: This series is a bit all over the place right now. The Legion (and in particular leader Lightning Lad) is under duress from the UP for both overspending and flaunting authority. The galaxy is under attack from evolving techno-beasts working for an unknown threat. Princess Projectra is turning evil. Applicant M'Rissey seems to have sold out flight ring technology. The UP has formed their own mini-Legion, the United Planets Young Heroes, a more controlled band of super-powered teens. And now pirates are raiding worlds. Worst of all, none of the Legionnaires seem to particularly like each other a lot. Tell me again why I am reading this?

When Jim Shooter came on this book, it felt like a little bit like a Hail Mary pass by DC, hoping to lure the older Legion readers back to a book that they never seemed to embrace. Shooter hadn't written the Legion in decades and even I was a bit intrigued about what the book would be like. Half a year into his run, I realized that it was something of a mess. There are too many plots moving along giving the book a jumbled feel. The characters seem to be irritated with each other. There are gratuitous scenes for female characters in either undress or submissive poses. It isn't fun.

Francis Manapul's art is dynamic and engaging. But it isn't enough to clear up the story issues I have been having with this section of this Threeboot run.

This issue continues the same sort of troubling pattern of this run. New plots are added to the already overstuffed list of story lines. There is some off characterization for a couple of the team members. And the art is gorgeous.

I don't think we knew what we had with the Waid run until it was gone.

An away team has been on Rimbor fighting the constructs. While the monsters have been put down, the Rimborian police try to arrest Ultra Boy. He is wanted for vehicular homicide. The team won't allow Jo to be arrested and so they end up fighting the police, incapacitating them all.

The team then asks Saturn Girl to mindwipe the police! Remember just a couple of issues ago Saturn Girl was dressed down by Lightning Lad for being in Timber Wolf's mind. She promised to never use her powers that way again. Here the team becomes a hypocritical and she becomes a pushover and agrees to do it. I don't know if I like that.

And also, remember, last issue there were weird lusty moments between Ultra Boy and Saturn Girl. Look at that last panel with Imra holding Jo's arm. I don't think these two would be attracted to each other.

On Earth, the Science Police takes advantage of most of the Legion being away to raid the headquarters.

Of course, the officers head into Phantom Girl's room while she's in the shower. She always seems to be almost undressed in every issue. Why did she need to be there of all places? Was it to make us think she was just lathering moments earlier? That the Science Police almost saw her nude?

And I'm not real keen on Element Lad being a stoner either.

But then Shooter adds a couple of new plotlines!
How about moving some plots forward or wrapping other plots up before adding new things!

On the planet Velmar 5, a major battle happens between the criminal organizations of the Peril Men and the Ikonn Flotilla. The Science Police were ready to intervene but they were defeated. And to add to matters, three of United Planet Young Heroes have been captured.

Here we meet the victorious Ikonn Flotilla captain. And, of course, there is a woman on her knees, in see through clothes, ready to hand feed the pirate fruit. The bad girl pirate woman in the background says the lead pirate better not touch the slave girl because she wants him.

Look, I am no prude. But I don't read the Legion for sexy poses and over-sexed personalities, especially if it doesn't add to the story.

A Legion away team has been sent to Velmar to try to defeat the Ikonns.

The decision gets made to do a pincer maneuver on the Ikonn stronghold. Timber Wolf, Shadow Lass, and Light Lass will lead a direct attack. Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl will attack from behind once the first skirmish has begun.

As usual, the fighters disparage Invisible Kid. They question why he is there, call him a wimp and a tour guide. Nice teamwork.

And is anyone else sick of all the Legionnaires 'cursing' with 'florgin'' being in nearly every panel of dialogue?

But wait! There's another plotline added.

Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl are kept from the attack when a mysterious group arrives in a bubble saying they are needed elsewhere, for something even more pressing.

This reminds me of Cosmic Boy being recruited by a future team at the end of the Waid run. Are these the same people?

But do we need this? Another plot line?

Meanwhile, the Legionnaires on Rimbor are scurrying through the planet's sewers to hide out. And, of course, they run in to Gazelle.

She was sent to Rimbor by the UP to fight the technoconstructs but was defeated. She overtaxed her metabolism and is nearly comatose when they run into her. Chameleon Boy uses his powers to pick some fresh fruit growing on the Rimborian city street to bring to her.

The team leaves her behind fearing she will betray them. But when the Rimbor cops run into Gazelle as well, she points them in the opposite direction.

There is a lot to roll with in this scene. In all the sewers in all the city, they stumble by her pipe? Lucky. They happen to be under a grate in the city where a fruit tree is growing? Double lucky?

It does seem un-Legion like to leave her there partially revived.

Meanwhile, M'Rissey slips back into the Legion HQ and finds Brainiac 5. M'rissey admits to breaking into the Legion computers and ordering the new costumes. He was the mysterious hand looking over the monitor board. And he has a deal to pitch to Brainy which will save the team finances.

He doesn't need to argue long. Brainy agrees to whatever this plan is.

But things are going rough everywhere else.

Without the second wave of Legion attacks, Light Lass and the rest of the team are being overrun.

I did like this sequence showing how Light Lass could use her powers as an effective offensive weapon.

The Rimbor team is overrun by the police, trapped on a rooftop with the authorities bombarding them with artillery.

Look at Chameleon Boy. He turned himself into an 'energy reflector'. Huh? He even says that he not only takes on a shape but the inherent attributes of what he copies. This is different than the explanation Waid had. Cham even says something snarky like 'how many times does he need to explain how his powers work' to his teammates. Maybe a swipe at Waid?

And then the Science Police prepare to arrest the Legion.

Yes, this is a Legion book. But this isn't a necessarily enjoyable Legion book. I am finding it a bit harder to plow through these reviews. Thankfully the art is beautiful.

What do you guys think of this series so far?


  1. I'm pretty much with you at this point. Too much going on, not enough of interest going on.

  2. Come on! Financial woes! PR problems! Bureaucratic interference! Was Shooter just writing what he knew?

    Anj, you went through this with 5YL as well, and this won't be as long. You'll get through it. Maybe on the art alone. I'm imagining myself and Shotgun in like 10 years when Reboot becomes The Legion or something and wondering when fatigue sets in. Nah, I can't. Reboot was a LOT of comics, wasn't it?

    1. First issue of the Reboot was LSH #62, right? I think they ended on #125 before going off to the other random series that I didn't stick around for. So something like 120+ issues total between the two series? Things went downhill after Issue #100, honestly. There were some bright spots here and there and some interesting stories, but the writers never grappled well with the increased size of the team after Issue #100.

  3. Thanks for comments.

    Yes, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thankfully.