Friday, February 10, 2017
Threeboot: Legion of Super-Heroes #48
Recap: An alien planet is parked in our solar system, encased in a gravitational field to stop it from wreaking havoc on the galaxy. An alien technoconstruct army has been attacking the UP for some time. The UP has tried to hem in the Legion but is currently working with them. Brainy has married Dream Girl in his mind after having a physical fling with a medium channeling Nura. Dream Girl was unfortunately psychically blinded within Brainy's mind. And Projectra is planning an overthrow. So what else can happen?
For those who have been following these reviews of the Jim Shooter/Francis Manapul run on Legion of Super-Heroes, I thank you. I have been pretty harsh in my reviews of these books. I know we aren't supposed to curse the darkness. We should light a candle. But I haven't found much to like in this run, especially these issues nearing the end.
Legion of Super-Heroes #48 doesn't break the trend. With so many plot lines being juggled, Shooter decides to add another. I am unclear when Shooter knew this title was going to be canceled (two issues from now) but you would think that if he knew we were that close to the end line he would be shoring things up not adding more.
At the very least, we are merging two of the storylines into one. In this issue we learn the flying planet is the source of the technoconstructs. Hurrah for that. And I was happy to see Sun Boy back in the fold. Shooter closes off a plot from the Waid run.
As for the complaint of casual sexism and unnecessary cheesecake in this run, we do get one superfluous scene which fits the bill. At least it didn't reach the wretchedness of last issues treatment of Meander and Dreamy.
And, as is typical of this run, Manapul brings a nice feel to the art here.
On to the book.
'The Edge of Doom' ramps up the threat of the attacking planet and the technoconstruct threat. With the planet stopped and system safe, an attempt at diplomacy has been made. A delegation of three diplomats from the planet arrive on Earth to meet with the UP Secretary Lafong.
Communication is stilted as their language hasn't been 100% translated. But it should be clear that they don't have the best intentions. They almost collapsed out solar system.
But it seems that only the Legion recognizes that threat. Phantom Girl scrambles the team with the highest alert. The question is what to do?
Brainiac 5 is the most perturbed by the alarm. He was asleep again, supposedly being with his wife. And until the diplomats do something or the UP blinks, they are in a stalemate. Mumbling about a wedding can only make him seem more unhinged.
It seems odd that everyone knows about the Dream Girl ghost relationship but still tease him about it.
And, I think as dictated by Shooter, Ayla has a certain pulchritude.
The UP begins to give the diplomats a tour of the planet. And while they are traveling around, the diplomats are zapping items with what is clearly a mini version of the data ripper the technoconstructs have been using as weapons. Why would the UP secretary let that happen?
Meanwhile, M'rissey decides that with this presumed upcoming war about to happen, the Legion will need more troops. So why not have open tryouts. This seems like a forced subplot. While these tryouts are part of Legion history, the book is already overstuffed. Maybe Shooter just wanted to get one in before the end of his run.
This does let Shooter finally bring Gazelle to the Legion. And it introduces us to a new version of Night Girl.
During her tryout Night Girl wrestles Ultra Boy. Of course, given the preceding issues, her top gets ripped so her chest is exposed. And, as per usual, she has quite the zaftig physique. And we get the double entendre of 'we've seen enough'.
Did we need the peek-a-boo nudity in a Legion book?
During the tryouts, Sun Boy basically comes home. You might recall that he had left the Legion to lead the remaining member of Praetor Lemnos' Terra Firma, trying to make a new super-team for the galaxy.
In a nice bit of art, Dirk explains that he couldn't control the group. They were rough to begin with (I mean, the believed in the chaos Lemnos preached). Most ended in jail. He is hoping to come home as a Legionnaire.
The slow pull back of these panels, showing Sun Boy smaller and smaller, matches the dialogue nicely. He thought he was something big. But in the end, he is a smaller presence than he thought. This is why we like comics! Words and pictures!
After a quick vote, Sun Boy is reinstated and Gazelle is added as a new member. (How did she quit the Young Heroes of the UP? Or did that just dissolve? One or two lines would have helped.)
The others showed enough merit to become Legion Reservists, to get training and be ready to join when called on. I suppose it is a step up from being called Subs. And maybe this was going to be the beginning of a Legion Academy.
And I am glad the ideal combo of Night Girl and Shady was mentioned. Those two should have teamed up more.
Again, if you are a UP diplomat flying these creatures who almost destroyed your world around, wouldn't you question what the device is?
Finally we get a major info dump from Brainiac 5, one of those Shooter explanations that I had to read three times.
These creatures exist in a Matrix like world of information. They have no hard wiring or mainframes. They use the very aether of the universe as their wiring system. They use the data rippers to create perfect digital duplications which they can then produce physically if they want to (hence the planet, the diplomats, the constructs). But when they data rip a living being they 'remove the life force' killing their target. Brainy verified his theories when he had Meander (the spiritualist he had sex with last issue while Dreamy possessed her) 'scan' them for signs of life. (You would think Brainy would have a device which could to the same.) Brainy theorizes their whole data warehouse is bound by the 'tachyonic field'.
A scanner that drains the soul? Sigh. I suppose I just have to roll with it.
Lightning Lad thinks they should attack but remember these are just digital constructs. So why bother?
A semi-cliffhanger occurs when the alien diplomats scan Secretary Lafong, killing her.
Oh, by the way, remember that a construct of the dark parts of Brainiac 5 is still running loose and Projectra is planning her coup. But these are barely mentioned here.
I suppose I should be happy that the ickiest moment was a wardrobe malfunction by Night Girl. Things have been much much worse.
Two more issues.