Friday, August 4, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #311

It is hard to believe but I am almost done with my reviews of the pre-Baxter series Legion of Super-Heroes book. I just have a couple more issues to get through. At that point, the Legion books split into the Baxter run and the Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes newsstand book. Those have already been reviewed by Russell.

Legion of Super-Heroes #311 was something of a rest issue. Split into two stories, the issue ties up a couple of long-standing subplots which had been percolating in the background. After the somewhat muddled Omen and Prophet arc, these character-driven Legion stories were welcomed as something of a creative palate cleanser. And given that I was pretty invested in both stories - Danielle Foccart's possession by Computo and Dawnstar's vision quest - this issue is a big winner for me.

So on to these stories and the fun stuff!

The book opens with "Destruction by Design" by storytellers Paul Levitz (writer) and Keith Giffen (artist) and inker Larry Mahlstedt. And it opens up with a literal bang. With the majority of the Legion winging their way to Khunida, reservists Duo Damsel and Bouncing Boy are heading to the headquarters with super-fan Flynt Brojj.

When they arrive, the Headquarters is in shambles, exploding and crumbling to the ground.

This was unplanned destruction.

Inside the remains of the building we see Brainiac 5. He is the one who accidentally destroyed the headquarters. While trying to cure Danielle Foccart, he attempted to isolate the HQ's circuits from the lab. Unfortunately, this move overloaded the system, causing the explosion.

I like that Levitz didn't forget Danielle's plight and has put it in the spotlight recently. I also like that Brainy at least had the forethought to try to isolate the room from the main computer. This way if Computo did manifest, it would be contained.

As always, Brainy's best laid plans seem to go awry.

Meanwhile, the Khund situation with Omen is over. No one knows where Omen went but everyone assumes it would take a long time to return. Thankfully, this turned out to be true. We readers never saw Omen again.

With the threat over, all these Legionnaires are free to do what they want. Wildfire asks Element Lad for some time off for a personal matter and leaves before he gets a real answer. Wildfire's bow shows how he is something of a gadfly.

But I did like that Mysa was looking forward to talking to Nura. They are sisters but they are so different. I wish their relationship had been explored more in the comics.

Back in the HQ, as almost expected, Danielle's body is revived and Computo is still running the show. And Computo is not happy with Brainy. I love this page, wildly laid out, amazingly colored by Carl Gafford. Just kinetic.

Now there is a little bit of deus ex machina in what happens next.

Brainy envelops Computo in his force shield. And then Brainy activates a program he has been developing which downloaded Computo's persona into a crystal, freeing Danielle.

This is the first we have heard of this program, a bit odd since just earlier we heard Brainy lament not having a cure.

And then in another deus ex machina, a new Legion headquarters just appears, the original HQ debris rebuilt by Computo into this sleek new building.

Ummm ... okay.

And then the last deus ex machina, the move cured Danielle of Computo and her disease. And Computo is now a beneficent AI, acting as the majordomo for the team.

Umm.... okay.

So a lot happened rather quickly. But just like that Danielle is cured, Computo is kind, and the team has a new headquarters.

Was this a sort of clearing of the decks of plots given the odd next year with two timelines sort of running concurrently?

The back story, 'A Shared Destiny' is again told by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen and looks at Wildfire and Dawnstar's relationship. But the big draw here is Gene Colan on art! Colan never drew the Legion so it is a treat to see him take on these characters.

And now we see that Wildfire's personal matter was to head to Starhaven to find Dawnstar.

On Starhaven, Wildfire asks where Dawnstar is. Dawny's parents chastise the Legionnaire for trying to disrupt this sacred journey she is on. While they try to explain their culture and how important this is to Dawny's people, Wildfire interrupts. He's on a mission.

Dawnstar's mother says Dawny is heading to her namesake ... the morning star, Venus.

We then get some internal monologue from Dawnstar as we see her heading to Venus and contemplating her future.

Wildfire shows up and the two initially spar. Dawny is furious that Wildfire would interfere with this holiest of quests she is on.

But it turns out that Wildfire has his heart (energy) in the right place. He basically says he will step aside. Dawnstar deserves more. That said, Wildfire will be there to make sure whoever she picks treats her right.

It is clear these two care for each other, love each other.

And this interaction seems to seal it. Dawnstar cannot deny her love of Wildfire. She heads back to her parents and says that her vision quest did lead her to her love ... and led her back to her love, Wildfire. Yes, the lack of physical interaction will be hard. But she loves him.

This isn't the end of this relationship's ups and downs ... not by a long shot. But as a Wildfire fan, I liked that he and Dawnstar found some happiness.

And Colan's breathy art is spot on.

The issue also includes a nice bonus page of the Legion team symbols as well as an Interlac alphabet!

So overall, a nice little issue. For Legion fans who liked the angst and drama, this should be a big winner.


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  2. I loved the Gene Colan art and the focus on Wildfire & Dawnstar. I loved the new clubhouse design, even if it 'techno-magically' appeared (willful suspension of disbelief was easy back then).
    And it was cool to have the Interlac chart, even if I had figured it all out beforehand. I can still read it to this day.