Monday, August 12, 2019

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #12

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #12 
(April 2008
title: Lone Wolf
writer: Matthew K. Manning
artist: Ethen Beavers
letterer: Sol Cirpiano
colorist: Heroic Age
editor: Jeanine Shaefer
cover art: Alexandra Serra

Mission Monitor Board: Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, and Timber Wolf

Cameos: Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, and Superman.

Villains: Random bad guys

Synopsis: The story opens with Timber Wolf hunting and just about to catch his prey, but we see that it's merely a simulation when Brainiac 5 turns it off. He and Phantom Girl have come to get Wolf for a ceremony celebrating National Legion Day but he is not exactly interested.

Timber Wolf goes on patrol and stops a mugging. He ties the two criminals to a lamp post and appears to leave, at which point one of them mentions that they should have waited until the bomb went off. It turns out that Timber Wolf did not go far and when he hears mention of a bomb, he demands more information.
They explain that it was just something they heard mentioned at a bar but insist they are not involved in. They give him the name of the bar and Timber Wolf heads there to investigate. Most of the patrons are not cooperative despite his attempts to convince them otherwise. But one waitress is far more helpful.
Timber Wolf heads to what appears to be the 31st Century equivalent of a shopping mall and tracks down the culprits.
Timber Wolf pretty quickly takes them down but not before the last one tells him that he is too late and that the bomb is set to go off while the Legion is on stage. He rushes to the ceremony to save his teammates and everyone else.
While the ceremony goes on, Timber Wolf investigates the sewer tunnels underneath. He finally discovers the bomb and tries to get it away before it goes off.
He gets the bomb far enough away that the explosion goes unnoticed at the ceremony. After it is over, the team is gathering to try something Superman made called "hoagies" just as Timber Wolf arrives to join them.

Commentary: This was a solid issue, nothing spectacular, but still entertaining. It was nice to see Timber Wolf be the focus because he was such a big part of the first season but got sidelined a good bit during the second. The only problem I had with the story was with how generic the super villains were.  The story did not require them to be anyone significant but there were a lot of panels throughout this issue with no dialogue. I think devoting just a few to fleshing out the bad guys and their motivation would have helped.

Still, the strength was that the story did show that Timber Wolf has grown a great deal since his introduction in the first season and while he may never be the most social member, he has become more secure. I thought it was a nice touch that the team remained blissfully unaware of what happened at the end of the story and that he felt no need to enlighten them, at least not yet.

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