Monday, August 31, 2020

LSH (v8) #8

Legion of Super-Heroes #8 (October 2020)
title: The Trial of the Legion of Super-Heroes part 1
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artists: see list of credits, shown below
colorist: Jordie Bellaire
letterer: Dave Sharpe
associate editor: Brittany Holzherr
editor: Brian Cunningham
covers: Ryan Sook (main); Dustin Nguyen (variant)

reviewers: Jude "Sarcastic Kid" DeLuca and Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Overall Summary: 
General Crav Nah and his forces attack the Legion of Super-Heroes. Newly elected Legion Leader (and the General's son) Ultra Boy leads the team against them. The fight continues until Ferro Lad lets loose with so much force that General Crav explodes. The Legion then surrenders to the United Planets. UP President RJ Brande calls her son, Chameleon Boy, to her so she can review "where the Legion went wrong," which includes viewing several Legionnaires' auditions. Meanwhile, Cosmic Boy begins to deal with having been voted out as Legion Leader.


Mission Monitor Board: 
Here's the page that supposedly shows the entire membership of the Legion, even though Ferro Lad shows up on page 17 and Invisible Kid is/was a member, too.
And also this guy, whose name I don't think has ever been established in the series. He doesn't appear at all in this story. This pic is from last issue. 

Supporting Characters:
UP President RJ Brande, UP Legion Liaison Rose Forrest

Opponents:
General Crav Nah and his forces, bad writer, worse editor

Summary:
After another one-page close-up, this one of Superboy, we get four pages of Legionnaires' membership interviews (called "auditions" by UP President Brande) as she and her son, Chameleon Boy, review what has "gone wrong" with the Legion. 
Chameleon Boy then tells his mother his view of what has just happened, and we flashback to the end of last issue, where we see General Crav and five associates threatening the Legion. New Legion Leader Ultra Boy leads the charge against his father. 
Meanwhile, Cosmic Boy is off talking to his father after being voted out as Legion Leader. He feels sorry for himself and wants to return to Braal, but his father tells him he can't run away from the first time he ever faced adversity. Brainiac 5 interrupts the call, telling him of the attack, and Cosmic Boy returns to his friends. 
Ferro Lad arrives and hits General Crav with so much power that he can't absorb it, expelling it outward. The Rimborians then retreat. 
UP President Brande insists that the Legion surrenders to her, even after Legion Liaison Rose Forrest pleads their case, and they are then put on trial. 

Artists' Credits: 

Russell's Review: 
If you have been following these reviews you are not going to be surprised to read that I'm not a big fan of this issue's so-called story. This month we get 22 pages of different artists, some good, some not so good, and some great. But the art hangs on a body that cannot support it.

The Legion is going on trial....can someone (anyone?) tell me why? What are they being charged with? The dialogue from the last page of last issue is repeated word for word on page 6 of this issue, reprinted above, just in case you, you know, missed it. (Does Bendis get paid for the word? Does it count when he re-runs the same scene twice in two issues?) General Crav says they broke Rimborian law, so.....what? What's the trial for? Usually, that's the important point.

Of course, if the trial is the important point, we would not get three pages of "auditions." (Why are they called THAT?) We would not get two pages of the UP President sitting around with her son. We wouldn't get a page that was more about who's coupling with who than to proceed with important plot points.

Oh, what's the use? The Legion looks pretty and Bendis fans are buying it?

A few random thoughts.....

I'm tired of the first-page head-shots. I don't know what they are for, and they tell us less than we need to know. Doc Shaner's Superboy is adorable, though.

The "auditions" are out of place and, well, stupid. In three pages Bendis has wiped clean years of cool back-stories and drama, and for what? Seriously, why retro out stories such as Element Lad Joins the Legion to Capture Roxxas? Shame on him, and shame on DC for allowing him to do it. It doesn't help that that page by Jeff Lemire makes the Legionnaires look like senior citizens.

Light Lass or Lightning Lass? Jude has thoughts on this, below, but my initial reaction is: if the creators don't care enough to keep track, why the hell should I?

Who is Mon-El supposed to resemble, Superboy himself? We learn that he is the great (x5) grand-son of Superboy, but....so? That makes him angry at Superboy? Why? And....why should we care? With his scenes with Superboy and with Phantom Girl, Mon-El is being shown to be a real jerk.

Speaking of Phantom Girl, I'm not a big fan of Bendis' characterizations, especially when all we learn about the women is who they are sleeping with. First Shadow Lass and Cosmic Boy, and now Phantom Girl and Mon-El. Could we get some more dynamic scenes with the women, please?
It took me two readings to realize that Wildfire's energy form had been siphoned into a power tube somehow on page 9. And then he is freed by Dawnstar....off panel!?!? Another great moment for a female Legionnaire, he writes sarcastically.

Speaking of female Legionnaires, I hope David Mack got paid less than the other artists for his one page illustration of Saturn Girl. One whole page of one character just standing there!?!? For seven thought balloons?!

Timber Wolf bloodily rips open the side of a Rimborian; in the very next panel, the Rimborian is fine and there is no blood on Timber Wolf's hand. 
Brainiac 5 complains on page 16 that he should have known General Crav would attack, after telling Saturn Girl on page 7 that he knew Crav would attack. Which is it?

Computo by Fabio Moon looks like Elvira Gulch (Margaret Hamilton). Was that on purpose?

Ferro Lad punches General Crav so hard that all of his built-up energy is expelled. Uh...since when do Rimborians absorb energy and then expel it back at them? Is this what happened on page 8 with Light(ning) Lass? And Ferro Lad admits that he changes his "entire body to the hardest substance known to the galaxy" and yet his hands don't change color? Speaking of hand color....does this mean that Ferro Lad may turn out to be Black? (Note: originally, Jim Shooter when he created Ferro Lad wanted the character to be Black. Legion editor Mort Weisinger refused to allow it, which is one of the reasons Shooter decided to kill him off.)

And lastly, UP President Brande is in the middle of organizing a trial against the Legion of Super-Heroes, and she NOW has the intention of asking Legion Liaison Rose Forrest how old she is and where she comes from? NOW?!? By the way....I thought Cham being Brande's son was a secret.....?

Favorite pages: Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund draw Colossal Boy, Element Lad, and Wildfire as if they were born to do so. They can't make the new uniforms look good, though. Runner up: Bilquis Evely doing Cosmic Boy as he is upset with losing the election (reprinted above). Him out in the middle of nowhere, feeling sorry for himself, not only felt right but looked right. More pages like this, please.
Least favorite page: Dan Hipp's manga-esque Blok vs Rimborian page. Not only is it too cutesy for the rest of the book, because of the way it's laid out it took me a moment to figure out what Blok was doing at the end.  Runner up: pages 18-19 by Ryan Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger (reprinted above). We have now AMPLE proof that Sook & Von Grawbadger can draw blow-ups real purty. Did we really need another two pages of nothing? Personally, I would have preferred a few more actual fight scenes.

Jude's Review: 
Okay, something weird is going on. Ayla is Lightning Lass in this issue, but in every previous one she's had the Light Lass uniform. We saw in the flashback she had lightning powers but I got the impression that they were saying between then and when Jon joined that her powers had changed.
So either they were supposed to change her to Lightning Lass earlier and they'll do the redo in the trade collections, or artist Sanford Greene made a mistake, or the editors made a mistake, or she had both powers and for some reason changed costumes.
"Light Lass" from last issue
I'm getting the sense that there's confusion over whether what happens to Ayla in this issue is what turns her powers into anti-gravity abilities.....even though it was in ALL the previous issues where she had the Light Lass uniform.
And I just realized that all my other complaints about literally every single thing wrong with this Legion continuity means NOTHING compared to the glaring problem with this issue

They had a page dedicated to Element Lad and Colleen Doran was not asked to draw it!

I mean I have nothing against Jeff Lemire (mostly). Jeff, hon, if you're reading this you know I think you're the bee's knees. But this is ELEMENT LAD, and Colleen Doran is like the BIGGEST Jan fan out there. I really do hope someone at least made an attempt to reach out to Colleen about this, because if not then I, I just, t-the AUDACITY.

Science Police Notes:  
  • Element Lad's real name is Jan Arrah. His people on Trom were killed by the Horraz, and the Legion was not involved in getting justice for them. No word on whether this means Roxxas exists in this continuity or not.
  • Dream Girl's real name is Nura Nal. She is able to share her precognitive visions with others. 
  • Princess Projectra's real name is Wilimena Morgana Daergina Annaxandra Projectra Velorya Vauxhall. 
Status: 
This issue has not yet been reprinted. It will probably be in 2021. Called "The Trial of the Legion."

6 comments:

  1. Still don't know why this mess required another reboot.
    And Mon-El is kryptonian noch?!?

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    Replies
    1. And Mon-El is kryptonian now?!?

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    2. Yeah, I forgot to mention that part. If there is ever an explanation other than he just is, I would be happier.

      Delete
  2. The more I see, the less I like.

    "Coupling"? "Childling?" Bleah.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dan Jurgens going "Why-I-Should-write-and-draw-LOSH"

    ReplyDelete