Monday, November 6, 2017

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #5

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #5 (October 2007)
title: Lightning Strikes
writer:J. Torres
art: Alex Serra
colors: Heroic Age
letterer: Travis Lanham
editor: Jeanine Schaefer
cover: Steve Uy
reviewer: Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane

Mission Monitor Board: Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Superman, Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl.

Villain: Emerald Empress

Summary: Brainiac 5 is testing Superman's abilities and most of the team is impressed, except of course for Lightning Lad.
When Saturn Girl gushes, Lightning Lad cannot take it anymore and challenges Superman to the first contest he can think of. Unfortunately, the first one he can think of is a race between the two of them riding Horstriches.
After suffering an embarrassing defeat, he challenges Superman to an old-fashioned game of darts. Predictably, this does not go well for him either.

The team tries to point out the foolishness of his behavior, and they all clearly suspect the real reason for his jealousy. But Lightning Lad continues challenging and losing to Superman in contests ranging from eating to cards, and finally, cooking.

Lightning Lad once again falls short of the Man of Steel and resorts to the one contest in which Superman's powers offer no advantage...Rock, Paper, Scissors. And he loses.

Ashamed of consistently being humiliated in front of Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad rushes off. He is flying through the city when Emerald Empress emerges from a billboard ad. Lightning Lad is distracted and fails to react in time, and she is able to place him under her control.
Empress asks for his advice on the best way to defeat the team and he tells her to beat Superman. She decides to let him have the honors. Back at headquarters, the team receives a distress call. Superman is sent first because he is the fastest but when he arrives he is attacked by his teammate.
Emerald Empress looks on with glee as the heroes battle. Superman pauses after landing a particularly hard punch. He stops fighting back despite repeated brutal attacks by Lightning Lad. 
Superman appears severely weakened when the rest of the Legion suddenly arrive. Realizing that the odds are against her, Emerald Empress vanishes. The team rushes to help Superman who explains that he was afraid of hurting Lightning Lad and was waiting for his powers to run out.
Lightning Lad is free from Empress' control but appears horrified at what happened and collapses into Saturn Girls arms. Back at headquarters, he apologizes to Superman for letting his competitive side get control and for letting his guard down with Emerald Empress. Superman admits that he has also done some embarrassing things while under the spell of a pretty girl. Lightning Lad jokes about the "Green Queen," but Superman smiles and says he was not talking about Emerald Empress.
Commentary: This was not one of my favorite issues of the series by any stretch but it had a certain charm. It moves at a fairly breezy pace through the first half but does take a bit of a dark turn when Lightning Lad is attacking Superman. The ending is also a bit jarring in how quickly the story wraps up when Empress departs and the status quo is restored.

I had mixed feelings on Lightning Lad's portrayal in the television series in that I felt they sometimes went a too far with making him the hothead. Still, I enjoyed seeing him repeatedly challenge Superman and lose. It was also amusing that every other Legionnaire seemed fully aware that his feelings for Saturn Girl were the cause.

The art was a step up from last issue thanks to a return to the more traditional coloring, as opposed to the dark style in issue #4.  Very consistent with the tv series. Serra and Heroic Age did a particularly nice job in the final battle, both with the lightning effects and the brutality of the attacks on Superman.

Overall, not a stand out issue, but still an entertaining one.

No comments:

Post a Comment