Friday, July 6, 2018

New 52 Legion Lost #15

Legion Lost is running on fumes and so are my reviews.

In Legion Lost #15, the penultimate issue of the run, writer Tom DeFalco keeps things moving forward. He tries to inject important character moments into the meaningless fight that is happening around the team. But there isn't much else to report here.

After rereading this, I still love Wildfire's subtle goodbye and Dawny's tears. But the rest seems loud and unnecessary. The main villains are still unknowns. The fact that the all-powerful villains are using a robot dinosaur makes little sense. And why we need Superboy to be mistreated like this makes no sense.

Andres Guinaldo steps in on art with Pete Woods heading to Vibe (at the time). His work is workmanlike. Fine but nothing spectacular.

One more issue for all this to be wrapped up. I don't have high hopes.

Legion Lost #15 came out last week, the penultimate wheeze for this series which wraps up next month. I suppose we have to applaud writer Tom DeFalco as he tries to finish this series in a satisfying way, bringing the individual Legionnaires' stories to a close. Unfortunately, to achieve the individual stories' goal, he has to cut corners on the main story. Will we ever find out just what Daggor and Thraxx are doing, who they work for, what they want? Or is an seemingly all-powerful couple of villains just the lubricant to keep this title moving along.

I also think that in some instances the dialogue here reads a little stiff, as if the characters have to say things that are exposition to keep things cruising forward. But there are also some nice lines as the team confronts their secrets but end up staying true to the core Legion values.

The art here is done by Andres Guildano and it is solid if unspectacular. He has huge shoes to fill as Pete Woods is probably already working on Vibe.

So I still don't know if I actually understand what is happening here. Thraxx and Daggor are heralds for some universal being. They destroy planets that get in their way. We have seen them vaporize a world just with their inherent powers. But for some reason here they are still orbiting Earth and instead using android troopers to accomplish their goal?

These things also seem to be trying to put together some sort of robot T Rex as well. I did find it interesting that this thing is called a World Killer a couple of times. Does that tie into the Kryptonian created World Killers at all?

I have always been partial to Wildfire and his plight in the book has been interesting. His suit broken and irrepariable, he has been living on borrowed time. And even though he gave Daggor and Thraxx his best shot and failed, he isn't going to sit on the sidelines. He knows it is probably a suicide mission but he flies off to face them again.

It is selfless and heroic. And I love how he gives a subtle goodbye here. He has been on the greatest team of heroes; he has met the love of his life. It has been a good if troubled life.

Now I know I am protective of Supergirl and look at all her appearances very closely, very critically. So I can only imagine what Superboy fans are thinking of his role here in Legion Lost as brainwashed flunky of Harvest. That's right, with just a key phrase Superboy becomes unhinged, only able to say 'kill, maim, destroy' lashing out against friend and foe alike. He has no self-control or awareness here.

It reduces him to the clumsiest of characters here. And really, he is not integral to this story. He could have easily been left out and spared this presentation.

Any big time Superboy fans out there? What do you guys think of this?

It isn't much of a surprise when Wildfire's suit gets torn apart by Thraxx. And so we see the portion of the helmet that Captain Adym showed to Yera in the last issue.

As a Wildfire fan, I loved his tortured relationship with Dawnstar. It is nice to see her weep for him, admit she never told him how much she cared. But she also should now he isn't dead. She has seen his suit shredded before and seen him simply enter a new one. I am hoping she means he is figuratively dead, trapped in a century where his suit can't be rebuilt, a wraith forever.

Doesn't take away how glad I was to see those tears for Drake. He deserves them.

Despite this assault by this hodgepodge team of Legionnaires, SciPo officers, Superboy and the Ravagers, and Harvest and his cronies, the doomsday machine continues to self-construct. There is no way that this team can delay the inevitable.

With no other apparent choice, Captain Adym decides he needs to take action. He'll use his time bubble to go back even further and use a 'singularity bomb' to destroy this thing. That bomb will kill millions but save the planet. Do these ends justify the means?

Tyroc doesn't think so. Again, it shows the determination of the Legion that Tyroc still thinks there has to be another solution, a last second victory to be had, without being part of a massacre.

From the beginning I have guessed that Adym becomes Harvest. Now I wonder if this singularity bomb somehow fuses Adym, Daggor, and Thraxx. It would explain his link to the future and Harvest's unique look. Heck, maybe some of the android  T-Rex is thrown in there too.  Remember, you read it here first.

One thing that did stand out as feeling wrong is this scene where Gates loses his nerve fearing his own death and thinks of running out on his friends. He'll use Adym's time bubble to skedattle back to the future. I don't know ... it just doesn't seem like something the irascible Gates would do.

Also, I wonder why everyone else Hypertaxis' effects (Timber Wolf's shootable claws, etc.) have simply gone away but Gates' Two-Face appearance remains intact.

As much as I liked the Dawnstar moment, I think this was my favorite moment in the book.

When Tyroc says he will stop Adym if he tries his 'singularity bomb' solution, Adym asks his allies for support. That includes SciPo officer Lure and undercover agent Yera. Both of them reject his ideas. And Yera finally voices her ultimate loyalty. She is a Legionnaire. She won't betray her teammates.

I think this underlying feeling of family, of ethics, of fidelity to the cause ... that is Legion

Harvest has always been the monkey wrench here. What are his motives in all this. He arrives here, wiping out everybody, and apparently embracing the idea of the bomb.

So how can all of this wrap up in a mere 20 pages? How do we learn about all the secrets the Legionnaires have been hiding, what Harvest wants, what Daggor and Thraxx want, get the Legion home, and put a bow on it?

This issue had some nice moments. But overall it was something of a loud mess, a brawl where some characterization broke out. I never thought that the Hypertaxis storyline had legs to be a long-running plot. I wasn't sure if the the Legion in our time would work as a title when the Legion in their time struggles. And so Legion Lost approaches its end.

I hope these Legionnaires are rolled into the main book and that title gets some more creative TLC.

Overall grade: C+

I guess C- is a better grade. Can I say that of all the things about this issue and arc, it is how awful Superboy is written that really sticks in my craw. DC had no idea what to do with Superboy in the New 52. But this is really rough. At least I got that Dawnstar moment.

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