Friday, July 13, 2018

New 52 Legion Lost #16

Reviews of last issues of flawed series are often difficult to write. 

Re-reviewing them?? Even more so.

Legion Lost #16 ends the title. The current plot is expunged with little explanation. The subplots that have been brewing aren't resolved. The main problem of the team being in the past isn't taken care of. The villains motives are unexplained.

Yep. Sounds like the death of a New 52 title.

And it is a shame because the first couple of issues by writer Tom DeFalco actually had a little promise to them. The idea of a lost Legion, lost in time, lost to their own problems, lost to each other is kind of a good hook. 

But in the end, this book needed to have life support cut. The time was right to end. 

As I said then, at least I got Dawny hugging Wildfire.

'It all ends here!'

The cover says it all as Legion Lost #16 marks the end of this troubled title. And while the issue is certainly filled with insane action, the title ends with something more akin to a whimper than a bang.

This title has never really grabbed me. Even though it had Pete Woods art and starred Wildfire and Dawnstar, two of my favorite Legionnaires, the book seemed to struggle from the beginning. The initial plot of a mutating virus let loose in present time, the Legion trapped in the present, was never one that I thought had legs. We have seen the concept of marooned Legionnaires in the present before - from the 1970s solo Karate Kid title, to the Cosmic Boy mini-series in the 80s, to the Timber Wolf book in the 90s. None of those floored me either. And none seem to address the idea of people from the future dealing with backward world of the past. I can only imagine what I would do in 1013 other than go mad. These Legionnaires seemed to adapt easily, driving cars and using phones without a hitch.

Once the virus plot seemed to fizzle, the book took a left hand turn, morphing into an intrigue book where each Legionnaire was harboring a secret that weighed on their individual souls. It was more interesting than Hypertaxis, giving a new twist to the actual words Legion Lost. But before those could breathe, the book became mired in The Culling, entwined with The Ravagers, and the plug was pulled.

With little time left, would we get a decent ending, an understanding of the secrets, and most importantly, the lost Legion back in the 31st century? This is the New 52 ... what do you think.

You might recall that the plot has some powerful beings called Thraxx and Draggon coming to Earth as the vanguards of some universal threat. The Legion, the Ravagers, Superboy, and even Harvest and his crew try to stop them.

About 3 months ago, I guessed that the SciPo Captain Adym would end up as Harvest. Looks like I was right. It is practically spelled out in some heavy dialogue between the two. Adym goes off into the time bubble to set of a singularity bomb to stop Thraxx and Daggor before their plot even starts.

With Adym's fate set up, Harvest and his cronies leave.

Thankfully, Gates, who had a lapse in conscience last episode, finally realizes he's a Legionnaire. He can't just live out his life in a tropical paradise in the 21st Century. He has to head back.

Now I don't know if I quite follow, but when Gates does arrive, he is confronted by another him from the past. You would think the current him would remember this but time travel logic is always iffy.

As if things in this book weren't ridiculous already, Thraxx and Daggor are dispatched by Gates, sent to a black hole. It seemed too easy for a number of reasons. But there it is. We have to wrap up this whole thing in 20 pages.

And as for Adym, he has been given a null field device by Harvest, a way to protect him (them?) from the bomb.

Sure enough, Adym detonates the bomb within the Daggor/Thraxx force field as they are being whisked into space. I guess that Adym is some mishmash of all three of those beings. I guess we'll see before the issue is over.

Oh wait ...

Nope. We don't get the payoff here. Just like that, after several issues brawling Adym, Thraxx, and Daggor are simply gone. And with no real closure about anything. Who were they the vanguard for? What happened to Adym? Where will these guys show up again to wrap up these stories?

On top of that, in their last issue, a lot of time is spent on other characters. First Harvest. Then Adym. And now Superboy.

I wonder how Superboy fans feel about this. He spent 2 issues yelling 'Kill. Maim. Destroy.' Then he has this moment where he realizes that he isn't free of Harvest's control.

So will we see that again? I don't think Harvest is done. He probably is going to torment the Titans and/or the Ravagers. So will this power over Kon be revisited? I suppose, in theory, he is as much a Superboy villain as he is for those teams. But we have seen the post-H'El Superboy book is a new start in a new city. Maybe all the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. business is behind us.

Still, this is a Legion book, and this team's last issue. I would rather have seen some time spent on Tyroc, Yera, and Tellus than these guest-starring characters.

Now there is a lot not to like here. But as a Wildfire/Dawnstar fan at least I got this moment in the issue.

In an effort to delay the Legion from following them, Harvest's crew tosses the team Wildfire's original red suit (he had been in The Culling white for a while). And with that, Wildfire is back.

And, maybe ... just maybe, Dawnstar finally realizes the depth of her feeling for Drake after 'losing' him for a couple of minutes.

Still, just a great splash for me.

And ... that's all she wrote.

The Thraxx/Daggor threat gone and with Harvest escaping, the group strikes a pose and yells 'Long Live the Legion'.

Except ... they all pretty much still have to deal with the fallout of their secrets. We never even learned Tellus' secret. And I was really really hoping the book would end with these characters back in the future, joining the main Legion book. Instead, the book ends on this note.

I don't know. I can't say I thought this was a good book. There were some decent moments scattered here and there. Pete Woods gave us great art. But this title seemed doomed from the beginning. And now it is gone. And these characters are stuck in a sort of limbo. Will they be absorbed by the Ravagers? Yeesh. Or will they simply be here in the present but never seen. Or will there be some Brainiac 5 miracle in the main book?

At least I have Dawnstar hugging Wildfire.

Overall grade: C

Can one Dawnstar hug make this actually be a C? I don't think so. I think in the end the clunky ending to every thing merits more of a D. I did my best to like this book back then. I have tried my best to see the good in it now. But basically all I see is some wasted potential.

If only DC knew what to do with the Legion! But heck I have been asking that for about a decade now.

New grade: D

Next week - a wrap-up.


  1. I have to agree. The art was nice (though I still have issues on how humanoid Tellus is being drawn). But the story? Ugh. No resolution and the Legion acted as supporting characters for some other story. The readers may forgive this happening occasionally, but to do it on an issue that should be wrapping up and cancelling is very poor form.

    So - how did this get resolved? Did these guys get back to the "main" legion before it got canned? It might worth an entry just to recap where everything stands in the legion at the close of the most recent series.

    It's not like it's changed much lately.

  2. So glad it finally ended. .
    Most of the series was terrible...
    Will you now review the much better but still missing (on this site) post Infinite Crisis stories?
    Since I enjoy your reviews every time...

  3. Looking at that last panel, I don't wonder that maybe DeFalco was thinking about expanding the Legion Lost team.