Friday, September 28, 2018

Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #10

Before I begin my review of Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes #10, an apology.

It has become clear to me that this review series, from a total experience and a chronological order, is going to forever be muddled. While this series was going on, the Legion was also headlining in a run of Adventure Comics. And while the tales there concentrated mostly on Legion Academy kids, there was some cross-pollination. Thus, the 'blue creature attacking Wildfire and Dawnstar', a plot which has impacted this run, took place there.

Let's add a bit more muddled timeline to this blog. Technically, the Retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1 took place between issues #9 and #10. And, even worse, the Legion of Super-Villains Special #1 takes place between this issue and #11. But to keep things on track and to keep the social media publicity going, the reviews through the thirteenth issue have been pre-posted.

It is too late to go back. So the plan will be to cover the Annual and the LSV Special after LSH #13. And maybe the Adventure Comics run will be covered here eventually.

Okay, apologies over.

Let's head to the book.

Legion of Super-Heroes #11 was written by Paul Levitz with art by Yildiray Cinar. The Durlan storyline is in full swing. And with the Legion election done and Mon-El elected new leader, the team is somewhat reeling.

Some of the team is circling outside Weber's World, trying to protect the UP Council.

While I get there is a need for patrolling the skies for renegade ships, it seems that a smarter move would be for the Legion to be 'boots on the ground'. These are Durlans. Even this ship, rushing the blockade, is just a foolish pilot.

One thing I found interesting was the news that Dawnstar cannot easily track people from Bgztl. I think that's new.

Meanwhile, somewhere along the way, Mon-El has accepted the Green Lantern ring. He had quit the Legion and accepted this new role.

So when he is notified of his winning the Legion election, he seems shocked.

I like his GL outfit, a nice amalgam of his classic look and the Corps.

As always, I love the characterization of the Legion. Levitz gives everyone unique voices and the interpersonal connections are always delicious.

Here, Cos warns Mon-El that if he doesn't accept the role of Legion Leader, the runner-up will win. That means Brainy, a bit more prickly and even outright angry these days, would be the leader. That warning is overheard by Brainy. Talk about uncomfortable.

But Brainy doesn't care. He tells Cos his tenure is done and he's taking over.

That is classic Brainy.

And he doesn't mind shoving his intelligence in Cos' face.

Yes Zendak tried to kill Cosmic Boy. But it was so he could replace Cos.

And there are all sorts of financial connections to what has been happening to Brande's estate. And that Durlan needed Cos' connections to try to monitor things.

I also love the depth of the Legion team. One of the things I love is the inner group of The Legion Espionage Squad. It is the black ops, stealth group. The group actually can operate on its own, without leadership knowledge, if needed.

Here Cham, Phantom Girl, and Yera act as the Squad, breaking into Brande's estate. Here Cham becomes his father to try and fool the computer. But someone else is already being Brande.

The Durlan conspiracy has reached here.

Hooray to see Yera!

The Squad springs into action attacking the robot defense drones. But Yera is an actress, not a warrior. She isn't much help. How interesting given that in a few months she is revealed as an undercover SciPo officer in Legion Lost. I guess that character bit wasn't in continuity here.

And it is then that Cham senses what is going on.

His 'mother', Brande's sister who raised Reep, has been trying to get control of R.J.'s finances. She wants to use his riches to save Durla. And she is willing to become anyone and kill anyone who she needs to.

It leads to a Durlan onto Durlan. And as has been Cinar's wont, we get a lot of dragons, giant snakes, and brutes.

So this whole Durlan cabal, the whole secret infiltration, the whole Brande cult, was all about money. Seems a bit tawdry. It almost feels too small.

Back on Earth, Dawnstar finally recovers enough to be released from her medical tube. We have seen her in her underwear for a couple of issues now.

Outside, she asks for a telepathic update. Dawny has always been a pretty reserved and private person. So I really appreciated the line that she didn't like learning that Tellus was in her mind. Again, it is this well rounded characterization that makes the Legion great.

And then she says what we as readers have known for a while. Chief Zendak cannot be found because he is dead.

Back on Brande's estate, Cham knocks out his aunt. In fact he needs to be held back from doing something far worse. This slight holding back 'must' be the vision Dreamy had.

I'd love to talk to Levitz about this. This seems like a long form plot wrapped up quickly. This confirmation of Dreamy's vision seems like a quick solution to something that maybe he planned out differently. I wonder what his memories of this run is like.

It seems like this wraps up the Durlan infiltration story. And with the Super-Villains special around the corner, it looks like we are going somewhere else. I feel a little let down. This could have been something fantastic. It seems like wasted potential of an interesting plot.

So maybe this is where that shoe drops and this title begins to degrade.

Overall grade: C


  1. The character beats were the best part of this issue, especially Dawny & Braniac 5.

  2. It's weird but this is the first time I really recall Cham and Yera interacting after the whole impostor Vi storyline. This is feels a bit clunky to me. Yera feels so inept here and Tinya just does what she does best, call for help. The story doesn't really have a good ending. I don't find the Aunt's motivation that compelling I don't feel any inner conflict from Cham in beating her.

    While Gates doesn't see much development, his teleportation powers do seem to come in hand.

    I'm not sure why Dawny takes off on her own. I think it would be best for Tellus to accompany her in a cruiser. Overall, I think it's a really weak issue deserving a grade less than the one you gave.