Friday, July 5, 2019

Review: Adventure Comics #9

Adventure Comics #9 came out way back in 2010 and represented the next chapter in the Last Stand of New Krypton.

This issue continues the three shorter stories started last month, touching on different aspects of the bigger story. With Adventure in flux, with no clear 'star' on this book with Superboy moving on, this is the perfect place for these stories. And Last Stand has enough moving parts that looking at the periphery can be as much fun as looking at the main story.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fine Joe Quinones' cover which showcases Supergirl nicely. I like her expression as she sees the massive clawed hand reaching over her shoulder.

As with last week, we dive right into a major event. Hang on!

The first story is written by James Robinson and drawn by Travis Moore. This looks at the events of Last Stand from the 31st century viewpoint.

As seen last issue, the temporal anomalies of the 21st century are tearing apart the future. Brainiac 5 is doing his best to come up with some way to stop the carnage.

All along we have been told that the event the Legion is trying to stop is the destruction of Brainiac's ship and the captured bottle cities. Now it is revealed that the actual event is the death of Superman! That's very interesting.

There is a touch of 'Crisis' here as well ... heroes on a satellite rushing to save the universe as galaxies wink out of existence.

While the Legionnaires realize they need Brainiac 5 to figure out the answer, he continues to deal with his family lineage and how his ancestor is responsible for this catastrophe.

Robinson reviews the whole Brainiac family tree and I love his take on R.E.B.E.L.S. leader Vril Dox and the destructive nature of his guile, how much good was done by Brainiac 2 but devastation always followed in his wake. Robinson also talks about Lyrl and his future. It is rumored Brainiac 3 dies at the hands of one of the following: Lobo, Atrocitus, Ragman, Gorilla Grodd, or his father. That is great ... quite a wide array of power levels there.

Despite all his trepidation in facing off against his evil ancestor, Brainy decides to face his fears, face his heritage, and  uses the powers of the Legion to send himself back in time. He is sent back just as space/time collapses on itself.

It is an interesting viewpoint. We don't always see the internal motivations of Brainy other than his insatiable thirst for knowledge and his need to always be proven right. So to read how the title Brainiac weighs on him is something fresh.

Moore's art is solid if unspectacular. He does a good job of making the multiple Legionnaires look like individuals.

The second story continues to current timeline's story with Superboy and the Legion fighting in the trenches of New Krypton.

Written by Sterling Gates and drawn by Eduardo Pansica, the story focuses on Supergirl and Superboy's efforts to get the guilds of New Krypton united to fight against Brainiac's hordes.

The story opens up with a nice 2 page splash showing the the ongoing destruction on the planet. I always chuckle to see Matter Eater Lad engaged in battle. Somehow tens of thousands of Kryptonians have been killed but the guy eating the robot (!) remains unscathed. Too funny.

But while the Legion are able to function as a team, the populace of New Krypton continues to fight in segregated clusters.

The matter comes to a head when the Labor Guild asks for help from the Science Guild and are rebuffed. The Scientists think that attacking Brainiac's ship is more important than saving their fellow citizens.

When Superboy tries to help the situation, advising some of the Science Guild to stay and aid the Laborers, he is chastised. It speaks volumes to the deeply rooted prejudice of the planet that 'lackguild' exists as a slur of some sort.

I don't know exactly how I feel about the Legion's response. Tellus decides he will try a mass mind-wipe or telepathic nudge to get the Kryptonians to put aside their prejudices and fight as one. And the best person ... the best mind ... to focus that through is Supergirl who was raised in that culture but has moved past its inequality.

It is a nice nod to Supergirl and how much she has grown as a character. Despite being raised in that culture, she sees Kryptonian prejudice as wrong.

But isn't Tellus plan little more than brainwashing? I am a bit conflicted. More than this, the Kryptonians need a leader to rally everyone. I still say that person is Superman.

The plan works slightly, with the Kryptonians closest to Tellus seeing the errors in their ways and then fighting as a team.

Tellus thinks the telepathic race the Lanothians (a bottled city Mon-El just saved) could use their combined mind powers to change the minds of the whole Kryptonian race. With the battle raging on, the Legion, Superboy and Supergirl take the fight to the satellite.

Hmmm ... my thoughts back then?

Chances that the Lanothians were the ancestors of Saturn Girl? 100%
Chances their city gets enlarged on the Saturn moon currently circling New Krypton by the end of this arc? 100%
Chances that moon gets moved back to Saturn? 100%
Chances that happens because New Krypton explodes? 75% I still think the planet is doomed.

The story otherwise continues to let Supergirl shine in this big arc. Gates does a nice job showing how high Supergirl is regarded by the other members of the team.

Lastly, Pansica's are is very good. He is the artist on one of the War of the Supermen issues. He has shined in recent Supergirl issues. His art is now a bit scratchier and I like that growth.

I don't know if New Krypton accomplished all it wanted to. But looking back at this Legion tangent has been fascinating reading.

Overall grade: A

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