Friday, September 20, 2019

Review: Adventure Comics #521

Hey everyone!

After a couple of weeks away Fridays with Anj continues on what may be my last review run here on the site.

Adventure Comics #521 starts a new direction for the title. Prior issues presented a bit of revisionist history, looking back at the very early days of the Legion. Starting in this issue, the book becomes a adjunct book to the main retroboot Legion of Super-Heroes book which was just hitting the stands.

I suppose, in retrospect, I should have reviewed this book when I was reviewing that book. But the best laid plans. To put this in some chronological sense, this book hit the shelves when Legion of Super-Heroes #8 came out.

This is in the midst of Earth Man being on the team. Saturn Queen is just starting to form her Legion of Super-Villains, seduced by the blue dharma. Harmonia Li has just refused the Green Lantern ring, and the Oan spirit Dyogene is looking for a replacement.

Paul Levitz is on as writer and, not surprisingly, there are some nice character moments amidst the action. In particular, we get some nice Wildfire/Dawnstar moments. I love those two.

Artist Geraldo Borges is on art and works in what felt like the DC House Style back then. His female Legionnaires are some of the curviest and bustiest I have seen in the book. I usually don't comment on that stuff but it is too obvious not to mention.

But overall, much like the Retroboot, I don't think this is a memorable run. Let's dive in.

We start out on Earth with Dyogene floating outside the Legion headquarters.

Earth Man had denied the ring early in the Retroboot and here he assumes Dyogene is back to offer it to him again. He flat out refuses.

But Dyogene is moving on. Earth Man refused the ring. Harmonia Li refused the ring. Certainly the third candidate will want the power.

As I said, Borges style is noteworthy. Here we see Shady spilling out of her top. Not used to Shady looking like that.

Back in this run, Shady was pretty volatile. You may recall she had ditched Mon-El and was sleeping with Earth Man. She has a bit of a chip on her shoulder and seems very ready to lash out in battle.

Here she is perturbed that Dyogene didn't offer her the ring. She won't be ignored!

Since Tasmia was raised to be a hero/warrior, I don't mind her having an edge.

Meanwhile, an Earthquake has hit the African City of Kampala. I can vaguely remember this from the main book.

Element Lad, Tellus, and Sun Boy all work hard to save the citizens and save as much of the city as possible. Jan uses his powers effectively, turning a collapsing mosque to titanium and snuffing out a fire by changing the atmosphere to an inflammable gas.

I do like that after this moment Tellus wonders if the Kampalans will be upset at their place of worship being transmuted like this.

Meanwhile, also on scene, Wildfire and Dawnstar are trying to figure out why the quake happened. There isn't a fault line where the quake originated meaning it isn't truly natural.

Levitz drops a nice reminder that Wildfire, as Drake Burroughs, was an astrophysics major. He is smarter than his gruff exterior.

But what could have started the quake?

Meanwhile in the Legion HQ, Cosmic Boy gathers all the Legionnaires he can (even the Kampala away team) so Dyogene can find the next Lantern. Nice group shot, echoing the cover.

There is a nice 9 panel grid with Dyogene looking over a number of the Legionnaires. I like how he pauses on Cos but says he has a different destiny on Earth.

And, not that we didn't know this, Mon-El accepts.

Never really liked Mon as a Lantern. But here we are.

As for Wildfire and Dawnstar, she has picked up a possible spoor of what caused the quake and it has led up and out.

Again, I love how Wildfire freely announces his love for her and how would follow her anywhere.

It is a doomed relationship but I love it.

But before they can get far, a blue light ... presumably the dharma which Saturn Queen has plugged into ... blast them from an extraordinary distance. It is powerful enough to smash Wildfire's suit.

Again, I love how he says that he can hear her breathing and he finds it beautiful. He really is a sweet guy.

It is these character moments that make the Legion such a great book.

Finally, there is a brief conversation between ex-lovers Mon-El and Shady.

She is a bit upset that he is leaving to follow the path of Dyogene and the Lanterns. But he knows that their relationship has moved on and he has to follow his destiny.

I do wonder if she still loves him. He doesn't know she was that close by. Their conversation was via hologram. But she was actually just a wall away.

I find it impressive that DC had enough faith in the Retroboot to put two books on the racks. I don't know if the stories warranted two books. It truly is the character moments that elevated this issue.

Overall grade: B


  1. Now, I don't believe you're being fair to Mon-El as a lantern. I mean, a Daxamite as a lantern? That's never been done bef- WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!!

  2. The character moments were the best part of a muddled pile of storylines (Diogene + Mon-El Lantern + Saturn Queen + Earthman's presence). I loved that we had 2 books though, either way.

    Famine or feast!

  3. Levitz really couldn't find anything better to do with Mon-El than make him a GL? Levitz has always been fixated with the character even though he says he has no favorites. This has contributed to why I hate Mon-El so much.

    I would have enjoyed seeing Dream Girl get the ring, and drawing reference back to her using the flight ring to simulate telekinesis and also being one of the key figures for the Universo Project story due to her strong will.