Monday, January 25, 2021

LSH(v8) #12

Legion of Super-Heroes #12 (March 2021)

title: (Untitled)
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
penciller: Ryan Sook
inkers: Wade Von Grawbadger and Ryan Sook
colorist: Jordie Bellaire
letterer: Dave Sharpe
associate editor: Brittany Holzherr
editor: Brian Cunningham
covers: Ryan Sook (main); Matt Taylor (variant)

reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage and Jason "Anachronistic Kid" Knol

Overall Summary: 
Superboy and Saturn Girl arrive on New Krypton to join the other members to stop Rogol Zaar, Mordru, and the Horraz from destroying the planet. 


Mission Monitor Board: 
I think this issue features all the members of the current Legion, but as DC has never published an actual list of members, it's hard to say.

Supporting Characters:
Zod, the people of New Krypton

Opponents:
Rogol Zaar, Mordru, the Horraz, bad writer, worse editor

Summary:
This issue's one-page close-up is of Saturn Girl, telling us how she used her telepathic powers to "convince" the other Legionnaires to go back in time and recruit Superboy. Then she brings us all up to speed as to the return of Rogol Zaar after being gone for 1,000 years, hell-bent on having revenge on New Krypton and Superboy. 
Superboy tries the direct approach against Rogol Zaar, and Saturn Girl tries the mental approach. Neither succeeds, but while Saturn Girl was keeping him (?) occupied, the other Legionnaires woke up and joined in on the attack. 
Mordru and a large squadron of Horraz also join the fray. The Legion then fights off the forces of evil for several pages. As the majority of the Legion membership fights the Horraz, Superboy cannot get the  upper hand against Rogol Zaar until Mon-El returns from his brooding (off-panel) to join the fight. The two distant relatives then hit Rogol Zaar more than 68,547 times via super speed. 
Dream Girl, White Witch, and Saturn Girl attempt to stop Mordru, who has enslaved Legionnaire Blok. However, Dr. Fate returns to the land of the living and he dispatches Mordru relatively easily, banishing him from "this place." 
Sufficiently knocked out, Rogol Zaar is judged guilty by the people of New Krypton and sent into the Phantom Zone. Element Lad and Gold Lantern step up to help re-build New Krypton. 

A week later, Brainiac 5 tells Gold Lantern that the power ring he is using is NOT an official Green Lantern power-ring and that the aliens who gave it to him are not the Elders of Oa. They swear to investigate further. 
At the party to celebrate the successful defense of New Krypton, Dawnstar surprises Ultra Boy with a big kiss. To Be Continued in Future State: LSH! 


Russell's Review: 
If you are a fan of this series I suppose you probably really enjoyed this issue. The triple threats of Rogol Zaar, Mordru, and the Horraz have all been vanquished, and the Legion is now on pretty square footing with the rest of the universe. You probably can't wait to see what will come next. 

As for the rest of us....specifically, this English Major with years of experience writing fan-fiction AND being an amateur artist AND being very familiar with the classical icons of whom these new characters (somewhat) represent.....I can only say, I hated it. (If you would rather read a positive review, I point you to my friend Martin Gray's review, which you can find at Danger Mart. )

I'll just throw out the items I made note of while I was reading this that made me either 1. shake my head or 2. mutter "no, no, no." 
  • Saturn Girl's telepathic powers border on "manipulation"? I hate this idea. 
  • Who or What the hell IS Rogol Zaar? I haven't ever seen him before, and have no idea what he is and what he can do. A little explanation of the Big Bad Menace would have been nice. 
  • Saturn Girl is going to KILL Rogol Zaar?!? (On page six she thinks, "If I could, I would have stopped it and him. For good.") Uh....NO!  
  • This is New Krypton, right? So are these people super-powered? I kinda thought they weren't, but at the end of the story they are seen flying and carrying rubble. So....why aren't they also fighting Rogol Zaar? Are some powered and some not? Again, I have not read the previous appearances of this planet and would have appreciated some more background information. 
  • Phantom Girl is a teleporter? On page seven (reprinted above) she seems to open up a gate that Rogol Zaar falls through, landing on Colossal Boy's hands. So she's not an actual phantom any more?!? What the what....!?!?  
  • White Witch is Mordru's daughter. This reveal isn't so much a SMH moment, as the way it was revealed is. An announcement like that merited more time and space, instead of the throw-away line that it was. 
  • On page 12 Element Lad says, "We may have some real trouble....Ultra Boy and Cosmic Boy are fighting....together!" I don't understand this attempt at humor AT ALL.  
  • How many children does Mon-El have, and WTH is the mother of these kids!?!? Did I miss something, or did Bendis and company not introduce her/them? 
  • Triplicate Girl turns black when she combines all of her selves together?!? 
  • Dr. Fate isn't dead? Shocking. And he's a boy?! I thought she was drawn as a girl in her previous appearances. Oops. 
  • Speaking of Dr. Fate, he returns and banishes Mordru in ONE PANEL. 
  • Zod says, "...you attacked muh grand-babies." Uh....huh? Is he from South Kandor? 
  • Element Lad turns rocks into flowers. Uh....that ISN'T how his powers worked!!! 
  • GOLD Lantern doesn't have a true GREEN Lantern power-ring?!? Uh....it doesn't take a 12th level intellect to figure that out, Sherlock. 

I have to admit, I like typing the name Rogol Zaar. 

Jason's Comments: I have to echo so many of Russell's sentiments here... this issue is such a slapdash mess, I don't even know how to take it all in. I really loved that there was finally a two-page spread of the Legion going full-on assault, but even that was just a blip in this issue. I feel like all the jumping between panels for action scenes and Sook's always-interesting panel composition couldn't help the frantic pacing, which was made awkward by the psychic conversations and in-battle banter. The Superboy-Saturn Girl proclamation that "It's not a club--" "It's a new age of HEROES!" was like a character in a film saying the title of the film and then turning to the camera, a la Hot Tub Time Machine. 

And again, the pacing is stunted by readers' confusion about major reveals made in passing, like the White Witch is Mordru's daughter and, oh yeah, Lightning Lad finally convinced his sister to join the Legion (but we find out in the middle of this massive battle). I appreciate the effort to give virtually every Legionnaire a panel of action during this issue of battle, but nothing about it flows in a natural way.

Seriously, "Muh grandbabies"?? I'm just blinking and shaking my head in disbelief. I'm not a memeber of the Science Police, but I'm pretty sure flowers aren't an element, Element Lad. Did I spot a Naomi cameo near the end? And the final dagger in my heart, Dawnstar kissing Ultra Boy. One of my all-time favorite comics couples is Dawnstar and Wildfire. This will not stand.

Science Police Notes:  
  • We learn that Mordru is White Witch's father. 
Status: 
This issue has not yet been reprinted. Wait six months.

9 comments:

  1. I think that Doctor Fate would kick Mordru's butt.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe, but a little bit more suspence or action would have been nice.

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  2. I'm looking at the scan of "muh grandbabies", and I'm still having trouble believing that's actually in the comic. Friggin' Bendis.

    Also, the New Kryptonians all saying "Guilty!"... that's supposed to be a reference to Zod, Ursa, and Non's sentencing in Richard Donner's Superman, I assume? (If so, Bendis should probably try to avoid reminding people of something better they could be spending their time on, I'd think. At least Terrence Stamp never had to say "muh grandbabies".)

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  3. Can we make "muh grandbabies" a meme?

    It would be super easy to fix the whole Dawnstar thing by having Wildstar reacting to the kiss and then spending some time trying to win Dawnstar over.

    Now the whole Doctor Fate thing could be a reference to Eric and Linda Strauss' time as Dr. Fate - But honestly no one on this book has shown enough talent or knowhow for this be delibrate.

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  4. Rogol Zaar is just some dude created by Jor-El who hates Kryptonians & conspired with other aliens to destroy Krypton. Dispite that he has Zero personality, He's not threatening in the slightest, & He'll be forgotten about in less than a year.

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  5. Having been a comics fan since the early 80s, this all reeks highly of "I was just notified that this comic is getting cancelled soon and I need to condense the story from a 5 issue arc into a 2 issue one."

    Oh well. Nothing of value was lost.

    Maybe DC will have better luck with the inevitable Fiveboot in 2026.

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  6. Wasnt Mordru being White Witch father revealed around the 8-9 issue? You know, in one of those randoom narration box in the middle of the mock trial. Granted, it was a very casual, matter-of-factly revelation, but i reckon it was stated very clearly.

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  7. Fortunately, DC will erase all this run from existence in it's next universal reboot, soon.
    Frankly, the complete disregard and ignorance for the characters in this series is so obvious it hurts. It is clear, for me, that Bendis only has stereotypical notions of the Legion.
    Also, tying too much with the present-day DCU is too artificial. 1000 years ago it was the Middle Ages, so, a thousand in the future no one would even remember Zod or Fate. No one is realy making an effort of imagination on this series. Bendis is lazy but he doesn't care, he already had what he wanted: the Jinxworld line that keeps his previous creations in print.

    ReplyDelete