Thursday, January 25, 2007

S/LSH #26 review roundup

Update 1/28 Added reviews from Rokk, Vincent Murphy, B. Schatz, and Jeff Bridges at the bottom.
Update 1/25 Added reviews from Ken Cuperus, Ludickid, Stephbarton, and Graig at the bottom.

Issue 26: now it's starting to kick into high gear. But there was something about this one that was... I don't know, a bit "off". Maybe it was the ending - the robots are building this huge dispersal unit that looks like a Dominator. But they're robots, what do they care for form and image? Why go to all the time and trouble to build a giant hollow wooden badger Dominator robot that's just going to be torn apart or explode?

By the way, anyone else notice that the arrows on the back of Light Lass's top keep changing from panel to panel? I wonder if that's deliberate on Kitson's part. If it is, I think it's cool.

Apparently the pre-Zero Hour stuff with Lar Gand has been Superboy-punched away; no more L.E.G.I.O.N. tenure in his history now. Also, we find out that Supergirl does go back the the "One Year Later" DC universe at some point, though she could spend quite a while with the Legion before going back home:
Mon-El: A thousand years ago, when he was about your age, your cousin Kal-El saved my life! He put me in the Phantom Zone because I'd been poisoned. I've been there pretty much ever since.
Supergirl: You know Kal?
Mon-El: I know you. You'll meet me again later in your life, once you finally return to the 21st century.
Supergirl: Okay, good! So I do make my way back to my own time eventually?
Mon-El: Yes, but not until after...
Supergirl: After what?
Mon-El: Never mind. Nothing.

First point: Mon-El says that the Kal-El he met was Supergirl's age, which would make Kal younger than he is now when Lar Gand got sent to the Zone. That's a story that might be told in the upcoming Action Comics Annual, in which Mon-El appears (in flashback?), or maybe not.

Second point: Yes, we know Kara will be going back to the 21st century, that was a given considering she's got her own title set in the present. But thanks to time travel, she could stay here another 10 years and then travel back 990 years instead of 1000 to get back to where she was supposed to have been. And hey, wouldn't you know it, in a few months we'll see Supergirl returning from the future in one of the 52/WWIII issues in week 50.

Third point: We're now back to the classic "Kal-el put me in the Zone". Most recently it was Kon-el putting him in the Stasis Zone (somewhere around here).

Something else bothered me this issue, really a minor point that from something that you never notice until it's not right, the lettering. It's clear that this is some kind of computer lettering, which I have no problem with, but there was an extra gap after the bold-faced text, which was just slightly jarring enough to be noticeable. That's the fault of letterer Travis Lanham, assistant editor Jeannine Schaeffer, and editor Mike Marts. I'm not the only one who noticed it, either.

On to the other reviews...
  • Matthew at the Legion Abstract did a good job of tying together many of the loose ends that I had forgotten about (like the object Supergirl was chasing in her first appearance here back in issue 16, among other things).
    But I’m not satisfied yet. I want to know how Tarik the Mute comes into this. I want to know how that weightlifter Dominator who attacked Sun Boy and his merry band comes into this. And I want to see some meaningful fighting.
    I keep thinking there’s something missing from this issue, but there’s nothing I can put my finger on. There’s action, there’s character stuff, it’s all well done, the plot is pushed along sufficiently… I think it’s just that I’m ready for this arc to be over. We’ve been dealing with the Wanderers and Dominators and the stupid robots since #16, and this is #26. That’s too long.

  • Dave Van Domelen's Unspoilt Capsules and Awards:
    Nice FF #1 cover homage, with a camera angle twist. The origin of the Ranzz powers is the main focus this issue, told via multiple viewpoints and to multiple audiences in a nice little narrative device. The plot is a bit slow-moving, but the scripting is good. There's some weird spacing issues with the lettering, like they were trying to force-justify the lines too wide, and it can get irritating at times. Recommended.

  • Ami Angelwings' Heavenly Comic Reviews:
    A bit of a let down, esp compared to all the other issues! We find out that Supergirl will eventually be returning to her own time. Which is sad :( Esp if she becomes current Supergirl *shudder* Also, I think they packed way too much exposition into one comic, and it got a bit confusing at the end. Rly interesting cliffhanger tho and a GREAT Brainy line! 3/5 Angelwings

  • Ken Cuperus at Revoltin' Developments:
    Great read if you have the patience to figure out who everyone is and what role they play in the bigger picture. I'm really digging the latest reboot by WAID and KITSON. Supergirl's solo book may be unreadable, but the character is right at home here in the far future. And for my money, BARRY KITSON is the best, most underrated artist in the industry.

  • The Original Losing Loser (ludickid) at the Seebelow LJ site:
    Waid is starting to establish a pattern here: 20 pages of boring sociopolitical wrangling and plot-hatching I couldn’t care less about, followed by just enough of a big cliffhanger at the end so I won’t get completely bored. Sorry, Mark, it’s not enough: if you don’t scale it down and start playing up the soap character, this book’s going on the “do not pull” list next month. The verdict: Nod-inducing.

  • Stephbarton, on the Comicbloc message board:
    First, I have to confess, I dropped the book with this issue. Mainly, I am poor college student and figured I would go the less expensive trade route on this series.

    So, this issue (that I read in the store) obviously did not grab me enough to make me keep buying the book on a monthly basis. However, I still thought it was an good issue, it just seems to lack action to me and thus not worth my $3 (hey, that's a meal at BK).

    So, next issue should be interesting, but this issue had WAY too much standing around and talking for me to keep getting the book. So for now, I just have to see how things go in the comic store.

  • Graig at Rack Raid:
    Writer Mark Waid gives the Legion an 1980’s epic action feel reminiscent of the Titans, Legion and X-Men books of the time, which is to say that the dialogue is a little clunky at times, but the premise, set-up and execution of the story are top notch and completely fun. There’s not a lot of social or political contemplation going into this one, but instead a super-heroes-overcoming-huge-obstacles scenario fit for young and old alike.

  • Rokk at the Comic Book Revolution:
    The Revolution has been stunned that we actually enjoyed the last issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes... I’ve been liberal in my venom for this title when I have disliked an issue, so it is only fair that I’m liberal in my praise when I feel that Waid is finally turning out quality reads on the Legion.

    I have criticized Waid for what has seemed to be an alarming lack of focus and a pace that would make a snail seem as fast as a cheetah. However, Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #26 suddenly brings together three different plotlines and gives them razor sharp focus and a clear direction. The Robot Rebellion plotline, the Dominator plotline and the mysterious individual recruiting super powered teens have now all converged together to create an overall storyline that has the potential to be wildly entertaining.

  • Vincent Murphy at Spandex Justice:
    And, you know, any comic with Giant Robots automatically becomes better. Giant Dominator Robots are even better. I liked the cockiness of Supergirl, Mon-El and Ultra-Boy thinking that they could handle anything, only to fail (though Mon-El seems a little too familiar with members of the team, calling Brainiac 5 “Brainy” at one point).

    I admire what Mark Waid is trying to do here, but the pacing on this comic is extremely leisurely. Plodding, almost. In itself, that’s not a bad thing, but combined with the limited amount of character development, it becomes a very generic comic. But I’m still intrigued by the whole Dominator angle (and how it eventually fits in with the rest of the DC Universe).

  • B. Schatz at the Comixtreme message boards:
    What makes this series work so incredibly well is how Waid has managed to use classic pieces of the Legion's history -- Mon-El, the Wanderers and Mekt Ranzz, specifically -- and put these old pieces back together in new but totally logical ways. What's more, the addition of Supergirl hasn't taken over this book the way some people feared it would. The story is coming together beautifully, and it's one of the books that floats to the top of my read pile every month.

  • Jeff Bridges at Superman Homepage:
    A robot battle. A GIANT (and that word does it no justice) robot. Character conflict and depth. And a tie-in with Supergirl to how Mon-El got into the phantom zone and a tantalizing cliffhanger of things to come, both with the Dominators and with Supergirl's eventual return to her own time. Honestly, I don't think I could ask for more from an issue of this book.

    [However,] The giant robot, who I can only surmise is supposed to be the Machine God (as there wasn't a single other robot larger than humanoid size in the book), looks entirely different than it does on the book interior and is even the wrong color. So why isn't it a 5? It's got everything that makes a cover great, right?

    It's because the size of the Machine God on the cover is MINISCULE compared to the size of the Machine God in the book interior. And the sheer scale of the Machine God on the interior on that bewitching interior splash page was SO impressive that the entirely different-looking, wrong colored giant robot on the cover seems tame in comparison. If I hadn't read the book, this cover would be a 5.

1 comment:

ComicsNexus said...

I enjoyed the new issue...obviously, the robots could have just built a big water-tower type thing to lift out of the ground and deploy whatever kind of plague they just unleashed...but they're working for the Dominators! You know how vain the Dominators are...they probably demanded that the device be built in their image!

I didn't notice the lettering myself, I'll have to go back take a look so I can moan and complain too! ;)

By the way, this is ComicsNexus from ComicSpace, just enjoying your great site here! Keep up the good work.