Sunday, March 04, 2007

S/LSH #27 review roundup

For some reason I found a lot more reviews of this issue than I normally do. Maybe because of the impending storyline wrapup, maybe for the Cockrum tribute at the end, maybe something else.

Speaking of which, I didn't recall the name Kalman Andrasofszky (the artist on the Cockrum piece), so I looked him up. Here's his home page with a gallery; turns out that he also did some art in "The Legion" (here's an example from issue 10).

In any case, let's see what Comicsblogistan has to say....

  • Remember when issues were written with the "every issue is someone's first issue" thought in mind? Well, here's someone who hasn't read an issue since 2000.
    Lots of stuff going on here...lots of characters. I kept up with it pretty well and liked it well enough to keep reading; I'll definitely need to start catching up via trades. Not sure how I managed to go almost 7 years without buying any Legion comics - just goes to show where my head was at, I guess.

  • Matthew at the Legion Abstract:
    It was announced recently that Mark Waid and Barry Kitson are wrapping up their run on this series, and I think we can see some signs of that in this issue. ... What this means is that the high-concept setting that this series has had since before issue #1, the futuristic generation gap, need no longer be in play once this storyline is over. This is okay, because its main importance was in providing the conditions under which a Legion could come to exist. Well, the Legion exists, so now it can be phased out so that the next writer doesn't have to write about it. ... Legion HQ has been destroyed after having been standing for less than ten issues; the new writer can put the Legion wherever he wants. Legion membership may be in a bit of a flux with so many wounded characters and the Wanderers around, so the new writer can make some changes.

    Similarly with the characterization. We're out of the character-development phase now, and the characters are too busy being themselves in action to show much complexity.

  • Dave van Domelen's Unspoilt Capsules and Awards
    Well, last issue's anticlimax might have been less anticlimactic if Brainy had added a single speech bubble explaining what the red mist was, because it's definitely a credible threat. It does, however, whipsaw the core metaphor of the series onto a different (if adequately foreshadowed) track. Unfortunately, it also ties into the year-long tease of "Fiffffde-tu", which ties into that slack I mentioned Waid's been using up. There's slow buildup, and then there's flatlined mysteries. It does end with a nice Cockrum eulogy, though. I'm guessing that artist Andrasofszky has some fannish tie-in, because the skill level shown is pretty journeyman...if there isn't a good sentimental reason for the choice, it makes the tribute fall a little flat. Mildly recommended.

  • Tucker Stone, at the Factual Opinion:
    Legion of Super-Heroes has, since it's first story arc, cemented itself as one of those rare mainstream spandex comics that's gotten progressively better while, at the same time, gotten progressively unreadable to the general reader. Safely put, if you don't keep up with Legion, it's going to be a confusing read...

    Since Waid and Kitson have taken over the Legion comic, they've consistently pulled off a non-stop entertainment festival: no, Legion ain't Tolstoy, hell, it ain't even Morrison, but it sure is a hell of a fun ride.

    This months issue is, of course, just as insane as any other one--in all honesty, it may even be too much. ...

    Who reads this stuff?


    Well, you should too.

    Shut up.

    DC Comics has a long way to go, and they'll probably never really try, when it comes to acknowledging the very real men and women that have toiled for the last sixty years putting out these comics. The last few pages of yesterday's issue were a great start--here's hoping they have the integrity to continue.

  • Iann at Our Worlds at War:
    Other than Geoff Johns, I don't think there is another DC Writer that is as amazing as Mark Waid (maybe Darwyn Cooke) and Waid is in top form on this book. A war is going on, not only between an alien race that is infecting everything technological and turning it against human beings but between the Legion and the shady meta-humans they have aligned themselves with. This story is so involved and so dark that you wonder if it's the end of the series. The Legion is being beaten on all fronts, they can't seem to get a leg up over these Aliens. Even Brainiac 5's plan, which usually works, fails to do much but kill a lot of people. I love this story not only because of the action but because I have no idea how the Legion will escape this problem.
    SCORE: 9 Out Of 10

  • Ami Angelwings' Heavenly Comic Reviews:
    Right now everything seems so hopeless and sad. And I worry that maybe things will just keep getting worse? :\

    This is a job for Supergirl!!!!

    I find it odd tho that we're TOLD what the other characters are doing, but we dun actually get to see them doing it :( It seems like everybody else is out on missions that we never got to see them get assigned to XD And we dun rly know what the purpose of their missions are either :O

    I wish there wasn't so much blood and stuff tho XD It was kinda ick to see Invisible Kid hurt his arm (I hope he didn't lose it! :( ) and even worse to see the delegate lose both his hands from the portal!!!

    I also hope the Legion and Wanderers get thru this okay! D: And I hope they stay friends at the end too! They seem to work well together! :D

    Neways... this was a very "down" issue, but it was necessary for dramatic tension :) It's just kinda sad watching everything go badly and Cosmic Boy trying to fix it but not succeeding :(

  • Brian Hibbs, the Savage Critic, is pretty succinct:
    Too many characters, too much chicken-with-head-cut-off running around. It's not BAD, but too busy to be any fun. EH.

  • Blake Petit, at Done-In-One Reviews on the Comixtreme message board:
    This issue is really high on the action content -- we've still got some talking heads scenes, but they're wrapped around a really high-octane story, and the Easter Eggs for old-school Legion fans are still a blast. This issue does make one question the title change from last year, though -- it was quite encouraging to realize that Supergirl wasn't taking over the book, but it seems really superfluous in an issue like this one, where she doesn't appear at all. Following the main story is a short piece by Waid with art by Kalman Andrasofszky paying tribute to the late, great Dave Cockrum. While he may be best known for his work on X-Men, Legion fans can never forget how he brought new life to the title in the late 70s and early 80s, making it the DC staple it's been ever since then. It's a quiet, moving tribute, and well worth getting the issue for. Rating: 4/5

  • Justice at PopSyndicate:
    Waid writes a fantastic action oriented issue that does not lose any of the characters’ heart. Throughout the story, Waid shows the reader the gritty side of this conflict through the eyes of the Legionnaires and the reader is taken on a roller coaster ride of hopes and despair. Sadly, not every Legionnaire makes it out the conflict intact.

    Despite the action, Waid still delivers some good character moments. I especially liked the portrayal of Cosmic Boy and Karate Kid as heroic leaders. Similarly, the conversation between Mekt and Lightening Lad was well written. It was also good to see Sun Boy again (along with some other familiar faces). Finally, the fact that Dominators opened the issue with “Remember the Fifdee-tu” nicely tied in with the rest of the DC Universe. I believe next issue the Dominators will reveal their connection to the 52 mini-series.

    If there is a complaint, it is that there was not enough Supergirl action. I feel that Waid will make up for that next issue, which promises plenty of action. Given this issue‘s cliffhanger ending, it appears the LOSH may have to move up their chairperson elections.

  • Kristian at cptspeedy's LJ page focuses more on the Cockrum tribute at the end:
    Yes, I am crying... and it seems to be freaking out the folks in my apartment, but I don't care.
    In this month's Legion of Superheroes, they have a tribute to Dave Cockrum and all tha the meant to the Legion. The story and artwork are a HUGE gesture on the part of DC (unfortunately more than I can say Marvel did for Dave's creation of the New X-Men) and it has really touched me as a fan. I'm crying tears of happiness and everyone is offended.
    I don't care what they think! Right now I am given another chance to celebrate the man, the myth, the legend that created the Legion that I am a fan of. This is the Legion that speaks to me on a whole different level than any other comic I grew up reading. I am being told that they can not relate to me right now and I am really freaking them out. I don't care. I am relating and I am raising my glass to a man that meant more to my childhood than Captain Kangaroo! You can have your Dr. Seuss and your Gene Rodenberry's(sp?) I have my man and who could ask for anything more?
    Once again, I raise my glass to you Dave and know that you are smiling down on the rest of us!

  • Ryan at FilmFodder:
    Anyway, it's all very exciting stuff. Lots of action. Unfortunately, it's a lot of hand waving, and this issue feels a bit like a lot happens, but not a lot occurs. The danger of covering so many team-members in an epic battle, I suppose.

    There's a phenomenal back-up feature that's a celebration of Dave Cockrum's work on Legion of Superheroes, plus some short tributes from folks who worked with him. Incredibly moving.

    I'm at issue #27, and I don't feel as if I know any of the characters. That isn't good. I can't say the book has been particularly plot-heavy, either, a la Geoff Johns. Instead, I think Waid knows these characters so well that he neglects to spend time catching up the rest of us. To be honest, if any of the Legion dies in the next issue, I wouldn't bat an eye. I understand that legion may be the cultiest of cult books, and because I wanted to give this series it's due, I've tried it under two different banners for more than two years. But Waid needs to bring more to the table, either by providing back-up features which tell me who the heck these kids are, or by seriously, seriously reducing the rush to action that seems to overwhelm every issue.

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