First off, the new costume as seen on Cafu’s cracking cover. Mon-El looks deeply weird without a tunic. This was proven in the Nineties when he had a big stupid
M-shaped starfield on his chest, and again here. A tunic, with a centre split, would add interest but here the little blue S-shield, cute as it is, looks lost and awkward. If we can’t have a tunic, a big slash down the centre would make the symbol look like it couldn’t possibly be anywhere else, as demonstrated by Supergirl’s superb Seventies look. As for the little blue trunks, brrrrr, they’re so NOT Mon-El. And those seams – eek!
Something else Mon-El has in common with Seventies Supergirl is the on-again, off-again super-powers. Fortunately he has his Daxamite abilities for most of the time here, as he battles Bizarro, who shows up so often these days that he’s lost his charm. Here, for example, there’s neither the comedy nor the poignancy that makes for a good Bizarro appearance, he’s simply someone to bash.
Half of this issue is another of those scenes which have become a terrible cliche in the Superman Family of books – the Talk to Ma Kent moment. Can’t relate to ordinary folk? Talk to Ma. Not handling the stress of big city life? Talk to Ma. Need a cure for cancer? Talk to Ma. Honestly, there’s nothing that woman doesn’t know. Here Mon-El fears he’s letting the absent Superman down but she channels the wise ghost of Jonathan Kent and he soon feels better. She also knocks up the new costume – as seen in the current Superman: Secret Origin, there’s nothing the old gal likes better than putting young men in too-tight pyjamas that’ll get them laughed at.
After the recent revelation that future Legion of Super-Heroes teammate Sensor Girl is watching over him disguised as science Police colleague Wilcox, another supporting cast member stands revealed as a Legionnaire, and old timers like me will be slapping their heads and yelling, ‘of course it’s him.’ I am, though, sad for Mon-El – doesn’t anyone like him for himself?
The revelation does bring my favourite moment of the issue, though – the expression on Mon’s face, despite being strangled, as he sees this future friend in action for the first time. That’s the work of Javier Pina, who draws some mighty fine battle shots and quieter moments (during which enigmatically named colorist Blond acquits themselves well in terms of Adventure Comics skies).
Robinson’s script is souffle light and tasty, though I wish he weren’t tying in so much to Geoff Johns’ Legion of Three Worlds leftovers. Great as it is to see ‘my’ Legion I want to see Mon-El have space to become his own man rather than have the future hook him like a super-salmon.
Not to worry, I had a good time with this comic – you can’t say fairer than that.