Sun Boy, Element Lad and Chemical Kid venture to China to clean up an environmental disaster, while Dragonwing visits her sister elsewhere in the country. At Legion HQ, Dream Girl puts the kibosh on Star Boy’s hopes of a long snogging session because she has a science project. On Panoptes, Brainiac 5 and Mon-El lead the clean-up after the recent Dominator problem. And on the Dominator homeworld, a caste warrior learns what it means to fail his betters.
This issue, creators Paul Levitz and Francis Portela do what I thought impossible – they make me like Dragonwing. The surly, snotty Legion Academy graduate shows her love of her family, while also demonstrating that she’s Legion through and through. It turns out that she’s not the only person in her clan to have super-powers – sister Bao Pai looks to be a human spider-crab. And she’s fallen in with a very bad crowd.
Luckily, Dragonwing has learned some moves from Duplicate Damsel, and has help in the shape of her sister’s abandoned shar-pei, Fu. As drawn by Portela, this is one cute pup and I do hope she takes him back to Metropolis if she survives her homecoming.
Actually, everything drawn by Portela this time looks magnificent, with the colours of Javier Mena deserving massive praise too. The flaming sea we open with looks amazing. Sun Boy in human torch mode is fabulous. Dream Girl and her holographic display is utterly splendid. And Dragonwing on the streets of China, translucent cape flapping against the neon in the rain, is marvellous. Then there’s Mon-El throwing a stone that reflects his frustration, the Super-Size Me Dominator chief and his adorable plush-like lackeys, the icky Bao and more. Portelo and Mina’s rain art is especially dazzling – is that a great angle at the bottom or what (click on image to enlarge)?
Levitz’s script is wonderfully assured too – he really knows how to make the day-to-day dynamics of a superhero team interesting. The mix of longtime and newer members is working well, while he’s transforming 31st-century Earth into a place almost as magical as Silver Age Krypton. The new threat introduced this issue, a villain team out to dominate China, looks set to be interesting, I’m dying to see what Dreamy is up to, and the way humour turns to horror in the Dominators scene is masterful.
The cover by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story isn’t half-bad, but it’s time Portela was allowed to lead off his own stories.
One of the better LSH issues since the relaunch, this has me itching for next month’s continuation.
And more plush-sized Dominators. DC Direct, are you listening?