One more issue and this book is gone. I can stand it. Not just because the Legion of Super-Heroes is meant to to be the 31st century’s biggest team, so splitting off members and dumping them in the 21st century harms the concept. The main reason is because, more often than not, this series is painful. Yes, there have been some good issues; this isn’t one of them.
As the book opens, the Lost team is fighting thousands of drones allied to planetary assassins Daggor and Thraxx. They’re teamed with contemporary super-teens The Ravagers, and mutual enemies Harvest, Psykill, Warblade and Leash. Also in the fray is the clone Superboy, who’s been switched into killing machine mode by his supposed creator, the aforementioned Harvest.
Blah blah and indeed blah. If it hurts to read this stuff in summary, try getting it from acres of unnatural expository dialogue.
Every DC comic is now written for the trade. It makes no sense to hobble good craftsmen like writer Tom DeFalco by forcing them to contrive these kinds of lines when a Marvel-style recap page would do the job better, and make for a smoother read when collected.
I might be less grumpy right now if just once DeFalco would remember that when Tyroc is using his sonic scream, he can’t talk. Or if he wouldn’t make up rubbish like Wildfire ‘recharging’ his anti-energy. Or have Dawnstar forget that Wildstar can’t be killed, merely dispersed. Or have man of the people Gates consider abandoning his friends for an instant to save his own skin.
DeFalco turns in an enjoyable script on this week’s Superboy, so why is this comic so bad? Maybe there was a deadline crunch, leaving no time to polish the dialogue (I’m especially sick of people saying ‘We’re Legion/I am Legion’ as if they’re in an Exorcist movie – ‘I’m a Legionnaire’ is how a human being would put it). Or perhaps his heart wasn’t in it, what with having to deal with characters from three ongoing titles and the awfulness that is Harvest. I don’t know. I do know that the sooner this comic disappears, the better.
A couple of things did give me a laugh, mind – Superboy’s repeated ‘KILL! MAIM! DESTROY!’ line and Daggor’s poetic inclinations – but I don’t think they were meant to.
The one or two pleasing moments – Wildfire yelling ‘Long Live the Legion!’ and double agents Chameleon Girl and Jocelyn Lure coming down on the right side – aren’t enough to make up for the poor script.
And neither is the art. Regular guy Pete Woods isn’t around, leaving us with serviceable, unremarkable work from penciller Andres Guinaldo, inked by Mark Irwin, Marc Deering and Sean Parsons. Again, I suspect a deadline crush, and should probably be congratulating them on doing such a decent job, all things considered. The best moments involve Wildfire and Psykill’s space battle with cosmic barbarian Daggor and winged monster Thraxx – Guinaldo has room to cut loose, what with the other several thousand characters being back on Earth.
So yes, there’s one more issue for DeFalco to tie up an awful lot of plots and subplots. Can he do it? On the evidence of this issue, he has to be saving the best til’ last.