Sunday, June 5, 2011

Adventure Comics # 525

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of Adventure Comics # 525 (DC, 2011).

Time flies if you're a Legion of Super-Heroes reader. I remember when Power Boy and Lamprey were passed over for Legion duties - "better no new Legionnaires than another dead one" - when I was in middle school. With Paul Levitz back at the helm as scriptwriter, maybe only three years have passed since that story. DC wasted an awful lot of time telling stories set in an eye-rolling three separate discarded continuities before getting Levitz out of his old corporate desk job and back to work writing the Legion from about where he left off.

Since his return in 2009, the feature - overlapping stories between the monthly LSH and Adventure Comics titles - has really not been essential reading, much as I'd wish it was. It's nevertheless quite good for what it is. Levitz does a great job juggling a cast of hundreds, introducing new characters and spotlighting old favorites. Sadly, poor Lydda Jath - Night Girl - is once again wearing a variation of that damn ugly beehive that she had in the 1960s.

At least it's a very well-drawn ugly beehive. Adventure's current format has two stories, and the lead is drawn by Phil Jimenez, who evidently wants to be listed among the Legion's all-time best artists. I love the way that Jimenez is willing to draw everything, from wild perspective shots of future technology and architecture to big crowds of distinctively-dressed people.

Anyway, the main story in Adventure for the last few months has been spotlighting the Legion Academy, with trainee heroes misbehaving and figuring out their place in the world. I'm not sure that we really needed a new character with the same nebulous, restrictive powers as Chemical King, but I like how this balances nostalgia with something that feels quite new. It's a little wooden, and it clicks intellectually more than emotionally, but it's been a pretty good ride, and I like the way that Levitz is using the shorter stories in Adventure to fill in subplots and details from the main storyline in LSH. Recommended, if not too loudly.

*Actually, hold that thought. Since I wrote this review, DC Comics has indicated that they'll be revamping, remaking, remodelling and rebooting their continuity yet again, at the end of the summer. It is possible that Legion, set a thousand years in the future and therefore not bound to the events of every other damn fool DC Comic, might be spared whatever the hell the publisher is planning, but if the publisher is known for anything, it's taking a pretty good thing and absolutely wrecking it. You might want to hold off on spending any money on LSH comics until we know for sure whether they'll be continuing with Levitz beyond August. Better no new Legion comics than another discarded continuity.

No comments: