Wednesday, August 31, 2005

LEGION OF SUPERHEROES #9

This month's lesson: fakers won't be tolerated.

I came out of this issue not too impressed with any Legionnaire save for Lyle, which may or may not have been Mark Waid's intent. I felt bad for Cham, who continues to give lie to Waid's odd description of him as "poisonously bitter" by acting every bit the child torn between two fighting parents, but the rest of the gang...

Brainy's arrogance is going to get someone hurt, Cos rightfully gets scorned by the disillusioned when he tries to preach what he cannot practice, and Imra puts on a masterful performance of teenage attitude by lying to her mother and then demanding to be taken seriously despite her age while simultaneously dismissing her mother's concerns purely for the same reason.

Lyle is going to save the Legion and the UP in spite of themselves. And really, he's quite crafty about it. And a little ruthless. Good stuff, especially because the only thing keeping him from looking almost as scary-smart as Brainy is his constant need to apologize for his false start with the team.

Next issue, with the more tactically oriented Cos in the same field of play as the strategic Brainy... a mess, but a gleeful one. Will Brainy and Lyle become conspirators or competitors? They started out more the former, but with Lyle so clearly on Cos's side, that may be a bridge burned too far.

With that traditional partnership up in question, Waid is continuing a different tradition -- someone in the Legion has the head of the UP for a mom. I'll take bets for what issue number it is when President Ardeen is put in mortal peril.

I can't say I was overly awed by Georges Jeanty's art. While the Legionnaires finally really looked their ages, Jeanty's pencils have a bit of a manga feel to them that doesn't jibe with my aesthetic.

Barry Kitson was back on pencils for the letters column, which was an inspired bit of zaniness. There ain't nothing to be done with the fact that the Star Boy who appeared in Starman couldn't possibly be the fellow who is currently wearing the costume. So Waid did the only thing he could do -- made a joke about reboots. Fantastic.

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