The second issue is a strong follow-up to the premiere. A villain from the future infects a man from the past. Doctor Jeffrey Scanlon undergoes a Wildfire-like transformation, and he doesn’t believe the metamorphosis is a bad thing at all.
Wildfire narrates, Writer Fabian Nicieza displays parallels and contrasts. He exposes Wildfire’s vulnerabilities beneath his cocky exterior. The underlying cause in differing attitude can be traced in the culture. Wildfire will burst onto the scene in the thirtieth century, and the culture will be ready for him. They’ll have the specialists and the technology to help him. Ordinary people will foster an embrace of diversity that will allow Drake Burroughs to fit into the future. Scanlon already had problems. He never addressed his loneliness. The power he now possesses only exacerbates a feeling of isolation.
The plot leads to a stunning battle of the energy beings that Pete Woods and Brad Anderson infuse with energy and glowing color, but I prefer their subtler moments. I love their take on the Legion of Super-Heroes. Timber Wolf with his lupine yellow eyes and fangs looks feral as he ignores the rain. Of all the Legionnaires, he’s the one most likely to go native. They bestow ethnicity to Dawnstar’s features and let you see how she sees. They draw a gamut emotion from Wildfire. Despite his being trapped in a containment suit and faceless, his body language speaks volumes.
It’s as well the little touches in the writing that keep me more invested in the title. I liked Tyroc’s sabotage of 21st century media. Tellus’ power keeping the Legion secret makes perfect sense. Nicieza’s characterization for Dawnstar as seen through Wildfire’s narration suits her, and you comprehend her anxiety better. Best of all, I appreciate how Nicieza avoids the typical in favor of what appeals to the intellect. The Legion level with Dr. Scanlon. They connect him to their minds, and he sees who they are. That doesn’t prevent the conflict, which arises as a clash of personalities.
Ray Tate’s first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, “Spider Without a Web,” published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups. In the POBB, as it was affectionately known, Ray reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he’s young at heart. Of course, we all know better.