Current Reviews


The Legion #35

Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2004
By: Keith Dallas

Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Dan Jurgens (p), Andy Smith (i), Adam Hughes (cover)

Publisher: DC Comics

Gail Simone begins her four issue writing stint on The Legion as if she’s been writing this title for years. She’s comfortable with the characters, and she creates a compelling situation for the Legionnaires to handle. Four anti-technology terrorists engineer a way to neutralize all technological power in Metropolis. Think about how put-off and panicked 50 million people felt on August 14, 2003 when an overloaded electrical power grid caused power outages across many Northern American cities. Now think how MORE put-off and panicked people will be in 1000 years facing the same crisis with their dependence on technology increased a thousand fold. As a long time Legion of Super-Heroes fan, I’m surprised this kind of plot hasn’t been mined to death for the past 47 years of Legion publication history. (The only other Legion story that used a Metropolis-wide power outage as the main thrust of its plot that comes to my mind was published in 1977 in DC Special #28: Earth Shattering Disasters. In that Paul Levitz-written story a sabotaged fusion power sphere created city-wide destruction and mass hysteria. The resolution to the story provides Chemical King with one of his few shining moments as a Legionnaire.)

The Legion #35 is packed with intriguing elements (SPOILER WARNING):
 The four villains are modeled after four 20th/21st century “colorful” super-heroes: Blue Devil, Green Arrow, Green Lantern and Black Canary. Who are they? Is their relationship to the heroes of our present in name only?
 The incarcerated Persuader is visited by his daughter. Is she truly his daughter or is she performing a ruse? What is her intention in visiting him?
 President Wazzo gets shot. With all medical services powerless to come to her aid, how will she be saved?
 Karate Kid is a lone Legionnaire in a powered-down prison full of released violent convicts. How big a can of karate whup-ass is he going to open up in the next issue?

Gail Simone really does a good job here of loading up the story without making it overloaded. My only complaint about the narrative of the issue is the wordiness and intrusion of civilian holo-newscaster Trudy Trusoe’s captions. Apparently, Trusoe will be a prominent character as this story progresses, but on many pages her captions interrupt the narrative flow of the story, particularly on the first two pages of the issue. There Trusoe’s captions intrudes on an amusing exchange between Karate Kid and a criminal named “The Organ Thief” (if you’re thinking he steals musical instruments, you’re WAY off).

Dan Jurgens art here is uncluttered and easy to follow. His style isn’t ornate but it effectively conveys the story. I just wish Lantern’s attack on Vi was rendered better. She looks like she’s getting spray-painted not belted by energy beams.

I’m really looking forward to reading the next three issues and seeing how this story gets played out and resolved.

And consider The Legion #35 this fan’s evidence #2 (my evidence #1 is Keith Champagne’s/Steve Lightle’s entertaining The Legion #34) that a re-boot of the Legion of Super-Heroes isn’t necessary.

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