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Legion of Super-Heroes #12

Posted: Monday, December 5, 2005
By: Kevin T. Brown



Writer: Mark Waid (main story) and Stuart Moore (back-up)
Pencillers: Barry Kitson (main story) and Ken Lashley (back-up)
Inkers: Drew Geraci & Mick Gray (main story) and Greg Parkin (backup)

Publisher: DC Comics


I'm going to do this in reverse. I'm going to review the back-up story first. The story is entitled “A Decent Interval” and features Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl. It's a nice little 6-page story by Moore & Lashley that takes place during the events of the first issue and presents these two Legionnaires on a mission that takes them to the planet Vash.

The mission is quite simple: The Legion needs to place an observation base on the planet. The story, however, is all about Garth and Imra. The two of them discussing their fears about what the Legion may be turning into politically speaking and, most important of all, what is key to the Legion in terms of the fight that is to come.

Overall, for a 6-page story, you find out what drives both characters. Plus, you also get to see them “falling in love.” Moore did a very good job. And the art by Lashley shows some promise. I'd like to see more of his work in the future. I'd also like to see more back-ups like this; they're far too rare nowadays.

Now onto the main story, which, inexplicably, is untitled.

For a year now, Mark Waid and Barry Kitson have slowly, but surely, been weaving their tale. Re-introducing us to old and familiar characters, some with a slight twist, others not so slight. But for the most part, this is a Legion that mostly everyone can recognize. Everyone has his or her favorites of course, and not everyone is happy that “this character” or “that character” is not on the team any more or looks different. Personally, I'm just glad to have a Legion of Super-Heroes title I can enjoy once more.

This particular story has part of the Legion still reeling from the destruction of their headquarters, but coming to grips with the fact that they need to battle back against their enemy. Another part of the Legion is on a rescue mission. A rescue mission in which they know they're entering a trap, but still do what they need to do to save one of their own. And yet another part of the Legion is trapped in the fifth dimension. A dimension that is just all wrong and plays havoc with their powers. And it doesn't help when they're also under attack. Now you'd think with all of that going on, you'd be confused as heck. You'd be wrong.

Waid knows what he's doing here. He's putting all the pieces in place. Showing us all exactly what the Legion is made of and how they handle the most extreme of situations. You can definitely tell he loves this book and its characters. He's having fun, and it's showing through to the reader. I have no idea how Waid is going to wrap this 13-issue epic up in the next issue, but he has me eager to find out. He definitely has this long-time Legion fan excited.

Now if Waid's love for the Legion shines through, Barry Kitson's shines even brighter. Every single page is a feast. (Yeah, I'm biased since Kitson is one of my all-time favorite artists.) He puts a lot of effort into every page, while never once having it feel overloaded. And how he's able to have a literal cast of thousands while having all the characters look unique is simply amazing. Just look at the Legion Roll Call page and you'll see what I mean.

Finally, one of the best sequences in the book presents Salu Digby (the formerly named Shrinking Violet, now named Atom Girl) literally bursting upon the scene. In 4 panels you know her character and what she's going to be like. The only bad part about this issue is that she's only in 4 panels. Ah well, no issue is perfect, I suppose.



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