Current Reviews


Legion of Super-Heroes #15

Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2006
By: Shawn Hill

“Ancient Times”

Writer: Stuart Moore
Artists: Pat Olliffe and Livesay

Publisher: DC Comics

Plot: In the wake of recent wins and losses, our main team takes a breather this issue as we look in on a group of non-powered Legionnaires telling stories around a campfire.

Visuals: The selling point of this issue is the cover. Kitson does right by three old friends: Dawnstar, Blok and Tyroc. The text may find them rather silly, but they look as good as they ever have. It’s also your first clue: it’s time for one of THOSE issues again.

I always get nervous when the Legion engages in a nostalgia fest. Ever since "Zero Hour," where I watched everyone I loved die. I didn’t see that one coming, but ever since then I’ve been wary of those “hypertime” moments where we glimpse bygone eras again. Because usually they symbolize adding the current team to the dustbin of history as well.

Well, the Reboot Moder/Moy years got away with a few of those nostalgia fests without dissolving (through time travel tricks), but once they crossed over with Teen Titans and tried yet again to plumb the Superboy/Superman conundrum (a recipe for disaster ever since Crisis on Infinite Earths; it’s the Topic that Must Not Be Touched, an insoluble riddle ever since the Legion got Byrne-d), they faded off into rainbow-colored limbo, too.

To be replaced by this team, who now face a hopefully less dire version of that same threat through next issue’s addition of a new character. Inevitably her impact will make a change to the status quo, and I’m wary but not quite despondent about it yet. She’s a potentially fun character, and I’d like to get her as far away from Power Girl as possible (of course they’re being coy about which version we’re getting), and she might make a lot of sense with these teens.

Furthermore, this book has faded somewhat after an initially strong debut, falling into cliché with Brainiac’s obsession over Dream Girl’s death, and not really showing us the brilliant new worlds we long for in DC’s long-running sci-fi showcase. Supergirl could be just the spark they need. However, this issue, we have some filler to deal with. And it’s mostly charming stuff.

Visuals 2: If you’re going to do this kind of story, Oliffe is a great choice of penciller, as he’s proven he can deal with the multiplicitous nature of comic characters with his work on Amalgam and All Access. Moore’s simplistic story lets us see three incarnations of the team: the Curt Swan/Jim Shooter era, the Levitz/James Sherman era, and the Levitz/Laroque Baxter book. It’s great to see Saturn Girl in her sexy pink Cockrum getup again, to see Sensor Girl as commanding as always, and to catch a surprise appearance by the 70s Secret Society of Super-Villains.

These are all imaginary stories, and as such they’re harmless. Weirdly, the most significant character of both the main and Waid’s backup story (a clever introduction of the current roster of heroes) turns out to be Bouncing Boy. I have no clue what that says about the future of this title.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!