Current Reviews


Supergirl & the Legion of Super-Heroes #20

Posted: Saturday, July 22, 2006
By: Ray Tate

for Supergirl Fans

for Legion Fans

Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Barry Kitson(p), Adam DeKraker, Mick Gray(i), Nathan Eyring(c)
Publisher: DC

The plot in Supergirl & the Legion of Super-Heroes reads something like an old Flintstones cartoon. Fred due to some unlikely fluke singing ability becomes real popular with the kids. Wilma gets a little fed up with his devoting so much time to a fledgling career and proceeds to sabotage it by spreading the rumor that Fred is a square. The kids depart from his ranks of fandom faster than lemmings, upon noting a handy, nearby cliff.

The Legion signed up with the United Federation of Planets. The UFP decides to advertise their new partnership and, while they're at it, throws in a little "obey your elders" propaganda . This immediately portrays the Legion as sell-outs, and the kids, who were never all right in the first place, use this "revelation" as an excuse to commit some crimes.


The Doctor is nine-hundred-or-so-years-old. He looks to be in his thirties most of the time. He was youngest when he looked about eighty. Vulcans are notoriously long-lived. Though they may appear in their twenties, they may actually be already hundreds of years old. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I don't understand this whole youth versus elders idea in the framework of a universe teeming with alien lifeforms that must logically have different life-spans.

This theme may not pose quite so much a problem with me if, discounting Supergirl, the Legion actually behaved in ways that were mildly heroic and had a modicum of depth. I can't believe how little affinity I have with these Legionnaires. I mean, I'm a fan of the Legion. I've been with the Legion for years. The Otto Binder, Curt Swan reprints generated in me a sense of awe. I marveled at the Shooter and Grell issues. The Paul Levitz runs and the Keith Giffin era enticed me. As did the issues courtesy of the Bierbaums and Stuart Immonen, along with the Toms Peyer and McCraw and the Moys.

This is not the Legion. This isn't even a bad imitation of the Legion. It's like Mark Waid squandered the money earmarked for personality construction on lapdances. Only one of the Legion displays likeable traits and talks like a normal person that has feelings and intelligence. That Legionnaire is Supergirl, and the irony of this whole thing is that Legion of Super-Heroes is the only place you can find her winning charm.

This is just infuriating.

Whenever I flip through Supergirl at the Phantom of the Attic, the hack-writing and abysmal artwork nauseates me. Waid on the other hand seems to actually like Supergirl and knows how to write for her. He no longer has any idea how to write for the Legion. He used to be able to combine forces with Stern and Peyer quite ably, but his enthusiasm for the Legion seems to have vanished. Barry Kitson knows how to illustrate Supergirl. He continually gives her grace and poise even when his pencils fall under the too heavy inks of Adam DeKraker. I propose then that DC cancels Legion of Super-Heroes and transplants Mark Waid and Barry Kitson to Supergirl. As for the former Supergirl team, well, they can work on incest-based porn. They seem to have the knack.

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