Current Reviews


Legion of Super-Heroes #14

Posted: Monday, June 20, 2011
By: Shawn Hill

Paul Levitz
Fernando Dagnino, Raul Fernandez
You know the Legion is a law unto itself at this point, right? You know that the multitudes of cast members are part of what matters, and not any kind of hindrance, don't you? You know that if anybody can juggle an epic cast of Legions of heroes and villains (and with a bit more élan than was managed in Legion of Three Worlds, which this story superficially resembles), it's old hand Paul Levitz, of course? Like him, we have no problem keeping track of everyone.

The question isn't about paring down the team, or changing the focus, or getting a new high concept to hang the sci-fi trappings on. Especially since Fabian Nicieza's Legion Lost is going to do all of that soon enough in the Great Reboot to come. This book will continue as well, and that's great, because true Legion fans care about two things right now: is Mon-El going to be a good leader, and why did Cosmic Boy dump Night Girl?

That's pretty much it. Blow up Titan, go on and on about Oan power batteries, have Saturn Queen be more depraved than Superboy Prime in his (sorry!) prime… whatever, it's all good. We care about more important things: are the teammates doing a good job, and are their personal lives going well? We've got our priorities!

None of which have anything to do with this issue. Regarding the big picture, it finds old Legion foe Hunter (more generic in his safari get-up than ever, if you compare the current image to the classic shot I pulled, though I suppose still striking in his stereotypical way) elevated to a new status. It also finally reveals some hint of what's going on with that scientist who blew up Titan, the blue djinn that's powering up the Super-Villains and a burgeoning recovery for long beleaguered time-traveling hero Star Boy.

Thom has been a plot device and comic relief for a few years now, so it's great to see Levitz re-center him as a romantic hero, and to emphasize his chemistry and love with Dream Girl. Of course it's the worst possible time for her to have a vision of the impending death we know is coming (it's sort of a tradition when the LSV attacks), but that's the Legion for you.

Would it be nice if more of the characters had distinctive personality traits? Sure. Is it so hard to keep one strong artist on the team? Is Chris Batista really that busy? Can we get some new Steve Lightle covers? If it is so hard, why does the job keep going to neophytes who burn out fast?

Most important of all, Dawnstar is better, having recovered from her attack at the hands of the little blue meanie. That look on Mon-El's face when he notices is likely shared by a fair percentage of the readership. It's a rightful mixture of awe and relief, though sort of an odd choice to debut a new costume under fill-in artists. Well, at least it's several orders better than Sensor Girl's last fiasco. And the new artists capture a bit of a Dale Eaglesham flavor from time to time, with some nice details even under sometimes static poses.

So, in conclusion: Hunter? Better with the pigtails. Dawnstar? Hotter than ever! The Legion of Super-Heroes. In good hands, whew!

Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at

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