01/02/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
Supergirl And The Legion Of Super-Heroes: Strange Visitor From Another Century by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson. pub: DC Comics. 144 page graphic novel softcover. Price: $14.99 (US), $19.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-4012-0916-5).
check out website: www.dccomics.com
Oddly, I read this first volume out of sync with ‘Supergirl And The Legion Of Super-Heroes’ with the other two Supergirl volumes I’m reviewing this month as I wasn’t quite sure which order they should be placed in. Even in the enlightened age of checking ISBN, there’s never a full guarantee that they might actually be in temporal order combined with not wishing to knowing too much too soon before getting down to reading. The stories within are from LSH # 6, 9, 13-15 and ‘Supergirl And The Legion Of Super-Heroes # 16-19’. Quite what happened in LSH # 7-8 will require checking on the graphic novel collections of LSH I don’t happen to have yet. Even so, even if you were a novice to Legion Of Super-Heroes Prime, you should be able to pick up what you recognise in a new format. If there is anything to be critical of, which comes out in the odd letter pages at the back of this book, is the persistence of some of their code-names. It’s understandable that if you’re a powerhouse like Ultra Boy, it might pay to broadcast the fact for an instant surrender, but if you’re stealthy like Invisible Kid, Phantom Girl or even Triplicate Girl, it would make sense not to broadcast what you can do even if the Legion is a public institution. Mind you, with the shape-shifting Durlans, hiding what you really are is a bit more difficult. Still, it’s early days.
This opening volume brings Supergirl to the 30th century trying to get ahead of a Dominator weapon cometing towards the Earth, despite the Legion’s attempts to stop it. She thinks she’s dreaming but prepared to go along with what the dream has to offer for the moment and gets enlisted into the Legion and into their adventures although not all of them. Supergirl isn’t involved with Brainiac Five’s attempts to resurrect Dream Girl for instance but quite likes the fact that she has adoring fans who see her as legendary. Come to that, some of the Legionnaires are in awe of her as well as by that century, Kryptonians are seen as something of a myth. After that, you’re thrown into following through the events and seeing what kind of world she’s been chucked into which is not a bad idea for anyone who wants to get to grips with the new Legion.
There are a lot of nice touches in this book, as well as certain re-defining of things we know and like. I’m not entirely sure if making the Legion flight ring do so much, even if it takes a while to create each one, is making it into a deus ex machina device. Some things, like giving Element Lad a limit for transformations to last only a limited length of time might cause its only problems. I mean, if he turns a piece of metal into a gas, it is hardly likely to stay in the same place and return to its original shape. As we don’t really see him do very much yet, let’s hope someone realises they might have a problem.
Saying that, there is a lot of good stuff in here and it will no doubt make you eager to investigate this not so strange world in the future (sic) to see how much has changed or whether it is all for the better.
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