Long-time readers of “Legion of Super-Heroes” have probably been wondering why Comet Queen has been one of the stars of the Legion Academy feature in “Adventure Comics.” After all, she was in the Academy back in the 1980s, with other characters in school with her having all graduated. New readers, likewise, have no doubt picked up on the lines commenting on the fact that Comet Queen was being given a second chance, that there was something different about her attendance at Legion Academy.
That’s one of the things I appreciate about Paul Levitz’s current runs on “Adventure Comics” and “Legion of Super-Heroes,” in that he understands that these comics need to appeal to readers of all generations. It’s a fine line, one that’s not easy for most writers to master, but Levitz makes it look easy. As for the story itself? It’s primarily Comet Queen’s origin, both how she came to the Legion Academy as well as her untold story of what happened when she left and how she ended up a student once again.
Geraldo Borges’ pencils fit in well with the look we’ve had on “Legion of Super-Heroes” thanks to Yildiray Cinar and Frances Portela; curvy, clean character designs, with classic storytelling. Borges takes care to keep his pages easy to follow, but adds quiet little touches, like the panels all tilting around 15 degrees when Comet Queen helps Glorith fly through the obstacle course. And when Comet Queen tells her story, you can see the pain on her face quite clearly.
In terms of plot, it’s an interesting and slightly nasty turn of events, one that gives a bit of additional menace to a LSH villain, showing us just what she’s truly capable of. The only small problem is that, perhaps because Comet Queen’s 21st century appearances have been few and far between, there isn’t quite the same emotional heft here that I think Levitz thought it would possess. Sure, what happened to Comet Queen is bad, but it’s not quite the tragedy that will make readers feel sad the way it appears to have been intended. It’s good, just not great.
It’s actually the non-origin parts of the issue that I found myself enjoying, like Comet Queen and Glorith’s growing relationship, or watching the Academy kids go through a training exercise. Some of them (Dragonwing, Variable Lad, and Gravity Kid in particular) still feel like they could use a spotlight or two to flesh them out, but with just two issues left before DC’s reboot in September, I suspect we’re rapidly running out of time in that regard. Still, it’s been a fun little series, and I’m going to miss it once it’s gone. Hopefully something similar is still store for us come September. The Legion Academy in “Adventure Comics” has been a treat.