This review contains mild spoilers for “Superboy” #9.
“Legion Lost” #9 brings readers the third of four chapters in “The Culling” storyline. With Harvest revealed to be the big bad at the conclusion of “Superboy” #9, it only makes sense to pit him against the assembled Titans and Legionnaires (with a few Ravagers added in for good measure).
The two teams split their forces, with Dawnstar, Gates, Bunker, the new Thunder and Lightning heading for the hills as a wide majority of the rest remain to fight Harvest. I say a “good majority” because, honestly, I lost track of who was going where. In one panel, it seemed as though the new Beast Boy and Terra might be joining Dawnstar’s group, but several panels later, they’re nowhere to be found and they don’t appear again in this issue. I suppose it’s possible that Beast Boy changed into a smallish critter, but on first read, it just seems a little bit sloppy.
Given that I had a difficult time keeping track of who went where, I think it would be safe to make the leap that Pete Woods saw that as a challenge as well. Woods’ normally clean and crisp art has a dingy, rough edge throughout most of this installment, but clears up almost magically when Ravager emerges to take on Fairchild, Thunder and Lightning. That fight, which includes an appearance by Fairchild’s soon-to-be-teammate Ridge is the cleanest eight panels of this comic book. Woods’ work throughout is good, but not quite to the level I’ve come to expect from the artist.
Brad Anderson slathers this story in wild colors, from the glowing variant versions of the Titans costumes to the clash of bright orange against pale blue as Harvest and Wildfire square off. The colors are surprisingly intense for an adventure in a subterranean setting. Travis Lanham adds another level of depth to the story, placing the various shapes and styles of word balloons on top of Woods’ and Anderson’s collaboration. Lanham’s lettering enhances the diversity among this cast and helps delineate participants in the melee.
Tom DeFalco’s writing has an old-school structure to it that includes the villain monologuing and posturing madly in his insane power. Harvest attacks the kids physically and mentally, trying to play them against one another as he predictably lashes out with inaccurate force. Just once, I’d like these tremendously powerful villains to truly be tremendously powerful. I’m not wishing carnage, but I would like to see something that makes the character appear powerful rather than rely on his own rantings of self-proclaimed power.
This story will allegedly be concluded in “Teen Titans” #9, but the true scope of that conclusion remains unknown. Given that I’m just moments removed from the conclusion of this book and very little stands out in my mind, I’m thinking the conclusion might not be so conclusive. I’m banking on an apparently dead villain, no body, which seems pretty fair given the story beats to this point.