“Legion of Super-Heroes” #14 feels like a comic that one reads through inertia more than anything else. Paul Levitz and Scott Kolins don’t serve up a bad comic, but it doesn’t feel compelling either. Rather, if you’re reading this comic it’s probably because you’ve been following the characters for a long time rather than because of a gripping storyline.
Levitz does his best to try and mix things up a little bit, at least. Teaming up Element Lad and Chemical Kid feels like a pun waiting to happen, but instead we end up with a mentor/student relationship between the two as the duo goes after the raiders that attacked Cosmic Lad. Chemical Kid’s powers aren’t the easiest to write, so it’s nice to see Levitz giving them a stab and do something with the character.
Otherwise, though, it’s lots of little subplots getting addressed. The reason for Comet Queen’s recent betrayal is finally uncovered, for example, but the revelation feels a little flat and uninteresting. The reforming of the Fatal Five is still happening in drips and drabs, too, and it’s so far failing to capture much interest. In some ways this storyline feels almost like a bit of a stalling technique, holding off on big plots for the (hopefully) near future.
Kolins’s art is perfectly serviceable; he’s gone back to the style that he used on books like “The Flash” back in the day, with thin lines and sharp features. Some pages look good, like Chemical Kid rallying his powers next to a comatose Element Lad. Then you get pages near the end of the book where Night Girl and Lightning Lass look a little distended and stretched. If anything, the one thing I found distracting were the seemingly random lines that run between the panels with no real rhyme or reason. As a design element, they’re distracting rather than fun.
With Keith Giffen on deck to take over as an artist, there’s a good chance that this series will soon get the kick in the pants it needs. His recent collaboration with Levitz (on the “Legion of Super-Heroes Annual” pre-reboot) was fun, and it’s hard to not notice the hints that a Giffen plot development from his own “Legion of Super-Heroes” run might be about to get mirrored here. Until that happens, though, this feels like a comic ultimately not a bad read when you’re in the moment, but more than a bit forgettable soon after.