Legion of Super-Heroes #14

Story by
Art by
Raul Fernandez, Fernando Dagnino
Colors by
Letters by
John J. Hill
Cover by
DC Comics

We'll probably never know how many storylines were already set to end this summer in comics from DC, and how many were wrapped up early in anticipation of September's relaunch. With that in mind, though, I'd wager at least a small amount of money that a book that falls into the latter category is "Legion of Super-Heroes," based on the latest issue.

There's an undercurrent of franticness running throughout the latest chapter of the Legion of Super-Villains storyline, as parts begin to fall into place at a rapid-fire pace. Left and right, all sorts of revelations are being dished out-the location of the world of Wisdom, the nature of Harmonia Li, the loss of new members of Saturn Queen's Legion, Star Boy's latest status change-without any of the relaxed nature that normally punctuates Levitz's scripts for "Legion of Super-Heroes." We're not getting the normal little character bits that you've grown to expect, and in general I feel like I've been hit by a barrage of facts with little time to fully absorb them.

There are still little moments that work, though, like the take-down of Immortus, or the strange "gotcha!" moment on the final page. (I'm not entirely sure what's going on, but it'll be fun to see if my theory holds true, and at the very least it's an attention-grabber.) If nothing else, Saturn Queen continues to get nastier and more dangerous with each issue, which is no small feat. It does make you wonder why anyone else sticks with her, though.

Fernando Dagnino and Raul Fernandez are the guest art team for this issue, and it's a mixed bag, visually. There are places where they knock it out of the park, like the glimpse of Utopia when we first see what it looks like. The drawing of the vista reminds of me artists like Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, with its gentle beauty and careful detail, to say nothing of its sheer imagination. On the other hand, there are scenes that come across a little clumsily. The sacrifice scene makes me wonder if the character who died was related to Ragdoll in "Secret Six," it's such an awkward and impossible pose. And the focuses on Ultra Boy's face when fighting Immortus feel like they should be helping us see what he's feeling, but instead they're remarkably bland drawings.

Hopefully in the remaining issues we'll get a little more detail on places like Utopia, or characters like Saturn Queen's mysterious assistant. But we're moving at such a fast clip now that I fear we'll not get the chance. That's a real pity; Levitz is normally quite good at the gradual reveal, and this feels so strongly like being told to wrap things up as soon as possible. It's not a bad issue, but we've had much better.

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