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Legion of Super-Heroes #16

by  in Comic Reviews Comment
Legion of Super-Heroes #16

Oh, “Legion of Super-Heroes.” This is the second issue in a row that I’ve wanted to like much more than I actually did, now. And once again, it feels rushed… but in this case, it’s not just rushed, but rather rushed through predictableness to boot.

Paul Levitz can normally juggle lots of characters and plot lines; we’ve seen that both in his “Legion of Super-Heroes” runs some 30 years ago, as well as ones from just last year. But here, we’re getting everything thrown at us in a jumble of panels. A solution to defeat Saturn Queen comes out of nowhere, and suddenly everyone signs on with such speed that it turns into a “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” conclusion.

Because it’s so rushed, it ends up feeling a bit trite. It’s in many ways a take on the infamous “power of love” method of defeating a villain, and while such an idea can still work, it’s been used so often one needs to be careful with writing a story involving it as the lynchpin. Here, everything happens with such a lack of setup that it’s impossible to warm to the idea.

Worse, this is a comic that on the cover promises the death of a member of the Legion, and if you can’t guess which character will die, it’s because you aren’t reading the comic to know who’s in it. Levitz looks to have been told to clear the decks of certain elements of “Legion of Super-Heroes.” So a problematic character with ties to a story from a couple of years ago is removed, other ones revert to their old status quo, and everything is given a spit-polish to be the old, gleaming Legion. I don’t mind those old Legion stories (I’ve been enjoying buying the Levitz “Legion of Super-Heroes” collections) but this feels so out of the blue, it’s off-putting.

Daniel HDR and Marc Deering step in for guest art, and HDR’s guest pencils once again are a good match for what outgoing artist Yildiray Cinar established for the look of the comic. Overall it’s perfectly fine, if nothing out of the ordinary; very simple and clean looks for the characters. On occasion it gets a little too simple, though; Professor Li’s nose vanishes at one point (and other background characters are also missing facial features, they’re little more than outlines) and Saturn Queen’s hair is distractingly bad.

This wasn’t the ending I’d hoped for with “Legion of Super-Heroes.” After the last issue raced through its pages, I found myself wishing that it was only hurried there so we could have a strong conclusion. Turns out the race had only just begun. With a few more issues, this storyline could have worked well. Instead? It bears a striking similarity to a lot of rushed conclusions from DC Comics this month. Here’s hoping it was all worth it, next month.