Comic Book Review: Legion of Super Heroes #41

The Revolution always looks forward to Shooter’s latest issue of the Legion of Super Heroes. To be sure, Shooter does need to tighten up the story a bit and pick the pace up on this alien invader plotline. Still, I am in love with this title due to the character work that has been so enjoyable and the fact that for the first time in many years this title actually reads like a Legion title. I’m confident that Legion of Super Heroes #41 will be another quality read. Let’s go ahead and hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Jim Shooter
Pencils: Aaron Lopresti
Inks: Matt Ryan

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Timber Wolf trying to restrain Princess Projectra from killing the tourists who touched her. Princess Projectra displays unusual super strength by brushing off Timber Wolf. Saturn Girl then appears on the scene and quickly gets Projectra calmed down. Saturn Girl then apologizes to the tourists. Projectra then storms off.

Timber Wolf thanks Saturn Girl for her help. Timber Wolf dismisses Projectra’s bizarre display of super strength to an adrenaline rush or the use of her flight ring to increase her momentum. Timber Wolf admits that he followed Projectra once she left the Legion HQ. That he was worried about her since she looked so upset.

Saturn Girl then inquires why Timber Wolf called her to help him deal with Projectra. Imra suggest that maybe Brin hoped that she would just telepathically mindwipe all the witnesses and get Projectra out of trouble like Imra did for Brin on Triton. Timber Wolf sheepishly answers yes. Saturn Girl tells Timber Wolf to go back to Legion HQ. That she senses the SP on their way and that she will deal with them.

We cut back to the Bridge at Legion headquarters. Garth is on the communicator with a government bureaucrat about the billing for the decontamination of the HQ from last issue. Garth is informed that the Legion is now over budget. Brainiac 5 is annoyed that Garth is not paying attention to more urgent matters like sneaking into the SP lab to investigate the dead body of one of the alien destroyers.

Suddenly, a female SP officer who looks like Shvaughn Erin enters the room and tells everyone that they are under arrest and for them to take off their pants and drop to the floor. Brainy tweaks the girl’s nose and tells Chameleon Boy to knock it off. The SP officer transforms back into Chameleon Boy. Cham says that he found out that the dissection of the alien destroyer will be taking place in Theater C in the Ministry of Health Building.

Saturn Girl then arrives on the scene. Cham offers to turn into a fly and go spy on the dissection. Imra says that Invisible Kid is a better choice. That Cham’s mind is just too weird and that Imra can link Brainy’s mind to Invisible Kid’s mind much easier. Imra says that they need to get Garth’s approval to send Invisible Kid into the facility to spy on the dissection.

We then cut to the universal headquarters of Intergalacticorp, the office of the CEO Caulfield Zander. We see M’Rissey from the Legion tryout a few issues ago enters and tells the CEO that he has an offer that could make his company quintillions and make their stock skyrocket. The Moz opens his laptop computer and tells Zander to take a look. Zander asks how he got that and if the Legion knows about this. The Moz responds that it doesn’t matter. That he can deliver exclusive rights with no complications and absolutely no risk to Zander. M’Rissey then says that they should talk money.

We shift to Operating Theater C where a team of SP doctors are starting to dissect the alien destroyer. Invisible Kid is on the scene and Saturn Girl hooks into Invisible Kid’s mind and links it to Brainiac 5’s mind so Brainy can examine everything Invisible Kid sees.

Garth is still on the communicator dealing with bureaucrats. Garth is informed that a petition has been filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Light Lass then enters the Bridge.

We cut to the Infirmary and see M’Rissey slip in and drop off a Legion flight ring next to Star Boy’s clothes. Star Boy is still in his recuperation chamber. We slide back to the bridge where Light Lass calls Garth an idiot of allowing Invisible Kid to go spy on the dissection. That if they get caught then the Legion will get hammered by the U.P.

Light Lass then looks at the monitor screen where they are watching the dissection. Ayla points out that all the people who tried out for the Legion a couple of issues ago are present at the dissection. Ayla mentions that one of them, Spy, has the ability to detect thoughts and feelings, especially strong ones.

Brainy retorts that Invisible Kid is a scientist and can stay calm and neutral. Brainy then informs Invisible Kid of the psychempath in the room. We see Spy suddenly catching a vibe. He says that suddenly he got an intense flash of a whole lot of jumbled up emotions and then it was suddenly gone.

Brainy then realizes that the alien destroyer is not dead yet. That is why it didn’t self-destruct like the rest of the dead ones. Brainy says that the doctor s are inadvertently reviving the alien destroyer. Brainy warns Invisible Kid to go grab a weapon.

Suddenly, the alien destroyer springs back to life. Invisible Kid grabs a saw and slices the alien destroyer in half with it. Spy then screams that Invisible Kid is in the room. The Legion rejects chase after Invisible Kid and manage to capture him. The person who takes down Invisible Kid is none other than Giselle, who is now going by the codename Gazelle.

We cut back to the bridge where Saturn Girl comments that Giselle is from Triton and that Giselle told her that she hated the U.P. Garth comments that the U.P. must be forming an alternative “Legion” that is more tractable than they are.

Suddenly, Garth is contacted by the President’s Chief of Staff who informs Garth that the Legion is being shut down. Ultra Boy then enters the Bridge and calls Light Lass “Curva-licious Lass.” Ayla responds by making Jo super light so he floats into the air and then she storms out of the Bridge.

Ultra Boy then tells Garth that some of his buddies from Rimbor who steals SP transceivers heard that Rimbor is about to get attacked by alien destroyers. That the Legion has to go there immediately. During all of this discussion, Cham has been playing finger puppets of the various Legionnaires in this scene.

Garth responds that the Legion cannot do anything. That the U.P. has informed them that they are not allowed to leave the city without the President’s express permission. That they are grounded pending a full investigation into Invisible Kid’s infiltration and spying on the dissection at the Ministry of Health Building.

Brainy then walks off saying he will study the data to see if he can glean anything from it. Ultra Boy can’t believe that they are going to leave the defending of his home world to the S.P. and the U.P military. They walk out of the bridge and leave Cham sitting in there by himself.

We zip forward three hours later and see Saturn Girl having a secret meeting with her mother in a bar. Her mother tells Saturn Girl that they will no longer be able to talk to each other. That the new regime who swept into power after the Dominator War has many powerful enemies of the Legion in it. That since Saturn Girl’s mother has been a vocal supporter of the Legion that she also now has many enemies. Saturn Girl’s mother says that even though she won’t be able to help the Legion anymore that she does have a few things to tell Imra that might be useful to know.

We shift back to Brainy’s lab at the Legion headquarters. Brainy tells Garth that the alien destroyers have travelled at sub-lightspeed from their point of origin. That this one in particular has cosmic-ray scarring that indicates it spent millions of years travelling through space. Brainy says that this alien destroyer is far more technologically advance than the one that he saw on Talok VIII. That it was probably dispatched much later, but being faster and more sophisticated, it caught up to the first wave.

Brainy says that it is puzzling that if the makers’ technology was advancing then why didn’t hyper-lightspeed destroyers arrive in this sector millennia before these sub-light ones made it here. Brainy wonders if the makers collapsed or regressed. If they came to their sense. Or possibly they changed tactics.

Brainy says that one piece of the destroyer’s equipment that he didn’t get to see examined looked like a sort of analysis tool. A data ripper. Brainy comments that he really needed to have a close look at it.

We shift to the field at the Legion headquarters. Chameleon Boy is sitting on a bench talking to a bird. Cham says that everyone thinks that he is a total idiot. When they need something they talk to him. But, otherwise, they ignore him. And that they all think he is too weird. Cham says that he thinks that all of the other Legionnaires are the weird ones with their fixated and rigid minds. Cham then thanks the bird for listening to him. Cham then says that if the bird is free and could use some company tonight then…Cham then transforms into a bird. Cham then asks “Your nest…or mine?”

We cut to Garth’s dormitory apartment. Garth is watching a news report that states that the U.P. has announced the formation of a new super-force that will be known as the United Planets Young Heroes. The members are all the rejects from the issue a couple of months ago.

Imra then enters the room and tells Garth that she found out why the Legion is getting worked over by the new Administration of the U.P. Garth tells Imra to tell him tomorrow. The news report then states that Princess Projectra has been arrested in the city center and charged with two counts of assault against aides to the Secretary of Diplomacy and one giant an S.P. Officer.

Imra is stunned especially after she mollified the tourists she assaulted so they would not press charges. Garth asks Imra what she means by mollify. Imra responds that she didn’t mindwipe them because she knows if she ever does that again that Garth will be very strict with her. Imra then says speaking of strict… that they should just forget everything for a while. Imra asks Garth to take her. Own her. Do something shocking. (Hey now! This is what I like to hear! You go, Garth!)

Unfortunately, our two lovebirds are interrupted by Garth’s communicator. The Chief of Staff informs Gath that the President has given the Legion permission to go to Rimbor. That their transmatter account has been temporarily reinstated.

Imra comments that the S.P. and the U.P.’s new super heroes must not be up to the task. Garth says that they need to go immediately. Garth says that since Imra has had experience fighting these alien destroyers that she should lead the team. Imra agrees as long as Garth gives her a team with some muscle this time.

Suddenly, Ultra Boy wearing nothing but his man panties (There you go, ladies. A little equal time for you all.) Jo clamors that his people on Rimbor are getting ripped apart. That they have to do something. Garth looks at Imra and tells her that Ultra Boy is her first volunteer. Imra tells Jo to go put his pants on. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Legion of Super Heroes #41 was a fantastic read. Shooter’s work on this title continues to amaze me. This was a well paced issue and had a pleasant flow as Shooter eased on and off the accelerator during the course of this issue. There was just enough action to keep the story lively. Instead of relying on tons of action, Shooter opts to employ plenty of intrigue and plot twists to keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

Legion of Super Heroes #41 was a well plotted issue. We are beginning to see Shooter’s various plotlines growing and blossoming. Shooter is moving this title along with a purpose and a direction. And Shooter fully understands the Legion and its large roster means that the writer must work overtime to create more plotlines running at the same time than you would find on your average team title. And there is definitely no shortage of plotlines on this title.

Shooter unveils a few more dilemmas for the Legion to contend with in the arrest and charges being pressed against Invisible Kid by the new U.P. Administration as well as the mystery surround Princess Projectra’s sudden display of super strength and her subsequent arrest. Shooter has created multiple interesting plotlines on this title and is doing a fine job juggling them as he cranks up the intensity with each issue. It seems that once the Legion solves one problem, three more pop up to take its place.

I dig this plotline involving Projectra. I was surprised to see her flashing super strength when Timber Wolf attempted to restrain her. Clearly, there is much more to Projectra’s character than what we have seen up to this point. I am curious to see what Shooter has in store for Projectra.

I’m also impressed with Shooter’s handling of Projectra’s character. Projectra was a character that was one-dimensional and rarely used during Waid’s run on this title. Shooter is showing the reader Projectra’s true potential as he fleshes her out into an interesting three dimensional character. I have always liked Projectra and I’m glad that Shooter is spending energy growing her character.

I am enjoying the plotline involving the enemies in the current U.P. Administration that the Legion has made. Shooter gave the reader a great hook ending with Saturn Girl about to tell Garth what she learned from her mother about the current U.P. Administration’s problems with the Legion. This plotline places the Legion back into the role of more rebels than political lapdogs which better suits their image.

I also found the United Planets Young Heroes to be great twist on the Legion of Substitute Heroes. I dig that the U.P. is creating their own version of the Legion out of the rejects from the Legion tryouts. This group of heroes serve as lackeys for the U.P. and provide the Legion with some much needed rivals.

I love that this is the route that Shooter went with the rejects from the Legion tryouts rather than going down the predictable path of having those characters form the Legion of Substitute Heroes. We have seen Polar Boy and Chlorophyll Kid with the Wanderers. But, we have yet to see the Subs appear in the threeboot. I totally appreciate that Shooter is taking an old concept and breathing new life into it and attempting to do something different rather than just recycling the same old Legion concepts.

Shooter also unleashes another mysterious plotline involving one of the other Legion rejects: M’Rissey. Obviously, M’Rissey is up to something mischievous. Clearly, M’Rissey must have been the mysterious person who snuck into the Bridge and viewed the monitor screen a couple of issues ago. Maybe M’Rissey is trying to sell some steamy sex tapes of Curva-licious Lass and Karate Kid. I am definitely interested to see where Shooter goes with this plotline.

I am finally starting to get intrigued by the alien destroyers plotline. Shooter does a fine job teasing the reader with various possibilities concerning the makers of these alien weapons. I am definitely curious to learn more about the makers of the alien destroyers. We also get teased with the fact that the alien destroyers have a device that acts as a data ripper. This seems to lead the reader to believe that the alien destroyers are up to more than just pure conquest. Shooter certainly has an interesting little mystery with this plotline.

Of course the true strength of this title is Shooter’s phenomenal character work. Shooter’s feel for the personalities of each Legionnaire is sublime. Shooter simply gets each character. It is obvious that Shooter knows their personalities inside and out. What is particularly impressive and enjoyable is that Shooter is able to give us a new and fresh take on the Legion without ever deviating from the Legion’s core principals or the establish personalities and histories of the various legionnaires. Unlike some Legion writers in the past, Shooter is certainly not delivering fan fiction with this version of the Legion.

Shooter is proving that you can pull off a fresh new version of the Legion without blatantly ignoring the past history of the various Legionnaires and the core principals of the Legion. Shooter gives us a new and different Legion that still is reminiscent and feels like the old Legion without being just an unoriginal and transparent copycat.

Shooter generates some phenomenal chemistry between the various Legionnaires. And this is helped by the excellent dialogue that Shooter dishes out. Each character has such a well developed and unique external voice. And the interplay between the various Legionnaires is perfect. And it is the little things in each scene that show off Shooter’s brilliant chemistry and character work.

I loved how Shooter handles the tense relationship between Imra and Timber Wolf concerning Imra mindwiping people. This is exactly how a writer pulls off excellent character growth by building off of previous experiences from previous issue. Brin is exposed for being hypocritical as Imra forces him to admit that he called her to help with Projectra in hopes that Imra would mindwipe the tourists and get Projectra out of trouble like she did for Brin on Triton. I liked how Brin slinked away from the scene with his tail between his legs. This scene shows how Shooter pays attention to the little details and is committed to building complex and realistic relationships between the various Legionnaires.

I absolutely adored the scenes with Chameleon Boy. They were fantastic. Chameleon Boy offers up the necessary comedic relief in this issue. Shooter has fun playing off the fact that Cham’s Durlan mind is so radically different from your typical person’s mind. And the scene with the bird was just hilarious and so not right all at the same time.

I enjoy how much Shooter is able to cram into each scene and each specific panel. At one point in this issue Shooter has a scene where Garth is on the phone dealing with UP, Brainy is dealing with Kid’s sneaking into Ministry of Health Building all while Cham spoofs all of them with his finger puppet show. Shooter definitely gives the reader plenty of chew on with each scene and wastes no space.

Shooter has created the proper mood for this title. Shooter understands that the Legion of Super Heroes is not supposed to be a grim, gritty and dark title like many of the other comic books on the market. This is a trap that many writers including Johns fall into. The Legion is supposed to be a mostly bright and positive title. There is also supposed to be some humor. Even though the Legion goes through some times of difficulty like what Shooter is putting the team through at the moment, it still remains a title that is at its heart a positive one with a hope for a better future.

I dig that the Legion headquarter continues to serve as the spine for Shooter’s story. And that is how it should be. This really has been a lost aspect of the Legion as of late. Other writers after Levitz failed to realize the important role that the Legion HQ played in creating a little private world in which the Legionnaires interact with each other. The Legion headquarters is not just a traditional team headquarters like most super teams have. That the Legion headquarters is more college dormitory than anything else. Shooter also keeps a nice amount of sexuality on this title that is fitting for a group of 18-22 year old college aged characters all living in a large dormitory together.

I enjoyed the art in this issue. Lopresti is a wonderful artist who does a great job filling in for Manapul.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Legion of Super Heroes #41 was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Shooter continues to flex his muscles on this title as he clearly shows how a writer is supposed to write the Legion. Shooter is giving us the most entertaining Legion since, well, I can’t even remember the last time I had so much fun reading a Legion title. Shooter is delivering a title that boasts strong dialogue, impressive character work and a story that is constructed of numerous plotlines. I would definitely recommend giving the Legion of Super Heroes a try.

1 Comments

  1. Great Review! Couldn’t have put it better myself. How Shooter must be enjoying developing Projectra, a character he, himself, created 40 odd years ago and the enjoyment shows. Really this is the best Legion since Levitz in the 1980s for all the reasons you state. All we need now is to get Dream Girl back on a proper footing and all will be well in the Legionverse.

Comments are closed.