I’m psyched for Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes # for one reason and one reason only: Mon-El. That’s right. He’s back! This move alone has rejuvenated my rapidly fading interest in this title. I know, I’ll have to put up with several annoying scenes with the ever vacuous Supergirl, but it will be worth it just to see Mon-El back on this title. Let’s do this review.
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Barry Kitson
Inker: Mick Gray
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Cosmic Boy being the last standing Legionnaire. One of the members of the Legion of Super Villains blasts Cosmic Boy and now all the Legionnaires have fallen to the bad guys. (Uh, oh. You can feel it coming can’t you?) One of the villains grabs the Phantom Zone projector. Polar Boy wants to steal more of the ancient Kryptonian technology if only he could read Kryptonese to know which items are cool weapons and which are useless items like a toaster. Jeyra tells Polar Boy that they are here fro the projector only. Suddenly, Supergirl arrives on the scene to rescue the useless and helpless Legionnaires. (Yeah, I saw this coming a mile away. You knew this was going to happen.)
Cosmic Boy wakes up and tells the villains to not hurt Supergirl. That Supergirl is powerless and doesn’t even have a weapon in her hand. Cosmic Boy has to really beat into the ground the fact that Supergirl is unarmed before the Kryptonian bimbo figures out what Cosmic Boy has been hinting to her. Supergirl can read the Kryptonese signs and flies around picking out the various items that are weapons. She then starts blasting away the villains and then traps them in a stun-net. (That’s right. Even a POWERLESS Supergirl is more valuable and more competent at battling villains then those completely irrelevant Legionnaires.) The villains then decide to make a quick exit.
Supergirl then explains to Cosmic Boy, Light Lass, Brainiac 5, and Saturn Girl that the Phantom Zone projector was used to send criminals into a twilight dimension. Saturn Girl says that the person calling out to her has been trapped in the Phantom Zone for a thousand years. That they have to do something to free him. Brainiac 5 says he wants to build some safeguards before they try and free this person.
We cut to Supergirl talking with Light Lass and one of Kandorian scientists who has been trying to re-educate the bimbo on Kryptonian history and customs. The Kandorian scientist tells Light Lass that they fiercely protect their culture and customs and that no Kandorian is allowed to leave their city. The scientist tells Light Lass that if Super Barbie is to stay with them then she must fully embrace the ways of New Kandor and that all contact with the world outside the city limits is strictly forbidden. That the Legionnaires can never see Supergirl again. (Seriously? Hell yeah! I love these Kandorians! Keep her!)
Light Lass gets all choked up and feels bad that she and the other Legionnaires weren’t good friends to Supergirl. Light Lass tells the bimbo that she hopes she makes some good friends. Light Lass says that she wishes she had Supergirl’s courage. (Huh? What courage?) Light Lass then hugs Supergirl and then flies away. Suddenly, Cosmic Boy appears with the other Legionnaires and asks Supergirl to come with them. Super Barbie screams (Thank you, thank you, thank you!) and flies into Cosmic Boy and gives him a huge hug. (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.)
We cut to Lightning Lad struggling to write his campaign speech for the position of Legion Leader. Dream Boy keeps pointing out all the things that Lighting Lad has done wrong causing Lightning Lad to continually re-write his speech. We then see Element Lad making time with Triplicate Girl. This catches Lightning Lad’s eye and he runs over to ask them how long they have been seeing each other. Dream Boy comments that maybe he should run for Legion Leader.
We shift to Brainiac 5’s lab. Cosmic Boy tells Brainiac 5 that they need to redouble their efforts to return Supergirl to her own century. Brainiac 5 says they need to deal with the prisoner in the Phantom Zone first. Brainiac 5 says he is ready to try and free the person trapped in the Phantom Zone. Saturn Girl can still sense the prisoner. Phantom Girl can actually see him. Saturn Girl and Phantom Girl both don’t think that the prisoner is a criminal. Brainiac 5 tells Saturn Girl to merge her mind with Phantom Girl’s mind.
The two Legionnaires merge together and then Phantom Girl goes immaterial and float to the Phantom Zone. And we come face to face with Mon-El! I’m talking old school looking Mon-El. He introduces himself as “Mon-El.” He says that he is trying to save the Legionnaires. That he can see them from here and that the Legionnaires are in deadly danger. That the villains they were fighting earlier back in the City of Kandor are here. We then see the Legion HQ completely surrounded by an army of super villains.
The Good: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #24 was a tale of two stories. The first half of this issue was more of the typical boring standard story that we have been getting on this title ever since Supergirl hi-jacked the Legion. On the other hand, the second half of this issue was a good read and rather interesting and engaging which is very much unlike the previous issues of this title.
As equally schizophrenic was the dialogue. On the positive side, Waid displayed his ability to craft some humorous dialogue in this issue. I liked the scene between Lightning Lad and Dream Boy. It was a nice change of pace to see Waid actually try and develop the character and personality of some of the various Legionnaires. I also was surprised by how much I like Dream Boy’s character in this scene. Waid does a pretty good job with Dream Boy in this scene as we begin to finally see some personality from this character.
I also liked to see the Legionnaires just hanging out at the Legion HQ. This is what has really been missing from this current version of the Legion. Levitz’ Legion was so enjoyable because Levitz would focus on the Legionnaires during their downtime at the Legion HQ. This was a great way to flesh out their characters and let the different characters interact and create some chemistry between each other. It also created that feeling of a college dormitory which is a huge part of what makes the Legion so special. Unlike the JLA, JSA, the Outsiders and other DC super teams, the Legion was really just the O.C. or 90210 with super powers.
I dig how Waid writes Brainiac 5. Brainy is one of the few Legionnaires that Waid has made more than a token effort to flesh out an interesting and unique personality. Brainiac 5 always gets the good lines and I love how he interacts with his fellow Legionnaires.
Of course, my absolute favorite part of this issue was Mon-El. Period. This is what made this issue so exciting for me. I was thrilled to see Mon-El sporting his original costume. I was beyond thrilled that his name is Mon-El. That’s right. No more of this M’Onel garbage or Valor crap. Mon-El. The way it should be. The fact that Waid has brought back the real Mon-El that I know and love is almost enough for me to forgive Waid for all the below average issues he has mailed in on this title ever since the One Year Later storyline began.
I cannot wait to see what Waid does with the Mon-El plotline. I’m definitely excited to see Mon-El in action soon. And this leads me into the Legion of Super Villain plotline. I think that Waid is onto something that has lots of potential with this plotline. I dig the idea of a Legion of Super Villains with a massive roster. Waid delivers a great ending that hooks the reader into wanting to get the next issue immediately. I’m sure we will not only be in store for some great action, but hopefully some more appearances of more minor characters like Polar Boy.
As always, Barry Kitson provides plenty of quality artwork. It is great to have Barry back handling the art chores on this title. The writing may be hit and miss, by Barry always brings his A-game.
The Bad: Like I said earlier, the dialogue was schizophrenic. I thought that some of the dialogue was horribly cheesy. For example, the scene between Light Lass and Supergirl nearly made me gag. The dialogue was so hackneyed and schmaltzy. I expect better than that from a writer of Waid’s caliber.
The first half of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #24 was the same dull and meandering read that we have been getting on this title ever since Supergirl hi-jacked this title. I had to drink some coffee to keep myself awake during the first half of this issue. I’m really hoping that this new Legion of Super Villains plotline and the Mon-El plotline are signs of better times ahead for this title. If Waid can give us more of what we got in the second half of this issue and less of what we got in the first half of this issue then there just might be hope for this title after all.
Once again, Waid shows in this issue exactly why I despise having Supergirl on this title. Supergirl makes the rest of the Legion totally irrelevant. But, what is even worse in this issue is that Supergirl is totally powerless and she STILL makes the Legion looking completely irrelevant. Having a powerless Supergirl have to come and rescue those super powered and completely incompetent and useless Legionnaires was just ridiculous. It really kills any and all interest I have in this title if every issue is nothing more than little Miss Deus ex machina arriving to save the helpless Legionnaires.
And Supergirl’s character is just as pathetic as ever. In almost ten issues, Waid has completely failed to develop anything that would confused with an interesting personality for Supergirl. Supergirl comes across as nothing more than a complete idiot. Cosmic Boy having to almost bash her over the head with hints to get her to use the weapons around her to attack the villains was stunning. I mean, Supergirl comes across as being almost completely retarded. I’m positive that Supergirl used to ride the short bus to school. Supergirl is a completely vacuous character. She has the same idiotic blank look on her face in every panel. I cannot think of a more annoying and one-dimensional character as Supergirl.
Overall: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #24 was a good read only for the fact that we got the real Mon-El back again. Waid is still a bit too inconsistent with his writing on this title. I expect more from a writer as talented as Waid. Barry Kitson’s art is a perfect match for this title and he draws a great Legion. I have been pretty harsh on this title ever since Supergirl hi-jacked the Legion. However, I really think that Waid is just about to turn the corner on the Legion and crank out a pretty entertaining story arc. Or at least I hope so.