Comic Book Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #23

It is time to review The Revolution’s all-time favorite title. It has been a long time since this title was anything that would be confused with a quality read. Even though I’m quite confident that the story to Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #23 will once again be rather pedestrian, I am thrilled to see that Barry Kitson has returned to the art duties. If nothing else, this should at least be a nice looking issue. Let’s hit this review and find out.

Creative Team
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: The issue begins with Supergirl waking up on Krypton. She thinks she has woken up from her dream about the Legion. Suddenly, the Legionnaires appear and Supergirl realizes that it was never a dream.

We shift to Element Lad and Triplicate Girl searching through the underground of Metropolis for any remaining traces of the robot rebellion. To speed up the search, Triplicate Girl splits into three and starts searching. One of her dupes stays with Element Lad while the other two dupes go off together. The Triplicate Girl’s two dupes run across a kid who has the same plant growth powers of Chlorophyll Kid. Triplicate Girl tells him to come with her and join the Legion. The kid goes and gets his stuff and a shadowy figure appears and whispers to him to not forget the part he is supposed to play. The plant boy says he won’t let down his boss. The two Triplicate Girl dupes and the new version of Chlorophyll Kid meet up with Element Lad and the third Triplicate Girl dupe. To their surprise, Element Lad and the third Triplicate Girl are playing tonsil hockey.

We cut back to the Legionnaires with Supergirl. Supergirl is upset. Cosmic Boy tells her that this was all his plan. That a team of Legionnaires consisting of Light Lass, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, Supergirl and Cosmic Boy took off for a “mission.” Cosmic Boy had Brainiac use some Kryptonite to weaken her so they could give her a tranquilizer shot to knock her out. Cosmic Boy was concerned that Supergirl’s grand delusion made her a danger to everyone around her. Cosmic Boy reveals that they are on the planet Rokyn, where the City of Kandor was enlarged and placed because Rokyn is similar to what Krypton was like. That the Kandorans have agreed to reeducate Supergirl.

Supergirl breaks down and asks Cosmic Boy to stay with her. Supergirl says that she thought Cosmic Boy was starting to fall in love with her. Cos explains that his feelings for her was just a product of the Zeta radiation that sent her through time. It made his powers fluctuate and he mistook that for him having a crush on her. Cos explains that they all love Supergirl and that he had no choice but to try and get her emotionally stable. That he had to do this on Rokyn where she would be powerless. The Kryptonian scientists take Supergirl with them to begin giving her treatment. Saturn Girl then less Cosmic Boy that she feels like they are being watched, and indeed, we see someone watching them through the wall.

We cut to Talok VIII, where Shadow Lass defeats her brother Grev for the mantle of Shadow Champion of Talok. We shift forward to a big feast in celebration of Shadow Lass’ victory. There Shrinking Violet suggests that Shadow Lass should run for Legion Leader.

We shift back to Rokyn, where the Kryptonian scientists confer that Supergirl is a little slow (Hahaha! Ain’t that the truth. Poor Superbarbie.) Suddenly, the alarm goes off and Cosmic Boy, Light Lass, Brainiac 5 and Saturn Girl rush to investigate. Suddenly, the Legionnaires are attacked by various super powered teens including Jeyra Entinn, the Titanian that tried to frame Chameleon Boy (Yeah, that’s right. I used it. It is better than just Chameleon.) a few issues back. The Legionnaires begins brawling with the super powered villains. Jeyra commands her teammates to put the Legionnaires down so they can get what they came for and leave. One of the villains has ice powers like Polar Boy. Suddenly, Saturn Girl tells Cosmic Boy that she hears someone desperately calling for help. We then see the phantom form of Mon-El!!! End of issue.

The Good: Finally, for the first time in 23 issues I actually cheered while reading this title. I absolutely loved this ending. Fantastic. I’m a huge fan of Mon-El and I cannot wait for his long overdue re-appearance in the DCU. I just hope that he is brought back as Mon-El instead of M’Onel or Valor. Then my dreams will be fully answered. At any rate, it is just great to see Mon-El in the pages of the Legion of Super Heroes once again. Mon-El is a classic Legionnaire who is very important in counter-balancing the little red S. Back in the old days, Superboy tended to overshadow almost all of the Legionnaires. However, the presence of Mon-El always prevented Superboy from totally stealing the title. For some reason, I have never viewed Superboy or Supergirl as real Legionnaires. They are just honorary Legionnaires. However, Mon-El is a true old school Legionnaire. And the fact that the Legion has a true Legionnaire that is probably more powerful that Superboy or Supergirl always made me happy.

Plus, Daxamites are just cool. Once Mon-El had Brainy cure his lead poisoning you suddenly had a serious ass-kicker with pretty much no weaknesses. Now that Mon-El is returning, I’m curious to see how closely DC will tie Mon-El with Superman and Kryptonians. The original Crisis junked Mon-El’s ties with Superman and Kryptonians. I hope that DC takes advantage of this latest Crisis to re-establish this part of Mon-El’s past.

It was also great to see more old characters starting to pop up in this title. Chlorophyll Kid is the latest to appear. I always liked his character and thought he had a pretty cool power. I like the twist that he is infiltrating the Legion as a spy for some unknown Boss. There is a good chance that Chlorophyll Kid is somehow connected to the same group as Jeyra and Polar Boy. This new Legion of Super Villains is definitely interesting. I can’t wait to learn more about this group. This is the first plotline in a long time that has gotten my attention.

I was also thrilled to see the return of Barry Kitson to this title. Kitson’s artwork is desperately needed on a title that usually delivers very pedestrian stories. Kitson’s art was fantastic as always. I love how Kitson draws the Legion. DC needs to make sure Kitson never leaves this title.

The Bad: Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes #23 was slow. And boring. Honestly, if you removed the final three pages of this issue, you are left with a very dull and meandering comic book. It is absolutely stunning how very little has actually happened since the One Year Later storyline began. I have never seen a title so horribly stuck in neutral as Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes. Luckily, the final three pages finally gave this title some kind of direction.

Not surprisingly, this issue was dominated by the Supergirl plotline. Even though she has her own title, Waid somehow feels she is worthy of the entire spotlight in this title. The problem is that it is extremely hard to confuse her character with anything remotely resembling an interesting and well developed character. Supergirl is as insipid, vacuous and one-dimensional of a character that I have seen in a long time. Just putting a blonde in a mini-skirt and slapping the red “S” on her chest isn’t enough for me to find her fascinating.

The scenes surrounding Supergirl’s plotline were slow and boring. It is the same old tired discussion that we have been given in each and every issue since she first appeared. I am so tired of it. Either cure her and have her regain all her memories or get rid of her. Either way, this plotline needs to actually move forward. And the dialogue in these scenes were just brutal. Talk about being horrendously cheesy. I felt like I was watching a telenovas. And that is most definitely not a compliment.

I am hoping that the final three pages of this issue finally give this title something that resembles a purpose and direction. This story on this title has stumbled around like a blind man in a desert for too many issues. Now that Waid has resumed the full writing duties with this issue, I’m hoping that he will finally give this title the attention that it deserves. It seems like ever since the beginning of 52, that Waid has just mailed it in on this title.

Overall: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #23 was more of the same boring pointless writing however, the last three pages give me hope. I think that this title may actually be turning the corner. For the first time in a while, I’m actually excited for the next issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes. I just hope Waid can deliver.