Comic Book Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #34

The Revolution continues to thoroughly enjoy Bedard’s take on the Legion. After having to slog my way through Waid’s dull run on this title, it is strange to actually look forward to the latest issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes. I’m psyched to finally see Wildfire in action once again. I’m sure that Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #34 will be another exciting read. Let’s go ahead and hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Dennis Calero

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 Wildfire in front of the President of Lallor. Wildfire says he is here to kill the President. Suddenly, Atom Girl appears and points a gun at Wildfire.

We hop back three hours earlier with Atom Girl, Timber Wolf and Shadow Lass brawling with the Lallor military. All three Legionnaires are vicious fighters. Atom Girl and Shadow Lass keep track of their kills as a contest between the two of them. Timber Wolf couldn’t care less. He just wants to rampage and kill.

Timber Wolf questions one of the soldiers as to why they attacked the Legionnaires. The soldier says the Legionnaires transmattered into the middle of a civil War. The pro-U.P. government is fighting with the anti-U.P rebels. Lallor intends on join the U.P. and that the anti-U.P. rebels have sent a metahuman to kill the President before he can get Lallor to join the U.P.

Shadow Lass tells the soldier to inform his president that he has a diplomatic visitor: Tasmia Mallor of Talok VIII.

We cut to the leader of the rebels, Randall, hooking a tank holding the energy essence of Drake Burroughs into a containment suit. Randall says it is time for Drake to go kill the President. Drake responds that if Randall wasn’t his brother then he would have to kill Randall.

Randall tells Drake that after Drake kills the President that they will blame the murder on the Legionnaires who just showed up on Lallor.

We slide back to the capital of Lallor. Shadow Lass is announced before the president as the Shadow Champion of Talok VIII. The President asks if Tasmia can help facilitate Lallor’s induction in the U.P. Shadow Lass responds that she is here searching for Cosmic Boy.

Timber Wolf and Atom Girl are tagging along with Shadow Lass in this meeting. Brainiac 5 then contacts Atom Girl so that only she can hear him. Brainy informs Atom Girl that the capital building that they are in is about to be attacked. That Brainy wants them to defend the capital and to let Timber Wolf lead the charge.

We cut to outside the capital building and see Wildfire on the scene. He blasts his way through the guards. He blasts through the roof of the capital building and then locks horns with the Legionnaires. Timber Wolf mentions that Drake looks familiar. Drake responds that he had an accident that turned him into living anti-energy. That he offered his serves to the Legion. Since Drake was a living Energy Release Generator, he asked the Legion to call him E.R.G.-1. Cosmic Boy said if Drake made the team then he would get a real codename.

During the mission, Drake’s containment suit’s faceplate got cracked. He vented through the hole and dissipated into the atmosphere. The Legionnaires assumed that Drake had died. Drake says that if the Legion had done a simple ion sweep then they would have recovered his energies. Instead, they abandoned him.

Timber Wolf then thanks Wildfire for telling him his weakness. Timber Wolf smashes Wildfire’s face plate. Unfortunately, this is a new containment suit that can automatically “heals” itself. Wildfire starts kicking ass on Shadow Lass, Atom Girl and Timber Wolf.

The roof collapses on top of Timber Wolf. Atom Girl contacts Brainy to find out if Timber Wolf’s ring is still transmitting life signs. Brainy responds that the blast was just what Timber Wolf needed. Atom Girl asks for what? Brainy tells her to stay clear of the rubble. That Timber Wolf is coming out.

We see a pissed off Timber Wolf rise out of the rubble. Brin has transformed into a sharp fanged wolf-man creature. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #34 was another great read. Bedard continues to impress me with his job as the interim writer on this title until Jim Shooter’s arrival with issue #37. Being the temporary writer is usually a thankless job and you rarely get much credit when shunted into that role. However, Bedard has made the most of his temporary status on this title and is delivering a well crafted story that displays a surprisingly good feel for the various characters in the Legion.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #34 was well plotted and paced. Bedard gives the reader an excellent balance of dialogue heavy scenes and fast paced action scenes. Bedard has constructed a tight story arc that is unfolding in a pleasant fashion.

Bedard has served up some wonderfully crafted dialogue. Bedard has a real feel for the various personalities of each Legionnaire. The dialogue has a satisfying flow that makes this issue enjoyable to read. The strong dialogue also helps to generate solid chemistry between the various characters.

Bedard engages in plenty of character development in order to make sure that each Legionnaire has a distinct personality and comes across as nicely well rounded characters. I dig the team of Timber Wolf, Shadow Lass and Atom Girl. These three characters are certainly some of the most vicious fighters that the Legion possesses. I liked the contrast between Shadow Lass and Atom Girl’s style of fighting which includes engaging in witty banter while keeping track of their kills with Timber Wolf’s bad-assed approach of less talking and more killing.

Bedard’s Timber Wolf is excellent. This is exactly how Brin’s character should be handled. Waid largely ignored Brin’s character and when you did see him Waid gave us a pretty generic version of his character. I like Brin’s blunt and no-nonsense attitude. Every team needs an ass-kicker who is direct and to the point. Brin fills that role very well.

I also like that Atom Girl and Shadow Lass are flirty and sexual and yet they are still tough ass-kickers. It is cool to see two girls who openly dig the bad boy. Men who want to talk about their emotions and that are good guys need not apply. These two ladies like them rough, nasty and violent. You rarely see writers comfortable having female characters openly admit to preferring this type of male.

I was very happy with Bedard’s take on Wildfire’s character. This is the first we have seen of Wildfire since Waid re-booted the Legion. Bedard does an excellent job keeping Wildfire’s origin consistent enough with his pre-Crisis origin without it being completely duplicative.

I liked Bedard’s cool new twist on Wildfire’s character. The pre-Crisis Wildfire also “died” when his containment suit was ruptured. The Legionnaires thought E.R.G.-1 was dead and went back to Earth. Drake followed them in his energy form. Eventually, Drake got his energy back into a new suit and arrived to save the Legion. He was then given the name Wildfire and admitted into the Legion.

Bedard spins it so this new version of Wildfire takes an entirely different approach to being left for “dead.” This new version of Wildfire is pissed and full of hate. He feels abandoned and has serious anger issues. I like that Bedard decided to do something a little different to take Wildfire’s character in a slightly different direction while still keeping the basic essence of Drake’s character. Hopefully, this new version of Wildfire will see the light and come around the joining the Legion. The last thing I want is for Wildfire to be re-cast as a villain in this newest incarnation of the Legion.

Of course, Bedard not only gives us nice dialogue and solid character work, but he also dishes out tons of quality action. It was cool watching the team of Timber Wolf, Shadow Lass and Atom Girl rip their way through the Lallorian army. Bedard puts the reader on notice that this team of Legionnaires is not to be messed with. They may be lacking the overt power of an Ultra Boy or Mon-El, but that doesn’t mean for a second that these three Legionnaires aren’t extremely deadly.

And it is a breath of fresh air to see characters outside of Supergirl kicking ass. Waid let Supergirl completely dominate and overshadow all of the Legionnaires. Superbarbie hogged all the action and made the rest of the Legionnaires look totally and completely irrelevant. Bedard doesn’t make that mistake. Bedard has wisely ignored Supergirl during his run on this title. Instead, Bedard has given other Legionnaires the opportunity to shine.

Bedard ends Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #34 with a fantastic hook ending. I definitely didn’t expect to see a feral Timber Wolf come clawing through the rubble. Obviously, Brin has been given some sort of serious power upgrade.

And once again Brainiac 5 demonstrates the fact that he knows secrets about every Legionnaire that maybe they don’t even know about themselves. I’m curious to find out how Brainiac 5 knew that Brin was capable of “powering up” to a whole new level. I’m also excited to see this powered up version of Brin kicking some ass in the next issue.

And speaking of Brainiac 5, I dig how Bedard has handled his character. The reader is conflicted on how to view Brainy. Is Brainiac 5 a tremendous asset who always has a solution? Or is he a secretive and manipulative person who is working toward some personal and sinister goal? Or maybe he is a combination of both? At any rate, Bedard has made Brainiac 5 a delightfully complex character rather than being a generic egotistical smart guy.

Denis Calero whips up his usual excellent artwork. I dig Calero’s style and loved him over on X-Factor. I’ll admit that I never thought Calero’s style of art would be a good match for a title like the Legion of Super Heroes. I have always found that a title like the Legion benefits from more detailed, slick and smooth looking artwork.

Well, Calero has proven me wrong. At least as a fill-in artist, I really enjoy Calero’s unique and interesting take on the Legion. Plus, Calero’s style of art is a perfect match for the creepy and sinister tone that Bedard is giving this storyline.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #34 was another well crafted issue. Bedard and Calero have successfully revived my moribund interest in this title. Bedard is making the Legion a quality read and should provide Shooter plenty of momentum as he takes over this title with issue #37. I’d definitely recommend giving this title a chance. This is a great point for new readers to hop aboard this train.

3 Comments

  1. For some reason, they got a new cover for this issue. Note that the preview image in your review (which is the same one listed in the “this week’s comics” page at the very back of the book) is not the same as the one that’s on the cover.

    As for racking up kills, I prefer to think of it as them knocking out their opponents.

  2. This is slightly off topic, but what do you think about the previews for the second season of Legon of Superheros. I liked the overall lighthearted feel of season one, so I’m not sure I like the darker more edgy look of season two. I’m not sure why they needed to changed a good thing.

    Still not sure about the idea of two supermen. Seems kind of overkill. I think the second is supossed to be a sub for Mon el. But I do like cameleon boy’s look and as long as it has tripcate girl, i’m happy.I love what they’ve done with her.

  3. Elian Gonzalez Lives! October 4, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Rokk, this was a great call. I never read the Legion before, but after picking this up, I went back and got 31-33. Bedard does a great job making this (what I perceived as) weird and confusing universe and making it make sense. Kudos to the art too!

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