Comic Book Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #33

Bedard and Calero had done what I thought was impossible. They have gotten me actually excited again about reading the latest issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes. Bedard is turning out the strongest story arc that we have gotten on this newest incarnation of the Legion of Super Heroes. I’m confident that Bedard will deliver another entertaining read in Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes #33.

Creative Team
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Dennis Calero

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

Synopsis: We begin with Star Boy making all the members of the Cult of Validus so heavy that they collapse to the ground and can’t get up. The Mayor then summons enough energy to blast Star Boy with lightning. The members of the Cult of Validus then stand up and Sun Boy and Mekt quickly retreat leaving Star Boy with the cultists.

We cut to Tenzil Kem using his powers to the test by eating his way through the mountain of grain that was dumped on top of him as well as the locked steel silo door.

We slide over to the temporary Legion headquarters where Invisible Kid warns Brainiac 5 that the Wanderers think Brainy set Mekt up to fail and that the Wanderers may get violent soon. Brainiac 5 walks out of his lab and finds the Wanderers waiting outside the door to talk to him.

Vrax, the Wanderer’s Coluan, says he his calculations show that Brainiac 5 sent Mekt on a mission in order to eliminate him as a rival to the position of leader of the Legion. Brainy disparages Vrax’s lowly 10th level intelligence and reminds everyone that Supergirl is the Legion leader and that she picked the teams.

We hop back to Winath where Mekt tells Sun Boy that the Cult of Validus members must be mimicking Mekt’s lightning abilities by using nano-capacitators in their blood stream. And that the Coluans lead the universe in nanotechnology and miniaturization.

We cut to the two kids in the Cult of Validus dragging Star Boy into a holding cell. Tenzil appears on the scene and takes out the two kids. We then see Sun Boy and Lightning Lad confronting the members of the Cult of Validus. Mekt and Sun Boy agree that Brainiac 5 is going to pay for what he has done to them. Mekt’s parents tell him to join the Cult of Validus. Mekt snaps and tells his father to shut up and then blasts his father with lightning.

We then shift to Star Boy and Tenzil then stumble across the giant transmitter that is giving the Cult of Validus members their lightning powers. Tenzil eats his way through the lock on the door protecting the transmitter and then Star Boy destroys the transmitter.

We cut back to Sun Boy yelling at Mekt for just blowing away his own father. Mekt rants that Brainiac 5 has turned them all against him. Suddenly, the Cult of Validus members lose their lighting powers. They then act like they just woke up from a dream and ask Sun Boy what is going on. That they were under some form of mind control.

Mekt’s mother then yells out that her husband is badly hurt. Mekt’s mother yells “What have you done!” at Mekt. Mekt tells his mother not to blame him, but to blame the person who used them against Mekt. To blame Brainiac 5. Tenzil and Star Boy then appear on the scene and Tenzil says that he agrees with Mekt that they should blame the person behind this scheme.

Tenzil reveals that he found the transmitter that gave the cult members their powers and also controlled their minds. Tenzil said he scanned the transmitter and the nanotech receivers in the cult members with his hi-tech glasses. That they all bear the same maker’s mark. Tenzil says it is Coluan indeed, but not Brainiac 5. It is the work of the Wanderer’s Coluan, Vrax Gozzl.

Mekt then sticks out his pointer finger and reminds Tenzil that Mekt’s promise to poke his finger through Tenzil’s eye and fry Tenzil’s brain. Tenzil stares at Mekt and then suddenly bites Mekt’s pointer finger clean off. (DAMN!) Tenzil spits out Mekt’s finger onto the floor. Mekt screams and then passes out.

Tenzil then places Mekt under arrest for the charges of murder, attempted murder of a government official, mind control and anything else Tenzil can dig up.

We cut to Star Boy and Sun Boy arriving back at Brainiac 5’s lab. Star Boy gives Brainiac 5 Mekt’s Legion flight ring who in turn gives it to Invisible Kid who had lost his. Sun Boy agrees to re-join the Legion of Super Heroes as long as Sun Boy’s Terror Firma members also get to stay with the Legion. Brainiac 5 agrees to have Sun Boy’s request put to a vote.

Brainiac 5 mentions how the Wanderers immediately fled the Legion headquarters once they heard about Mekt’s arrest. Brainiac 5 then reveals that he never trusted Vrax so Brainy tapped into Vrax’s computer system a while back. Brainiac 5 discovered that it was Mekt’s idea to destroy the Dominator Homeworld. Mekt’s telepath, Jeyra, then planted the idea in Cosmic Boy’s head.

Tenzil then appears on the video screen and informs Brainiac 4, Sun Boy, Star Boy and Invisible Kid that the data that Brainy discovered officially lets Cosmic Boy off the hook and that all charges are dropped. Tenzil does add that the U.P. is upset the Legion let the Wanderers escape and that the U.P. is worried that the Wanderers will turn into some sort of “Legion of Super Villains.”

Sun Boy then asks Brainiac 5 if the other teams are having any luck finding Cosmic Boy. Brainy responds that it depends. Does bad luck count? We then see a panel shot of a bunch of flames with Wildfire standing in the middle! (Hell yes!! He’s back! He’s back! Wildfire is finally back!)

Comments
The Good: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #33 was a great read! I have to give Bedard a ton of credit. I have never been all that impressed with his fill-in work on other titles I have collected. So, I was not all that excited when I heard that Bedard would be filling in on my beloved Legion. Well, I clearly had no need for concern. Bedard has done a sweet job on this title and has managed to do what Waid failed to do during his run: Actually getting me excited about reading the Legion of Super Heroes.

For the first time in forever, I have been looking forward to the newest issue of the Legion of Super Heroes. And I haven’t had as much fun when reading an issue of the Legion in quite a long time. Bedard really has surprised me with an impressive feel for the Legion and its characters and history.

Bedard gives us plenty of solid dialogue. Each character has their own distinctive personality and are rather well developed. Bedard also generates enjoyable chemistry between the various characters. Bedard understands that the Legion has always been about characters with very different personalities who sometimes clash, but have to work past the differences in order to achieve a common goal. And the little conflicts always provide for plenty of entertaining drama.

Bedard writes a great Brainiac 5. He has his requisite condescending attitude along with his dick personality and huge ego. Brainy always gets the best dialogue. No doubt about it. Bedard also does a nice job giving the reader a completely unhinged Mekt Ranzz.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #33 was a very well paced and plotted issue. Bedard has crafted a solid and rather tight little two issue story arc. This two issue story arc did everything that a good story arc should do. This two issue story arc moved at a pleasant pace, quickly hooked the reader’s attention, provided for a satisfactory pay off at the ending and moved along several plotlines.

Bedard managed to clear Cosmic Boy of any war crimes and also wipes away any shades of grey concerning Mekt and the Wanderers as Bedard exposes Mekt as the insane villain that he truly is, evolves the Wanderers into a classic group of villains.

I dig how Bedard took Mekt to the next level as a truly villainous character. Waid gave us a wonderfully complex version of Mekt who was various shades of grey as the reader couldn’t tell if Mekt was a good guy or a bad guy. It was enjoyable that Mekt wasn’t immediately introduced as a clear villain.

Bedard takes what Waid left him and builds off of it as we see just how truly sick and twisted Mekt is. Bedard makes Mekt a clear villain as we see Mekt blast his own father without remorse. Mekt is incredibly deranged and becomes a true villain. But, Bedard doesn’t reduce Mekt to a one-dimensional standard issue villain. Bedard makes sure that the reader gets a good feel for Mekt’s tragically fractured soul that makes the reader sympathetic for Mekt even though he is a reprehensible villain.

I also loved the little reference to the Legion of Super Villains that Bedard has Tenzil mention at the end of the issue with regard to the Wanderers. This was a cool nod to the Pre-Crisis group of villains that the Wanderers were clearly modeled after. I definitely am looking forward to the Legion locking horns with the Wanderers at some point in the future.

All right, I know what everyone is thinking. You are all thinking that “Hey, The Revolution makes some good points about this issue, but a 10? Is this issue really worth 10 Night Girls? Maybe 8 but no way it gets 10! What in the world in The Revolution thinking?”

Fair question. There are two reasons that I kicked this issue up from 8 Night Girls to a perfect 10 Night Girls. The first is the kick-ass Tenzil Kem action that we got in this issue. Tenzil actually bit Mekt’s finger CLEAN OFF! That was awesome! That was by far the best scene involving Matter Eater Lad in his entire history. I actually yelled out loud “Damn!” I was not expecting that to happen.

And the second, and much larger reason, is that Wildfire is finally back! Cosmic Boy and Wildfire have always been by far and away my two favorite Legionnaires ever since I was a little kid. I absolutely love Wildfire. And this is a character that has really gotten the shaft ever since the Legion got rebooted the first time. Well, actually Wildfire’s character started his decline with the fan-fiction writing of the TMK Legion that had Wildfire inhabit Sun Boy’s corpse.

We then got the first re-boot after Zero Hour. Wildfire didn’t make an appearance for years. And when he finally did, it was a truly craptacular version of Wildfire with a radically different origin and character. Wildfire never assumed the same position within the Legion that he had prior to Zero Hour. Then we got the second reboot and have had to wait thirty-three issues to finally see Wildfire in this newest incarnation of the Legion.

I can only hope and pray that Bedard gives us a Wildfire that is closer to the Pre-Crisis version than the Post Zero Hour version. At any rate, it is awesome that Wildfire is finally back and that alone is enough to crank up my excitement level totally off the charts and have me give Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #33 a perfect 10 Night Girls.

Denis Calero serves up plenty more of his well done artwork. Normally, I wouldn’t be crazy about Calero’s style of art on a science fiction title like the Legion, however it is a wonderful match to this creepy two issue story arc.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #33 was a great read. Bedard has really impressed me with his crisp and tight stories that have been entertaining and fun. And I will openly admit that I am totally biased since I’m a huge Wildfire fan so that alone made me absolutely insanely happy with the ending of this issue. Bedard has restored my enjoyment in my all-time favorite title.

1 Comments

  1. Good review, tho I wuld argue that Callero’s stuff is good for sci fi, remind me of Al Williamson’s sci fi.

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