Comic Book Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #32

Bedard really impressed The Revolution with his work on his debut issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes. I expect that Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #32 will be another good read. Bedard appears to have an entertaining story arc on tap for us and it is clear that Bedard has a purpose and direction with where he wants to go with this story arc. Let’s go ahead and do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Dennis Calero

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

Synopsis: We begin with Tenzil telling Mekt, Sun Boy and Star Boy that he will immediately arrest Cosmic Boy whenever they find him. Star Boy threatens to take out Tenzil if he tries to arrest Cosmic Boy. Tenzil’s personal lie detector beeps and Tenzil tells Star Boy to refrain from empty threats. Mekt then tells Tenzil if he gets in Mekt’s way that Mekt will poke out Tenzil’s eye and fry Tenzil’s brain. Tenzil’s lie detector doesn’t go off.

The heroes then enter the Ranzz home. Mekt says that something is wrong here. Star Boy then tries to contact Supergirl to tell her that they have a situation, however, Star Boy gets Brainiac 5 instead. Brainiac 5 also gets a message from Violet that “He caught us by surprise! Send back-up!”

Star Boy tells Brainiac 5 that he has commed farms all over this argisector and that no one has answered. Mekt then buts in and asks Brainiac 5 that there was an electromagnetic disturbance in the area and not the usual storm activity and why didn’t Brainy mention the. Brainiac 5 tells Mekt to continue searching for his parents and to not let Tenzil get the better of them.

Our heroes and Tenzil then head underground where people in Winath spend most of their time due to the storms that ravage the planet. They go to the underground tunnels and rooms and they are totally empty. Our heroes then notice some graffiti on one of the walls. The graffiti says “Validus” only with a symbol that looks like the head of the Pre-Crisis Validus.

Mekt totally freaks out. Mekt accuses Tenzil of tagging the machine before they got here. Sun Boy tries to get Mekt to calm down, but Mekt blasts Sun Boy and then tries to blast Tenzil. Star Boy tells Mekt to calm down. Sun Boy and Mekt then begin fighting with each other. Star Boy then makes them both so heavy that they can’t stand up. Star Boy gets them calmed down and they agree to stop fighting.

Mekt explains why he freaked out so much. That Mekt was born solo which is seen as a bad omen on Winath. That everyone is born as twins. Solos were viewed as self-destructive and plagues by a supernatural death wish. The people on Winath blames the storms on Winath on an evil sprit, a storm god named Validus. Some even worshipped Validus.

The Cult of Validus approached Mekt and say he was special and a part of a prophecy that would bring lord Validus to Winath in the flesh. They sent Mekt to Krobal. Garth and Ayla stowed away on the ship. They were zapped by lightning creatures and got their powers. Mekt thought he had fulfilled the prophecy with his new powers.

Unfortunately, the Cult of Validus said that Ayla and Garth also getting powers didn’t fit the prophecy at all. Therefore, the Cult decided that Mekt was cursed. It is implied that Mekt killed all the cult members. That is why Mekt tells Star Boy and Sun Boy that the Cult isn’t around anymore so the graffiti must be a hoax.

We see Tenzil wandering around and suddenly approached by two young boys. They let Tenzil that he needs to see Mayor Simzz. They lead Tenzil into a large room and then quickly close the door and lock it. Tenzil realizes that he has been tricked and is now in a trap. Suddenly, we see a hole in the ceiling open and wheat begins to pout into the room.

We cut to the two boys telling the Mayor that they took care of Tenzil like he asked. The Mayor is in a hood and surrounded by candles. We shift to Star Boy, Sun Boy and Mekt stumbling across a group of people. Mekt recognizes his parents in the group of people. Mekt’s parents say that Mekt has to be punished. That the Lord of Lightning demands it. We see Mekt’s parents and the Mayor blast Mekt with lightning. End of issue.

The Good: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #32 was a good read. Bedard delivers a well paced issue as he gives us just enough action from this issue being too “talky.” Bedard is unfolding a nicely paced story. At no point has this story completely wandered aimlessly. It is clear that Bedard has a gameplan in mind and is moving the story along with a purpose.

Bedard is displaying a nice feel for the various characters on this title. Each Legionnaire has a well developed personality and they each have their own distinctive voice. I dig the dialogue. Bedard has created a nice natural flow with the banter between the characters. There is plenty of enjoyable chemistry between the various characters. I love the bristling between Star Boy, Mekt and Sun Boy. Part of what has always made the Legion of Super Heroes so much fun is that many of the characters just don’t get along that well.

Bedard writes a fantastic Tenzil Kem. I love Tenzil’s personality. Tenzil is so smarmy, smug and brimming full of confidence. Bedard did an excellent job figuring out an entertaining way to re-introduce Tenzil into this newest incarnation of the Legion. Tenzil gets the most of the best lines in this issue and generally, if Tenzil is in a scene, I’m going to find it entertaining.

Bedard continues Mark Waid’s trend of giving us a Brainiac 5 who is a total dick and then takes it just one step further. The Brainiac 5 of this version of the Legion has always been an egotistical and snobby dick. But, Bedard makes Brainiac 5 slightly sinister in this issue. Maybe it is Calero’s artwork, but the scene where Brainiac 5 tells Star Boy and Mekt that they are on their own, Brainiac 5 looked rather menacing.

Bedard is certainly making the reader begin to question what Brainiac 5 is up to on this story arc. Clearly, Brainiac 5 has his own agenda. The issue remains is if Brainiac 5’s agenda is an ominous one or not.

I also love the way Bedard writes Mekt’s character. Bedard does an impressive job capturing what a tortured, lonely and angry soul that Mekt truly is. I enjoy the additional background information that Bedard gives the reader in this issue. The addition of the Cult of Validus to Mekt’s origin is a rather interesting twist on the Pre-Crisis origin of Mekt.

I totally dig the concept of the Cult of Validus. This is certainly rather different from the Pre-Crisis Validus that we have seen recently over in The Brave and The Bold. Personally, I prefer the Pre-Crisis Validus of the Fatal Five; however, I appreciate Bedard trying to do something a little different with Validus’ character. I’m extremely curious to learn more about Validus, the Lord of Lightning. I’m also interested in finding out out exactly what the Cult of Validus is up to in this story arc.

Bedard serves up a great hook ending to this issue. We have Tenzil in a death trap and the revelation that Mekt’s parents are a part of this new Cult of Validus and are ready to attack Star Boy, Mekt and Sun Boy. Bedard gives us an enjoyably creepy ending as an entire town seems to have been possessed by an evil spirit. This ending gives this storyline a dark supernatural feel that you don’t normally get on this title. Science Fiction themes obviously dominate the Legion of Super Heroes. This horror story is a neat change of pace.

Dennis Calero delivers some phenomenal artwork. Calero makes Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #32 a wonderful and rather unique looking issue. Calero creates a deep, dark and moody feel to this issue. Now, even though I love Calero’s artwork, I don’t think that his style fits the hi-tech, futuristic, Sci-Fi and bright feel of the Legion of Super Heroes. However, Calero’s style of art definitely works with this dark and creepy Cult of Validus storyline. This is the perfect story arc for Calero to be the fill-in artist for.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #32 was good read. Initially, I was reserved in how good of a read Bedard’s story arc was going to be. I have been pleasantly surprised at what a fun story arc Bedard has given us so far. I have actually enjoyed consecutive issues on this title. And it has been quite a long time since I enjoyed that many issues in a row on the Legion of Super Heroes.