Comic Book Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #26

The Revolution has been stunned that we actually enjoyed the last issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes. The Legion is dear to my heart and it has been horrible having to bash a title that I has always been my favorite. Well, Waid made me change my tune as I praised his efforts on the last issue. For the first time in a long time, I’m actually expecting the newest issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes to be a good read. Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #26 promises to be rather entertaining as we delve deeper into Mekt’s motivation for forming the Wanderers. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Barry Kitson
Inker: Mick Gray

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

Synopsis: We begin with Timber Wolf (Holy crap! A T-Wolf sighting! Where has this guy been?) acting tough and attempting to intimidate Chlorophyll Kid into telling the Legionnaires who Chlorophyll Kid is working for. Timber Wolf asks if it is the same person who kidnapped Karate Kid and the others. Timber Wolf then says that Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5 and Supergirl are on their way to pay a visit to this mysterious person.

We then cut to the aforementioned group of Legionnaires headed straight to Mekt and the Wanderers. They bust into the Wanderer’s building and demand that they turn over the Legionnaires that they kidnapped. Lightning Lad sees Mekt and is stunned. Lightning Lad tells Light Lass to get away from Mekt. Mekt retorts that Ayla is on his side.

Supergirl moves to attack Mekt and Mekt orders Mon-El to block her. Mon-El steps in front of Mekt to block Supergirl. Mekt reveals that he steered the Legion to Mon-El. That he knew about the legend of a lost superhuman stranded in the Phantom Zone. Mekt knew that only Brainiac 5 was smart enough to release Mon-El.

Mekt says that he chose Legionnaires who are soldiers rather than generals and would follow his orders into a battle that they must fight. Mekt tells Jeyra to give Mon-El and Supergirl the global coordinates for them to view what the U.P. is up against. Jeyra then telepathically broadcasts what Mon-El and Supergirl see to the other Legionnaires.

We see the Robot Rebellion going unnoticed underneath Mega Tokyo busy building their one true machine god. The machine god’s first act will be to deliver the Earth to the Dominators. Mekt says that it is inevitable. That he picked the Legionnaires who would be willing to operate in a military fashion. That if the Legion fights him then they will all die. That if the Legion answers to him then he will lead them to victory.

Cosmic Boy asks Mon-El, Supergirl, Ultra Boy and Brainiac 5 to go to Mega Tokyo to check out what is going on with the Robot Rebellion. Mon-El busts through the ground and begins tunneling through the Earth on his way to Japan.

Cosmic Boy asks Saturn Girl to cloak his mind so he can have a private conversation with Mekt. Jeyra then cloaks Mekt’s mind. Ayla then approached the Wanderers and tells them that she has to tell them something that they do not know about her brother, Mekt.

We cut to Mon-El and the other Legionnaires tunneling their way to Mega Tokyo. Supergirl tells Mon-El it would have been easier to fly through the air to Japan. Mon-El says he just wanted to enjoy the feel of things after being trapped in the Phantom Zone. Mon-El then apologizes for whipping’ Supergirl’s ass last issue.

Mon-El says that his memories are starting to come back. That Kal-El put him in the Phantom Zone because Mon-El had been poisoned. That Mon-El had been there ever since. Mon-El says that Supergirl will meet him again later in her life once she finally returns to the 21st century. (Thank the comic book gods!! One day we will be rid of the treacherous reign of the Superbimbo!) Mon-El says that Supergirl makes it back to her own time after and then he stops himself. Supergirl asks after what? Mon-El says never mind.

We cut back to Garth telling Cosmic Boy that before Garth joined the Legion, he searched the universe searching for his missing brother, Mekt. We see Ayla telling the Wanderers how on their planet Winath, it was normal for there to be twin births. However, Mekt was an oddity. Mekt was born solo. Mekt always felt distant from everyone.

One day, Mekt went out joyriding and Garth and Ayla stowed away on the vessel. Mekt crashed on the planet Korbal where strange lightning creatures lived. These creatures blasted the siblings with their lightning energies. Mekt was the strongest so he awoke the first and took his siblings back into the vessel. Mekt then used his new lightning powers to charge up the vessel so they could go back home. The three siblings were place in intensive care back home on Winath. When Garth and Ayla finally awoke, Mekt had disappeared.

We cut to Garth telling Cosmic Boy that once Garth got out of the hospital he began searching for his brother but never found him. Mekt responds that he never wanted anyone to follow him. That Garth didn’t owe him anything and that Mekt doesn’t owe Garth anything. That Garth and Ayla were the bonded ones. That Mekt had no one. Garth yells that Mekt had Garth and Ayla.

Suddenly, Brainiac 5 contacts Cosmic Boy over his flight ring. Brainiac 5 says that Mekt must have gotten some bad intel. That the Robot Rebellion in Mega Tokyo was no worse than what they fought in Metropolis. In fact, the “three muscle heads” had already ended the fight.

The ground then begins to shake. The ground starts to rise toward the sky. The Legionnaires fly up into the air to see what they are dealing with. They see a giant robot in the shape of a Dominator rising from the ground.

We cut back to Ayla concluding her story about Mekt to the Wanderers. Ayla says that she and Garth always kept an eye on Mekt because it was their job because of Mekt’s “condition.” That as a Winath “solo,” Mekt was born with a death wish. Ayla concludes that whatever mission the Wanderers think they signed on for, Mekt is not leading them on a glory mission. Mekt is leading them on a suicide run.

We cut back to the Legionnaires in Mega Tokyo. Cosmic Boy tells Brainiac 5 that he is sending reinforcements. Mekt curses that the Dominators were farther along than he thought. Ultra Boy, Mon-El and Supergirl attack the Dominator robot. Surprisingly enough, the Dominator Robot is rather flimsy and has no defensive capabilities. And despite its size, it is virtually hollow. (Well then Supergirl should be able to relate to this robot.)

Brainiac 5 doesn’t believe it could be this easy and tells the other Legionnaires to look inside the robot and see what it is doing. The Legionnaires look inside and tell Brainy that the robot wasn’t built for combat. That the Dominator robot is a delivery system. The robot then says “Program complete. Two. One.” Then the robot explodes and a massive red cloud comes showering out of it. Ultra Boy asks if the red mist is a chemical weapon. Supergirl wonders if it is radioactive vapor. Brainiac 5 responds that it is far worse than either of those things.

Brainiac 5 then radios Cosmic Boy and says “We’ve lost.” End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Well look who has gotten 8 out of 10 Night Girls in back to back issues! I honestly didn’t think that was ever going to happen given the poor quality of reads over the past year on this title. I’ve been liberal in my venom for this title when I have disliked an issue, so it is only fair that I’m liberal in my praise when I feel that Waid is finally turning out quality reads on the Legion.

Supergirl and The Legion of Super Heroes #26 was an entertaining issue. Waid seems to finally be finding his legs on this title. I don’t know if it was that 52 was consuming too much of Waid’s time, but it was clear that his attention wasn’t focused on this title. Waid delivers a tightly written and well focused issue that is properly paced and nails the reader with a great hook ending.

I have criticized Waid for what has seemed to be an alarming lack of focus and a pace that would make a snail seem as fast as a cheetah. However, Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #26 suddenly brings together three different plotlines and gives them razor sharp focus and a clear direction. The Robot Rebellion plotline, the Dominator plotline and the mysterious individual recruiting super powered teens have now all converged together to create an overall storyline that has the potential to be wildly entertaining.

I really like how Waid managed to get these different plotlines in line and merge them all together into a storyline that appears to have a sound foundation. It is great to finally see these little plotlines that Waid has been hinting at for over the past year finally coming to fruition. Patience is a virtue and Waid has certainly made the reader wait a long time for the payoff that we got in Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #26.

I liked that Waid wisely chose not to mess too much with the origin of Mekt, Garth and Ayla. We got some minor tweaking, but the essence remained unchanged. Mekt is the tragic and disturbed solo birth who feels detached from all of those around him. I dig that Waid takes Mekt’s loneliness a step further and instead of making him some cheesy villain, he makes Mekt more complex and intriguing. Waid gives Mekt an all consuming death wish. I dig it.

Mekt is a wonderfully gray character. He isn’t a villain, but he definitely isn’t your typical hero. Mekt is an interesting character who clearly has plenty of charisma that makes him the kind of person that people blindly follow to their doom. I think that Mekt would make a good cult leader. I’m glad that Waid decided to take this route with Mekt’s character rather than making him the stereotypical “evil brother” that he was in the pre-boot Legion.

Waid does an excellent job further fleshing out Mekt’s personality. The scene between Mekt and Garth was pretty powerful. Mekt’s cold indifference to his brother is harsh. Mekt is truly the polar opposite in personality and demeanor compared to his hot tempered and passionate brother, Garth. Waid really lets the reader feel the emotion between these two brothers. The reader can feel Garth’s frustration and pain as he yells to Mekt that Mekt was never alone. That he always had Garth and Ayla.

This scene with Garth just makes Mekt an even more tragic and sad figure. That Mekt is so caught up in his own anger at being a solo that he can’t see the love that his own siblings have for him. It makes perfect sense that a person like Mekt would completely withdraw from everyone around him. For Mekt there is only himself. And relationships with other people seem pointless and impossible. I like Waid’s version of Mekt more and more with each issue. I look forward to seeing what Waid has in store for this character.

It was great seeing Mon-El in action with his fellow Legionnaires. It just warms my Levitz-era loving heart to see the real Mon-El kicking butt once again in the pages of the Legion of Super Heroes. It was also sweet to see Mon-El and Ultra Boy fighting side by side like these close friends always did back in the Levitz era Legion. Mon-El and Ultra Boy are like peanut butter and jelly and you just can’t have one without the other.

Waid continues to deliver one of the better written Brainiac 5’s I have read. Clearly, Brainy is one of Waid’s personal favorites. I absolutely love Brainy’s acerbic humor. Brainiac 5 just constantly skewers his teammates with his dry wit. Brainiac 5’s prickly personality instantly makes even an average scene more entertaining.

The final scene of this issue was excellent. Waid delivered a massive hook ending that completely stunned me. I definitely didn’t see this coming. I like that Waid took what I thought was a rather pedestrian plotline in the Robot Rebellion and tied it into the Dominator plotline. I loved the giant Dominator Robot. And making the Dominator Robot a vessel to distribute a deadly red mist rather than making it an offensive juggernaut was a great twist.

The immediate question is what in the world is that red mist? Evidently, it is something so terrible that Brainiac 5 immediately states that they all have already lost. I am excited to learn more about this red mist and see where Waid is going with this plotline.

I ragged on Waid for introducing the Dominator plotline and then leaving it dangling and pretty much ignoring it. Well, Waid has most definitely gotten the Dominator plotline moving once again. This impending war with the Dominators has the potential to be fantastic. Waid has finally managed to get me excited about reading the next issue of the Legion.

Now, let me address the scene between Mon-El and Supergirl, because this made me extremely happy. Mon-El’s memory is coming back and he remembers that Kal-El put him in the Phantom Zone in order to save him. Mon-El and Supergirl will meet once Supergirl returns to her own timeline. And that is what made me stand up and do the “happy dance.” Finally, we get proof that Supergirl will be returning to her own timeline at some point. That means that eventually, we will be freed from Supertwit’s iron rule over my poor Legion. I cannot wait for the day when my beloved Legion reclaims their title and Supergirl’s name is removed from the title of this comic book. That will be a glorious day.

The fact is that Dan Didio stated that Supergirl would stay a part of the Legion as long as sales dictate. Well, here are the hard cold facts. Legion of Super Heroes #15 sold 31,600 copies. That was the final issue before Supergirl hi-jacked this comic book. Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #25 sold 33,288 copies. That is only 1,688 more copies.

And the sales numbers for Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes have dropped like a rock since issue #16 which was the first issue marking the black reign of the Superbimbo. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the sales numbers equal or dip below what Legion of Super Heroes #15 sold. Since the sales numbers no longer justify Supergirl hogging the Legion’s title. Hopefully, Waid’s teaser in this issue is proof that Dan Didio is going to follow his word.

And what makes me laugh is that I remember some huge Supergirl fan getting all bent out of shape over me stating that Supergirl would only provide a small initial spike in sales and then the numbers would drop back to where they were before she took over the title by the end of a year of her on the title. And I was right. Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #16 provided an initial spike up to 47,400 copies. Then it began dropping like a rock every issue since then with the exception of a small spike for issue #23 which featured the return of Mon-El.

As always, Barry Kitson’s artwork is excellent. Kitson draws a fantastic Legion and supplies the best artwork on the Legion in a very long time. I hope that Kitson stays on this title for a very long time.

The Bad: Amazingly enough, I have no complaints with this issue. Well, actually, I do have one small complaint. What is up with the lack of panel time for my boy Timber Wolf? It was great to at least see him for two pages in this issue.

Overall: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #26 was a good read. Waid is finally cranking out issues at the high level that I have always expected from him. With the Dominator war looming on the horizon, this is certainly a great time to give the Legion a try. Wait, forget I said that. I don’t want anyone to pick up this title and have the sales numbers increase and have Dan Didio think that it means fans like Supergirl on this title. Instead, wait for Supergirl to leave the Legion and then give this title a try.

1 Comments

  1. Didn’t the lettering bother you? It made it too weird to properly read with that extra space after the bold words.

    Nice writeup, I’m glad to see you finally enjoying the series again.

    The bump in sales from issue 23 was due to the variant Adam Hughes cover, not Mon-el. And to be fair, too large a percentage of the “One Year Later” titles have seen their sales fall back to pre-OYL levels, not just S/LSH. My only complaint when Supergirl leaves will be that she’s a much better character here than in her own book.

    I’ll have your review up on the Legion Omnicom later today.

Comments are closed.