Comic Book Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #29

The Revolution has not been all that impressed with this Dominator story arc. I have found it to be rather anti-climactic. However, there is still a chance that Waid can deliver two real gems with his final two issues on Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes and make this Dominator storyline a real blast to read. Let’s hope for the best and do this review of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #29.

Creative Team
Writer: Tony Bedard
Penciler: Kevin Sharpe
Inkers: Mark McKenna and Jack Purcell

Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with the top combat technologist for the Dominators talking about how he learned from a teacher that the Dominators had to admit that technologically superior races sometimes fall to primitive foes. Even if it was unthinkable, someone must think the unthinkable in order to prevent the scum the galaxy from one day dragging the Dominators down.

The top combat technologist then looks outside his window and sees the Legionnaires attacking his city. The technologist says that the scum of the galaxy is now here. The Legionnaires battle the dominator troops. The Dominator shock troopers all say remember the 52.

We cut back to the top combat technologist, who says to himself that he has a plan in store in case of an attack like this. The technologist thinks how 10 centuries ago his ancestors joined other interstellar powers in an invasion of the planet Earth. Unfortunately, the humans won the war.

Ever since then, the Dominators withdrew from other races and grew more inclusive and withdrawn. The boundaries all of the Dominator Empire were fixed. In four to five centuries later, the Dominators signed a non-aggression pact with the humans.

Then, roughly a year ago, a human suddenly appeared through a rip in space time. We see Booster Gold appearing on the Dominator home planet. Booster streaks toward a new tachyon disrupt poor rifle that the top combat technologist had been working on. Right before the technologist was able to conduct the first live target cast, Booster sweeps in and takes the weapon.

Booster is speaking English, so the Dominators could not understand anything he was saying. Booster tells the Dominators that this weapon it was exactly what he was looking for. Booster then says that he has to go. That he has 52 worlds to save. Booster then exits through another rip in the space time.

The Dominators were able to translate what Booster said. The Dominators wondered how the humans could have allied 52 different worlds to war against the Dominator Empire. That this human broke the treaty, violated their borders and stole one of their newest weapons. That Booster Gold had declared war all in all dominators.

The top combat technologist enters the lab where he has the various members of the Legion and the Wanderers held captive. The technologist tells Sun Boy that he engineered the super soldier shock troopers in order to give Dominators their own Legion of Super Heroes. The shock trooper with the technologists tells of the technologist that they should simply execute the Legionnaires and join the fight outside.

The technologists says that the true enemy is not the humans it is hubris. The technologist then frees all of the Legionnaires and Wanderers. The technologist tells the shock trooper that his intention was never to defeat the humans but to invite catastrophic war. That he wants the humans to raise the Dominators flawed society. That one day, the shock troopers will replace it with a better version of the Dominators.

The shock trooper angrily punches the technologist into the wall and the technologist is impaled on a piece of metal. That technologists thinks to himself that he has no regrets. That a people who cling to the myth of their own perfection rather than face the truth are doomed. That he knew the only way to save the Dominators was too irrevocably change them.

That the Dominators will lose this war. And that his super soldiers will be scattered to the stars. Then they will pass on the X-factor that he and encoded in their genome. That in a few generations they will forever alter Dominator physiology. And that they will birth champions with abilities that even he cannot foresee.

We cut to the Legionnaires outside in the city battling with the shock troopers. Suddenly, Sun Boy and the other Legionnaires and Wanderers join the fight. Cosmic Boy then rallies the heroes and tells them that this is the final battle. And that today, either the Dominator home world falls or Earth does. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Wow. I can’t believe what a pedestrian read Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #29 was. I found the truth behind the Dominator’s connection to the 52 to be a total joke. It was such a bad job that I busted out laughing. It was unintentionally funny. Kind of like a cheesy movie that takes itself seriously.

The connection between the Dominators and the 52 was so idiotic that I couldn’t stop laughing. And laughing is a positive so that fulfills The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity that I say something nice about every issue no matter what.

The Bad: Ok, did I miss something? The solicitation for Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes lists Mark Waid as the writer and Barry Kitson as the artist. Yet, that is most definitely not the creative team that we got on this issue. Instead, it is Tony Bedard handling the writing duties for this penultimate issue of Waid’s big Dominator story arc and his swan song on this title.

I was under the impression that Waid and Kitson’s run on this title was done with issue #30 and that Bedard would take over the writing duties and Kevin Sharpe would take over the art duties with issue #31. I also was under the impression that the Dominator story arc was Waid’s big swan song and the huge culmination of everything that Waid has been leading up to during his entire run on this title.

And yet, Bedard is the writer for Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #29. What a disappointment. Waid can’t even finish out his own final story arc that has been hyped as a huge culmination of all the events that have taken place on this title since the first issue. That is an absolute joke.

I have always liked Waid’s writing and I think he is an immensely creative and talented writer who has an amazing encyclopedic knowledge of the DCU. When I first heard that Waid was taking over the Legion I was genuinely excited about the Legion for the first time since the Crisis on Infinite Earth decimated the Legion. I figured a writer as talented and knowledgeable as Waid would be able to rejuvenate a slumping and flagging franchise and make it an excellent read. I thought we might be in store for the best version of the Legion since the Pre-Crisis Legion came to an end.

Wow, was I ever wrong. Waid completely and totally failed to live up to the hype. Waid never seemed to take his job on the Legion seriously. During his entire run, he either gave half-hearted efforts on very pedestrian story arcs or he had to get guest writers to carry his load while he concentrated on other titles like 52. It is a real shame that Waid failed to live up to the high expectations. I truly expected more out of a big name talent like Waid.

Now, I’m going to pound on Bedard for the shortcomings of this issue. I know that Bedard is filling in for Waid and that this is Waid’s plot and not Bedard’s plot. It is analogous to when I was a brand new attorney and had only been practicing for about a month when a senior partner sent me in on a motion with a judge on a case that the partner had royally screwed up.

The judge was hot under the collar and reamed me out at that hearing. The judge prefaced it by saying that he understood that it was the senior partner that had screwed the case up and made the judge mad and not me. However, I was the one standing there representing the law firm so I was going to get the reaming. That is pretty much what is going to happen to Bedard with my criticism.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #29 was an intensely slow and plodding issue. I have had more fun watching paint dry. This is issue is the second to last issue of this “huge” story arc and this is what we get? The rambling, boring and dry inner monologue of a Dominator technologist that runs through the entire issue?

Oh god. What a great way to absolutely kill any and all momentum that this story arc had managed to build up. You could hear the screeching of tires and the resounding thud as this issue just completely slammed this story arc into neutral. I am beyond stunned that we would get such an incredible sluggish and dull issue right before the final issue of this “major” story arc.
We ended last issue with the promise of what was going to be some insane action between the combined forces of the Legion and the Wanderers going up against the Dominators on the Dominator Homeworld. But do we get any of that action? Nope. We don’t even get much of the Legion in this issue.

Instead, all we get is tons of incredibly dull and dense narrative from the Dominator technologist. I now know more about the Dominator Empire than I ever wanted or cared to know. I was waiting for Bedard to tell us about the agricultural practices of the Dominator Empire and how that has evolved over time. Maybe even some information about their procedures for ratifying new laws. That would have been just as riveting as what we got.

And what the hell is up with the mystery behind the Dominators connection with the 52? It all stems from Booster Gold showing up, stealing a prototype weapon, then mentioning saving the 52 worlds and then the Dominators misinterpreting what Booster said to mean that Earth had aligned 52 worlds to fight against the Dominators? That is it? Are you kidding me? That is totally asinine. Talk about being the very epitome of anti-climactic.

I am stunned that this was all there was behind the Dominators connection with the 52. I mean, talk about totally building up the anticipation about the Dominators and their connection with the mysterious 52 and then delivering this mind numbingly uncreative and underwhelming revelation. Talk about a much to do about nothing!

The revelation of the connection between the Dominators and the 52 is simply a microcosm of Waid’s entire run on this title. It falls completely short of any and all the hype that we got leading up this point. It is as if Waid didn’t even try to bother to create something interesting with this connection between the Dominators and the 52. Waid simply came up with an uncreative and contrived connection just to try and bump the sales and interest of the title that he cares more about over in 52.

I found Bedard’s dialogue to be rather stiff and generic. I know that the plot for this issue was Waid’s plot. However, the dialogue us all on Bedard and I was certainly not impressed. I really hope Bedard learns how to write some personalities into the various Legionnaires by the time he assumes full control of this title.

It is a real shame that I am far more excited about the Legion story arc that Meltzer and Johns have been crafting over on the JSA/JLA team-up. What is going on over on the JLA and the JSA only makes the obvious defects of the poor stories on the Legion’s own title even more glaring. At this point, I wish DC would just kill off this version of the Legion and replace it with whatever they have in store for us over on the JSA and the JLA.

Waid’s three-boot of the Legion has been massively disappointing. And I simply don’t see Bedard being the man to be able to turn the tide and make this title a good read once again. I hope that Bedard proves me wrong.

I found Sharpe and McKenna’s artwork to be terribly average. The art was rather flat and boring. And the way Sharpe draws the faces of the Legionnaires is just terrible. Combine their art with an already dull story and you get one unappealing comic book.

Overall: Wow, the chances do not look good that I’m going to be enjoying this new creative team on this title if this issue is any example of what Bedard and Sharpe will be brining to the table. Bedard’s writing was stiff and boring. Sharpe’s artwork is rather unimpressive and certainly not even close to the standard that Kitson set on this title.

I think it is possible that Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes has slipped down several notches with Bedard replacing Waid and Sharpe replacing Kitson. I already wasn’t very impressed with Waid and Kitson’s Legion, but I’m afraid that Bedard and Sharpe’s Legion will have me yearning for Waid and Kitson’s Legion.

3 Comments

  1. If it’s any consolation, Tony Bedard assigned to only six issues. Since know how the revolution feels about spoilers I’ll keep them short: Show Lass, Atomic Girl, and Timmer Wolf are major players during his run.

  2. I actually like the whole 52 thing and the war against Earth being the result of a mistranslation of English by the Dominators. In the real world, when you come right down to it, wars are typically fought for very stupid reasons. Cultural misunderstandings and the inability (or unwillingness) to understand foreign mindsets are certainly one of the more common reasons for conflict. And that sums up exactly what happened here, with the Dominators completely misunderstanding the actions of a species they don’t understand, and leaping to the extreme decision of declaring war without bothering to take the time to think things through. For a group of aliens, it’s a very human reaction.

  3. As I said over on our blog, that seemed like the setup for an episode of Perfect Strangers – NOT an intergalactic war costing countless lives.

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