Comic Book Review: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #19

I’m really at a loss for words with this title. I have ranted. I have raved. I have taken cheap shots. I pretty much blasted and attacked this title every which way since Supergirl hijacked the Legion of Super Heroes. But, now I’m spent. I’m totally over this title. I’m resigned to the fact that DC has butchered this comic since the day that Paul Levitz left it. And there is no reason for me to believe that DC will ever get this title right again. Do I think Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #19 is going to be a great read? No. But, at least Superbarbie isn’t on the cover of this issue. Let’s go to the review.

Creative Team
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Barry Kitson

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: The issue starts with Chameleon being interrogated by the Science Police for a murder. The head SP officer tells Chameleon that he has been impersonating an SP officer for some time and that Chameleon is their number one suspect. Chameleon attempts to explain that he has been framed.

We flashback to 12 hours ago. Chameleon disguises himself as SP rookie Officer Daggle. Officer Daggle goes to the prison cell where the perp that the Legion caught impersonating an SP officer was being held. The perp is believed to be connected to the underground robot rebellion. The cell has inertron walls and a Coluan force shield for a door. Yet, somehow, an assassin got in the cell and blew the perp’s head off and then vanished without a trace.

We then cut to Supergirl who meets with Theena. Theena has a psychic symbiote that is activate by emotion and allows Theena to connect to various people no matter where they are in the galaxy. Theena is basically a message nexus. Supergirl asks Theena to find Seiss, the kid whose powers went nuts and caused an earthquake. Theena says that she cannot find Seiss anywhere.

We shift back to Chameleon disguised as Office Daggle at the scene of the crime. He meets Jeyra Entinn who is a powerful telepath from Titan. Jeyra is mute and only “speaks” telepathically. Jeyra tells Officer Daggle that she was using her powers to conduct metal cross-examinations with the perp for brief periods of time outside of contact or invasive observation by anyone else. During one of their sessions, a robot from the rebellion teleported into the room and brutally killed the perp. Jeyra hit the panic switch to restore surveillance, but it was too late. The robot has vanished. She asks Officer Daggle for his help. That Titans aren’t well liked on Earth in the first place and her mistake could damage the already strained relationship between Earth and Titan.

Officer Daggle and Jeyra go on a secret mission down to the underground levels of Metropolis where the robot rebellion is located. Chameleon talks about the Singularity Wars and how humans had to get rid of all their technology to prevent the robots from taking over. Then when new A.I. was created, it was carefully policed and monitored. Chameleon explains that the robot rebellion believes that all technology has value and instead of trashing it or recycling it that the old tech should be re-integrated back into the product stream. That explains the black market bazaar that Officer Daggle and Jyra stumble upon. They spy a fake SP officers. That the robots have been hiring extra-terrestrial humanoids to impersonate SP officers and to steal impounded technology from SP warehouses. Therefore they could combine this technology to “recycle” their ancestors. We then see a giant version of Robotman being constructed by the rebellion forces. (Very cool.)

The giant Robotman is activated and it immediately detects Officer Daggle and Jeyra. Chameleon has no choice by to blow his cover and transform into a beast large enough to take out the robot attackers. Chameleon ends up defeating the giant Robotman. Chameleon then captures one of the fake SP officers. The fake SP Officer swears that they had nothing at all to do with the murder of the perp. That if they had such teleportation technology then they would be swarming the overground rather than building robots in the underground. Jeyra tells Chameleon that the fake SP Officer is telling the truth.

We then cut to Chameleon and Jeyra back on the surface of Metropolis. Jeyra suddenly plants a huge kiss on Chameleon. Cham is totally shocked. Jeyra then tells Chameleon that they should go take a closer look at the crime scene.

We then move forward to Chameleon transforming into different creatures trying to find any clue at all. He has no success. He then turns to Jeyra and tells her that he has solved the case. Jeyra points her gun at Chameleon and tells him that it is about time. She then shows Chameleon his Legion flight ring that she took from him when she kissed him. Chameleon is no longer protected by the ring’s psi-shield. Chameleon is frozen stiff unable to move or transform. Jeyra then tells Chameleon that she is an agent for the rebellion and her job was to make sure that the perp never confessed. That she used her mental powers to make the perp smash his own head into the wall and kill himself. She then used Chameleon as her fall guy. Jeyra says that she will now kill Chameleon and use her powers to suggest that he was the killer and between her powers and the anti-Legion sentiment that the SP will believe her. Chameleon still unable to transform since Jeyra was making him mentally blind and he couldn’t focus on anything to transform into except one thing. The thing that Jeyra was focusing on. Herself. Chameleon transformed in Jeyra which startled her and broke her concentration. Chameleon was then able to move and punched out Jeyra.

We cut to the present where the SP end up releasing Chameleon due to his story and the evidence they found backing him up. Chameleon leaves, but is disturbed about the fact the Legion no longer has an “in” with the SP. Also that if it was so easy to infiltrate the SP then what are the odds that the SP has planted a spy in the Legion. (Good question, Cham.)

We then shift to Brainiac 5’s lab. Cosmic Boy has just received word that Dream Girl’s people have rescinded their demand for her body for an immediate burial. Timber Wolf tells Cosmic Boy that he hasn’t seen Brainy since he called Element Lad and Light Lass into his lab and slammed the door. They look in Brainy’s lab and discover that the stasis chambers are empty. That wherever Brainy has gone, he has taken Dream Girl and Lemnos with him. End of issue.

The Good: This issue was just average. Nothing great and nothing terrible. One huge positive about this issue was that we only had to put up with Supergirl for 3 pages! That is fantastic. Of course, even in such a limited dose, she still managed to act like a total bimbo. Still, I’ll take an average story with little to no Supergirl any day of week over the Supergirl filled issues that we have had since she hi-jacked this title.

I liked that we finally learned more about the robot rebellion. I loved the use of Robotman from Doom Patrol in this issue. That was a cool touch.

I also liked that we didn’t have any of the adult versus teenager storyline in this issue. The less of that plotline the better. I was already bored with it after the 5th issue of this title.

The end teased us with the fact that there may be a spy for the SP lurking in the Legion. I hope that Waid develops that storyline a bit more in the future.

Barry Kitson’s artwork is still the only real strong point of this comic book. I’m a huge fan of Kitson’s art and it is the only thing that I can count on to be great every time I get a new issue of the Legion of Super Heroes. Kitson draws a great Legion and makes this a fun book to look at. His artwork also helps make a rather average story more enjoyable to read.

The Bad: The story had a paint by numbers feel to it and was rather predictable. You knew that Jeyra was the killer the minute she first appeared. Also, not much really happened. We did learn a little bit more about the robot rebellion, but not much. We got teased with the fact that Seiss has gone missing. Then we had the ending that Brainy has disappeared with Dream Girl and Lemnos’ bodies. That just isn’t enough to make for a particularly interesting issue.

This issue lacked excitement. It just felt like Waid was mechanically advancing the story but not giving much to really interest the reader. Maybe Waid is focusing most of his energies on 52. I don’t know. But, it is clear that the OYL storyline in the Legion has not been very impressive.

The pacing is slow. The story feels unfocused. I wish that Waid would focus more on the Dominators and their plan or this new team that is forming whether it is the Legion of Super Villains or the Legion of Substitute Heroes rather than the robot rebellion. At this point, I just am not really interested in this robot rebellion. So robots are rebelling against man and want to subjugate us. It isn’t really that exciting or original. There has to be some kind of big surprise with this robot rebellion to get me interesting in this storyline.

This title is simply plodding along. There is very little buzz or excitement in any of the various plotlines. I find all of this very surprising because I think Waid is a very talented writer. I usually enjoy Waid’s stuff. I have thought that most of his comic books are very well done and fun to read. However, for some reason, it just isn’t happening on this title. It is like a sports team signing a big time successful free agent and for whatever reason he just never gets the job done with his new team. It doesn’t make sense and is hard to explain. When I first heard that Waid was taking over the Legion I was thrilled. I thought DC was finally putting some real talent on this title and that it was going to be a huge hit and a great read. That simply has not happened. Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes just continues to be a very uninspiring read.

Overall: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #19 was average at best. It almost seems that Waid is uninterested in this title and that it is showing through in the stories. I will give this issue huge props for not paying much attention to Supergirl. On that basis alone, this issue is a success. However, this issue simply wasn’t an interesting, exciting or fun read. I have no idea if the Legion of Super Heroes will ever turn that corner and become an exciting read once again. I really hope that it will. I love these characters and want to see this title succeed. However, I simply cannot recommend this Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes to anyone other than the most die-hard Supergirl and Legion fans.