- Countdown #40 of 52 (backwards), by Paul Dini, Tony Bedard, Keith Giffen, Manuel Garcia & Mark McKenna (DC)
- Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #26-32, by Mark Waid, Barry Kitson, & Mick Gray, and Tony Bedard, Kevin Sharpe & Dennis Calero (DC)
- Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1, by Javier Grillo-Marxuach & Kyle Holz (Marvel)
- Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1, by Christos N. Gage, Mike Lilly & Bob Almond (Marvel)
- Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #1, by Keith Giffen, Timothy Green II & Victor Olazaba (Marvel)
- Incredible Hulk #108, by Greg Pak, Leonard Kirk & Scott Hanna (Marvel)
- Hellboy: Darkness Calls #4 of 6, by Mike Mignola & Duncan Fegredo (Dark Horse)
- Modern Masters vol 12: Michael Golden (TwoMorrows)
I decided I’ve been enjoying the current Legion series in paperback form to “upgrade” to buying the monthly book, especially since I only had to buy 7 issues to get caught up. Plus, with Mark Waid and Barry Kitson leaving the book after #30, this was one of those good jumping-on/jumping-off points for new/old readers. So I decided to jump on.
Waid and Kitson end their run with the Dominators trying to take over Earth with an electronic plague (which, oddly, is basically the same storyline going on over in Marvel’s Annihilation: Conquest series), and ending with Cosmic Boy making a fateful decision, and then leaving the Legion in a tantalizingly entertaining manner. Waid and Kitson’s run has been marked by serious, intelligent storylines which still always cycle back to the fundamental optimism which underlies the Legion concept. It’s probably the best Legion series since before Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Tony Bedard’s run begins in #31 with “The Search for Cosmic Boy”, in which Supergirl replaces Cos as Legion leader, and apparently is being played for a sucker by Brainiac 5. It looks like Bedard is going to use the search as a means to get into a larger storyline (or maybe a series of smaller ones), since it seems like they’re looking in all the wrong places. I hope there will eventually be a payoff there, but we’ll see. I guess Dennis Calero is going to be the regular artist, but from looking at #32 his style seems entirely wrong for the Legion: It seems strongly influenced by Butch Guice and/or Tony Harris, with realistic linework which would be more appropriate for a comic that isn’t all bright colors and action-adventure. So my first impression is one of disappointment, but I’ll hang around for several more issues to see if they hit a groove.
(It might all be moot, however, if rumors that the Waid/Kitson Legion is going to be abolished are true. Sigh.)
I somehow missed the first few Annihilation: Conquest mini-series issues, so I caught up this week. All three issues are just set-up for their respective 4-issue mini-series, certainly entertaining enough to keep me reading.
I got partway through the Quasar issue before I realized that Lilly’s artwork strongly reminds me of Norm Breyfogle’s. This is not at all a bad thing – at his best, Breyfogle is terrific, and I wish we saw more of his stuff – but he’s not an artist I usually see having a lot of influence on the newer generation. Kinda neat.
While I’m not nearly as entertained by Starlord as Chris Sims is (Giffen-the-plotter is pretty good, Giffen-the-scripter often makes me cringe), it’s still pretty good. Green’s pencils are smooth and distinctive, although many of his characters look a little drugged – I think he needs to vary his emotional range more from panel-to-panel. But when you get down to it, how can you not like a comic that brings back Rocket Raccoon? (You can see a sample of Green drawing RR here.)
Lastly, I’ve always enjoyed Michael Golden’s artwork, going all the way back to his work on Micronauts, but he’s never been prolific enough for me to become a big fan. Nonetheless, I enjoy him enough to pick up the latest Modern Masters volume from TwoMorrows, which is about him.
Coincidentally, this story about Golden doing an art commission for a fan showed up the same week on John Byrne’s message board. If it’s legit (and since the poster is claiming it happened to him and not a “friend of a friend”, I see no reason to assume that it’s not), then it’s pretty pathetic that someone would actually do this. (Comics Worth Reading has more on this.)