Saturday, April 30, 2005

Comics: Legion of Super-Heroes #5 - SPOILERS

Waid and Kitson continue to impress me with their take on the Legion this week in LoSH #5. I think what I continue to be most impressed by is the storytelling style that is being used on this book. Waid and Kitson dragged me in with the "done-in-one" main stories while building my interest in the background plot of the upcoming Galactic War. Five issues in and the next issue box make it look like the Galactic War plot will be ramping up to the fore in the next few issues - that's incredibly fast for plot development in this day and age. I'm fairly confident that Waid will have another set of "B-plots" on the burner while the Galactic War one plays out, but I hope he doesn't try to drag the War story out for too long.

I think that the thing that I love the most about LoSH is the illusion of backstory that pervades the book. It really feels like there are possibly hundreds of issues of stories that have already happened with these characters - they all have a history together and that comes across through their actions and their interactions. I realize that a large chunk of that is because there are hundreds of issues of backstory with characters that are very much like these characters, but this is really an interesting choice for a reboot. Reboots usually end up ditching the backstory and starting from scratch - eventually coming back around to telling the new versions of the same stories that were ditched before because of some desire to see those stories back "in continuity". This is often because the reboot mentality takes a "throw the baby out with the bathwater" approach that eliminates many of the things that make a concept or a character enjoyable to the readers and then a push gets made to get it back.

I like how "new" characters get introduced into this series too. I know who some of these folks were in previous versions of the Legion, but Waid and Kitson have been doing very well at getting us introduced to the "new" versions of these characters. I was also amused by Waid not calling Brin Londo by the name Timber Wolf in this new issue, since it deviates from the naming convention that he has setup for the series.

As for this month's story - its a model of what I like in comics. The bad guys are suitably bad. The good guys are obviously good guys, but they aren't perfect. Saturn Girl's willingness to manipulate the minds of the teenagers that they were protecting just to keep them calm is one example of this that particularly stuck out with me, but there have been others in the series so far. Waid is doing a good job of keeping that delicate balancing act of making the characters human but still heroes - something that many writers can't seem to do very well.

All in all, another impressive issue of this incarnation of the Legion. Waid and Kitson have me anxiously awaiting the next issue once again.

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