02 April 2014

Review: Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Volume 12

Comic hardcover, 239 pages
Published 2003 (contents: 1975-77)
Acquired November 2012
Read March 2014
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Volume 12

Writer: Jim Shooter, Cary Bates, Paul Levitz
Pencils: Mike Grell, Ric Estrada, Mike Nasser
Inks: Mike Grell, Bill Draut, Joe Staton, Bob Wiacek, Bob Layton

I enjoyed this more than volume 11 of Legion of Super-Heroes; the plots felt less insubstantial, the characters more rounded. I mean, some of these are just really not good (one of the stories is resolved via a machine that lets our heroes win by wishing they win, which they then just hide away; another is one of those aggravating stories where the Legion deceives a (potential) member for no good reason; and then there's the infamous one that "explains" the lack of black characters in this 1950s future by revealing the world's blacks all live on one isolationist island), but when it hits, it hits!

I particularly enjoyed "The Hero Who Wouldn't Fight!" (Cosmic Boy is the only member of the Legion available on a day where the people of his planet are forbidden from using their magnetic powers), "The Private Lives of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel" (that Mike Grell art is probably illegal), "The Super Soldiers of the Slave-Maker" (the Legion tries to save a planet of slaves who don't want to be saved, requiring quick-thinking and heroism from Superboy and especially Phantom Girl), and "We Can't Escape the Trap in Time!" (which has some cool panel transitions). More of the stories in this volume seem to have involved real thought to write, which makes a nice change over volume 11. Nothing amazing perhaps (those days are yet to come), but good outer-space adventure.

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