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Legion of Super-Heroes: Enemy Manifest

af Jim Shooter, Livesay, Francis Manapul (Illustrator)

Andre forfattere: Ramon Bachs (Illustrator), Dan Green (Illustrator), Rick Leonardi (Illustrator), Mark McKenna (Illustrator)

Serier: Legion of Super-Heroes [Threeboot] (8), Legion of Super-Heroes

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261685,453 (3)Ingen
A massive planet suddenly materializes near Jupiter and threatens to tear our solar system apart. The only ones who can help are the rebellious super-teens of the Legion of Super-Heroes...but before they can save the Earth, they'll first have to survive the powerful internal forces threatening to tear the team apart. Acts of love and betrayal distract their most powerful members. Mysterious raids by deadly aliens threaten their lives. And a shadowy conspiracy being organized by one of their own members threatens to take down their organization. There's never been a more dangerous time to be a Legionnaire... and there's never been a time that the universe has needed them more. But, will their finest hour prove to be their final hour?… (mere)

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Access a version of the below that includes illustrations on my blog.

It's not like the Legion of Super-Heroes run of Jim Shooter, Francis Manapul, and Livesay is terrible or anything. It's a competently made superhero comic book. But it just doesn't hold a candle to what Mark Waid and Barry Kitson did before it. Waid and Kitson's run felt like it was bursting with ideas-- too many ideas, sometimes, because the title often felt like it wasn't giving all the ideas the focus they deserved. Shooter and company don't really capitalize on any of these ideas (the backstories ascribed to Sun Boy, Element Lad, Triplicate Girl, and Phantom Girl are never brought up), and many of them they outright contradict (Brainiac 5 says time travel isn't possible even though he arranged for Supergirl to travel to the past in The Quest For Cosmic Boy, and he gave her a message designed to save the life of his ancestor according to R.E.B.E.L.S.; the massive camp of Legion followers that defined the tone of the Waid/Kitson stories never turn up in this story, and then all of a sudden tons of superpowered underagers are auditioning for the United Planets Young Heroes, which doesn't really make any sense to me at all*). Shooter does at least remember that the Legion used to read 20th-century DC comics in this volume; Phantom Girl reads Princess Projectra an issue of Action Comics about the original Brainiac.

As I read more superhero comics, my growing hypothesis is that you can get away with this kind of thing if what you do is the same level of interesting (or, even better, more interesting) than what you supplant, but Shooter and co. fail this test. This volume sees Princess Projectra suddenly become a villain, and then moves into weird freaky-deaky incomprehensible mind stuff as she battles Brainiac inside his own mind-- the plotline alternates between farfetched and banal. The big overarching story that's driven this whole run, about mysterious aliens being deposited from across the universe, who are then followed by a whole planet, never really has the hooks to be interesting. It's a bunch of faceless goons, which is one of the least interesting kind of comic book villains. There's also some relationship melodrama, but because these characters don't really feel like the Waid/Kitson characters, it's difficult for me to invest in who Saturn Girl should be in love with. (Plus, Saturn Girl is portrayed as a bit of a sad sack, not the strong version of her I loved in the classic days of the Legion or in Abnett and Lanning's Legion Lost.) And I don't really care for M'rissey, the Legion's "business manager" who solves all the main characters' problems for them.†

Francis Manapul is a decent artist, but still developing-- I like the later work I've seen from him on The Flash a lot more than this very anime style. And the way the script but especially the art insists on sexualizing these underage characters is a little uncomfortable. Like, there's nothing wrong with the Legionnaires being sexy, but here it mostly comes across as crude.

Shooter's run was curtailed; the last issue here resolves many things far too easily (the massive threat of the past dozen issues is defeated with nine seconds of hacking from Brainiac) and leaves others entirely unaddressed (we never learn what happened to Cosmic Boy or the other Legionnaires who traveled through the time portals to the 41st century). If I had invested in the ongoing stories of this era, I'd be angry, but as it was, I was just kind of relieved. I am angry that the "threeboot" was dumped in favor of the "deboot," however, probably the most retrograde and harmful move in the long history of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and one that I would argue that leads directly to the fact that it's no longer published today, for the first time in five decades.

* Like, wouldn't people like this already be in the Legion? And surely they wouldn't want to work for the man!
† Actually, isn't a bit weird that Shooter introduces a slew of new Legionnaires here but ignores the new ones introduced by Waid and Kitson, like Dream Boy? I never really got the point of Gazelle.
  Stevil2001 | Feb 24, 2017 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (4 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Jim Shooterprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Livesayhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Manapul, FrancisIllustratorhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bachs, RamonIllustratormedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Green, DanIllustratormedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Leonardi, RickIllustratormedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
McKenna, MarkIllustratormedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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A massive planet suddenly materializes near Jupiter and threatens to tear our solar system apart. The only ones who can help are the rebellious super-teens of the Legion of Super-Heroes...but before they can save the Earth, they'll first have to survive the powerful internal forces threatening to tear the team apart. Acts of love and betrayal distract their most powerful members. Mysterious raids by deadly aliens threaten their lives. And a shadowy conspiracy being organized by one of their own members threatens to take down their organization. There's never been a more dangerous time to be a Legionnaire... and there's never been a time that the universe has needed them more. But, will their finest hour prove to be their final hour?

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