Sunday, September 03, 2006

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #21

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #21
I'm wavering between VERY GOOD and EXCELLENT on this issue. First, the reasons this is an EXCELLENT comic:
The whole plot with Dream Girl, Nura Nal's death, and the resultant effects on Brainy's psyche. Rewriting a "comatose criminal's brain" in order to transfer Nura Nal's consciousness back into her body is insane...or is it? Remember, we're dealing with 31st century technology of which the Coluan's, primarily Brainiac's is the most advanced of any. So, it might just be possible. And Waid is brilliant for leaving the actuality of the matter obscure - so that we don't know whether Brainy actually knows what he's doing...or if he's certifiably insane. And still, his friends back him, even though he treats them like shit. Because they realize he's distraught, even if he doesn't realize it himself. So, in the conclusion, is Dream Girl actually alive (after a fashion) and presently occupying a sort of spectral spirit realm wherein she can only be perceived by Brainy? Or did he obliterate her through his efforts and now has been driven into sheer insanity? Is he hallucinating? Or is it really her? Personally, I hope Waid keeps the answers unknown for as long as he can, because I honestly find the psychological aspects of this story to be fascinating.
Another EXCELLENT thing about this series? Kitson. He draws Supergirl with actual humanoid anatomy, not making her a stick figure with no internal organs like everyone else draws her. Hopefully Waid will resolve the plot of Supergirl thinking she's dreaming all this, because honestly, it's really getting tired. It was cute for the first couple of issues, but with no forward progress on this at all since her introduction, it feels like a very stale subplot. And I can't imagine where Waid could be going with it. Unless he intends to take Supergirl into dementia as well, in which case we'd have scenes of her reacting nonchalantly to the death of teammates, and become altogether unreliable as a Legion team-member, thus leading her to reevaluate her status in this reality, once she has become an onlooker rather than an active participant. Maybe that is where Waid is going with this. It would certainly make for an interesting story. However, with no forward motion on the plot at all since her introduction, it's honestly begun to get stale.
The book gets dragged down into VERY GOOD territory with the entire teen rebellion subplot. It would be interesting if it were actually a competing league of super-heroes, but that doesn't seem to be where Waid is going with this. He seems to be merely using it as a buildup to the announced forthcoming league-wide leadership elections - something which has been done several times in League history, but which often makes for an entertaining story. However, as a buildup, it really doesn't work...yet. I'm inclined to give Waid a pass on things for the time being, because his work on this title has been absolutely fantastic thus far.
Overall, the issue gets a very high VERY GOOD. Close to excellent, but...just...not...quite.
And bring back the letters page!!!

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