This whole book chronicles the rise and fall of a new Emerald Empress — wait, a new one? Whatever happened to the old one?
Having only really just gotten into Legion of Super-Heroes during the Mark Waid “Three-boot” or “Earth-Prime” Legion book, I sometimes forget that everything I know is wrong. I think it’s a credit to the creative team on the recent Legion book that I’m only just now thinking about this.
To help us readers they’ve included something pretty fun: Legion History The Board Game! Posted at the back of the book, it’s both chronology and whimsy, hitting the major beats of Legion history. A good one is “Ferro Lad sacrifices life to save Earth from Sun-Eater! His courage propels you one space.”
Here’s one that winks hard at the fandom: “Time Trapper killed by Infinite Man! Lose or gain a turn for this? The debate still rages.” Personally, if I landed on the space, I’d gain a turn. Everyone else can lose it.
Behind the board game is an interlac to alphabet Rosetta stone, the large print of which would have certainly made translating the interlac in Superboy volume 3 #21 much easier. I like it, but it’s definitely for fans. The board game too, now that I mention it. The main story too.
Okay, if you aren‘t already a fan of the Legion, this book isn’t going to transmute you into one (not unless it’s read to you by a Tromian! I’m kidding, they’re extinct… I didn’t know that before — it’s all the board game!) but it does have one other redeeming quality that you may be on board for: the art.
I love Giffen on pencils. It’s rough, and maybe I’ve never seen Lightning Lass with quite so square a chin before, but it is vibrant! It’s exciting! Really, I think Giffen takes a lot of cues from Jack Kirby, and that’s pretty awesome.
On the other hand, my brother just said “the art was pretty bad, eh?” So this is a subjective thing.
Shrinking Violet’s battle damage MAY have taken it too far, ending up looking like an early design on the Thing before looking right as rain a few panels later… but maybe I can chalk that up to not glorifying violence? Well, it just wasn’t Violet’s best side I guess.
This is a book for fans of Legion of Super-Heroes. I can’t stress this enough. If you pick it up, and say “Isaac, dude, you lied to me, you said I’d love this!” but you aren’t already a fan of the Legion — well, I’m saying right now you will not love this.
Glad we got that cleared up. – Isaac Mills
I, like many comic readers, enter into any sort of crossover with trepidation. Sure, it’s no biggie when one comic I’m reading crosses over with another that I’m reading (such as last month’s Action Comics/Secret Six crossover but what about when the end of a story is in a book I don’t normally pick up? That’s a whole different kettle of fish.
At first I was thinking of just skipping this issue of Secret Six altogether, but the issue had the good fortune to ship on a slow week. My next idea was to read the Secret Six issue and skip out on the second half of the story in Doom Patrol. After reading part one of the story I think it’s fair to say that I’ll be buying Doom Patrol this month and the reason is simple: I liked what I saw here.
The main thing that has my attention is this new villain. Simone (and Giffen?) has created a new bad guy named Eric, who is a lazy, underachieving kid in his late teens who finds he has inherited his grandfather’s mob legacy. It’s a blast to watch this kid immediately grasp and abuse his new power: bringing his nerdy friends into the mob, championing the return of style to crime and deciding he needs an exploded volcano for a hideout. He’s a great character that quickly captured my attention.
On the other side of things, Simone continues to play around with her team’s personal lives (my favourite part of this comic). Here we see Bane getting set up on a date. It’s every bit as outrageous and hilarious as you would want that to be. There’s also creepy carnivorous fish-monsters.
All of this is to say that maybe we shouldn’t be so afraid of crossovers. If I hadn’t liked this I just wouldn’t buy the second part. As it turned out, I did like it and the next issue of Doom Patrol has my business.
(P.S. – Solicitations indicated that part 1 of this story would be in Doom Patrol and part 2 would be in Secret Six but that seems to have switched. Anyone out there know what happened there? I’m curious.)
I really respect that Lemire takes new approaches to Sweet Tooth when it suits his interests. There was the drug trip/dream issue that had some cool visuals, there was the recap/parallel stories issue and now there’s this landscape/storybook issue. And next issue Lemire collaborates with Matt Kindt, Nate Powell and Emi Lenox — that’s very cool. They all serve as good places to start buying the book too — so I imagine that might be a part of it.
So, to get it out of the way, I like this book and think that people should be picking it up in trade or in issues. That said, on this site, I sometimes get flack for commenting on things like inking and colouring. I think they are important parts of comics that get overlooked constantly. So, in that vein, today, I’m going to talk about the other invisible art — lettering. In this case, lettering that doesn’t work and hinders the final product.
Now, I love it when mainstream comics use something other than comic sans. Comic sans is the path of least resistance, people are accustomed to it and no one raises a fuss about it. But good lettering, something with a bit more style, can really help establish character or bring artwork together in a significant way. I long for a day when comic sans dies.
In this issue, Pat Brosseau uses a red, san-serrif to evoke the feeling of children’s storybook on the narration text. It’s a move I approve of, in theory, but I just want to know why he put a dropshadow on it. It makes parts of the comic almost unreadable. Clarity is — usually — the most important part of lettering and while I want to get behind a change I can’t get behind this one. Also, dropshadows aren’t meant for reading text. They should be used sparingly, at best, in heds or deks.
But here’s the big one — if they were going for storybook feel, which I feel they were, why didn’t they go with a nice, clean serif font? That is the standard for children’s books. Readability is the only requirement of a font in a kids book. There was a great opportunity for the letterer here and I think they blew it. And, tragically, there are so few opportunities for letters to get noticed. — Miles Baker