Reviews of Old Comics: Legion of Super-Heroes #29

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #305

November 1983
p00001nNOTE: This is a update of one of my reviews of old comics from a blogger account I set up some time ago. I’m reposting it here to make this website the repository for all of my reviews. It has been updated to be as current as possible.

Legion Of Super-Heroes #26 was the middle of a period where I was really into the Legion. A lot of people speak bad about the Giffen/Bierbaum period, but I really enjoyed it, as well as the friends I had at the time. At this point, Giffen was working on a ton of stuff at DC, so the art chores had been taken over by Jason Pearson, a newcomer at the time, who’d done some work at Innovation. Later, Pearson would go on to create Body Bags and work on a few other comics as well.

SYNOPSIS:

The Dominator controlled Android B.I.O.N. has attacked Laurel Gand, who’s been covertly monitoring the situation on Dominator controlled Earth as Celeste Rockfish, another Legionnaire. Their battle is destructive and seemingly futile for Laurel, , and when it starts to endanger civilians, she takes it outside the city.

The Dominators maintain the illusion of an independent Earth government, but the Earth President is beginning to break down. B.I.O.N. reveals to Laurel that he possesses all the powers of the Legionnaires combined, which is taking its toll on Laurel, who manages to distract B.I.O.N. long enough to run away.

The Underground Resistance, led by the Subs, are taking Dominator chambers, while their organizer, Universo, is holding the SW6 Legion, a teenage version that recently escaped the chambers in reserve.

Laurel makes her way back to Legion headquarters on the asteroid of Talus, with B.I.O.N. unknowingly in pursuit. Since B.I.O.N. has left Earth, things look bad for the Dominator occupation, and it looks like their only option is to blow up the chambers rather than lose them to the Resistance.

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REVIEW:

It’s been said that if you love your characters, you’ll put them through hell. During the Terra Mosaic story-line, Giffen and the Bierbaums really put the Legion through the wringer, so they must have had a lot of love for them. A battle as destructive and large in scale as Laurel Gand, the equivalent of Supergirl, with an android three times as powerful was very well handled, even with the nine panel grid that was the hallmark of this period in Legion history. The story is enthralling, but a little hard to follow unless you have read some of the issues that preceded this one. There are little jokes hidden within the story, and the diagram of the Legion headquarters is the humor highlight as we learn the details of its past as a brothel.

Pearson has panels, like the ones I’ve shown here, that are so well done, that they scream out for you to ignore the panels that don’t work as well. Of all the artists that drew this Laurel Gand, I love his rendition of her second best. Stuart Immonen is first.

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NOTES:

This issue has never been collected. That’s not unusual for the Legion, since only recently has there been interest in its past, and likely, we will not see this story-line collected, since it has fallen out of favor within the comics community. You should be able to find it very affordable in back issue bins, maybe even as cheap as fractions of a dollar. While you’re at it, pick up other issues of the Terra Mosaic story-line which ran, pretty much uninterrupted for about another dozen issues or so. Picking up some of the issues before this wouldn’t hurt either.

FINAL RATING: 7 (out of a possible 10)

Pearson’s artwork at this stage is not terribly detailed and the panels that he excels at are undermined by the ones that just weren’t pulled off. If this were Pearson of 1997, then we’d be talking about a better book. It’s so dependent on the other issues in the story-line that it really shows the flaws of the monthly format that mainstream comics are locked into.