Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #37

Jim Shooter got his start in the comics business, when he was fourteen years old, by forwarding a script to DC Comics editor Mort Weisinger (who was in charge of the Superman family of titles back in the Sixties). Weisinger liked what he saw and put Shooter to work, not knowing his actual age, beginning with Adventure Comics #346 (July 1966), for which young Shooter provided not only writing duties, but pencil breakdowns as well. Shooter also created several new characters for the Legion of Super-Heroes including Karate Kid, a teenage superhero who predated the martial arts fad of the 1970s; Ferro Lad, a teenage superhero who can transform to living iron; and Princess Projectra, who could cast realistic illusions.
Now after a storied career that eventually saw Shooter rise to become the head honcho at Marvel Comics, and following his legendary run at Valiant in the 1990's, Shooter has returned to where it all began by assuming scripting duties on DC's Legion of Super-Heroes #37. He's joined by topnotch art find Francis Manapul and inker Livesay. And right on page one, there is his "old" creation Karate Kid firmly squaring off against a huge, bug-ugly, that is part of a wave of such beasties that are assaulting various United Planets locations in the first of what will be a multi-part initial story arc.
There are no dramatic departures, visually from what Waid & Kitson, did during their run on the title, but for fans of Jim Shooters classic Legion, there is much to be thankful for here.
I've seen a couple of reviews that felt the first several pages featured some stilted dialogue, but I disagree. I found myself easily absorbed by the goings on, and am really looking forward to the deepening mystery of what is afoot in the Legion's universe. Manapuls art is perfectly suited to the "teen" heroes and he seems to be well-suited for the title. Frankly, I haven't felt this good about the fate of the Legionnaires in several years.
If you like sci-fi action, superheroics and want to be part of the ride, you won't be disappointed by the set-up in this issue. Give it a try. Maybe you'll stick around for the near future.

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