In Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #16

The cover: Shrinking Violet and Chameleon Boy are in the wrong enclosed space! “The Galaxy Will Tremble Before VALIDUS!” this Steve Lightle cover proclaims. This is how characters should look on a cover to new and old readers: costumes clear, threat shown, and bold, brilliant colors by Guy Major. I really like Vi’s coloring. Great job! Overall grade: A

The story: It’s election time again as the legionnaires vote for a new leader in “Choose Wisely” by Paul Levitz. Everyone has their opinion as to who should be calling the shots. Brainiac 5 has some words on two new members as being “children,” yet he obviously is missing the boat on some aspect of Harmonia. Cutting into his commentary is the appearance of Glorith who needs to have more tests run on her after what happned last issue. Vi, Cham, and Lightning Lass go to Takron-Galtos to check on Validus and make an unwelcome discovery. The issue focuses on how this discovery is made and the darma going on at Legion HQ during voting (Paul, you’re tearing my hear out with Page 12!). The final page seems to be setting up the next big saga. Drama, action, and revelations keep this book entertaining. Overall grade: A-

The art: If you want to see artist Scott Kolins at his best grab a copy of Threshold #1 now on stands. His work in that resembles Erik Larsen’s, but it’s much better than this. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: he is someone I don’t want drawing Legion. He’s improved with the look of his characters, they are not as angular as they once were, but he still cannot do items in the background or from a distance. Case in point, Page 5, panel two: look at the guards–they’re incomplete sketches. Kolins’s layout is fine, this is how the characters should be posed in this setting, but the incomplete images in the background keep stealing my focus from what’s going on. When we get to Validus he’s just too angular for my tastes. I know Kolins isn’t on this book for too much longer, but there are many other artists that could have been used. Overall grade: C+

The colors: Once again, Javier Mena’s work cannot be overlooked. He makes things electric throughout, be they the floating computer screens in Legion HQ, shrinking with Violet, or the computer scan on Glorith, Mena is a master! Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dialogue, narration, and pleny of sound effects, which you have to use if Validus is around, also show that Carlos M. Mangual has got the goods. Overall grade: A

The final line: Aside from the art, I’m loving this book, but that’s probably the most crucial element in a comic book. Overall grade: B

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