Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Eye Love the L.E.G.I.O.N....

Let's talk L.E.G.I.O.N. - a totally fantastic series. You may have missed it as a lot of people did - intimidated by it's imagined ties to the sprawling Legion of Super-Heroes mythos. In reality, the two series come across as being only tangentially linked at best. I was reading this series while mired in that great Paul Levitz Legion run- with the Sensor Girl mystery, one of Karate Kid's many tragic deaths, Quislet, Wildfire's new body - all that good stuff. In the midst of the Legion minutiae, the L.E.G.I.O.N. issues were a total breath of fresh air. Not only is it a series with a totally unique feel, it's also the dream team of Keith Giffen, Alan Grant and Barry Kitson firing on all cylinders.

There were two things that made L.E.GI.O.N. feel so refreshing and original.

One was the twists. This was a series packed to bursting with unexpected turns, surprising occurrences and sudden reversals. Every issue kept you guessing. From the Durlan's abrupt, early disappearance, to Strata's gender revelations, to Stealth and Vril Dox's sudden, violent bumping of uglies (and the gross, 'chick-turns-inside-out', alien childbirth that results from it) you really got the feeling that anything could happen at any moment.

The second thing was the characters. With only a few minor exceptions they were all such bastards. Compelling, interesting, often likeable....but still bastards. Giffen, Grant and Kitson really outdid themselves with the creeps and freaks that populated this series. Obviously there's the cunning, cold-fish, son-of-a-Brainiac Vril Dox; the often annoying but never dull Lobo; the crazy alien date rapist\black widow chick Stealth and the focus of L.E.G.I.O.N.#13 himself: Garryn Bek.

Wolverine and Kid called. They want their hair back.

L.E.G.I.O.N. #13 is a major turning point in the life of the team's resident loser and all round whiny bitch Garryn Bek. Up until now we've seen Garryn moan, winge, whine, complain, be mean to his chunky wife Mar'yn, then winge, whine and moan some more. It's hardly surprising that a few issues back Vril Dox sent Garryn off to answer some out of the way distress call.

Garryn's been in touch intermittently since Vril sent him away, each time more incoherent than the last (at least incoherent is better than whiny). This issue is Garryn's explosive homecoming. I have to admit, at first sight, seeing Garryn coming back elicited only a groan of 'aww man!' from yours truly.

However this Garryn Bek was a changed man. He was sporting a few weeks worth of stubble and a  new attitude that ranged from utter confusion to weepy remorse to badass Frank-Castle-esque confidence to cosmically powered hissy fits! The aforementioned hissy fits backed by the awesome power of his new best pal - - the Emerald Eye of Ekron!!!

Any Legion aficionados out there, and even some 52 readers, may grasp how that warrants triple exclamation marks. To the rest of you we're essentially talking about a floating eyeball that shoots green laser beams at dudes.

Come on admit it, even if you don't know shit about Legion that's pretty awesome in itself. Am I right?

Eye Eye Eye!

I should also point out that this chaotic bout of cosmic fist-eye-cuffs is immediately preceded by Garryn and his pal ogling the shit out of rocky powerhouse Strata and Lobo, then is immediately followed by them giving team smarty-pantses Phase and Lyrissa Mallor a good looking at. That's a lot of ass kicking for the normally pathetic Mr Bek and it clears his path to his real target - Vril Dox.

Bursting into Dox's private quarters all storm and fury we readers are drooling with anticipation of the immense, much deserved, green-death-ray-flavoured comeuppance that is about to be rained down on Dox's cocky ass.

That's when those sneaky snooks Grant and Kitson pull the rug out from under us with one of their patented unexpected twists.

I'm not crying. I've got something in my eye!

After a dozen pages of Bek kicking ass and taking names, this move completely takes us off-guard. It adds a compelling new aspect to the suddenly uber-poweful Garryn Bek and just further compounds the air of malevolent manipulator that has already built up around Dox. To you and I that's totally masterful story-telling, but to Kitson and Grant it's just another day at the office.

I can't recommend L.E.GI.O.N. enough it kept me guessing and loving it throughout it's entire run (it got warped into R.E.B.E.L.S. after Zero Hour). So if  evil green geniuses with Eminem looking hair is your thing or if you have a hankering for stories involving space-faring losers sporting high-top fades and floating cosmically powered eyeballs or, hey, if you just love bastards - - you need to hustle your buns down to your nearest comic book emporium and pick up this series...

..and when you get there tell them Eye sent you.

Man, those ocular puns get old fast don't they?

No comments: