Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Star Trek/ Legion of Super-Heroes Crossover

To begin with:  I've been utterly compromised.

In order to retain whatever passes for journalistic integrity around here, I should mention that Saturday night I had a couple of cocktails with Ms. @Allisontype and her husband, writer of this comic, Chris Roberson.  Excellent people.  All the stories are true.

Also - ask them about their Halloween cookies.

I had intended to do my review of this book prior to the evening, and failed.

So, here's more of an informal discussion of what I'll say up front is a really fun comic.

I am totally okay with Phil Jimenez doing nothing but drawings of Uhura and Saturn Girl forever

I wanted to get this posted prior to your Wednesday comic shop visit in case they've got any copies left.

My Legion of Super-Heroes reading didn't begin until way, way after when most fans discovered the series.  I believe I picked up some Legion at the end of college, but I never "got" Legion until, maybe, 1998 or so.  So all the stories about the Levitz and Giffen era were just that: stories.  I heard about how good Legion had been, but I hadn't been there, nor done that.

So, I've been reading trades and collections of Legion, and I've been reading Legion steadily since the 00's-era relaunch.  So I feel somewhat caught up.

However, my love of original-series Trek is well documented, but I'm not someone who easily picks up a Batman vs. Predator cross-over.  I don't really have much curiosity about how Batman will defeat a different franchise character.  That said, I did spend money last year on Superman meeting Jerry Lewis, so go figure.  Trek is a property I have a gut feeling for, like you do with the things upon which you were raised.

This issue is mostly set-up, and plays off the propensity of both the Trek and DC Universe to deal with alternate realities.  We get a crazy set-up in the opening pages of a merged DC and Trek Universe where something has gone utterly wrong, and Captain Tomorrow (I'll assume is Tommy Tomorrow) is now piloting a Starfleet ship attacking a seemingly peaceful planet.  Its some pretty deeply DC and Trek-geeky stuff, but its nothing you have to know by heart to follow.

This is the kind of writing I've come to expect/ admire from Chris Roberson that we saw on display during his Superman run (and which leaves me wondering what easter eggs I'm missing in Elric).  He's able to work with and play with the worlds in which he's working, but he's able to do so unself-consciously and as part of the story.

Yeah, I'd advise you have a working knowledge of Trek or Legion, preferably both.  Its going to maximize the fun of the comics experience, but I think if you're a Trek fan, you'd find the incorporation of classic Trek set-ups, tropes, etc...  merging and contrasting with Legion's bag of tricks, pretty darn clever.  Really, if you've got an affection for either concept, its going to be hard to go wrong.  And, hell, this series is going to feature Spock + Brainiac5, and that's probably worth the price of admission right there.

No comments: