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Lost in the Woods
Legion Lost #2
(W) Fabian Nicieza (A) Pete Woods, Brad Anderson
DC Comics | $2.99 US
Well, I think this issue is better than the first one. It’s still a nigh impenetrable mess when it comes to the characters, but we’ve got a bit more focus on the plot. It also seems explicit that where the Green Lantern and Batman franchises had a slight reboot of continuity when coming to the New 52, the Legion franchise is the old DCU. In Legion Lost that old continuity comes abutting directly to the new one, which will probably have more issue in its parent title and possibly Secret Origin, but here it’s really just Legion members adrift in the 21st century.
The story appears to be an outgrowth of the xenophobia storyline in the old Legion of Super-Heroes title, I’m not sure if it happened exactly as presented here, but this is the sort of detail that probably should have been in the first issue. The primary thrust of this issue is the ramifications of the disease Alastor has let loose on Earth, the rise of the “Hypersapiens” — humans who have been exposed to the virus and become a kind of hybrid between human and other alien species, and a confrontation with the first of their kind.
The Hypersapien plot sounds a bit like parts of Kamandi and Countdown, but it’s decent enough. Nicieza chooses to focus the narration of the issue through Wildfire’s voice, which does a decent enough job of explaining his character and how it relates directly to the first of the Hypersapiens, Dr. Scanlon, who himself has been turned into some sort of energy-based creature. I think Scanlon’s acceptance of becoming this thing is incredibly rapid, especially given his initial attempts at maintaining human appearance, but it’s all right enough for a first volley. It does somewhat seem like Nicieza is setting up the book to be a kind of “monster of the week” tale, but I’m not adverse to that.
I am a little disappointed by Pete Woods’ artwork. It just doesn’t seem to be up to the same standard that he was delivering on Action Comics, but it’s still head and shoulders above many of the other current DC artists. Instead of the clean, fine lines that were a hallmark of his work with Cornell on Action, there’s a rougher, darker tone to the art, with a drop in detail. I’d almost think he was rushed to complete the artwork, but the style is consistent through the book, which leads me to believe it was a stylistic choice.