Sean Maher's Quality Control

Monday, December 05, 2005

I am Legion!

Well, I'm sick as a dog today and barely concious. And everyone else is forgetting that, as Larry often seems to see it, encouragement requires some abuse. So they're all up in arms because he told some folks to do a better job.

Me? I know what he's getting at and am struggling too hard, just to breathe, to argue over how he said it.

(My thanks, though, to everyone who's mentioned Quality Control in response; the support means a lot.)

I really loved Legion of Super-Heroes this week. I mean, I fuckin' loved it. The title has come under fire of late for what folks are calling "pacing issues" or an overall slowness of the central plot. I really can't agree with you folks at all.

You know those Big Epic Stories where there are a bunch of different plot threads weaving around with different characters, and things move along at a nice clip up to the climax, whereupon that little thread at the beginning that we haven't seen for the last half of the story all of a sudden rushes in to Save The Day and while it might be kind of exciting and unexpected, and you get that chance to re-read the whole thing and look for the clues, it still feels like kind of a gimmicky cheat?

I mean, we've all read at least one of those. They're great when you're, like, ten.

Waid's not letting himself get away with it. See, what this reads like to me is a history. And my favorite histories aren't the ones where Giant Force One collides with Giant Force Two and we find out what happens in the second paragraph; the really good ones are those that follow Rosencrantz and Guildenstern through their own personal stories, while history happens around them (and, God willing, they make some minor contribution to it at least).

Waid's using a cast of at least eighteen living protagonists, of whom at least ten get Starring Moments in this issue. That's hard to do, and the Big Plot might not move as fast when we're looking at every heroic (or at least interesting) moment our heroes undertake. I particularly enjoyed the elements of teamwork we saw in this issue, especially since they were parallel to each other: Brainiac, Invisible Kid and their suprise third partner made a great impact (and, it must be pointed out, brought the plot forward pretty significantly in traditional terms), while Chameleon finally got to help out by teaming with Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, providing a storytelling payoff to the "Cham is worthless" setup we've had since the beginning - again, something bringing the story forward in a fairly significant way. It's imaginitive storytelling and frankly, I'm only getting more invested in the series as it goes on.

Listening, now, to one of my Desert Island albums: Mule Variations by Tom Waits.

Slept all night in the Cedar grove
I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter than ridin the rails...


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