“How does Levitz’ writing here hold up compared to what he wrote for The Great Darkness Saga? What is better, what is not as good? Why do you think that might be?”
Oh, Great Darkness Saga is much, much, MUCH better than this. Like, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a BAD story, really. It just feels kind of…a waste of potential.
The idea of a shapeshifting species of aliens causing chaos around the galaxy is a really solid hook for a story, especially when said species includes a couple of our heroes in their ranks, that just makes the potential drama even stronger. But it just…happens and nothing really interesting comes out of it. I feel like Levitz jumped the gun way too early in resolving this, and should have made it a bigger issue. Imagine if instead of just being a money-laundering scheme, they take over key members of the UP? What if they stage conflicts against their own people to make them the victims and make the Durlans key members of the UP? What if the Legion figures this out, but they can’t prove it? What if part of the reason they can’t prove it…is that members of the Legion have been replaced with Durlan double agents? So much potential…wasted.
And another thing…what exactly is the Durlans’ deal? They never actually explain it in comic, they mention something about a “six minute war” or something, but it’s never fully explained, so the Durlans who potentially could have a back story that makes them at least sympathetic even though their actions are horrid, instead come off as empty, pointless baddies that are there to cause ruckus.
In thinking and writing this down, the more I think that this arc and this whole book feels like a good example of why the more casual comic book audience never really latched onto this iteration of the Legion. Levitz just seems to be writing solely for the people who were reading his stuff from the beginning and doesn’t really do much of anything to showcase to new readers what the world is about or what makes these characters so awesome.
“Are you buying Shadow Lass’ interest in Earth-Man yet? Why or why not?”
Well, this arc really doesn’t show anything of that relationship. Like, they speak to each other once in an early issue and…literally that’s all we see of them after that, unless I’m really blanking on something. So my opinion stays the same: at best, it feels like Tas is just looking for a piece of strange that will really piss her ex-boyfriend off.
“Is giving a Green Lantern ring to Mon-el a great idea? What do you like about that scenario?”
Giving the ring to Mon-El makes sense – given how he spent a millennium stuck in the Phantom Zone, to be able to withstand and keep who he is takes a strong amount of willpower.
If anything, I question making him the leader of the Legion at this point with what he’s dealing with. I think Levitz even knew that and had to work around it by basically making Brainy de-facto leader.
“Rated 1-10, 1 being the worse imaginable, 10 being artistic perfection to the point of revelation, how would you rank Yildiray Cinar for these issues?”
These issues? A solid 6-6.5. Don’t get it twisted, he’s a very good artist, but I don’t think this is his best work. While I think part of it is just time and doing more work (I feel like his work on New 52 Supergirl is far better than this), a big part of it is the standard inking/coloring does not do his work justice. I mean, look at one of his pages here, and then look at this commission where he inks and, most importantly, colors it himself, the difference is literally night and day.