Saturday, June 16, 2012

Comic book review: the culling

Legion Lost #9, pt. 3 of "the Culling"
"the culling", masterminded by writers scott lobdell and tom defalco, is a four part story that ran through issues nine of Superboy, Legion Lost, and Teen Titans beginning with Teen Titans Annual #1. many of these are familiar characters made new with the latest recon of the dc universe, but this is the first major crossover for two teams who normally don't interact with one another. the story also formally introduces harvest, a sinister looking megalomaniac who apparently has had his eyes on the titans since their formation and technology and powers from the future era of the legion. harvest's sole goal is to determine the strong from the weak by torturing teenagers and young adults mentally and physically and then turning them against each other in a battle royale called the culling. the survivors become demented soldiers called, "ravagers". the prelude through issues seven and eight of each series built this major story up to epic proportions, but ultimately -- it falls flat.

Teen Titans Annual is beautifully depicted by bret booth and various inkers, but all it accomplishes is to illustrate how awful "the colony" is, an underground complex where harvest keeps his prisoners until the final culling battle. on top of the fourteen characters of two teams, more are introduced. some live, others perish in the course of the four part tale, again to prove how awful harvest and his army are. the Superboy chapter does nothing at all to progress the storyline, but Legion Lost does prove entertaining as the teams begin acting as a solid unit against harvest who proves too powerful for even the strongest among them. the final chapter of "the culling" shows the two teams getting split up with harvest's incessant ranting providing more questions than answers. did some of the legionaries come to the past to prevent this madman? is harvest telling the truth when he says he's building his army to prevent some sort of apocalyptic future? i suspect as each series progresses all will be revealed, but i was hoping more would be accomplished with "the culling". the titans and superboy at least deserve a clear victory against harvest's minions who have been hounding them since the start of each book.

as a comic book fan for over two decades, i love a big huge fight between superheroes who finally wise up and combine their forces to take down the super villain who manipulated them. essentially that's what this was, but it was drawn out way too long. of the survivors of the culling and refugees from the colony, a team is formed and a new book is introduced, The Ravagers. i suppose as far as sales are concerned, publisher dc comics was successful. readers picked up issues they may not normally have read. i'm certainly addicted to Legion Lost and looking forward to seeing where the time stranded heroes end up. i've also begun reading, The Ravagers, but i'm holding out my final opinion as of this writing. i would like to see semi-regular team ups between the legion and teen titans in the same tradition of the justice league and justice society. both groups can continue to learn a lot from one another and this shared battle will forever tie them together.

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