(Yes, I know, I haven't been posting as much lately - besides other real world concerns, the next section of Trollslayers that I'm working on is taking a lot longer than I had originally planned)
Jonah Hex #64 (DC, $2.99, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Nelson) - Jonah finds himself passing through a small Mexican town, when he comes to the attention of a beautiful woman named Rosa. Although she takes a fancy to Hex, he quickly deduces that she's several cards shy of a full deck. Coming in contact with Hex seems to exacerbate her instability, which leads her to a bad end, albeit one of her own making. This issue doesn't have as much impact as some previous ones, but it is darkly humorous. Gray and Palmiotti's dialog and plotting are solid as always, and Nelson's art here fits the story nicely.
Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1 (DC, $4.99, Paul levitz, Keith Giffen) - Can I get a 'Hell Yeah!' from the audience?
This is probably the best Legion story I've read in quite a while. We're introduced to a new Emerald Empress, who if anything is even nuttier than the previous one. She's taken over Orando, and it falls to a handful of Legionnaires to try to stop her.
Levitz, who has been good but not spectacular on his recent run of LSH, knocks it out of the park with this one. The pacing, the plot and the characterization all are handled expertly. Collaborating with his old Legion partner Giffen here shows that the two still work well together. Giffen, who can be something of an artistic chameleon, here looks a bit like he did on his run on the Defenders back in the 70's, with a healthy channeling of Jack Kirby thrown in (the latter influence may well be in part due to inkers John Dell and Scott Koblish). Which is to say, it looks really, really nice.
As a side note, I'm pleased to see that the relationship between Lightning Lass and Shrinking Violet is being re-established.
In addition to the main story, we get a humorous summary of the team's history (via the current continuity) disguised as a board game, an A-Z list that touches on some of the Legion's distinctive history and characters, and a two-page teaser ad for the upcoming Legion of Super-Villains one-shot.
All in all, this is one of my favorite comics of the new year. If you have an interest in the Legion but have been intimidated by the book's long, long history, this is a nice done-in-one story that gives a taste of what the LSH is like at its best.