In which all heck breaks loose. Seriously, this issue starts with the evacuation of New Earth and only gets bigger. The inciting incident is the nearness of unfriendly extraterrestrials the Horraz. Active Legionnaires are split between helping the people get to safety via teleport rigs, and defending against the oncoming aliens.
The big fight sees Ultra Boy, one of the most powerful members, blasted into unconsciousness, but Saturn Girl has a mind to wake him. The big moment is when we get our first look at one very shiny superhero.
Well, I want to hear his ‘amazing story’ but an all-action issue probably isn’t the best place. Cathartic as seeing the Legionnaires let loose was, this chapter did disappoint me slightly after the cover’s promise of a close look at four members. Gold Lantern is immediately impressive. Monster Boy looks amazing, like a refugee from Mars Attacks, and shows signs of a fun personality. But both barely appear. As for Dr Fate, I see her in precisely one image, blasting silently at something. Superboy is likely there for marquee value, as he’s hardly an unknown quantity.
Was the story changed after artist Ryan Sook’s gorgeous opening image was commissioned? I grew up with the misleading covers of the Bronze and Silver Age, so don’t mind the odd cheat, but when something as specific as spotlights are teased, that’s what I want, by cracky!
Ah well, writer Brian Michael Bendis ends the Horraz business exactly as I hoped he would, along the way showing that sometimes it pays not to listen to Brainiac Five. RJ Brande continues to be madly mercurial. Jon Kent channels his dad for an inspirational moment. And a cute little red bird appears.
Oh all right, it’s actually the head of the Horraz. It just goes to show that even for an artist as talented as Sook, sometimes you aim for awesome and wind up with owlsome.
Overall, though, the issue looks awfully good, as pencilled by Sook, inked by Legion veteran Wade Von Grawbadger and coloured by Jordie Bellaire. All three artists are working their socks off to provide the most glorious art for a thousand years. Letterer Dave Sharpe deserves a bonus for handling the scads of Interlac on display… how I hate Interlac. The odd bit of signage as background detail, fine, but all over the art? At best, it makes me wonder what I’m missing. At worst, I am missing something. I’m not going to stop mid-story to decode it all, I want a comic, not an activity book!
Further kudos to Sharpe if he’s behind the Saturn Girl logo I don’t recall seeing previously, it’s great.
Back to Bendis! He’s doing a pretty good job of verbally differentiating the team members, the only thing that needs ironing out is the overuse of ‘I got this’ and variations. I truly love that Monster Boy has picked up on super-sweet Jon’s use of Fifties Superman’s ‘Great Scott’ exclamation.
The big bonus of Bendis is that every page of this book bursts with joy and possibility. There’s real love for the Legion and I can’t wait to see more of this new 31st century and its inhabitants. Brian Bendis, Ryan Sook and friends have more than earned their flight rings.
Long Live the Legion!