It’s beginning to feel a lot like Legion…
Earlier this week I was chatting on Twitter to other longtime Legion fans, saying that while I’m enjoying the latest Legion of Super-Heroes series, the team has rebooted so many times that I no longer think of any Legion beyond the original and Zero Hour versions as The Legion.
With this issue, though, that’s changed. Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Ryan Sook have really got into their groove. Sure, they’d been delivering fun stories using classic LSH names and concepts, but it was all feeling a bit Elseworlds. This issue, though, it’s as if the White Witch and Doctor Fate have cast a spell on me, because suddenly it does feel like I’m reading The Legion.
Maybe it’s to do with getting to know the characters better. The issue starts with a recap that’s basically one big, fascinating infodump as to why Mon-El has been so unfriendly towards new Legion member Jon Kent, the 21st century’s Superboy.
Perhaps it’s the sweep of the series, with this issue and last seeing team members split across several planets, including Rimbor, where Ultra Boy’s first act as new chieftain proves unpopular with the already restless natives.
It could be the spotlight on the new version of the Legion’s old foe Mordru, who proves immediately formidable when he drops in on a sub-team visiting Daxam (which, we learn, is ‘only six planets over’ from Krypton).
Possibly it’s to do with the balance of intriguing subplots and mysteries bubbling away from the main action, including the longevity of Rose Forrest, the origins of Mon-El’s kids and Triplicate Girl’s doom-filled dreams.
The humour can’t be discounted, with several great lines, the best one of all going to Colossal Boy Gim Allon.
And the gorgeously dynamic art of penciller Sook, inker Wade Von Grawbadger and colourist Jordie Bellaire is definitely a big part of this book’s appeal. The imaginative environments, the humanity in even the most alien of aliens, the massive action moments… this series is among the best looking in comics.
It’s all of the above, isn’t it? Bendis, Sook and their collaborators – let’s not forget talented letterer Dave Sharpe and editors Brittany Holzherr and Brian Cunningham – are gifting us a vision of the future different enough to excite, but familiar enough to draw in this old fan.
The only thing I’m not thrilled with this issue is the inclusion of Rogol Zaar, the creature who apparently killed Krypton, but even he makes a surprisingly big impression. Specifically, he makes it on Mon-El’s Grandpa Zod who, it turns out, isn’t the Zod I’d assumed he was.
Misleading/random copy aside – there’s no particular heartbreak on New Krypton so far as we know – Ryan Sook’s self-coloured cover is all-win. Sad Shady, sleeping Cosmic Boy, those moody blues… maybe one day we’ll get a story to go with the image.
For now we have this issue of The Legion of Super-Heroes and it had me grinning from beginning to end, even when things aren’t looking great for the good guys.
What can I say but, Long Live This Legion!