That sums up this conclusion to the first year’s worth of the new Legion of Super-Heroes – most of the extra-entertaining issue is a big fight as the United Planets’ teen team defends New Krypton from Mordru and Rogol Zaar. After a gorgeous cover executed in colour by Ryan Sook, the issue opens with a recap of recent events by Saturn Girl, who blames herself for the team’s troubles – it was her idea to bring Superboy Jon Kent to the 31st century, attracting the ire of Krypton killer Zaar. And once we’re all caught up… action!
That’s quite the fight scene, beautifully composed by Sook, with Zaar punched into the foreground, Mordru conducting proceedings below, and hordes of heroes and robotic lackeys having at it. The issue’s not all big moments, though, as several heroes get spotlight panels.
If Phantom Girl has previously used, er, the Hula Hoops of Hoggoth, I missed it – either way, I like that she can send opponents away with a twirl of her wrist. It’s also good to see Element Lad’s colourful combat techniques. And Lightning Lass finally finding her Legion groove.
And who knew White Witch was Mordru’s little princess? Well, Brainiac, who continues to be a delight, courtesy of writer Brian Michael Bendis.
Something else that’s new is the combined form of Triplicate Girl – another excellent design, nicely inked by Wade Von Grawbadger.
Something old is the one-two punch delivered by Mon-El and Superboy, as the previously bad atmosphere between them finally thaws. As my pal Matthew pointed out on Twitter, this has to be a tribute to Legion tales of earlier eras, when the original Superboy and Mon-El would tag team to take down a villain.
And it wasn’t just a boys’ deal…
This is a fresh Legion, with new members and relationships, but some things never change – the sheer visual joy of Super-folk letting loose.
By issue’s end the bad guys are purged, via two different, but equally satisfying, banishments. Mysteries remain, though, one mundane – where did Mon-El get all those babies, is he running a Krypton Kreche – and potentially deadly – if Gold Lantern doesn’t get his power ring energy from the Guardians, who are his mentors? As shades go, gold isn’t very far from yellow…
Speaking of colours, Jordie Bellaire once again gives us a galaxy of stunning hues, picking out each Legionnaire with her paintbox. It’s remarkable that there are background tones that won’t clash with the massed membership, but she creates them.
Dave Sharpe adds to the art with his sympathetic fonts, emphasising the dramatic moments and sprinkling cute little logos everywhere. And for once Brian Bendis spares him the hassle of laying down Interlac, with only the tiniest of uses, on the splash page.
The next two Legion stories are Future State entries, but thankfully they’re written by Bendis, so are bound to be more fun than the average tie-in. I think, though, that this is Sook’s final issue for now, so I wish him bon voyage, and thank him for fuelling the Legion cruisers for, as they say, a bold new era. I’ll miss the dynamic way he has figures bust borders, his sensitive touch with emotions, and his never less than bombastic explosions, but perhaps he’ll be back one day.
Until then… Long Live the Legion!