REVIEW: ‘Legion of Super-Heroes,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Legion of Super-Heroes #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Ryan Sook, inks also by Sook and Wade von Grawbadger, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Dave Sharpe. Following the events of Superman and Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium we find Superboy as he arrives in the 31st century. But he isn’t the only thing from the Age of Heroes showing up at Legion HQ.

Legion of Super-Heroes #1 follows a classic comic book story arch. Open with something dark and foreboding then following it with a sequence where things are happy as people are unaware of the ensuing problem. It then wraps it up with the repercussions of the opening sequence arriving just in time to leave on a cliffhanger. It’s pitch-perfect classic comic book storytelling. And while there is nothing wrong with the classics, you have to really nail it. Happily Legion of Super-Heroes #1 nails that formula splendidly.

When I first picked up this book I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. The Legion is so often portrayed as obnoxiously positive. And while part of me feels bad about ever viewing positivity as obnoxious, it’s just how it is sometimes. But luckily this book has dodged that bullet. Bendis manages to keep things shiny and inspirational in New Metropolis without taking it to levels that induce eye-rolling.

There are several very clever moments I enjoyed in Legion of Super-Heroes #1. From neat tech, to an interesting character moment involving Jon, and a Kryptonian phobia I’d never heard of but makes perfect sense. For an introduction to not only a new book but a new century, Bendis is able to keep the story entertaining and fun by threading in tidbits among the necessary moments of exposition.

The art here also helps reinforce that feeling of classic comic book storytelling. Large clear frames move the reader along smoothly. While vibrant colors work to make each panel stand out. Even as the story bounces from dark to light and then back again. The art never fails to reinforce what is happening in the panel. It is all around a very strong performance from all involved.

My biggest disappointment in Legion of Super-Heroes #1 is the almost complete lack of Rose Forest. As the main character of the recent Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium mini-series I came to really like Rose. Her expected presence here was without a doubt what I was most looking forward to. But with only a brief three-panel appearance I can only hope she grows into a larger piece of the story as the plot unfolds.

Legion of Super-Heroes #1 has perhaps started off a bit cautiously. While some may feel the approach to both story and art a bit too textbook, I think they serve the setting presented wonderfully. And while it’s too early to tell if DC’s latest trip to the 31st century will bear fruit, as of now I am very optimistic.

Legion of Super-Heroes #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Legion of Super-Heroes #1
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TL;DR

Legion of Super-Heroes #1 has perhaps started off a bit cautiously. While some may feel the approach to both story and art a bit too textbook, I think they serve the setting presented wonderfully.