REVIEW: ‘Legion of Super-Heroes,’ Issue #9

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Legion of Super-Heroes #9

Legion of Super-Heroes #9 is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by David Marquez, Ryan Sook, Wade Von Grawbadger, Joe Quinones, Mike Grell, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Nick Derington, James Harren, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Nicola Scott, Arthur Adams, Jim Cheung, Gary Frank, Tula Lotay, Riley Rossmo, Gene Luen Yang, Kevin Nowlan, Michael Fiffe, Jenny Frison, Emanuela Lupacchino, and Mitch Gerads, colors by Jordie Bellaire and Mitch Gerads and lettering by Dave Sharpe.

With the Legion standing before the United Planets Council, they find themselves on trial for the events that have largely filled this comic series thus far. With Shadow Lass speaking on behalf of the Legion, and Madam honor President speaking against the Legion, the stage is set. Will the Legion be shut down before it can ever get going?

Legion of Super-Heroes #9 has two main goals. To decide the fate of the Legion within the confines of their trail, and introduce a whole bunch more legionaries to the book. While the former is handled with skill on the part of Bendis, the incorporation of the later feels overly forced. While I appreciate the desire to give each of the members of the Legion their due, and that they all undoubtedly have fans looking forward to that first appearance, the march of faces and names that spend often times a single page in the book, just to disappear again is getting dizzying. Coupled with the galactic politics and metaphysical happenings within the book and Legion of Super-Heroes #9 can easily leave a reader bewildered. And unfortunately, the art doesn’t help the situation any.

Legion of Super-Heroes #9

Just as with the last issue, every page of Legion of Super-Heroes #9’s art is provided by a different artist. While this “once in a lifetime” artistic event, as both issues have called it, was novel last month, it doesn’t land so well the second time around.

While there are some truly wonderful examples of comic book art here, the constant changing just confuses an already stuffed book. Changing styles when there is a break in the story, such as a change in time or place, is a great storytelling tool. It gives the reader a visual indicator that something is different. Plus, the utilization of different artists can allow for different tones or themes. Here, however, it is not used with such skill or purpose.

With each page having a change of artist readers often are given several different takes of the same character in rapid succession. Combined with the huge, ever-growing cast of the book, it is easy to feel lost among the many artistic interpretations present.

The one constant in the ever-shifting pages of Legion of Super-Heroes #9 is Sharpe’s lettering. It delivers the busy narrative well and does all it can to keep the story clear to follow along with.

When all is said and done Legion of Super-Heroes #9 delivers a story that is enjoyable, if a bit overstuffed. The menagerie of art styles does more to overwhelm the reader than add to the story. Hopefully, next month’s issue will settle down a bit on all counts.

Legion of Super-Heroes #9 is available on September 29th wherever comics are sold.

Legion of Super-Heroes #9
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TL;DR

When all is said and done Legion of Super-Heroes #9 delivers a story that is enjoyable, if a bit overstuffed. The menagerie of art styles does more to overwhelm the reader than add to the story. Hopefully, next month’s issue will settle down a bit on all counts.