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

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Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Riley Rossmo, colors by Ivan Plascencia, and letters by Dave Sharpe. With a multiverse of possibilities born out of the defeat of He who Laughs, time has become a far more open book. But not all of these new possibilities are happy ones. One needs to look no further than the remains of a shattered Legion of Super-Heroes to understand that.

Of all the Future State books I’ve read thus far, Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 stands out as a mix of both old and new. And while the old carries with it the best aspects of the current series run, the new falls painfully short of the Legion I’ve grown fond of over the last year. To be fair to the new elements of this book, it may be its adherence to the old that makes them feel so out of place. Especially since the familiar part of this story is Bendis’ continued writing of the Legion.

As our story begins, we find a handful of former Legionnaires on what’s left of New Gotham as the matter of getting the Legion back together is debated. Within this first scene, the overly sharp contrast between old and new is immediately noticeable. Nowhere does it stand out more than with Saturn Girl.

While Imra still sports the same level headed calm and intellect Bendis has always written the character with, her appearance comes across as nothing short of bizarre for her. With an oddly oblong helmet that almost looks like some sort of science fiction football, one almost wonders if she didn’t just escape the drawing-room of a bad 90’s anime.

As Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 progresses, this clash of personality and look repeats itself repeatedly. While the character designs themselves are not bad, they just don’t fit the personalities they have been paired with. The one exception to this is the new version of Triplicate Girl, whose new costume works great for where we find the character in this new story.

Beyond reintroducing the various Legionnaires to the reader, this book also sets up the clash that makes up the back half of this story. And it is for this clash that the characters are being brought back together. As it seems, all the hardships that have befallen, not just them but the universe as a whole, is born of one misguided Legion member. And it seems that now they may be the only ones who can stop him.

Aside from the misstep where costume design goes, I enjoyed the leap in the general art style this book takes from the regular series. The characters are portrayed with a more animated quality to them. If you told me a cartoon show inspired the look, I would completely believe it. This is created through not just Russmo’s art but by the bright and vibrant colorwork of Plascencia.

Lastly we have Sharpe’s lettering rounding out the presentation on this book. With a lot of exposition needed in a couple of spots to catch the reader up, some of these pages get really dialogue-heavy. Luckily Sharpe manages to keep the conversation running smoothly.

When all is said and done, Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 sets up its narrative’s final confrontation well. Even with the clash in character designs, I still enjoyed what this book brings, and I look forward to seeing the next issues wrap up. LONG LIVE THE LEGION!

Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 is available on January 26th, wherever comics are sold.

Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 sets up its narrative’s final confrontation well. Even with the clash in character designs, I still enjoyed what this book brings, and I look forward to seeing the next issues wrap up. LONG LIVE THE LEGION!