LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: MILLENIUM #1 / Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artists: Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino, and Andre Lima Araújo / Letterer: David Sharpe / Colorists: Alex Sinclair, John Kalisz, Dave Stewart and Jordie Bellaire / Publisher: DC Comics / Release Date: September 4, 2019
Without a doubt, one of my favorite superhero teams was the Legion of Super-Heroes. I loved the idea of this futuristic, diverse group of characters banding together to fight evil. There were so many characters from different planets and different kinds of powers. Therefore, I was very glad to hear that they were once again being revived even though previous tries had failed. I am especially glad that Brian Michael Bendis (Superman, Action Comics) is at the helm. He has definitely found his footing in the DC Universe and, as usual, he makes his mark, this time affecting DC’s future timeline.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn (With Apologies To Poison)
In Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium we meet Rose, from Rose and Thorn. Thorn is Rose’s vigilante persona. Rose finds that she is no longer aging, making her effectively immortal, but she doesn’t know why. We see the world changing through her eyes as she makes her way through history. In the first part of the story, Rose is desperate because she has been keeping Thorn under control by taking meds. She tries to get help from an older version of Supergirl. Rose has lived so long that her type of medication is no longer needed. Bendis does a very nice job writing Rose’s fear and sense of helplessness. She has no way of stopping her Thorn persona from emerging and is afraid of what she will do.
Rose’s fears are realized in the next story where Thorn is in control and taking out criminals. She runs into the future Batman of Batman Beyond and has a philosophical discussion about what she perceives as the futility of superheroes.
Thorn later, much later, encounters the world of Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth. The issue ends with her being chased by the Science Police after clumsily applying to be a Planeteer and being deemed a threat.
The idea of having Rose guide us through the different DC Universe futures is a great way to bring in readers who aren’t necessarily familiar with them. It would be nice if Bendis had given us the exact timeline, but that is a minor quibble. This issue is a great lead-in to the inevitable meeting with the Legion.
The Artwork Is Awesome
Each of the different DC eras is illustrated by a different artist. The legendary Jim Lee is the artist for Rose/Supergirl, Dustin Nguyen (Batman, Wildcats) does Thorn/Batman Beyond, Andrea Sorrentino (Old Man Logan, Green Arrow) does Kamandi, and Andre Lima Araújo (Avengers: AI, Man Plus) does the final story of Rose/Tommy Tomorrow and the Planeteers. Each of these artists perfectly captures the mood of the different eras.
Brian Michael-Bendis has created a great lead-in to the Legion of Super-Heroes universe. It is well-written and the synergy between his writing and the artists is palpable. Whether you are fan of the Legion or not you will be drawn in. Really looking forward to the next issue.
Verdict: 4 out of 5
Martin Reese is a writer and creator of innovative, dynamic sci-fi and fantasy projects for transmedia platforms. He is the author of the blog Martin’s Theory of Relativity where he discusses topics relevant to People of Color in sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comics. He is also the author of the story book Mulogo and His Quintuple of Trouble.