Legion of Superheroes #1 / Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Pencils: Ryan Sook / Inks: Ryan Sook & Wade von Grawbadger / Colors: Jordie Bellaire / Letters: Dave Sharpe / Publisher: DC Comics / Publish Date: November 6, 2019
A New Legion of Superheroes
We begin Legion of Superheroes with a chase on Planet Gotham, where a hero is fighting the villain Mordru for an important item. Just when things seem to be going badly, a trio from the Legion of Superheroes steps in to fight. Then the mystical item is revealed to be Aquaman’s trident.
The book then shifts to Saturn Girl explaining to Jon Kent, aka Superboy, what to expect when entering New Metropolis where he will become part of the Legion of Superheroes. He’s been taken out of his timeline by this very large group of young heroes and will now live with them fighting crime. Before he does that, he really should go through their planned orientation. Well, if the bad guys who appear allow him to.
Diverse Group of Heroes
Brian Michael Bendis produces a fun atmosphere of youth fighting crime. He even creates a way to keep abreast of the very many superheroes that are pictured in this group. The diverse group of heroes is brave, super-powered, and come off a bit childlike and daring. Jon is shown to be overwhelmed, as anyone would be when thrust into a future where their home planet has been so severely altered. You feel his confusion and alarm, while also feeling the cult-like friendliness of the Legion members.
The first section Bendis takes us on an action-packed journey, instantly engaging the reader before giving them the exposition of the next section. This skillfully helps not only explain what is happening in this world, but what dangers they are up against, and how it is tied to our current day heroes. Although, the end cap, featuring the president of the United Planets, was ended prematurely. There is leaving a cliffhanger and then there is ending abruptly with confusing dialog that does not complete. You get the gist, but the scene felt unfinished.
Ryan Sook and Wade von Grawbadger’s art serves the story and does a great job of differentiating all the new Legion of Superheroes characters portrayed. The first page of Saturn Girl and Jon is arranged in a striking way that shows an instant connection between the characters. Also, the way the “Frichtman Tag” is displayed on the characters is especially inventive and well-executed by the artists and letterer Dave Sharpe. That being said there is some muddiness when Mordru apparently gets hit some way, then kicked. One wouldn’t know he was hit in the first panel without the second where he states, “Who Dares Touch–?!”.
Colors by Jordie Bellaire are particularly eye-catching in this Legion of Superheroes issue. Especially the pinks, purples, and orange during the fight with Mordru and the jarring brightness of the Saturn Girl introduction. Bellaire shows the reader we are going to a new place with this color shift. She also had her work cut out for her, coloring each of the diverse characters of the Legion of Superheroes with their own colorful identities, while also showing the remnants of Earth in reminiscent greens. Bellaire’s colors really solidify the scope this story is trying to portray.
Overall, Good Start
Overall, the Legion of Superheroes is off to a great start. Having so many characters, it will be interesting to see how Bendis uses the heroes and navigates them in this future world. It’ll also be interesting to see if this utopia type feel for the Legion stays that way or is a cover for something more sinister. For now, I will look forward to how they deal with the threat at hand and how the President of the United Planets comes into play.
Verdict: 4 out of 5