Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Nicola Scott, Jim Cheung, Jeff Dekal, Ryan Sook
Colors: Tomeu Morey, Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
What They Say:
Get on board for a journey through the future like no other! A gallery of all-star artists join our mysterious guide as they continue their 1,000-year journey toward the 31st century, inspiring Booster Gold to time-travel, debating fighting tactics with O.M.A.C. and making their way to the front door of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The DC event of the future is here now!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The first half of this special event leading up to the launch of the Legion of Super-Heroes was pretty good from my perspective as I enjoyed the little travelogue over the millennium. It allowed Brian Michael Bendis to touch on different periods, firm up some future events nicely that can be explored elsewhere if they so choose, and gave us a handle on who Rose/Thorn is if you haven’t been following the books where she’s appeared. With a great art team, this installment brings in a different slate of artists that are no less talented. There’s a smaller and tighter feeling to this with a more personal approach, especially in Jeff Dekal’s story, and while there may not be a truly cohesive art style to it what we get delivers a strong looking book.
What’s interesting with this book is that it does finally look at things in a big way with how the future unfolds. We don’t get this till past the halfway mark or so but with Rose/Thorn talking about how the world has been destroyed a couple of times before, we get to see New Earth as a kind of intriguing series of domes on spires spread about in space. It’s not the world in the classic sense but it gives us a place where it’s going to feel very different going forward and I welcome that aspect. They could have gone any number of routes but playing it by showing it as a result of humanities actions across the centuries, plus some likely outside influences as well, is a big and radical change since past incarnations of the Legion always had Earth in its traditional sense, just SF’d.
The opening tale is one that brings Rose to a place where she gets to walk through a Hall of Heroes and museum that brings back visions of her early days. It’s an amusing walkthrough but she’s basically accosted by a guy who thinks she’s cool and wants to get to know her. That we get to see early Booster Gold, aka Michael Jon Carter, is fun to watch because you see just how enamored he is with all of this. It plays well in contrast to how exhausted she is by everything, even down to how fanatical he sounds in pulling out quotes from 20th-century pop culture. That leads into something darker for the second story that moves to a period where OMAC is the central focus and a lengthy war is underway. This further expands on the weariness of Rose/Thorn from our future/her past and I like what we get, but that’s partially because I like OMAC in general and wish the character would succeed.
I’m really curious about the third story because it feels so disconnected from everything, visually in how the story is told, with Rose on a new journey into deep space to try and find something that will bring her to life again. It does happen but honestly, the real journey here is just the visual design that Dekal brings to it. I’m not sure what this connects to in the larger DC lore of future stories but I want to see more. Thankfully, it all leads to the 31st century with Rose having made the decision to start interacting with the world again just as the Legion has brought Superboy from the past to engage in adventures with. It completely has the whole clubhouse feeling to it and with some of the color work that we get reminded me of the classic book newsprint feeling a little. There’s such a great variety and expansive cast that I’m excited to reconnect with in this new form that the big two-page spread that we get with them just hit all the right marks for me.
While the Legion makes up a very small portion of this book and it’s really just the Rose/Thorn story, it’s one that does everything right for me. Giving us a travelogue to the future to understand the foundations of the Legion and where Earth stands with all of it is exactly what was needed and I’m glad it happened outside of the Legion book itself, which is going to have more than enough to work with. Bendis put together a lot of really good stuff here and got to do it with a fantastic team of artists to bring it to life. I totally understand why this two-part series may have fallen through for some, but for me, it delivered exactly what I didn’t know I wanted.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: October 2nd, 2019