Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Ryan Sook, Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
What They Say:
Meet the latest crop of Legionnaires: Gold Lantern! Monster Boy! Doctor Fate! Each a new face in the DC Universe, each with dark secrets, and each with a reason to be part of the Legion’s goal to bring the values of the Age of Heroes to the 31st century. And one of them has a surprising connection to Jon Kent, a.k.a. Superboy. All of this and the tensions between the United Planets and the Legion of Super-Heroes have gone public! The future of the DC Universe continues to unfold!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After a couple of months of delays, the latest Legion arrives and it feels like we’re sorta kinda at the end of the opening arc, as most six-issue runs tend to go. As much as I generally kind of like Brian Michael Bendis, it’s been a tough read so far as it’s filled with so much material but without a strong throughline that it’s chaotic approach has not worked for me. The only reason I’ve stuck with it is because I do know most of the characters and can fill in the blanks and because Ryan Sook has some great design work here that leaves me wanting to see more. But it’s a book without anything holding it together, there’s no heart or character beyond Jon and that’s only for those that have been reading his present-day adventures for a while and know him.
The focus of this issue is on the push the Horazz are making to deal with Earth and the Legion after the way events have played out. With them wielding the Trident of Atlantis, things are going to go badly as the Horazz in charge is causing a lot of damage and we’ve got Brainiac calling for an all-out evacuation of Earth. Understandable but everything goes so big so quickly and with such panic that it just feels too much. We’re thrown through a range of characters to try and deal with it and while the fight gets underway we’re able to get some good time with Superboy joining the fight and being impressed by how great everyone is, making him question why he’s there. And then, of course, we get a Gold Lantern showing up and that’s a thing now for whatever reason and without any real explanation.
The Legion was never exhausting like this before. We get a bunch of little subplot threads going on here and it ends with the sequence between the UFP President and Jo’s father who is resigning from everything, making for a future war with Earth over what’s happened. But it’s just such a muddled mess overall – even if it ends with a big and happy moment in how the Trident has altered Earth for the better – that you’re left going “what the hell happened here.” It’s not that it’s unclear but rather it’s just so poorly executed in making you feel connected to it or any of the characters or even the time period or what the Legion stands for. It’s big and beautiful in terms of artwork and design but it just feels more and more hollow as the series goes on.
I crave a successful Legion series and I had hoped that Bendis would be able to break the cycle a bit after what’s come before and give it the things it needed. I do think that a lot of what’s here does work and would work overall, but the introductions, executions, and chaos of it all just leaves it without the heart it needs. There’s simply so much going on so fast and without any connection for the reader to invest in that you’re left on the sidelines, simply flipping the pages and admiring the artwork. I’m hopeful that the next round of issues will start to smooth this out now that the opening story is done but if it doesn’t then I’ll be hoping for a new writing team to come on board.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology | Kindle
Release Date: June 9th, 2020