Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Ryan Sook, Stephen Byrne, Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
What They Say:
Jonathan Kent, intergalactic fugitive! The United Planets is less than thrilled with the decision to bring Superboy a thousand years into the future to protect the past. Planet Gotham is under siege. Ultra Boy’s homeworld is on the verge of all-out war. And as if that weren’t enough, new Legionnaire drama unfolds as Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy throw down over who should take on the Legion’s leadership! Plus, Brainiac 5 will reveal a secret that will make one Legionnaire quit the team-and we ask the burning question: Who is the strongest Legionnaire? Find out in the only book telling you the future of the DC Universe every month!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Seven issues in and I admit that I’m lamenting this incarnation of the series. Brian Michael Bendis has been enjoyable on the Superman books that I read of his for the first year and I like some of the worldbuilding to give us this 31st century that feels new and intriguing, but everything related to character material just falls completely flat. I don’t know how well he’s handled team books before because I haven’t read any of his Marvel work but this is just a mess that only makes sense because I’ve got decades of legion history behind me. The art team does a great job in giving us something distinctive and fun but it’s so busy with so many characters so constantly that we get the minimal backgrounds more often than not and that becomes depressing after a while.
The premise here is… problematic teenage drama? The main deal is that Cosmic Boy has brought the Legion to barge in on the UP in order to apologize of sorts for what happened with Crav and Rimbor only to do so after the UP has sanctioned Rimbor, making it ll the more complicated. Cosmic Boy is trying to establish the Legion as a co-functioning piece of the government but it’s so poorly done that he really should have been ushered out. The only saving grace is that Madam President has an interest in Superboy and that Brainy steps in enough to try and smooth things over. It’s all manner of problematic though in how this plays out because it’s just more politics instead of, well, actual missions, adventures, involving the galaxy.
This turns into quite the chewing out from Saturn Girl later as she lets Cosmic Boy have it as she could tell what the UP representatives were thinking and he just came off as childish. That leads into a mini-fight about how he’s leader and that’s what he wanted to do but the reality is that they chose between the three of them and it was more of the other two didn’t want the responsibility. Can you say surprise election time? If it’s the Legion, it has a rich history of elections that change the direction of the book that brings a lot of smiles. Here, it’s just a chance to put Ultra Boy in the forefront since his father is the one that’s going to come for justice and make it a family matter. At least Superboy managed to sidestep this as it would be awkward to be brought into the future and a few hours later you’re leading a superteam.
I have no idea what to make of this book anymore. Not that it started at its best or anything, but it’s gotten progressively problematic as more issues come out and a gap that didn’t help. It’s just a lot of bickering going on at this point with no sense of purpose as it tries to suss out the basics, which should have been set before starting and just gone forward with. I love the look of it and the character designs but the book is just incredibly hollow and revealing that more and more with each issue.