Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Legion of Superheroes #1 by Brian Michael Bendis - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: Welcome to the 31st century! Inspired by the acts of and lessons learned from the greatest heroes of all time, the Legion of Super-Heroes have gathered together to stop a galaxy from repeating its past mistakes. The greatest lineup of heroes in comic book history returns with new, fresh, and reader-friendly stories!

Eisner Award-winning writer Brian Michael Bendis reteams with master artist Ryan Sook (Action Comics) for one of the most ambitious mainstream comic books ever created! Why have the Legion of Super-Heroes broken the cardinal rule of the United Planets and inducted Jon Kent, a.k.a. Superboy, into the Legion? What are they hiding? And what does it have to do with Aquaman’s long-lost trident?

The Legion of Superheroes has long been a fan favorite group, but they have been one of the groups most affected by all the various crises and reboots that DC has gone through over the years. In fact, they've basically been MIA since the New 52 some years ago. So apparently, the time felt right to bring them back and Brian Michael Bendis is the perfect writer to reintroduce this iconic group.

While the Legion has been teased in the pages of Superman and there was a recent two issue mini-series (Millennium), this issue is the first real appearance of the Legion at large, and it starts off with a bang. Ultra Boy is tracking down a dangerous artifact that is in the possession of some bad people. As he gets the artifact, he is joined by Wildfire, Karate Kid, and Star Boy, who discover that Ultra Boy has found Aquaman's trident.

Meanwhile, Jon Kent (Superboy) has been snatched from the timestream so he can officially join the Legion. Much of the rest of the issue is our introduction to life in the 30th century, and seeing many of the Legionnaires. Superboy is a fine stand in for the reader, as he is new to this whole scene as well, and we get a feel for just how things work while he does.

One of the joys of the Legion of Superheroes is the hope and positivity that comes with the many teenage heroes and heroines, which is a nice contrast to the darkness and pessimism so common in the stories that take place in our present. Another unique aspect is the many various Legionnaires; there appear to be hundreds. I always enjoyed this in previous incarnations of the book, and Bendis did a great job introducing many of them and at least showing us a large majority. Included in this group is Rose/Thorn, who was the focal point of the Legion of Superheroes: Millennium series that preceded this book. I'm curious as to what Bendis has planned for her.

I remember reading and enjoying the Legion when I was a kid. I loved Wildfire, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and the rest. The possibilities for different types of stories were endless because of the large roster, and the various power sets of the Legionnaires resulted in interesting team-ups. I'm looking forward to seeing how this book is moving forward.

I would highly recommend Legion of Superheroes #1 by Brian Michael Bendis. This is a fun and exciting story with roots in some classic heroes from DC's past. I'm generally a fan of Bendis's writing and I'm curious to see how he writes the Legion.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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