Legion of Super-Heroes #7
The future is here … and it doesn’t really have it together either, honestly, as a series of scenes reluctantly try to be a story.
There’s a lot to like about this issue if you love the Legion. The assembled team bursts in on a meeting of the United Planets to make some grand statements, the team holds an election and Lightning Lad’s family moves from Winath, which is apparently a dump! If you’re a Legion fan, every part of that previous sentence lit up some form of recognition and got your opinions and memories revving.
If you have no idea who the Legion is, or if your knowledge is more passing in its volume and intensity, this future may be a bit confusing. The aforementioned events happen in a sequence, true, but that doesn’t make them a plot. Admittedly, if you spend time around teenagers, their lives do have that quality to them quite a lot of the time, but that’s not exactly the way you think of entertainment you pay for. There’s tons of fun, youthful energy here, but it lacks a clear narrative thrust.
Stephen Byrne steps in on pencils and wow, has he captured the visual distinctiveness of things. While two characters have a “discussion,” the wonderful background elements of the “oooh” kind of observational nature included here are quite enjoyable. You also have to take note of the bright but not garish colors of this idealized future, provided by Jordie Bellaire, which lets every element have its own clarity in each scene. If you liked the Barry Kitson era Legion, this crisp and clean look might tickle your fancy.
Bendis clearly has some good ideas on things. For example, one thing that’s great is the “celebrity” nature of Jon Kent, a confused Arthur Dent type of figure who can punch through a tank and is beloved by most people who encounter him for things he hasn’t done yet. That’s done well in multiple points here. The characterization of Cosmic Boy as a physically expressive athlete is a nice twist, as is the alien confusion of Chameleon Boy (“What’s a bathroom?”). There was even a hint of some kind of rivalry between Mon-El and Superboy, which is very logical if you think it through.
Unfortunately, the weird digression with the contingent from Winath didn’t drive the narrative forward, nor did the Triplicate Girl scene and Monster Boy is just hard to keep up with. There are so many characters on panel most of the time, and most of them are just doing the Mark Madsen thing. The teensy moments are like strong singles on an album that never connects as a coherent whole. Please don’t look to the solicitations for a clue, because they mention stuff that’s not even happening here. This series is taking some time to find its footing, but at least it looks amazing as it does so. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Legion of Super-Heroes #7
By Brian Michael Bendis, Ryan Sook
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!