Orientation Of The 31st Century (Legion Of Super Heroes #1 Review)
LEGION OF SUPERHEROES #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Ryan Sook
Inkers: Ryan Sook & Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterers: Dave Sharpe
Rating: 7.5 Flight Rings
The future is here! The future is now! The Legion Of Super-Heroes series is the one I’ve been waiting for the longest, ever since DC first teased their return at the start of Rebirth. The funny thing about the future though, is it’s not set in stone and where the heroes of the 30th century may not be taking the galactic stage, Bendis has built these young heroes up for their introduction in the 31st century! With the future before us now, it’s time for Review Boy to answer the call once again to re-demonstrate his powers of review. Be warned though, as my powers may contain spoilers.
Bendis brings us right into the action of the 31st century, with some favorite Legionnaires of mine thwarting the baddies and getting their hands on one powerful trident, formerly owned by Aquaman. Bendis has good taste in bringing that into the mix. While heroic deeds are done in a futuristic Gotham, Superboy arrives at the welcome party by the Legion. It is such an amazing sight to see all these characters back once again with fresh new designs thanks to Ryan Sook. I can’t help darting my eyes through the crowd to see who all is here. He did great work throughout this issue in giving members on the page distinct expressions that really elevated the excitement. When you’re the new kid in the future, the best thing to do is get yourself informed, and what better way than an orientation. Superboy ends up skipping out on it this issue but luckily for us as the readers, Bendis gives us our own by showing us the Earth of the 31st century through Superboy’s little tour.
If Superboy wasn’t feeling overwhelmed from the future shock, you could say that the art in this could leave you stunned. As I said before, Sook brought some crazy cool new designs to the Legionnaires, and with Grawbadger assisting on inks and Bellaire doing the coloring, it really fleshes out the new world we are seeing. From the double-page spreads, taking in the state of the earth and the cities, to even the smallest panels where you can hone in on the member’s facial expressions in each moment, this team brought their A-game. Every time I turned a page or moved to the next panel to see the Legion flying in formation had me absolutely giddy. Bellaire’s colors really shine throughout this book as they light and vibrant even in the darkest streets of Gotham, they make each panel very pleasing to look at.
Going into this series, I have been very excited, but, I wanted to try and approach it from a perspective of being a new reader to these characters and also fairly new to picking up comics. This was especially important for me to look at after seeing that solicits for this were that it was reader-friendly. Bendis has done a lot of labor since stepping into the DC Universe, bringing new ideas to the table and building up an all-new direction for the heroes within this world. With that, I have felt that his series all feel strongly connected as they have all helped build up the Legion’s return as one of their long term results. The question of if this was reader-friendly or not though? Yes, Bendis did a great job with this series as one that doesn’t rely heavily on anything else. I feel like if I picked this up with no knowledge of Superman or Action Comics, I could see that Jon Kent is a teenager and he is the future as the new Superboy. It’s the 31st century, and it’s not tied down by the current events of DCU.
Time’s have made Review Boy a cynic though, and I can’t sing all praise. This issue was a good start, Artistically, it was phenomenal and I couldn’t have been gladder that Ryan Sook was on board or this after I discovered his work with The Unexpected. Easier for new readers to pick up? For sure, but for me, I found the dialogue in some moments to feel as organic and real as Bendis is apt to do. This is not an inner dialogue issue and there are times that the repeated method of conversations and questions being cut off frequently began to feel like we were just being ushered through the story without actually exploring the conversations. And, even though I am overall pleased with this first issue, I couldn’t help feeling like an apology was owed to my wallet after Millennium ended with what seemed like a big reveal from Rose, only to have been slightly retconned in her appearance among the Legion and ignored.
This is the future! It wasn’t what I was expecting at first, but I do know that what I saw was bright and I think I’ll be sticking around here for a while. If you are looking for something new, full of interesting characters and new worlds to explore, then join the Legion today!