Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Art: Ryan Sook, Inks: Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire, Letters: Dave Sharpe, Cover art: Ryan Sook.
Finally, after an agonizing two-issue set-up and major tease (Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium) Bendis delivers the Legion in all its revamped glory. New costumes, new Superboy, some changes in human races and alien appearances…it seems everything is new and different, except the classic Legion logo.
Bendis doesn’t waste any time throwing the Legion’s biggest foe at them: Mordru the wizard, recast as a creepy alien demon. Thankfully, Sook gives him a new design; he no longer looks like a stereotypical wizard with a pointy hat, flowing robe, and long white beard. Mordru is hunting a relic of great power, and it’s up to the Legion to keep it out of his hands.
The rest of the book is devoted to the arrival of Superboy, as we get to introduced to the Legion and the 31st century through his eyes. Unfortunately and tragically, one major thing that hasn’t changed (yet) in the Bendisverse, all that remains of Earth in the 31st century is a collection of domed cities joined together in space. Superboy’s reaction is an altogether natural and panicked one.
Ryan Sook provides some rare and beautiful interior art; his style is a cross between Legion Hall of Famers Stuart Immonen and Adam Hughes. We don’t get to see many stories from Sook lately, and I hope we get to see him telling many more Legion stories. Bendis and Sook have done an admirable job, appropriately making the Legion much more diverse, not just in races of humans, but making more of the members look like the varied group of aliens they are supposed to be. It always bothered me that back in the day, the vast majority of the Legion looked like Earth caucasians.
Letterer Dave Sharpe has created some cool-looking, elegant alien languages, and colorist Jordie Bellaire keeps the hues desaturated a bit to avoid the multicolored Legion costumes from being visually overwhelming.
Bendis writes dialogue that feels grounded; characters react in realistic fashion to what is happening to them, and don’t speak “comic booky.” His gives his Legionnaires a lighthearted and humorous aura of hope and positivity that makes for an enjoyable, refreshing read. If this first issue is an indication of plotlines to come, sign me up for the Legion (I already have my own flight ring)!
Legion of Super-Heroes #1 from DC Comics is on sale November 6, 2019.