Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Art/Inks: Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino, and Andre Lima Araujo, Colors: Alex Sinclair, John Kalisz, Dave Stewart, and Jordie Bellaire, Letters: Dave Sharpe, Cover: Ryan Sook.
Brian Michael Bendis is proving to be just as much of a prolific workhorse at DC as he was at Marvel, taking on writing —and reimagining/reinvigorating— yet another DC property, the Legion of Super-Heroes.
The Legion sorely needed reimagining, or at the very least, simplifying. The Legion’s continuity and various time-tossed iterations over the last 20 years has been even more confusing than the X-Men’s. If Bendis’ work so far on other DC titles like Superman and Action Comics is an indicator, then the Legion is in for some big changes. DC is certainly not sparing the horses for this book, throwing major talent at it like Bendis, Nguyen, Sook, and Sorrentino.
The oversized (30+ pages) first issue features an underwhelming and downright gloomy cover for a new Legion launch by Ryan Sook: an unidentifiable female character peers out at a monochromatic, apocalyptic cityscape. Kind of a depressing start for what has always been a very colorful and optimistic title. The fact that the cover design is a subtle recreation of the Legion flight ring symbol (Big "L" with shooting star) is the only saving grace.
However, the first few pages make up for the "meh" cover, with scenes taking place in the far future featuring a much-older Madam President Supergirl, and revelations of a Thorn (the split personality half of Rose that can stand toe-to-toe with Superman) who hasn’t seemed to have aged much at all. I find it curious that Rose & Thorn have been revived recently, since they were never all that interesting in their earlier published incarnations (she/they have been around since the 1970s); Bendis seems determined to change that.
Bendis also seems determined to link together all of DC’s characters from the future: the Legion (who are not seen in this issue), Batman Beyond, and Kamandi (pronounced Command-D). How he does that is only teased here, only hinting that Rose/Thorn is perhaps the connective tissue tying it all together.
The very different art styles from story segment to segment is a bit jarring, but at least we have the same writer and letterer to give some continuity to it all. I am looking forward to more consistency in the art, but we will have to wait until after issue #2, which still features 4 different artists.
Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 lists for a cover price of $4.99 and is on sale September 4, 2019.