Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (DC) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Legion of Super-Heroes #1


Written by Paul Levitz; Art by Francis Portela; Colors by Javier Mena; Letters by Pat Brosseau; Edited by Chris Conroy; Cover by Karl Kerschl

Sep 23, 2011 DC Universe Bookmark and Share

There are at least 16 protagonists in the first issue of Legion of Super-Heroes and writer Paul Levitz (Adventure Comics) fails to make us care about most of them. It’s not quite the train wreck of sloppy art and Michael Bay-esque action that was Legion Lost #1, but this story leaves much to be desired. Levitz spends most of this issue’s panels giving us quick and dirty backgrounds on each character through text bubbles. We learn about their aliases, special abilities, and homeworlds. We ultimately glean little about their motivations and the team’s overall dynamic. (One romantic sublot concerning Legion Academy members, Chemical Kid and Dragonwing, is quite refreshing.)

[Spoiler: The previewed conflict between a Daxamite is poorly tacked on at the end.] It’s a limp carrot to buy the next issue. Only the biggest Legion of Super-Heroes fan would bite it. The ‘90s versions of these characters or their appearances in the recently cancelled Adventure Comics, are way more fleshed out. Legion Academy members Glorith, Chemical Kid, Comet Queen, and Dragonwing are fitting additions after some other members of were cut to Legion Lost. I think a few more could have hit the ol’ chopping block. Levitz might have been able to work in some story beats for the future instead of haphazardly tying off loose ends from previous Legion comics.

Artist Francis Portela (Batman: Gotham Knights, Black Panther, Legion of Super-Heroes) tries his hardest, but ultimately turns in too many bland sci-fi landscapes, crowded panels, and undefined character models. Javier Mena (Action Comics, R.E.B.E.L.S.) does a professional job with the coloring, though. There are too many monochromatic comic books in the world today. Legion of Super-Heroes isn’t one of them. This issue is a lot more approachable for new readers, which is one of the New 52’s main concerns. Can’t complain there. Longtime Legion fans deserve a fast-paced and memorable story, free from hand-holding. It’s a hard balance to pull off this early in the relaunch, so you can’t slight Levitz too much for buckling under the pressure of introducing such a huge roster of heroes. Despite some faint positives, Legion of Super-Heroes is a poor comic. (www.dcu.blog.dccomics.com/new-52-legion-of-super-heroes)

Author rating: 3/10

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Average reader rating: 2/10


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