Review Shooter: Legion of Super-Heroes 1
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Writer: Paul Levitz Artist: Francis Portela
The New 52 allows a jumping on point for new or lapsed readers, but it also allows long-time comic fans anÂ opportunity/chance to check out characters/teams/stories they may have been missing out on as well. Even as a DC comic reader, I have missed out on a ton of Legion books because they hardly ever crossed over with the proper universe. Last week I checked out Legion Lost, and that left me more than a little unsatisfied. This week its time for the Legion-proper to step up to the plate, is this a better book?
First thing first, there are a TON of characters in this book, and the writer doesn’t shy away from giving them all some screen-time. I counted 16Â introductoryÂ boxes (the boxes that usually gives you a brief background on the character) in the comic. That is a lot of heroes to introduce in one comic. Not only is there a ton of them, but they also seem to be situated in multiple locations, and are all dealing with slightly different problems.
The second thing, I noticed anyhow, was this story was dense with information. There seems to be a lot of events that took place before the release of this comic. Now as I stated before, I’ve never read a Legion book so I don’t know if we’re getting ties to continuity or just joining a story in progress, but either way there is a lot toÂ digestÂ in this first issue.
But what of the first issue? Honestly, it was just all over the place. Between introducing a ton of characters, setting up several plot strands and relationships/character dynamics, there is very little room for proper storyline progression. As far as I can tell, the main story sees a group of Legionnaires sneaking into a base to gain some knowledge, and that comes to a head at the end. The other plots seem to focus on a power play by Brainiac 5 and Mon-El for control of the Legion and fall-out from a recentÂ devastatingÂ loss of Oaa (not sure if its a planet or a person!)
Like I said, a lot going on. And as a new reader to the series, its kind of a turn-off. You don’t get enough time with any one character or even group to be invested in them, and the plot is pretty thin so it doesn’t even have that hook. It ends with a cliffhanger, which doesn’t work as well if you aren’tÂ familiarÂ with DC Universe alien races and I guess power set.
The art in the book is clean and nice, some of the costumes really come to life in the pages. Nothing really bad, but again nothing really stand-outish about it.
Survival Rating: Life Support– I’m sure the Legion will be around for some time, but I don’t necessarily think in this book.
Recommendation: Avoid It– Unless, you are familiar with the characters and their world, maybe you’ll get more out of the book than I did.