The Legion of Super Heroes #1 Review

by Olivier Roth on November 07, 2019

Script: Brian Michael Bendis

Pencils: Ryan Sook

Inks: Ryan Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger

Colors: Jordie Belair

Letters: Dave Sharpe

Published by: DC


The Legion of Super Heroes has been a group that I’ve loved almost as long as I have been a comic book fan. My first ever comic book related t-shirt I bought, and still own, was a Legion shirt and because of this, they will always have a special place in my heart. I haven’t read all Legion series, but I’ve tried to keep up for the past 15 years (still one of my favorite books to hunt for). Having said that, when they announced that DC was finally bringing them back after a half-decade absence, helmed by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Ryan Sook… let’s just say my excitement was palpable. 


Obvious bias aside, Bendis, Sook, Von Grawbadger, Belair and Sharpe delivered with this first issue. After multiple previews, a “Road to Legion” series of comics in MIllenium, Superman, and Supergirl, the final product of this first issue is a great introduction to the teens of the future. 


The first part of the comic is dedicated to an intrigue: a few Legionnaires are chasing a group on Planet Gotham, trying to retrieve a powerful artifact. We don’t have to wait long to learn what this artifact is, and in the meantime we get an introduction to Karate Kid, Wildstar, Starboy and Ultra Boy as well as what appears to be the first set of antagonists in the series: the Horraz. 


The second part of the issue is dedicated to the introduction of Superboy (Jon Kent) to the 31st century. Accompanied by Saturn Girl, Superboy gets to experience, and be amazed by, everything the 31st century has to offer almost immediately. His amazement and curiosity are on full display as the Legion tries to both welcome and initiate Superboy to his new normal. 


One addition to the Legion mythos that I immediately enjoyed from Bendis is the addition of the Frichtman Tag. This tag, is adding into continuity what previous writers/artists/editors would do on a regular basis for Legion books: everytime a member would appear on the page, we would get a caption with their name, power and planet of origin. Now, it appears as a heads-up display on the page as part of the world. Very cool, and I loved the explanation Bendis gives. 


When it comes to the dialogue, it is classic Bendis: quippy and fast. It works really well for a large group setting like the Legion as their excitement of having Jon Kent with them is palpable on the page. It also adds a certain frenetic energy: they wanted something, they got it (Superboy), they want to do it right (orientation), but somehow mess it up slightly (as it goes). 


Also, for those who read the preview series Millenium, Rose makes a brief appearance within the issue. Ever since Bendis gave Rose this new power (what appears to be immortality) I’ve been very interested in seeing where Bendis goes with this story hook.


As for the art? Where do I start? Ryan Sook fast became a favorite almost a decade ago when I fell in love with his DC Brightest Day interlocking variant covers (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I highly recommend doing a quick Google Search. His style is made for the bright, bold colours that have become the staple of Jordie Belair’s style. With Von Grawbadger, they’ve created one of the most visually pleasing comics in recent memory. 


Throughout the issue, Sook utilizes the double-page spread to great effect as it opens up the world in front of us. This style of storytelling is a staple of Bendis written comics (it always feels like he writes his scripts for two pages and rarely one) and Sook is not only up to the task, but creates a fully immersive cinematic style on the page. It feels bigger than the page it is on. 


Complimenting Sook’s art (and inks) are Von Grawbadger’s additional inks that blend in well with Sook’s - at no point was I able to distinguish the difference between the two - and Belair on colors. Belair’s use of bold, prominent colors are a great compliment to Sook’s pencils as they help the Legionnaires “pop” off of the page. 


This comic was a treat to read and proves that the Legion still has a place in today’s comics culture and I really can’t wait to see where this team goes from here. 

Our Score:


A Look Inside