Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Ryan Sook & Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
The Legion discuss what to do next after an encounter with Tortor, leader of the Hormuzz and uncovering a secret about Aquaman’s Trident.
It’s hard to say if this issue is better because Legion of Super-Heroes #1 was so bad, or if Bendis just does a better job this issue. One thing that is certain is that Ryan Sook’s art is still the strongest aspect of the issue. There are some great panels where he really captures the individuality, and personality of the different Legionnaires purely in their faces and facial expressions.
Bendis’s technique of “talking heads” works much better than last issue. They don’t seem to talk over each other nearly as much and he’s actually able to explain what’s going on through them in a much more effective manner than last issue’s verbal mess. Along these lines, Ultra Boy gets a specific characterization and pathos. It makes him seem like a real person, unlike the quick looks of the Legionnaires from issue #1.
Additionally, the team provides some exposition to catch Jon up on things as the issue develops. This is also helpful to the reader, and this time it feels like we are learning with Jon.
While I’m not sold on the idea of connecting the modern day DC Universe so closely with the 31st Century right off the bat, Aquaman’s Trident makes sense for bringing back the oceans. The problem here is that there’s no real mystery at play. It makes so much sense it feels like an obvious conclusion. Bendis is one to tip his hand with things early, and it ends up making things feel anticlimactic. It just isn’t that interesting. Much more interesting is the relationship between the Legion and the United Planets. We get a little bit about their history together and it seems like that would be a much more exciting and engaging introductory story for this Legion.
That brings us to Rose Forrest’s role in the issue. She announces to the President (President Brande!) of the United Planets that she is the Official liaison between the Legion and the UP. When did this happen? Was there an issue #1.5 that no one read? Last issue, Rose couldn’t get a word in as the Legion over talked her. Somewhere between the panels she became the Official liaison for the Legion? Editorial has missed a lot in Bendis’s DC comics and it shows here again. It’s fine if this happens, but there’s a story to be told.
The issue ends with Jon going back to the present to retrieve Damian (Robin) Wayne. While it makes sense for Jon to want to include his friend, it doesn’t make sense that he would callously play with time travel after learning how much the UP frowns upon it and is angry at the Legion for using it to bring Jon to the 31st Century. This also has the potential to distract from building the characters of the Legion if the series turns into “Super-Sons” and friends.
Legion of Super-Heroes #2 is a vast improvement over last month’s inaugural issue. Bendis’s script is clearer and more effective. It’s at it’s best when it delves into Ultra Boy’s character and the Legion’s uneasy relationship with the United Planets. There are missteps though as Jon’s trip to the past seems out of place and Rose Forrest’s role comes literally out of nowhere. However, it all looks great as depicted by Ryan Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger.