Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Ryan Sook, Mikel Janin & Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Jon finally learns the origin of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and it is both engaging and repelling at the same time!
Right out of the gate, this issue starts on a high note. Not only do we get insight to Triplicate Girl’s character, there is a very effective conversation between Jon, Rokk and Garth. Bendis subtly reveals some aspects of the characters. It really feels like something that would’ve been better suited to the first issue than the 4th. I suppose, some readers are more interested in action etc.. than character, but character, in my opinion will draw the reader in more quickly than a “Bash, Bang, Pow.”
It becomes most interesting when Rokk and Garth realize that when Jon references his mom, he is talking about Lois Lane. It is an instance that is similar to an Easter Egg in a comic book movie. Sure, comic book readers are all over it, but the “general audience” is sort of left asking questions. It’s not the same thing exactly, but rather the same emotional response.
The journey continues as Jon gets to experience personal moments of Imra, Garth and Rokk as they become what will be called the Legion of Super-Heroes. Bendis’s exploration is not only creative but engaging. Bendis finally finds some true character moments in this series that will draw the reader in and challenge an affiliation to any previous incarnation of the Legion of Super-Heroes. If THIS had been issue #1, it would certainly have received a triumphant consensus.
Oh, and Ayla is a badass.
It’s pretty clear that this version of the Legion works best as its own thing, as a thing not related to ANYTHING that has come previously. That makes it a bit difficult for the familiarity of the names, Rokk, Garth etc…. This Legion would still work best as a legacy Legion, maybe not only in code names, but in inspiration. I suppose there’s still an outside chance (Very outside, because neither DC nor Bendis is clever enough to develop that idea.)
Amazingly there’s no negative to this issue, though it’s hard to max out the rating based on this issue alone. If Bendis had a more concise storytelling approach, perhaps the meat of Legion of Super-Heroes #4 could’ve been combined with Legion of Super-Heroes #1, thus creating a truly engaging and exciting #1 issue!
Legion of Super-Heroes #4 is without a doubt the best issue of the series so far, and that’s not saying much, really, however, Bendis FINALLY leans into the characterization and makes Imra, Rokk and Garth feel real. This should’ve been done in issue #1. With this issue, Bendis FINALLY creates a connection for readers and promises some hope for the future.