Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #10
[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
After the Trial of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the team breaks into smaller group missions to New Krypton, Rimbor, Oa and Xanthu leaving Saturn Girl and Jon Kent in New Gotham for a date.
Breaking the team into smaller groups for missions comes across well in Legion of Super-Heroes #10. It is effective in getting more Legionnaires in the issue and surprisingly it manages to move multiple plotlines forward. There are enough character moments that allow the reader to get to know more about some Legionnaires as well. We finally get the low down on Gold Lantern and how things work with Oa in the 31st Century and Mon-El’s lineage gets another reveal. (See more on that below!) There’s a lot of content in this issue, which is not usually the case. It’s dense in the sense that it doesn’t feel like a quick 5 minute read.
Apparently, there’s no Green Lantern Corps anymore, but the Gold Lantern is the current wielder of the emotional spectrum. The Guardians have themselves developed, thus altering their use of a Lantern Corps. There are still questions, but the Gold Lantern has his own questions as well.
Saturn Girl and Jon’s date gets interrupted by Police Commissioner Sevenbergen. She has news on Mordru’s escape. Despite his characterization in Legion of Super-Heroes #1, Mordru now appears much closer to his classic depiction as Sevenbergen seems to dread the notion of dealing with magic as much as Jon. It’s not clear whether Bendis is reimagining him as he goes along or this was always part of the plan. Suffice it to say, it appears that Mordru will seem much more familiar going forward instead of the joke he was in the first issue.
This leads to the final couple pages of the issue as Mordru finds an unfortunately familiar character on Xanthu. No, it’s not Starboy…. These final pages show Sook and Von Grawbadger channeling some Keith Giffen, and they look great!. If the mystery character revealed was a better character, it might me interesting. As it is, Mordru tracking down Rogol Zarr is just one of the …
…in the issue. Bendis already proved how boring and purposeless Zaar was in twenty some issues of Superman. There’s no need to rekindle that kind of disappointment for Legion readers. No, really!
Unfortunately, the art is erratic in Legion of Super-Heroes #10. While the homage to Giffen on the last few pages looks great, and provides a nostalgic moment, the first page of the issue is painful. Val Armorr gives us the introduction to the issue, and instead of looking like a teenager, he looks like an old man!
While many readers will be excited to learn more of Mon-El’s family tree, there’s a huge question in the mix somewhere. So, (spoiler immediately ahead) Mon-El is the great-grandson of General Zod (drawn looking like Curt Swan’s Superman!). Mon-El is apparently descended from both Jon Kent AND General Zod! This doesn’t fit at all with Mon-El. Sure, these are new versions of characters, but Mon-El is not Kryptonian…it just feels way off even knowing it’s a new version.
Secondly, Mon-El is said to be “coupling” with Shadow Lass in this issue and then also revealed to have three kids on New Krypton? So, what’s going on with that. How old is Mon-El? How does he have 3 children already- and the one we see is young. Who’s the mother? It’s clearly not Shadow Lass. Unfortunately, instead of being an intriguing mystery, it paints a very unflattering view of Mon-El and pushes him even further away from being a likable character.
Legion of Super-Heroes #10 is above average, but not without it’s faults. This iteration of the Legion has been as such. There are moments that are really good, but many more that either just feel off or are just not executed well. While there is some excitement in “the coming darkness,” which could now be Rogol Zaar, Mordru, or both, the revelations about Mon-El are just disappointing and there’s absolutely no fire in the “coupling” of Imra and Jon.