Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #11
[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 of Super-Heroes faces threats on multiple worlds as Mon-El and Jon come closer to a confrontation. Plus, the coming darkness has another prophet in Triplicate Girl.
There’s a lot going on in Legion of Super-Heroes #11, and that a good thing. In classic Legion form, Bendis packs a lot of information into this issue not only with each of the plotlines getting important development, but also some neat character moments. It feels like Bendis may finally be getting into a rhythm with this series as the first year comes to an end.
The nature of Triplicate Girl’s nature gets some exploration this issue in a scene with Dream Girl that works really well. Not only does TG explain to Dreamy her concerns about a dream she’s had about the coming darkness, she reveals a little bit more about the one “Cargg Consciousness” that her three forms inhabit. Without spoiling anything about it, it’s an interesting concept that if quite far removed from the original idea of Luornu being able to split into three separate versions of herself.
The colors by Jordie Bellaire are really great as he uses different color sets and tonalities to produce unique appearances for the different planets in this issue. He knows when to be bold and when to be subtle to help tell the story and to produce a reaction as his colors work to set the mood that fits the scene. Sook and Von Grawbadger are solid throughout. Unlike last issue in which there were some awkward moments, this issue feels much more cohesive, even suggesting some Steve Rude influence here, combining with Bellaire for an overall look reminiscent of Nexus.
Additionally, Bendis also finds a way to bring the disparate storylines together somewhat by the end of the issue. That’s not to say they resolve, but it feel more natural when the various team members are assembled for what appears to be a greater threat. After last issue, it there’s a bit of confidence that Bendis will be able to come back to these other plotlines and address them effectively without having to wait six or eight months for some kind of payoff.
Surprisingly, the scene with Jon and Rogol Zaar is a bit emotional. However, it doesn’t mitigate the lameness of Zaar’s character, rather it’s carried by the fact that Bendis does a great job of communicating Jon’s emotions and thoughts. In the same vein, while we continue to learn more about Mon-El, this version is a mixed bag. While executed effectively, what we learn about Mon-El is not endearing, rather it tends to make him a bit of an unlikable jerk. While some of it is still out of context, it doesn’t bode well for the character. It’s very difficult to wrap my head around a teenage father of three. He is still a teenager, isn’t he?
Not all the new characterizations are working. While Triplicate Girl and Dream Girl have been intriguing and likable, as mentioned above, Mon-El is not. Gim’s revelation that “his people” are born as adults is bizarre and very far off from the original Colossal Boy. Without knowing more, it feels like something added for shock value instead of substantive story content. Additionally, Dawnstar makes a comment to Ultra Boy when she sees him in action: “I find you very impressive,” that comes off awkwardly. It clearly tells us something about Dawnstar’s character, but in the context of the scene it appears to connotate that she may be “impressed” by the wrong sort of attributes. It isn’t complimentary of her character.
The Positives definitely outweigh the negatives. Legion of Super-Heroes #11 is one of the best issues of the run, so far. The series has a real chance if it continues to move in this direction. Despite some questionable characterizations that don’t provide an affability with these versions, there’s enough here to be excited about. Though, there’s an equal amount of concern for the next issue as this series has been erratic.