I wanted to like Legion of Super-Heroes. I really did. The cover looked cool. The concept seems interesting. But ultimately, it’s a comic too densely packed with characters and pre-existing plotlines to be at all new reader friendly or at the very least decipherable.
But that isn’t too say that Paul Levitz is a bad writer. He isn’t as far as I can tell. His characters had distinct voices and the thought captions that other DC relaunch titles that relied heavily onto provide exposition were largely absent allowing the story to unfold at a more natural pace.
The problem with this one is the story. This was not a story for a #1 issue. I do not consider myself a stupid person but I’d like a little bit of a setup when I open up the first issue of a series. Especially when the characters I’m reading are not familiar to anyone but hardcore Legion fans. Instead, we are treated only to little information boxes that do nothing to really explain a character but rather just provide their name and powers. With over a dozen Legionnaires, it is absolutely impossible to remember and care about all of these characters and it makes it very confusing.
It’s a shame that the story is such a disappointment because the art is better than most. Francis Portella draws all of his characters with great care and strong lines that give his renderings and backgrounds great weight. Despite there being so many Legionnaires, they all have a distinct, unique look that has a little to do with their powers and I’m sure, over time, can help fans really start committing their identities to memory.
This issue just left me with so many unanswered questions. “Why wasn’t this series actually rebooted?” is the biggest one. There is potential for an Avengers Academy/Runaways in Space kind of book here but by starting in the middle of something that already makes no sense, it’s a completely missed opportunity.
WRITING: 1 / ART: 3 / OVERALL: 2