Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Legion of Super-Heroes #10 Review


Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Ryan Sook
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: October 28, 2020
Cover Price: $3.99

Review By: Comic Boom Rocky! Check out his awesome Youtube Channel HERE

It’s time to review another issue of Legion of Superheroes! I apologize to readers of this Weird Science DC site for neglecting to review issue 9 of this series. If this were the 31st Century I would issue a worldwide “apolomemex” which, I suspect, would have about as much impact as Karate Kid’s ‘apology’ in the opening recap page of issue 10 in which he gossips about the “coupling” of Superboy and Saturn Girl. Is this series finally showing signs of going somewhere, or will I look back in hindsight and wish I had skipped reviewing this issue too?  Let’s find out.

“Jon and Imra are sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” Jon Kent finally gets some action, and it all takes place in his mind; or rather, Saturn Girls’ mind.  Physical interactions and intimacy are not standard on Imra’s home planet of Titan. All of her people “live in the mind”.  Despite her upbringing, Imra seems quite excited about exploring the physical aspects of “coupling” with Superboy.  Artist Ryan Sook does a good job conveying just how empty Saturn Girl’s mind is alongside Superboy, who diplomatically refers to it as “clean”. Do they have blonde jokes in the 31st Century?  If they don’t, they should. 

In any event, the evolution of Jon and Imra’s coupling is sprinkled with glowing onion rings and an interruption by Commissioner Sevenbergen, who informs them of concerns regarding Mordu having gone missing. He’s the bad guy who, at one point, tried to steal the trident of Aquaman. The involvement of Dr. Fate narrows their search to the planet Xanthu. Meanwhile, General Craz of Rimbor (Ultra Boys’ father) is put on trial before the Elders of Oa to face their “Eternal Justice”. The Gold Lantern, Kala Lour, accompanied by Brainiac 5, inquire of the Elders regarding their knowledge of the “Great Darkness”. For classic Legion lovers, it is an obvious reference to the Great Darkness Saga of lore. Darkseid himself does not appear in this issue and has recently risen back to prominence in the pages of Justice League Odyssey and Death Metal, it is open to speculation whether writer Brian Bendis is deliberately misleading readers or if there is another “darkness” that is spreading in the 31st Century. The final page reveals suggests the latter, but we will have to wait and see. 

Fans of Green Lantern will find the comments of the future Guardian “Elders” evasive and unhelpful. The Guardians of the future discover that the emotional spectrum has a greater purpose that involves bringing “balance to the galaxy.” [Cue Star Wars theme]. Unfortunately, the Elders are so mentally clouded that they don’t know if the Legion can help them against the ‘Great Darkness’ or facilitate its coming. 

All of the exchanges between the characters (in the various planetary settings) follow a pattern of raising the stakes and reader expectations until a final reveal ought to have more impact than it does. Had Bendis better developed a certain “Destroyer of Kandor” in the first year of his Superman run, I might be more excited. As it stands, the transfer of such an unpopular villain from his Superman series into this one does little to create excitement moving forward. We learned so little about the character during his embarrassing stint in the 21st Century that his sudden (and visually very different) appearance in the future wreaks of a desperate second attempt to get fans to take notice.  

A character that has gotten a higher degree of attention under Bendis has been Ultra Boy. With his father, General Craz punished by the Elders of Oa, Jo unintentionally finds himself the new ruler of Rimbor, which is sure to create multiple conflicts of interest between his planetary responsibilities and his obligations as leader of the Legion. 

Finally, we get exposed to New Krypton, where a much more famous 21st Century Superman villain makes an appearance along with his great-grandson Mon-el (and Mon-el’s three daughters, Laraz, Conner, and Lane). It is not clear (entirely) why Mon-el quit the Legion, but it is implied by the Legion members seeking his return that at some point, Superboy may challenge the future “Kryptonian way.” Avid readers of Joshua Williamson’s Superman/Batman will know that General Zod founded New Krypton in the 21st Century with the ‘Lazarus- Pit-resurrected’ “survivors” of the destruction of Kandor at the hands of Rogol Zaar. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Bendis has been planning this whole narrative for quite a while. But that’s just silly.    

The illustrations are very good in this comic. Ryan sook’s pencils are complimented by Wade Von Grawbadger’s inks and Jordie Bellaire’s colors. Their artistic talents bring to light the emptiness of Saturn Girl’s mind, the majesty of Oa, the brightness of New Krypton, the aggressive eeriness of Rimbor, and the darkness of Xanthu.   

Bits and Pieces:

Despite my growing cynicism and indifference that underscored my forgetting to review the last issue, I am compelled to acknowledge that issue 10 has me thinking that maybe Bendis has a direction in mind for this series, after all. It might even qualify as a jumping-on point for new readers with a limited amount of necessary “googling.”


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