Legion of Super-Heroes #12
The battle for New Krypton is on! This powerhouse issue features the Legion confronting the greatest challenge of any era! With New Krypton on the verge of destruction at the hands of one of Jon Kent’s deadliest foes, the young hero may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends, his family, and his heritage-but it could lead to the start of a monumental new chapter in the future of the DC Universe! Long live the Legion!
Bendis always manages to bring it back around, and LOSH #12 is no exception. After a shaky and plot-light introductory arc, the back half of the series, concluding with this issue, kicked things into overdrive by removing all of the slower-paced elements and replacing them with a near-constant rush of action, substantive story, and great character work and dialog.
Issue #12 picks up immediately after the previous installment, which showed Bendis kicking the story into high-gear, setting up every piece for the final confrontation. Jon Kent squares off with Rogol Zaar, which leads to the Legion joining the battle. The entire series is one, long action scene, but it never feels bloated or pointless—the pacing issues that plagued the first half of the series are gone now, replaced with tight plotting and breakneck pacing. Knowing the characters, having seen them interact, and understanding the wider meta-narrative Bendis is attempting, amps up the stakes and makes every page important. There are no wasted panels, no pointless two-page spreads here.
The choice of adversary and scope helps here, too. Changing from a world-spanning fight to a few enemies tightens the focus down, and gives readers a sense of danger. Each attack lands hard, and it makes for an emotionally satisfying read when the tide turns.
Bendis has improved immensely in his time on the title, finally melding strong storytelling to his natural strengths as a character and dialog writer. Everything feels snappy without getting too precious or eye-rolling, his use of captions does a lot of work to establish rhythm—he knows when to get out of the way and let the action do the work. There’s just a ton to like here, writing-wise.
And obviously, with an art team helmed by Ryan Sook and Jordie Bellaire, there’s even more to like visually. Sook has a clean, smooth line, well-suited to the retro-futuristic aesthetic that defines LOSH, and his action scenes have a sense of weight to them. There’s nary a stiff straight line to be found here. Things rush fluidly from panel to panel, and for that alone this issue is a treat. Bellaire’s colors, as always, compliment Sook’s work. Her bright and blocky pastel palette make the pages pop.
Overall, it took the series a bit of time, to really get going. The first half was a bit too lumpy and plotless to be compelling, but was saved by the art. The back half discarded the decompressed storytelling in favor of getting to the point, and it was a wise decision. It took what was going to be a so-so series and made it great. By issue #12, it was a nearly perfect ensemble superhero comic, with all of the wit, drama, action, and humor necessary for a potentially classic run.
Bendis is keeping it going with Future State, so maybe things will keep going. Until then, there is at least this series to remind readers what the Legion of Super-Heroes is capable of when they are in good hands.
LOSH #12 concludes the current series in an incredibly good place before setting the table for Future State.
Legion of Super-Heroes #12: All Good Things Should Hopefully Continue
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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