Legion of Super-Heroes #3
In flash of impulsive brilliance, Superboy (Jon Kent) has brought his best pal Robin (Damian Wayne) to meet his new friends in the 31st century!
That might be a worse idea than anyone realizes, though...
Meanwhile, the Legion confronts Ultra Boy's father, General Crav Nah, about his attempts to get Aquaman's trident and... it doesn't go well.
Forget an international incident - the Legion is about to inadvertently begin an interplanetary war!
After a rocky second issue, Brian Michael Bendis’ and Ryan Sook’s big Legion of Super-Heroes relaunch feels back in its groove. Although it seemed like a very bad idea at first to bring Robin into these already-crowded pages, Damian’s presence is actually used to build an undercurrent of suspicion and even fear – adding a layer of nuance and intrigue to the story.
To play devil’s advocate, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a Bendis comic is full of chattering heads. Last issue, this all-too-common occurrence for the writer acted as an bandage to hide the lack of plot; this issue, the plot dominates the conversation (so to speak) and there’s an actual feeling of forward momentum. In addition to diving deeper into the hunt for Aquaman’s trident, readers are also treated to a strong sense of foreboding with regards to Damian Wayne’s future. (Hint: it’s not good.) Damian is destined to do something very, very bad at some point. Whether this plot thread is eventually played out in these pages is unknown at this point, but it’s an interesting possibility.
The Legionnaires themselves begin to show some signs of distinct personality this issue as well. When all twenty-plus members of the team are featured in every issue, it’s pretty hard for any one character to stand out. But there’s some personality beginning to show: Mon-El’s insecurity, Ultra Boy’s defiance, Cosmic Boy’s uncertainty. These are not deep dives into character motivations or explorations of inner lives, of course, but at least it can be said that Bendis is making an effort to differentiate his talking heads.
This book’s most distinctive feature is the art by Ryan Sook, who this issue is aided by Travis Moore. Sook’s character designs are spot-on, original, and distinctive. The future world of the Legion actually looks futuristic, to the point of being otherworldly. Jordie Bellaire – who more or less colors every comic on the planet at this point – does some standout work even on her unfathomably high standards on this book. Panels absolutely fly off the page and beg to be pored over again and again – the mark of a true master of her trade. Paired with Ryan Sook, there’s no reason the art team shouldn’t be nominated for an Eisner at some point. It’s that good.
Legion of Super-Heroes hits its groove this issue! The plot is engaging, and the multitude of characters' personalities are beginning to emerge from the non-stop chit-chat. Add to that an intriguing new subplot involving Damian Wayne's future history, and Eisner-caliber art - and this is a book to keep an eye on.
Legion of Super-Heroes #3: Robin to the Future
Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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