Monday, September 9, 2019

LSH: Millenium 1



Ever since it was announced that DC was going to publish a NEW Legion of Super-Heroes book (its eighth, by our count) we here at the Legion of Super-Bloggers have dealt with several conflicting emotions. Happiness, of course, that our favorite future group was returning. Trepidation, of course, wondering who/what would be THIS particular Legion. Anxiety, of course, on whether DC would or could do the Legion "right."

With the recent publication of Superman #14, Supergirl #33, and Legion of Super-Heroes Millenium #1, *some* of the answers to our questions are being answered. Join us today as we take a quick Triplicate Girl-level look of these three comics!


Superman #14 (Oct 2019)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencillers: Ivan Reis
Inkers: Joe Prado & Oclair Albert
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Editor: Mike Cotton
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham

Supergirl #33 (Nov 2019)
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Art: Kevin Maguire
Finishers: Scott Hanna
Pencils & Inks (pp 12-13): Eduardo Pansica & Julio Ferreira
Colorist: FCO Plascencia with Chris Sotomayor (pp 1, 7, 12-13, 20)
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Jessica Chen
Group Editor: Brian Cunningham

Legion of Super-Heroes: Millenium #1 (Nov 2019)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencillers: Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino, Andre Lima Araujo
Inkers: Scott Williams, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino, Andre Lima Araujo
Colorists: Alex Sinclair, John Kalisz, Dave Stewart, Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Associate Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Editor: Brian Cunningham

comments/review by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage 
I had heard that I needed to pick up Superman #14 for the first "re-appearance" of the Legion, followed by more explanation and a "true" re-introduction of the group in LSH: Millenium#1. So I dutifully went to my comic shop and bought both. When reading LSH: Millenium, I found this page, which made me think that I needed to buy Supergirl #33, too.
So I dutifully trekked back to my shop and bought Supergirl #33, too.

Superman #14 and Supergirl #33 both start with what I consider a very non-reader friendly jumpy narrative ("Now" "Earlier" "Today" "Yesterday") with no "what has happened before" type explanation for new readers (like me). I mean, come on, if you're selling a book as the re-appearance of a classic super-team, you are expecting NEW readers to jump on board to catch this milestone, right? So would it have been too much trouble to explain to readers like me who have not read the past 13 or 32 issues (respectively) who the eff these characters are (Jor-El is alive!?!?!) and what the eff is going on?! I guess so.....

As it is, I enjoyed the pretty pictures by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado and have NO idea what any of the other 20 pages are for. Eventually I figured out that various planets are at war; okay. Even though the "House of El" defeats....Doomsday?....the planets are still at war. So then Superman's son suggests forming a "United Planets," modeled on Earth's United Nations (side note: is this an ironic suggestion, given the current state of international relations on Earth 2019? Moving on....) 

The moment after Jon Kent makes his suggestion, a time portal opens and ta-da, some group of characters suddenly appears who call themselves the Legion of Super-Heroes. Without actually introducing themselves, they ask Jon to join them. The End!

So really, this story didn't tell me anything that I didn't already know just by reading DC Previews bulletins. Still, it looked awesome, and I *was* interested.

I then read Legion of Super-Heroes: Millenium #1. Here are all of the Legion appearances in that fist issue's story:




No, that isn't Invisible Kid. The Legion actually makes NO appearance in the story in LSH: Millenium #1. There are several text pages and a quick interview with writer Brian Michael Bendis *about* the Legion (we printed those here on Friday), but they don't actually appear in a book named after them.

Rose (of Rose and the Thorn) is talking to the President in what is clearly the future. (Her identity is/was kinda being hidden in the press that I've seen, but she's outed right there on page one, so if this is a spoiler for you, I apologize.) She is afraid that although she has lived a LONG time without Thorn appearing, she is now running out of her no longer manufactured multiple personality disorder medications. And when they run out, Rose is afraid that Thorn will resurface....and that she'll be angry. Then we suddenly time-shift to Batman Beyond's future, where Thorn is involved with Batman. Then we time-shift again, and Thorn is involved with Kamandi, the last boy on Earth. And finally, we time-shift again and now Rose (not Thorn) is trying to get Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers to take her off Earth before Thorn re-surfaces. The End!

NO. LEGION. APPEARANCE.

So feeling a TAD jaded, I see the text box mentioning Supergirl #33 and buy and read THAT. You know what? It's the same battle between the House of El (Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Superdog, and Super-Turtle) against.....Doomsday? Whoever it is. Guest starring Jor-El the Undying and Thanagarian Blackhawks. Then we get to the same scene on Thanagar from Superman #14, with some of the same dialogue, and then we get the same time portal opening and ta-da, the same group of characters posing differently suddenly appear and THEY call themselves the Legion of Super-Heroes. Supergirl and Krypto then go back to Earth. The End!

You know what? If you haven't already bought all of these comics, go ahead and save your money. Just buy Superman #14. In fact, skip that book, too, and just read the pages reprinted above.  These are the ONLY Legion of Super-Heroes related story pages. The "importance" of Supergirl #33 to the Legion is lost on me, as Supergirl presents the same scenes and appearance of the Legion as Superman #14. with NOTHING new. (We'll have a "Who Drew It Better?" post about these books soon!) Honestly, I expected a little bit of side-conversations between the Legion and her, but nope. Nada. Nothing.

So to sum up....if DC is trying to build positive energy with this launching of their new Legion, they sure didn't do it well as far as THIS long-time (aka "old") fan is concerned. Yes, I will buy the next issue of LSH: Millenium and yes of course I'll buy the Legion book. But, gee, DC, thanks for not building up my enthusiasm. I sure wish DC was better at this stuff.

I won't comment on the redesigns of any particular character here other than to say that I don't understand the NEED to fix something that isn't broken. We'll get into specifics after it's been established, for example, that that character really is "Wildfire" and "Sun Boy" and so on. However, just as an aside, "Cosmic Boy" looks to be Oriental in Supergirl; not so much in Superman; kinda in-between in the text page illustrations in LSH: M by Legion artist Ryan Sook. Hopefully DC will make up its mind.

Comments/Reviews by Jude "Sarcasm Kid" Deluca
If any of you have been following the rare amount of articles I’ve done for Super-Bloggers, you’ll know I said in my very first piece I didn’t want another new Legion continuity. And I still kind of mean it. At this point I don’t believe adding a new version is going to fix the problems DC and John Byrne started back in the 1980s, especially if all the other versions are once again going to be ignored.

But…

I realized through a lot of the nastiness seen on Facebook and because of my own hang-ups I at least owe it to the Legion to try the new comics. For all my ranting about wanting to say all of the Legions matter, I’d be a hypocrite for not offering to give Bendis’ version my support. Well, at least enough support to actually read his stories first and THEN judge instead of hating it right away just because the Ranzz twins don’t have red hair or because they’re all teenagers again or something equally stupid.
I do acknowledge it’s likely my previous bitterness is coloring my remarks below and I’m just looking for an excuse not to support this. Sorry.

I haven’t been reading Bendis’ work on Superman and Action Comics, and I refused to go near Marc Andreyko’s Supergirl. Despite his work on Manhunter, Andreyko destroyed any desire of mine to support his work when he turned one of my favorite Batman villains into a rapist. I’ve had no interest in whoever it is that supposedly destroyed Krypton, the return of the super creepy “Mr. Oz” Jor-El, or Jon Kent being aged into a teenager. Like Russell, I’ve got nothing to say about the lead-up to the Legion’s appearance in Superman #14 and Supergirl #33.

So, speaking of the Legion’s actual appearances…

They're all amazing artists, but I definitely prefer Ivan Reis and Joe Prado’s artwork over Kevin Maguire’s. I think Bendis’ dialog from the Legionnaires is too… formal. Flat, even. I get that this is supposed to be a momentous occasion, but the way the founders speak just doesn’t sell it enough. It sounds too disingenuous. If Bendis was trying to convey that they’re excited to meet the person who inspired the founding of the United Planets and offer him a role in the Legion, he didn’t do it very well. I’m not even sure what else I can say about this sequence.

In regards to Millennium #1, I genuinely think the issue falls flat for a few reasons. It feels as though Bendis is trying to convey too much at once. These looks into the different eras aren’t long enough to be fully entertaining, so I think Millennium would have fared better if it wasn’t just two issues. What doesn’t help is the plot of Rose & Thorn’s struggles throughout the centuries. While it gives us an excuse to explore the different periods leading up to the 31st Century, there’s nothing that really keeps readers invested in Rose’s journey. We get that something must have happened to halt her aging process, but by the time the story begins it’s just Rose explaining it to President Supergirl. It might have helped if we, the readers, had gotten to the realization of Rose’s ageless status along WITH her. Like, this is Bendis just spelling it out for us that she’s not getting older to explain the convenience of how we get to see the Batman Beyond era, the Kamandi era, etc. He unfortunately doesn’t provide us a reason why we should care about Rose, the viewpoint character. Rose is merely a prop to explain the shift of scenery, and that’s both frustrating and doesn’t endear me in particular that he’ll know what to do with the myriad of Legionnaires. It would have made more sense to have the Legion be integral to the shifts in the different eras.

Comments/Reviews by Mike "Nostalgic Kid" Lane
I guess I am going to be the dissenting voice here in that I've enjoyed the roll out of the new Legion. Now despite Superman being my favorite super-hero, I am behind on his series so I tried to play catch-up on this for the Legion's intro, and I found the way they showed up at the end of the issue to be intriguing.

As far as Millennium goes, its gotten a lot of criticism for the fact that the Legion has not actually shown up in it at all. But its called Millenium for a reason...clearly the purpose is to lay out the history leading up to the introduction of the Legion so I do not mind at all that they were not actually featured in the first issue.

Having the issue be focused on Rose & Thorn is unexpected but I do not mind since it is just an avenue to leading us through the future history of the DCU. I can understand why long-time Legion fans may be frustrated by this roll out, particularly after what happened in the latest issue of Doomsday Clock, but perhaps since I was a latecomer to the Legion I am more tolerant to reboots?

In any event, I have found DC to be something of a mess the last few years, both in continuity and their approach to certain heroes (Wally West!!) but I am still intrigued by this new Legion and have enjoyed their intro. I like the look of the new Legion, and I like Jonathan Kent, so I am happy to go along for the ride of what is coming.


4 comments:

  1. It's Bendis. Slow builds are they only way he knows how to write.

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  2. The Legion has gone PC. I'm skipping the introduction issues and just stick with the ongoing series. BTW, are we going to adress what happen in the Doomsday Clock series?

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    Replies
    1. Our idea was to comment after it was all over, since it's such a long, convoluted trek.

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