Monday, November 30, 2020

LSH(v8) #11

Legion of Super-Heroes #11 (January 2021)

title: (Untitled)
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
penciller: Ryan Sook
inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
colorist: Jordie Bellaire
letterer: Dave Sharpe
associate editor: Brittany Holzherr
editor: Brian Cunningham
covers: Ryan Sook (main); Nicola Scott & Annette Kwok (variant)

reviewers: Jason "Anachronistic Lad" Knol, Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage, and Jude "Sarcasm Kid" DeLuca

Overall Summary: 
Chameleon Boy has led a group of Legionnaires to New Krypton to convince Mon-El not to quit. Superboy, Saturn Girl, and Dr. Fate are on Xanthu searching for Mordru. Ultra Boy has become leader of his home-planet Rimbor. Triplicate Girl has had a nightmare about the Great Darkness, and goes to Dream Girl for advice. Rose leads a group to Daxam to hunt down the Horraz' secret base but are attacked by Mordru. Brainiac 5 has suspicions about the Guardians of the Universe. Krypton is attacked by Rogol Zaar and his pet dragon. 

Mission Monitor Board: 
"Triplicate Girl. Or Triple Girl. Is it Triplicate or....? "
"Lightning Kid." 
The creators don't seem to know, so how should we?

Mordru, Rogol Zaar, bad writer, worse editor

This month's one-page close-up is of MonEl, explaining his side of why he quit the Legion. But if he quit, what is he doing HERE? This right from the top doesn't make sense. 
We then scene shift to New Krypton, where Chameleon Boy's team is talking to General Zod when they are attacked by Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy and a nameless fleet of evil-doers. Because they are the Legion, they are totally wiped out within two pages. 
On Xanthu, Saturn Girl, Superboy, and Dr. Fate are following Mordru when tehy come across Superman's original cape, a sourvenir collectible from the Age of Heroes. When Dr. Fate tries to conjure an examination spell to grade its authenticity, he is destroyed by lawyers from CGC.
On Rimbor, Ultra Boy claims leadership after defeating all other potential candidates. He then disbands the War Council and calls for free and fair elections. Danwstar is turned on by democracy in general and Ultra Boy in particular. 
On Earth, Triplicate Girl goes to Dream Girl, who is making ends meet by holding down a second job as a kindergarten teacher. Blue Triplicate admits that she saw a vision of "the Great Darkness"  and it has disturbed her. She doesn't want to re-merge with Yellow and Pink to share the nightmare with her sisters. Dream Girl suggests going to see Saturn Girl to investigate the nightmare on a psychic level. 
On the low levels of Daxam, Rose has brought Cosmic Boy, Sgt Rock, and Lighting Kid to meet a woman who can possibly tell them where the Horraz' secret hide-out is. (The "Horrors." I just this issue "got" that. Uggh)  Unfortunately, Mordru attacks, teleporting Sgt Block to deep space , kidnapping Cosmic Boy. and causing Rose to turn into The Thorn (Shocking! Who didn't see THAT coming!?!?)

At Legion HQ Brainiac 5 and White Witch talk to Gold Lantern as he returns from space. Brainiac wants White Witch to metaphysically analyze the power ring because he suspects something about the Guardians. 
Suddenly, the Legion Alarm goes crazy. Brainiac alerts others and they rush off to New Krypton. He also asks Superboy and Saturn Girl to meet them there. Superboy is confused that there even is a "New Krypton." Saturn Girl tries to explain the situation to him, but that question is forgotten when they arrive to find that Rogol Zaar has taken out the rest of the Legion and all of the other Kryptonians. 

Jude's Review:
Yeah so I'm done. Like finished. I'm not commenting on #12, nor Future State. This issue finally pushed me past my limit with that "I LOVE MUH GRAND-BABIES" line.

I hate this GD comic. I hate the writing, I hate the Legionnaires, I hate everything that led up to this series being published. I remember crying, actually CRYING, from anxiety out of fear of whatever would possibly be done to the Legion when a new creative team was finally chosen. As it turns out I was right to be scared.

What the hell is DC paying Brian Cunningham for when it comes to editing this book? There've been inconsistencies all over the place since the first issue and it seems no one particularly gives a shit until it's time to release the trade collections. And even THEN, there are mistakes in the first volume that still weren't fixed. I can only imagine how long it will be before Bendis uses the "wonky timeline" thing to justify the constant errors.

The Bendisboot Legionnaires are selfish bastards who dragged a traumatized 12 year old stuck in a 17 year old body one thousand years to the future because he's considered their Space Jesus for something he didn't even do. Their dismissal of Damian and Jon's anger over Damian's mind wipe is enough to disgust even me, and I don't even LIKE Damian (and I was buying Batman when he first debuted). Bendis has had over a year with this book and in that time just about NOTHING he has done with ANY of the Legionnaires has made them likable or interesting enough to capture someone's focus.

R.J. Brande coming up with the idea of the Legion and THEN being saved by the "founders" is a reversal of the typical origin story that robs the Legionnaires of their validity as heroes. Whereas R.J. Brande was once inspired by their youth and bravery and helped fund a team of similar-minded kids, President Brande's a glory-chasing hag wanting to exploit the Legion to make herself look good whether it involves damning them or praising them.

(Actually, can I pause my ranting for a moment? In the last couple days I've realized President Brande really is a rehash of the Reboot's Jeanne Chu with a slight makeover and R.J. Brande's name slapped on her. Don't believe me?)


Karate Kid's redesign is still super gross and racist and Val's heritage being treated as interchangeable from Japanese to Chinese should have had fans seething. Same said for the empty tokenism in changing the Ranzz Twins into Black kids while also making them about as stereotypical as Tyroc was back in the 1970s. If Bendis actually gave a flying fuck about breaking boundaries he wouldn't have made it a priority to make sure Saturn Girl got paired off with another white kid.

Absolutely every romantic pairing in this book has been shoehorned into the plot and there's been just about NO queer representation in any way, shape, or form, not even as a callback to an older pairing like Ayla/Vi or Brainy/Lyle. Not even Lyle/Condo.


Let me be clear about one thing before I finish. This comic has not put me off the Legion of Super-Heroes. I love the Legion and I love the Legionnaires. What I hate is what this book and this creative team has done to the Legion. I hate what it's done to Jon Kent too, and I can only be pissed off at Dan Didio who clearly wanted to get Jon out of the Superman books as fast as possible because of his raging hard-on for destroying DC's families.

Most of you don't realize what I truly gained from the Legion about ten or so years ago when I fully became invested in them. I found a community on both and on after a truly miserable and traumatic adolescence. I found people who actually cared about what I had to say and seemed to like my awful, ridiculous ideas. I am always going to be indebted to the concept of the Legion for having granted me the possibility of meeting people who've given me so much that no amount of thanks or gratitude will ever be enough. People I will love with all my heart.

Silver Age. FYL. Reboot. Threeboot. Retroboot. Cartoon. I came in at a time when I could learn about all of them and it made sense to me. This Legion does not make sense to me. At all. And I am sick of people hiding behind the excuse that this is meant for new readers or that "This isn't MY Legion." YOU DON'T THINK I FUCKING KNOW THAT?! BUT DO YOU HONESTLY BELIEVE NEW READERS DESERVE THIS?!

I. Hate. This. Comic.

I'm not wasting another year of my life paying attention to whatever the Hell goes on in this book. I'm tired of using my energy to focus on things I do not enjoy.

So Bendis, Sook, etc, do whatever the Hell you want. Pair off Saturn Girl and Jon Kent. Pair off Garth and Ayla with the next Black character they come across. Introduce a queer couple for one panel and then spend the rest of your time focusing on the straights. Kill them all. Make them evil. Make President Brande the equivalent of Space Hitler. And while you do all that I am quietly going to focus on my writing, find more work, and then bide my time until I can somehow get into DC and do my own Legion story while making every conscious effort to black out any memory of this book alongside the rest of this godforsaken year.

Nice to know I couldn't have the luxury of enjoying a new Legion comic written by someone who actually gives a shit about them while being terrified of COVID-19, my house falling apart, my grandpa potentially dying like three times, my employment, and the election for 8 months and counting.

If Joshua Williamson was good for anything it was sneaking XS into his Flash book looking completely unchanged, with the implication she has nothing to do with Bendis's shit.


And to everyone else, enjoy watching Bendis's bargain basement Frankenstein Monster slowly fall apart over the next year. I won't be there to join you. 

Russell's Review: 
Well....I don't hate this comic as much as Jude does, but I do hate it. Is there anything redeemable or entertaining here besides the beautiful art? Let's take a quick look at each Legion team and see what we can see...
First of all, the cover has nothing to do with the inside of the book. Nada. Zilch. Cosmic Boy doesn't even get to New Krypton (as far as we know) and he certainly doesn't embrace Shadow Lass. I used to hate this type of messy editing when I was a younger fan; I figured it had something to do with bad communication between the creative team members. But Ryan Sook drew the inside of the issue as well as the cover, so what the hell, man? 
On the first page, Mon-El is acting like a child, and there is no explanation being given except that he's an immature dick. With how many kids?! This is stupid and I want one of my favorite Legionnaires back, please. 
Karate Kid is not Chinese. And as Jude correctly points out, his current style is racist and gross. I want one of my favorite Legionnaires back, please. 
And as an aside....why is his comment blacked out on page three? 
Where does the dragon that Rogol rides in on come from? Where do the enemy ships come from? Where do they go? Why am I trying to look for in-story logic where none clearly exists? 
I hate how comments from the following scenes are added at the bottom of the previous scenes. I'm talking about Ultra Boy's comment ("I have made my decision") showing up on the last panel of the scene featuring Saturn Girl and Superboy. It's supposed to suggest the scene change, but I find it annoying as hell. Just turn the page; that's the scene change. 
Dawnstar has the hots for Ultra Boy? Really? Also...Ultra Boy is supposed to represent some type of ethnicity but I can't figure out what. Arabian? Mediterranean? Cro-Magnon? (see page 1)
Dream Girl is a school teacher? Not, you know, a full-time super-hero? Huh? 
Who had "Thorn will reappear before the end of the first year" in Bendis Bingo? Everyone? Yep, pretty much. 
This issue ends the same way last issue did: with Rogol Zaar posturing and looking stupid. I still have NO idea who he is and why I'm supposed to care about him.   

I haven't said this since I was a cocky kid but....seriously, *I* could have written a better story. I could have done a better job than Bendis in juggling this cast and making the story make sense. Bendis needs to take some serious writing tips from master group story-tellers like Roy Thomas and Paul Levitz, both of whom knew how to balance story-lines and characters and keep things MOVING but also INTERESTING. 

This issue SUCKS. 

Jason's Review: 
My mother always said that if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all...

This issue has not yet been reprinted. The first trade paperback just came out, so wait another six months.

Worst issue yet? 


  1. I guess the change to Lightning KID denotes that they are non-binary?

    I wonder what happened to Soultaker, who was shown as a post-DoomClok LOSH member in the last issue of Doomsday Clock?

    1. I think that was just Rose being glib

      Also Soultaker probably died along with whatever plans Johns had for the Legion because he couldn't finish a goddamn script on time for once in the last decade

  2. LOL at the reviews. I'm surprised you guys hung in there so long. I gave up after 6 issues and that awful Millennium waste of time and money (so I guess 8 or 9 issues total that I wasted good money on? Can't remember how long Millennium ran). I kept reading reviews hoping against hope that it would improve, but I guess instead it just got even less tolerable. On the bright side, DC reboots things every 5 or so years now, so I figure as soon as Bendis gets bored and moves on, the Legion will be revamped yet again. Maybe next time...

  3. I haven`t actually read any of the Bendis run, because of the bad reviews. Thank you all for taking this punishment for me.

  4. "What are they paying Brian Cunningham for editing this book" Well apparently nothing since he was one of the names that was let go during that DC implosion a few months back. So I'm sure his mindset for the last few issues were "Fuck it. This books been dead on arrival so why should I care anymore?"

    I mean let's pray March see's a New creative team just pull the Time Trapper out of storage & soft-reboot this version to try & salvage something.

  5. I haven't trusted DC enough to purchase any new Legion comic in years, but am conflicted by the level of entertainment derived from reading your reviews of their execrable rehashes of the concept while feeling sorry for you subjected yourselves to them.

  6. You guys should probably recruit Anj or someone else who actually likes modern Legion comics rather than continuing the monthly grumpfest...

  7. I only made it two issues in and stopped. Didn't bother with the two high priced prelude. The two issues I read was like having a conversation with someone that has ADHD. No focus and plot ideas going all over the place with no resolution. I am a big Legion fan starting before The Great Darkness Saga, bought the Adventure digest reprints, all archive volumes, and volumes after the archives I find nothing enjoyable in Bendis' Legion. I glance at new issues and can't convince myself to waste money on them. Reading your reviews has justified my stance. We haven't had a new Legion title for years and DC throws this garbage to us. Give Superman to Waid and Legion to Jurgens, I'll buy them both.

  8. I appreciate the monthly reviews on this current run, in which I had no interest, once the character designs began rolling in. And seeing the way they basically put all of the characters in a blender relationship-wise & planetary ruler-wise (not to mention Mon-El with 3 kids???) for "just 'cuz" randomness has erased all further curiosity about this Bendis-fest of hubristic suck.

  9. Thank you Jeff r.
    This blog is the epitome of toxic, closed minded negativity,revelling in its own nastiness suited to the mentality of "fans" who decided to hate the series before it even started.

    1. Speaking as the editor of this blog, I have to say I did NOT "decide to hate the series before it even started " I came in with an open mind, but as soon as you ask me to pay money for a story like Millennium that lasted thousands of years and literally tells NO story, you've set the bar pretty high to please me.
      Glad you at least like it.
      I keep coming back because I am hopeful that somehow Bendis' true talent will shine thru. That's the opposite of closed mindedness, BTW.

    2. In fairness if anyone's a toxic fan it's me. I was being vocally about not wanting yet another rebooted continuity YEARS before Bendis was ever on the radar.

  10. boy howdy that's some quality rage.

    i think i read one whole issue before giving up. im amazed you made it eleven.

    the art is pretty good tho.

  11. There is no questioning on the art (redesigns aside), it is the script what is absent.
    Speaking about absences, there is no LOS in the march solicitations. Is that good news? Bad news? No more Bendis? New number one from Bendis in april, maybe?

  12. I don't think it's THAT bad. I'm am happy the Legion is getting published again. And the art is really nice.

    That said, alright, it has been a year now. I have to agree that - the book seems to lack focus. We have a "Legion" but not THE "Legion." So much is different that it is difficult to care for the new stuff.

    I want a Legion with characters I recognize and care about. These guys? It's close enough to keep the name and the intellectual property, but that's about it. Just slapping the Legion name on it is not necessarily enough to get us to care.

    And if we don't care, we won't buy it.

    Yeah, I'll keep reading it (online, without paying). Some other media I follow (Legion of Substitute Podcasters) seem quite enamored of it.

    But I have to agree with you guys. This book is an unfocused mess.

    But the art really is pretty nice.

  13. I think this is a very unfocused run, but I'm having quite a good time in the latter half of the volume. Everything with Rose is underdeveloped and I'm confused about Rokk's recruitment. I think there's some good ideas present. I'm not a big fan of Bendis' dialogue but I'm having fun here. I want to know more about the Gold Lantern and what the Guardians are up to. I want to see Jo's struggles to lead both Rimbor and the Legion. I want to know what's going on with Mon. I want to see how Ayla fits in on the team. I think there is an interesting subtext added to making the Ranzz twins black. Especially as one is an anti-establishment radical and the other believes that one must change the system internally. The new Luornu and how she views her identity is super interesting. Nura's implication that she isnt just a "girl" can also be an interesting chsracter beat with respect to identity.Your issue with Imra pairing with Jon? Completely unhinged. I think these reviews are cringe btw. Screaming in caps lock about not caring? "This Legion Has No Heart"? I am begging you to go outside.