On September 29, DC Comics released Legion of Superheroes #9. Writer Brian Michael Bendis, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Dave Sharpe are joined by a plethora of artists doing different pages, including regular series artist Ryan Sook, Mike Grell, Nicola Scott, and Mitch Gerads, among many others. The trial of the Legion concludes as a new threat looms on the horizon, and a new romance blooms!
Legion of Superheroes continues to be one of the best books that Bendis is writing at DC. Perhaps it is because a rebooted version of a bunch of teenage heroes with a lot of growing up to do, along with an unexplored 31st-century world, gives Bendis a lot of leeway with his creativity and storytelling choices versus a more established and grounded character.
This issue does turn into a giant talkfest at times. It should take a bit more advantage of its futuristic and galactic scope by getting out of the United Planets’ legislative chamber and out into the universe.
One revelation from this issue may simultaneously excite and annoy longtime fans of the Legion of Superheroes, as Bendis’s future threat sounds like a rehash of a beloved and classic Legion story. However, with a rebooted timeline, a retelling of this story in this new futuristic setting could offer a chance for a fresh spin on a classic (in the style of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man). Readers will have to wait and see, but Bendis does do his best work when he isn’t bogged down by modern-day continuity, and the Legion provides him with a wide open future.
Art & Colors
Many artists bring their A-game to this issue. Ryan Sook’s work is always reliable, while Mike Grell shows off a very retro-looking Saturn Girl costume on his page.
One stand out is Nicola Scott’s work on page nine. Her character work on Timber Wolf, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, and Cosmic Boy is solid and is well-complemented by Bellaire’s colors, who colors the setting with a nice mixture of oranges, grays, and blacks to accentuate the colors of Timber Wolf’s costume. The tears on Saturn Girl’s face are also a nice touch as Timber Wolf tells the Legion founders his sad origin story.
Tula Lotay’s page also stands out. It is a one-page panel of Dream Girl. Her character design on this page is drawn gorgeously, and Lotay and Bellaire really capture the luminosity that the character exhibits through their color and design work. This also happens to be the page where Bendis reveals the looming threat to the Legion, so it’s worth checking out!
Mitch Gerads page is also worth bringing up, not only because Gerads does beautiful work, but his page also contains a major revelation about the romantic lives of two legionnaires, a scene that plays to Gerads strengths, as his style, from the shading of the colors to the design work, lends itself to quiet character moments.
Letters (And Art…Again)
Another page that stands out for both its art and its lettering is Riley Rossmo’s page. Rossmo’s work on this page almost gives it the appearance of a Teen Titans Go! cartoon if it had a little bit more of an anime influence (I guess in this case, it’s more appropriate to talk about the comic page as having a manga influence?). Rossmo helps to bring a frenetic energy to the conversation that Triplicate Girl is having with herself.
Here, Rossmo is helped by Sharpe’s lettering, which is not only colored to match each triplicate but also moves and acts as an excellent supplement to the high-paced back and forth between this character and…well…herself. Sometimes, this issue can get a little bogged down in some back and forth word ballooning, but it works for this page.
Legion of Superheroes continues to be a strong book. The comic still continues to get a bit bogged down in talking that sometimes doesn’t go anywhere, but the art is to die for! It also continues to offer a unique setting for future stories. As long as it can balance all of its characters and offer moments of excitement in between their interpersonal development, this can be one of DC’s stronger titles.
What did you think of Legion of Superheroes #9? Tell us in the comments below!