DC Comics’ long-awaited return of Legion of Superheroes begins in a time-spanning epic in Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1, out this week.
Make sure to pop on your Legion flight ring and fly over to your local comic shop as Brain Michael Bendis and team pave the way for the 31st-century heroes back to the comic shelves. Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 focuses on recently made immortal Thorn as she sees the DC Universe throughout the years; thus supposedly linking it all together. Thorn was recently reintroduced in the DC Universe Via Bendis’ Action Comics #1013, but her history isn’t needed to enjoy Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 as she herself doesn’t know what has happened.
Legion of Plot
Even without the involvement of the Legion in its first issue (of two) Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 is a fun trip through four DC futures; with the fast-paced flow taking you from President Supergirl, Batman Beyond, Kamandi, and Tommy Tomorrow. Bendis stays in each time-frame just long enough to draw interest in it, while leaving much up for future exploration). The main plot being; Thorn has somehow become immortal, and she is trying to figure out the why, and how. Leaving Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 to play off as a mystery story.
Bendis leaves the reader as confused as Thorn throughout because he seems to be building up the plot, just to have something huge happen when she enters the Legion’s timeline. Each story stands its own, but Batman Beyond’s is one of the best; this is due to Terry’s and Thorn’s fun interactions. Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 lack of the Legion, just feels awkward; whereas Bendis could’ve gone with another name, or had the Legion make an appearance. One story beat that does appear is Bendis’ repeated dialogue, that occurs multiple times.
Legion of Art
Having four timelines featured, Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 also has four teams of artists and colorists. DC starts the time-spanning epic with a bang as Jim Lee tackles pencils, Scott Williams on ink and Alex Sinclair on colors; the usual team-up with Lee. This iconic trio brought their A-game with dramatic emotions helping dialogue, and the ever famous action-packed double-page spread, which looks as beautiful and exciting as ever.
Jumping from President Supergirl to Batman Beyond is Dustin Nguyen on art and John Kalisz giving Gotham some colors. With a dark and gloomy coloring, Kalisz adds few neon colors to help stimulate the feel of the classic show. As there isn’t much city-scape, we aren’t treated to much colors, other than the bright red smoke and seedy background greys. As his story is half action, half dialogue, Ngyuen makes his panels fast-paced while keeping a constant flow that makes the time spent in this timeline pass by. As great as his pages are, it would have benefited from having a few more panels, as a way to help his fight scenes impact.
The creative team on Kamandi’s timeline is Andrea Sorrentino, and Dave Stewart on colors. The creators match perfectly with this timeline. It’s post-apocalyptic earth with Sorrentino’s art giving a dirty, grubby feeling as if all hope is lost and dead. Stewart’s coloring excels this feeling with red hot volcanic oceans and subdued bright colors that are mixed with grey/black.
Tommy Tomorrow’s future has the creative team of André Lima Araújo, and Jordie Bellaire. This is Araújo’s first DC work, which is a marvel to behold! Araújo’s feels akin to that of Moebius’ super-detailed science-fiction landscapes, while Bellaire’s colors paint a white-laced future that may think they’re clean, but aren’t. The real downside with this future is that it was the shortest of the four stories and would’ve been nice to see more of the great art.
Legion of Lettering
With how great the art and flow is throughout the story Dave Sharpe’s lettering never hits these highs. Bendis is known for his love of heavy dialogue which shows with the heavy bubble usage, that in a few instances kills the momentum. With Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1’s different timelines, the bubbles stay the same throughout, where if changed for the art style would have been an excellent bonus for the changing of times. The few sound effects Sharpe adds in are great for their scenes, but a few times were something should’ve made noise they don’t, which comes across awkward.
Legion of Conclusion
The time-spanning plot brought forth by the multi-handed team of creators in Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 is a fun and fast paced read, that just lacks what the title implies—The Legion of Superheroes. Although it seems the team will show up in the next issue, it would’ve behooved the title to include the Legion in some aspect. It is a nice change of pace to have the story play out in a mystery (as Bendis is good with those), with the reader feeling as lost as Thorn. Let’s hope she sticks around after this story, and DC doesn’t shelve her.
Each artists rendition of their appointed future works greatly in favor of the specific style of art, but falls short on page count. If Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 added a few more pages, it would’ve benefited each artist, with the ability to expand more on their timelines.
Memorable Quote: “You were like…Harley Quinn before Harley Quinn.” -President Supergirl
Rather harsh, yet hilarious Madam President!
Side Note: Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1’s cover by Ryan Sook may be one of the most ingenious and visually appealing covers of the year!