Legion of Super-Heroes #1 Review

Reviewer: Mathan “I Want My 5YG Back!” Erhardt
Story Title: And We Are Legion

Written by: Mark Waid
Penciled by: Barry Kitson
Inked by: Mick Gray
Colored by: Chris Blythe
Lettered by: Phil Balsman
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Publisher: DC Comics

The issue begins with a jaunt through history, and a history of conflict. The positive result of the conflicts throughout history is that by the time the 31st Century rolls around, there’s peace on Earth. The bad news is that in the 31st Century teens still need to rebel against something. Thus the Legion was founded.

We initially learn about the Legion at Science Police Headquarters, where the future is so impersonal that you don’t even have a face to face conversation with a person who’s in the same room with you. Basically the Legion is a group of teens who operate as vigilantes. They in turn inspire other youths throughout the galaxy to stand up for themselves. The Legion is tolerated only because the United Planets has endorsed the team.

Then we see some Legionaires in action. Sun Boy, Shadow Lass, Ultra Boy, Star Boy, Colossal Boy and Light Lass, stop a rampaging Macrobot. As they try to leave with a memento they are accosted by the Science Police. In between their banter they disarm the officers, in the nicest way possible.

Once back at Legion Headquarters they meet Invisible Kid, the newest recruit. Sun Boy gives him a tour of the Headquarters and explains some of the ground rules of the group. Unfortunately there is a bad situation occurring on the planet Lallor.

Apparently the teen-agers of Lallor united to form a political majority, under the banner of the Legion. Unfortunately the adults of Lallor didn’t take the move so well and rebelled, slaughtering the teens.

Cosmic Boy, the liason between the Legion and the U.P. is caught between a rock and a hard place. The U.P. has asked him to keep the Legion out of Lallor’s business. But the team wants to avenge those who fell in the name of the Legion, and bring justice to Lallor. The team goes into battle, and Cos calls them back. But Sun Boy talks some sense into Cosmic Boy’s head, and he ends his conversation with the U.P. and tells the team to enter the fray.

A day later Invisible Kid asks Star Boy why teens have gathered around the teams headquarters. Star Boy explains that the Science Police tried to demolish the headquarters six months ago, but the teens surrounded the building to protect it. So while the Legion may inspire teens, the Legion actually around because of the teens.

Waid is a longtime fan, and a former Legion writer. He knows what he’s doing. He crafts a good set up tale for the first issue. It’s not the same old origin issue where three teens save R.J. Brande and decide to form a team based on the example of Super(fill in the blank.) Waid wisely avoids the origin in favor of a set up. He also utilizes Invisible Kid as a “point of you” character. The slaughter on Lallor was disturbing, but this was a very solid first issue.

Kitson makes the future look futuristic and boring. His new design for the look of the characters is a pleasant change. Some characters get a tweaking (Ultra Boy, Shadow Lass) while others get an overhaul (Element Lad and Sun Boy). It’s nice to see the characters visually stimulating again. Cosmic Boy’s “conference call” was a nice image, as was when the Legionnaires used their powers. I’m a huge fan of Gray’s inks, I hope he’s on the book for a while.

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