Legion Of Super-Heroes Volume 2: Trial Of The Legion by Brian Michael Bendis, Ryan Sook, Wade Von Grawbadger and Jordie Bellane (graphic novel review).

April 23, 2021 | By | Reply More

The second volume of the latest incarnation of the Legion Of Super-Heroes nearly side-stepped me. I knew one was due out around now but looking under ‘Legion Of Super-Heroes’, hyphen or otherwise, on the long river website didn’t reveal it unless you only put its sub-title ‘Trial Of The Legion’ on its own. This volume continues Legion Of Super-Heroes # 7-12, although this particular story doesn’t start until # 7.

Considering all the shenanigans with the council of the United Planets, you would think the Legion might find a new member capable of diplomacy as his or her super-power to keep the peace between them. I’m not sure if Brainiac 5, who reveals himself doing this, would really serve that purpose although at least in this incarnation, he isn’t being shown to be border-line mad like many of his predecessors.

I do have to say I think the actual ‘Trial Of The Legion’ issue is a bit of a mess. An artist is given responsible for a different page and some resort to full page art than continuity storytelling. There is a page artist guide at the start of the story but as there are no page numbers either for the issue or book as a whole, seems kind of pointless to keep track. The trial itself is basically an argument of bring Jonathan Kent to the future so they can learn from him and messing with the timeline too much.

I don’t think that has been resolved very well as there has been no concern about what memories he should recall when he is returned to the past. That, plus a few problems with his safety. OK, he’s Kryptonian and not much can hurt him but things are different in the future.

A key problem with such a large team of characters is giving them an opposition that at least has a chance of beating them. It’s no wonder Modru keeps popping up, only this time with a giant dragon-like Rogol Zaar balancing things out. Even so, Ultra Boy’s dad, Crav, did shake things up a little. Odd name, Crav. No surname. Surely he would be Crav Nah?

The real problem which hasn’t been resolved with this LSH incarnation is not enough thought on how they battle and they essentially mob any opponent. No doubt the artist is just given an instruction to do a few battle scenes without really thinking things through of what to do with so many characters and artist Ryan Sook just does a couple pages. Unlike the 1960s, do you really want everyone there?

Smaller teams with appropriate members was shown to be more effective in the 1970s-80s, with specialised units like the Espionage Squad doing more covert work. It would also allow better characterisation than devoting a page to a legionnaire at the start of each issue. Certainly, this is a weakness that needs some proper writing thinking.

GF Willmetts

April 2021

(pub: DC Comics, 2021. 160 page softcover graphic novel. Price: I pulled my copy for under £12.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-77950-563-7)

check out website: www.dccomics.com


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Category: Comics, Superheroes

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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