If you used the opening three pages of ‘The Legion: Foundations’ as the means to gauge the artistic merits of this graphic novel compiled from The Legion # 25-30 and The Legion Secret Files 3030’ from 2003-2004, you would probably put it back on the shelf. According to the back cover and opening credits, apart from artist Chris Batista, there are also pages by Dave Cockrum, Paul Rivoche, Eric Wright, Leonard Kirk, Tony Harris & Tom Feister but no clue as to which pages as I’m not really that familiar with their art, although some jumps are apparent.
The combined story looks at another nexus point in some of the Legion Of Super-Heroes long history and a couple alternative along. In this one, Kid Quantum is currently leader of the Legion although why she takes that gender name beats me, even if it’s to remind everyone of her dead brother. They also have different monikers to the originals which I think places this as the second version. Rather than just attempting to recruit Superboy, they appear to have several of them in their midst, although one doesn’t know what he is to become. If anything, it’s a shame that this sub-plot was so sidelined.
Anyway, the short and er…30 minute short of it is that reality is being eroded by boom tubes feeding on both the dark matter of the 31st century and then drawing in reality from the 18th century on in a rapid manner. This version of the LSH is less prone to time travel but are aware of the consequences, more to when they discover more than one Darkseid but that’s only part of it without giving away any more spoilers. If anything, for you reality trackers, you do have to wonder which reality the earlier Darkseid comes from although it is likely he’s a standard force in any of them.
Considering the raging battles throughout this book, there is very little time given to character development outside of a few legionnaires and certain kryptonians which has been a problem throughout any of the LSH runs. Some writers do a lot better than others but the LSH is just too big to concentrate on more than a few at a time. If you’re familiar with the characters and their powers then you should be able to keep up. One thing that did surprise me was them not using the usual text windows to identify who each of the characters were and what they could do…until half-way through. Again, this is probably used to inform the new reader who they are but the LSH fanbase is such that this does feel a little redundant and I doubt if a new reader would jump in on the off-chance of understanding it. If you go back the 1960s, at most, you would get a roll-call and then expected to sink or swim, although briefly there was a run of text features filling in readers about their individual origins.
I’m not entirely sure if it fills in any gaps in my knowledge for my article other than perhaps, the future 31st century isn’t quite settled as to which past they belong to.
(pub: DC Comics, 2004. 176 page graphic novel softcover. Price: varies. I pulled my copy for £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 1-4012-0338-8)
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