My gosh a lot of people are upset about it. It really distresses me that so much of the complaining has to do with the fact that many of the familiar characters are no longer white. Are so many white people that fragile that they just cannot cope with reading about characters of other hues? What sad, pathetic losers those people are.
Bendis and Sook have done an impressive job at re-thinking and rebooting this venerable team. We get tossed right into the middle of things, there are already a vast number of members, and the heroes are involved in a conflict with Mordru, who is not quite the same as the classic version, but seems to have potential.
A number of the characters are named, others can be recognized by their costumes and insignia as retooled versions of classic members. Yet others are new, but can be guessed at, like the person wearing the Dr Fate helmet. But there are loads of other new characters as well. Reading this, I felt like I did when I was a kid, first getting into the series, looking at all these cast members, and trying to figure out/guess who they might be, and what their powers would be. I’m sure that is what Bendis and Sook were aiming for. It’s a safe bet that any Legion fan, when they were first getting into the series, had a similar experience.
For me, this nostalgic feeling goes even further. I got into Legion back during the Mike Grell days, when the only other Superboy stories on sale were reprints of earlier tales. So the Superboy in his own stories appeared to be a pre-teen, but the Superboy who appeared in the Grell Legion tales definitely looked older. Why am I going on about this? Because, for a few months, I thought that Superboy began his career in Smallville, but then travelled into the future when he was older, living there for a few years and having his adventures with the Legion, before travelling back to the present and becoming Superman. It made perfect sense to me, given the stories I was looking at.
And now, lo and behold, that is pretty much the case! Jonathan Kent has aged, and now has left the present to move to the Legion’s time! The mistake I made as a kid, which nevertheless remained in the back of my head for all these years, is the new actual reality!
This is getting a bit long, so I will only mention one other element, a concept taken from the Legionnaires series shortly before Zero Hour wiped out the original continuity, the destruction of Earth, and the need to create a new version of it. We are presented with a New Earth in this tale, one that has domed cities linked together by a massive artificial constructions. So not only do we have new Legionnaires to get to know, we have an entirely new world to explore as well.
There is a vast amount of potential here, and I am really excited to see how it gets developed.