DC Comics
Legion of Super-Heroes #1
By Hervé St-Louis
October 1, 2011 - 10:12

DC Comics
Writer(s): Paul Levitz
Penciller(s): Francis Portela
Inker(s): Francis Portela
Colourist(s): Javier Mena
Letterer(s): Pat Brosseau
Cover Artist(s): Karl Kerschl
$2.99 US
Rating: T

A small team of Legionnaire is travelling to an outpost monitoring the Dominators. It seems that there is a rogue team filtering information about both the United Planets and the Dominators. But is the small team falling into an ambush that will end the lives of more Legionnaires?

Illustrating this comic book must have been a tour de force for Portela. There are so many characters and different locales that this job could be portrayed as one that was meant for George Pérez. Portela does quite well here, although I’m not a fan of some of the poses he uses for his characters. He’s particularly attuned to drawing female characters from “interesting” angles. It wasn’t always easy to read the action though. This quite a busy comic book and I started getting lost due to the artwork and of course the script.

For a first issue, this one was tough on me. I’m not a regular Legion of Super Heroes reader. This book should have been written for someone like me to try to get me interested in this part of the DC Comics universe that has always seemed so distant to me. It wasn’t. This book continues storylines established before the 52 reboot and thus completely lost its opportunity to add me as a potential reader beyond this issue by continuing a story written for a core of readers as opposed to anyone who cares about comics.

There were so many characters introduced in the first few pages and beyond that I lost count an interest in them.  Sure, there was a little box next to each of them introducing them and their powers. But it wasn’t used universally every time a new character would pop in the page, so it confused more than anything. Then some of these characters changed shape and looks in the first few page. I figured out that one of them was Chameleon Boy, but what about the others? How about explaining that they were using a system for changing their looks and maybe show them in the middle of the transformation, so that new readers like me can figure it out? If this is the kind of book that was meant to be easier for new readers to jump in, then Legion of Super Heroes #1 was a total failure. I won’t return to this title because it’s too much work to read and I read comics to be entertained, not to figure out a GMAT.

The story itself was very limited with a classic infiltration plot and some other bad guy breaking in at the end of the comic book. There was also a lot of grief about dead Legionnaires, but again Levitz failed to explain to those of us reading a Legion of Super Heroes book for the first time why we should care and why there were so many deaths. This was my first time reading Legion of Super Heroes, and will probably by my last time.

Rating: 6.5/10

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