DC Comics
Legion of Superheroes # 4
By Koppy McFad
December 31, 2011 - 01:31

DC Comics
Writer(s): Paul Levitz
Penciller(s): Francis Portela
Cover Artist(s): Chris Sprouse, Karl Storey
$2.99 US 32 pages

The Legion must face an impending invasion by the Dominators.

The Legion of Superheroes must stop an impending invasion by the Dominators, using brainwashed Daxamites-- each as powerful as Superman-- as their pawns. It is a pretty straightforward story that carefully introduces the new Legion members while adding new layers to the old Legion membership.

The story reads very much like the ones Levitz used to turn out decades ago-- and that is a good thing! Old fans will like the relatively angst-free workings of the Legion with only a minimum of bickering and whining, mostly from the newbies. The characters, particularly Mon-El and Ultra-Boy, use their powers well and frankly, it is a lot of fun to see Shadow Lass back in her Cockrum-style bikini outfit. (Now, if they could only get her back to her Cockrum-style hairdo...) The interaction between Brainiac 5 and Dream Girl is entertaining without being overdramatic. Is there a budding romance between the two, like during Jim Shooter's last run? Who knows? But it is good to see two characters have a conversation that shows off both their different viewponts but still leaves both of them looking good.

The art is appropriately futuristic although a little too conventional. Maybe that is all for the best since the Legion has such a huge cast. Better to make things easy to understand so new readers can pick it up. The cover however is boring and uninteresting and fails to convey the the real action inside the book.

Ironically, the competence of the superheroes is probably one of the biggest problems with this issue. In the end, the Legion defeat the bad guys with professionalism, efficiency and a minimum of violence. That is nice but most people read comics to see drama, conflict and a whole lot of violence. Maybe next time, we can see more widespread carnage when the Legion battles an invading space-fleet. Nobody wants to read a book about characters who are so competent that the story becomes uneventful.


Rating: 8/10

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