Have you ever hidden something so you could come back later to use it yourself? Legion Of Super-Heroes #10 shows that a superstar creator laid his own groundwork for a large scale threat, somehow not noticing how it undercuts his earlier work's success. As well, with an attempt to overcome the decompressed legacy of the last few decades in popular comics, this overcompensates with a multiplicity of events that could not be said to be a story.
Here's the problem: this book has every possible thing it needs to be good. Ryan Sook, Wade von Grawbadger, and Jordie Bellaire have cast a vision of the future that is striking and elegant, filled with wonder and possibility. Likewise, as devised by Brian Michael Bendis, the characters have much of the core of what legacy fans love about the Legionnaires and enough new hooks to bring in new readers.
Unfortunately, this issue has an embarrassment of riches. There are five (arguably six, if you do the lead into Xanthu) completely different plots here that have only tangential relationships to each other. Each individual story thread: the power vacuum on Rimbor, love and mystery on Planet Gotham, old and new friends on New Krypton, study time at Legion HQ, and a visit to the masters of planet Oa — could have been a story, or at least an "A" plot on its own. It's true that master writer Paul Levitz devised what many consider to be the perfect way to write the Legion, but it was far from being this busy because of timing. No one thread gets enough panel time to be considered the "A" plot here and, as such, each jockey for attention like ignored nieces and nephews at a family gathering. Dialogue for Timber Wolf could easily be said by Dawnstar, and no one would know the difference. Add to that the paper tiger of a thousand-year-old threat that seems like it'd be vastly overpowered by now … what happened here?
Well, everyone involved knows how to make good comics. Here, it just seems like they're trying so hard that they trip over themselves in the process as if vexed over how long it has been since the Legion has been a regular thing. RATING: MEH.
By Brian Michael Bendis, Ryan Sook, Wade von Grawbadger
A grudge that has endured 1,000 years! The unstoppable behemoth Rogol Zaar has survived the millennium to haunt Jonathan Kent where he least expected it! It's a menace so terrible the Legion of Super-Heroes may not survive. Was this the challenge Brainiac 5 predicted? Is the Legion up to the task? Plus, who is dating whom in the 31st century? Another searing chapter in the far-flung future of the DC Universe, courtesy of Bendis, Sook, and von Grawbadger!
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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