Legion Of Super-Heroes #9 Review: It Just Doesn't Work

The facts are these: most of this issue is comprised with people yelling at each other, then "video clips" of things that (in story) happened beforehand. There is one very brief moment of action which is undercut by the weirdly immature behavior of the character in question, who ironically was more mature in his televised appearance.

Legion Of Super-Heroes #9 Review: It Doesn't Work
The cover of Legion of Super-Heroes #9. Credit: DC Comics
For this issue, there is a laundry list of amazing artists who have been brought in to show …well, not a lot, honestly. Yes it's fantastic to see the Legion through the hands of Arthur Adams and Mike Grell and Nicola Scott and so many other amazing names … briefly. The depictions here are like a clip episode on a TV show, intended to not really tell a story, but hope you'll infer one from stuff that already happened. It almost never works on TV and it doesn't work here.
There are some useful bits of information here. Bouncing Boy has a doctorate! Monster Boy is named after comics journalist turned business veteran Arune Singh. Blok is a cop assigned by the United Planets to be a Legionnaire. Timber Wolf's whole planet died while he was leveling up to protect it. Invisible Kid comes from a planet that "exists on a different part of the visual spectrum than yours." Doctor Fate is respected as the holder of ancient knowledge, ignoring the six armed person under the helm.
All of that is fun to know and finally puts some meat on the narrative bones of many of the players. Unfortunately, ignoring every high school writing teacher, it all comes out told to you, not shown to you. There's a very sad "play the hits" moment that seems desperate to recapture past glories, a needlessly conservative concept that holds back so many comics.

The antagonist here is process, like watching the Senate scenes of the Star Wars prequels for, like, another hour. The "new ideas" in Legion of Super-Heroes #9 are framed as skewed looks at older ones, and that's exhausting, no matter how many superstar artists you throw at it. RATING: MEH.

Legion of Super-Heroes #9

By Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, Ryan Sook, Wade Von Grawbadger, Joe Quinones, Mike Grell, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Nick Derington, James Harren, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Nicola Scott, Arthur Adams, Jim Cheung, Gary Frank, Tula Lotay, Riley Rossmo, Gene Luen Yang, Kevin Nowlan, Michael Fiffe, Jenny Frison, Emanuela Lupacchino, Mitch Gerads, Jordie Bellaire, Dave Sharpe
Continuing a very special two-part comics storytelling event! The United Planets have found the Legion of Super-Heroes guilty of crimes against the galaxy, and it's up to our young heroes to prove their innocence! Featuring an all-star cast of artists, this issue will feature a surprise 1,000 years in the making! Long live the Legion!

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About Hannibal Tabu

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. Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at http://bit.ly/combatshaman.
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