Review – Legion of Super-Heroes #9: Art-Jam Trial

Legion of Super-Heroes #8 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Legion of Super-Heroes #9 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; 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/Wade Von Grawbadger, Mitch Gerads, Artists; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist

Ray – 7.5/10

Ray: These last two issues have been a frustrating experiment, because Brian Michael Bendis has assembled one of the most impressive arrays of art talent to grace DC Comics in a while—in the service of a story that doesn’t quite do justice to them. Another issue that gives each artist a single page to work their magic (except regular series artist Ryan Sook, who gets two), this second part of the art-jam arc focuses on the trial of the Legion. Having angered the head of the United Planets and possibly started a war with the beast-like ruler of Rimbor, the Legion is forced to show that they’re a positive force in the universe since their founding. They mainly seem to do this by going back to their first meetings with various Legion members and showing how they recruited them into their grand experiment. It’s not a bad idea for a comic, but it also lacks any real forward momentum as the story’s pattern keeps repeating itself.

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Heroes on trial. Via DC Comics.

Things pick up a little speed when their enemy manages to escape, but the ensuing fight doesn’t accomplish much until they trick him into exposing his evil plan and seemingly clear their names. The entire concept of the Legion being on trial never quite landed—the main conflict seemed to be them bringing Jon Kent to the future, but it was never really explored much before this arc. The real stars here are the artists, including some rare talents like Gene Luen Yang (on art for a change of pace) and Michael Fiffe more known for their indie works. The art style shifts dramatically from page to page, which can cause a little whiplash, but there’s no question it’s a beautiful book to look at. It’s back to business as usual next issue with a more plot-driven arc exploring the concept of New Krypton, but the ending of this issue left me scratching my head a bit trying to figure out if this connection had been hinted at. Worth reading, but kind of puzzling in a few ways.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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This post was last modified on October 2, 2020 8:30 pm

Ray Goldfield

Ray Goldfield is a comics superfan going back almost thirty years. When he's not reading way too many comics a week, he is working on his own writing. The first installment in his young adult fantasy-adventure, "Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas", is available in Amazon now.

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