Legion of Super-Heroes #12 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Ryan Sook, Penciller; Wade Von Grawbadger, Inker; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: This has been an odd run since the start, because I can’t imagine a title less suited to Brian Michael Bendis’ style. He’s a writer who’s best at in-depth character pieces. He’s not quite as good at plot-heavy team books. So a team book with the largest roster of characters of any in comics? Yeah, not a great fit. He’s had some good moments, but it’s twelve issues in and I feel like I only know a few members of the Legion—especially since Jon Kent’s vacation from the present is taking up a lot of the page time. The main threat for the run even comes from Bendis’ Superman run—the genocidal maniac Rogol Zaar, who has escaped from the Phantom Zone and is out to finish the Kryptonian bloodline again. Essentially a more vocal and more racist version of Doomsday, Rogol Zaar was always one of the weakest elements of that run and he doesn’t improve much here.
Yes, he has backup from a classic Legion villain in the evil sorcerer Mordru, but to sum up how crammed this issue is—one of the Legionnaires is Mordru’s daughter and that barely gets two pages of development amid all the craziness. Some pages are just one hero after another showing up, getting a blow in, and disappearing. That being said, it looks amazing, with Ryan Sook finishing out the run (for now) in style. There are a few good character beats, especially the team-up between Jon and Mon-El. Zod’s dialogue is a little odd, but it’s good to see Bendis’ reformation for him in the Superman title stuck. It doesn’t feel like this run is over, because a new subplot is dropped right before the end—maybe it’ll be followed up on in next week’s Future State spinoff. But if this is the last regular issue, Bendis definitely bit off more than he could chew in only twelve issues. No surprise—Legion is a notoriously tricky property.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.