Overview

Legion of Superheroes #1

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Legion of Superheroes #1

Credits

  • Words: Paul Levitz
  • Art: Yidiray Cinar
  • Inks: Wayne Faucher
  • Colors: Hi-Fi
  • Story Title: The Scream Heard 'Cross the Universe
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: May 19, 2010

Many of today’s comics audience may only know Paul Levitz as the longtime publisher of DC Comics. Truth be told, until recently, modern fans might have only ever encountered his name in the indicia of their favorite books each month. Which is why it’s so fortunate that Mr. Levitz is back on a monthly book ever since the DC executive-level shake-up a few months ago.

And he’s not back on just any book but on the franchise he helped define and grow into one of the most beloved superhero comics of all time.

Expectations have been high ever since DC announced Levitz was returning to LOSH as the creative force behind its latest incarnation as a monthly series. Levitz’s long run on the Legion was praised for its epic storylines, engaging ensemble cast, and truly agile plotting. Hoping lightning will strike twice, DC has turned to Levitz to usher the newly streamlined Legion into the future (so to speak).

Known for his impeccable plotting, Levitz quickly introduces a number of key events and sub plots, culminating with a planetary disaster not even the Legion can forestall. It’s actually quite exceptional how Levitz gets back into the groove so easily, transitioning back and forth between characters with confident dexterity.

It’s a talent that’s essential to fully accounting for the numerous complexities inherent in the Legion’s massive cast and one that only comes with the intimate understanding of your characters built over years. Levitz naturally slides back into the skins of his old friends despite the various lingering effects of the Legion’s endless reboots and retcons. He’s especially comfortable writing Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5, deftly interweaving recent interpretations into his overall understanding of the characters.

Now, if only the art displayed something of the same easy familiarity permeating Levitz’s contribution. Although Yildiray Cidran is a competent artist, he is only that – competent. There’s nothing particularly striking about his artwork, which is a shame for such an important title.

This has been a recurring theme of late with DC, last seen with Fernando Pasarin in Brightest Day #0. The artists in both cases, while sterling examples of DC’s house superhero style, didn’t help elevate the storytelling.

DC has positioned the Legion to stand at or near the forefront of their revamped publishing slate, going so far as to all but guarantee a solid core audience of nostalgic, aging fanboys by bringing Levitz back. It’s puzzling, then why they would squander its potential with another mediocre artistic choice. Legion of Superheroes has always been an epic book and deserves an artist capable of realizing the sheer breadth and scope Levitz and the 31st century demand.

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