As a long-time “Legion of Super-Heroes” fan, I’ll be the first to admit that last month’s issue felt a bit scattered, and I’ve been reading the current series every month. So with this issue, it felt nice to see Paul Levitz deliver a slightly more focused script; the problem is, I fear it’s already too late for any potential new readers.
While last month’s issue was all over the place, Levitz focuses this issue solely on Res-Vir, the Daxamite who appeared at the previous cliffhanger. We’re quickly reminded why a rogue Daxamite is so dangerous; never mind that he’s up against five Legionnaires (Ultra Boy, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Chemical Kid, Dragonwing), it’s a nice “show, don’t tell” moment that lets him just tear through the team.
In general, it’s a lot of act-and-react, mixed with little character moments (like Polar Boy and Comet Queen, or Shadow Lass still grieving over the loss of Earth-Man at the end of the previous series). It’s the latter that I’ve come to expect from Levitz’s scripts, giving lots of members of an admittedly quite-large cast a moment to get their moment in the spotlight, reminding us that they’re still around and what they’re all about.
Francis Portela is a good match for “Legion of Super-Heroes,” with beautifully rounded character designs and an overall strong look to the characters. He’s not afraid to draw the more powerful characters with rippling abs and biceps, and while it’s a tiny bit over the top, these are supposed to be some of the most powerful characters in the galaxy. It’s the little touches that I really like, though, like the careful attention to each of Dragonwing’s dreadlocks, the seams on Phantom Girl’s jumpsuit, or the lines on Mon-El’s forehead as he takes off, worried.
“Legion of Super-Heroes” #2 is a fun comic, if certainly middle of the road, but I do wonder if it’s truly new-reader friendly. It’s definitely much more so than the previous issue, but with character moments carrying over from the previous series, plus such a large cast, it still might be daunting. (I suspect the references to the Flashpoint blocking them from the 21st century might grab a couple of readers’ interest, though.) If there’s a title that will almost certainly move back to its pre-“Flashpoint” sales numbers, this is it. That said, I read the title before the re-launch, and I’ll keep reading it if it works this well. So far, so good, but perhaps not enough to grow the numbers just yet.