“Legion: Secret Origin” is nearing its conclusion at the end of March and it’s time for Paul Levitz to start pulling all his plot threads together. So far, it feels like he’s doing just that. The main characters are all working together, the Legion has been formed in all but name and all we’re missing now is that crucial first meeting with Superman, which was teased last month.
Levitz still has some tricks up his sleeve, though. The meeting might not go quite like you were expecting; there’s something funny going on with time travel in the DC Universe, post-“Flashpoint” and “Legion: Secret Origin” #5 and its mention of the time barrier breaking might quite well tie into that. Perhaps more importantly, we’re finally getting a glimpse of the villain behind the problems of “Legion: Secret Origin,” which is a relief. Some of the issues have felt a little random in spots and seeing there is something larger behind all of the attempts is almost a relief.
Five issues in, I’m not 100% convinced “Legion: Secret Origin” would be the perfect introduction to the “Legion of Super-Heroes” in general. It feels like some characters are introduced with the understanding you already know who they are and while it’s still quite entertaining, it’s not the ground zero I’d expected early on. Still, it’s fun to see all these characters at an early age (or in the case of the original Invisible Kid, still alive) and Levitz brings across the idea of their energy and exuberance quite well.
The best thing about “Legion: Secret Origin” is the art from Chris Batista and Marc Deering. I love this pair’s collaborations, and “Legion: Secret Origin” is no exception. With clean, straight lines and a crispness to the art overall, Batista and Deering’s work together reminds me in ways of old Chris Sprouse art. Like Sprouse, Batista has a strong sense of storytelling and each page effortlessly moves the reader from one panel to the next, while also packing in detail without cluttering the images. Even little moments like Colossal Boy looking irritated while cleaning up the debris of the crashed bubble or Saturn Girl massaging out a crick in her neck look natural; Batista and Deering definitely understand how to use body language to help tell the story and the end result makes me wonder why the pair isn’t on an ongoing series right now.
As a fan of the Legion overall, I’ve enjoyed “Legion: Secret Origin.” While it might be aiming itself more at existing fans rather than new ones, with one issue to go I’m tentatively going to declare this mini-series a victory. Much more entertaining than the Legion flashback story in “Adventure Comics” last year, “Legion: Secret Origin” has given Legion fans another good tale and with some excellent art. I’m good with that.