When Tom DeFalco took over “Legion Lost” with #7, I decided I’d give it a couple of issues to see how things shook out. “Legion Lost” #8-9 got dragged into “The Culling” crossover with “Superboy” and “Teen Titans,” so this seemed like a good a place as any to try and get a better feel for where the series is going under his and Pete Woods’ stewardship.
I’ll give DeFalco credit that plunging the team back to the 31st century is a move that I didn’t think we’d get so early in the game. Obviously it’s a shift in setting that won’t last, since the whole thrust of “Legion Lost” has them in the 21st century, but it’s still a moment that you’d have thought would be saved for much later. And at a glance, it’s not a bad idea for the issue; upon finding devastation waiting for them, they’re inevitably lead back to the 21st century.
It’s once you look a little more closely at “Legion Lost” #10, though, that the cracks are showing. It’s hard to believe that after being stranded a thousand years in the past that aside from clothing the team never bothers to pick up any additional supplies (just in case), and the continual moments of characters referencing secrets but then refusing to share them is just sloppy plotting at best. There has to be a better way to reference plot elements like Yera having a connection to Harvest or Tyroc’s mysterious prophecy than having these items continually brought up and then dropped.
DeFalco also introduces a new super-powered team in the present day, and their big debut is so generic it’s painful. I understand that they’re only on a few pages, but this is supposed to be a tease for a stronger appearance down the line (quite possibly next month), and as such we should have gotten something a little meatier. Instead they’re just generic codenames (Metamerican, Wideload, Trip and Sniper are four of the worst codenames I’ve run across in a while) and powers attached to bodies, little more.
Woods is turning out some nice art, though. The opening pages as the team returns to the 31st century look nicely dramatic, and I appreciate a double-page splash where most of the focus is not on people kicking one another, but on vegetation growth and ruined buildings. He’s not afraid to play with perspective, too; the scene of Yera and Timber Wolf flying up the alleyway, for instance, looks great and is from an angle that most artists don’t normally tackle in comics. It’s not enough, though, to balance out the lackluster script.
I’d hoped that “Legion Lost” having a writer shift would fix some of the problems of the series, but that’s a hope that is rapidly dwindling. I feel like some of the basic ideas from DeFalco are good, but the execution of them just isn’t up to par. This feels like a comic that was written a quarter century ago, not 2012. For now, I’m afraid that “Legion Lost” has most likely lost me, again.