The reboot of the DC Universe — or in this case, the selective reboot — got at least one thing right: it provided a nice entry point into the Legion of Super-Heroes.
I have tried time and again, Legion reboot after Legion reboot, collected storyline and recommended tale. For whatever multiple reasons, I just never cared about the Legion. Some of the characters had cool visuals: Tellus, Wildfire and Gates, for example. Some of the Legionnaires had potential to be cool characters: Timber Wolf and Cosmic Boy, both of whom had miniseries I had at least sampled way back when. Some other characters just seemed iconic in their Legion status: Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy and Dawnstar are the first three that spring to mind.
In reviewing the relaunch titles as they were announced, I made a mental note to pay a little extra attention to this version of the Legion, as it seemed to provide a nice cling-free, low-continuity sample of the Legion and it offered up some of the aforementioned characters. The first image shown depicted Tellus, Dawnstar, Tyroc (who I know next to nothing about), Wildfire, Timber Wolf, Gates, and Chameleon Girl. A couple of those characters didn’t make it into issue #2, but the majority are here. Written by Fabian Nicieza, this issue puts the Legionnaires in a spot where they have to deal without much of their technology, without many of their allies, and without a true sense of how bad their mission is. These characters are trapped in the modern-day DCU without the means to return home.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, the characters don’t mope. They cling to their mission and attempt to complete it. This issue is “narrated” by Wildfire, which is an oddly fun perspective to slip into for this installment as the five Legion members find themselves facing an energy being not unlike Wildfire.
Nicieza does an admirable job with this story and manages to work in the backstory of how the Legion came back and why, the scope of the threat they are chasing, and their dedication to stop that threat. He gives many of the characters nice little moments to display their powers and/or personalities and smoothes this story out into a clean, open, encouraging tale that is every bit as approachable as any first issue should be. Except this is the second issue of this story, and that makes the accomplished feat more enjoyable.
Now I’ve mentioned the characters and the writing, and how both have found ways to appeal to me, but quite honestly, I might not have given this title as much time if it were not for Pete Woods. The artist on this book, and one of the more underappreciated artists in the industry today, Woods draws a detailed interpretation of Nicieza’s story, including a crowded public memorial service in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota. That scene is filled with residents of the area as they mourn the passing of two-dozen friends and family members. That level of detail, which you can sample in the preview on our site, is carried throughout the book. Woods’ characters are drawn actors, each with distinct personalities, emotional ranges, and body language.
Taken all together, this book is the complete package. It provides a welcoming gateway with extraordinary characters, strong writing, and beautiful art. I may never have found a way to enjoy reading the Legion in any of their previous incarnations, but I’m glad I’ve found “Legion Lost.”