Legion of Super-Heroes #1

DC clearly knows where its bread is buttered nowadays. After "Blackest Night" and with a "Green Lantern" feature film in development, it appears as though the Green Lantern ring is the marketing tool of choice. Why else would a property as storied as the Legion be hitting the stands with an image of a fist wearing both the Lantern ring and the Legion flight ring when there are dozens of Legionnaires who could have adorned the debut cover for this relaunch?

The cover and the previews of Yildiray Cinar's art drew me in close enough to want to check this title out. Cinar's art is clean and crisp, detailed, but not burdened by unnecessary minutiae. Cinar draws classically heroic characters and gives them a broad range of expression, both on their faces and in their stances. His art, on the whole, falls somewhere between Tom Grummett's and Howard Porter's while remaining original. Following Gary Frank and George Perez on this franchise isn't going to be easy for Cinar, who wisely seems to be avoiding any attempt to replicate either of those artists, choosing instead to forge a new path. Cinar's art is good, and I am certain this book is just going to continue to look better as Cinar gets more comfortable with the characters and Faucher finds a groove for inking Cinar's work. Hi-Fi's colors are serviceable, but the drop shadows under characters -- such as Brainy offering the Legion ring -- were distracting.

The story itself, written by Paul Levitz, is trademark first-issue fodder: a crisis or two to introduce the team, and then the tendrils of those crises spin out into the issues to come. This first issue, however, makes a few presumptions about the reader's patience and/or familiarity with the Legion as a broad concept. Levitz takes the time to identify the Legion as we meet them throughout this issue, but quickly identifies Saturn Girl as our guide through this story. At one point, the narration jumps to Brainiac 5, which threw me off a bit, but I suppose it's Levitz's way of not locking himself into any one character as our guide.

The calamity at the Time Institute -- and the scenes leading up to the calamity -- offer all sorts of teases to the reader, from mumblings of "Flashpoint," to the "Revelation" (Biblical or otherwise, Levitz isn't revealing in this issue). Levitz seeds the story with enough hints to entice readers to come back.

Longtime Legion fans will almost certainly be thrilled with this first issue, and for neophytes, this is a decent jumping on point. It wasn't enough to have me overly anxious for more, or set me to counting down days until issue #2, but there are some bits of this story I am curious to see play out. The Green Lantern ring on the cover isn't a throwaway, either, as the legacy of Oa appears to play a major role in the course of this series.

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