Saturday, May 22, 2010

Comic Book Review: Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Book Information
Written by Paul Levitz
Penciled by Yildiray Cinar
Colored by Hi-Fi
Inked by Wayne Faucher
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
Cover by Cinar & Faucher

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
I never gave the Legion of Super-Heroes a chance growing up; not because I thought it was a stupid comic, but rather I was unfamiliar with the characters.  Superman and Batman were my thing, anything else was kid stuff right?  As I have transcended my geeky adolescence into a more mature form of nerditude, I decided to give this new relaunching of the classic super-team of the future a chance.

Paul Levitz and Yildiray Cinar have come together to give this title that silver age feel to it, giving the script an intelligent stance with hints of hokiness.  Likewise, Cinar’s artistry resembles the “lower budget” approach but keeps an excellent foundational quality.  The book is structured in such a way that satisfies that nostalgic arousal that I’m sure most hard-core Legion fans crave but doesn’t linger on the past.  There’s just enough info to help newer Legion readers get onboard with the story, but wont bore our Loyal Legion fan-boys. 

Levitz presents a story that sets Saturn-Girl up as the protagonist.  While the story is centered around her, it toggles to Brainiac 5 every once in a while.   It seems two plots are being presented; one involving Saturn-Girl and the other involving what looks like a baby Guardian sperm from the planet Oa.  I did find myself a little confused as to what exactly was going, but the basic gist of the story does come through.  My recommendation: read this issue slowly to ensure you have a legitimate comprehension of the story; it moves at 100 miles an hour and crams in a lot of dialogue, story preparation, and plot progression that can’t be fully appreciated without taking time to read it slowly.

Like I mentioned above, the art resembles the classic, silver age artistry but maintains a modern glimmer to it.  Cinar calls upon various “stocked” poses of people flying through the air and zooming forward on a track of speed lines.  The coloring of every page was wisely executed; giving us enough explosive action without going too over the top.  The cover itself is so detailed that it elicits a powerfully emotional impact causing feelings of rage, aggression, and excitement to pop out at you with more force than any artist could muster.  (Best Cover of 2010 maybe?)

Now if you are a complete newbie to the Legion, don’t worry, the great Paul Levitz has given his readers a brief one paged historical summary of the futuristic super-team.  The summary is very well written and gives Levitz a chance to bask in his own literary glory being the inspiration and “head-man in charge” of making the Legion what it is today.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
I couldn’t be happier with this issue.  It’s a non-stop action packed issue that keeps you wanting more, but stays excellent in its literary quality.  I think it was a good idea to make this a 40-page, oversized issue since I can’t see how it would be a successful beginning to an already popular title.

Writing: 10
Themes: 9.5
Art: 10
Overall: 9.83 out of 10


  1. Some incisive comments there - mind, I've not previously heard Silver Age artists characterised as 'low budget' ... they could knock the pants off many of today's fussily rendered bunch. I do, though, see what you're getting at as regards Cinar being of a certain school of SA illustration. He's very clean in a Sid Greene style, for one.

  2. I use the term "low budget" as a way of differentiating the artistic approaches of the modern artists vs. the ones from then. Maybe not the most elegant way of describing it, but it gets to the point.

  3. You're just flaunting your youth!

  4. I'm 28, my youth is dwindling away!