Sunday, May 09, 2021


 A quick thought about the "current" Legion of Super-Heroes comic book.

There are things to like about it (the design, the energy, the faithfulness to the core ideas of the Legion) and things not to like about it (the inconsistent character details, the sparse characterization, the pace, the insistence on using the entire team all at once all the time). But, this current hiatus while Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook get their ducks all in a row?

It's not good. It's bad.

Yes, absolutely, you should make sure you know what you're doing before you do it. You should give the artist time to get ahead of the work. You should plan and coordinate and all of those other good things.

But doing this while getting a book onto the rack every month is part of the job. If there's a fill-in artist, or a delay of a week or two, or an inventory issue, well, so be it. Those are known possibilities; we can deal with them. Months of nothing? That's amateur hour. That's clownshoes. It's a failure on the part of Bendis and Sook and it's a failure on the part of DC Comics.

If the resulting comic books turn out to be really good, well, that will partially make up for this. Partially. Because it's perfectly possible to turn out really good comics on a monthly basis. We all know of some. So, *if* they're really good, then, great, congrats to Bendis and Sook for accomplishing something... but they're supposed to be professionals. They're supposed to have some idea what they're doing and not just get into the middle of it and realize they don't.

It's just highly unsatisfactory.



Blogger DanielT said...

??? This reads like the current book hasn't been cancelled. Is there something I don't know? Sook is attached to a new 8-issue series..

8:31 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

Bendis keeps hinting that there's more to come. He posted a page on Instagram, et cetera. Nothing's been announced, but to the best of my knowledge we are supposed to understand that the current series will resume as soon as they're ready to go. Maybe without Sook? I'm not sure about that. Also up in the air: whether we'll return to the original timeline or the Future State timeline.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Ian said...

Well, I'm glad somebody said it.

I still think this last series was a pet project for Bendis. I don't think DC is interested in the Legion right now. And I think Bendis has lost cover and is on the backside of his Big Two career. Which I think amounts to very little attention being given to the Legion, and ultimately even if Bendis returns to the Legion it will likely not be as "good" as it was? But they don't pay me to think, as the saying goes.

Not that Bendis's Legion run is all that exemplary. In many ways this Bendis Legion series is just "there". The criticism I'd use is that it's saccharine; empty calories. I don't mind reverential but using tropes for storylines is plain anymore. We're all smart enough to know what a Legion does but we need to care. I wonder if Bendis's Legion did enough to make us care if it comes back?

Future State seems like an antidote for the Legion, when the Legion isn't even a problem. But DC is eschewing a good deal of qualities that I find charming and interesting, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Hope springs eternal and some Legion is better than no Legion, so, you know, long live the legion. thx for the post.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Jim Drew said...

I don't believe this version of the Legion will be back. It has been stealth cancelled. They wrapped up the main plot, punted things an unspecified amount of time into the future, redesigned a bunch of the characters in ways anyone with a single eye could see would turn off fandom, and then appeared to kill the future team off panel in another book (Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #2). And then they just hand wave that "something great" is coming.

We need a retro-reboot: return to the reboot continuity.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

And this is the other problem this hiatus causes: readers start losing confidence in the comic book on every level and call for all manner of unlikely remedies.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Hal Shipman said...

Months and months after the original post:

Based on the HBOMax animated series news yesterday and the JL/LSH mini announced earlier, it looks like we are stuck with this version for a while. The one saving grace is that it's apparently not the Future State version of this version.

But buried in there was the nugget that they're basically going to be retelling the original (Pre-Crisis?) stories. Which was the original plans for the Legionnaires series back in the day.

That's the one thing I really hated about post-Crisis DC back in the day that the LSH actually managed to avoid, for the most part. In every "fresh" take (Superman, most obviously), it was just constant winks and nods to the Silver Age. This was even before Byrne left and everyone just said, "Screw it."

So, Lord only knows what's going to come of it this time around.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Matthew E said...

I think John Barr said it best when he said, "It ain't the bat."

By which I mean, it doesn't really matter which version Legion creators use, as long as they do it well. And if they do it well, it doesn't matter if they think they're retelling classic stories; they won't be able to help but put their own spin on it. Quality trumps (almost) everything.

(The exception is "poor sales".)

9:18 PM  

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