I have always loved Legion of Super-Heroes, and admittedly began my cosmic clime under the pen of Jim Shooter when he was writing the book a long, long, long time ago. But the title, even when it is good, is always a bag of mixed nuts: Some are to be savored and enjoyed, others fed to a nearby pooch.
So it is with this Zero Month issue by Legion veteran scribe Paul Levitz and artist Scott Kolins. Some things to savor, some things to discard.
First, let me say I love the cover of Brainy by Steve Lightle and Guy Major because it sets the tone for the best part of this issue, and that is the newest version of how one of my favorite Legionnaires, Brainiac 5, joined the super-team.
Levitz keeps the cast on this one small, and that is the way to enjoy the Legion best: characters you know and care about working in tandem without the whole 9th Armada and its reservists chiming in. (That is my fear for Jonathan Hickman’s upcoming Avengers title for Marvel: too many chefs, even at bi-weekly.) No, in #0 we only have Phantom Girl, Cosmic Lad. Lightning Lad, Ultra Boy and, of course, Brainy on board.
I also like the fact that this is no simple retelling of a Legion: Secret Origin and Levitz genuinely tries to work the tale of Brainiac 5’s origin into the coming return of the Fatal Five. Delish! There are also some cool panels of neat tech from the original Brainiac that old-time fans will enjoy. Unfortunately, the tech is somehow attacking Colu; thus, it is the Legion to the rescue!
Now from the sublime to the -- well, not bad, just kinda doesn’t feel right. Levitz’s ending/reveal for one thing, which I will not spoil. But after all that has gone before, big let-down. Also, the script itself in places is draggy and it just seems that the Legionnaires are becoming interchangeable. Where are those unique voices Levitz should know so well?
I really enjoyed the styling of Kolins’ art here, a bold line with an edge reminiscent of days of yore. All the characters looked ready for action and that was the taste of this adventure so much. Kudos to the palette of colorist Javier Mena for getting just the right tones for this futuristic adventure.
Right now, Legion is not among my regular picks for any month. But I can say this issue does have me enticed and I might reconsider my purchases in October. That is always a good thing!