DC Comics brings back the Legion of Super-Heroes with ambitious relaunch: Part Two

DC Comics geared up for the auspicious relaunching of the Legion of Super-Heroes with five prelude books spanning August through October. Last week, we briefly reviewed the first three lead-ins (see here), and today we’re going to review the final two.

Capture25Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium: Part 1 of 2
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencillers: Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino, Andre Lima Araujo
DC Comics, September 2019

2 Stars

Over the decades, DC Comics has created multiple universes, continuums, dimensions, and alternate realities. How to keep track of them all? A comic book reader these days needs a Sheldon Cooper-ish IQ to keep it all straight. One of the problems writer Brian Michael Bendis had in relaunching the Legion was in somehow connecting the team to the various future “realities” and dimensions. He attempts to do so, with the help of four different artists, via the character, Rose Forrest, who struggles with a split-personality. Her other identity, Thorn, is an angry, vigilante super-anti-hero. In the first sequence (drawn by Jim Lee), the very unstable Rose seeks help from President Supergirl. In the next sequence (penciled by Dustin Nguyen), she commiserates with an ersatz-Batman. Rose/Thorn then appears (courtesy of artist Andrea Sorrentino) in a desolate post-apocalyptic future that has something to do with something called “The Great Disaster” and a character named “Kamandi.” Finally, Rose journeys to a future reality featuring Tommy Tomorrow and the Planeteers (compliments of penciller, Andre Lima Araujo). Only an absolute comic book geek could possibly make heads or tales of all of these stops along the disjointed DC multiverse. But onward I pressed because I was confident that all of this chaos had something to do with the Legion.


Capture26Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium: Part 2 of 2
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencillers: Nicola Scott, Jim Cheung, Jeff Dekal, and Ryan Sook.
DC Comics, October 2019

2 Stars

In Millennium: Part 1, we followed tortured soul, Rose/Thorn, as she journeyed from one dissatisfying DC alternate future to the next. Part 2 continues along the same agonizing path. In the first segment, Rose travels to the 25th century and encounters an overenthusiastic Michael Jon Carter who would go on to become Booster Gold (drawn by Nicola Scott). In the following sequence, Rose meets up with OMAC after “The Great Disaster” (pencils by Jim Cheung). Next, we see Rose freefloating in the depths of space as she attempts to overcome Thorn, her violent second identity (art by Jeff Dekal). And then, finally, FINALLY, Rose somehow comes to grips with her raging inner-turmoil and shows up in 31st Century at the founding ceremony of the Legion of Super-Heroes (pencils by Ryan Sook).

Comments: One of the main reasons why the Legion franchise progressively lost readership over the decades was because it was the mothership of the depressing “Sad Astronaut” genre. While the first three Legion preludes in “Superman” and “Supergirl” were optimistic and coherent, these two Millennium preludes were the epitome of “Sad Astronaut” bleakness and incoherent navel gazing. The only optimism in these two Millennium preludes is the last few pages of Part 2 when Rose shows up at the Legion’s doorstep. I sure hope Bendis keeps things positive and buoyant moving forward.

“I’m bewildered by the “Sad Astronaut” genre and there’s a lot of it in comic books.” – Brian Michael Bendis

Hmm. We’ll see. On the plus side, Nicola Scott’s artwork in Millennium: Part 2 is extraordinary and Ryan Sook, the Legion’s new regular penciller, isn’t far behind. After decades of uncomplimentary artistry adorning Legion tales (e.g. Keith Giffen), it will be sweet having a top-flight illustrator presenting the stories.

Next Up: The Legion of Super-Heroes #1! Yay!

30 thoughts on “DC Comics brings back the Legion of Super-Heroes with ambitious relaunch: Part Two

  1. Just landed here! Can’t go out walking yet with the rain….taking a break from homeschooling but going to be teaching my daughters again and back to read and comment on this awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 👋🏼 Deciding whether to walk in the rain with an umbrella to keep my steps up. May be too windy. Almost caught up with the new LSH with this post. I’m borrowing the “navel gazing” phrase from you, but the “Sad Astronaut” phrase that I recently stumbled across recently describes the dark and dismal LSH storylines that drove the franchise into the ground six years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow at least its not windy here though its raining. There’s things I like about contemporary comics but there’s also somethings i don’t like with contemporary comics.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There was a strange break in the storm with clear skies and sun so I took the dog for a walk but it changed back suddenly and this old guy was actually running home because of the rain.

        These two “Legion: Millennium” preludes were a major chore to read. DC’s and Bendis’s goal certainly was to generate interest in the Legion, but these these two convoluted books did the opposite. Disappointing.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ve gone south once in the middle of a Rochester winter, to West Palm Beach in Florida in February 1984. It was 70F and my wife and I went swimming in the ocean while all the natives were huddled inside their homes wearing sweaters.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. To answer your question on my blog from you: My thanksgiving night will be with church. Its something our church does every year and its the one day of the year that I actually don’t want to be with the church, just being real lol. They can have me 364 days but I wouldn’t mind having Thanksgiving dinner with my own family.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah! And few if any others comment on my LSH posts. 🤔 Thanks for your support! DC pushed out the publication of LSH #2 by two weeks so I get a break after this marathon.

      Liked by 1 person

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