Legion #8: Trial of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Part 1

Time to take a frivolity break, so climb aboard our time cube and take a trip to the 31st Century with me as we review…

Legion of Super-Heroes #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils and Inks: Ryan Sook and twenty-two guest artists, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics, August 25, 2020

5 Stars

LSH #7 ended with General Crav Nah of Rimbor attacking the Legion with his powerful forces and demanding that the heroes surrender in retaliation for having imprisoned him during the Trident Saga. Let’s pick up the action in LSH #8.

Plot

Chameleon Boy and his mother, Madame President Brande of the United Planets, review various video files of the Legion from a vantage point following the team’s encounter with General Nah. First off are the orientation files of Superboy, Element Lad, Dream Girl, and Princess Projectra. Cham then recalls the battle with General Nah, with one-page spotlights on Lightning Lass, Wildfire, Mon-El, Blok, Saturn Girl, Timber Wolf, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy (yup, the former leader is back), Brainiac 5, and Ferro Lad, who manages to single-handedly defeat the Rimborian leader in a cataclysmic finale.

Madame President Brande then dialogues with the Legion’s U.P. liaison, Rose Forrest, before directing the entire team to face trial for disobeying their oath of allegiance. The Legion reacts in dismay, with the spotlight on an incredulous Phantom Girl.

Comments

One of the objectives of this two-part “Trial” saga was to introduce each of the Legionnaires with an individual page. Legion newbies really needed some assistance to help become acquainted with the intimidatingly long roster. I counted 17 members who were highlighted in this issue, which leaves 17 for issue #9. I had assumed Bendis was going to include a lot more biographical data in these one-page “spotlights,” but that regrettably was not the case. Twenty-three different DC artists were each given the task of illustrating a single page of this issue. I enjoyed the variety (although some of the artwork is just downright poor), but didn’t see anything that surpassed the work of regular penciller, Ryan Sook. This installment marks the first appearance of Ferro Lad in the reconstituted Legion. His single-handed effort to defeat Nah recalls his sacrifice to vanquish the Sun Eater in Adventure #353, which was published way back in 1967. Did Ferro Lad survive this ordeal? Bendis doesn’t make it clear if FL is still around and neither does he make it clear why Madame President Brande changed her mind once again about prosecuting the Legion. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this two-part saga, which will be another cavalcade of character spotlights and guest artists.

Postscript: As sometimes happens with comics, the cover illustration depicting two factions of the Legion in conflict, has zero connection to the plot within.

23 thoughts on “Legion #8: Trial of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Part 1

  1. From the cover, it seems the triplicate girls are fighting each other. Thank you, Tom, for having this review. Bringing ex-Marvel Bendis works well for the LSH. While We were discussing last week on the father versus the son thing, presumably the fight will consumed the first half of issue #8, Bendis just flips the pages forward for the good of the issue and then backwards for the brawl. Kids, brats and typical hard-headed hot head heroes indeed and it leads to a “cataclysmic finale.” They should have Imra as the leader, brainy is so brilliant for the barbarian. You are right, Tom, some of the artwork is poor even if they are in the same panel, thanks to the different artist you say. This seems to be a typical DC heroes trial, reminiscent to Justice League Unlimited and the Young Justice. Will there be a tie in to Death Metal?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kent, thanks for all of the good comments! I liked the way Bendis used Cham and his mother reviewing some bio files and then Cham recalling the conflict with Crav to spotlight each of the members, but Bendis should have included bio data vitals.
      RE: JLU, Young Justice, Death Metal
      You lost me, my friend. I was a big DC fan (especially LSH) way back in the Silver Age, and then followed only LSH sporadically after that. Pastor SlimJim’s interest in Batman sparked my reinterest in the LSH and I did a long series a couple of years ago reviewing Adventure Comics from 1966-1969 which featured the Legion. Obviously, I was quite pleased that DC brought back the Legion last year after a six year hiatus.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bendis seems to thrill us on what will be the next for all 17 Kids and their new 1000 year old nanny. We don’t know what will happen to FL and some of those injured so surprises, Bendis style. Bendis has a way to show the human er alien side with Cham and his mom. His mom’s hands are tied with the legalistic “31st century governance” but I’m sure the trial is just a long drama that relatively goes well unless Bendis throws a ball and have the LSH disbanded or outlawed but that is unlikely as what is a nanny/liaison for.

        Looks like at that time of hiatus, they were rebooting the comics and we have the DC rebirth to Doomsday Clock (watchmen) stories were only Imra was in the reality and stuck in 21st C. JLU (2001-2004) and Young Justice (2010-present and still available in Netflix) are cartoons. DC has a new crossover in the Death Metal. After dark knights metal and the 39 JL issues of the JL and injustice league war, we have these DC universe shattering (not the revenue) event. We will know if it has an effect on the 31st C. Until then. GOD bless you and your wife, Tom!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kent, thanks for the excellent musings on this two-part trial saga and on some of the LSH connections to the DC universe, which I’m clueless about.
        The confrontation with General Nah was a good vehicle for spotlighting individual members. I’m curious to see how Bendis uses the upcoming trial for the same purpose.
        Thanks, Kent, and may God bless you and yours!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. 👋🏼
      Hi my friend! Hope you’re having a good day! I was planning on resting today after my wife’s birthday bash yesterday but ended up working on a lot of chores up until now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Birthday went well, thanks! A little chilly sitting in the backyard shade. Wore a sweatshirt for the first time in about four months.
        Have a good time at the garden!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that is a lot of artists brought in! In some sense that’s pretty cool to have so many artists while also there is an exploration of each character. I noticed the publication date wow you read this right away!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, it was definitely a fun idea to involve so many artists and it worked it pretty well. Bendis began by including some bio information for each character but faded quickly. Yup, always happy to jump on a new Legion issue. May not get many more the way DC is floundering.

      Liked by 1 person

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