“Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1″ (and some possible good news)

No, my friends, I’m NOT turning this blog into the Legion of Super-Heroes frivolity blog. Yes, I realize I reviewed LSH #12 only last week, but there’s a good reason for this latest installment. DC Comics just launched its three-month-long, “Future State” reconfiguration with this two-part LSH tie-in. It’s been rumored that several titles won’t emerge from Future State intact, including the Legion of Super-Heroes, which just completed a one-year, twelve-issue relaunch. With that in mind, let’s go ahead and see what DC and Bendis have in mind for what many (including myself) thought might be the Legion’s final tale.

Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 [of 2]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils and Inks: Riley Rossmo, Colors: Ivan Plascencia
DC Comics, January 26th, 2021

Plot

At some indeterminate point in the 31st Century following the events described in LSH #12, former Legion leader, Ultra Boy, arrives on Planet Gotham to rendezvous with Shadow Lass, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 7, and Colossal Boy. We learn that the Legion had previously disbanded and that the United Planets are in almost total chaos. On Planet Daxam, the only remaining U.P. stronghold, Chameleon Boy is brought before a council comprised of former Legionnaires Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Polar Boy (see postscript below), Princess Projectra, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Superboy, Sun Boy, and Timber Wolf in an effort to ascertain the whereabouts of Jan Arrah, the former Legionnaire, Element Lad, who is responsible for an “incident”/”event” that precipitated the current crisis. On Planet Winath, a group of newly-empowered beings (who refer to the previous cataclysm as the “elemental rapture”) bands together as a pseudo, rogue Legion to exploit the chaos and also oppose Arrah and the crippled U.P., but are thwarted by the former Triplicate Girl (one of her identities was killed in the crisis) who is searching for Element Lad. She is joined by Blok who is on a similar mission. Brainiac 7 invites the duo/trio to join the reconstituted Legion and capture Arrah and also recruits a reluctant Bouncing Boy. On one of Planet Trom’s moons, Arrah interrogates his prisoner, Lightning Lad, who had attempted to kill the traitorous ex-Legionnaire. The proceedings are suddenly interrupted by Lightning Lass along with a contingent of Legionnaires including Blok, Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 7, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Duo Damsel, Ferro Lad, (see postscript below), Monster Boy, Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, Superboy, and Timber Wolf. Argh! We must wait one month for the results of this showdown!

Comments

Bendis doesn’t provide a lot of information about the cataclysmic attack upon the galaxy and the Legion orchestrated by the traitorous Jan Arrah. I’m expecting more details in “Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #2 [of 2].” All of the Legionnaires are presented in different permutations including alternate uniforms and different physical characteristics, with a reconstituted Brainiac 5/7 being the most radical. Rossmo’s pencils are nowhere near the caliber of regular LSH artist, Ryan Sook. A redesigned Superboy stays noticeably in the background in this book. I counted a few Legionnaires in the mix who I could not identify. Silver Age Legion fans will note that the death of one of the triplicates hearkens back to similar grim circumstances in “Computo the Conquerer” in Adventure Comics #340 (January 1966). It was sad to read the first issue of this two-part Future State series knowing DC is probably going to pull the plug on the Legion following the second installment.

Postscript

After writing the above, I came across a very recent interview with LSH writer, Brian Michael Bendis, in which he reveals some of the unidentifiable characters in this issue as being members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes and that the black-suited character on the cover with a laser sword is Ferro Lad. Okay. I had thought the character on page 8 in silver and red was Ferro Lad when it’s actually Polar Boy of the Subs. The writer hints that Superboy will play more of a major role in issue #2. To my great surprise, Bendis also reveals that DC definitely plans on continuing the Legion at some point after Future State despite the title’s notable absence in the publisher’s April solicitations. See the interview here.

16 thoughts on ““Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1″ (and some possible good news)

    1. Thanks for your prayers, Mandy! Training actually went well. I am so glad for four days to decompress. Corinne brought out her to-do list this morning (she needs a hobby), but to-doos aren’t on my radar today. Thanks for the message from Nathan. Yeah, it’s quite something to see the young guys standing around half the day either chit-chatting or looking at their smartphones.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! You sound like Nathan! That’s no disrespect to Corinne! Oh man, Nathan has confiscated cellphones during work hours. Work ethic/good help truly is hard to find. Enjoy your rest! We are getting so much snow and ice. How about y’all? Love and blessings to you both!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: Cellphones
        This past weekend our boss mentioned he’s exploring various options with HR because so many workers abuse cellphone privileges.

        Thanks! Today was strictly R&R. I’m enjoying your book! I’m on page 70. Excellent!

        They were saying on the news tonight that those closer to the coast we’re getting pounded. Calm here right now but the remnant will pass through tomorrow with 4”s.
        Thank you and love and blessings to you two!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sorry that it took so long to get to the book. I had to finish that very long U.S. history book, which was the selection for January for the local book club I belonged to. Just cancelled my membership because I can’t do all that reading in addition to the books I want to read with my new job.

        Don’t hurt yourself shoveling! I’m expecting our big snowfall today.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. That fast indeed, Tom! We just ended an arc a few days ago with Element Lad fixing New Krypton and he is now the bad of this new arc. Wow! Probably, it is not his fault and there is still a big bad somewhere; these baseline elements are the sources of destruction and might be the only real culprits. Who or whatever is the cause for this drastic changes, the…artwork and the LSH costumes/physical appearance do show it is a cataclysmic event. For one, Saturn Girl has a steam punk arm (probably lost an arm) and the rest that you also pointed out like Brainiac 7 and Ferro Lad. I have not seen a Legion ring (that shows how they have disbanded) nor Gold Lantern. This probably happened a few decades later by the look of Colossal Boy’s face, the obvious one in the group. How can Superboy/Jon be here when He is also with his version of Justice League in Future State 21st Century? And lastly, I find it funny to read the name Emergency Disaster Investigation…Bendis! Blessings to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kent, thanks for all of your comments! I always appreciate your insights. I’m looking forward to seeing how Bendis fills in the gaps with this betrayal by Element Lad. EL’s indictment of the “baseline elements” seems strange because post-crisis seems to be much worse. Element Lad has a tradition of betraying the Legion as the Progenitor. Yes, I also noticed Saturn Girl’s mechanical arm, perhaps a hat tip to Lightning Lad’s loss of an arm back in Adventure #332 (May, 1965).
      Thanks and blessings to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m amaze with how much happenings occurs in one single issues versus Batman’s single issues which sometimes feel like fillers. Thanks for this review; I really wished they could continue LSH for the future as it does sound like with all the events going on in this story the creative team was building up for things going on…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Including all of the character names lengthened the synopsis. There’s definitely much less action in these contemporary LSH tales compared to the Silver Age comics. I do imagine Batman does some navel gazing with multiple panels involved. There’s very little character development in the LSH – just too many characters.

      Liked by 1 person

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