It’s the future of the future, and things are getting dystopian… Your Major Spoilers review of Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 from DC Comics awaits!
FUTURE STATE: LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Brittany Holzherr & Jamie S. Rich
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Previously in Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes: Whatever happened to the Legion of Super-Heroes? The team is no more, and the United Planets are in total chaos as one of the Legion’s own has turned on the entire galaxy! Everyone is affected…and not everyone survived! Ultra Boy tries to put the Legion back together to face the future head on! Find out the fates of all your favorite Legionnaires like Shadow Lass, Triplicate Girl, Brainiac Five, and Bouncing Boy. Also, a shocking twist in the Legion mythology… and a long overdue appearance by the Legion of Substitute Heroes!
ONCE AGAIN AT SQUARE ONE
We open on Planet Gotham, where a hero (later revealed to be Ultra Boy, though there’s no real way to tell that at first) is seeking out a friend, Shadow Lass. He tells her that they’re getting the band back together, leading her to rage at him that the team should not only stay disbanded, but that the name should be banned. Saturn Girl manages to telepathically calm her, revealing that she’s brought a strangely monstrous Colossal Boy and a bodiless Brainiac 7 with her. Elsewhere, Chameleon Boy stands trial before a tribunal led by Cosmic Boy for his part in the Legion, while Triplicate Girl (now calling herself Durgo Duo?) fights her own battles, and Bouncing Boy has become a freedom fighter, attacking Science Police officers and blaming Brainiac for the team’s dissolution. But, by the time we get to Winath, all these heroes and a few more have assembled once more as the Legion of Super-Heroes!
MORE THAN A LITTLE INFURIATING
The primary problem with this issue is in the fact that it’s revamping a book that has yet to actually fully introduce all its concepts or characters, and this issue just piles more mysteries and missing moments on top of all that. The future world of the Legion seems like an unstable mess, as this issue reveals that the Legion was only together for 100 days before all hell broke loose, and this issue brings them back together an unspecified amount of time later, with complete redesigns (and, once again, more characters who aren’t actually identified.) Rossmo’s art is interesting, but it’s unclear whether characters like Bouncing Boy and Colossal Boy have mutated into inhuman forms, or if it’s just his unusual design sense. The watercolor sensibilities of Rossmo’s work are also a hard fit for a story set in the future, as it doesn’t feel either shiny, technological Star Trek future or dirty, dilapidated Star Wars future.
BOTTOM LINE: HARD TO JUSTIFY A REBOOT AT THIS STAGE
In short, Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #1 find the conceit of Future State amplifying the flaws of the current Legion iteration, with art that doesn’t feel appropriate for the setting, almost nonsensical changes to characters and situations and several moments that not only don’t land, but just don’t seem coherent at all, ending up with a disappointing 1.5 out of 5 stars overall. If this is just a miniseries, it will be a simple enough proposition to wait out next issue, but if this is the new take on the LSH, I’m not sure that I’ll be sticking around.
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FUTURE STATE: LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1
There are some fun concepts here, but the Legionnaires haven't been fleshed out enough to support variations on the themes, and Rossmo's art makes literally everyone unidentifiable. Not a fun reading experience.