The trial of the Legion begins, and every Legionnaire is about to feel the heat. Your Major Spoilers review of Legion of Super-Heroes #8 from DC Comics awaits!
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Evan “Doc” Shaner/Jeff Lemire/Dustin Nguyen/Joelle Jones/Michael Avon Oeming/Liam Sharp/Andre Lima Araujo/Sanford Green/Cully Hamner/Yanick Paquette/Dan Hipp/David Mack/Darick Robertson/Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund/Bilquis Everly/Fabio Moon/Michael Allred/Ryan Sook & Wade von Grawbadger/Alex Maleev/John Timms/Duncan Rouleau
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Previously in Legion of Super-Heroes: The Trial of the Legion begins as the team is arrested by a galactic authority that does not approve of the Legion—and it leads into an intergalactic showdown that will affect every member of the team!
BUCKLE UP FOR EXPOSITION
We begin with United Planets President RJ Brande angrily going through the audition files for the Legion, as her son Chameleon Boy tries to figure out exactly what it is she wants. After the conflict with General Crav Nah of Rimbor (also Ultra Boy’s father), she just wants to know where it all went wrong. We get to see flashbacks of Element Lad, Dream Girl and Princess Projectra joining, as well as last issue’s cliffhanger concluded, as the Legion goes head-to-head with Crav and his Rimborian armies. Lightning Lass (the girl with the goggles whom I’ve been assuming was XS), Wildfire and Mon-El make a good show of themselves, mostly, while Blok holds off Crav’s as-far-as-I-can-tell unnamed sword-wielding majordom with a stone headbutt. Timber Wolf’s origins gets recounted, we find that this iterationc of Colossal Boy is once again a giant who can shrink down (like the version from the Waid/Kitson 2005 Legion relaunch) and Cosmic Boy nearly quits the team in dispair after being voted out as Legion leader. We get our first close look at Ferro Lad and Phantom Girl, with the team being summoned to their trial as the issue ends.
A LOT OF FACES IDENTIFIED
With this issue, the only real remaining visual mysteries are Invisible Kid (who has appeared while not appearing, if you know what I mean) and the green armored skeleton character that I suspect is Chemical King. Still, for all the exposition and reveals, this issue feels really unsatisfying to me. I appreciate the multiple artist gimmick, especially as it features some of my favorites (Allred, Shaner, Jones and Moon are fave-raves, while Hamner, Paquette and Mack deliver visually satisfying pages) but it makes for a very fractured issue, something that the scripting exacerbates. Each page feels like it’s own little world, meaning that by the end of the issue, I had lost track of the reasons why the team was in hot water to begin with. Add in bits like Mon-El getting immediately slapped down after overpowering Crav Nah in a previous issue or the fakeout about a Legionnaire “dying” and this book just leaves me gasping for breath at the end. It’s beautiful and it reveals important information, but it’s exhausting.
BOTTOM LINE: THIS BOOK’S PACING NEEDS ADJUSTMENT
When I reviewed issue #6, I felt that the wrap-up of the first arc helped to overcome some of the problems with Bendis’ scripting. Legion of Super-Heroes #8 is in some ways a better overall issue than that one, but the fragmented nature of the story being told and the flood of information, combined with a new artist every page, makes for a somewhat confusing read that earns 3 out of 5 stars overall. As with so many modern books, the focus on surprises, bravado explosive moments and shocking reveals has overwhelmed this book more often than not, and this issue’s storytelling does suffer from the bold artistic experiment, but it’s still a better-than-average comic book in my mind.
Seriously, though… They need to explain who that green guy is already!
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LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #8
41 artists, a lot of Legionnaires we haven't spent time with yet, and a breakneck plot make for an issue that you'll want to read more than once (but don't expect that to necessarily clear everything up.)