Brian Michael Bendis (Event Leviathan, Young Justice, Naomi) is currently penning a new series at DC, focusing on the Legion of Super Heroes. In this team-up series, Bendis introduces a large number of heroes, a large element of how the new Earth is and some idea of who the enemy is and what they’re after.
Unfortunately for Bendis, he spends so much time world building, that he fails to stay in the same place long enough to build upon the world in a meaningful way. Instead the premise gets lost on too many situations and not enough details to fit within a 20 page comic.
At the beginning, we get Saturn Girl bringing Superboy into the future. We are also introduced to Mordru, an alien mobster who has stolen tech that heroes are looking to retrieve. When the heroes find out it’s Aquaman’s trident, they bring it into the hall.
Bendis also introduces a new earth to Superboy, an Earth where there are different worlds that are held together by alien tech. In this new world, there are no oceans, which makes Aquaman’s trident more concerning. After brief introductions from some LEgionares and introducing how the new earth looks, the team returns to a break in, because those who retrieved the trident didn’t eneter the legions home properly and set off alarms.
By the end of this issue, it looks like some kind of government official might be behind the stealing of Aquaman’s trident, but we get no explanation.
While conceptually you have a lot to work with by using the Legion, you also have so many plot points and world building set up in the first issue, that the series failed to spend enough time to get anyone invested. Instead we get 20 pages of; there’s retrieved stolen tech here, and superboy is brought to the future, and these are the legion, and this is the new tech we have, and this is how the earth looks now, and someone broke into our facility while we were giving you a tour, and we have some villain whose plans we thwarted but know nothing else.
Due to the lack of depth in introducing characters and the world, I believe this issue and series would’ve benefited by DC giving more pages to the first issue. At 40 pages or more, Bendis would’ve had enough time to jump from world building and plot development without giving a feeling of rushing from point to point. Instead, we got 20 pages of a plotline that felt rushed, characters I feel no connection to, and a world that we know minimal information about.
Over time, if the series isn’t cancelled, I hope there will be enough development with unique characters, that the series can stand on its own merits. Until then, this series was lackluster and unsatisfying and needs more content to improve upon the narrative that Bendis is trying to set up.