COMIC OF THE WEEK: Legion of Super-Heroes Millenium is a unique bridge through DC Universe time

Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 was released on 9/4/2019.

By d. emerson eddy — There were a couple forms of the Legion Super-Heroes that were around at the beginning of DC's New 52 reboot back in 2011, all of which kind of continued on from what had been happening with the team before the reboot. These included one team, Legion Lost, that was thrown back to the present, where they started dealing with the strange time anomalies from Flashpoint in rather oblique ways, never really directly referencing the change. Neither series lasted long, and the franchise virtually disappeared two years into the New 52. After the publisher relaunched its superhero properties in 2016 with Rebirth, writers and artists have dropped some Easter eggs and other hints within the DC Universe, but it's still been almost six years since we've seen a proper Legion of Super-Heroes comic.

That changed with last month’s Superman #14, which featured the initial founding of the United Planets and a surprise appearance of the new Legion of Super-Heroes team coming to spirit Jon Kent away to hopefully help them in their future. This comic nicely returned the team to the DCU while also giving them a Superboy as a founding member, which echoes the legacy of the original Legion when they premiered way back in 1958.

Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 is none of that. It's something entirely different, laying the groundwork for what's to come in the forthcoming Legion of Super-Heroes comic (due in November!), but from an entirely different perspective. There's no need for any previous knowledge of the Legion or the DCU's history here. No, this comic is a fresh start with a new legacy being built from the perspective of Rose Forrest. Rose, and her alter ego Thorn, have been appearing in the Brian Michael Bendis-penned Action Comics series as of late, so it's an interesting through line, further tethering this new Legion's history to elements of the current Superman mythos. It also serves to develop Rose as an immortal, which is kind of a neat twist.

The story in this book is then presented through a number of different time periods throughout DC's future, giving us both familiar and unfamiliar territory, including a nice touch on Kamandi's time frame. Each of the distinct eras is illustrated spectacularly by different top-tier artist, carving them out unique aesthetics that differentiates each new time period from the last. This whole thing is almost as much a showcase for the artists as it is a tour of DC's future. 

André Lima Araújo and Jordie Bellaire's segment stands out particularly to me for the highly impressive level of detail Araújo puts into the architecture. He has a style reminiscent of Moebius and Geof Darrow, just packing in detail and sleek designs, perfect for depicting a smoothly functioning “clean” future landscape. It's nicely accentuated by Bellaire's colors, choosing to really only give full color to the characters, leaving the backgrounds in the future themselves to feel “clean”.

All segments are wonderful, though, with thought applied to who illustrates what time period, perfectly marrying style with substance. There's also a nice touch in Dave Sharpe's letters for the sound effects during the Kamandi chapter as they get broader focus, paying homage to the style of Jack Kirby and Mike Royer's storytelling approach on the original.

When all of that is added to some very nice but subtle humour that Brian Michael Bendis peppers throughout the dialogue, you've got yourself a recipe for an enjoyable prologue story setting the framework for DC's new futures and the first step in this two-part re-introduction of the Legion of Super-Heroes. It took a veritable legion of creators to put together Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1, and it's well worth your time.

Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Jim Lee & Scott Williams, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino, and André Lima Araújo
Colorists: Alex Sinclair, John Kalisz, Dave Stewart, and Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $4.99

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d. emerson eddy is a student and writer of things. He fell in love with comics during Moore, Bissette, & Totleben's run on Swamp Thing and it has been a torrid affair ever since. His madness typically manifests itself on Twitter @93418.