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Superman And The Legion Of Super-Heroes by Johns, Frank and Sibal

1/09/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Superman And The Legion Of Super-Heroes in the USA - or Buy Superman And The Legion Of Super-Heroes in the UK

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pub: DC Comics. 160 page graphic novel. Price: $14.99 (US), $16.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-4012-1904-8.

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I'm a little behind in recent Legion Of Super-Heroes events and saw reading this 2008 graphic novel of the mini-series as a chance to get up to speed with characters that I read from the 60s-90s. The LSH is a unique series in being part of the DC Universe and yet by being set in the 30th century, less likely to be directly altered by present day events which allowed the series to grow and change over the years. This accelerated when it was used less as a vehicle for Superboy and more so when the 'Crisis On Infinite Earths' series spirited them away into their own pocket universe with no memory of the Boy Of Steel's influence on their lives. Well, that was until reading this.

Brainiac 5 sends a time sphere back to the present day to both awaken Superman's memories and to bring him to the future and things have changed drastically. The Man of Steel is no longer thought of as a Kryptonian but human and bigots, led especially by the Justice League, are ousting aliens from Earth. The Legion are also considered pariahs and hunted and captured. The other planets, led by the dictator of Colu, are preparing to assault the Earth. Things aren't good for Superman neither as the sun has turned red and as we all know, under such sunny conditions, he isn't super-powered and has to rely on the Legion flight ring to keep up. The Legionnaires that are around aren't exactly happy that Superman was brought forward, more really from the possibility that if he dies there then the past will be changed forever.

This really is a roller-coaster of a ride and author Geoff Johns keeps swinging events so keep you on your toes. Having a multitude of characters to draw, let alone make individual, has always been tough for any artist whose worked on the LSH series. Gary Frank does well although I did find it mildly irritating how much he uses the sucked in lips showing teeth all the time but that's a minor gripe for such an epic adventure. Johns hits on a lot of LSH lore and the only thing I found a nuisance was the reminder of who the characters are, with their planets and powers at the start of each part. It's about time they resurrected the roll-call used in the 60s rather than let it lock into the story too much. I doubt if even newcomers to the LSH would have needed that much reminding as to who they are even if they just come to the mini-series and I doubt if many would have started mid-way through the series anyway. Again, just a minor gripe mostly because there is very little to criticise. It's a great story and if you have any interest in the LSH or got piqued by their brief appearance in TV's 'Smallville' then this is a good book to get yourself reacquainted with the largest super-hero team in the DC Universe.

GF Willmetts

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