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The Legion of Super-Heroes Vol 1: The Choice Hardcover – Apr 26 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story, by Paul Levitz, picks up a number of plot threads left over from Geoff Johns's excellent Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes and Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds. While hatred for aliens continues to bubble on Earth, political maneuvering by Earthgov requires the Legion to induct the xenophobic Earth-Man as their newest member. Meanwhile, a new Time Institute on Titan unwittingly unleashes a cosmic-level catastrophe that has the secondary effect of producing a new Green Lantern. If this weren't enough, Levitz also stirs into the mix a scheming group of Durlans, an evil cult on Avalon, and (at the end) a new roster of Legion recruits. This is phenomenally good writing with characters who develop and change as the story progresses and a world as sophisticated and imaginative as anything you'll find in a super hero comic today. The artists--Yildiray Cinar, Wayne Faucher, Franics Portela, and (for a brief segment) Phil Jimenez and Soctt Koblish--do a fantastic job bringing the plot to life. Their work is heavily in the super hero tradition (their layouts, for instance, lack any weirdness or notable experimentation), but unusual care and attention has been given to rendering the many characters, especially their facial expressions.
The one big problem with this graphic novel is editorial: the editors have provided no background or context to help newer readers enter into the storyline. Would it have been too difficult for DC to provide a 1-2 page summary of the events of Johns's recent work on the Legion? Marvel provides such summaries in most of their graphic novels--and even in their monthly books. Without a summary or primer, The Choice will be hard going for new readers on account of its giant cast of characters and its dependence on events taken place in other series. Of course, if you've been following Legion of Super-Heroes for the past few years, you'll have no problem jumping into this book. More casual readers, however, are probably better off starting with Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes or even Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes: The Early Years or the timeless Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga (Deluxe Edition).
I still think Levitz is the best writer for the book, but I was very underwhelmed with the first story arc of his new Legion. Levitz can still balance the legion of characters this book has to offer, but I was looking for more of a bang instead of a yawn.
1) Not that impressed with Earth Man or the way he dominates this first story.
2) Why are Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl not in the Legion memebership? I'd much prefer them over the likes of Earth Man, Gates, Quislet, Tellus, or Tyroc.
3) If you're going to revamp the Legion, a good place to start is by re-introducing Superboy and Supergirl into the group.
I'm happy for those that are enjoying the book. For me, I've waited a long time and I STILL don't have my Legion of Super Heroes back.
Instead I put off buying it for a long time and now that I have read it I have to wonder who thought this was a good idea?
Returning to the Legion's 80s heyday (ignoring or erasing the last 20+ years of stories) was a big enough hurdle to attracting new fans or bringing back old ones. Then, in addition, DC made this relaunch into a scavenger hunt with stories and plots scattered through Justice League, Justice Society, Action Comics, Adventure Comics, Legion of 3 Worlds, Countdown and something called Last Stand of New Krypton. So never mind the 20 year leap backwards, unless you were buying half of DC's comic line you were already lost.
Then, on top of it all, they made Earth Man a central character. Earth Man, you may recall if you read the dozen or some comics that preceded this one, was a Nazi-like villain who imprisoned, tortured, and killed several Legionnaires and other characters and was last seen cackling as he planned to kill the President. And they made his redemption the central story of this relaunch.
Now I like redemption stories, I think they can be done well. But really Earth Man was such a cardboard villain to begin with, and so nasty it's a hard one to swallow. Maybe it could have been pulled off, but really this book did not.
Even worse it's implied his redemption was the result of mind control courtesy of our heroes.
Who thought this was good idea?
There are good moments, there are interesting ideas and yeah Levitz really tries to sell the main story. But it just doesn't work.
This relaunched was cancelled after 16 issues and then re-relaunched. And then cancelled again. I hear a re-re-relaunch is in the works but I can't find it my heart to care.
It's been a rough couple of decades for the Legion. After an excellent run by writer Paul Levitz and artist Keith Giffen, the Legion was rebooted in the 1990s....and then threebooted a few years back...and then rebooted again back to the original team in an interesting story by Geoff Johns collected in "Superman and the Legion of Superheroes" where they took on xenophobia run amok on Earth, a tie in with the JSA and JLA, and a "Final Crisis" work which included the rebooted and the threebooted team. Sheesh.
"The Choice" collects the first six issues of the latest Legion comic and, while it is nice to see Levitz back, the results are decidedly mixed. With all the recent changes, reboots, threeboots, a casual reader may well be lost here. A committee of artists is at work in the six comics collected in this book and, while not seamless, the end result is fairly solid. Granted with scores of members on the Legion as well as a host of other characters, the Legion remains more Tolstoyian than most comics but a quick overview could have helped tremendously here. With so much going on, putting Earth Man, a villain when we last encountered him, as one of the leads was a serious mistake. DC throwing in the flavor of the month--a Green Lantern subplot--did not help matters either. I have enough faith in Levitz and the Legion to think the new comic will overcome its solid, but decidedly average, start. Legion fans will enjoy it though readers taking their first steps into the 31st century should stay away until they have more of a background.