TITLE: Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes
COMPANY: DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Gary Frank
Inker: Jon Sibal
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Colorist: Dave McCaig and HiFi
Back in 2007, for DC Comics “Action Comics” issues #858-863 would feature “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes”, as the second part of DC’s three-year reinvention of the Legion after the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America story arc, “Lightning Saga”. And these Action stories are collected in a hardback book.
The stories are also notable as being the first time Geoff Johns would become a solo writer on “Action Comics” as he usually had co-wrote with other writers.
The story begins in 3008 A.D. as a planet of violet skinned humanoids are in a civil war. Hearing about the story of Superman and how a baby was sent to Earth and raised with love and became the greatest hero and the ultimate symbol for truth, justice and the universal way, a couple sends their baby to Earth (in the future).
On Earth, an older couple investigates a crashed vehicle and discover a baby coming out of the vehicle, and because of the rules, they must follow it and they kill him.
In the present time, Superman is fighting a threat of Braniac which is attacking Metropolis. But when he defeats it, a monitor reveals itself and it’s Brainiac 5 from the Legion of Super-Heroes and to help him remember who the Legion are, a bolt is sent towards Superman’s head and then he remembers the past when he was a young teenager being visited by three members of the Legion of Super-Heroes. One Superman remembers, Brainiac 5 tells him that they were not going to get him involved but due to the problems in the future, they have no choice and they give Superman a time sphere that will take him to the year 3008.
When Superman arrives, he sees members of the Legion of Super-Heroes being pursued by authorities but they managed to overpower them. Superman shocks them when she shows up and tells them that Brainiac 5 brought him to the future, but the Legion has not heard from Brainiac in over six months. As the Legion try to get Superman to go back to the time sphere and send him back home, the sphere is shot and destroyed by more authorities. When Superman tries to stop their shooting, instead of blocking it, it goes right through his hand and he’s bleeding. It is revealed that in the future, Earth’s sun has become red and Superman’s powers are weakened under a red sun.
Meanwhile, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy are inside Batman’s cave to find evidence that Krypton existed but trying to stop them are the Justice League led by Earth-Man Kirt Niedrigh, Golden Boy, Spider-Girl, Tusker, Radiation Roy and Storm Boy. Vicious and sadistic, who is this new Justice League?
What happened in the future that things became so bad? Why is the sun red? And why are people acting weird around Superman?
Having read this issue, I must say that Gary Frank’s artwork is fantastic as with the coloring of these stories. I was very impressed (remember folks, I have not purchased any new comic stories since 17-years ago, so discovering these new artist and writers will take some time).
But of course, Geoff Johns is the reason why I purchased this hardback book. Everyone has told me I should read Geoff Johns work and I can see why. So far I have read several stories and they are really well-written. I was told by many fans that Johns has a gift of really researching the characters and integrating it to his modern work, so everything makes sense. And in the case of “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes”, I can see that.
The storyline where the story of Superman has been warped, so humans became angry against aliens is surprising and the history of Superman, not being a man from Krypton but a human and people being taught that in school and thus what are lies, suddenly became fact is also rather interesting.
But everything works from why there is a red sun? Why are people’s thoughts on Superman is so warped? But most importantly, knowing the connections of each character and their powers and how to utilize all these characters (considering the Legion has so many members) is very fascinating.
But perhaps the best aspect of the storyline is how it deals with those who have been rejected as members of the Legion. Some who are able to keep trying, while others go on another path.
For the most part, “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes” is a legion story that I absolutely enjoyed. I grew up reading “Legion of Super-Heroes” and because it’s a comic book that I’m fond of, the old silver age to bronze age Legion books were a important part of my childhood.
I must admit, I was not too fond of the ’90s version but I have to say, I loved how the characters were handled in these recent stories and look forward to reading more in the near future.
Btw, “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes” is a fantastic hardback book. You get an introduction by Keith Giffen, the covers (without masthead) are included and character design/artwork are also included at the end.