Hello there Superfans! Kon-El of Young Justice isn’t the only Superboy out there in the DC Universe, no, no, no. We mustn’t forget about Jon Kent, Superman’s biological son, now living it up in the 31st Century with the Legion of Superheroes!
A Superboy has nearly always been a regular part of The Legion. Superman himself as a boy, Mon-El as a stand in, Kon-el for a few brief stints, and now, Superboy Jon Kent.
I’ll cover the first 6 issues and a few issues preceding #1 to catch us up and then we’ll be covering each issue as it comes out!
Okay, if you’re brand new to The Legion of Superheroes, fear not. Bendis has taken pains to bring these characters to new audiences without the need to backtrack. BUT, to get a fuller picture of the modern story now taking place, there are a few recent comics I’d recommend picking up, starting with Superman (2018) #14. It is here that The Legion make their first post-rebirth appearance (if you don’t count Doomsday Clock).
Now, normally in the past when The Legion makes such an appearance it’s to recruit Superman to come to the future and help defeat a looming crisis. However, this time, they’re after Jon Kent! Why? Well because in Superman #14, Superboy founds the United Planets, which veteran Legion fans will know is the governing body for the entire galaxy in the 30th-31st centuries! They’ve come to meet Superboy and invite him to see the fruits of his founding far in the future and to stay there a while! This is a big decision, so Superboy takes some time to think it over.
But wait, we’re STILL not ready to read Legion #1. Go pick up Legion of Superheroes Millennium, a two issue miniseries. The series follows Rose/Thorn (who you may remember from Action Comics #1012-1015) who discovers that she is somehow immortal and takes us along with her as she lives through EVERY future epoch of the DC Universe, leading up to time of the Legion of Superheroes. It’s really really great. Bendis attempts to tie all the various iterations of DC futures together, which establishes reliable canon timeline. We even get to see Supergirl in her twilight years, it’s definitely worth picking up. Anyway, at the end of Millennium Rose/Thorn arrives in the 31st Century on the Doorstep of the Legion.
Now we’re ready for Legion of Superheroes #1-6! Jon Kent arrives in the future greeted by the majority of The Legion and given a grand tour of New Earth and The Legion’s headquarters. We see The Legion members decked out in fully new costumes crafted for the series, the majority of which I enjoy, though I do miss the classic suits just a tad. The Legion urges Jon to watch a “Welcome to the Future tutorial video” which they made themselves, so he can get caught up, but before he gets a chance to watch it chaos ensues!
A rogue alien race seeks to control the legendary ancient trident of Aquaman from the prehistoric times of the 21st century! During this time Superboy brings his BFF Damian Wayne to join The Legion, something to which the Legion is (strangely) extremely hostile toward. And the actions of The Legion in these 6 issues may have surprisingly given the Earth new life, but it’s also thrown the entire United Planets into a diplomatic disaster!
These issues are DENSE, but I love it. We get so much character and world building it is just a fun and fast pace Disney World ride through the wonders of Tomorrowland. The Legion can be a bit daunting for new readers, just because there are SO many members, but Bendis has literally given them all name tags, which is a really nice touch.
The art by Ryan Sook is gorgeous and is a perfect fit for the fun future book. His covers are great too, especially the main covers for #2 and #3. On #2, he get a great shot of Superboy and The Legion emerging from the ocean with Aquaman’s trident in hand. The detail on Superboy’s face and hair just make the cover as he conveys complete believability. And #3’s cover is just hilarious as we see Damian Wayne raising a Legion ring ornamented fist, watched by the Legion who all look at him with disgust, except for Superboy who is just absolutely delighted. For issues #4-5, I’d definitely get the variant covers by Alex Garner. They are beautiful digital paintings that are frame-worthy for any Legion lover.
Not going to lie, I was majorly bummed when Bendis decided to age up Jon Kent, so many of Superman’s supporting cast get years of comics to develop, but Jon was rushed into adulthood. There were so many more stories to tell about Superman and his kid son. However, I must admit his inclusion to the Legion is a bright spot, and a fun direction to take the character. Here’s hoping some more crisis or magic shenanigans happen in the future to return him to his proper age, but for now, I’m happy to have him in the Legion.