Future State: Legion Of Superheroes #1 is the latest addition to this huge DC Event. 1,000 years in the future wasn’t good enough you say? You had the unmitigated gall to ask for even further? Well DC has apparently heard you, because they’ve delivered Future State: Legion of Superheroes!
That’s right, Legion has joined the ranks of the many other DC properties whose possible futures we get to peer into. We get the added bonus of this story being told by the regular Legion writer, Brian Michael Bendis!
Legion has been a book brimming with heart, fun, and optimism. Our main cover however, sporting the sleek Future State masthead, doesn’t seem to convey all those bright shiny ideals. The Legion looks smaller, and like they’ve been hanging out with Mad Max. They emerge from a hole in the wall like Zombies or Frankenstein’s Monster. The 180º tone-flip aside, the art for this cover is by Riley Rossmo and he captures this new aesthetic PERFECTLY. Rossmo has one of the most unique art styles in DC’s stable right now and it’s always a treat to see his work, with it’s cartoony, grotesque and exaggerated vibes, especially when it matches the subject matter so well.
The variant cover by Ian MacDonald is a beautifully rendered action group shot, showing off the new character designs. It’s a great digital painting, once again conveying that the tone of this issue will likely differ drastically from what we’re used to, and let’s just say the issue doesn’t disappoint that expectation. The level of detail is phenomenal in this piece, each character is full of personality and the more you look at this piece the more you notice.
In the story, we come to The Legion years after what we’ve been reading in the main title and we find them living in a full on post-apocalyptic cyber-punk future. It’s the pretty standard post-apocalyptic future starter pack. Everyone’s got beards, missing limbs, or is heavily emotionally damaged. People are dead, bad things have happened, the team has fallen apart, the United Planets are in ashes and Brainiac 5 has turned into a creature from a Hayao Miyazaki film. You know things are bleak when BOUNCING BOY has gone dark.
The events of the story are pretty straight forward, a few members of The Legion are trying to get the team back together so they can stop one of their own who has caused all the galaxy’s current troubles. I’ll say this, it certainly is a unique take on The Legion. I’ll also say, I’m VERY happy this didn’t end up co-opting the main continuity as was rumored with 5G. Bendis crafts the story and the characters well, and he continues to affirm his (one sided) friendship to me by giving Triplicate Girl lots to do and say.
The interior art is just as fantastic as we’ve come to expect from Riley Rossmo, and Ivan Plascencia’s colors compliment the art nicely with a vibrant neon pastel palette. Rossmo’s Brainiac 5 is truly the creepiest thing I’ve seen this year. The character acting and some of the cool transformation effects going on are so great. And if you like them, be sure to go check out his work on the Martian Manhunter maxi-series, because there’s just way more of this goodness there.
Lastly, I’ll add that I’m a little disappointed that we went with a dark future for The Legion. I was hoping maybe this series would break the trend from what all the other Future State titles seem to be doing and give us a story set in an even BRIGHTER future. But, I’m sure there’s a plan, and I’m hoping that plan includes giving us a great second issue with a satisfying story ending.
Future State: Legion of Superheroes #1 gives us a very unique take on The Legion in a break from tone that leaves us in a beautifully rendered post-apocalyptic future. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next issue!
Haven’t picked up Future State: Legion Of Superheroes #1 yet? You can get the standard cover by Riley Rossmo here (UK), or here (US). Or if you prefer the variant cover by Ian MacDonald, you can get that here.
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