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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
Comics I Read Last Week:
The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was Legion of Superheroes #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Ryan Sook
Bold, visionary, audacious and, yes, inspiring, Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook’s Legion of Superheroes is a terrific re-imagining of one of the most underrated brands in the DC Universe. The expectations for this book were very high, primarily because DC generally and Bendis specifically built them up to ridiculous proportions over the course of the last few years. It has seemed that, with each reinvention of the DC Universe, a new take on The Legion was floated and was not realized. But the hints were there. The images. The moments.
When Bendis came to DC and took over the Superman universe, his passion for The Legion became readily clear and his story telling choices began laying the groundwork that was realized in Legion of Superheroes #1.
What a fun, hope filled and joyous comic book it is.
Ryan Sook was the perfect choice to design this new version of The Legion, one that looks like an idyllic future representation of a world and universe in which many would like to like. His take on the classic characters – their costumes, their powers and their look – is a tremendous counterpart to the words Bendis is putting in their mouths. After only one issue, it is hard to see anyone else illustrating the series. I trust Sook is around for the long haul.
Bursting with plot lines and jam packed with easter eggs and action, Legion of Superheroes #1 is an almost perfect pilot episode. There are ideas here that will surely propel the book for years to come. This is a great beginning.
The reader gets the sense of the universe and of the characters in a story that is unexpected, engaging and exciting. The reader encounters a Legion that is populated by a fascinating mix of kids who really love what they are doing. The reader experiences a creative team that feels much the same way.
What more could anyone want from a Legion of Superheroes comic? Nothing except issue number 2. Immediately.