Legion of Superheroes Volume 6, 1-16, Annual 1, Legion of Supervillains Special 1, Adventure Comics 521-529 , written by Paul Levitz, illustrated by Geraldo Borges, Marlo Alquiza, Phil Jiminez, Andy Lanning, Sean Parsons, Jeffrey Moy, Philip Moy, Ransom Getty, Rob Hunter, Francis Portella, Keith Giffen, Scott Koblish, Yildiray Cinar, Wayne Faucher, Daniel HDR, Bob Wiacek, Jonathan Glapion, and Raul Fernandez (2010-2011): DC’s 31st-century superteam finally got most of its pre-Crisis, pre-Zero Hour history back a few years ago — complete with a young Superman as a time-travelling member — only to run smack-dab into yet another company-wide continuity reboot. What that means will become clear once yet another LSH#1 hits the stands in September. For now, a longtime LSH reader can at least bask in the enjoyment of a truly gigantic arc written by pivotal LSH writer Paul Levitz.
In the main book, the arc’s events kick off with the destruction of Saturn’s moon Titan, inhabited by a telepathic species of humans in the 31st century. This is masterminded by the Legion of Supervillains, the Legion of Superheroes’ opposite number. A weird blue thingie materializes and starts giving orders before taking off for parts unknown. The LSV starts gathering new members. The LSH tries to stop their violence and discover what the masterplan happens to be. And on Oa, home planet of the lost Guardians of the Universe, the last Green Lantern looks to rebuild the Green Lantern Corps in order to help the LSH face this new cosmic threat.
Because the LSH has a cast of hundreds, characterization has to come in quick spurts as we jump from character to character within the overall structure of the plot. Smaller arcs play out as we go along, including the travails of the current crop of would-be heroes at the Legion Academy, the redemption of super-powered xenophobe Earth-man, and long-time Legion powerhouse Mon-El’s acclimation to being the first of a new Green Lantern Corps.
The weight of villainy is carried almost exclusively by familiar villains, most importantly super-telepath Saturn Queen, who’s basically the lieutenant of the mysterious blue thingie. The reveal of the blue thingie’s true identity — and indeed the climax itself — seems a bit short and rushed, almost certainly because the arc ran straight into the Reboot Wall.
Still, this is an enjoyable return to glory for the Legion, with fine artwork from a lot of artists, most notably Yildiray Cinar (who, alas, will leave the Legion in September). I’ll be interested to see what happens next after the relaunch, though I hope we’re not stuck with the unfolding of yet another lengthy explanation of a new Legion’s history. Recommended.