New 52 Review – “Legion of Super-Heroes #1”

The companion title to Legion Lost shows a bit more promise.

General Information

Title: Legion of Super-Heroes #1

Author: Paul Levitz

Illustrator(s): Francis Portela (art) and Javier Mena (colour)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


A group of intergalactic super heroes are called upon to save the galaxy, although some of their usual tricks won’t succeed as a result of the “Flashpoint effect.”

High Point

Brainiac 5. It’s nice to see a future that still has character flaws with the good guys.

Low Point

For the second time, the “mysterious hooded woman” who appears in every title as a “Where’s Waldo” style Easter Egg was distracting. Usually I have to go back and hunt for her.

The Scores

This feels less original than it should. We have a wide and varied set of characters in a sci-fi police setting. However, with the new rule that the “Flashpoint effect” prevents time travel, this feels like a lighter version of the Green Lantern Corps. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is very well done. We’ve got great pictures of all of the cast, and the action is clearly depicted. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is off to a great start. With a cast this huge, they should be working multiple missions and once, and that’s exactly what they do. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is impressive. We don’t get a very deep view of all of them, but with more than 15 important characters getting introduced, it’s hard to give us more than the most cursory overview of any of them. At least we get a cursory overview of all of them. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is not as strong as it should be. It’s a similar concept to the Green Lantern Corps title, which kept a tighter character focus in its first issue, making it more engaging. Now, that could be due in part to my personal bias of having read a grand total of one Legion book before this (and that one came out last week) but having read every Green Lantern comic from Showcase #22 on, so I’m already much more engaged in the Lanterns. I also found GLC to be less dependent on cliche situations, so I’d recommend new readers try that first and this second if they’re looking for a space cop book. I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow is smooth, though it does get thrown off at two points. For a relaunch title, referencing Flashpoint and last week’s “Legion Lost” might not be terribly new reader friendly. Neither is to the point of confusion, but they may be enough to throw new readers out of the story for a moment. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent book, but not one I plan to follow. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Legion of Super-Heroes #1 receives 30 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman