Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1 – Review
So, after a long wait Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium is here! This is where the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes begins. Yes, I know that they showed up last week in Superman #14. This, however, is what gets us us from here to there. I do need to warn you before you go on, that there are going to be spoilers.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists:Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Andrea Sorrentino, Andre Araujo, Others
Cover Art: Ryan Sook
Brought to you by some of comics’ greatest talents, this epic story spans the course of 1,000 years and, for the very first time, connects all of DC’s future timelines! Starring the unlikeliest of DC heroes as she learns to cope with newfound immortality and roams through the disparate societies of Batman Beyond, Kamandi and Tommy Tomorrow, wrestling with her own inner demons and desperately trying to find her purpose in an ever-changing world. Do not miss this truly unique take on tomorrow’s DC Universe, all leading up to a special launch on the millennium!
Right up front, the Legion of Super-Heroes are not in this comic. As a Legion fan, that’s a little disappointing. However, this story is about how we get from the current DC Universe to the 31st century. Our guide there is Rose Forrest, aka Rose and Thorn. There’s no explanation for why she’s immortal, just that she is and her split personality continues to make life difficult for her. As confused as Rose is by her immortality, Thorn is as well, and we see her frustrated to discover that Batman (Beyond) isn’t the original Batman, somehow also immortal. Given that he’s also not Bruce Wayne, it’s more frustrating that he can’t even begin to answer her questions.
The two women get even more confused and frustrated as they progress through the future. The Great Disaster finds so many of the facts of her original time lost into legends and myths, many not true. I actually start to feel a little bit for her, especially when Thorn lets Rose to the forefront long enough to try and get off of Earth with the Planeteers. The frustration just builds and builds for her as the issue ends and we see her apparently at the end of her rope, with all of time ahead of her.
What we see here is an aspect of immortality that super-hero comics rarely gets into. Immortality can get very frustrating. I’m 48, and I can’t remember a lot of details from high school. Heck, I’d probably have trouble finding my way in the city I lived in ten years ago. Add to that the stress of being essentially alone. No one can understand what it’s like to survive everyone you knew. Topping that off with being schizophrenic, and Rose and Thorn are miserable with immortality. Hopefully reaching the 31st century sees her getting some type of solution with the Legion of Super-Heroes.
All of the artists are great in their own way. I think the styles are a little too disparate. I understand why they’re so varied. It works in the context of the story, I just wish it wasn’t quite as jarring. It is good to see different art styles on display in a DC comic. For the past few years, the running perception is that DC comics has a house style along the lines of Jim Lee / Ivan Reiss. I really like how Tommy Tomorrow’s world even drops reference to Twilight, which redefined that future the Silver Age space comics portrayed. I also like how it’s almost devoid of color. There’s an aesthetic going on that signals that it’s a more fascistic society.
A lot of people grow frustrated with Brian Michael Bendis’s writing, but he has given me enough good stories that I’m willing to give him a shot at everything. So far with Superman #14 and this issue, I’m optimistic of where he’s going with the Legion.
Final rating: 7.5 (out of 10)