Lets Analyze That Legion Group Shot

On Late Night With Seth Myers, Brian Michael Bendis shared a group shot of the new Legion of Super-Heroes by artist Ryan Sook. We’ve gotten some definite character designs in the past few weeks, so we can definitely identify some of the members, but there are some in here that raise some questions.

Back row

Let’s start with the very back row. Blok has been revealed, but looks more brown than grey. That could be due to the lighting form the person in front of him. I’ll get to that one. Colossal Boy is a given as well, and I’m sure that traditionalists are pleased with how faithful this one looks to the original. They should also appreciate Sook’s adherence to the traditional red and blue color scheme.

There is a member sitting on Colossal Boy’s shoulder that is unknown. He apparently has a tail and given the appearance of his arms and legs, he appears to be animal-based. The symbol on his chest gives a little more evidence to an animal-based power set. There have been two animal-based characters in Legion history. Beast Boy pre-dated the more famous Teen Titan by a year and died a month after that character debuted with the Doom Patrol. Jungle King was a Legion reject that died trying to get revenge on the Legion. My money is on Beast Boy, although “Jungle Kid” could also work.

Fourth Row

The character in the green suit with a skull face and ribs is not apparent at first. However, in Legion history there’s a character that became a villain. Radiation Roy is my guess for this character, probably because this character lends itself more to a Legion member. Of course, this is assuming that all of the characters that Bendis is using have a history with the Legion. It’s also possible that it’s a take on Atom’X, a radiation based character that became one half of the Archie Legion’s Wildfire. My money is on Radiation Roy. 

Next we have Shadow Lass, which was one of the first character designs Bendis and Sook released. Next to her is a character looking very much like Doctor Fate. I would guess that since Bendis is going with the Boy/Girl/Kid/Kid?Lad/Lass naming scheme, the character might simply be called Fate. Their presence doesn’t reveal the character’s gender, so we can’t assume gender. Then there is the flaming character casting light on Blok. I’m assuming that this is Sun Boy. He is apparently interacting with a tall, bright female character with a staff. My money is on this being the White Witch.

Next we have a female character whose coloring and tiara is reminiscent of Princess Projectra. I’ll go with that naming instead of Sensor Girl, since she’s not wearing a mask. Then we have Chameleon Boy, one of the first designs revealed in this new Legion. Next to him, we have the first of three girls, identical except in color. This makes this almost certainly Triplicate Girl. She’s been a fan favorite, especially in Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s threeboot Legion.

Third row

Dream Girl and Mon-El were revealed already. There proximity and posing implies a relationship, although Dream Girl could just be affectionate. In the original Legion, one of the strongest relationships was Mon-El and Shadow Lass, who is nearby. However, she seems to paying this pair no mind, so I’m guessing they are probably a couple. Saturn Girl is next. Again she is one of the first designs released. She clearly shows that from a distance, the details in the costume designs tend to look more graphic than intricate.

Next we have an apparently female character in gold and black, with a mask. The obvious guess is that this is a 30th century Yellow Lantern. That is my guess, although it would mean a shift in how that corps is viewed in a thousand years. It would also mean a shift in how the Legion views powers based on objects, assuming that she uses a ring. Of course, the chest logo is not the Sinestro corps symbol. Given that it resembles a creature with wings, we could be looking at a version of Insect Queen. She was originally was an alias that Lana Lang used. My guess is a lantern, but I’m torn halfway between that and Insect Queen, just because Bendis seems fond of some of the “sillier” Legionnaires.

Bouncing Boy reinforces that fact. Of course, he is one of those characters that personifies the sheer fun of the Legion. The threeboot was weaker for not having the sillier characters. Bouncing Boy is another of those character designs that should appease traditionalists. Karate Kid is next to him. Of course, he’s not been formally revealed to be Karate Kid. However, since people, including creators that have worked on the Legion, have expressed disappointment that the character has been whitewashed in the past. I’m assuming that this is Karate Kid, apparently a more joyful one in this reboot.

Second Row

This row starts a little further in with what looks to be Star Boy. The star field pattern and eight-pointed star kind of give it away. I’m still undecided on the gold skin. I’m willing to give it a pass, at the very least. A girl with a pink mohawk drapes her arm around his shoulders. There aren’t many clues here, but based on a process of elimination, my guess is that this is Shrinking Violet. I like what I see of the design. Then we have Superboy, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s Jon Kent. Next to him we have Brainiac 5, one of the first designs.

Over Brainy’s shoulder we have a character I’m assuming is Phantom Girl. The halo confuses me a little. Of all of my assumptions, I’m less sure of her. Next to her is Lightning Lad, looking less like his released character design. It’s possible that fan reaction to the extreme hairstyle prompted a redesign. I have seen someone speculate that the Legion will see some type of deaths early in their series, or even in the Millennium story. If so, it’s possible that we could see a new Lightning Lad. Bendis has reportedly said that many of the designs are not final. Bouncing Boy appeared in a previous image as black.

The row continues with two more Triplicate Girls. I really dig this design. Sook is continuing the use of different color scheme when she triplicates. I can really admire that they’re going away from the classic purple and orange color scheme. That was always a tradition because of a 1970s story that had the costume colors stop a planetary war. Finally, we have Dawnstar. I like this design, but I really don’t feel like the Native American motif works as well in this incarnation of the Legion.

Front Row

Cosmic Boy is next. His ethnicity is a little more uncertain, but in the 31st century, does it really matter? Then we have Element Lad. The design hearkens back to his late 1970s costume. The goatee is reminiscent to his threeboot incarnation. Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy are keeping Element Lad from falling. He apparently didn’t see Invisible Kid. Look and the exposed step and you’ll see a blur indicating someone there that is almost completely transparent. For an artist, I would love to see Ryan Sook illustrate Invisible Kid by how the environment subtly reacts to him or her, because the gender could switch. Nothing says that someone using “Kid” can’t be female.

Light Lass comes next. The traditional feather symbol is incorporated in one of the best ways I have ever seen it used. The goggles are a nice touch to the costume. Ultra Boy follows, with his symbol stylized a bit more. He also looks much leaner than he does in other incarnations. Wildfire follows, looking very traditional, although in a costume that looks very much like a containment suit.

Matter-Eater Lad looks very jovial again. His look here reveals that his costume is more armor-like. It even appears to be an exo-skeleton. This is an element that I’m intrigued to see the reasons for it existing as it does. Timber Wolf rounds out the picture. His build is very similar to Matter-Eater Lad. However, I find this to actually be more reminiscent of the build of a massive wolf. Also of note is the sharpened fingers that are evocative of claws.

Final Thoughts

I really, really like these designs. I also love how the Legionnaires appear to be happy. Happy super-heroes are something that we haven’t seen in a while. If this relatively optimistic mood defines the series, it will help it stand out among titles on the shelves. Of course, conflict is interesting and with 30+ Legionnaires, it’s probably only a matter of time before we see a little drama in the Legion.