DC Comics Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes: Legion of the Damned

A comic review article by: Kyle Garret
You, my learned reader, are probably saying: “Kyle, why would you buy a collection of comics when you already own those individual issues? And when you already have digital copies of them?” And those would be excellent questions to ask, one which my wife might ask as well if she knew how much this 100-page spectacular cost.

Like most comic book readers who have never lived in anything bigger than a two-bedroom apartment, I have left the bulk of my collection at my parents’ house, which happens to be on the other side of the country. That is where those individual issues are kept. And, yes, I have digital copies of those books, copies which are not entirely law abiding, but I feel okay with that, given that I paid for the actual paper copies.

But here’s the thing: I’m an old fogey. My format of choice is dead trees. And that leaves me with the best reason to buy this book: It’s just damn good.

This is not the current Legion of Superheroes. No, the team in this book was the original reboot team, the Legion 2.0 who later became the Legion of Earth-247 (which is now gone) and finally a Legion team lost in the multiverse (and coincidentally star in the recent collection, Legion Lost). These guys were a result of Zero Hour, and while they rocketed out of that event comic, a few years down the line they had lost any kind of momentum. The stories had gotten stale.

It would be easy to say that Dan Abbet and Andy Lanning, affectionately known to comic book fans as DnA, made the Legion grim and gritty, a title more in line with what Keith Giffen had done with the last version of the team towards the end of their run (that’s the team in the current books, for those keeping track at home). But I don’t think that’s the whole story. Yes, the books got darker but, more importantly, they became, well, important. There was weight to the stories that DnA told, something that had been missing from the Legion for a long time.

Of course, this book begs a question: why did DC decide to repackage and republish these issues? There’s an easy answer for that: Olivier Coipel, the superstar artist who currently launched the new Thor book, a book which is no doubt getting a lot of attention.

But perhaps more importantly for this 100-page collection is the fact that this story begins and ends in these four issues. Yes, there are repercussions later on in the series, but for someone with no knowledge of that series or this book, they’ll get a complete story.

So, despite the fact that it doesn’t feature the Legion team that is currently appearing the books by the same name, is it worth your time and money? Hey, it was worth my time many times over, has now been worth my money twice. It’s a great read and a great way to learn about the core of the Legion, something that remains the same from reboot to reboot.

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