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Legion of Super-Heroes #8

A comic review article by: Kyle Garret
As soon as I’m done writing this review, I’m scouring the internet to find a petition to sign, because the people handling the Legion of Superheroes are driving me insane.

I am not referring to their decision to bring back veteran Legion writer Paul Levitz. I was wary of Levitz over the course of the first arc, but with Legion of Superheroes #8 and the most recent issue of Adventure, Levitz is getting his rhythm back. The team is spread throughout the galaxy. Seemingly random events are clues to bigger things. Subplots begat subplots begat subplots, all with a fair dose of characterization (although we could use some more). And even the trademark calmness of the Levitz Legion is back, and this time much more appropriate than when we saw it earlier in this series.

Really, I could not be happier with the direction the Legion titles are headed in now. I’m glad I stuck with the book this long.

No, my petition worthy complaint with those at DC who make decisions about the Legion regard the art.

Yildiray Cinar is, in theory, the penciller of this title. He has been unable to complete an entire issue regularly, though, so he’s been joined by additional artists for portions of each issue. Normally, it’s Francis Portela. In this issue it’s Daniel HDR. In either case, both of them produce work that is vastly superior to what we get from Cinar.

The art is perfectly serviceable, yes. But Cinar lacks the dynamic punch that’s necessary for a book like the Legion. Both Portela and HDR have, at the very least, show the potential to do what’s needed. Cinar’s artwork is hurt by being on display next the work of the others. Everything looks flat and pedestrian.

Perhaps even more upsetting is the fact that the DCU Holiday Special featured a Legion story with art by Chris Batista. While it was a bit scratchier than Batista’s past work, it was still leaps and bounds ahead of what is currently showing up in the Legion of Superheroes. It would seem that there’s a great artist who enjoys drawing the Legion available, yet for some reason DC has stuck with Cinar. Batista’s art also matches up nicely with incoming Adventure Comics artist Phil Jimenez.

I am a longtime Legion fan and I’m thrilled to see the stories improving, but I don’t know how much longer I can continue to be frustrated by the art. I only hope that sales increase on Adventure Comics when a well known and dynamic artist takes over, and that will lead the power at be to realize they need to make a similar move with this book.

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