aaron_bourque (aaron_bourque) wrote,

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Maybe It's BECAUSE The Legion Is Lost That It's So Disorienting

Legion Lost

And audience lost, too.

There's a storytelling device known as medias res, where the story begins in the middle of the action, typically explaining the context later or as the drama unfolds. As a struggling writer, it's a device I have used myself, as well as being used in plenty of notably things you'll have actually heard of. The point is, it's done a lot, and it's usually not a bad idea. It gives the audience a nice jolt to get into the story, and clues them in that they're in for a bit of a ride.

But when it's done badly, it can leave the audience completely disorented and off balance and not sure of what the hell they're getting into.

So, there's this fugitive from the future, who has infected himself with a virus that causes people to take on the characteristics of various alien species. And it's up to a team from the Legion of Superheroes--teen heroes from a thousand years in the future--to try to catch the patient zero guy and prevent an outbreak . . . and barring that, contain the epidemic.

This is probably the most improved series of the new 52, because the first issue? Was unbelievably balls. You get the impression that there was a bunch of stories leading up to the first issue, but no*. It's a completely new story, not really related to anything that has gone before.

I'm a fan of the Legion. I enjoy stories of future guys coming to the present and the culture shock and the advanced technology gadgets and everything. Time Trax (anyone remember that?) Time Cop. This has been done lots of times, and it's generally a pretty good version of the tale. So this should have been a great contender for a series, to me.

But that first issue. I always try to give a new series a couple, three issues before completely writing it off, but after Legion Lost #1, I was dreading reading the second issue. Because it was not a good introduction to the characters, the story, the setting . . . I actually felt physically disoriented after reading it. I'd recommend skipping the first issue, and picking up from the second, because it does a much better job of introducing those elements. It's not a perfect introduction, but it won't leave you physically ill.

Or at least, it shouldn't.

*Well, sort of. There are no previous issues to read to prepare you for what's going on in the first issue, but writer Fabien Nicieza (whose name I will never know how to pronounce) did some promotional text pieces viral marketing stuff. They don't help. I'm sorry, I really like Nicieza as a writer, but he dropped the ball with the first issue of this series.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; also, their mission is doomed from the get-go, and I enjoy heroes struggling against impossible odds, which actually isn't easy with super-powered characters.
Tags: analysis, comic books, essays, the new 52
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