This past week was supposed to see the release of Superman #14, the finale of Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis‘ “Unity Saga”, a year-long tale that pitted the entire Superman family (Clark, Jon, Lois, Kara, Jor-El, and Krypto) against Rogol Zaar and his assorted Phantom Zone minions, with the Zod Family on the side lines as a kind of third party that you never know how they’re gonna go!
But due to some printing issues regarding the cover not matching the contents of the story (originally, Superman #14 was set to be a Year of the Villain tie-in and Superman #13, based on the original solicit, was to be the concluding chapter of this arc), DC rushed to get retailers to destroy their copies of the issue and replace them (at no additional charge) with the new and improved version of Superman #14 with a cover far better fitting the contents of the story.
Did Reis need additional time? Did Bendis feel like he needed more space to tell this story? Who knows? I recall reading Issue #13 last month and wondering, “hey, where was that surprise that was ‘1000 years in the making’ from the solicits?!?”.
Regardless, the new issue is coming next week, August 28th, to shops..and DC has provided a preview of the issue to our friends at THR. Surprisingly, that preview kind of gives the game away a bit, but perhaps there’s some level of driving greater interest to the title given what it reveals.
I’m going to give you a moment now to back away if you’d like, using the cover as a buffer. Those who want to not have the ending ruined, we’ll see you in a week! Otherwise, plow forward and take a look at what’s coming!
So there you have it, folks! You knew the Legion was coming, you might have even known they were coming earlier than you expected. You just might not have expected them to arrive THIS early. And so, with Superman #14, everyone’s favorite far-future teens are back and the justification for why Jon got aged up comes into full view.
He’s forming the United Planets as a direct result of the revelations regarding Krypton’s destruction and the deadly cabal that worked behind the scenes to ensure it happened. And because of that The Legion is made possible, and from there they invite him to join the team. So once again, a Superboy is the inspiration for the Legion, a wonderful development that’s been missed in the rebooted incarnations of the team. The reboot Legion was inspired more by Mon-El, or M’Onel and a sort of general appreciation of 20th century superheroics. Kon-El eventually joined for a few issues, but his membership didn’t quite have the same weight. And the threeboot Legion was totally disconnected from the Superman family until Supergirl joined the team for a brief stint. The Johns/Frank “de-booted” team aimed to reconnect Superman to the Legion as an intrinsic part of his development, but the New 52 basically wiped that all away.
From the image above, you can see all kinds of changes for the team. Lightning Lad is black now, Cosmic Boy is of Asian descent and has a cool new costume, Timber Wolf has kind of an Abe Lincoln beard going on, Sun Boy has a Human Torch vibe, Matter Eater Lad looks like a 20’s weight lifter.
It’s pretty neat to see this team getting visually reinvented from the inside out, something I think was sorely needed. Like everyone, I love the Levitz-Giffen era, and I’m particularly fond of “Five Years Later” and much of the Reboot too. But, with the changing times and readership, a fresh start is just what’s needed here. I can’t wait to see it and it starts here and follows on with Superman #15 and the two-part Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium right after that, leading into November’s brand new Legion of Super-Heroes ongoing by Bendis and Ryan Sook.
Gosh, that felt so good to say.