REVIEW :: Legion of Superheroes #1 / Zatanna #1`

May 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm By:

There’s a science to crafting the perfect first issue for a comic book series — and not everyone has mastered this science. Here’s a look at two of debut editions that were released this week:

Legion of Super-Heroes No. 1: As much as it pains me to say it, this comic makes all the wrong moves for a first issue. And this comes after years of rebuilding the LoSH brand; Geoff Johns in particular did a ton of work during his run on Action Comics and Legion of 3 Worlds to make the team viable and accessible again. This new No. 1, however, is anything but accessible. The issue starts off by jumping knee-deep in continuity — stuff that you’d have to follow the Legion to appreciate. First issues should, as I’ve said over and over again, set the status quo by bringing readers into worlds and showing them around. LoSH No. 1, instead, drops readers off and just makes them fend for themselves when it comes to understanding characters, locations, motivations and more. Moreover, the book never really shows readers what makes the Legion cool … and more than anything else, that’s what it needed to do.

Zatanna No. 1: Now this comic is the polar opposite of LoSH in terms of accessibility. Writer Paul Dini quickly tells you everything you need to know about Zatanna and supporting cast and then dives deep into the first storyline. The magical hero has been without a solo title for a looooong time, but Dini manages to shows us the ropes and explain the rules of her world in an easily digestible way. Granted, Zatanna features a lot less characters than LoSH, but the same techniques apply no matter what the book. Open the door and welcome the readers in — don’t scare them away with an uninviting presentation.


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