This Relationship Just Isn't Going to Work
DISCLAIMER: I am completely biased. Just getting that out there so I can maybe placate big time Legion fans from voting this review down without actually seeing my side.
The Good: The cover is pretty neat, I especially like the way the art style shifts as the characters progress closer to the 'front,' and the wavy sort of DNA stuff adds some cool sci-fi tone.
The art is pretty good. I can't say it was particularly something great, but I had no real complaints.
I was happy to see Mon-El, a character I'm fairly fond of.
In general it was good to get summaries of the characters, because there were A LOT OF THEM. And none of them were particularly lame.
The sort of fake forced relationship dynamic between Dragonwing and Chemical Lad was a very amusing touch, and pretty well written.
This being the second reference to Flashpoint's effects on time travel have definitely piqued my interest.
The Bad: This basically straight out tells you to read both Legion titles. The editor's note insinuates the 2 would have some definite solid links, and that you should read both to get the 'full' story. Doing that right off the bat is almost an insult. 'How dare you try to read just ONE Legion title. You just want to test it out? TOO BAD.
Which brings me to the main problem. This comic just doesn't want you to like it. Or at least it doesn't want ME to like it, or anyone who isn't already a Legion fan. Which is of course a MASSIVE flaw in its status as a 'New 52' book. It constantly makes references to major events that happened back in previous Legion stuff. It doesn't feel like a new #1, I feel like I've missed all sorts of things essential to the story. Not to mention if I didn't already know who the Legion was, this issue doesn't even bother trying to explain the premise. They talk about things like the near decimation of the Legion, the sudden forced graduation of the Legion Academy, the inability to continue to call upon Superman/Boy due to the 'Flashpoint Effect' blocking time travel. Most of these things I don't even know about, much less an even newer reader. Dragonwing and Chemical Kid as fresh recruits. Colossal Boy's resignation from the Legion. Oaa dying. Mon-El USED to be a Green Lantern?
Not only that, we come to another reason I have trouble with the Legion. I know they're the 'Legion' and all, but there's still WAY TOO DAMN MANY CHARACTERS. I'm constantly having to flip back to the intros to remember who's who and who has what powers. Sure, stuff like JLU had A LOT of characters, but at least when we get an extended Justice League, THESE CHARACTERS ALL HAVE OTHER APPEARANCES. They're not defined by being in the League, but EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the Legion is ONLY a member of the Legion. Except MAYBE Mon-El, but he still doesn't have too much else going for him.
In Conclusion: 2/5
I can't keep doing this. Time after time I keep giving the Legion second chances. And they ALWAYS let me down. Frankly, I don't know why I even bother anymore. I'm sure Legion fans will like this, so don't just vote me down for not liking the same thing you like. At least I'm straightforward about my subjective opinion. I didn't like it, I can explain why, and vote the idea that Legion fans will probably like it. But if you don't like or don't know the Legion, you will either be lost or your opinion will be unchanged. So as a first issue, and as part of The New 52, this issue fails hard. It doesn't even try to be new reader friendly. It's a Legion book for Legion fans.