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October 27, 2008

“Sung in the cathedrals, whispered in the shadows… Ever unchanging, seldom unchanged… Bright incandescence, the black of the pit… such is the stuff of legends!”

Shortly after the one year long Crisis on Infinite Earths, John Ostrander banded together with Len Wein, John Bryne and Karl Kesel to create Legends, a six issue mini-series (with several tie-ins, the complete list of which can be found on the Wikipedia page), once again putting the world’s heroes in mortal danger. However this time they are up against the same people they swore to protect.

In an attempt to eradicate the legends of our planet, Darkseid sends Glorious Godfrey to Earth so that he can plant the seeds of doubt in the hearts of the population. With his psychic powers he quickly infects the people of Earth and turns them against the superhuman heroes. Shortly after, Godfrey’s influence has grown so strong that even the president of the United States can’t protect the superheroes any longer and so he issues an executive order that obliges the superheroes to cease their activities immediately. It seems as if Darkseid’s plan to rid the world from its heroes and finally conquer Earth is working, but he didn’t count on the special abilities of one person.

Who this person is will be up to you to find out. Even if this comic series is over twenty years old, it still feels very fresh and interesting. (Marvel’s Civil War dealt with a similar topic and this alone should show us that Ostrander’s vision was pretty far out there at the time.) Of course, due to its age, this comic is rather campy and still suffers from the typical “I have to introduce myself every time I enter a scene”- syndrome that most superheroes seemed to be infected with at the time. However, in order to understand the story lines in most DC comics from the last few years, Legends is a very good and important read, as it introduces several characters like Amanda Waller or the Suicide Squad. Also Darkseid’s obsession with Earth is once again emphasized and brilliantly put on paper. In addition to this, Legends can be considered a launching pad to several new series like Suicide Squad (obviously), the new Justice League, and the new series of Wonder Woman and Flash. All in all a timeless classic that should not be missed.

Story 8, Art 7, Reread 8, Overall Score 8/10

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