After launching in January with a solid first issue, the tumultuous Legion miniseries comes to a close this week with Legion #5. While the character enjoys plenty of critical and commercial success on the small screen, the newest comic book iteration focusing on Charles Xavier’s bastard son has seen much better days. This issue, like the series as a whole, is plagued by bland dialogue, uninspired art, and a poor narrative.
The dialogue throughout this five-part mini series has been nothing short of boring and this finale is no exception. There’s just no excitement, urgency, or sense of personality in any of the conversations. Each back and forth feels like it’s being spoken in monotone with absolutely nothing to intrigue the reader.
Don’t even get me started on all the stuttering- I’m not sure I’ve ever read a comic series with so much unnecessary stuttering in it. Sure, this issue has slightly less stuttering than previous iterations, but the moments that do feature a stutter are more frustrating than ever.
These speech patterns develop at completely nonsensical times- like when a Doctor is asking their patient how they’re feeling or when one of David’s more fearless alters is confidently standing up to his alters. These are glaring moments where unnecessary speech inflections completely disrupt the context of what is being depicted in the panels.
The first issue had eye catching, psychadellic art making it easy to overlook the general blandness of the book, whereas issue #5 features incredibly generic art that does very little to enhance the story. The colors manage to add a little spunk to each page, but, for the most part, I found the art to be entirely forgettable with little in the way of detail while consistently blurring the lines between foreground and background to the point where some scenes simply blend together.
From a narrative standpoint, almost everything about this finale falls flat except for Hannah Jones’s sudden revelations in regards to her career as a psychologist and her own personal relationship with trauma. I’ve constantly criticized Dr. Hannah Jones for her egotistical nature towards her profession, however, Legion #5 forces Dr. Jones to reconcile with that fact by putting her face to face with her own trauma.
By examining her childhood and shedding light on her own self-mutilation habits, Dr. Jones becomes a relatable character for the first time in this series. When confronted by the personification of these habits, Jones poignantly recognizes the ego-driven decisions in her career, realizing she’s really using her ego to hide from her own traumatic past. For the first, and only time in this arc, I felt some sort of connection to Dr. Jones.
Unfortunately, the narrative basically spins out of control from there into an unbelievably anti-climatic finale. Once Dr. Jones has her revelation, she dispatches the villainous Lord Trauma with no fanfare or explanation as to how he suddenly fell apart. She has her moment and- poof- David is suddenly free from Lord Trauma, with no further explanation.
Once David is inexplicably freed from Lord Trauma’s attacks, he proceeds to praise the skills of Dr. Jones, completely contradicting everything readers know about the celebrity psychologist, making David come off incredibly naive in his supposed moment of triumph. Additionally, this appraisal is so blandly stated, once again reading like it is spoken in a monotone voice.
The ending also suffers from being extended about two pages too long to squeeze in a completely unnecessary twist ending. The book could’ve ended on a relatively positive note, with both David and Dr. Jones getting exactly what they wanted. Instead, the book takes a hard left turn towards an ending that feels more like shock value for shock value’s sake.
With how interesting and dynamic Legion is as a character, it’s a shame to see a title bearing his name executed so poorly. A series about a psychotic mutant with a literal legion of mutant alternate personalities to wield should be anything but bland, yet this five-issue mini series managed to be just that. Legion #5 ends this series with a forgettable and often-times boring finale that is neither fun to read nor fun to look at.
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