I Am Legion: Book One
By Fabien Nury, John Cassaday, & Laura Martin
World War II sparked the age of exploration as the west looked to advance our world through science. Many stories have been told about the scientific advancements and experiments done during the war in which both sides tried to create the next big thing that would reward them with victory. I Am Legion looks to expand on those scientific notions by bringing readers a brand new story that delves into Germany’s efforts in creating the ultimate soldier and subsequently, the ultimate army that would guarantee them world domination.
Book One opens with a sequence that immediately sends chills down the reader’s spine with slightly horrific imagery that is perfectly placed by the creators to not show everything, but just enough to make you cringe just a little. Everything from the artwork to the dialogue to the overall pacing gives this book a fantastic scene to start with that immediately captures the readers’ attention. Only a quarter through the book and so much has already happened, although none of it is explained. While the beginning was engaging it felt as though this was the second book, not the first, and you were missing out on half the story. We were thrust into a story with little background as to whom these characters are and what they want, but this was the book’s intention as it is meant to keep you guessing the whole time.
The collaborated appearance of the story, culminated from the initial pencil designs, to the inks, and finally the colors, create a natural WWII atmosphere that captures the particular time period perfectly. The characters and layouts are simple and the elements of the times, like clothing, vehicles, etc, are represented to a tee. The inks are sometimes a little hazy and add some detail to the pencils that create a rougher look that could be personifying the rough, difficult times of the 1940’s. And finally the colors by Martin are presented with a lightly faded quality that sometimes creates a misty atmosphere, also creating a rough overall look, while leaving out anything too bright or flashy, as this time period was anything but.
The story significantly slows down as the premise shifts toward a murder investigation that requires the reader’s full attention to understand. While this investigation offers insight into some of the mysteries introduced at the beginning, the investigators seem to be researching without all of the facts, meaning that we’re often given information that isn’t directly relevant to the story. Book One is a pretty complex story when it comes to comics, with many characters and intersecting plots that can sometimes be difficult to follow with a lot of names, places and references being thrown around. But it all accumulates to one interesting story that does not end with this issue. Book One concludes with a great ending that showcases the potentially limitless power that Legion possess, as well as a few cliff hangers leading into the book’s sequels.