There was something familiar about the title to this book when I began reading. It was something that stayed with me until the very end. In doing some research after reading the book I found that I am Legion has been around for a while and is about to receive a new softcover print from Humanoids. Which is what I read. If for some reason seeing John Cassaday’s (Planetary) name on the cover was enough reason for you to check this out, then cool, you don’t need to read the rest of the review. I will tell you that I struggled with the best way to say what this book is about, but considering it’s likely been read by a great deal of people, well, it makes it easier for me. I’m going to spoil the plot, but then also tell you why that doesn’t matter.
The general idea is that Vlad Tepes Dracula is trying to kill Hitler. I kid you not. No, I won’t tell you why or what or answer that lingering “huh” that you have on your mind. The reason this spoiler means nothing is because this book’s journey is what matters. The character work alone is masterful, but what’s truly incredible is the way that Fabien Nury laces everything together and still manages to keep Vlad hidden in the shadows. He’s not the star of the title. He’s a force moving throughout it. He’s a deus ex machina waiting to happen.
Instead the story actually focuses on different men all playing their role in the story. First we meet Karel, a man that’s part of the rebels fighting the Nazi’s. He seems insignificant to the story and yet he ends up playing one of the most important roles. Next is Stanley a detective that cracks a huge case that sets off a chain that runs throughout the story. Lastly is Trinity, a high ranking German officer and double agent. All three men play a huge role in the story and they’re fates are interlaced whether they know it or not. Nury does some incredible character work with these three men and really the entire cast of characters. These three in particular are all unique and pivotal. They all share the role of “main character”, but they talk or act the same which is extremely important in this case.
John Cassaday’s art is… well it’s John Cassaday in his prime. His artwork is fantastic. His character’s distinct and his style recognizable in the absolute best way. His work here is masterful. I don’t know what he does to pass his days now, I won’t pretend to guess, but my god you forget how good the man is when you’re only seeing him draw a cover. The visual storytelling is just as if not more important than the rest of the story. The emotions that just pour out of the characters is a driving force of the story. Everything that can be said about Cassaday’s art has been said and is relevant here. For me, reading this was an incredible reminder of how talented and wonderful his artwork is.
I told you some key things about I am Legion, but I left a lot out. Because this book is a snowball rolling down a hill. Once it starts going it just keeps building and building until it all comes apart as a beautiful mess at the end. And by the time you see what the book is really about, it’ll be too late. You’ll have to finish reading and maybe you’ll even curse my name for not telling you, but that’s the joy of reading comics.
[su_box title="Score: 5/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]
I am Legion Writer: Fabien Nury Artist: John Cassaday Publisher: Humanoids Price: $19.95 Format: TPB; Print/Digital