"I am Legion" Trade PaperbackReview
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Humanoids
Written by Fabien Nury
Illustrated by John Cassaday
2009, 184 Pages, $19.95
Trade Paperback released on June 29th, 2011
Those pesky Nazis are at it again. If it's not a brutal slaying of millions of people, they're tampering with supernatural creatures that they cannot control. I am Legion is focused on the latter, creating a tale of horror that's high in tension and conspiracy.
The comic has many characters, all moving independently around the chess board of the European front during World War II. British Allied Intelligence has discovered a secret weapon that the Nazis have been working on in the form of a 10-year-old girl from Rumania. The girl is far from normal though, as she has the ability to control any creature, human, or animal that has ingested even a single drop of her blood. Imagine an army of soldiers that won't stop when they're shot. She can push her puppets well past the limits of any normal man and they have no choice but to obey.
Obviously this is a huge problem that the Brits must stop by any means necessary. What follows is a tense thriller as these intelligence agents dig deeper and deeper into the bowels of the Nazi party and this ancient evil.
I am Legion is laid out like a storyboard for a huge movie. This isn't that surprising considering the talents of artist John Cassaday. He's easily one of the best pencilers in the business today and that certainly shines through in this comic. His work is tight and clean. It's never goofy or over-the-top. It's serious, which matches the tone of the story very well. The panels could easily translate into a feature-length film, making the book very difficult to put down. It often defies conventional comic book layouts by jumping between scenes in the middle of a page. Usually a change in scenery only happens on a page-by-page basis, but Cassaday uses every last inch of every page to cram in as much of the story as he can, often jumping between characters and timing to keep things moving at a very quick pace. It's impressive.
I'd also like to point out that the book itself is of a very high quality. I am Legion is an oversized trade paperback so the pages are larger than your average comic. This is great as it gives Cassaday's artwork more room to breathe. There's also an art gallery in the back of the book that showcases the covers for the series as well as some other pieces of work from Cassaday.
I'll admit that there were a few portions of I am Legion that made me want to go back and re-read sections to make sure I was comprehending everything. As I mentioned earlier, the story works at a very fast pace so it's easy to miss something if you're not paying attention. The Nazis can be a go-to target for villains and they've definitely been lampooned over the years. That's not the case here. They're a real threat and what they've tapped into is a serious danger to themselves and the world.