There was one Legion comic cover-dated July 2004.

The Legion #33

July 2004

"Notorious Part 2"

 

The final showdown between the Legion and Credo. When it's clear that the Legion is going to win, Singularity attempts to destroy the whole world in a Samson-in-the-Temple stunt. Live Wire stops him, redeeming the name of the Progenitor.

There was one comic with Legion content this week:


Scribblenauts Unmasked: A Crisis of Imagination #7

September 2014

Untitlted

 

In two panels near the beginning of the story, Lilly chronicles an adventure with the Scribblenauts Legion vs the Fatal Five in the Old West.

To date, this is the most recent Legion appearance.

You know, for a group that's canceled, the Legion sure seems to be showing up a lot lately. Of course, they're showing up in children's comics...but as Cliché Lad is always telling us, children are the future....

There were 3 Legion-related comics with cover dates of July 1989:


Legion of Super-Heroes #62

July 1989

"Why Must Magic Triumph?"

 

Part 3 of the Magic Wars ended with the heroic yet pointless death of Magnetic Kid aka Pol Krinn. This was the penultimate issue of the Original Legion's 31 year history.

 

L.E.G.I.O.N.'89 #6

July 1989

"Heroes...and Villains!

 

Character development continues and L.E.G.I.O.N. gets into more trouble.

 

 

Secret Origins #42

July 1989

"Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boys"

 

This story marked the debut of the Legion as re-imagined by Tom and Mary Bierbaum and Keith Giffen. It wasn't a bad little tale, and it was mostly consistent with the Original Legion...but the mention of Stig Ah aka Reflecto from Rimbor was a definite bit of retcon -- and a portent of things to come.

There were no Legion appearances in comics cover-dated July 1974.

But there was something really big waiting in the wings for August....

Another Legion appearance this week, thanks to Tiny Titans

Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #2

September 2014

Untitled

 

The Titans continue searching for their treehouse, which was shrunken by Brainiac 5 and Psimon...who got their Brainiac Club shrinking badges by shrinking the treehouse.

There were two comics cover-dated July 1964 with Legion content:


Adventure 322

July 1964

"The Super-Tests of the Super-Pets"

 

This was an unusual Legion story: the focus wasn't on the Legion of Super-Heroes, but on the Legion of Super Pets. Proty II applied for membership, and the other Super Pets gave him a series of tests -- which he passed with flying colors.

The Legionnaires appeared in the story, certainly, but they were mostly oblivious to what was going on. 

 


Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane 50

July 1964

"Lois Lane's Luckiest Day"

 

Phantom Girl, Shrinking Violet, and Triplicate Girl are dispatched into the past on a vital mission -- researching the Lois Lane Fan Club for a minor article in the Superman Encyclopedia. (Guess they ran out of lives to save and villains to defeat.)

They take on new identities (Phyllis Groves, Sharon Vaughn, and Tina Glenn) and apply for membership. They follow Lois around, and every time Lois clumsily gets herself in trouble, the Legionnaires save her. Finally, Lois guesses their identities; they fess up, but erase her memory before leaving.

If it was me, I wouldn't want anyone to remember, either.

 

You know, I've always considered Superman as something of a dick regarding poor Mon-El. He sent Mon to the Phantom Zone as a boy, pledging to find a cure for lead poisoning so he could release Mon.

Yet as an adult, Superman never managed to get around to the task of actually fulfilling his pledge. Oh, he lamented Mon-el's fate a lot...but in terms of actually, you know, doing anything, Superman was always too busy.

In fact, Mon-El stayed in the Phantom Zone for a thousand years before the Legion finally found a way to let him out.

Now, though, I'm reconsidering Superman's culpability. Consider: As Superboy, he served alongside Mon in the Legion. He knew that Mon was going to be released in a thousand years. So what prevented him from, say, taking Mon out of the Phantom Zone in the 20th century, dashign through the time barrier to the early 30th, and putting Mon back in -- thereby sparing Mon-El a thousand years of hell?

Well...Superboy was telepathically hypnotized into forgetting what he learned about the future from being with the Legion. This was done to prevent him from messing with the timestream by, say, trying to save the Kents, revealing Supergirl's existence at the wrong time, or springing Mon from the Zone early.

And who was it who telepathically hypnotized Superboy? Saturn Girl, of course.

So if anyone is a dick in this whole messy situation, I'd say it would have to be Imra. I knew she could be cold, but I didn't realize until now how cold....

There was one comic with Legion content cover-dated June 2004:

 

The Legion #32

June 2004

"Notorious"

 

Some bad guys arrive from Shikari's galaxy, led by Singularity. Devoted to wiping out all trace of the Progenitor, they're now determined to destroy the Legion's galaxy. 

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A Crisis of Imagination

August 2014

"Would You Care to Step Outside?"

 

I knew that all these months spent leafing through Scribblenauts would eventually bear fruit. This issue includes cameos by five...count 'em five...Legionnaires, all drawn in super-deformed chibi style.

 

 

 

 

Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #1

August 2014

 

Yes, the best possible news (other than a real return of the Legion): Tiny Titans are back!

The bad news is, they're only back for six issues.

Anyway, Brainy is in this issue, working on getting a merit badge from the Brainiacs Club by shrinking the Tiny Titans' treehouse and putting it in a bottle.

To top off the fun,m there's a crossword puzzle/house ad based on the JLA Adventures/Legion crossover DVD, and it has a nice scary picture of the Time Trapper as well as Dawnstar and Karate Kid from the DVD jacket.

Monday was my birthday, but I didn't realize I'd be getting my present at the comic store! What a great day for a Legion fan.

There were two comics cover-dated June 1989 with Legion content.

 

Legion of Super-Heroes #61

June 1989

 

"Will Magic or Science Prevail?"

Part two of the Magic Wars, about which the less said, the better.

 

 

 

 


L.E.G.I.O.N.'89 #5

June 1989

 

"The Secret Diary of Garryn Bek"

The thing that amazes me about this initial run of L.E.G.I.O.N. was how good the stories were. Yet they were written and drawn by Keith Giffen, whose work generally doesn't thrill me.

Ah, but the co-writer on L.E.G.I.O.N. was Alan Grant, a certified genius. And the co-artist was Barry Kitson, who does beautiful work. I think that explains all that was good about L.E.G.I.O.N. (although to be fair, a little later there was a definite and repellent misogyny about the series -- I don't know who to blame for that.)

There was one comic cover-dated June 1974 with Legion content -- but it was a doozy.

 

Superboy #202

June 1974

 

This was a giant-sized issue filled with Legion goodness, including three original features plus reprints of two classic Legion stories: The Legionnaire Who Killed from Adventure #342 and both parts of the Super-Stalag of Space story from Adventure #344 and #345.

"Lost a Million Miles From Home" was a clever little story with Colossal Boy and Shrinking Violet on a mission together.

"The Wrath of the Devil-Fish" was a much more substantial story of eco-terrorism, alien invaders, and misunderstanding. ERG-1 took the name Wildfire and joined the Legion at last, showing once again that death isn't the handicap it used to be in the olden days.

"The Lore of the Legion" was a reference feature, one of several that appeared in Legion comics of the period to help new readers get up to speed.

All in all, it was a good month to be a Legion reader.

There were three comics with cover dates of June 1964 with Legion content:

Adventure #321

June 1964

"The Code of the Legion"

 

This was a pivotal story in Legion history. Bouncing Boy lost his powers, and we met Science Police Commissioner Wilson, as well as Mon-El's friends Englen and Garl.

The big news was the Concentrator, a weapon of such devastating power that the United Planets ordered it destroyed, with the secret of its nature and construction known only to the Legion. Commissioner Wilson decides to put the Legionnaires through a series of trials aimed at getting them to reveal the secret (ostensibly to prove that they're qualified guardians).

Lightning Lad, though, has suspicions that Wilson is not what he seems, so gives up a phony "secret." It turns out, in fact, that the Time Trapper has kidnapped Wilson and taken his place in order to worm the secret out of the Legion.

Using the real Concentrator, the Legion defeats the Trapper and sets Wilson free.

At this point in Legion history, the Time Trapper isn't as omnipotent as he would later become, and lacks the native ability to travel through time without machines -- which helps to explain why he couldn't just go back and learn the Concentrator's secret directly.

 


Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #77

June 1964

"The Colossus of Metropolis"

 

Jimmy temporarily duplicates the power of three Legionnaires -- Colossal Boy, Star Boy, and Sun Boy -- by wearing their specially-treated costumes. In addition, a plaque signed by all the Legionnaires is on display early in the story. No actual Legionnaires (besides Jimmy and Superman) appear in the story.

 

This story is notable mainly for a scene that's not shown (but strongly implied): when Gim, Thom, and Dirk took off their clothes and gave them to Jimmy. Just the thought makes my heart all a-flutter.

 


World's Finest #142

June 1964

"The Composite Superman"

 

Another story involving someone gaining the powers of Legionnaires -- in this case, the whole Legion. It also features Legion statuettes, which are a particular interest of mine.

Here's what happened. When the Legion made statuettes for Superman, they used a duplicating machine that somehow duplicated their powers as well. The statuettes were on display at the Superman Museum in metropolis. One evening, while the janitor was cleaning near the statuettes, a bolt of lightning hit them and transferred their energy to the janitor. Suddenly he had all the powers of all the Legionnaires.

Unfortunately, the experience left him mentally messed up. He took on the identity of a supervillain, half Superman and half Batman, with green skin -- and decided to destroy the pair.

He was on the verge of succeeding when the lightning wore off and he lost his powers -- along with the memory of how he got them. Thus the identity of the villain who almost defeated Batman and Superman remained a mystery.

There was one comic with Legion content cover-dated May 2004:


The Legion #31

May 2004

"Chuck Taine and Gear in...Housekeeping"

 

A happy-go-lucky adventure in which Chuck and Gear steal some of Brainy's nanites in order to clean up Legion World. Of course, the nanites get out of control (they are Brainy's, after all), and a reluctant Superboy has to pitch in to save the day.

There were two Legion-related titles with cover dates of May 1989.

Legion of Super-Heroes #60

May 1989

"When Shall Magic Return?"

 

The end was in sight for the Legion. In this issue they began their last storyline, the four-part Magic Wars. A clumsy, disjointed narrative with ugly art, filled with gratuitous disaster and death, the Magic Wars were a portent of things to come.

 

 

 

L.E.G.I.O.N.'89 #4

May 1989

"The Godfather Pulls the Strings"

 

Events in L.E.G.I.O.N. continued their breakneck pace as the newly-formed team struggled to find its place in the universe while its members struggled to overcome their mutual antagonisms.

There were no comics cover-dated May 1974 with Legion content. The main Legion comic, Superboy, was bimonthly at this point.

However, 1974 in general was an exciting time to be a Legion reader. The team's takeover of Superboy was essentially complete by mid-year, and it was clear that the Legion was on the rise again.

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Get-a-Life Boy writes and reviews science fiction. Check it out here.

 


 

Credits

Legion statuette images and some costume variation images created by Jim Gallagher, based on Curt Swan's sketches.

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