There was one comic cover-dated May 1964 with Legion content, and it was a good one.

Adventure #320

May 1964

"Revenge of the Knave From Krypton"

 

A followup to Adventure #287/288 back in 1961, this story featured Dev-Em, who was young Kal-El's babysitter on Krypton. There, Dev and his buddies introduced Kal to rough sex and bedeviled Jor-El (there was probably some kinky stuff going on there, too).

Dev and his parents survived the explosion of Krypton in suspended animation in a bomb shelter, and crashed on Earth when Kal was growed up into Superboy. Once again, shenanigans ensued, including lots of homoerotic wrestling...really, it was the standard Superboy story of Superboy meets another super-powered teenage guy, they fall in love and have hot super-powered sex, then Superboy does something to drive the other guy away.

Well, now we find out where Dev went: into the 30th century, where he became an operative for the Insterstellar Counterintelligence Corps. After some steamy sessions with Kal and the other Legion boys, Superboy put on Dev-Em's clothes and went off to finish Dev's mission for him (At this point in the narrative I must stress that Dev-Em was presumably naked...sadly, this was not pictured.)

Well, Superboy wound up in danger, but Dev and Proty working together managed to save him. (One moment to ponder the possibilities of Dev-Em and Proty in bed together.)

The Legion offered Dev-Em membership, figuring that he was noble, adorable, and probably a better match for Mon-El than Superboy (more than a moment to ponder Mon and Dev in bed). But Dev's heart was with his ICC master, Commander Kolar (obviously a Bear), so he declined the offer. Nevertheless, Dev continued to drop by Legion Headquarters every once in a while for a wild night of group passion with the other Legion boys and Proty (...or so I assume).

There were an incredible five comics with Legion content cover-dated April 2009.

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #3

April 2009

"Legion of Three Worlds Book Three"

 

At this remove, it's hard to convey exactly what this series meant to Legion fans. At the time there were two entirely inconsistent reboots of the Legion in simultaneous publication. One was what we now call the Earth-Prime Legion, its run just concluded with issue #50. The other seemed to be a version of the original Legion that first appeared in the Justice League/Justice Society crossover Lightning Saga, then featured in Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes. Batman was on record as remembering meeting three different versions of the Legion.

It was a mess. Then came Legion of Three Worlds, which hit with all the intensity of the legendary "Flash of Two Worlds" classic (the similarity of titles was quite intentional). There was no more need to argue about which Legion was the "real" Legion -- the multiverse was back, and there were more Legions out there than anyone could shake a stick at.

The fact that L3W was an epic story worthy of Paul Levitz (it was written by geoff Johns), coupled with the incredible art of George Perez, was icing on the cake.

From now on, nothing that happened to the Legion(s) could faze true fans. Reboots, cancelations, five year gaps, temporal dopplegangers, even attacks by demented comics fans...nothing mattered any more, and we were all united in a cry of "Long Live the Legions!"

 

Action Comics #874

March 2009

"Suspicion"

 

Mon-El, Valor, M'Onel -- Lar Gand's history is inextricably tied up with both the Superman story and the Legion. He's too vital a figure to erase from the Legion, and once he exists, he has to have some part in Superman's life. No matter how the Superman creative teams tried to get rid of him, Mon always returned. This time around he'd been re(re)introduced in an Action Comics annual, where a young Clark Kent beamed him into the Phantom Zone: in this comic, Superman releases him from a rapidly-collapsing Phantom Zone and hijinks ensue.

(Incidentally, this is one of the major ways that the Retro Legion differs from the original, making them a legitimate alternate version.)

 

R.E.B.E.L.S #1

March 2009

"The Future is Now"

 

If three Legions weren't enough, Vril Dox was back with a new team which included some familiar faces.

 

 

 

Superman #685

March 2009

"The Long Goodbye"

 

Mon-El continued his adventures in the Superman mythos.

 

 

 

 

Tiny Titans #13

March 2009

"The Brainiac Club"

 

Tiny Titans was a brilliant comic, ostensibly aimed at kids, but filled with delights for adult fans of DC Comics. (Lunch Lady Darkseid alone was worth the price of admission.)

In this story, both Brainiac 5 and Vril Dox made appearances, along with just about everyone else in DC who's ever borne the title "Brainiac."

You've probably seen this by now, but in case you haven't: September 2014 will be "Future's End" month at DC -- the next in a series of sad ploys to do anything (except tell good stories) to sell comics. 

What most concerns us is this:

 


JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED: FUTURES END #1
Advance solicit • On sale SEPTEMBER 17
32 pg, FC • RATED T
3-D Motion Edition: $3.99 US
2-D Standard Edition: $2.99 US

In the concluding chapter of the epic story that began in this month’s JUSTICE LEAGUE: FUTURES END #1, the armies of Mars rise against the unsuspecting population of Earth – and only the combined might of the Justice League and the Legion of Super-Heroes can stand against them!

 


Everyone's all excited, ooo, is the Legion coming back? Which Legion will it be?

Don't get too excited, kids. This has nothing to do with Legion fans, and everything to do with DC's trademarks.

In the US, if a trademark isn't used for three consecutive years, it's considered inactive. That's why DC is never going to go three years without releasing something using the Legion of Super-Heroes trademark. Now, it could be argued that DC is exercising the LSH trademark by reissuing trade collections of previously-published material -- but I'm willing to bet that DC doesn't want to have to argue that point, especially in front of a judge. I Am Not A Lawyer, but I think we can reasonably expect to see the Legion name used in current publications at least every couple of years.

Okay, which Legion?

Isn't it obvious? The New52 Earth-1 Legion...the one that's already appeared in several issues of Action Comics. This one is something of a blend between the original Legion and the Earth-247 Legion (i.e. Gim Allon is called Colossal Boy, but Jeckie's a snake and Tasmia is called Umbra). There's no reason to suppose they would use any other version.

As to how this version of the Legion fits in with Justice League 3000...honestly, at this stage I Just Don't Care.

 

One comic cover-dated April 2004 had Legion content:

The Legion #30

April 2004

"Foundations, the Final Chapter"

 

The Foundations storyline came to an end with the Earth-247 Legion's defeat of Darkseid.

There were three comics cover-dated April 1989 with a Legion connection:

 

Legion of Super-Heroes #59

April 1989

"Ghosts"

 

A flashback story to an adventure involving Invisible Kid (Lyle) and Chemical King. This was the last authentic classic Legion story before the Magic Wars arc began.

 

 

 

L.E.G.I.O.N'89 #3

April 1989

"How to Win Friends and Influence People"

 

The new team is still getting tis bearings, and Vril Dox is being obnoxious to everyone.

 

 

 

 

Wanderers #13

April 1989

"nUFOrmities"

 

This last issue of the title has everything: UFOs, conspiracy theories, metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, and the apotheosis of the team. And if this comic didn't Go Off the Deep End, you can easily see the Deep End from where it did go off.

 

There was one comic cover-dated April 1974 with Legion content. Fortunately, it contained two stories.

Superboy #201

April 1974

"The Betrayer From Beyond"

 

The first appearances of Infections Lass and Porcupine Pete, the triumphant return of ERG-1 from the dead, Superboy's return as an active member, and the debut of the Molecule Master. What more could a Legion fan want?

 

"The Silent Death"

One of those short, character-driven backup stories, this was also a "Dream Girl predicts something that doesn't happen, except it does, just not in the way you thought it would" stories. Once you accept the premise that Dreamy's visions always come true, the door is open for a whole lot of shenanigans.

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

Adventure #319

April 1964

"The Legion's Suicide Squad"

 

An all-star story featuring all the Legionnaires plus the Subs in an all-out attack on the warrior planet Throon. This is one of those stories in which it isn't the biggest and best who succeed -- in fact, the Legion is defeated, and it's only the Subs (in particular, Night Girl) who defeat the bad guys. Those bad guys, incidentally, turn out to be two old guys, the last survivors of the Throon race.

 

Jimmy Olsen #76

April 1964

"Elastic Lad Jimmy and His Legion Romances"

 

Light Lass, Saturn Girl, and Triplicate Girl stage an elaborate hoax in which they pretend to be in love with Jimmy for the benefit of Lucy Lane, supposedly watching on Jimmy's time-viewer. The plan is that Lucy will see how heroic Jimmy is, and become jealous of the Legion girls, which will make her treat him better.

Unfortunately, Lucy sleeps through the whole thing, so the girls' attempt to alter history is all for for naught. 

There was only one comic with a cover date of March 2004 that had Legion content:

 

The Legion #29

March 2004

"Foundations Part 5"

 

The Earth-247 Legion continues its epic battle against Darkseid and...Darkseid.

In March 1989 there were three Legion-related comics:

Legion of Super-Heroes #58

March 1989

"If Thine Eye Offend Thee"

 

This was the final showdown between Jeckie and Sarya (aka Emerald Empress). This story had everything a good Legion story needs: excitement, action, a respect for history, great character, nobility, sacrifice, heroism, change, and victory at a cost.

Really, this was the last great story for the original Legion.

 

L.E.G.I.O.N.'89 #2

March 1989

"So You Want To Be a Despot?"

 

Honestly, I don't know what possessed them to include the date as part of the comic's title. I'm sure it seemed hip and with-it at the time, but now the comic is literally dated.

Wait, what? Am I suggesting that a comics creative team did something the seemed cool at the moment, without thinking through the consequences or looking ahead to the future? Hmmmm...I guess this comic might have been ahead of its time.

Anyway, Vril Dox continues his rise, and we learn more about Lyrissa Mallor.

Wanderers 12

March 1989

"Nightsparks for the Wing"

 

Wanderers went off the deep end with this one. One gets the feeling that the creative team knew the comic was canceled and decided to see how far they could go in the last two issues. Dinosaurs, UFOs, higher planes of existence...it was a precursor to today's History Channel.

March 1974 was a bad month to be a Legion fan: there were no comics with Legion content.

It was a lot like March 2014 in that respect.

There was one Legion comic cover-dated March 1964:

Adventure #318

March 1964

"Mutiny of the Legionnaires"

 

When the planet Xenn faces imminent destruction, the Legion steps in to evacuate the population aboard a giant space ark. Sun Boy, commanding the mission, is so zealous that he drives himself and the Legionnaires unmercifully. Eventually the rest of the team rebels, at which point Sun Boy throws them off the ship in a tiny lifeboat.

The stranded team makes their way to civilization, and eventually finds the space ark caught in a cosmic whirlpool. They pull the ark out and find Sun Boy has gone catatonic.

The happy ending comes when it's revealed that the stress of too many missions in a row led to Dirk's crackup. The Legion then adopts a rule limiting missions to prevent a recurrence.

There were two Legion-related comics cover-dated February 2004, featuring two alternate Legions:

The Legion #28

February 2004

"Foundations Part Four"

 

The Earth-247 Legion continues its epic fight against Darkseid.

 

 

 

 

Superman & Batman: Generations III #12

February 2004

"Century 30: Time and Time Again"

 

The Generations III Legion plays a minor part in the the conclusion of this epic saga.

 

There were three comics with a Legion connection cover-dated February 1989:

Legion of Super-Heroes #57

February 1989

"Under a Watchful Eye"

 

This was the middle of what I consider the Classic Legion's last good adventure -- the confrontation with the Emerald Empress that was to tie up a hero/villain relationship that had lasted since the very first appearance of the Fatal Five. Jeckie and Sarya, Princess/Queen and Empress, both with powers involving eyes. This (and the subsequent issue) were the bang with which the Legion should have ended...while the muddled, slow-paced, and ultimately meaningless "Magic Wars" series was the whimper with which they did end.

 

L.E.G.I.O.N.'89 #1

February 1989

"Homecoming"

 

This Legion spinoff got its start in the Invaders miniseries. It's set in the 20th century (Superman's time) and features a Legion analog -- some members are ancestors of Legionnaires, some just come from the same planets, some are totally unrelated.

L.E.G.I.O.N. (or LEG IRON, as some of us called it) was darker and grittier than the Legion, and was fairly successful for quite a while...despite the involvement of Keith Giffen.

 

Wanderers #11

February 1989

"The Quantum Twist"

 

The Quantum Queen storyline finishes up, leaving the Wanderers poised to dive off the deep end in their last two issues.

There was one Legion comic cover-dated February 1974. It did contain two Legion stories, so that's something.

Superboy #201

February 1974

 

"The Betrayer From Beyond"

Wildfire (still called ERG-1) returns from the dead to foil an attempt by the Molecule Master to destroy the Legion. This story marked the first appearances of Infectious Lass, Porcupine Pete, and the Molecule Master (who was named way back in Adventure 354, the Adult Legion two-parter.

 

"The Silent Death"

This was one of those cool little backup stories that they used to run, focused on one of Dream Girl's premonitions of disaster and how it came true in an unexpected way.

JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time is a direct-to-DVD movie released 21 January 2014 with minimal publicity. It isn't quite a Legion adventure, but it'll do.

The JLA Adventures Legion has appeared before. This time we focus on Dawnstar and Karate Kid, who aren't yet members. The action alternates between the 21st and 31st centuries.

In the present, Lex Luthor gets frozen into a glacier during a Legion of Doom plot to conquer the world.

In the future, Dawny and Val are exploring a museum when they come across a block of ice with Luthor frozen in it. He was found in the 27th century and has been on display ever since.

Val, impulsive as always, cracks open the ice and releases Luthor - -who grabs a mystic hourglass that controls the Time Trapper.

What follows is the typical time-paradox story, ultimately resolved by Dawny's power to control the mystic golden light. (I know: huh?)

It's a cute little story that lasts almost an hour. To me, the funniest thing was that Val is voiced by Dante Basco, who was the voice of Zuko in Avatar The Last Airbender. It's strange to hear Zuko's voice coming from Val Armorr.

To date, this is the most recent Legion appearance anywhere.

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

 


 

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

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