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.

There were four comics cover-dated February 1964 that featured Legion content:

Adventure 317

February 1964 

 

"The Menace of Dream Girl"

 

The adventure that no-one saw coming: Dream Girl joins the Legion and tricks all the Legionnaires into acts that get them expelled (Bouncing Baby, Lightning Tot, Shrunken Violet, and Ultra Child, for example, were below the Legion's minimum age.)

In the end, of course, it turns out that Dreamy had the purest of motives: she'd foreseen a threat to the Legionnaires and decided this was the best way to save them.

 

Action 309

February 1964

 

"The Superman Super-Spectacular"

 

Superman is in a pickle when a TV network does a Superman Super-Spectacular featuring appearances by all his friends, including the Legionnaires. But with all the folks who usually impersonate Clark Kent already there, how can Clark appear?

This is the infamous issue in which President Kennedy took on the role of Clark Kent in order to save Superman's secret identity. Later, Supes got nervous about Kennedy maybe blabbing to Marilyn Monroe, and so created an alias named "Lee Harvey Oswald" to get Kennedy out of the way. Batman recruited a two-bit thug named Jack Ruby to "kill" Oswald, thus keeping Superman's secret safe.

Hey, it makes as much sense as any other JFK conspiracy theory....

 

 Superman 167

February 1964

 

"The Team of Luthor and Brainiac"

 

Together again for the first time, two of Superman's greatest foes menace the Man of Steel.

This is the first appearance of Vril Dox, shown in a flashback to Brainiac's origin. Brainiac 5 is also mentioned but not depicted.

 

Lois Lane 47

February 1964

 

"The Super Life of Lois Lane"

 

An "imaginary story" (what we'd call an alternate world or Elseworlds story today) in which Lois, not Clark, was Krypton's last survivor. Lois calls herself Krypton Girl and has to deal with her nosy coworker Clark Kent, who is out to prove that Lois is Krypton Girl.

Krypton Girl gets some assistance from her friends, the Legion of Super-Heroes.


 

There were no fewer than 9 comics cover-dated January 2009 that contained Legion content. At least four alternate Legions were represented.

And how many comics are there this month that feature Legion content? One glimpse of a parody cover on The Simpsons, that's how many!

 

Legion of Super-Heroes #48

January 2009

"Try-Outs"

 

The Earth-Prime Legion gets some new members.

 

 

 

 

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #20

January 2009

"Metallo 3000"

 

The last issue of the Animated Legion comic. The last page shows Brainiac 5 of the Retro Legion watching the Animated Legion on a screen.

 

 

 

Adventure Comics Special Featuring the Guardian #1

January 2009

"New Krypton Part Three: The Worst Night of His Life"

 

Appearance by the Retro Legion Tellus.

 

 

 

 

Final Crisis #6

January 2009

"How to Murder the Earth"

 

Superman visits the 31st century to use the Miracle Machine.

 

 

 

 

Justice Society of America #21

January 2009

"One World Under Gog Part VI: Saints and Sinners"

 

Appearance by Starman (Thom Kallor), the out-of-time Star Boy of the Retro Legion.

 

 

 

JSA Kingdom Come Special: Magog

January 2009

"The Secret Origin of Starman"

 

A secret origin story focusing on Star Boy and involving the Retro Legion and the Brainiac 5's of the Earth-247 Legion and Earth-Prime Legion.

 

 

 

 

JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman

January 2009

Untitled

 

Appearance by Starman/Star Boy.

 

 

 

 

JSA Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom

January 2009

"The Kingdom"

 

Appearance by Starman/Star Boy.

 

 

 

 

Superman #682

January 2009

"New Krypton Part Six: Invasive Surgery"

 

Appearances by the Retro Chameleon Boy (as Control/Rachel) and Mon-El (before he joined the Legion)

 

There were four comics cover-dated January 2004 that had Legion content.

The Legion #26

Early January 2004

"Foundations Part Two"

 

The Foundations storyline continues the Earth-247 Legion's encounter with Darkseid.

 

 

 

 

The Legion #27

Late January 2004

"Foundations Part Three"

 

The Foundations storyline continues the Earth-247 Legion's encounter with Darkseid.

 

 

 

 

Legion Secret Files 2003

January 2004

"The Earth Spins Presents: The Legion Secret Files 3003"

 

Reference feature giving background on the Earth-247 Legion.

 

 

 

 

Superman & Batman: Generations III #11

January 2004

"Century 29: Little Girls Lost"

 

The Generations III Legion doesn't actually appear in this issue, but their time bubble does.

 

There were two comics with Lergion content with cover dates of January 1989:

Legion of Super-Heroes 56

January 1989

"By Hope Ensnared"

Blok, the injured Mon-el, and Shadow Lass fall under the control of the mysterious Inquisitor. Working together, the three Leigonnaires manage to escape.

A task force of Legionnaires (Dawnstar, Element Lad, Ultra Boy, and Wildfire) go to investigate trouble on Manna-8, and find the armies of the Emerald Empress.

Light Lass makes a pass at Magnetic Kid, who gets embarrassed and leaves. Shrinking Violet comforts Ayla.

Meanwhile, President Desai fires Science Police Chief Zendak.

Several different plots are in progress in this issue, in true Paul Levitz fashion.


 

Wanderers 10

January 1989

"The Double Cue"

On Psyche's homeworld, the Wanderers bury Psyche's parents and try to mvoe beyond tragedy. Meanwhile, Quantum Queen gets involved with a shady snake-oil promoter who turns out to be siphoning away her life force to put in hsi products.

 

Sunday night on The Simpsons, Comic Book Guy was feeling down and comforted himself by reading an old comic: Jimmy Olsen vs Matter Eater Lad. A screen shot is on the left. Click to embiggen.

Obviously, I haven't read this issue, but I'm sure it's a perfectly cromulent story.

I've added a new Alternate Legion, the Simpsons Universe Legion, and I've entered this fictional comic in the master list. To date, this is the most recent Legion appearance anywhere.

There were no Legion comics cover-dated January 2014. However, there would be a Legion comic the next month -- unlike today, when there are no Legion books on the horizon.sad

There were two comics with Legion content cover-dated January 1964.

Adventure 316

January 1964

"The Renegade Super-Hero"

 

In order to defeat some dangerous alien invaders, Ultra Boy masquerades as a criminal and is expelled from the Legion. He goes on the lam, leading the Legionnaires on a wild-goose chase across the cosmos.

With the Legionnaires safe on their wild-goose chase, Ultra Boy confronts the aliens on what he believes to be a suicide mission. Fortunately, Phantom Girl believed in him all the time and comes along, and the aliens are defeated without loss of life.

This is another of those Silver Age stories in which a character does something inexplicable and all the others instantly lose faith in him, but the readers know there's a good, self-sacrificing reason for what he did.

This story is notable mostly because it's the first indication of a romance between Jo and Tinya -- one of the longest-standing romances in the Legion's history.

This issue also has a feature on The Origin and Powers of the Legion of Super-Heroes. This feature would be reprinted several times, each time with new Legionnaires tacked on the end.

 

Superman 166

January 1964

"The Fantastic Story of Superman's Sons"

 

An imaginary story about a rivalry between Superman's two sons, Kal-El II and Jor-El II. Kal-El II, who hasw no super-powers, uses a Legion time bubble to travel back to Krypton and meet his grandfather, Jor-El.

There are no actual Legion appearances, but the Legion time bubble (specifically identified as such) is definitely a Legion connection sufficient enough to justify including this story in a complete Legion collection.

There were no comics with Legion content cover-dated December 1973. In fact, there was a two-month dry spell between Superboy #199 (Nov 1973) and Superboy #200 (Feb 1974).

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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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