principle of super-position

Legion of Super-Heroes

This is about the DC Comics superhero team. For the animated television series based on this, see Legion of Super Heroes (TV series).
The Legion of Super-Heroes is a DC Comics superhero team created by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino. The original Legion first appeared in Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958) and was the first super-team of the Silver Age of Comic Books.

The Legion's stories are set primarily in the 30th and 31st centuries (1000 years from the present), but have recurring connections via time travel with the present. In addition to superhero elements, the stories contain elements of science fiction and fantasy.

The Legion is known for its sizable roster, which includes several dozen major and minor characters. A common visual associated with the group is a tidal wave of colorful heroes utilizing the group's "flight rings".

Initially, the team was closely associated with the original Superboy and was first portrayed as a group of time travelers who frequently visited (or were visited by) the young hero destined to become Superman. In later years the Legion's origin and back story were fleshed out, and the group replaced Superboy as the focus of their stories; eventually Superboy was removed altogether. The Legion has remained a somewhat popular DC franchise throughout its publishing history, appearing in regular features during most of this time.

Original continuity (1958–1994)

Superboy's supporting cast

Superboy was the featured series in Adventure Comics in the late 1950s. In Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958), he was met by three teenagers from the 30th century: Lightning Boy, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy, who were members of a "super-hero club" called the Legion of Super-Heroes. Their club had been formed with Superboy as an inspiration, and they had time travelled to recruit Superboy as a member. After a series of tests, Superboy was awarded membership and returned to his own time.

Although intended as a one-off story focusing on Superboy, the Legion proved so popular that they returned for an encore in Adventure Comics #267 (December 1959). Lightning Boy had been renamed Lightning Lad, and their costumes were very close to those they wore throughout the Silver Age of Comic Books.

The Legion's popularity grew, and they appeared in further adventures in Adventure Comics and Action Comics over the next few years. The ranks of the Legion, only hinted at in those first two stories, were fleshed out with new heroes such as Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid, Colossal Boy, Star Boy, Brainiac 5, Triplicate Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Bouncing Boy, and Phantom Girl. They even recruited Supergirl as a member.

Despite appearing in about a dozen stories during this period, the story of the Legion's founding was not revealed until a decade had passed. In Superboy #147 (June 1968), for the first time readers learned that the first three members to appear, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy, had founded the Legion when they used their powers to save billionaire R. J. Brande from an assassination attempt. Impressed with their skills and courage, Brande would bankroll the Legion for years to come.

The creators of the early Legion stories included Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, Otto Binder, Al Plastino, George Papp, Curt Swan, Jim Mooney, and George Klein.

Starring in Adventure Comics

In Adventure Comics #300 (September 1962), the Legion received their own regular feature, cover-billed "Superboy in 'Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes'". While they would share space with Superboy solo stories for a couple of years, they eventually displaced Superboy entirely as their popularity grew. Superboy, however, continued to appear on every cover, even if only briefly (or barely) mentioned in the story.

It was this run which established the Legion's general workings and environment. A club of teenagers, they operated out of a clubhouse in the shape of a yellow rocket ship inverted as if it had been driven into the ground. The position of Legion leader rotated among the membership, sometimes through election and sometimes by more arcane methods. From time to time the editors of the Legion stories would allow readers to vote on the leader.

Each Legionnaire had to possess at least one natural super-power (i.e., powers from devices were disallowed), in particular one power which no other member possessed. Despite this, several members had overlapping powers, particularly Superboy, Supergirl, Mon-El, and Ultra Boy. Some issues included comical moments where candidates with bizarre, useless or dangerous abilities would try out for membership and be rejected. Five of these flawed candidates went on to form the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

The Legion was based on Earth and protected an organization of humans and aliens called the United Planets. The regular police force in the UP was the Science Police.

Many of these early stories were "gimmick" tales, revolving around someone trying to trick the Legion, or a member of the Legion being controlled or injured in some way so that he turned against his comrades. Stark tie-ins with the Superman stories appeared from time to time, with Jimmy Olsen and Pete Ross becoming "honorary members" and Lana Lang becoming a reserve member. Characterization was often skimpy, but these innocent sort of stories were common in DC Silver Age comics, and this period seems to have great appeal to nostalgic Legion fans.

Creators of the early Adventure Comics stories included Jerry Siegel, Edmond Hamilton and John Forte. A watershed moment for the Legion came with Adventure Comics #346 (July 1966), which was written by then 14-year-old Jim Shooter. A Legion fan, Shooter submitted a quartet of stories to DC. In an era before comic book artists and writers received regular credits on their work, Shooter—ignorant of the creation process behind the stories he enjoyed—submitted full page layouts on typing paper, complete with captions and dialogue bubbles. DC, at the time ignorant of Shooter's age, was impressed enough with his efforts to arrange for veteran artists Curt Swan and George Klein to fix up the layouts for publication. Those first four stories introduced several longtime Legion elements, including Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, Ferro Lad, Nemesis Kid, the Khunds, and Universo and his son Rond Vidar.

Soon thereafter, Shooter became the regular writer of the Legion stories, with Curt Swan (and later Win Mortimer) as artist. Shooter brought more characterization and action to the Legion, an approach which was working well for competitor Marvel Comics, and moved away from gimmickry. As it turned out, Shooter was an early participant in a gradual revolution of storytelling at DC over the next decade.

Shooter wrote the story about Ferro Lad's death—the first "real" death of a Legionnaire (although Lightning Lad had been believed dead for a while before)—and introduced many other enduring concepts, including the Fatal Five, Shadow Lass, the Dark Circle, Mordru, and the "Adult Legion", a conjecture regarding what the Legion would be like when they grew up.

However, the Legion's golden age did eventually end, and their last appearance in Adventure Comics was #380 (May 1969), when they were displaced by Supergirl.

Back-up feature

The early 1970s saw the Legion relegated to the status of back-up feature. First, the team's stories were moved to Action Comics for issues #377–392 (June 1969–September 1970). These stories were usually written by Shooter and drawn by Mortimer, and were frequently vignettes in which only one or two Legionnaires appeared. Following that stint, the Legion began appearing occasionally as a backup in Superboy, starting with #172 (March 1971), with creators including E. Nelson Bridwell, Cary Bates, and George Tuska.

The first sign that the Legion's popularity would revive appeared when young artist Dave Cockrum (who would go on to fame as the artist and co-creator of Marvel's "all-new, all-different" X-Men) began drawing the series with Superboy #188 (July 1972). Cockrum was a prolific designer of eye-catching superhero costumes, and began revising the outfits of many Legionnaires. Many of these new outfits endured for much of the next fifteen years.

One of the most notable stories during this time was Superboy #195 (June 1973), in which a hero whose body was made of energy, who originally called himself ERG-1, applied for membership in the Legion, and quickly thereafter appeared to give his "life" on a mission. The hero would return, however, and his character was renamed Wildfire. He later became one of the more popular Legionnaires.

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes

The Legion returned to cover billing on a book when Superboy became Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes with #197 (August 1973). (Although the cover of the issue read "Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes," the indicia inside the book at that point indicated that the book's title was still officially just "Superboy.") Crafted by Bates and Cockrum, the feature proved popular and saw such events as the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel (formerly Triplicate Girl) and the death of Invisible Kid. Cockrum was replaced on art by Mike Grell, who would also become a fan favorite. Several of the Legionnaires' costumes were changed and updated during this period, with some of the heroes' outfits, including those worn by Saturn Girl, Shadow Lass, and Cosmic Boy, becoming especially skimpy. Shooter returned during this period and wrote his swan song on the title with a tale involving the Time Trapper and new villain Pulsar Stargrave.

With #231 (September 1977), the book's title officially changed to Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, and the book became a "giant-size" title. At this point, the book was written by longtime fan Paul Levitz and drawn by James Sherman (inked by a variety of artists, notably Jack Abel and Bob McLeod). In #241–245 (July–December 1978) Levitz and Sherman (and then Joe Staton) produced what was to that time the most ambitious Legion storyline: Earthwar, a galactic war between the United Planets and the Khunds, with several other villains lurking in the background.

Issue #239 (May 1978) featured a well-received story titled "Murder Most Foul", in which Ultra Boy is framed for murder. Written by Paul Levitz and illustrated by Jim Starlin, the mystery was resolved in S/LSH #250–251 (April–May 1979). However, Starlin was unhappy with the editing and the decision to break up the story into two parts that he removed his name from the project, and the artist was credited as "Steve Apollo".

During this period, Karate Kid was spun off into his own 20th century-based self-titled series which lasted 15 issues.

Levitz left the book to be replaced by Gerry Conway.

Their own title

Superboy departed from the Legion due to a plot of a villain, and the book was renamed simply Legion of Super-Heroes with issue #259 (January 1980). These issues are referred to by fandom and collectors as "v2", or volume two. (There was a four-issue Legion of Super-Heroes series in 1972 and 1973 which is officially volume 1, or "v1", which consisted solely of reprints. Volume numbers are conventional in the magazine industry in order to distinguish identically titled successor magazines with different enumerations.)

Jimmy Janes took over the art chores in a lengthy tale by Conway and then Roy Thomas involving Ultra Boy disappearing during a mission and his long odyssey to rejoin the team. This story told the tale of the Legionnaire Reflecto (only glimpsed during the Adult Legion story in Adventure Comics), featured villainy by the Time Trapper and Grimbor the Chainsman, and saw Superboy rejoin the team.

Paul Levitz

Following the Time Trapper story, Paul Levitz returned to write the book with #284. Pat Broderick and Bruce Patterson illustrated the book for a short while before Keith Giffen began on pencils, with first Patterson and then Larry Mahlstedt on inks. Their clean style and flair for drawing high-tech gadgetry made "Gifstedt" immediately popular, which was enhanced by the five-part "Great Darkness Saga" which ran from #290–294 (August–December 1982), featuring a full assault on the United Planets and a surprise supervillain behind it all.

Another introduction during this time was the "Interlac alphabet", a one-to-one substitution cipher for the standard English alphabet. Various background signage and displays used the alphabet to carry in-jokes and other visual easter eggs for astute readers.

The Legion celebrated issue #300 (June 1983) by revisiting the "Adult Legion" storyline through a series of parallel world short stories illustrated by a number of popular Legion artists from previous years. The story served to free up Legion continuity from following the "Adult Legion" edict from previous issues.

Giffen's style changed abruptly a few issues later to a darker and sketchier style inspired by Argentinian artist José Muñoz. This occurred shortly before DC launched a new Legion series, along with new New Teen Titans and Outsiders series, on higher-quality Baxter paper. The existing Legion series, renamed Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes, continued running new material for a year, then began reprinting stories from the new Legion of Super-Heroes volume 3 (often referred to as "v3" by fans). Tales continued publishing reprints until its final issue, #354 (December 1987).

The new series was launched in August 1984 with a five-part story featuring the Legion of Super-Villains. Giffen left in the middle of the story and was replaced by Steve Lightle, who stayed on the book for a year. During this time, he designed costumes for several new Legionnaires, such as longtime member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes Polar Boy.

Greg LaRocque began a lengthy run in #16 (November 1985), including a crossover with John Byrne's recently-rebooted Superman titles in #37 and #38. The crossover was the first of several attempts by DC Comics editors to explain the origins and fate of Superboy and his history with the Legion, in light of the revisions to the DC Universe caused by Crisis on Infinite Earths that removed Superman's career as Superboy from his personal history. In this crossover, the Legion's Superboy is revealed to have come from a parallel "pocket universe" created by the Time Trapper. The crossover ended with Superboy's death. The story also demonstrated the continuity paradoxes that resulted from such attempts as a statue for Supergirl in the Legion's memorial for deceased members, shown in #38 during Superboy's funeral, vanished by #51, as per DC editorial's then-recent edict that Superman was to be the only survivor of Krypton. Because of the edict, the pre-Crisis Supergirl never existed at all in the post-Crisis timeline.

Levitz' run ended with the return of Giffen and a four-part story, concluding in #63 (August 1989), focusing on the decline of science and the rise of magic wreaking havoc with the United Planets. Although the forces of good prevailed, both the UP and the Legion were left in shambles, with the pieces to be picked up in the next series.

"Five Years Later"

Giffen took over plotting as well as penciling with the Legion of Super-Heroes volume 4 title which started in November 1989, with scripts by Tom and Mary Bierbaum and assists by Al Gordon. Five years after the Magic Wars, the United Planets is a darker place and the Legion a distant memory. However, a group of former Legionnaires worked to re-form the Legion in this harsh new universe, in which Earth was ruled by the alien Dominators.

Shortly after this storyline began, the decision was made to retroactively remove Superboy almost completely from Legion involvement, leaving a question of where the Legion's inspiration for founding came from without Superboy. (Regarding Superboy, Giffen and the Bierbaums said that they had many story ideas revolving around him, but that Superboy's removal from Legion continuity precipitated from higher-ups in the DC editorial ranks.) The writers' solution was a massive retcon, in which Mon-El serves in that role, having acted as a 20th century hero named Valor. Also added were the characters Laurel Gand—a parallel for Supergirl—and Kent Shakespeare (a.k.a. Impulse) in order to further fill the void. Issue #5 featured an alternate universe story in which this restructuring was effected, and the Time Trapper was replaced in continuity by his onetime underling Glorith.

Giffen skipped plotting on several issues for reasons that weren't made clear. This resulted in the Bierbaums writing several fill-in stories instead, causing the cohesiveness of the book to suffer as a result. This period also included several retcons. One was that Lightning Lad's body had been housing the consciousness of Proty, Chameleon Boy's Protean "pet," ever since his resurrection years before, and another was that former Science Police liaison Shvaughn Erin was actually a formerly male transsexual who continually used a drug to maintain her female identity, while her longtime beau Element Lad was of ambiguous sexuality and would not have required her to be female (see Element Lad and Homosexuality).

One major storyline during this period was the discovery of "Batch SW6", a group of clones of the early Legion, circa their Adventure Comics days. Keith Giffen's original intention for the storyline, revealed in interviews, was that the clones would have eventually been revealed to be the real Legion, and the ones whose adventures had been chronicled since the 1950s were actually the clones; the older characters would then leave United Planets space to head up their own title as a new version of the Omega Men. Giffen's other conclusion was to have the two Legions fight in a "battle royale" in which several characters from both teams would die. The characters destined to die would have been randomly selected from a hat and the surviving characters would form a new, fused Legion team. In the end, neither conclusion to the SW6 storyline was used. Instead, there were now two Legions, and a parallel title, Legionnaires, was launched, with art by Chris Sprouse, starring the "SW6" Legion, whose origins were not resolved until the Zero Hour crossover by a different writing team altogether. The series was lighter in tone than the main Legion book.

Giffen left the book after a storyline which involved the destruction of Earth, and the Bierbaums continued, overseeing the return of several classic characters. When the Bierbaums left, writer Tom McCraw took over and made a number of changes, such as forcing several Legion members underground, requiring them to take on new identities and costumes, and bringing back longtime absent Legionnaire Wildfire.

Zero Hour

In 1994, DC editors decided that after 36 years, the team's continuity would be entirely rebooted. As part of the Zero Hour company-wide crossover, the Legion's original continuity came to an end with Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #61 (September 1994).

Rebooted (1994–2004)

Following Zero Hour, a new Legion continuity was created, beginning with a retelling of the origin story starting in Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #0 and then continued in spin-off sister series Legionnaires #0 (both released in October 1994). (Legionnaires was also initially written by Tom and Mary Bierbaum.) Lightning Lad was renamed Live Wire, and after the group's founding, a large number of heroes were added to the roster very quickly. Several members were given new codenames, and some new heroes were added, including XS (the granddaughter of Barry Allen, the Flash), Kinetix and Gates.

In homages to the recently discarded continuity, several older Legionnaires were reintroduced in different capacities. Chuck Taine (who had been the hero Bouncing Boy in the previous continuity) became the Legion's maintenance engineer, and Tenzil Kem (who had been Matter-Eater Lad) became the Legion's chef. Rond Vidar—who had been the son of villain Universo, an honorary Legionnaire and a Green Lantern in the previous continuity—made a few token appearances as a colleague of Brainiac 5.

While in some ways following the pattern of the original continuity, the new continuity diverged from the old one in several ways: some characters died as they had previously, others did not, and some Legion members spent time in the 20th century where they recruited Ferro. The Legion also started out having to earn the respect of the United Planets, which they did through two well-earned victories: successfully defending Earth from the White Triangle Daxamites, a group of Nazi-style racial purists; and exposing United Planets President Chu as the mastermind behind the Braal-Titan War, the Sun Eater hoax, the formation of the Fatal Five and the brainwashing of future Legionnaire Jan Arrah.

Legion Lost

However, sales began to fall. New writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning—often referred to as "DnA", a tag they commonly used for interviews—came on board with penciller Olivier Coipel to produce a dark story leading to the near-collapse of the United Planets and of the Legion itself. In the wake of the disaster, a group of Legionnaires disappeared through a spatial rift and the two existing Legion series came to an end.

The limited series Legion Lost (2000-2001) chronicled the difficult journey of these Legionnaires to return home, while the ensuing limited series Legion Worlds (2001) showed what was happening back in the United Planets during their absence.

A new series, The Legion, was launched in which the Legion was reunited and given a new base and purpose. Written for its first 33 issues by DnA, the series was cancelled with issue 38. The most notable addition to the team during the title's publication was the post-Crisis Superboy, a 21st century clone of Superman and Lex Luthor who had previously been granted honorary membership.

Infinite Crisis and Earth-247

A two-part crossover between the Legion and the Teen Titans that ran in Teen Titans (vol. 3) #16 and the Teen Titans/Legion Special, (which was co-written by Geoff Johns and Mark Waid), ended the reboot continuity, and the temporal changes depicted within the special tied in to the Infinite Crisis limited series, which was written by Geoff Johns. Legionnaire Shikari Lonestar managed to evade the temporal changes and emerge into the new continuity which followed. She was not seen again until Infinite Crisis #6, where she was reunited with her reality's Legionnaires on Earth-247.

"Threeboot" continuity (2005—)

Following a crossover with the Teen Titans in Teen Titans #16 and the Teen Titans/Legion Special, a new series was launched; written by Mark Waid, who previously rebooted the title following the events of Zero Hour, and penciled by Barry Kitson. This new series — the fifth series entitled Legion of Super-Heroes — recreated the team from the ground up and uses the Boy/Lad/Girl/Lass/Kid names from which the end of the "Preboot" era and the prior reboot had moved away from using. Waid has stated that this is the first view of the DC Universe after the events of Infinite Crisis, as shown in a line referring to Infinite Crisis in the Teen Titans/Legion Special. The current continuity is sometimes referred to as the "Threeboot" continuity by fans as it is the third incarnation of the Legion that has been published since 1958.

Issues following #16 featured a modified One Year Later logo, shown as 1,001 Years Later, referring to the current Legion's adventures taking place 1,000 years after the One Year Later storyline. Beginning with issue #16, The Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5) was retitled Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Initial issues of the current title reintroduced the characters and provided new and divergent origins for them. Most characters resemble their previous counterparts in costume and powers, with the most notable exceptions including Chameleon Boy, now called simply Chameleon and depicted as an androgynous creature, Star Boy, who in this version of the Legion is black, Colossal Boy, who is now a giant who shrinks to human size, and Phantom Girl, who exists in two universes at once and has conversations with people in her own dimension while talking to Legionnaires at the same time.

The future universe of this Legion is an emotionally and mentally repressive society which involves human sexuality and contact being kept at arms' length as well as Orwellian surveillance of minors. The Legion's main goal is social reform as well as protecting people and inspiring them with the legends of superheroes of old, even though the team isn't appreciated by various government authorities.

The Legion is worshiped by thousands of "Legionnaires"; young people on various different worlds who worship the group in a cult-like manner. Some of the Legionnaires keep a constant vigil outside Legion headquarters.

"1,001 Years Later": Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes (2006-2008)

When confronted by the Legion, Supergirl insists she is the real Supergirl, Kara Zor-El. She then informs the Legion that they are in fact not real, and exist only because she is dreaming them. Cosmic Boy theorizes that Kara has gone through so many traumatic experiences during her brief career as Supergirl that ending up in the 31st century has caused her to assume that everything she's experienced since Krypton's destruction has all been an extended dream. Supergirl is then mentally probed by Saturn Girl, who learns that Kara's last memory before arriving in the 31st century was of the war between Rann and Thanagar during the events of Infinite Crisis.

Meanwhile a group known as the Wanderers wreaks havoc in the galaxy, first letting loose on Earth a group of giants, then striking the team on Kandor itself where they had gone with Supergirl. As a side-effect of a psi-attack, Saturn Girl becomes able to sense and communicate with Mon-El, who is trapped in the Phantom Zone and is able to exist as an invisible and intangible wraith on Kandor. While some Legionnaires are trying to free Mon-El, the Wanderers attack Legion HQ, trapping everyone inside. Several Legionnaires as well as Mon-El are recruited by the Wanderers to help combat an imminent Dominator threat.

The Dominators' attack on Earth was started after Booster Gold jumped through time and stole an advanced weapon which he needed to stop Mister Mind in the final battle of the 52 weekly series. They mistook Booster's speech while taking the weapon ("for saving 52 worlds") as a warning that Earth had teamed up with 52 unnamed worlds to declare war on the Dominion and had broken the non-aggression treaty signed after the Invasion a thousand years before. To further complicate matters, the combined forces of the Legionnaires and the Wanderers that were attacking the Dominion in a preemptive strike was perceived as proof of Earth's new alliance with 52 unnamed worlds. The Waid/Kitson run ended with issue #30 after Barry Kitson's move to Marvel Comics with Tony Bedard becoming the new writer for a six-issue run from #31 to #36, culminating with Supergirl's return to the 21st century during the events of World War III.

Legion of Super-Heroes (2008-)

Beginning with issue 37, former writer Jim Shooter (who wrote several Legion stories in the late 1960s and early 1970s) started an open-ended run with Francis Manapul as the artist. The title of the book reverted to Legion of Super-Heroes.

After Supergirl's return to the 21st century, Lightning Lad becomes Legion leader due to being the runner-up in the leadership elections. His first day on the job does not go well as he faces the Legion losing the support of the United Planets.

DC Comics announced on September 29 2008 that the current Legion series would end with issue 50.

Post-Infinite Crisis (2007–)

The "Lightning Saga" crossover in Justice League of America (vol. 2) #8-10 and Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #5-6 features a group of Legionnaires similar in appearance to the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths versions of Star Boy (now called Starman), Dream Girl, Wildfire, Karate Kid, Timber Wolf, Sensor Girl, Dawnstar, and Brainiac 5. Several revelations — Wildfire's containment suit being built out of the Red Tornado's robotic shell, Dream Girl's abilities being derived from the Dreaming, Night Girl's membership in the Legion, Karate Kid's death and resurrection, and the Legion fighting against separatism and xenophobia as well as crime — are not consistent with the pre-Crisis Legion of Super-Heroes' history. However, Superman has statues of this version of the Legion in the Fortress of Solitude, though he has not seen them since the end of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and later recalls Lightning Lad's death and resurrection. The crossover ends with the return of Wally West, his wife and their twin children to Earth. The Legionnaires — with the exception of Starman, Karate Kid, and Una (one of Triplicate Girl's three selves) — return to their future.

Geoff Johns has stated that this incarnation of the Legion shares the same history as the original Legion up to the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, with Clark Kent having joined the team as a teenager prior to the start of his career as Superman.

This version of the Legion next appeared in the "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" storyline in Action Comics #858-863. In the year 3008, the Earth's sun has turned red and several failed Legion applicants who were born on Earth (Radiation Roy, Tusker, Spider Girl, Golden Boy, Storm Boy, and Eyeful Ethel) have banded together to form the Justice League of Earth under the leadership of Earth-Man (formerly known as Absorbancy Boy) after the latter claimed that Superman was a human who gained his powers from "Mother Earth". Earth-Man has used the claim to have Earth secede from the United Planets and ban all aliens from Earth, resulting in several Legionnaires going underground. With the help of Superman, the Legion eventually restores the Sun to its normal state and defeats Earth-Man and the Justice League of Earth just as the United Planets is about to attack the Earth.

The post-"Infinite Crisis" version of the Legion next appeared in the Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds limited series, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by George Perez, scheduled for release from August to December 2008. The mini-series will feature the post-"Infinite Crisis" Legion and Superman teaming up with the "Reboot" and "Threeboot" incarnations of the Legion to fight a new incarnation of the Legion of Super-Villains (led by Superboy-Prime), the Time Trapper, and Lex Luthor.

Alternate versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes

Various alternate versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes have appeared in various DC comic books.

  • The Legion of Super-Heroes appeared in a single panel in the Kingdom Come limited series. The world depicted within Kingdom Come has been established as being Earth-22 in the DC Multiverse.
  • A far future version of the Legion appeared in Legionnaires Annual #1 in 1994. The annual, which was part of the 1994 "Elseworlds Annuals" event, featured a version of the Legion based on King Arthur's court.
    • Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #7, part of the 1996 "Legends of Dead Earth" event, showed an alternate version of the future Legion of Super-Heroes featured in Legionnaires Annual #1.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #5, also published in 1994, featured the Legion in a parody of The Wizard of Oz.
  • The "DC One Million" event, which featured characters based in the 853rd century, featured twenty-six teams called the Justice Legion. Justice Legion L is based on the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Legion from the 863rd entury was also featured during the event.
  • Legions from several timelines created by Glorith encounter the "Reboot" Legion and fight each other.
  • An alternate version of the Legion appeared during the "Absolute Power" arc of the Superman/Batman monthly series. Three members of the Legion of Super-Villains, (Lightning Lord, Cosmic King and Saturn Queen), go back in time to change the course of history. They are later joined by Beauty Blaze and Echo. At the end, the villains are taken back to the future by Brainiac 5, Dream Woman, Cosmic Man, Chameleon Man, Matter-Eater Man, Lightning Man, and Saturn Woman.
  • The Elseworlds two-part limited series Superboy's Legion featured an alternate version of the Legion that was formed by Superboy. In the story, the infant Kal-El is stranded in the Asteroid Belt and he remains there in stasis until found in 2987 by R. J. Brande, a thousand years after Krypton's destruction. At the age of 14, "Kal Brande", also known as Superboy, joins Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl in forming "Superboy's Legion", later known as the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Appearances in other media

Toys and games

Various Legionnaires and associated villains have been issued in toy format:

Superman: The Animated Series

Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, and Saturn Girl made an appearance on Superman: The Animated Series. In the 1998 episode "New Kids in Town", they traveled through time to stop Brainiac from destroying the Man of Steel at an early age. Jason Priestley voiced Chameleon Boy, Melissa Joan Hart voiced Saturn Girl, and Chad Lowe voiced Cosmic Boy. As with pre-Crisis continuity, Superman was the inspiration to the team. This episode also features cameos of other prominent Legionnaires.

Justice League Unlimited

The Legion (featuring more of its membership), along with the Fatal Five, later appeared in a 2006 episode of Justice League Unlimited entitled "Far From Home" with Googy Gress as Bouncing Boy and Matt Czuchry as Brainiac 5. Supergirl was taken to the future to help fight the Fatal Five and free the Legion, and decided to stay and join the Legion after that was finished.

The other Legionnaires who appeared in this episode included Andromeda, Blok, Colossal Boy, Dream Girl, Kid Quantum, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Shadow Lass, Timber Wolf, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy, and Wildfire. All had minor or cameo appearances.

The Legion also had a featured appearance in Justice League Adventures #28.

Legion of Super Heroes animated series

The Legion of Super Heroes animated series premiered on Kids' WB! (the Saturday Morning kids' block on the The CW network) in September, 2006.

The show's premise is that the Legion travels back in time to recruit Superman in their fight against crime in the 31st century, but they go a little too far back and recruit Superman before he has had a chance to fully develop his powers. Superman, the inspiration for the Legion, now has to learn from them how to be a hero.

Season 1 focused on a "core" team consisting of Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Superman, and Timber Wolf, while other Legionnaires such as Cosmic Boy, Colossal Boy, Ferro Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, and Triplicate Girl appeared in various episodes. Classic Legion villains such as the Fatal Five, Starfinger, and the Sun-Eater have appeared. Other Legionnaires, including Blok, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, and Tyroc, made cameo appearances.

Season 2 takes place two years after the end of Season 1. New members such as Chameleon Boy have joined in the interim. Superman returns, older and wiser, as does Superman X, a clone from the 41st century, to help battle Imperiex.


During Comic-Con 2008, it was announced that Geoff Johns would be writing an episode of Smallville titled "Legion", which will introduce the Legion of Super-Heroes into the series' continuity. The Legionnaires featured will be the founding members Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad. It will be episode eleven of the eighth season of the show.


This list is in approximate chronological order.


  • Adventure Comics #247, 267, 282, 290, 293
  • Action Comics #267, 276, 283, 287, 289–290
  • Superboy (vol. 1), #86, 89, 93, 98, 117
  • Adventure Comics #300–380
  • Superboy (vol. 1), #147 (origin, appeared during the Adventure run)
  • Action Comics #378–387, 389–392
  • Superboy (vol. 1), #172, 176, 185, 191, 195, 197-230
  • Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #231–258
  • Karate Kid #1–15
  • All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55 (Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes tabloid)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2), #259–313, Annual #1–3
  • Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes #1–3
  • Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #314–325
  • Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 3), #1–63, Annual #1–4
  • Legion of Substitute Heroes Special #1
  • Legionnaires 3 #1–4
  • Cosmic Boy #1–4
  • Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #1–7
  • Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4), #1–61, Annual #1–5
  • Legionnaires #1–18
  • Timber Wolf #1–5


  • Legion of Super-Heroes Secret Files #1
  • Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4), #0, 62–125, Annual #6–7
  • Legionnaires #0, #19–81, Annual #2–3 1
  • Legends of the Legion #1–4
  • Legion Science Police #1–4
  • Superman Plus the Legion of Super-Heroes #1
  • Adventures of Superman #540
  • Inferno #1–4
  • Showcase '96 #10-12
  • Legion Lost #1–12
  • Legion Worlds #1–6
  • The Legion #1–38
  • Teen Titans, (vol. 3) #16
  • Titans/Legion of Super-Heroes: Universe Ablaze # 1–4
  • Teen Titans/Legion Special #1
  • Infinite Crisis #6
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1–5

1 - Legionnaires Annual #1 is an "Elseworlds" story, which is not part of Legion continuity.


  • Teen Titans/Legion Special, #1
  • Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5), #1–15
  • Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16—36
  • Action Comics, #850
  • Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5), #37–
  • The Brave and the Bold (vol. 2) #4–6
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1–5

Legion members appearing during "Absolute Power"

  • Superman/Batman, #14–18 2

2 - Superman/Batman, #14–18 is a time travel series, and not tied directly to any Legion continuity.

Post-Infinite Crisis team:

  • Justice League of America (vol. 2), #8–10
  • Justice Society of America (vol. 3), #5–6
  • Action Comics, #858–#864
  • Countdown, #50–48, #45, #42–41, #39–37, #35–34, #31–27
  • Countdown to Final Crisis, #26–23, #21–20, #15–13, #11–6
  • Supergirl (vol. 5), #21–22
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1–5

Animated Series:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #1–

Trade Paperbacks and Hardcover Collections

The various Legion titles have been collected in the following graphic novels. The "Archives" editions are hardcover collections, while most of the rest are softcover trade paperbacks:
Title Material collected
Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes, vol. 1 Adventure Comics #247, 267, 282, 290, 293, 300-321
Action Comics #267, 276, 287, 289
Superboy (vol. 1) #86, 89, 98
Superman (vol. 1) 147, Annual #4
Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72, 76
Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes, vol. 2 Adventure Comics #322-348
Superboy (vol. 1) #117, 125
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 1 Adventure Comics #247, 267, 282, 290, 293, 300-305
Action Comics #267, #276, #287, #289
Superboy (vol. 1) #86, #89, #98
Superman (vol. 1) 147, Annual #4
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 2 Adventure Comics #306-317
Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 3 Adventure Comics #318-328
Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #76
Superboy (vol. 1) #117
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 4 Adventure Comics #329-339
Superboy (vol. 1) #124-25
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 5 Adventure Comics #340-349
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 6 Adventure Comics #350-358
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 7 Adventure Comics #359-367
Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #106
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 8 Adventure Comics #368-376
Superboy (vol. 1) #147
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 9 Adventure Comics #377-380
Action Comics #378-387, #389-392
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 10 Superboy (vol. 1) #172, #173, #176, #183, #184, #188, #190, #191, #193, #195, #197-202
Adventure Comics #403
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 11 Superboy (vol. 1) #203-212
Amazing World of DC Comics #9 (one page)
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, vol. 12 Superboy (vol. 1) #213-223
Karate Kid #1
The Great Darkness Saga Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2) #287, 290-294, Annual #3
An Eye For An Eye Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 3) #1-6
The More Things Change Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 3) #7-13
Superman: The Man of Steel, vol 4 Adventures of Superman #430-431
Action Comics #590-591
Superman (vol. 2) #7-8
Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 3) #37-38
The Beginning of Tomorrow Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #0, #62-65
Legionnaires #0, #19-22
Foundations The Legion #25-30
Teenage Revolution Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5) #1-6
Death of a Dream Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5) #7-13
Strange Visitor from Another Century Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5) #14-15
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16-19
Adult Education Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #20-25
The Dominator War Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #26-30
The Quest for Cosmic Boy Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #31-36
Enemy Rising Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5) #37-44
Post-Infinite Crisis
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga Justice League of America (vol. 2) #0, 8-12
Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #5-6
Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes Action Comics #858-863
Legion of Super-Heroes: 1,050 Years of the Future Adventure Comics #247, #304, #312, #354-355
Limited Collectors' Edition #C-49 (portions)
Superboy (vol. 1) #212
All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55 (portions)
Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2) #300
History of the DC Universe Portfolio (portions)
Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #0
Legends of the DCU 80-Page Giant #2
The Legion #3

See also


External links


Current information

Historical information

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