Hey, gang!

I'm supposed to interview Paul Levitz about his upcoming Legion of Super-Heroes run (his third -- and the second time he's followed Jim Shooter!) for Comics Buyer's Guide. So what should I ask him?

In other interviews he's stated that he's picking up with the original Legion as established by Geoff Johns in "The Lightning Saga" and "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" in the Super-books, and to a lesser degree, Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds.

For those who have forgotten, Levitz wrote "The Great Darkness Saga," the most reprinted Legion story. He also wrote the Legion (in his second run) not only up to Crisis on Infinite Earths, but after -- right up to Keith Giffen's "Five Years Later" around 1989 or 1990. So he wrote the death of the "pocket universe" Superboy, was involved in the many attempts to reconfigure Mon-El as a Superboy substitute (Valor), plus the introduction of a number of post-Silver Age Legionnaires, like Myg, the second Karate Kid; Kent Shakespeare; Laurel Kent (later revelead as a Manhunter); Quislet; and so forth.

And a further reminder: FC: L3W established that the "Zero Hour" Legion would become a new Wanderers (between dimensions, and without XS, who will be in the new series), and the Mark Waid Legion returned to its own timeline/dimension (which is different than the original Legion's).

I know, I know, it's complicated. But I understand it, because I was reading throughout. And I'm sure Levitz understand his own runs through 1990 pretty thoroughly, and can pick up basically from his last story (with whatever updates Johns made in the three stories mentioned above) -- he probably won't mention post-1990 developments that are the bread-and-butter of younger fans.

So what questions would help you folks understand better? Are there certain characters you really want to know about? What elements of the original run are you interested in seeing picked up? What Five Years Later or Zero Hour or Mark Waid bits would you like to see (re-)introduced to the new run?

And so forth. Let me know, Legionnaires, what you want to know about that OTHER Legion!


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"Why should someone not already familiar with the Legion's convoluted history be interested in this series?"


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Among reprint/archives fans, the idea/rumor circulated (I'm not sure where it started; perhaps from some interviews he gave as publisher) that Paul preferred not to reprint his work on the Legion, feeling that to do so would be a form of favoritism. So I'm wondering, now that he's no longer publisher, will we see more of his run get reprinted? It's a vein of material the trade paperback program has barely begun to tap.
"How many fish can you name?"
Honestly, I'd love to hear about some roads not taken. For instance, Invisible Kid II (Jacques Foccart) was developing teleportation powers for a while, that he had dificulty controlling. Eventually, Brianiac 5 was able to take them away. I was wondering if there had been more plans for them that never materialized -- or any other subplots that got wayliad in favor of other stories.
Will he focus on the older Legionnaires or develop newer, younger ones? Can there be 14 year old and 30 year old members at the same time?
Oh man. I'd have hundreds of questions. I need to go back and reread L3W, because -- in all honesty -- most of what you said up above came as news to me.

But, there were a LOT of subplots/hints/ideas that floated around during the transition from the 5 Years Later Legion to the Zero Hour reboot, and I can't recall which ones went with which version. I think these were Levitz's though:

1. There were some weird ideas being floated about Lighting Lad and Saturn Girl: That Lighting Lad was really Proty, and that Validus was one of LL and SG's kids. Are those threads still out there, or are they best forgotten?

2. Karate Kid... still dead?

3. A lot of Levitz's run seemed to be guided by the Shooter's infamous Superman and the Adult Legion story (who got married, who died, etc). Is Paul going to put those "predictions" aside, or continue to use them in some way?

4. Braniac 5... still a potential loon?

Also, see if he could bring back Steve Lightle!
Are the Legion marriages shown still valid? If there was a Superboy in the Legion's past, is Mon-El's fate still the same even if his history was changed? Will the Legions mix and match? Will you prologue your new run with whatever background this new series will be based in?
"Can a new reader -- or someone like me, a past reader who went away and was too afraid of coming back what with all the competing continuities in play and all that history to contend with -- be able to read this run without his head exploding?"
Actually, Luke and Dne -- and I had to look this up, so don't anybody feel bad -- Levitz himself dispensed with the adult Legion story already. During his second run he did a few things that invalidated Adventure #354 (Mar 67). Among them, for example, was that "Shadow Woman" was supposed to die defending the "Science Asteroid." Shadow Lass went so far as to change her identity (INTO "Shadow Woman") by putting on caucasian body paint and calling herself "Shadow Woman." Then she went into defense of the Science Asteroid, and APPEARED to die ... but didn't. And when she was revived, she went on about her life, but Levitz had Time Trapper or somebody go "NO! This changes everything!"

And it did. Levitz went through all the bits (including "Reflecto") that hadn't been fixed from Adventure #354, and fixed them. Levitz changed the future years ago ... and now he gets to do it again.
The Legion series took a number of cues from Shooter's adult Legion stories in the 70s, but Levitz and Giffen made a point of breaking with them in Legion of Super-Heroes #300. To be fair, Polar Boy did join the Legion later. During his first run Levitz wrote the death of Chemical King story in Superboy and the Legion #228-229.

(I should explain the Captain was responding to this post. I reposted it without seeing his because I wanted to make a change. Sorry about that, Captain.)
No worries.

But Levitz purposefully went about changing the parameters that would allow the "adult Legion" story back in the '80s, because -- as he has said in some interviews -- he was tired of being boxed in. Then, in 1989, he was removed from the book and Tom & Mary Beirbaum and Keith Giffen were put on, with their "Five Years Later" story, that appeared to blow everything up ... but Levitz had already done it. He never got the credit, because he isn't as flashy.
Ah well. Mostly I'm looking forward to it, as much for Levitz's return as for the return of the "Classic" Legion. while I understood WHY they've done everything they've done over the last 20 years, I haven't always been thrilled by it. Paul's Legion was "my" Legion inasmuch as it was the Legion of record when I started reading the book as a young Legionnaire (of the Superflous kind). I didn't have high hopes for Shooter's return since he was taking over the Reboot 6.0 Legion (or whatever it was called), and there are some sow's ears that just won't be made into silk purses. I think he did the best he could what what he had.

This time, though, it's like Geoff Johns set up the board specifically for Paul to take over (there's a question, I guess: Did Paul have any input into "Superman and the Legion" stories over the past couple of years).

So there you go: Long-standing Legion fan; Cautiously optimistic.

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