I am really hoping that we will get a new Legion of Super-Heroes in the next year, and I hope they will stick with one version for more than a year or so before moving on to another one. I think that is one of the things that has really hurt the Legion in the past twenty years. They haven't been allowed to stick with any version for very long.

In the meantime, we can talk about the Legion incarnations of the past right here. Of course, I'm starting this one to talk about something I have read recently...

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I had mentioned in another thread that I read Legionnaires #7. Legionnaires was a title in which the SW6 Batch of Legionnaire clones were set up as protectors of New Earth. New Earth was a collection of Earth cities that had all blasted in to space just before the Earth was destroyed.

This series started off with some pretty nice art. The first six issues were solo by Chris Sprouse, issue 7 was drawn by Adam Hughes, and then issue 8 was by Colleen Doran. It featured Braniac 5, or at least the clone of Brainiac 5.

Issue 9 started a very short-lived co-penciling arrangement between Sprouse and Hughes. You can see why it was short-lived if you know anything about Adam Hughes's output. But as a result, we got to have Hughes's studio-mate fill in on the rest of the issue--a guy by the name of Brian Stelfreeze. This issue is about riots going on to protest the new living arrangement and protection surrounding New Earth's sudden living arrangements.

Written by Tom and Mary Bierbaum, who had co-co-written several issue of Legion of Super-Heroes with Keith Giffen, this book is pretty straight-forward, but is nevertheless charming. I have a few more issues of this downloaded on my iPad, and I've been having fun reading through it.

I was a little freaked out during this period that Giffen and company were disposing of original Legionnaires right and left, sometimes off-panel. Sure, we had replacements in SW6, but nevertheless, they were killing wholesale characters I had been reading about for 30 years without so much as a funeral. It was ... alarming.

I loved the Legion and collected everything from around when they took over Superboy's title .

I applauded the '5 years Later' relaunch as 'adult' comics done how I wanted them to be - but - and in fairness I don't think it was all down to Giffen -  it became too clever for it's own good, too 'change for changes sake' and very quickly confused it's own continuity.

The various relaunches since have all been fine in their own way - but most spend their time re-doing their own 'new' spin on an old plot-point. (Kind of like the Khan 'homage' throughout Star Trek Into Darkness').

I am not sure the Legion CAN be done again. I think it would be bogged down by all that came before.

What I WOULD like is a kind of 'Exiles' use for the Legion.  Put the team 'out-of-time/space' and send task-force groups to certain times/places - that way we could get our favourite Legionaires back without having to explain where from and they can just let rip.

Yes there's have to be a chronology to the team's personal relationships but it would give us a fresh Legion without just being a repeat-of-previous-glories.

The "Five Years Later" began about the time I started reading comics, so it was my normal. All I knew is that I was really confused for awhile, but I enjoyed it somehow.

Last night, I read issue 26 of Legion of Super-Heroes. (The 5 years later one...) It featured Laurel vs. B.I.O.N. I remember reading this one originally (back circa 1992) to try to fill in the gaps or the Terra Mosaic story. I enjoyed it then because it did help fill some holes in my understanding. Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it quite as much this time around. It felt like the cartilage that was holding a bigger story together. I still plan to read my way through 27 to the rest of that story, because I know there are some gems in those issues. I love the Jason Pearson art, as I think it really worked well with Keith Giffen's style.

There's just so much history, and the LSH has had so many resets and reboots .... it just makes your head spin.  Apparently, if I understand the wikipedia article I've just read, the original continuity ended at Zero Hour (1958-1994), although to my knowledge it had been altered at least twice - COIE (no Superboy or Supergirl) and early in the Five Years Later LSH series with Mordru waving his hand (Mon-El becomes Valor, for one example).  The post-Zero Hour team is a Legion from an alternate timeline (LSH 62-125, Legion 1-38) spanning 1994-2004 and the series which began in 2005, by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson is a team from yet another dimension.  In 2007, in "The Lightning Saga" crossover in JLA and JSA, Geoff Johns brought back the original versions of several characters and stated this version of the team shared the history of the original continuity, even though there were several differences between the original version and this restored version.  All three of these versions of the LSH were featured in the Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds miniseries.  The version brought back by Johns was declared the official LSH and the other two versions were shunted back to their dimensions.

Got all that?  If so, could you explain it to me?  I've been reading comics for close to 40 years, I've read a ton of LSH books, and I'm still not 100% sure I get it. ;)

I understood it briefly when I was writing an article for Comics Buyer's Guide about Legion history, but my brain couldn't hold it all and I lost most of it. As far as I'm concerned, the original Legion -- like all the Silver Age continuities -- ended in 1986. After that you had various versions of the LSH that weren't "true," including the Time Trapper's Pocket Universe (in which a version of the Silver Age Superboy lived on -- and died), and the Glorithverse (in which Mon-El was the Legion's inspiration, as Valor). I think Five Years Later/Batch SW6 was part of the latter. Anyway, that was all swept away by Zero Hour, when yet another Legion appeared. Still not the real one, as far as I'm concerned. No need to even mention Mark Waid's version ("Threeboot"), which didn't interest me.

Geoff Johns says one of the groups in the Legion of Three Worlds miniseries was the pre-Crisis one, which I guess had a Superboy in a parallel dimension ... ? Or what? Brain is failing me now.

The Legion's history was modified by the events of Crisis and modified again by time-altering events in the first year of the Five Years Later series, but the feature avoided a complete continuity restart like the one Byrne put Superman through. The Zero Hour reboot was the first time the feature was started over from scratch.

Not on Earth-Cap!

I just reread #28 of the Five Years Later series. It's the tragic story of what happened (or is happening) to Dirk Morgna. Ooh, man. This was even rougher than I remembered. At the time, I know I thought I was just learning what had happened, but everyone else surely knew already. It never occurred to me that this was the first time everyone learned about it--the fall from grace, the incident that radiated him, and the attempt at being a hero again only to have the general public boo him. Sad stuff.

I finally -- nearly 40 years after its publication -- read a story from my Legion "Golden Age": the all-new LSH tabloid that featured Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl's wedding. Known in LSH fandom for years as TDT ("that damn tabloid,"), it was hard to find simply because of the size of the book; it wasn't included in regular longboxes, for obvious reasons. I picked it up at the East Coast Comicon in NJ this spring, along with the tabloid reprinting the Mordru story, probably my all-time favorite Legion tale, for $10 apiece. Worth every penny.

I saved TDT for a time I would be able to enjoy it without distraction. It's a fun story -- Superboy arrives in 2978 for the wedding, only to find the LSH has become strangely militarized, and Earth is at war with various other planetary bodies in the solar system, including the moon! Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad get kidnapped by Lunarites (descendants of colonists from China, colored an unfortunate shade of yellow...ugh) and the team splits up. Some travel to the moon to save the newlyweds, while Superboy leads a team back into the past to find out what happened in 1978 to make the United Nations disband and start the ball rolling toward this warlike future. The story's by Paul Levitz (who once again shows his discomfort with Tyroc, relegating him to monitor duty when all the Legionnaires come together for the final battle), and the art's by Mike Grell, returning to the Legion after a few years away. There's a back-up roll call of all the Legionnaires (and honorary ones, and subs, and equipment, etc.) drawn by Jim Sherman...including a very Kirbyesque costume for Element Lad that I don't think I saw in an actual issue. (He looked more like a member of the Eternals than the LSH.)

All in all, it's a terrific package, with a lot of vintage action, and despite a few squirm-inducing moments of racial tone-deafness, and  a couple of coloring mistakes (Mon-El is colored as Superboy several times, and there's one point where a close-up of Projectra is drawn & colored as Light Lass), it was a ridiculously entertaining read. Brought me right back to being 10 again.  

Proud to say I own this Tabloid.

I love it.

It is difficult to read and protect  and gets forgotten as it is rare.

Again an example of LSH stuff crying out for Omnibus or 'Epic'-type collections!

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I finally -- nearly 40 years after its publication -- read a story from my Legion "Golden Age": the all-new LSH tabloid that featured Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl's wedding. Known in LSH fandom for years as TDT ("that damn tabloid,"), it was hard to find simply because of the size of the book; it wasn't included in regular longboxes, for obvious reasons. I picked it up at the East Coast Comicon in NJ this spring, along with the tabloid reprinting the Mordru story, probably my all-time favorite Legion tale, for $10 apiece. Worth every penny.

I saved TDT for a time I would be able to enjoy it without distraction. It's a fun story -- Superboy arrives in 2978 for the wedding, only to find the LSH has become strangely militarized, and Earth is at war with various other planetary bodies in the solar system, including the moon! Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad get kidnapped by Lunarites (descendants of colonists from China, colored an unfortunate shade of yellow...ugh) and the team splits up. Some travel to the moon to save the newlyweds, while Superboy leads a team back into the past to find out what happened in 1978 to make the United Nations disband and start the ball rolling toward this warlike future. The story's by Paul Levitz (who once again shows his discomfort with Tyroc, relegating him to monitor duty when all the Legionnaires come together for the final battle), and the art's by Mike Grell, returning to the Legion after a few years away. There's a back-up roll call of all the Legionnaires (and honorary ones, and subs, and equipment, etc.) drawn by Jim Sherman...including a very Kirbyesque costume for Element Lad that I don't think I saw in an actual issue. (He looked more like a member of the Eternals than the LSH.)

All in all, it's a terrific package, with a lot of vintage action, and despite a few squirm-inducing moments of racial tone-deafness, and  a couple of coloring mistakes (Mon-El is colored as Superboy several times, and there's one point where a close-up of Projectra is drawn & colored as Light Lass), it was a ridiculously entertaining read. Brought me right back to being 10 again.  

You should have seen the delight on my face at that convention, after 40 years of looking for it. It was really a holy grail for me -- but one I wanted to find in person, not on eBay. For some things, that feels like cheating.

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