LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES

Fanfare

Many of the things I'm wont to cover on this page are already brilliantly detailed by Michael Grabois at the Legion Omnicom.

SEE ALSO:

Legion Parodies

Legion Elseworlds

Legion Gallery

Dave Cockrum's The Outsiders

The Legion Omnicom: Collecting the Legion


Legion Rarities & Trivia

+ Legion Hembeck

From DC's monthly house "Daily Planet" feature. By Fred Hembeck (25 February 1980).

+ Unused Legionnaires Art

kid quantumChris Sprouse himself identified this original artwork. For sale on ebay, it was done by Chris as a "preparatory sketch" for the final panel of Legionnaires #11 (Feb. 1994). The note at the bottom (which reads reads "Presenting—Kid Quantum!") was to describe the action on the page.

+ Legion "Survivor"

An interesting thread that took place on the DC Comics Message boards called "Best of the LSH." Readers were asked to vote elimination style on nearly 400 Legion characters to arrive at the ultimate top 10. The following won out (all, you should know, were the original versions of the characters):

ULTIMATE SURVIVORS These were the last remaining Legionnaires from these Earths (longest-standing first)
LEGION 2 LEGION 3
  1. Brainiac 5, Querl Dox
  2. Chameleon Boy, Reep Daggle
  3. Cosmic Boy, Rokk Krinn
  4. Dream Girl, Nura Nal
  5. Element Lad, Jan Arrah
  6. Karate Kid, Val Amorr
  7. Lightning Lad, Garth Ranzz
  8. Mon-El, Lar Gand
  9. Princess Projectra, Sensor Girl
  10. Saturn Girl, Imra Ardeen
  1. XS
  2. Triad
  3. Invisible Kid
  4. Gates
  5. Saturn Girl
  6. Element Lad
  7. Cosmic Boy
  8. Timber Wolf
  9. Chameleon
  10. Ultra Boy
  1. Brainiac 5
  2. Triplicate Girl
  3. Light Lass
  4. Karate Kid
  5. Lightning Lad

+ The Lost Origin of the Legion Clubhouse!

John Censullo, an early contributor to my Legion module, once mailed me this alternate story intended to be published in Secret Origins. Editor Mark Waid pushed this one through channels after the Crisis, including Superboy in the Legion's origin. After Byrne's revamp of Superman continuity, this didn't sit well with the higher-ups. Although Waid fixed it so that it would have still worked all right, it was killed. A new story was written and ran in Secret Origins #46. It was written by Gerard Jones and penciled by Kurt Schaffenberger. > READ ...

+ Fan-Designed Costumes

These fan-designed costumes appeared in Adventure #403 (1971, after the Legion's run ended in that comic). Only those for Duo Damsel and Saturn Girl were used permanently. For one issue only, Karate Kid, Projectra, and Shadow Lass wore these costumes, in Superboy v.1 #183 (1972)).

  

+ Superman #8 (1987)

I know I'm not the first to post it, but since i just added it to my original Legion Chronology, it's worth putting here...

Creator John Byrne played a little joke in this story by including the four Legionnaires who most closely resembled the Fantastic Four: Brainiac 5 (Mister Fantastic), Invisible Kid (Invisible Woman), Sun Boy (Human Torch) and Blok (Thing). The cover even mimics Fantastic Four #249 (1982).

+ Yikes! My Legion Costume Designs!

Like many fans, I designed lots and lots of Legion costumes. In bringing you the scans below, I was motivated to dig these drawings out of my boxes and bare myself to the world. There's more where these came from, too. What you see, you can never un-see. (Scans are large.)

Weird Better Best Posters

Posters

Legion posters are pretty uncommon. Most of the ones you find on ebay are competitively bidded.

» SEE ALSO: Anal Retentive LSH Merchandise Checklist

1978, retail.
15" x 20" • See Notes, below (HAVE IT)

1984, retail (HAVE IT)

1984, promo. Cover of Legion v.3 #1. (HAVE IT)

1985, promo. Watercolored Cover of Legion v.3 #17. (HAVE IT)

1986. Mayfair Games promo

5 Years Later Poster, Immonen

1993 Legion v.4, retail (22" x 34"); By Stuart Immonen. (HAVE IT)

1997 promo.

19??, L.E.G.I.O.N. retail??

1997, retail (22" x 34"). By Stuart Immonen and Mark Farmer. (HAVE IT)

1999, retail. By Alex Ross

20??

20?? HeroClix Starter Set promo poster.

2006 retail. By Adam Hughes. This was the cover of Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #23.

DC Comics: The 75th Anniversary Poster Book.
Quirk Books (2010). This book contains 100 two-sided posters (10" x 14") and includes two Legion related covers: Adventure Comics #247 (1958) and Action Comics #863 (2008). Another "collage poster" features the White Witch drawn by P. Craig Russell??.

2002 promo (11" x 34"). By Olivier Coipel. (HAVE IT)

2004 promo (11" x 34"). By Barry Kitson. (HAVE IT)

2007 promo (11" x 34"). By Francis Manapul. (HAVE IT)

+ Legion Poster, 1979: "Super Heroes and Super Villains"

  

I bought this poster from ebay, alone, but it is part of an 8-poster portfolio (or set) from 1979. The Legion poster reprints art from the cover of Superboy and the Legion #250 ($3.95). Published by Golden Books. 15" x 20". Includes:

Wonder Woman by Dick Giordano

Superman by Neal Adams

Batman, Robin & Batgirl by Neal Adams

The Flash by Jim Aparo

Captain Marvel and Billy Batson by C.C Beck

Aquaman by Jim Aparo

Superboy and the Legion by Joe Staton

Batman Super-Villians group poster with the Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Ra's Al Ghul.

Collectibles

I don't need to cover things like Legion action figures, checklists, and their animated history, because one site does it so well…

SEE ALSO:

Legion Omnicom:

Bits O' Legionnaire Business

Action Figures  

Merchandise

Checklists

Legion Gallery: Collectibles

sensor+ Legion Stickers!

These were a retailer's incentive shipped along with Legionnaires #50 (1997). This was the double-sized finale of the "wedding" of Mordu and Emerald Violet.

> SEE THEM...

+ Vs. System: Legion of Super-Heroes (Game/Trading Cards)

Set of 220. 110 Common Cards + 55 Uncommon + 55 Rare. 24 packs per box, 14 cards per pack
I own: Whole set

These fantasy game cards are made to work with other sets of the Vs. System. The Legion set was also sold alongside a play mat (above). Inever played the game but loved the original art on these cards. Complete sets are rarely sold since the game is still being played. The game was discontinued by Upper Deck Entertainment in January 2009.

This was considered an "expansion set" and cards had the prefix "DLS" (DC Legion Super-heroes).

Alternate "stacker" cards were designed to form a triptych (above). These versions are as rare as a foil version of the same card. Every card in the set has a rarer, alternate foil version.

The set was rounded out by a fair number of Teen Titans and other team-related cards.

SEE ALSO:

Omnicom: Checklist

Legion Wiki

Shuffle and Cut (buy)

Legion on TV!

SEE: Animated Legion

Also covered at the Omnicom: Animated Legion history

Legion Parodies

The parodies covered in this section are primarily from other publishers.

SEE: Legion Elseworlds

+ The Archie Legion

The following image was not published, but is a fan-commissioned piece of art. What's notable is that it preceded the launch of the post-Zero Hour Legion—which came to be known as the "Archie Legion." It's drawn by popular Archie illustrator, Mike Worley. The date reads either 1991 or 1992.

The colorist, Scott Sharritt, is also known as "Lightning Lad," the co-owner of LegionWorld.net.

+ The Authority

A sort of "Wildstorm Legion" appeared in The Authority #27 (January 2002). Some have compared it to the Legion of Super-Heroes, but there are no strong parallels or copycat characters.

+ Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel Comics)

Clockwise from lower left: Charlie-27, Vance Astro,
Starhawk, Martinex, Nikki, Yondu
© Marvel Comics

Today it seems even more suspicious that the Guardians of the Galaxy were from the 31st century (where our Legion now resides as well). All its members generally hail from within Earth's solar system. They were brought together to fight the alien Badoon race.There are no flagrant Legion similarities other than their being based 1,000+ years in the future.

Though they were created in 1969, it wasn't until they got their own series in 1990 (by Jim Valentino) that this team came to any sort of prominence. Valentino makes only one remarks about the Guardians in relation to the Legion in a written retrospective on his site. In particular, he mentions a cameo appearance by the Legion’s R.J.Brande (as "Ambassador Jacques") in 1991's annual.

A new book was launched in 2008 bearing this name, but starring a cast from the current-day Marvel universe.

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (January 1969)

» SERIES: Guardians of the Galaxy, 62-issues (1990-95)

» FEATURED APPEARANCES: Avengers v.1 #167-177, 181 • Defenders v.1 #26-29 • Giant Size Defenders #5 • Marvel Two-In-One v.1 #4-5 •Thor v.1 Annual #6 •

» SEE ALSO: Marvel Comics: Guardians of the GalaxyNewsarama: Guardians of the Galaxy

+ The Imperial Guard (Marvel Comics, 1977)

The first batch of heroes who appeared as the Imperial Guard were designed by Dave Cockrum. Cockrum had recently come from a stint at DC where he proposed several new Legionnaires called the Outsiders. His proposal was not picked up and Cockrum took his ideas to Marvel where they became the new X-Men. After the X-Men title took off in sales, the creators took it one step further and unveiled a massive parody of the Legion. The Guard in its first appearance included:

Astra (Phantom Girl), Electron (Lightning Lad), Fang (Timber Wolf), Gladiator (Mon-El), Hobgoblin (Chameleon Boy), Impulse (Wildfire), Magic (Projectra), Mentor (Brainiac 5), Midget (Shrinking Violet), Nightside (Shadow Lass), Oracle (Saturn Girl), Quasar (Star Boy), Smasher (Ultra Boy), Starbolt (Wildfire), Tempest (Sun Boy) and Titan (Colossal Boy)

» FIRST APPEARANCE: X-Men v.1 #107 (October 1977)

» SERIES: Imperial Guard, 3-issue limited series (1997)

» SEE ALSO: Marvel Appendix: Imperial GuardUncannyXmen.net: Imperial Guard

Astra
(Phantom Girl)
Electron
(Cosmic Boy)
Fang
(Timber Wolf)
Gladiator
(Mon-El)
Hobgoblin
(Chameleon Boy)
Impulse
(Wildfire)
Magic
(Projectra)
Mentor
(Brainiac 5)
Midget
(Violet)
Nightside
(Shadow Lass)
Oracle
(Saturn Girl)
Quasar
(Star Boy)
Smasher
(Ultra Boy)
Starbolt
(Sun Boy)
Tempest
(Lightning Lad)
Titan
(Colossal Boy)

+ The Legion of Superfluous Heroes (Aardvark-Vanaheim, 1984)

This Legion appeared as a never-ending roll call in the Normalman series by Jim Valentino. The gag in this humor comics began in issue #1 and continued for several issues. Normalman is collected in trade paperback.

» SEE ALSO: Newsarama: Jim Valentino on normalman

+ The Legion of Galactic Guardians 2099 (Amalgam Comics/Marvel/DC, 1997)

This one-shot was part of the Amalgam DC/Marvel crossover events. Characters from each publisher were mashed together to form new ones. Please visit the link below to see all the Legionnaires who appeared in this story.

Spider-Boy
Chameleon
Darkstar
Invisible Girl
'Lectron
Martinex 5
Myriad
Nucleus
Phantom Cat
Phoenetix
Psi-Girl
Sparkler
Universe Boy
Vance Cosmic
Xcel

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Spider-Boy Team-Up #1 (June 1997, Amalgam Comics)

» SEE ALSO: The Unofficial Character Guide to the Amalgam Universe  

+ The Legion of Super-Furries (Shanda Comics)

Shanda Fantasy Arts Spotlight #5
© 1999 Carl Gafford

Shanda Fantasy Arts publishes specialty comics featuring "funny animal" characters, not unlike Captain Carrot.

In its anthology issue (50 pages!), SFA Spotlight #5, one two-page story starred the Legion of Super-Furries. It parodies the classic Legion tryouts and the roll call highlights: Cosmic Cat, Saturn Squirrel, Lightning Bug, Monk-Ey, Ultramarine, Karate Kid, Dream Beaver, Colossal Boar, Polar Bear, Night Owl, Chameleon Chameleon, Shrinking Viaduck and Star Fish.

I thought this issue would be impossible to find, but it was in stock at Mile High Comics (in July 2008).

After its publication, Legion fandom took the concept and ran with it a step further, creating the virtual, the hypothetical ... Lotta Species Heroes.

CLICK AND READ:

 

» FIRST APPEARANCE: SFA Spotlight #5 (May 1999)

» SEE ALSO: Lotta Species Heroes

+ The Pantheon of Heroes (Big Bang Comics/Image, 1997)

The Pantheon of Super-Heroes formed sometime around the year 2965. In Big Bang v.2 #12, the Savage Dragon is thrust forward in time and meets a trio of heroes: Clone Boy (Dubba, who was a sort of mix between Chameleon Boy and Triplicate Girl); Gravity Girl (a combo of Star Boy and Light Lass); and Laughing Boy. This tale mirrored the Legion try-outs from the Adventure Comics era.


©1998 Big Bang Comics (Big Bang v.2 #22). Click here for the key to this illustration.

Their next appearance in issue #14 was an homage to the 1970s Mike Grell tales and the Five Year Gap Legion. We see Galactic Lad (now simply called by his real name, Noa Zark) and Snowstar and hear a mention of Anglefish and Nature Boy (deceased). He and Snowstar talk about how their enemy the Time-Bomber keeps them from traveling in time, and how Clone Boy is his prisoner. These heroes are from 2988, but man a station at the end of time and are destroyed when the Savage Dragon passes through their era.

The Dragon's journey continues to plague the Pantheon in 2969, where we meet Brain Boy and Tele-Girl. Then we catch a glimpse of 2973 and Ghost Girl and the entire Pantheon — rendered in the style of Dave Cockrum and combined with his designs for Marvel's Imperieal Guard.

Issue #22 features a reprinting of the gallery of heroes in #18, with a "who's who" key! Members past and present are identified.

Issues #24 and 26 are a staggeringly detailed mockery called "History of Big Bang Comics" that tells about these characters' faux publishing histories. It shows how Ultragirl traveled from the past and was a member of their group.

In issue #33, Tele-Girl appears in the Savage Dragon's time period and meets the Whiz Kids (now in their New Teen Titans Pérez-styled era).

The Pantheon was inspired by 20th century heroes like the Knights of Justice (based on the Justice Society), and the Round Table of America (based on the Justice League).

» FIRST APPEARANCE: Big Bang Comics v.2 #12 (July 1997)

» FEATURED APPEARANCES: Big Bang Comics v.2 #12, 14, 18, 22, 33

» SEE: Big Bang Comics

 

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