16 June 2019

The Fatal Five!

The Fatal Five of Earth-Prime is indistinguishable from the originals. From The Brave and the Bold #3 (2007); art by George Pérez and Scott Koblish.

I've added a summary of the fantastic Justice League vs. the Fatal Five, a new feature-length animated movie. The tone of this feature is more adult than the original cartoon; characters use swear words and actually kill people. The film features outstanding action sequences and a compelling narrative.

Then I realized the Fatal Five profile could use some love, so that is greatly improved now too!

» SEE:

24 March 2019

The Injustice Society of the World!

The Wizard escapes to try to reinvent the Injustice Society. From All-Star Comics #41 (1948); art by Carmine Infantino and Frank Giacoia.

At last a round-up of the super-villains who have menaced the Justice Society! Primarily centered on the Injustice Society, this profile includes lots of other entities. It's due to the consistent presence of one key member, the Wizard. The Wizard was the mastermind behind most of the I.S.'s capers, and he was the leader of the Secret Society of Super-Villains and Crime Champions, to boot.

"The Wizard first gained attention from the local newspaper, which emblazoned the headline "Philanthropist offers million dollars in cash to Justice Society of America." The JSA, of course, had no intention of accepting such a great reward, a blatant violation of their altruistic code. The benefactor in question was one Mr. W.I. Zard, who did not take their refusal well. Zard responded by terrorizing the team as the Wizard." … READ MORE »


17 FEBRUARY 2019

Green Lantern Alan Scott!

The Harlequin was relentless in her flirtatiousness. From Green Lantern v.1 #33 (1948); art by Irwin Hasen.

Another megaprofile for you on one of DC's founding big guns! Not sure why I chose to tackle this monster, but it is worthwhile and in my mission to complete all JSA related heroes. Alan Scott's history has been long and colorful, punctuated by personal and super-powered struggles.

"Millennia ago, the Guardians of the Universe of Earth-One gathered up "the mystic force loose in the starways" and "locked it in the heart of a star, there to remain forever." Unknown to them, this Starheart then become sentient. It cast a portion of its magic energy to Earth-Two, where it was known as the Green Flame of Life. This aspect of the Starheart was intended to serve as a force for good." … READ MORE »


29 December 2018

Elastic Lad (Jimmy Olsen)!

For deducing the act, Jimmy is awarded honorary membership in the Legion. From Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72 (1963); art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

I was reviewing my Honorary Legionnaires page and felt shame when I saw that I had zero write-up for Elastic Lad — a legit honorary Legionnaire! I blame this on the fact that much of my Legion material was created in the post-Crisis era, and by that time Jimmy's history with the team had been wiped out. Even the Legion Help File (remember that?) didn't cover the character. It's daunting to cover a character whose scope goes wildly outside the Legion as well. I tried to cover mostly Elastic Lad, Jimmy's Legion contacts, and his major early life events...

"James Olsen was orphaned as a young child after his family fell victim to a train crash. His mother perished and his father, Mark, was washed down a river. Little Jimmy was taken in by an orphanage, adopted, and taken to live in a "remote mountain area." His father continued to search for him while pursuing his career as an archaeologist. Mark and his colleague Hal Rand wound up in trouble in the Yucatan in Mexico, where Mark perished. Rand was the one who eventually located Jimmy, and told him of his father's fate." … READ MORE »

21 December 2018

The Allen Family welcomes newborn Jenni. From Legion v.4 Annual #6 (1995); art by Stuart Immonen.

The Tornado Twins and XS!

Watching the Flash and wondering about the character from the future?

"Donald and Dawn Allen were the twin children of Barry Allen—the second 20th century Flash—and his wife Iris West. Iris met Barry just as he was beginning his career as the Flash, in the second great age of super-heroes. They married not long after meeting. In that time, Barry also took on a sidekick, Iris’ nephew Wally West, who became the first Kid Flash. " … READ MORE »

16 December 2018

The Super-Villains with Echo and Beauty Blaze! From Adventure Comics #355 (1967); art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

The Legion of Super-Villains!

A curious drive-by led me to spend some time upgrading this megaprofile! It was a lot of fun digging back into the LSV, taking me through all eras of Legion history and uncovering the complicated story of the elusive Saturn Queen:

"Their first 30th century caper involved the manipulation of Douglas Nolan, the twin brother of the deceased Legionnaire, Ferro Lad. Nolan, who was under the mental domination of the Villains, attacked on their behalf. When the adult Legion and Superman freed Nolan of this control, the villains retreated to plot again. They returned with reinforcements — the mysterious Echo and fiery Beauty Blaze. This team of five was quite formidable, but the Legionnaires were rescued by benevolent 30th-century descendants of Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk." … READ MORE >>

9 December 2018

Original cover illustration by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer for Amazing Heroes #47 (15 May 1984).

Jack Kirby Interview from Amazing Heroes #47 (1984)

This long-running comics magazine scored a rare interview with Jack Kirby at the time of his New Gods revival in 1984. The interview is interesting because it came very late in Kirby's career, and both his weariness and passion show in nuanced ways as he talked about working for DC, Marvel, and the comics medium itself. He even addressed the decision to ignore New Gods continuity that came after his departure from DC in 1974:

He will not contradict New Gods stories that were done in the interim by others, but instead will be "just plain ignoring them. I' doing my particular theme. Everybody is an individual, and everybody is entitled to his own version, but I can't do someone else. In the last analysis, you can't do someone else's work. You haven't got someone else's outlook. You can only figure out things for yourself." … READ MORE >>

4 November 2018

Famous for dying, Jason Todd's pre-Crisis history was different from that which led to his post-Crisis fate. From Batman #426 (1988); art by Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo.

Jason Todd (Earth-One)

Given this character's debut on the Titans TV series, I am repromoting the Jason Todd/Robin II profile because it has recently undergone a hefty update thanks to Aaron Severson (see the Golden Age Batman Chronology).

The profile covers only up to the Crisis (Todd was rebooted later... did you realize?).

"When he first encountered Batman and Robin, Earth-One's Jason Todd was a 12-year-old circus aerialist, performing with his parents, Joseph and Trina Todd, as The Flying Graysons. The Todds were part of the traveling Hill Circus, whose clown, Waldo Flynn, was friends with Dick Grayson. Waldo later introduced the Todds to Dick, who was struck by how much they reminded him of his own family." … READ MORE >>

4 November 2018

The Tigress is changed by her resurrection by Gudra the Valkyrie. From Young All-Stars #26 (1989); art by Ron Harris and Bob Downs.

The Huntress! Sportsmaster! The Tigress!

This new profile is all in a family... following the popular Huntress (the original) through her marriage to the Sportsmaster and their villainous daughter, Artemis (aka the Tigress).

As usual, this took longer than an anticipated and grew greatly in scope after scratching the surface. I had existing profile info from the Obscure Characters section and wanted to integrate it into the JSA section. It was a fun profile to investigate, as these characters have had such an interesting history. Did you realize there were Earth-One Huntress/Sportsmasters, too?

"Paula Brooks, it has been said, was the daughter of the original Golden Age Tigress. This Tigress fought the magician called Zatara many times. Nothing else is known about that woman's personal life, or Paula's childhood days.

"Wearing a yellow-and-black tiger skin outfit, Paula adopted her mother's namesake and first introduced herself as the Tigress. She injected herself into the actions of the newly-formed "Young All-Stars" (an offshoot of the All-Star Squadron)." … READ MORE >>

7 October 2018

The Dynamic Duo meet their unexpected new butler, Alfred. From Batman #16 (1943); art by Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos.

Alfred the Butler!

This new profile by Aaron Severson's is a great addition to his Golden Age Batman section! Did you know about Alfred's turn as the evil Outsider? OK what about the Eagle? Read on...

"Alfred Beagle was the son of Jarvis, the former butler to the Wayne family in Gotham City. Alfred had a stage career before following in his father's footsteps. However, he was already a middle-aged man by the start of World War II and his only known relative was a niece, Valerie, who lived in Australia. ..." READ MORE >>

» SEE ALSO: Golden Age Batman

14 MAY 2018

In a new origin story, Diana's heroism began while she was still a girl. From Wonder Woman #105 (1959); art by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

Golden Age Wonder Woman!

I did some meaty updates to this profile, so I want to repromote it here. I became intrigued by the whole mess of Wonder Woman continuity in the time period between the Golden and Silver Ages. Wow, there was some crazy zigzagging in this title up until the time that they decided to put Wonder Woman into the all-white mod outfit.

"Thousands of years before the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the goddess Aphrodite created a race of Amazons on a Greek Island called Amazonia. Led by Queen Hippolyte, Earth-Two's Amazons developed an advanced matriarchal culture. The god Mars, infuriated by the Amazons' female-dominated society, inspired the Greek hero Hercules to challenge Hippolyte, steal her magic girdle (a gift from Aphrodite), and enslave her people ..." READ MORE >>


6 May 2018

The Atomic Knights!

The Atomic Knights were soon summoned to help other people in bad straits. From Strange Adventures #120 (1960); art by Murphy Anderson.

Continuing on the Silver Age initiatives, Aaron Severson has prompted another character update. The Atomic Knights have never been more than C-listers, but their original adventures are a Cold War hoot with classic Murphy Anderson art..

"Gardner Grayle was an Army soldier who awoke to find himself alone in a post-holocaust world. He began to recall the war, and how they took "anti-H" pills to protect against radiation. He soon met school teacher Douglas Herald who explained that plants could no longer grow, and the area was ruled by the Black Baron — who hoarded the remaining food. To escape an attack, they retreated into a museum, where they survived the effects of an "R-grenade." Grayle deduced that some nearby metal suits of armor had neutralized its deadly rays…" READ MORE  »

24 March 2018

Adam Strange + Red Tornado!

After battling Kanjar Ro again, Strange and Alanna's nuptials were delayed no more. From Justice League of America #121 (1975); art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin.

Selfless and prolific contributor Aaron Severson has helped me clean up and legitimize my profile for Adam Strange, and while I was at it, (and since the two are sort of thematically related) I finished up some recent additions to the Red Tornado profile as well!

Adam Strange had a successful run in the Silver Age pages of Mystery in Space...

"While searching for the lost Inca city of Caramanga in the Peruvian Andes, American archaeologist Adam Strange was struck by a mysterious Zeta-Beam and transported to the planet Rann, the third planet in the Alpha Centauri system. There, Adam met the Zeta-Beam's creator, Sardath, chief scientist of Rann's capital city of Ranagar, and Sardath's beautiful daughter, Alanna…" READ MORE ABOUT ADAM STRANGE »

The Tornado's roots lie in the adventures of Adam Strange, and his team-ups with the Justice League. Both characters have been given new life in DC's New 52 (but I don't cover that history in here)...

"The Earth adventurer called Adam Strange made frequent visits to the planet Rann via super-light speed transportation called the Zeta Beam. Strange was watched by Ulthoon of Xalthor, whose planet was due to explode. Ulthoon plotted to take Strange's place on the next Zeta Beam, which then stranded Strange on Xalthor..." READ MORE ABOUT RED TORNADO »

24 March 2018

DC's Golden Age Mystics!

Lando quiets skeptics and gets to the business of finding the Hood. From World's Finest Comics #3 (1941); art by Howard Purcell.
Nadir and Arcot use ancient forgotten techniques to find a thief. From New Adventure Comics #25 (1938); art by Will Ely.

Following my profile of Dr. Occult, I've decided to create a new page celebrating the legacy of DC's mystical heroes from the Golden Age. Now complete are profiles on the little-known Lando and Nadir, and the peculiar Gay Ghost.

The succession of DC's mystic heroes was led by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's groundbreaking Doctor Occult. Early heroes such as Nadir and Lando disappeared into obscurity while the Spectre and Dr. Fate have become iconic DC characters. Zatara and Sargon enjoyed long runs, and late in the Golden Age, Dr. Thirteen arrived to take DC's supernatural world into a new era. READ MORE »


25 January 2018

Dr. Occult!

What is Doctor Occult? From The Books of Magic #3 (1991); art by Charles Vess.

After diving into DC's early days with the Crimson Avenger profile, I wondered what should be next. I still have a lot of DC Golden Age that I want to cover and thought: "Why not start from the top?" My research into Dr. Occult revealed a character with a very significant role in history — as the direct ancestor to Superman.

Don't be fooled: the Crimson Avenger was not DC's first super-hero (its first masked hero, yes), nor was Superman its first super-powered hero (though always in costume, yes). Read about Dr. Occult: the world's first comic book super-hero...

"On New Year's Eve 1899, in the American Midwest, a secret coven arramged a ritual to manifest Satan by offering the souls of two infants. At midnight, an evil spirit called Koth appeared instead; he craved the souls of the tainted, not the innocent, and slaughtered the initiates instead." … READ MORE »

6 January 2018

The Crimson Avenger!

The one-time appearance of the Crimson Avenger's flaming sword emblem. From Detective Comics #79 (1943); art by Pierce Rice.

My Seven Soldiers profile led me to do the Crimson Avenger (and eventually the rest), ostensibly because I thought the Avenger would be an "easy one" — because the Avenger's run was shorter than most of his comrades. Have you ever read long stretches of Golden Age comics? It's not great literature. Lucky for you, I've assembled the best bits for you, as always!

"Lee Travis was born to a working class family whose fortunes were poor during the Great Depression. Lee's godfather, Winston Smythe, paid for the tuition to send him to school. But when Lee joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to help fight in the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Smythe threatened to withdraw his support. Despite this, Smythe left his fortune to Travis, which included a New York newspaper, the Globe-Leader." … READ MORE »

18 November 2017

Seven Soldiers of Victory!

Solving the time trap of Dr. Doome. From All-Star Squadron #29 (1984); art by Jerry Ordway and Rick Magyar.

Never let it be said I shy away from a challenge. I wanted to cover the Golden Age group, but I also had a pre-existing write-up of Grant Morrison's 2005 epic. Weaving those strands took weeks! And then I always want to bring you good bits of art to make these long reads more entertaining :) ...

"The Seven Soldiers of Victory were a group of super-heroes assembled in 1941 by writer editor Whit Ellsworth, in the pages of a new quarterly series titled Leading Comics. The formula for the series was the same as that of National's All-Star Comics, which began the year before. Each issue's story featured a group of heroes who divided into solo missions, then regrouped at the end. The editorial strategy was meant to cross-pollinate the characters from other comics, in this case: Action, Adventure, Detective, More Fun and Star Spangled Comics. " … READ MORE »

16 October 2017

Iron Munro!

Iron Munro tries out a more super-heroic costume. From Young All-Stars #12 (1988); art by Howard Simpson and Malcolm Jones III.

I forgot about this one! I acutally completed this profile some time ago but got majorly sidetracked when I started digging in to the Golden Age roots of Superman — which are fascinating, and completely essential to understanding the genesis of Iron Munro.

The character embodies Roy Thomas' own exploration into these roots. The All-Star seed was planted in 1976 when he and Tony DeZuniga adapted Philip Wylie's Gladiator (1930) for Marvel Preview #9. Having just read the book, I think that anyone who says Jerry Siegel might have been influenced by Gladiator is just being diplomatic. There's no question that Superman is based on the character in Gladiator (and others, including Doc Savage), and anyone who reads it will understand my assertion. Go ahead: the novel is in the public domain, so you can start reading today!

I was prepared to break down the similarities until I discovered that it had already been done, and better, by Will Murray in Alter Ego #37 (June 2004). Murray's "Gladiator of Iron, Man of Steel" dives deep into the matter.

This profile is part of my plan to cover all the Young All-Stars in more detail...

"In 1894, scientist Abednego Danner injected his pregnant wife with special experimental serums. As a result, their son Hugo was born with super-human strength. Though he lived with his parents throughout his teen years, Hugo left at age eighteen to attend college and see the world. In the years that followed, Hugo's special powers led him through a number of adventures, but his unique stature among mortal men forever brought him grief." … READ MORE »

23 July 2017

Big Barda leads the forces of Apokolips against Grail. From Justice League #50 (2016); art by Jason Fabok.

The New Gods of the New 52!

So normally when I write profiles, I take the time to weave together the strings of continuity. But as the New 52 is concerned, I always feel like that would be futile. Maybe not. I could try, but it doesn't seem as possible or interesting as when I wrote about Jack Kirby's original New Gods continuity. It's sad and ironic that the New 52 was launched to give DC a fresh start, but then its editors couldn't be bothered to keep a reign on its universe. In a matter of years it was already a terrible mess.

Let's let the new Mister Miracle series roll out and see what transpires, eh?

What you'll find in this New Gods write-up is more a chronicle of appearances and story arcs. It is fun to see how they've been reinterpreted and what parts of Kirby's legacy have been saved or modified. As usual, Geoff Johns tried hardest to honor DC history, in the recent "Darkseid War."

So in anticipation of the Jack Kirby 100th birthday specials, and a new Mister Miracle series, get up to speed on the New Gods of the New 52...

» SEE ALSO: Mister Miracle and Big Barda (New 52)

29 April 2017


The Atom family tree! © 2017 Mike Kooiman.

Continuing on my mission to complete all JSA member profiles! (And eventually, hopefully, all Golden Age DC characters.) Grant Emerson, aka Damage, is the only biological child of the Golden Age Atom. The character was a 1990s creation that starred in his own series, then became a member of the Titans, and eventually the Justice Society. His story was cut short with his death during Blackest Night, and he has not been reintroduced in New 52 continuity.

"His story begins in World War II, in the laboratory of the Nazi scientist Klaus Schimmel. Schimmel was a biogeneticist for the Third Reich who created Baron Blitzkrieg, partly in response to the burst of super-heroes coming out of the United States. After the war Schimmel was taken in by the American secret service (the O.S.S.), and given the name Egrin Wahrman." … READ MORE »


9 April 2017

Stargirl + Star-Spangled Kid + Merry

The Starman/Star-Spangled Kid family tree! © 2017 Mike Kooiman.

I started working on the SSK profile a long time ago and quickly realized how many strands came off from this hero! Stargirl, who was original called Star-Spangled Kid II, clearly needed her own profile. And his sister Merry was spun off into her own as well. The Star-Spangled Kid is also tied into the Starman family tree, as you can see above!

"Sylvester Pemberton was born in 1926 to an "ultra-rich" New York banking family. The American Pembertons originated from the historic journey of the Mayflower." … READ MORE »


19 March 2017

The SW6 Legionnaires!

Legionnaires triptych from the Cosmic Teams trading card set (1993). Art by Chris Sprouse.

Yay, it's the all-new, all-young-again Legionnaires! It sure was exciting while it lasted. When it launched, the excitement was largely due to the art of Chris Sprouse. The SW6 Legionnaires were chronal duplicates of the original Legion. They were made by the Time Trapper and unearthed during the Legion v.4 series.

Legionnaires was created to stem the loss of readership caused by the main series' experimental kind of storytelling. Their time was short-lived but the characters became the templates for the post-Zero Hour Legion, which is why today lots of people — creators included — mistake the two for one another. (In fact, Legionnaires continued its numbering even after the reboot).

"It was 2995 and the alien Dominators had virtually taken over Earthgov, and now landing fleets led by Pinnacle Command to "pacify" Earth. They had discovered the Time Trapper's duplicate Legionnaires but kept them in stasis. The copies might never have been unearthed but for a cataclysmic event — the destruction of Earth's moon." … READ MORE »

13 March 2017

Legion-Spotting in the New 52

The Justice League United teams with the Legion. From Justice League United #9 (2015); art by Neil Edwards and Jay Leisten.

Following the cancellation of Legion of Super-Heroes v.7 (Oct. 2013) and Legion: Lost v.2 (Mar. 2013), the Legion were largely removed from the stage of the mainstream DC Universe. But they have appeared. These appearances have seemed random, and most involve alternate realities. Let's review these appearances one at a time with some thoughts and then chronology listings for the issues!

First is the overlooked but significant arc called "The Infinitus Saga," from Justice League United #6–10. In late 2014, writer Tom King used the Legion in a crossover tale. Coming after the end of Legion v.7, one would expect a membership that included the new Academy members. But King's Legion is exactly the roster that launched with the New 52. Further, the "Lost Legionnaires" are also still in the 21st century. Taken on its own, one might make these conclusions from this story:

  • The Legion's New 52 series have been retroactively eliminated by this event (which would leave a much cleaner slate for their "Rebirth")
  • After its end, Legion members may include any Legionnaires from across any Legion timeline (more fun and something I've been hoping for)
  • The New 52 Supergirl has a future with the Legion.

Sequence of Events

Issue (Date)

Justice League United: The Infinitus Saga

The Justice League returns to Earth with Ultra, a powerful young alien. Mon-El arrives from the 31st century declaring, "that child must be destroyed... or the Legion of Super-Heroes will die!" Note: This issue uses the Legion convention of entries from the "Encyclopedia Galactica."

Justice League United #5 (Dec. 2014)

Part 1: Mon-El attacks the League, coming for Ultra. Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, and Phantom Girl arrive afterwards and try a more diplomatic approach, proposes 24 hours to try to solve the problem. In the future, Infinitus (the former Infinity Man) emerged in the Polaris system and consumed the planets Thanagar and Psion. Shadow Lass is critically wounded and Mon-El is still in love with her. Brainiac found Infinitus' energy signature recorded in the archives, matching Ultra's. Byth of Thanagar has resurrected Hawkman (Katar Hol) and wants possession of Ultra. Byth unleashes his other agents, the Cadre, in Canada. Note: The Legion in this story arc are from a point in time just prior to the launch of the New 52 (Legion v.7 and Legion: Lost v.2). The "Lost" team has already come to the 21st century, and the Academy students have not yet joined.

Justice League United Annual #1 (Dec. 2014)

Part 2: Black Mass steals Ultra away from the League, bringing him to Byth. Brainiac 5 sends his friends, the Legion Lost, to reinforce the League in space.

Justice League United #6 (Jan. 2015)

Part 3: Martian Manhunter battles Byth for telepathic control of Ultra. Saturn Girl gives spare flight rings to protect Leaguers in the vacuum of space. Time anomalies begin to occur and other Legionnaires appear (Cosmic Boy, Blok, Polar Boy, Sun Boy, and Star Boy).

Justice League United #7 (Feb. 2015)

Part 4: In the 31st century, Dream Girl (leader in Brainy's absence) reviews the Legion's history, showing scenes of battling Universo and the Fatal Five. Infinity Wraiths have reached Earth. At the Time Institute, Legionnaires begin to "swap out" for those from the Earth-247 and SW6 timelines: Andromeda, Magno, Dragonmage, Computo, Kid Quantum, Ferro, Kinetix, Monstress, XS (those who are unique to those timelines). Dr. Krzztell sends them back to 21st century as well. Supergirl crashes into Byth's ship and a rift opens, space collapses and Infinitus emerges.

Justice League United #8 (Mar. 2015)

Part 5: Brainy proposes a bomb using Zeta technology to collapse Infinitus. Byth had infiltrated the Ultra project to guide it, hoping Ultra could be a messiah. All rally to detain Byth just as Ultra realizes his potential, and takes the form of Infinitus. J'onn shuts down Ultra's mind just as Brainy launches his bomb. Without Infinitus to absorb the payload, a black hole is opened.

Justice League United #9 (Apr. 2015)

Part 6: To stop the black hole from consuming Thanagar, Brainy moves the planet with Zeta bursts, aided by an amplification spell by the White Witch. The planet comes to rest in Rann's orbit but they are no danger to one another. Brainy says, "There is no telling what the changes we made by coming back in time will do to the landscape of the 31st century. All I know is that we did what had to be done." He meets Supergirl (New 52, for the first time) and he wonders if it will change what will happen between the two of them. He plans to return leadership to Dream Girl when they return. Dawnstar says goodbye to Equinox, who is an inspiration to aboriginal women. The Legion takes Ultra back to the future. The Legion that departs is an amalgam of New 52 and SW6. The Legion Lost return as well. Note: If the "Lost" Legionnaires returned to the 31st century at this point, that New 52 series and all Legion v.7 stories would be eliminated from continuity.

Justice League United #10 (May 2015)

Dawnstar and Wildfire in the Justice League. From The New 52: Future's End #40 (2015); art by Patrick Zircher.

King also wrote Dawnstar and Wildfire into his Future's End tie-ins. This story is set five years in the future and suggests that these Legionnaires stayed in the 21st century and joined the Justice League. The two of them then appeared in a few issues of the main title, The New 52: Future's End (#40-42).

Future's End

5 years from now: Equinox receives a mental distress call from the Martian Manhunter on Mars. He is the warden of the Gulag: a metahuman prison built there by Terrifitech, the Queen Foundation, and S.H.A.D.E. She finds help at the League's Fortress of Justice in New Mexico. Members Cyborg, Vostok, Flash, Dawnstar, and Stormguard agree to help her. They find Grodd in control of J'onn and Captain Atom leading the breakout. Note: Future's End was set in a possible future, five years hence. The Justice League appears throughout New 52: Future's End, but without Legionnaires.

Justice League United: Future's End #1 (Nov. 2014)

Past JLA member Wildfire answers J'onn's call for help. J'onn seizes a momentary lapse in Captain Atom's concentration and takes over his mind; all are reimprisoned. Dawnstar is reunited with Wildfire. Note: This story appeared in advance of the Legion's appearance in Justice League United. Dawnstar and Wildfire did not appear in any other Future's End stories.

Justice League: Future's End #1 (Nov. 2014)

The Justice League (with Dawnstar and Wildfire) are the front line defense when Brainiac arrives on Earth; he's come to "collect" a city. The Atom discovers that Brainiac holds memories of many different timelines.

The New 52: Futures End #40-42 (Apr. 2015)

The Legion of Death/Doom, an alternate version. From Justice League 3001 #9 (2016); art by Scott Kolins.

Another alternate timeline was created by Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis in Justice League 3000. Fans were miffed in 2014 to see a title such as this hit the market because the year 3000 should rightfully be the Legion's home. The Justice League had usurped them. One must not take 3000 so seriously. It was no-holds-barred fun (despite taking actual jabs at the Legion), and the art by Howard Porter was eye-popping. But it's clearly not based in the mainstream DCU timeline, or any other Legion timeline. Read why...

Justice League 3000

Early in the 31st century, across the galaxy life has collapsed into a more primitive state following a crisis. For ten years they have been ruled by The Five (including the Convert). Geneticist Ariel Masters worked on Cadmusworld, ceding it to her successors the Wonder Twins, Teri and Terry Magnus (the Five's leader). They use Masters' cloning process to recreate the Justice League—Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash and Green Lantern. Note: The timeline of Justice League 3000/30001 is an extension of the post-Crisis Justice League and nothing definitive was ever stated in regards to this Earth's designation in the multiverse.

Justice League 3000 #1 (Feb. 2014)

Five member Locus sends the League to prison planet Takron-Galtos. First appearance of Five member Coeval.

Justice League 3000 #2 (Mar. 2014)

The League discover that Takron-Galtos was once called Earth. Note: This revelation fairly well removes any possibility that the timeline of Justice League 3000 has any relation to the Legion's.

Justice League 3000 #3 (Apr. 2014)

Five member Kali attacks and recruits the League's newest clone, Firestorm.

Justice League 3000 #5 (Mar. 2014)

Terry kills his sister, Teri.

Justice League 3000 #7 (Aug. 2014)

Ariel Masters resurrects Teri Magnus as the Flash.

Justice League 3000 #8 (Sept. 2014)

The Justice League settles its headquarters on Camelot Nine. The JLA coax the Five there and take out the Convert, Kali, and Locus. Coeval retreats and Terry Magnus is apprehended by Ariel.

Justice League 3000 #10 (Nov. 2014)

Lancelot helps the League hold the members of the Five in stasis. Terry creates a new Injustice Society: clones of Bane, Lois Lane, Mirror Master, Sinestro, and Zeus. Beneath Galtos, workers excavate a chamber holding Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, from the 21st century.

Justice League 3000 #11 (Jan. 2015)

The Flash finds the palace of Ice, who is immortal.

Justice League 3000 #13 (Mar. 2015)

On Wodin 12, Leaguers investigate the killing of a group of young metahumans who attempted to interfere with the Starro Consciousness, in violation of a treaty. Note: The youths are clearly analogues for the Legionnaires Sun Boy, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Wildfire, Dawnstar, Chameleon Boy, Ultra Boy, and Projectra.

Justice League 3001 #1 (Aug. 2015)

Lady Styx takes over the Commonwealth. On her base world of Naltor, Captain Imra Ardeen comes to brief her. Note: In pre-New 52 continuity, Lady Styx was a space conqueror that appeared in 52 #31 (Dec. 2006). Two courtiers strongly resemble Legionnaires Wildfire and Timber Wolf. Styx's boots resemble those worn by the White Witch in her first appearance, Adventure Comics #350 (Nov. 1966).

Justice League 3001 #8 (Mar. 2016)

Styx transforms Terry Magnus into the new host for Eclipso. He leads royal guard, the Legion of Death. Scion, a Shazam inheritor, serves Styx as bodyguard. Note: This Legion is clearly analogous to the Legion of Super-Heroes. Only two members are ever named, Imra Ardeen (Saturn Girl), and Salu (Shrinking Violet). Obvious counterparts include those for Wildfire, Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, Timber Wolf, Colossal Boy, Phantom Girl, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Blok/Sun Boy, Mon-El, and a hooded member.

Justice League 3001 #9 (Apr. 2016)

Salu of the Legion spies on the Justice League on Paradise Island.

Justice League 3001 #10 (May 2016)

Eclipso leads the "Legion of Doom" against the League. The Flash realizes Eclipso is her brother and for a moment he comes to his senses, wanting freedom.

Justice League 3001 #11 (June 2016)

Styx reveals she is the Magnus twins' mother. She also has power over time; she sends Teri and Batgirl to the 21st century.

Justice League 3001 #12 (July 2015)

Legionnaires discuss the reality of their situation on Telos. From Convergence: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (2015); art by Gus Storms and Mark Farmer.

"Convergence" was meant to celebrate the continued existence of characters and timelines from across DC's histories. Instead, it's inconsistent execution led only to confusion as to its purpose. Heroes were pitted against one another by Telos, minion of Brainiac, who had been collecting cities from dying timelines. The victors would go on with the hope of having their city reinstalled in "real" space. The SW6 Legionnaires appeared as adversaries in Convergence: Blue Beetle. The members of this group included SW6 and some from the post-Zero Hour Legion. More than likely, writer Scott Lobdell didn't take the time to learn the difference.


In Hub City from the former Earth-4 (home of Charlton comics heroes), the Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, and the Question confer about what to do with Telos' ultimatum to fight to the death. Cosmic Boy of the SW6 Legion approaches them diplomatically. This grouping of Legionnaires contains SW6 and Earth-247 Legionnaires together, without any explanation. They come from the salvaged cities of Earth, which were taken into space after Earth's destruction. In the end they allied with one another and the Blue Beetle created an illusion to make Telos believe the Legionnaires had triumphed.

Convergence: Blue Beetle #2 (July 2015)

On the patchwork world of Telos, without their powers, the Legionnaires use their flight rings to help the people of Metropolis. They include Superboy, Colossal Boy (trapped at 12 feet tall), Sun Boy, Ultra Boy, Lightning Lass, Shadow Lass, and Invisible Kid (Wildfire was dissipated). Lightning Lass asks Superboy if she should call him Superman at this point. Brainiac 5 and Computo have ascertained that they are not on Earth. Timber Wolf left prior to this for a "walkabout," was still with Ayla. As she talks with Superboy they nearly share a kiss when lightning jumps from her lips and they realize the dome has come down. Before they can form a plan, the Atomic Knights appear in their city, ready for battle. Element Lad is Legion leader, but not there. Notes: This occurs sometime after the LSV saga. The Atomic Knights first appeared in Strange Adventures #117 (June 1960).

Convergence: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (June 2015)

The Atomic Knights propose the Legion surrender, to save violence. That fails and they fire on Sun Boy. Wildfire returns, saving a Knight from killing Invisible Kid from but they threaten releasing their Morticoccus virus. Superboy negotiates a truce and Brainiac 5 proposes combining their technologies to track down their jailer. Superboy kisses Lightning Lass before the Legionnaires depart for the Knights' Durvale with supplies.

Convergence: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #2 (July 2015)

Heroes released from their cities on Telos are sent on a mission to prevent the original collapse of the Multiverse (in Crisis on Infinite Earths). They succeed and result restores and stabilizes their homes as the New 52 Multiverse. Though their homes are restored, they are "updated" (per the Multiversity Guidebook). Brainiac claims, "Each world has evolved, but they all still exist."

Convergence #8 (July 2015)

Batman takes no notice of Jane Doe, aka Saturn Girl. From Batman #9 (2016); art by Mikel Janin.

And recently there have been some clues about the Legion's formal "rebirth," beginning with Saturn Girl's appearance in DC Universe: Rebirth and more recently in Batman #9.

There is a large event in the making, allegedly penned by Geoff Johns. Other titles have also begun to set the stage. In Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, we discovered that the Emerald Empress has also been in the 21st century for a while, looking for Saturn Girl. On their website, DC Comics says, "The "Empress" [is] one of the most feared villains of the 31st Century, occasional leader of the Fatal Five and mortal enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Not much is known about the Eye itself, other than the power it grants those who bond with it. However, signs seem to indicate that it's some sort of parasite; that it may actually be the puppeteer rather than the puppet. Sarya's first defeat was actually a surrender. She had to beg Sensor Girl of the Legion to separate her from the Eye, which would not allow her to die."

Sure sounds like status quo for the Legion, to me. There are murmurs that the story will continue in Supergirl.


Saturn Girl is a patient at Arkham Asylum. She says, "I've seen the future." They have her Legion flight ring. She wants to speak with Superman and is questioned by Metropolis police. Notes: Writer of this issue, Geoff Johns, said, " Saturn Girl is the heart and soul of the Legion of Super-Heroes. When everybody's saying, 'Legion doesn't work anymore. There's too much xenophobia. You can't change people.' Saturn Girl says, 'Yes, you can. Then suddenly, you realize she can read people's minds. She knows everyone's deepest darkest secrets. If she has faith, then at the base level, human beings and aliens and everybody can reach that goal, can reach achievement and have that goodness inside them. I believe her. I'm with her. And that's why Saturn Girl is so important to the Legion. She's at the epicenter of truth for the entire universe for me."

DC Universe: Rebirth (July 2016)

While collecting operatives for his own Suicide Squad from Arkham Asylum, Batman passes a Saturn Girl (named "Doe"), who draws a Legion symbol on her cell wall. Notes: Writer Tom King said, "There is this huge spine running up the back of the DC Universe, and 'Batman' ties directly into it and it is plotted out to 2019 and even beyond that. Saturn Girl ... plays a role in the story going forward."

Batman v.2 #9 (Dec. 2016)

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad

Several years ago: Amanda Waller forms her first Suicide Squad with Rustam as Task Force X field commander. He leads Dr. Polaris, Johnny Sorrow, Lobo, Cyclotron, and the Emerald Empress, who seeks intel about Saturn Girl. Lobo kills Cyclotron destroying the whole island, knocking the Squad out, and they're reimprisoned.

Justice League #9 (Mar. 2017)

Maxwell Lord frees the original Suicide Squad from Belle Reve penitentiary, for revenge against Amanda Waller.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 (Feb. 2017)

The Emerald Empress comments, she "feels like time is missing. I must find the Legionnaire."

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #2 (Mar. 2017)

The Empress' Emerald Eye of Ekron is described as a weapon of immense mystic energy, and has elements of Green Lantern technology.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #3 (Apr. 2017)

The Empress advises Superman to let Max get what he wants, if he wants a better future. The Eye refuses to fire on Green Lantern Jessica Cruz. G.L. Simon Baz damages the eye, forcing the Empress to retreat, continuing her search for Saturn Girl. Note: An editorial note says this plot thread will continue in the pages of Supergirl.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #4 (May 2017)

24 February 2017

DC Super-Hero Legacy!

Many of DC's heroes ended their runs because of reduction in page counts, or canceled or reformatted titles.

This new infographic was inspired by the findings of my study of DC's Golden Age characters chronologies (see next article), and realized a few things about the reasons why certain characters have become the icons we know today:

  • Writer Gardner Fox was the creator of both the Justice Society and the Justice League. It stands to reason that the characters he was most familiar with would be furthest to the front of his mind when it came time for reinvention.
  • Likewise, Justice League editor Julius Schwartz, and writer John Broome had been active during the production of Golden Age titles, and engineered other key Silver Age revivals.
  • Original characters with unbroken publication records (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) or with a mostly-continuous presence in comics (Aquaman and Green Arrow) were the foundations of the early JLA (and the Super Friends). The team's founding roster was rounded out with reinventions of Golden Age anchors, the other two who'd held their own titles, the Flash and Green Lantern.
  • The remainder of the Justice Society members who were still active when All-Star Comics ceased publication (Hawkman, the Atom, and Black Canary) were also among the first to be reintroduced for the Silver Age.
  • Poor Doctor Mid-Nite was the sole Justice Society survivor left out of the Silver Age renaissance. 😢  JSA members who'd dropped off before 1951 were reintroduced piecemeal, as the concept of Earth-Two took hold and JLA/JSA team-ups gained popularity.
  • The chart also shows how DC rolled out its reintroduction of second tier Golden Age characters. Aside from the JSA members, it was mainly the Seven Soldiers of Victory who came back in the 1970s. In the 1980s, All-Star Squadron emptied much of the remaining vaults.

Because DC Comics has been in continuous publication, there are precious few Golden Age DC characters who haven't been reintroduced in some fashion. Add to that the Quality Comics and Fawcett Comics characters, and the legacies have been a goldmine for storytelling.