The Original Legion: Introduction

Special thanks to Aaron Severson and DarkMark's Comics Indexing Domain

Cosmic Teams is the home of the most comprehensive and detailed history of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

About Original Legion History

This section covers events that occurred from the Legion's debut in 1958 through the end of that timeline in 1994 (when the future was entirely "hard rebooted").

In 2006, the original Legion was sort of restored to the DC multiverse. To read the events from that continuity, visit the "Retroboot" section.

Original Legion (1958โ€“1986)

A retro illustration of the Legion's classic members. From Action Comics #858 (2007); art by Gary Frank and Jon Sibal.

The original Legion of Super-Heroes lived in a future that was considered the "canonical" future for Earth-One. On Earth-One, Superman began his heroic career as a young man, called Superboy. His exploits were legendary and inspired super-powered teens in the 30th century to form the Legion of Super-Heroes.

The three founding Legionnaires (Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl) traveled back in time to meet Superboy, who joined the team and shared many adventures with them throughout his teen years. When he became Superman, he seldomly visited the Legion. His teenage cousin Supergirl (Kara Zor-El of Krypton) also became a Legionnaire.

The continuity of the original Earth-One ended in 1986, after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. The DC multiverse was destroyed and replaced by a new, single timeline. In the post-Crisis timeline, Superman had never been Superboy.

The Legion's adventures in this era were told in Adventure Comics, Superboy, Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes, and Legion of Super-Heroes volumes 2 and 3.

Post-Crisis (1986โ€“1990)

The funeral of the Pocket Universe Superboy. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.3 #38 (1987); art by Greg LaRocque and Mike DeCarlo.

In the new, single DC timeline, Superman was recreated as the sole survivor of Krypton, which meant that there was no Supergirl. The post-Crisis Superman's powers did not develop fully until he was an adult, and he never had a career as Superboy.

To fill this serious gap in Legion continuity, the Legion's Superboy was said to have existed in a "Pocket Universe" created by one of the Legion's greatest foes, the Time Trapper.

The Trapper was a powerful entity who orchestrated the Legion's fate in order to counter the power of the sorcerer Mordru. To ensure that the Legion would still exist to fight Mordru, the Trapper created his own Superboy and an artificial universe where he could live. The Pocket Universe (not the true past) became the destination for all the Legion's trips to the past, directed by the Time Trapper.

Superboy & the Legion eventually discovered this charade and Superboy sacrificed himself to save the Pocket Universe from the Time Trapper.

There was no replacement in post-Crisis continuity for Supergirl.

The Legion's adventures in this era were told in Legion of Super-Heroes volume 3 and Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

ยป SEE ALSO: DC Crisis Chronology

Glorith Reality (1990โ€“1994)

Pinup from Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #13 (1990); art by Keith Giffen and Al Gordon.

Legion creators grew weary of dealing with Superman's ever-shifting presence in Legion continuity. In 1990, Keith Giffen joined with Tom and Mary Bierbaum to relaunch the series. Legion of Super-Heroes volume 4 began by jumping ahead five years and told a story where the Legionnaire Mon-El destroyed the Time Trapper — and thus, the Pocket Universe.

When the universe was reconstructed, Mon-El was redubbed "Valor" and the Time Trapper's role and powers were replaced by Glorith of Baaldur. In the "Glorith Reality," the Legion was inspired by the 20th-century heroics of Valor instead of Superboy. Valor's family descendant, Laurel Gand, also joined the Legion, replacing the role that Supergirl played in Original continuity.

The Glorith Reality came to an end when Glorith herself accidentally caused Valor's death in the 20th century. The Original Legion's entire existence disintegrated. This was a part of the Zero Hour event, and the team was entirely rebooted.

The Legion's adventures in this era were told in Legion of Super-Heroes volume 4 and Legionnaires.

The Retroboot

The original Legion is refreshed for the new millennium. From Action Comics #863 (2008); art by Gary Frank and John Sibal.

Again, in 2006 the original Legion was sort of restored to the DC multiverse. Read more about that in the "Retroboot" section.

Chronology Standards

  1. The history is constructed assuming that all Original timelines are valid. Events are listed regardless of whether they were retroactively eliminated or not.
  2. Color codes:
    A new member joins the Legion.
    A major story arc.
    A Legionnaire dies.
    Adult Legion stories: These were an alternate future timeline for the Original Legion. They were not the "real" future of the Legion and were not part of Legion continuity, although some of them were part of Superman/Supergirl continuity.
    Imaginary Stories that are not technically part of any continuity.
  3. Issue information in parentheses indicates one of two things: (a) the tale was retold/corroborated in additional stories, and/or (b) the tale was told out of chronological order. Certain events that have never been chronicled in print (the five-year gap, Kid Quantum's admission and "death", etc.) use asterisks (*) in place of issue numbers and cover dates.
  4. Characters' first appearance IN PRINT is bolded. This often differs from their first chronological appearance.
  5. When the placement of a tale within continuity is in question, the event is usually placed in the most recent possible time.
  6. All 30th Century dates come from 2995: The Legion of Super-Heroes Sourcebook and/or Legion of Super-Heroes (volume 4).
  7. Only the inheritors to a title display the level of succession. Example: "Invisible Kid II" (for Jacques Foccart), but just "Invisible Kid" (no "I" for Lyle Norg).
  8. Consideration for inclusion is based on an event's relevancy to the Legion, its members and their legacy. This includes major Legion series and key issues from other DCU series.

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