LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES

The Reboot Legion: Post-Zero Hour

aka The Legion of Earth-247

Special thanks to the editing of Brian Mendus.

Introduction

Gatefold cover from Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #100 (1998); art by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer.
Pinup from Legion Secret Files #1 (1998); art by Phil Jimenez.
Diptych cover art from Legionnaires #47 (1997, left) and Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #91 (right); art by Jeff Moy and W. C. Carani.
Cover art from Legion of Super-Heroes Secret Files #2 (1999); art by Chris Sprouse and Al Gordon.

The Legion of post-Zero Hour continuity (called "the Reboot Legion" herein) is the second distinct iteration of the team. This Legion's publishing history spans 1994–2004.

In the real world, the Reboot Legion was created in response to a laundry list of concerns among stakeholders, editors and fans. KC Carlson was the Editor of the Legion titles at the time. He was interviewed for the Legion Companion, where he revealed a number of details about the decision to reboot:

[When Keith Giffen was leaving the book,] “They were sort of unhappy with it. … it was so sense and dark, and it was unlike what the Legion had been, and it was certainly controversial among Legion fans at the time because it was so different from what had gone before." …

“After a while I realized it was like there were two copies of every Legion character running around the Legion universe in the same continuity, and it was just confusing to me, and I think it became confusing to the readers." …

"With the decision to publish Zero Hour, the thinking was “if ever we were going to reboot the Legion, this was the time to do it.” …

“There was a feeling, especially among the people at DC, that the SW6 characters were ultimately going to be a lot more popular than the adults."

And so it was; the Reboot borrowed heavily from the look and feel of the "Batch SW6" Legion, the teen Legionnaires from Original Legion continuity. The SW6 were "chronal clones" of the elder Legionnaires. They wore colorful uniforms and adopted modernized codenames. Those elements of the SW6 team were transferred to the post-Zero Hour characters — but the Reboot Legion had its own totally original continuity.

In DC's fictional reality, the new Legion was the result of the time fluctuations caused by the Zero Hour event. This "Crisis in Time" resulted in the total eradication of the 30th century, but it did not reboot the whole DC Universe to the degree that Crisis on Infinite Earths had (though it did give creators license to make continuity changes).

This Legion is sometimes jokingly referred to as the "Archie Legion," because of the tone of its early stories and the style of Jeff Moy's artwork.

Re-rebooting the Legion

Cover art from The Legion #33 (2004); art by Chris Batista and Andy Lanning.
Superboy (Conner Kent) comes from the 21st century to join the Legion. From The Legion #26 (2004); art by Chris Batista and Chip Wallace.
The Reboot Legion (Earth-247) fights for its survival; they barely survive Alexander Luthor's reconstruction of the multiverse. From Infinite Crisis #6 (2006); art by Phil Jimenez.

By 2004, the Reboot Legion's sales also began to wane and it was decided to reboot the franchise again. For readers, it was a surprise because the series had recently received critical acclaim. Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Olivier Coipel created a breakthrough limited series, Legion: Lost, which was a startlingly fresh perspective on the Legion. After Lost, a new ongoing series (The Legion) continued the momentum with popular artist Chris Batista.

The all-new "Threeboot" had no connection to the Reboot Legion; it was another totally original team.

At this time in publishing history, there was still just one DC universe, so there was only one version of the 30th century, a single Legion. That changed in 2005. In 52 and the Infinite Crisis, the DC multiverse was recreated. This new multiverse made it possible to have multiple Legions.

The Reboot Legion resurfaced in Infinite Crisis #6 (May 2006), when the Alexander Luthor was trying to reconstruct the multiverse. The Reboot Legion's universe was dubbed "Earth-247" but Luthor discarded it. His new reality included just 52 universes (not an infinite number).

The Reboot Legion team escaped its universe's destruction and joined the other two Legions in the epic tale by Geoff Johns and George Pérez, Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds (2008-09).

At the conclusion of Three Worlds, the Reboot Legion existed, but they were still homeless. They decided to explore the new multiverse and call themselves "the Wanderers." They never appeared again but some members have appeared in anomalous stories such as Convergence and the "Infinitus Saga" (Justice League United, 2009).

Reboot Legion Series

The Reboot Legion appeared in the following DC comic book series:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4, #0, 62–125 (1994–2000)
  • Legionnaires, #0, 19–81 (1994–2000)
  • Teen Titans/Legion: Universe Ablaze, 4-issue limited series (2000)
  • Legion: Lost, 12-issue maxi-series (2000–01)
  • Legion Worlds, 6-issue limited series (2001)
  • The Legion, 38 issues (2001–2004)
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, 5-issue limited series (2008-09)

Reboot Legion Chronology

Assumptions

This chronology is edited assuming:

  1. Earth-247 does not currently exist as an alternate Earth. This is because...
  2. Earth-247 was destroyed by Alexander Luthor's Infinite Crisis.
  3. While it existed, the Reboot Legion's future was the singular future of the DC universe.
  4. After the multiverse was recreated, all of the Reboot Legion's time travel to the past was to Earth-0. (Earth-0's Brainiac 5 stated in Legion of Three Worlds #3, "You interacted with our Earth's history ... on many occasions.")
  5. Legion members XS, Conner Kent (Superboy), Ferro, and honorary member Bart Allen (Impulse) were all born on Earth-0.
  6. This Legion was inspired by the 20th century Valor and the Justice League, but Clark Kent (Superman) was ever invited to be a member.

Conventions

  1. Color Codes:
    A new member joins the Legion.
    A Legionnaire dies.
    Major story arc.
  2. 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.
  3. Characters' first appearance IN PRINT is bolded. These instances refer to the first appearance a character in this timeline. For example, the Legion's 1st appearance is listed as Legion of Super-Heroes #0, not Adventure Comics #247.
  4. When the placement of a tale within continuity is in question, the event is usually placed in the most recent possible time.
  5. Only the inheritors to a title display the level of succession. Example: "Kid Quantum II" (for Jazmin), but just "Kid Quantum" (no "I" for James).
  6. 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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