With Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes 258, we wrap up the first sub-reality in the long history of the Legion. We have divided the history of the Legion into 5 major realities and a number of sub-realities. The divisions are not necessarily based on the storylines, but how the various creative teams treated the teams.
For example, in reality 1.0, Superboy was the star. He appeared in almost all issues and on almost all covers. In Adventure 344 (Index 1065) Superboy played a small part in the story, but the creators got him on the cover by having some other hero impersonate him. By 1979, the Legion was popular enough to succeed without him, so Superboy was written out (for a while) and received his own book again.
The following is our summary of the various realities that Legion creators have presented for us. This will probably generate some comments and controversy. We certainly hope so. As we run through the history of the Legion in this blog, we will expand on the reasoning behind this summary. And as we progress, there may be changes in that reasoning.
Another example, the current iteration of the Legion by Paul Levitz has been described as a return to a the original pre-crisis time line, with the inconsistencies explained away as “chroniclers’ error”. We have chosen to portray the current stories as a part of a fifth reality that closely resembles the original.
1.0 - Superboy and the Super Hero Club
Adventure Comics 247 (1958) through Legion of Super Heroes v2 258
Created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, the Legion was introduced as a part of the Superman editorial family. Taken over by Most Weisinger as editor, the Legion were frequent guest stars in Superman, Superboy, Action, Adventure, Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane, until they landed in Adventure. The Legion combined heroic characters who were close in age to their readers with science-fiction storylines. Teenaged Jim Shooter brought a new level of characterization to the book. And Paul Levitz introduced multi-issue, multi-level plotlines. Early stories were written as disposable literature. Plot inconsistencies abounded because no one believed that readers would actually save these 12-cent gems.
Fans did much to assemble the history of the Legion in the letter columns and in the amateur publications they circulated among themselves. Fans also suggested new members, and many future creators came up from the ranks of Legion fans of this period.
Superboy was the main character and was featured in every issue and on nearly every cover. But to explain away plot holes, it was stated that Supergirl joined before Superboy as some kind of test run.
1.1 – Legion without Superboy
Legion of Super Heroes v2 259 through Tales of the Legion of Super Heroes v2 325
1.2 – Grim and Gritty Legion
Legion of Super Heroes v3 1 through Legion of Super Heroes v3 16
2.0 - Post Crisis on Infinite Earths
Legion of Super Heroes v3 17 through Legion of Super Heroes v3 63 (1989)
2.1 - Post Magic War
2995 sourcebook from Mayfair Games (1989) through Legion of Super Heroes v4 3 (1990)
2.2 – The Glorith Reality
Legion of Super Heroes v4 4 (1990) through Legion of Super Heroes v4 19 (1991)
2.3 – The Glorith Reality with the SW6
Legion of Super Heroes v4 20 (1991) through Zero Hour –Crisis in Time 1 (1994)
3.0 – Post Zero Hour
Legion of Super Heroes v4 0 and Legionnaires 0 (1994) through Legion of Super Heroes v4 (1996)
3.1 – Legion Divided
Legionnaires 41 (1996) through Legionnaires 56 (1998)
3.2 Legion Reunited
Legion of Super Heroes v4 100 (1998) through Legion of Super Heroes v4 125 (2000)
3.3 - Post Blight
egion Lost 1 (2000) through through Legion 38 (2004)
4.0 – Teenage Wasteland
Teen Titans / Legion Special 1 (2004) through Legion of Super Heroes v5 50 (1009)
5.0 – Legion Reinvented
Justice Society of America v2 1 (2007) through present
Stay tuned for more.
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