Random Blast from the Past: Legion Flowchart

Courtesy of the Absorbascon, here’s the infamous Legion of Super-Heroes flowchart promotional poster, written by Tom McCraw, Mike McAvennie, and my hubby KC Carlson with art by Jeff Moy and Cory Carani.

Legion flowchart promotional poster

I was working at DC (and dating the Legion editor) when this poster came out, aimed at getting retailers to promote the book. That didn’t happen very often, so it was even more disappointing that they underestimated fan demand for this cute little giveaway and didn’t overprint it. I suspect that most of them went straight into collections instead of on the wall, especially since it came with a sheet of matching headshot stickers.

But DC’s marketing department (and bear in mind I’m talking about more than a decade ago, so no reflection is intended on the friendly folks there now) hasn’t always gotten the Legion. I remember one story about how one marketer fell in love with metallic ink covers to the extent that he wanted to put them on everything. Not only that, he wanted to use mutiple shades of metallic inks. Now, this was back when DC’s printer had a five-color press, and each metal tone took up one slot. To launch Legionnaires #1, this guy wanted to put three colored metallics on the cover, and given that you have to use black, that only left one slot of color. Also, you need to know that flesh tones are created by blending shades, so this also meant that you couldn’t put any people on the cover. When this was pointed out to him, he responded “What about robots? Could you put a robot on the cover?”

16 Responses to “Random Blast from the Past: Legion Flowchart”

  1. Shawn Fumo Says:

    Neat! I’ve always liked charts like this.. it is especially good timing considering I was just looking at the chart in Scott Pilgrim #3. :)

  2. George Says:

    Fun stuff. Moy’s art, along with some of Stern’s plots and scripts, and a certain editor’s inputs, were the things I liked most about that era of that iteration of the Legion.

    Looking at this chart now, I’m struck by what I’ve forgotten, or perhaps never new: Mysa and Dragonmage were an item? Who the heck were Particon, Radion, and Atom X (I take it the latter was this iteration’s version of Xanthu’s Atmos?)? And what ever happened to Inferno–didn’t she and Ferro swap 21st/31st Century time periods? Did she get stranded in the 21st along the lines of Bart Allen, with no further access to “her” 31st Century?

  3. Lyle Says:

    Ah, I remember this one well. It (and the stickers) were a grail for me when they came out… they were pretty hard to find, at least in Honolulu they were.

    I miss those “franchise month” promotions DC used to do. They were a fun way to try to emphasise why a book deserved more notice (I know I checked out the titles featured in other theme months).

  4. James Schee Says:

    I still have that poster and those stickers somewhere, they were so nifty.

    That was a really fun time as a Legion fan, Moy’s art just had such a fun, energetic style. The characters looked like teens, not smaller adults.

    Odd thing about that cover description. I seem to remember a cover coming out JUST like that, but I’ll be darned if I can remember what it was now.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Oh, George, I’ve forgotten all the details on that kind of thing… someday I’ll reread those comics and laugh. :)

    Inferno did get stuck in our time, leading into Stuart Immonen’s four-issue miniseries focusing on her, but I don’t remember what happened beyond that.

    Lyle, that’s right! I’d forgotten about franchise months, even though I had to build special areas for them on AOL when they happened. They usually involved a Secret Files issue for the character/group, too, as well as a couple of collections or other special releases.

    James, if you remember, be sure to let us know! And yeah, I wish Jeff was still doing comics, beyond his minicomics.

  6. Lyle Says:

    I used to really enjoy those special efforts you worked on for the themed months. Those efforts made the DC section on AOL feel worth the subscription fees (since I was using a local ISP at the time, my only reason for sticking with AOL was the exclusive content).

    I just recalled a trivia contest you ran during one of the Legion chats. You sent me some promotional materials from Legion month for answering one of the questions, which I appreciated greatly.

  7. Johnny Bacardi Says:

    Hey! There’s Kinetix! Gosh, I miss her.

  8. Michael Grabois Says:

    AtomX, Kids Quantum, Star Boy, and Monstress were part of the Uncanny Amazers, which was Xanthu’s hero team. The other group, with Radion, Particon, and others, were part of the Workforce, which was Leland McCauley’s team. In some battle, both AtomX and Radion were seriously injured, and their radiation energy or whatever combined to be the new Wildfire.

    Yes, I had to look this up.

    And yes, both Inferno and Bart Allen came from that particular 30th century. But Bart’s continued existence implies that Barry’s kids Don and Dawn were still born in “a” 30th century, and so XS could be out there somewhere/somewhen.

    I think I got my copy of the poster and stickers from DCOJohanna, too!

  9. Johanna Says:

    Kinetix had a surprisingly large fan following, Johnny, especially when she had the tail.

    Lyle, you’re too kind to remember all that. That job changed my life, but it seems a long while ago now.

    Michael, thanks for the flashback!

  10. James Schee Says:

    Aw those Legion chats, those were a lot of fun and my favorite chat that was held as the fans and pros were really into it.

    Wow I hadn’t thought of those things in a long time. I used to be DCOHost1, on there, and gave up my Monday and Tuesday evenings gladly for those things.

    Anyway, I kind of want to say there was a LSH cover near the end of Zero Hour. That was all black with silver metallic inking on the cover and the figures of Mordu and Glorith?(I think…)

  11. Michael Grabois Says:

    James – was it issue 54 with the die-cut cover? Issue 60 has Mordru and Glorith, but I don’t remember that one being metallic.

  12. Johanna Says:

    Oh, the die-cut. I still remember Dave von Domelen on Usenet calling it the comic that tried to eat his other comics. That’s going to be very hard to find in mint in the long-term, what with all that potential for tiny tears.

  13. James Schee Says:

    Darn, for some reason I have this image of a LSH cover with all black and these figures in silver ink looking frozen reaching for something. Yet I’ve done a websearch and can’t find it, so I’m beginning to think I imagined it.

    Odd that Marvel’s Tsunami line had all black, with metallic ink covers for thier #6 and 7 issues though.

  14. Andrew Burton Says:

    Querl Dox and Ayla Ranzz were romantically linked at one time? Or am I reading that wrong?

  15. Johanna Says:

    They must have been, because I have vague memories of one of the writers wanting to do a story where they had a kid together! (It involved some kind of space/age warp, I think.)

  16. Dan Coyle Says:

    Ah, the good old days, when the Legion was drawn by an artist who could draw actual teenagers.




Most Recent Posts: