The Legion of Super-Heroes: Their History

The Legion of Super-Heroes by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer

I was asked by a member of my comic book discussion group what the Legion of Super-Heroes was. So I made this presentation to go over their history, various series, odd quirks, and why they appealed to me as a fan.

I hadn’t realized it’s been five years since the Legion had their own comic. I miss them. While I didn’t read their last five series (!), putting all this together made me want to dive back into all the eras. Thankfully, they’re being reprinted these days, whether you want to go back to the beginning with the hardcover Archives or the black-and-white Showcases or the Silver Age Omnibus, or sample the post-Zero Hour reboot, or visit the classic 70s Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (continuing from the Archives).



10 comments

  • James Schee

    Great over view of the series!

  • Hal Shipman

    I never bought the “complicated continuity” argument. At the time that they jumped up to being a top title, they already had 20+ years of insane minutia. Not sure what it was, but Busiek’s perspective feels right.

  • Nice summary. But one question: you didn’t have to explain who Superboy was? Given the reboots/how the Clark Kent version’s been out of the spotlight for years, figure the general public might not know who he is. Though guess “Superman used to be a teenage superhero in Smallville named ‘Superboy’; it was like the “Smallville” TV show, but openly a superhero” works.

  • Jim Perreault

    I’ve no idea what Busiek’s perspective is, but Johanna’s feels spot on. ( The multiple reboots weakening the fan base, making it hard to do a restart.)

    I recently came across that Alan David poster while cleaning out a room. It’s a nice poster, but feels very weird as so many of the characters no longer exist.

  • James Schee

    With the LSH set to return soon in a new incarnation I was reminded of this slide show so came to look at it. That Davis & Farmer drawing is still amazing. So many characters I’ve forgotten Monstress (who I hope would be more accepted now), Thunder, Gates, Kinetix (I had completely forgotten her!) and there are characters I don’t remember at all.

    Who is the character in the upper right with the green hair and costume??

    Is the blonde haired male character inbetween her and Tenzil, Element Lad? Or is that crystal guy besides the Ranzz twins him? Been sooo long lol.

  • Wow, how did I miss this comment? (Well, I missed a lot of things this summer.)

    The top right woman is Lori Morning in one of the H-Dial guises. (Listed as Unknown on the poster as an upcoming tease.) The blond guy next to her is Magno from Braal – same powers as Cosmic Boy, but based on the poster comment, he’d lost them somehow. Element Lad is the white-blond in front of Triad; I think he’s the one you called “crystal guy”. Next to Magno is a hard-to-see Easter egg, a yellowish blur, that was intended to be Proty.

    It has been a long time, hasn’t it? 25 years now. I had to get our framed copy down off the wall for the details. (It’s a double-sided frame for just this reason.)

  • James Schee

    Ah thanks for the info! Wow I really need to reread that era of Legion again, it has been sooo long. I have the first 2 Legionaires compilations. I’ve made it through the first but have yet to start the second one.

  • I keep meaning to do a re-read, particularly with some of the nicer hardcovers they’ve released recently, but finding the time…

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