Sunday, November 20, 2005


Here's the repost of a comment I made over at Scans Daily. Sollie7 asked if someone could scan in some Legion comics and explain Legion reboots. I obliged.

Let's see, how to explain the Legion reboots....

1. The original series up through the Crisis, 1958-1986. Superboy, Supergirl, yada yada yada.

2. In the wake of the original Crisis, Superman was rebooted, which retconned Superboy out. The easy way out was to just ignore Superboy in current continuity, but that got messy when the Legion (who knew Superboy) met the new Superman (who was never a Superboy), so they invented the Pocket Universe. That allowed them to keep *a* Superboy (but didn't explain how the Legion met Superman, since the PU Superboy died shortly thereafter). Still, it wasn't TOO messy, as long as you didn't think about it much. Then Giffen and the Bierbaums came along and jumped us Five Years Later into a dystopian future.

3. Very early in the series, a battle with the Time Trapper caused a brief reboot into the "Mordruverse", which showed what happened when Mordru ruled the universe. That story ended with the Mordruverse rebooting. This was only a single issue. This doesn't really count in the number of reboots, but it is a dividing line.

4. After the Mordruverse rebooted, there were never a Superboy or Supergirl, instead there was Valor (formerly Mon-el) and Andromeda, who were retconned in place of the Kryptonian duo. Still, it was mostly the old continuity and characters. Along the way, a group of "kid Legionnaires" called the SW6 Batch showed up. This timeline ended with Zero Hour.

5. The first true reboot came post-Zero Hour, with a new continuity that started from scratch, although it had parallels with the old series. You didn't have to have read the original stuff, but it helped. As time went on, it diverged more and more. It started with a happy and light future, led by Roger Stern, Tom Peyer, and Mark Waid, and then took a drastic turn to darkness once Abnett and Lanning came on. They killed some characters and introduced new ones. This series ended as the Legion was lost in space due to a battle with the Fatal Five (Hundred) along side the Teen Titans in last year's Titans/Legion Special.

6. Now we have the third real reboot (or the "threeboot" as some are calling it), with Waid and Kitson. Again, it starts from scratch and has some characters the same as the old series, but each reboot moves further and further away, and you don't need to have read the old series in order to understand the new one.

In my last post, Patrick asked in the comments if he was a super-genius of Coluan proportions to have understood the Legion (as well as the Multiverse). I think it's more along the lines of people who came in later had (or thought they had) to remember not only what's going on in current continuity, but also previous continuities.

"OK, I read a few Legion stories and they all had Superboy, and then I read another one where he died, but if he died, how can he grow up to be Superman? And who are all these guys with no costumes or code names, have we seen them before, and how come Mon-el is this guy Valor who is worshipped as a god? Why are they acting differently from how I remember? Andromeda is hot! They show her getting inducted into the Legion but I don't remember her from my old issues. Do I need to know all of this for the post-Zero Hour issues? OK, some of it's the same, but what's the same and what's different? Gah, I'm so confused!"

It'll be very interesting to see how Infinite Crisis affects the Legion. We've seen lots of other characters (and universes, and multiverses) come back from the dead, and we've seen the "original" Legion via Hypertime in the Kingdom books and in the previous Legion titel, so they're out there somewhere. The Earth-2 Superman is already back, as the pre-Crisis Luthor appears to be as well, so why not the return of the pre-Crisis (or post-Crisis pre-Mordruverse, or post-Mordruverse pre Zero Hour, or post-Zero Hour pre-threeboot) Legion? Maybe that's where Dawnstar, Blok, Tyroc, Wildfire, and Sensor Girl are coming from in LSH 15.

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