The latest issue of Legion of Super-Heroes is not quite the last (there’s still a post-mortem Kevin Maguire wrapup to go) but it seems that another ending is in the cards for the kids from the future.  While I understand that the series has some hurdles to overcome in terms of sales and audience expectations, it’s a shame to see the inverted rocket ship closing up shop after forty years of continuous publication and fifty-five years of history.  These days, I don’t even hold much stock in the old chestnut that it’s good for a property to go out of circulation so that it can come back with a fresh perspective in a few months, as the publishing plan at both Marvel and DC right now seems to be “fish or cut bait.”  Given that the team has weathered revampings, reworkings and at least 3 full universal schisms, I don’t think that it’s the end of my Legion, but I have to say I’m not feeling optimistic, especially hearing about the plans for a ‘Justice League 3000’ title to take the place of the LSH.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) thinks that the whole problem started when Paul Levitz unceremoniously shuffled away Matter-Eater Lad, asking: Do you think that it’s time to finally leave the Legion’s future in the past?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. GrandHarrier
    July 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    I’m a more recent convert to the Legion, having come into them in the last five years or so; I consumed everything that I could and managed to get a rather sizeable collection of their books all the way back to their origins, from the archives to lots of near complete runs of their middle-to-late volumes. I’ve come to love what they are; The vision of a better future, the ideals of Superman manifested a thousand years in the future, and in many ways the very inspiration for the man they idolized.

    I don’t know what it is about the Legion that isn’t clicking. Perhaps it wasn’t as approachable as it could have been for the New 52. You can’t say DC didn’t try, they had two series from the get go, one of which went 16 issues and had an amazing Tellus issue but got caught up in the Teen Titans crossover that didn’t really go anywhere, and another that just sort of meandered. I just hope DC doesn’t fully abandon them.

  2. Mark
    July 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm — Reply

    I am all for the legion
    IF they can give us fun new stories and not rehash stuff or reboot them to death… waid/ kitson brought me into the legion and then it was gone and wiped from time

    next writer up and so on

  3. Oldcomicfan
    July 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm — Reply

    The Legion was at its best when it was the backup feature in the Superboy comic of the 60s. It was a kids comic, and the inverted rocket ship and goofy powers were perfect for that audience. Every attempt to make the Legion acceptable to an older audience by making the characters older, darker and grittier had failed. Perhaps because the basic concept doesn’t work when removed from its kiddie book origins.

    To be honest, I’ve had the same problem with almost all of the team books – JLA, The Defenders, The Avengers, etc. except for the Teen Titans. It always seems that when a book has too many lead characters, it’s difficult to write for. Sure, it works for Game of Thrones, but I think if you tried to make it into a comic series it would suffer the same fate.

    Why did the Teen Titans work for me when the legion and other team books don’t? Because of excellent stories, good art, and a limited number of cast members.

    This is my long winded way of saying it’s time to put the legion out to pasture, perhaps for good. The whole point of the exercise is to sell comic books, and if the book isn’t selling, why bother? I loved the Legion of the early 60s. I’d rather remember that fondly than have to endure another dozen or so incarnations of darker, grittier, and less memorable Legions. I quit reading Legion titles in the 80s because I could no longer tell which Legion was which, and though some of the characters had the same names and powers, it wasn’t the Legion I was looking for.

  4. July 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm — Reply

    I came in on the Waid/Kitson stuff and loved it with a passion, even when that went ludicrous towards the end of its run. So I do really love the superheroes of the future.
    That said the crossovers from legion lost and the main book focusing on earth-man both rubbed me the wrong way. There are great characters and potential, but there does need to be a break. Maybe in 2015 I’d buy the legion again, but not anytime soon. May not even give JL3K a chance. Time for a break.

    Give the future a break until the stories are ready for them again

  5. tidge
    July 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm — Reply

    I think the main misfire with the nu52 Legion run has been that too much of this run has felt like the end of volume 3. Between the actual story (yet another galactic calamity of epic proportions) and throwback dialogue (“thanks leader-man”) this run didn’t feel very “human” to me.

    There were moments I really liked in this run, but too much of it felt like parts of the Baxter days that didn’t work. That said, I sincerely hope for a continuation of this Legion.


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