aaron_bourque (aaron_bourque) wrote,

One Thousand Years Is A Millennium

Legion of Superheroes

I love the Legion. Love, love, love the Legion. They're a club of super powered teenaged rebels from a thousand years in the future, but instead of being your typical wastoid, self-absorbed teenagers who are too busy whining about their minor problems to do anything . . . they model their lifestyle after the heroic exploits of Superboy and other heroes from more contemporary times.

They are, however, the most rebooted series in comics.

It's not their fault, not entirely. They're from the future, so when the present day stories suddenly do something that terrifically contradicts their previously established "future history," they kind of get stuck in a corner.

For instance, originally, they were inspired to heroism by the career of Superboy. Clark Kent grows-up-to-be-Superman-himself, Superboy. But not historical legends of Superboy, but they actually traveled to the past and had adventures with Superboy and even took him to the future for some fun and adventures.

So when Crisis on Infinite Earths happened and the history of Superman was rewritten and now he was never Superboy, the Legion needed a fix, quick. There have been other things, too, involving the Legion growing up to be adult superheroes, as well has having stories about their contemporary teen-age selves (it's confusing, and I'm not getting into it now because it's not worth it, really), and then when another Superboy popped up, a semi-clone of Clark Kent, the Legion's history was again rewritten to allow him to be a part of the Legion . . . and then came the "Threeboot" Legion, aka the fifth volume of Legion of Superheroes.

See, there was this crossover with the Teen Titans coming out of that, a new version of the Legion appeared. Once again, they were teenagers in the future who had superpowers and used those powers to help people. This time, they weren't inspired by any single superhero or the like, but were, in short, comic book nerds. They patterned themselves after the goofy comic books that had survived to the 31st century. This version of the Legion is my favorite--everyone has their's--because a) it really feels like a fully developed setting, b) it's inclusive, c) the characters are simply but effectively portrayed so that you feel like you know these guys even if you've never read the series before, even if you've never heard of them before. It was after I got into this version that I looked into the Legion and became a huge fan. So partly, it's familiarity and partly it's appreciation that this is my favorite. Whatever the reason, I still think this version of the Legion is the most accessible.

Which brings us to the current volume of the Legion of Superheroes. This one kind of had a similar issue where I felt disoriented after reading the first issue, but not to the same degree. The main problem with this version is that there are so many characters, the issues zip through them so quickly, you just feel like you've almost caught your breath before being inundated with a half dozen other characters. It settles down relatively quickly, but the Legion has had better stories. This just feels mediocre in comparison to other, better stories.

Which is the main problem with the reboot. I might have mentioned.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; oh, and the Legion was created before Star Trek, and went farther in the future than it did, meaning it was more optimistic, during the Cold War! . . . Sure . . .
Tags: analysis, comic books, essays, the new 52
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