Legion of Super-Heroes
The Legion of Super-Heroes are a superhero team that features in DC Comics.
The Legion of Super-Heroes were a team of superheroes that were native to the far future of the 30th century. (Adventure Comics v1 #247) Its origins were traced to the 30th century when Garth Ranzz, Rokk Krinn) and Imra Ardeen all had boarded a shuttle that was also transporting rich businessman R. J. Brande to Earth. Upon arriving at Metropolis Spaceport, a band of gunmen armed themselves and were prepared to attack Brande. Ranzz and Krinn managed to stop the gunmen whilst Ardeen read their minds to learn that they were hired by Brande's cousin Doyle who owed money to a gambling syndicate. To inherit Brande's wealth, he intended to assassinate him and thus clear off his debts. After seeing them in action, Brande believed the three young powered individuals had talent and showed that they could use their abilities to help others. He decided to bankroll the creation of an organisation which would combat crime and injustice with the three being the charter members. At first, the three were reluctant but Brande noted that legendary heroes Superman and Supergirl had similarly started being superheroes from a young age. The three teenagers then accepted with the Legion of Super-Heroes being formed with Brande having his business empire constructed the Legion of Super-Heroes Headquarters whilst they chose Krinn to be their leader and they drafted their constitution. Once this was done, the United Planets voted the Legionnaires as honorary citizens on all member worlds and were deputised by the Science Police to make arrests. (Superboy v1 #147)
This led to them encountering the supervillain Urthlo who had the a gadget that could activate and deactivate a superhero's abilities giving him complete control over the Legion. He caused their powers to run rampant to the point that the world-wide police threatened to exile them. Even Superboy struggled to fight the villain who could fire Kryptonite beams with the Legion unaware of his true identity. They eventually defeated him through trickery and it was revealed that he was actually a robot constructed long ago by Lex Luthor to attack the Legion of Super-Heroes. (Adventure Comics v1 #300)
During trials for new Legionnaires, one applicant was Jungle King whose father had experimented on him to give him hypno-mental control powers over animals. However, whilst talking to the Legion, his control fell over his Borlat that nearly attacked him. This resulted in the youth being rejected where he took this decision badly and was angry at not being accepted into the Legion. He then travelled to the wild Monster World where he mentally dominated its dangerous lifeforms to form his Legion of Monsters. Taking the name of the Monster Master, he began to terrorise the universe as part of his revenge against the Legion of Super-Heroes. This led to a battle on Korr at the Sky City when the Monster Master wanted to steal the Comet-Jewels. Afterwards, a monster wanted to join his Legion of Monsters but he rejected the strange beast that could change into a gaseous state. Afterwards, a further conflict erupted with the Legionnaires where his creatures were defeated with the rejected gas beast emerging to take its revenge on the Monster Master who was seemingly killed as a result. (Adventure Comics v1 #309)
The Legion were later asked to review Lana Lang when she operated as the Insect Queen and intended to join them as a superhero but they rejected her as she attained powers not naturally but through her Bio-Genetic Ring. At this time, Earth came under threat from a humanoid alien named Oggar-Kon who had been banished by his people and sentenced to float through space in a block of ice. However, his icy prison crashed on Earth where he was freed and used his mind over matter powers to craft himself a kingdom to rule leading to a conflict with the Legion of Super-Heroes at the Antarctic Ice City. (Adventure Comics v1 #355)
Earth later came under threat when chemicals from an orbital station were leaking onto the surface. The station was owned by Dr. Mantis Morlo who was attempting to make a breakthrough by chemically engineering a new star. However, his experiments were harming the Earth below and the U.P. gave a court order to the Legion of Super-Heroes to end this project. The angry Dr. Morlo resisted and unleashed his Chemoid Gorn to battle the Legionnaires who fought a machine able to change its chemically structure to better fight its foes. With his research forcibly stopped, Dr. Morlo swore revenge and engineered an army of Chemoids where he intended to unleash them against the Legion. (Adventure Comics v1 #362)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events.
Legionnaires were required to not only possess physical power but also mental skills. They were required to have a thorough knowledge of the minds and methods of criminals. (Adventure Comics v1 #371)
Central to the organisation was the Constitution that was written to guide their activities. It stated that all members should continue their education and that any recruit had to have innate powers rather than have one be derived from technology with them also having a code against killing similar to Superman along with Supergirl. Upon their formation, they were deputised as full-fledged members of the Science Police with the authority to make arrests. (Superboy v1 #147)
Membership required that a person demonstrate at least a single special superpower. Those invited to join their ranks then were required to earn their spot by participating in a number of trials. This sometimes took the individual to compete with an active Legion member and responding to dealing with emergencies along with other crisis's. Failure to win the three trials was said to be grounds to revoking the offer of membership into the Legion. (Adventure Comics v1 #247) For recruitment, they made use of a process for training and screening Legion candidates. The details of the Legion training and testing program was classified information known only to its Selection Board. A reason for this was because it was to prevent the training from being sabotaged. Upon selection, candidates were sent to the Legionnaire Training Quarters where they were required to wear training uniforms. As part of its secrecy, all training manuals during training were required to be returned to prevent the information from being leaked out. In addition to fighting classes, recruits were trained in using Flight Rings that were part of drills regimens. In some cases, active Legion members could face being sent back to training if they were found lacking in the field. (Adventure Comics v1 #371)
There was a code of good behaviour that dictated the actions of the Legion. (Adventure Comics v1 #300) Members of the Legion were noted for being authorised Science Police deputies. (Adventure Comics v1 #373)
The Legion had a range of equipment that was given to them which included:
- Flight Rings : Lyle Norg designed them to use de-gravitised Valorium metal allowing them to lift approximately 180 kilograms thus giving the wearer the power of flight. They were also equipped with a mid-range tracking device and had a communicator. (Legion of Super-Heroes Annual v4 #6)
- Telepathic Plugs : allowed the user to converse mind-to-mind giving them the ability to communicate even in space with one another. (Superboy v1 #202) These Interlac translators were worn in the ear canal allowing for the wearer to cross language barriers and communicate in cases where verbal communication was not possible. (Legion of Super-Heroes Annual v4 #6)
- Mini-Omnicom Unit : a small computer that was used as a reference information guide linked to the Legion archives and could be used as a recorder for mission reports. (Legion of Super-Heroes Annual v4 #6)
- Transuits : a thin membrane that surrounded the wearer thus providing a protective ultra-sonic barrier. A control unit on the hand allowed the user to adjust the climate inside the suit whilst the armband filters provided a breathable atmosphere. Transuits were able to survive the extreme climate of deep space for a short period of time. (Legion of Super-Heroes Annual v4 #6)
They also made use of interstellar craft referred to as Legion Cruisers that were used for transportation to other worlds. (Legion of Super-Heroes Annual v4 #6)
Within their headquarters was the Hall of Heroes that had statues to honor each of the teams members. (Adventure Comics v1 #300)
- Cosmic Boy : (Adventure Comics v1 #247)
- Saturn Girl : (Adventure Comics v1 #247)
- Lightning Lad : (Adventure Comics v1 #247)
- Phantom Girl :
- Chameleon Boy :
- Sun Boy :
- Dawnstar :
- Timber Wolf :
- Shadow Lass :
- Night Girl :
- Bouncing Boy :
- Triplicate Girl :
- Star Boy :
- Dream Girl :
- Ferro Lad :
- Element Lad :
- Lightning Lass :
- Colossal Boy :
- Shrinking Violet :
- Lightning Lass :
- Tellus :
- Gates :
- Kent Shakespeare :
- Dragon Wing :
- The Legion of Super-Heroes were created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino where they made their first appearance in Adventure Comics v1 #247 (April, 1958).
In other media
- In the DC Animated Universe, the Legion of Super-Heroes appeared in the shared continuity setting.
- In the Superman: The Animated Series, the Legion of Super-Heroes first made its appearance in the animated television series.
- In Justice League Unlimited, the Legion of Super-Heroes appeared in the animated television series.
- In the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Legion of Super-Heroes featured in the setting of the animated television series.
- In Supergirl, the Legion of Super-Heroes was referenced in the live-action television series third season. It was stated that they were team of superheroes from the 31st century who were formed by Mon-El and based on the ideals taught to him by Supergirl.
- In JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, the Legion of Super-Heroes appeared in the 2014 direct-to-video animated film.
- In Justice League vs. the Fatal Five, the Legion of Super-Heroes appeared in the 2019 animated film. They were shown to had operated in the 31st century where they were teenage superheroes who honoured the works of the Justice League. In their time, one of their noted enemies were the Fatal Five where they succeeded in capturing Emerald Empress and Validus. To contain the two, they decided to send them into the past to be imprisoned in the Sciencells on Oa under the care of the Guardians of the Universe. Their fellow Fatal Five members learnt of this and attacked the Legion in order to steal a Time Sphere to travel to the present but were pursued by Starboy. He worked alongside the Justice League in defeating the Fatal Five but had to sacrifice his life to save Earth's Sun from being destroyed. The Justice League held a funeral in his honour with the Legion of Super-Heroes travelling to the present to attend the event for their fallen comrade.
- In Injustice 2, the Legion of Super-Heroes appeared in a cameo role in the fighting video game.
- Adventure Comics v1:
- Superboy v1:
- Legion of Super-Heroes v1:
- Legion Lost v1:
- Justice League of America v3:
- Legion of Super-Heroes:
- Justice League United v1: