The Legion of Super-Heroes in The 31st Century

DC announced a while back that they would be publishing a new Johnny DC comic book: “The Legion of Super-Heroes in The 31st Century.” Michael at the Legion Omnicom already posted on this subject and properly wondered why DC eschewed using the old Legion Adventures title. That would have been a nice touch and nod to the Legion’s past. Plus, The Legion of Super-Heroes in The 31st Century is too much of a mouthful.

Comic Book Resources just posted a nice interview with the writer for LSH31, J. Torres. Evidently, there will be no one set artist and the art chores will be constantly rotated between various artists. I have to admit that I hate the idea of constantly rotating the artists. I prefer a consistent look on a comic book. I do like the choice of J. Torres for the writer. He has been down this road with the comic book version of the Teen Titans animated series.

Torres seems to realize what is important in a Legion comic book. I also like that Torres will be skewing the LSH31 a bit older than the Teen Titans Go comic book. I also dig that Torres identifies the Silver Age Legion as his favorite era as well as the fact that he has fond memories of the Paul Levitz era in particular the Great Darkness Saga. Mr. Torres has some excellent taste and that makes me confident of the type of Legion that he will deliver on LSH31.

LSH31 has the potential to fill a version of the Legion that we have not seen since the memorable Curt Swan Legion of Super-Heroes from Adventure Comics. LSH31 brings the Legion back to its true essence. Many people have opined and ruminated over various questions concerning the Legion. These are as follows: What are the essential elements of the Legion of Super-Heroes? What makes the Legion of Super-Heroes unique? And of course, which version of the Legion of Super-Heroes is the definitive version?

I could discuss these three questions in-depth, but I’ll defer to doing that at a later date. Right now, I wanted to just briefly touch on what makes the Legion unique and what are some of the most basic and essential elements of the Legion. For me, the Legion is based on the belief that the future is a brighter more positive place than our current time. That the Legion is comprised of teenagers around the age of 18 who possess youthful positive attitudes and a strong desire to be true heroes in the classic sense like Superman from the Silver Age. The Legion is constructed to show to the reader that teamwork and friendship can defeat any evil force no matter how powerful that evil force may be.

That is the essence of the Legion that has gotten lost in the shuffle during several versions of the Legion. The TMK Legion got caught up in the sickness that plagued all comic books in the 1990s. That a comic book had to be dark, grim, and gritty. That all your heroes had to be dysfunctional, bitter, and violent.

The DnA Legion also got swept up in creating too much of a dark and dystopian future. It is of no coincidence that it was these two versions that veered drastically from the essence of the Legion and that were the two versions in place when the Legion got re-booted the first and second time.

The LSH31 returns the Legion to its most basic essence. We have characters that possess the necessary positive youthful exuberance and outlook on life. We have a future that is a much brighter and more positive place than our current world. And this animated Legion routinely shows that no matter how much more powerful the evil that they face might be their friendship and teamwork will always prevail.

The LSH31 will be a breath of fresh air. It will be similar to the old Adventure Comics era Legion, but with modern style and sensibilities. With the exception of the past two issues, Waid’s Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes has been a disappointment. It will be cool to read a Legion comic book that is nothing but fun.

The LSH31 will follow a one-shot format in order to make it more appealing to younger readers. I’m not thrilled with the continual one-shot format, but it is understandable with a Johnny DC title.

The Legion of Super-Heroes in The 31st Century #1 is due out on April 18, 2007. However, in a very odd move, DC is going to make this issue one of their free comic books for Free Comic Book Day on May 5, 2007.