Legion of Super Heroes Chronology

DC Comics Legion of Super-Heroes

Longtime followers of The Revolution know that the Legion of Super-Heroes is easily my favorite comic book franchise from any publisher. Of course, it has been a long time since DC has published a Legion of Super-Heroes title. Since 2013. However, DC has been teasing Legionnaires all over the DCU as of late. We have seen Saturn Girl in DC Universe – Rebirth and then again in Doomsday Clock. We have seen Tellus in the background of Justice League #10. And we have seen Sun Boy in the background of The Green Lantern #4.

It is only a matter of time before DC pulls the trigger and re-introduces the Legion of Super-Heroes. The most logical time for that to occur would be after the conclusion of Doomsday Clock. So, in advance of an evidently impending return of the Legion of Super-Heroes, I thought it would be a good time to try and educate readers who are unfamiliar with the franchise. I may adore the Legion, but I have to admit that the Legion of Super-Heroes continuity is highly complicated and messy. In fact, the Legion’s continuity will be one of the biggest barriers to newer readers wanting to jump onto a new Legion of Super-Heroes title. And we definitely do not want that to happen.

The Legion of Super-Heroes is a fantastic franchise and I want any new title for this franchise to be a successful one. So, I thought a handy Legion of Super-Heroes chronology that could be used as a guide to help newer readers become more familiar with the Legion would be an excellent idea. Now, my chronology does not include every single issue published by DC comics where a single Legionnaire may have made a cameo. I have stuck to the main titles as well as any mini-series or important team cross-overs in other title.

What makes the Legion of Super-Heroes such a tough franchise to get into is that the Legion of Super-Heroes has been completely rebooted not once but twice. I cannot think of another franchise that had its entire continuity completely thrown away and restarted from the very beginning twice. However, as much as I love the Legion, the fact remains that the franchise has been often neglected by DC since it exists in its own time and space in the DCU. Therefore, DC has been caught asleep at the wheel twice while certain creative teams drove the franchise so far into the ground that a full reboot to the continuity was the only solution.

The goal of this initial article is to introduce the Legion of Super-Heroes continuity timeline and then present a chronology to the franchise. In later articles I plan on breaking up this chronology into smaller pieces and fully examining each time period of the Legion’s chronology. I will highlight the writers for each period and then discuss the overall positives and negatives of each period. I will then make suggestions for required reading for each period. That way newer readers can seek out the best stories from the Legion’s illustrious past to enjoy.

Upon the conclusion of addressing each period of the Legion of Super-Heroes’ chronology, I will then offer DC some suggestions of how to properly handle this franchise so that the Legion does not have to get rebooted for a third time.

In addition to delving into the Legion’s chronology in detail, I will also be rolling out single issue reviews for past Legion stories starting with their original run on Adventure Comics. It is time to celebrate all of the amazing stories that the Legion of Super-Heroes have given us.

Look, I just miss talking about the Legion of Super-Heroes! This is the franchise that got me reading comic books when I was a little kid. This is a franchise that inspired me to start the Comic Book Revolution back in 2006. I am excited that DC may finally be returning the Legion of Super-Heroes to the DCU. And I want to try and get as many other readers as excited, too!

DC Comics Legion of Super-Heroes Timeline

Legion of Super-Heroes Timeline. Click for larger image.

I. Original Legion of Super-Heroes (1958-1994)

A. Pre-Crisis Legion (1958-1986) (April 2007 – August, 2013)

1. Silver Age (1958-1970)

Adventure Comics (1958-1970)

Issues 247, 267, 282, 290, 293, 300-380, 398

Action Comics (1960-1970)

 Issues 267, 276, 285, 287, 289, 290, 298, 309, 319, 331, 360, 365, 373, 377-392

Superman (1961-1969)

Issues: 147, 149, 152, 155-157, 162, 172, 221

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olson (1963-1969)

Issues 72, 76, 85, 100, 106, 117

Superboy (1961-1968)

Issues 98, 117, 125, 147 

2. Bronze Age (1970-1986)

Adventure Comics (1971)

Issues 403, 409-11

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olson (1971)

Issue 140

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 1 (1972-1973)

Issues 1-4

Superboy (Legion of Super-Heroes Back-up Stories) (1971-1973)

Issues 172, 173, 176-178, 180, 181, 183, 184, 185, 188, 190, 191, 193, 195

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (1973-1979)

Issues 197-258

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 2 (1980-1984)

Issues 259-313

Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes (1984-1986)

Issues 314-334

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 3 (1984-1986)

Issues 1-21

Karate Kid (1976-1978)

Issues 1-13

Justice League (1977)

Issues 147, 148

Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes (1980-1981)

Issues 1-3

B. Post Crisis Legion (1986-1989)

1. Paul Levitz Post-Crisis Legion (1986-1989)

Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes (1986-1987)

Issues 335-352

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume (1986-1989)

Issues 22-63

Legionnaires Three (1986)

Issues 1-4

Cosmic Boy (1986-1987)

Issues 1-4

2. 5 Years Later Legion (1989-1994)

a. TMK Legion  (1989-1992)

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 4 

Issues 1-38

b. Transition Legion (1992-1993)

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 4 

Issues 39-50

c. Dead Legion (1993-1994)

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 4 

Issues 51-61

 

II. Legion of Super-Heroes Version 2.0 (Reboot Legion or Zero Hour Legion)

A. Archie Legion (1994-2000) 

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 4 (1994-2000)

Issues 0, 62-125

Legionnaires (1994-2000)

Issues 0, 19-81

Legends of the Legion (1998)

Issues 1-4

Titans-Legion of Super-Heroes – Universe Ablaze (1999-2000)

Issues 1-4

 

B. DnA Legion (2000-2004)

Legion Lost (2000-2001)

Issues 1-12

Legion World (2001)

Issues 1-6

The Legion (2001-2004)

Issues 1-33

 

C. Dead Legion Version 2.0 (2004)

The Legion 

Issues 34-38

 

III. Legion of Super-Heroes Version 3.0 (Threeboot Legion) (December, 2004 – March, 2009)

A. Mark Waid Legion (December, 2004 – May, 2007) 

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 5 (December, 2004 – February, 2006)

Issues 0, 1-15

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes (March, 2006 – May, 2007)

Issues 16-30

 

B. Transition Legion (June 2007 – November 2007)

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes 

Issues 31-36

 

C. Jim Shooter Legion Version 2.0 (December 2007 – March 2009)

The Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 5 

Issues 37-50

 

IV. Pre-Crisis Legion (April, 2007 – August, 2013

A. Countdown to Final Crisis (March, 2007 – February, 2008) 

Issues 51-0

 

B. The Lightning Saga (April 2007 – July 2007) 

Justice League of America Volume 2 

Issues 8-10

Justice Society of America Volume 3 

Issues 5-6

 

C. Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes (October, 2007 –  April, 2008)

Action Comics 

Issues 858-964 

 

D. Official Return of the Pre-Crisis Legion (August 2008 – June 2010)

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds (August, 2008 – August, 2009)

Issues 1-5

Superman – Secret Origin (2009)

Issue 2

Adventure Comics Volume 2 (August 2009 – June 2010)

Issues 1-4, 8-12

 

E. Paul Levitz Pre-Crisis Legion Part 2 (July 2010 – August 2013)

Adventure Comics Volume 2 (July 2010 – August 2011)

Issues 516-529

Legion – Secret Origin (October 2011 – March 2012)

Issues 1-6

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 6 (May, 2010 – August, 2011)

Issues 1-16

Legion Lost Volume 2 (September 2011 – January 2013)

Issues 1-16

Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 7 (September 2011 – August 2013)

Issues 0, 1-23

All right, now you are better armed to tackle my upcoming articles where we break down each time period in the Legion of Super-Heroes chronology and dive deeper into the overall vibe of each time period, the writers who dominated each time period, and which issues you need to go out and read. Long Live the Legion!

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