We are back for another installment of Legion of Super-Heroes extras. In this article, we are going to look at one of my favorite extras to be included in a Legion of Super-Heroes issue. Now, when it comes to the history of a comic book franchise, there are several normal ways to deliver that history in a condensed fashion for new readers.
First, you have the back-up story that gives a quick and general overview of the comic book franchise’s history that touches on the bigger moments in the franchise and gives an overall general re-telling of the franchise’s history. Second, you have the timeline. The timeline will give a nice linear graph depicting major events that have happened in a franchise’s history. Third, you have the checklist. This is usually a list of the various comic books that a character has appeared in or a list of various comic books that are of great importance or that contain big event stories.
But, what if there was another unique way to tell new readers about a comic book franchise’s history in a condensed fashion? Maybe, oh…I don’t know…something like a board game? Yes! This actually happened! Back in Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1, published in 2011, unveiled the Legion’s continuity in the form of a board game meant to be played with a single six-sided dice. This might be my most favorite of all extras that I have seen in a Legion of Super-Heroes comic book. It is absolutely brilliant. This board game is both informative, creative, and highly entertaining.
What I love the most about this board game is that it covers the Legion’s continuity up through the end of Paul Levitz’s run on the Legion with Legion of Super-Heroes #63 published in 1989. The board game then gives a single solitary panel that says, “The Mystery Years. Lose a turn trying to figure out what happened.” This is beyond hilarious for all long-time Legion fans. This single panel covering the confusing “mystery years” includes the entire TMK Legion run, the entire Reboot Legion run, and the entire Threeboot Legion run. I also appreciate the humor of how the player loses a turn trying to figure out the absolute mess that is the TMK Legion, the Reboot, and the Threeboot that all made a hash of the Legion’ continuity.
The board game then proceeds directly into the re-appearance of the Paul Levitz Legion in Action Comics #858-863 published from 2007-2008 that re-established the 1980’s Paul Levitz Legion as the definitive Legion in the present-day DCU. Then the board game progresses forward from 2008 to 2011.
This Legion of Super-Heroes timeline board game is another example of the creative, unusual, and fun vibe of the Legion of Super-Heroes franchise. This board game also reminds me how DC would have been far better off by just continuing with the Levitz Legion as the Legion in the current DCU rather than undergoing a Fourboot of the Legion and only adding more confusion to the continuity that Geoff Johns had done an excellent job in cleaning up and streamlining.
So, while you are stuck at home during the COVID-19 quarantine, grab a dice and gather the family around to play the Legion of Super-Heroes timeline board game! Long Live the Legion!