Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Future Earth Is Screwed

"Future Earth Is Screwed" from Legion of Super-Heroes vol.4 #19 (DC, 1991) by Keith Giffen, Tom & Mary Bierbaum and Al Gordon
The longest-running Legion series (at 127 issues and 7 annuals) started out as an experiment. Keith Giffen picked the action up from the previous volume "5 years later" and basically blew up the entire Legion universe. The team had been disbanded, Dominators ruled the Earth, no one was using their code-names anymore, and Giffen immersed you in a world alien even to loyal Legion readers. This was a dense read that forced you to work to catch up and I loved it despite its opacity (maybe even because of it). The book and its tweaked timeline finally introduced proper replacements for Superboy and Supergirl (Kent Shakespeare and Laurel Gand/Andromeda) and perhaps because older fans wanted the old Legion back, also came up with batch SW6, clones of a Legion long lost (or were the adult Legionnaires the clones?). These went on to star in their own book, titled Legionnaires, more light-hearted fare, though the 30th century continued to grow more desperate. Even Earth was destroyed. This is a book that took a lot of risks. In 1994, Zero Hour undid the entire timeline and rebooted the Legion for the first time (past changes had been focused retcons), making the characters young again, in effect making the SW6 Legion the only proper Legion. That' not exactly it, but the feel and some of the new names were the same. Rebooted after issue 61, the title would go on even longer in reboot mode, through 125 before turning into Legion Lost and then The Legion.

1 comment:

  1. The 5YL [as it came to be known amongst LSH fans in their APAs] was certainly a dense read; Ive read it twice, cover to cover, and found something new each time.
    For me at times it was too depressing - your post of Earth being destroyed was a particular down-point for most fans, who felt it unnessesary. This issue was text-heavy, with only one picture per page, which made it quite unusual.
    I have to disagree about Kent and Laurel being suitable subs for Superboy/Mon-El and Supergirl - I found their enforced substitution too much, with Kent particularly poor. The ret-cons were too much to take at times.
    This was a period of LSH history that divided many fans like no other, and even today it still inspires debate.