DC Admits Why The Legion of Superheroes Would not Make Sense
DC Comics finally sheds light on Superboy and the story of the superheroes in the history of time travel that leave readers scratching their heads.
Dc comics’ Legion of superheroes is an intergalactic crime-fighting organization operating in the distant 30th and 31st centuries. When legionnaires like Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy want to interact with today’s meta-people, they use a technology that is common to their time: time travel. While time travel can solve a great many problems for this youthful team of futuristic benefactors, hopping from one millennium to the next can quickly become complicated. Indeed, curiosities arising from time travel and DC’s ever-changing multiverse have resulted in multiple legion of superhero reboots over the years. Recently the publisher shed light on this fact and finally acknowledged that the legion of superheroes doesn’t always make sense.
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Jonathan Kent, the son of Superman and Lois Lane, was born in Convergence: Superman # 2 in 2015 and immediately became a fan favorite. By the age of ten, Jonathan had put on the superboy’s coat and was sharing adventures and lessons with his legendary father. However, Jon’s childhood was cut short when he started a space mission with his grandfather Jor El and brought back a teenager in Superman # 7. Writer Brian Michael Bendis’ decision to age the beloved character quickly has proven controversial. Criticism aside, a seventeen year old superboy successfully paved the way for the return and redesign of the Legion of Superheroes.
Jonathan Kent is offered membership in the Legion of Superheroes in Superman # 15. From this point on, most of Jon’s time is spent in the 30th century. His mother and father often comment on how much they miss him. Finally, in Action Comics # 1028, Jimmy Olson points out this unconfirmed time travel problem. After his brief return to defeat Red Cloud and the Invisible Mafia, Jon says it’s time to go back to the 30th century. Jimmy replies, “But if you have a time machine -” and quickly goes quiet. If Superboy has a time machine, can’t he go back whenever he wants? This time travel incongruence is only the first of several problems with the Legion of Superheroes.
The original legion of superheroes was founded in 1958 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino. Since then, the superhero organization has had a fresh start in 1994, a “three-boat” in 2004 and an incarnation after an endless crisis in 2007 saw its own successes and failures. Perhaps the greatest allure of a futuristic setting is that storytellers aren’t constrained by the continuity of comics. The future can be whatever a writer wants it to be. The Legion of Superheroes and Action Comics’ newest volume # 1028 was both written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Ryan Sook and John Romita Jr.
The legion of superheroes is a fun idea. The characters are compelling and the stories are generally entertaining. Time travel, however, leads to astonishing puzzles. Lois and Clark should never miss Jonathan. If he reappears the same moment he left, his departure and return should appear to her instantly. Couldn’t the Legion just go back in time and fix bugs or stop disastrous events? Is it really a good idea to reveal the future to Superboy at all? If Star Trek or Back to the Future taught fans something, manipulating the schedules can be disastrous. When reading Legion of Super-Heroes, try not to think too fourth-dimensionally.
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About the author
Jared Mason Murray
(51 articles published)
Jared Mason Murray is a NYC-based AEA / SAG-AFTRA actor and writer. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2008, Jared moved to Washington, DC and was cast in Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center. He performed there over 1,000 times. Jared also writes for The Good, The Bad, and the Movie Blog. When he’s not playing or writing, he likes comics, chess, and classic cinema. Jared now lives in Manhattan with his wife, director Rachael Murray. www.jaredmasonmurray.com www.thegoodbadmovie.com
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