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Legion of Super-Heroes

Entry updated 2 April 2015. Tagged: Comics, Publication.

Comic-book series about a group of diversely Superpowered youths in the thirtieth and thirty-first centuries, published by DC Comics. The Legion of Super-Heroes first appeared in Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958) in a Superboy story written by Otto Binder (see Eando Binder) and then featured in various Superman titles (ed Mort Weisinger) before gaining their own series in Adventure Comics #300. Writers have included Jerry Siegel, Edmond Hamilton, Paul Levitz, Mark Waid and Jim Shooter, whose first story appeared when he was only 13, a logical extension of Weisinger's policy of incorporating reader suggestions. Many Legion of Super-Heroes characters were designed by fans, and its leadership was regularly decided by readers' votes. LOS-H appeared in Adventure Comics #300-#380 (September 1962-May 1969), then in Action Comics #378-#392 (July 1969-September 1970); it then became a regular back-up feature in Superboy, appearing March 1971-August 1977 in #172-#173, #176, #183-#184, #188, #190-#191, #193, #195 and #197-#230. At this point there was a title change. Superboy became Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes from #231 (September 1977), and this became just Legion of Super-Heroes for #259-#313 (January 1980-July 1984). Then there began a new "deluxe" series, produced on higher-quality paper stock; also called Legion of Super-Heroes, it ran from #1 to #63 (July 1984-August 1989). The older title of the same name was from #314 renamed Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes, featuring new material to #325 (July 1985) and thereafter reprinting the "deluxe" title on a one-year-behind schedule. A new series, again called Legion of Super-Heroes, began with #1 (November 1989) three months after the last issue of the old. It has since relaunched several additional times, most recently in September 2011 when DC Comics rebooted their entire line.

Much of the Legion of Super-Heroes sf content was quaint even when it first appeared, but sf continues as an important and evolving part of the series, even if in uneasy balance with its Superhero basis. The series has also suffered from continuity changes affecting the entire DC Comics universe, where the constant addition and subtraction of Superboy and Supergirl from the DC timeline required frequent revisions to the Legion history and even the abandonment of plotlines mid-story. This has resulted in an often-confusing patchwork of stories and character histories that may or may not no longer be considered canon. [ZB/BF/JP]

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