[Legion Fan Club] Weekly Reader Week 34 Original Crisis Tie-ins with Legion!

For Week 34 of the [Legion Fan Club] Weekly Reading selection, we join in the Crisis celebration by reading 6 Legion comic book tie-ins to the original Crisis on Infinite Earths!


LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1984-) #16, 18, 37, SUPERMAN (1986-) #8, ACTION COMICS (1938-) #591, LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1984-) # 38

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1984-) #16 Can the new Legionnaries get through their first adventure, or is their “Baptism” just a little too tough? DC Universe

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1984-) #18 Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. “Has Anyone Noticed a Crisis Going On?” Guest-starring a batch of super-villains! Plus: the return of the Infinite Man! DC Universe

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1984-) #37 Beginning the 4-part epic Superboy crossover that answers the paradoxes created by events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths! The Legionnaires journey ahead through the time stream to battle the Time Trapper at the end of time…but wind up as guests of Superboy in Smallville, U.S.A. instead! Continued in Superman #8 (1987 2nd Series). DC Universe

SUPERMAN (1986-) #8 Future Shock’ part 1! The Legion of Super-Heroes arrive from the future in present day Smallville searching for their ally, Superboy. Instead they find a confused Superman. Continued in ACTION COMICS (1938-2011) #591. DC Universe

ACTION COMICS (1938-) #591 When a confused Superman attempts to follow Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes into the time stream, he is transported to the Smallville of the past, but the town isn’t quite how he remembers it. DC Universe

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1984-) #38 Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes take on the Time Trapper for the fate of the Boy of Steel’s universe! But when the Time Trapper releases the Crisis energy, the countdown clock begins before everything is wiped from existence! DC Universe

  1. Did you like this return of the Infinite Man? What was great, what was not so hot?

  2. Does it make sense that Brainiac remembers Supergirl after Crisis?

  3. The 4 parter with the “new” John Byrne Superman and the Legion was DC’s way of trying to explain away all those decades of Superman as a teenager being in the Legion. Did the storyline patch that up well, or did it leave you shaking your head in disbelief? Why?

  4. Why do you think Legion always gets the short end of the stick on these DC Crises?

Bonus selection: The last appearance of Superboy in Legion BEFORE crisis:

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1984-) #12 Amid an interstellar battle, three Legionnaires resign! Plus, the Legion’s election results for the team’s new leader! DC Universe

Next week: Back to the New 52 Legion of Super-Heroes!!!

  1. Did you like this return of the Infinity Man? What was great, what was not so hot?

Infinite Man is a weird concept. He seems like an overpowered villain. I’m not sure I completely understand his powers from this and his last appearance (two weeks ago? three?). But I think it totally makes sense with all time and reality being messed with in Crisis for him to reappear. So plotwise totally works. Overall I think this story with him seems rushed. All the characters he pulls into to fight the Legion are just background fodder without any real focus on them. I do like how he was left alive, albeit in a coma, and a chance to revisit this character if need be.

  1. Does it make sense that Brainiac remembers Supergirl after Crisis?

It doesn’t at all. I get how they’d want to not wipe out all of the history, but the it seems like they went far out of their way to come up with a reason for him to remember her. It’s hard to wrap my brain around his remembering Supergirl and the Legion having only visited the pocket universe Earth with Superboy when time traveling from the four-parter.

  1. The 4 parter with the “new” John Byrne Superman and the Legion was DC’s way of trying to explain away all those decades of Superman as a teenager being in the Legion. Did the storyline patch that up well, or did it leave you shaking your head in disbelief? Why?

I think the story works. Time Trapper isn’t that none similar to the Infinite Man, but comes across as way more fleshed-out. I do always find it weird when these villains have long-term plans that they are waiting to come to fruition, even as there are a lot of stories with their short-term plans apparently failing. But framing it as Time Trapper existing across eons, and how he perceives time differently from everyone else, makes it at least a little bit believable.

  1. Why do you think Legion always gets the short end of the stick on these DC Crises?

I really think it’s to write an event that is a game changer now impact on the future that already has a long-term history of stories behind it. Unless you’re somehow dealing with a future that has its history change over and over and over again, it’s hard to incorporate them into a big event. It seemed odd to have brainiac always know that Supergirl was going to die in the past in the crisis. But to know it never came up until afterwards. But really that’s the only way to write something like this.

My only other experience of reading about the Legion and big crossovers, was the Legion of 3 Worlds from Final Crisis. I remember enjoying that story immensely even though I wasn’t familiar with a lot of Legion history.

I haven’t read the bonus issue yet. But overall I really enjoyed all the comics this week. Maybe the comic with Infinite Man less than the others.

I also think this was a good way to expose Superman from the new continuity after crisis to the Legion. Make it extremely impactful, but made it known it. There is a group of hero is out in the future that can be tied in it to Superman stories if need be.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, @Meisaj! I think I’ll take a peek if Infinity Man ever returned. Imagine a new villain league with him, Composite Legionnaire of Superboy and the Legion of Super-heroes #234 and some of the other kaleidoscope-colored characters…hmm, or not, lol.

I’m pretty sure the being that the Forever People would summon was also called “Infinity- Man” btw. And, to really make our heads spin thinking of it, we’re going to encounter yet another “Composite” Legion villain in our future Legionnaire readings, assuming the grid keeps up by then etc…

I like that they gave resolving the Superboy continuity problem a 4 issue storyline instead of a sneeze like they kinda did with Supergirl and Brainiac. But isn’t it interesting how in later decades the idea of a Superboy being in the Legion and also that first tale of three key Legionnaires appearing to him with the Time Bubble keeps coming up again in DC animation?


I really do find it interesting how the legions origin seems to twist and turn. I understand how Superboy was really important to its origin in the beginning, but nowadays I don’t know super boys as important to the origin of the Legion as maybe it was a while ago.

I think the legion as an omage or inspired by the era superheroes which seems like something that DC has held onto throughout all of the crisises and reboots is just as good as having Superboy be crucial to their origin.

the other thing that I think the four parter did, more for Superman then for the legion, was to establish how post-crisis Superman was depowered compared to pre-crisis Superman or Superboy. I didn’t seem to last too long either. Post-crisis may not have had stories of Superman juggling planets or pushing them around, but it eventually got rid of a lot of limits on his powers that it initially established.

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Also I’m writing most of these posts dictating to my phone while playing with my daughter. So forgive any errors that may be in them. But she has enjoyed watching some Legion cartoons with me. Maybe I’m bringing up a Legion fan.

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Did you like this return of the Infinity Man? What was great, what was not so hot?

I liked it well enough – it made sense considering how the last story with him ended that he would come out of that. I also liked that there was resolution and he was put back to human form. I wonder if we’ll ever get to see how he fared after that?

Does it make sense that Brainiac remembers Supergirl after Crisis?

Not really, but it’s probably the best that they can do, especially with how Crisis went and how Byrne wanted to take over the Superman mythos after.

The 4 parter with the “new” John Byrne Superman and the Legion was DC’s way of trying to explain away all those decades of Superman as a teenager being in the Legion. Did the storyline patch that up well, or did it leave you shaking your head in disbelief? Why?

Again, in terms of explaining things away, it really doesn’t work that well the more one thinks about it. Like…okay, Superboy only exists on the Legion because either the Time Trapper created that pocket universe or he trapped that Pre-Crisis time period during the Crisis (they seem to go back and forth in the comics on which one it is), that makes enough sense for Superboy, considering that from what I recall the Legion never really worked with other heroes from that time period. But what about Supergirl? She no longer exists either, how does that work? You might say she’s from the same pocket dimension, but how do you explain her having adventures with Batgirl?

Ultimately, Levitz did the best he could with a weird editorial mandate because one of the biggest man-children of comics didn’t like the name “Superboy.” It’s just a shame that he had to work around for a creator who, IMO, is one of the worst creators to ever touch Superman and has a complete and utter, fundamental misunderstanding of the character.

Why do you think Legion always gets the short end of the stick on these DC Crises?

I think it’s what @Meisaj said, it’s hard to make future stories work when you’re also changing around elements of the present.


Thanks @Jay_Kay ! Great pondering about Infinite Man (sorry I called him Infinity Man earlier,oppsiiee)…it looks like he does appear one more time at least soon after these stories (LoSH v3 #50), then again briefly in Zero Hour (LoSH v4 #60), later a brief cameo as being part of some future DC Crisis we’ve never seen (Superman #709) …then in New 52 he seems to be called “Infinitus” (see, I’m not the only one who confuses his name, lol). And the storyline even goes from Legion to JLU (Ann#1, #7 etc), one of my fav New 52 books.

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I do believe we need to add this JLU stuff to our 6 year mission of reading all things Legion!!!

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I remember the Infinitus Saga, but I didn’t connect that to Infinite Man, nice catch.

Some panels/pages of note for me:

They really did a good job of selling Brainy’s sorrow through this issue.

On the other end of the spectrum, man, Star Boy and Dream Girl are totally winning the fashion game for the baptism of Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad’s kid who’s name I don’t remember.

While I don’t really like Byrne’s writing at all, I will say that it was fun seeing him draw the Legion.

A Funeral For A Friend.


One series I do like by John Byrne that he wrote and drew was one he did a little after this…the first 20 issues or so of Namor over at Marvel. In my opinion, the best I’ve seen of Namor in a series dedicated just to him.

I haven’t read it so I can’t really say anything but…it’s Namor, that’s not exactly a high bar to jump. He’s really only entertaining as a half naked a-hole who keeps trying to steal everyone’s girl.

It seems both he and Aquaman have a tough time of it with comic book writers often.

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It does really highlight the horror of such an event. Can you imagine having someone you care for die, but then never remember how?

It’s also got me thinking and hoping we will eventually see a good story exploration of just what Brainiac 5 is made of inside his head. Some writers show him strictly cold and calculating, others like to show him with more of a human emotion side. The early 90s series L.E.G.I.O.N. really digs into what somebody from Colu would be like, but in the 20th century.

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I won’t be a spoiler since obviously everyone hasn’t read Doomsday Clock number 12 yet but I’m very happy to see things have finally been made right for us classic original version Legion lovers.


I just read Doomsday clock 12. I like that sort of return also.

I do like seeing the different versions of brainiac. It really does seem it depends on the writer whether he’s just a cold calculating being or he has a lot of genuine emotions. I don’t know too much about colu, or what the rest of his species are like.

I do find it weird that the issue implies brainiac knew all the time that Supergirl is going to die in crisis. Does that mean these events that erase history and time are still known to the legion even though it directly impacts their timeline and origin? Like how do they know supergil is going to die in the crisis if the crisis wipe’s out super irls existence in the first place. And how would the legion know about her death if that whole timeline is erased.

I guess we are not supposed to think about that too much. I think that’s where the four-part story shines a little bit. It completely separates the existence of Superboy for the legion from the mainstream DC universe that was affected by the crisis. Yes it’s convoluted, but it explains the existence of a super boy that went to the Future to be part of the legion.

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…so, some concluding thoughts on Legion and 80s Crisis per your comments @Meisaj - the early 80’s were interesting times in the comic book world. Self awareness had set in, and it became cool to be a college student or even in grad school and analyze superhero comics just as a college student would the classics, Homer or Charles Dickens etc. I was a grad student in Philadelphia and then a teacher for a while in that era, and I would go to Fat Jack’s Comicrypt on 17th and Sansom Streets, downtown Philly for my comics but also my fanzines.
One such was Omniverse, the Journal of Fictional Reality, edited by Mark Gruenwald.

The contributors would take different comic book continuities from Marvel, DC etc and test them against the standard of great fictional world builders like Tolkien, who was red-hot popular at the time. They would toss out what contradicted previous stories, and try to show the best of the fictional world for future story tellers.

I have to think Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, etc were also discussing these concepts, and also longing for a tighter guide for DC storytelling to attract and hook more perpetual readers. The drive to clean up DC continuity came from this maturing of the comic industry, in my opinion.

But just like the writers of those Omniverse articles, the DC editors of the time had to toss out a whole lot of characters and storylines to “right” the ship.

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