Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Episode #15: Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes

If not for All-Star Superman, I would rate this storyline as the best Superman story in a long time. As it is this is a close second. This story took place in Action Comics #858 - #863, and an epilogue issue #864. Issues #858 - #863 were written by Geoff Johns, pencilled by Gary Frank, inked by Jon Sibal, colored by Dave McCaig and lettered by Rob Leigh. The editor was Matt Idelson and the Associate Editor was Nachie Castro. Issue # 864 was pencilled by Joe Prado and colored by David Curiel.
The titles of the issues are as follows:
#858: Alien World
#859: Illegal Aliens
#860: Lightning & Shadows
#861: Chameleons
#862: Revenge of the Rejects
#863: Sun Rise
#864: Batman and the Legion of Super-Heroes
This story retrofits Supperman's relationship with the Legion to current continuity. Instead of meeting them as Superboy, as told in Adventure Comics #247, The Legion of Super-Heroes, Clark meets them as a teen growing into his super powers sans costume. The same trio of Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad refer to him as Kal-El, not Superboy. In another plot line, the adult Superman is swept into the 31st century, into a world where the Legion is disbanded and on the run from that era's Justice League. Earth's sun has been converted to a red star, rendering Superman without any powers. Earth has become an isolationist society, forcing aliens from other planets to flee the planet and bringing the United Planets on the brink of war with Earth.
What is best about this story is that it shows Superman's real source of bravery is not in his powers but in who he is as a man. His powers are just an expression of that heart of a warrior. Without powers Superman is not afraid to get into the middle of the battle at hand.
The members of the 31st century Justice League reprise Legion of Super-Villain characters which appeared in Legion stories in Adventure Comics, like issues #371 & #372. In the current story we learn some dark secrets about this Justice League, like how they gained super powers and what these powers do to their bodies.
One of the little tidbits that make this story interesting is that we learn the real reason for all of the Legion tryouts.
For one of the best Superman stories in years, pick up these back issues, or pick up the trade for this story, due in July as a hardcover.
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Thanks for listening to Superman Fan Podcast, and as always thanks to Jerry and Joe.

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