DnA’s Legion Lost and the Return of the Legion of Super-Heroes – Chaos McKenzie
The Legion of Super-Heroes can be a hard sell, there is so much nostalgia tied into their very existence that it becomes hard to breakaway from the original stories, and you end up getting reboot after reboot that tries to tell the same stories from different perspectives as we inch ever closer to the future. Of course the die-hards will fondly remember the original Legion, currently being teased for yet another comeback. Paul Levitz wrote some epic stories that will always sit well with fans, but for me Mark Waid’s much bemoaned revamp and writing team DnA’s take on the Legion are seminal, iconic runs. In particular with the recent announcement that DC will be reprinting all of DnA’s run with the Legion, and I’m here to get folks excited as these stories are some of the most well remembered tales of the Legion, except for the fact that just about everyone remembers them different.
First Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning were an incredible writing team that managed to leave impressive marks on cosmic stories for both Marvel and DC. I have actively stopped paying attention to creator’s private lives, but I do know these guys don’t write together anymore and only Dan Abnett still seems to be working with old spandex set. I have no clue what happened between them, but I do regret it, because they really are responsible for some of the best cosmic tales EVER.
When Abnett and Lanning came to the Legion, the title was floundering, the loss of the key principal of Superboy from the team’s origins grated with everyone and there was a lot of blowback on the new names and new origins for one of the biggest super teams in history. Some enjoyed the new titles, Legion and Legionarres had a fun quality to them but they were heavily held back by the still gestating reactions to all of the old stuff done completely new. When DnA came to the Legion they came ready for space faring war, and it was a wonderful show. First they ignored all the backlash from the new names and origins and they went right on the ofensive to make the new spins on all of these familiar characters seem right and proper. For a brief time there was very little arguing between Lighting Lad or Livewire, the new tags suddenly gained an authority that would carry them to the end of this particular version in the many versions of Legion lore.
It all starts with Legion Lost, where they began bringing hardedge sci-fi to characters that always skirted the edge of being really edgy. They didn’t twist anything too far to be unrecognizable, but they managed to give a cold, dark feel of space to each of their stories. And in the end they were even rewarded for all their efforts as they were able to restore Superboy to the timeline (Con El at the time).
Legion Lost is drawn by Olivier Copiel, who still shows some incredible skills in these early days before his rise at Marvel. He brings a lot of kentic energy to all of his panels and you can really see his style focus in this tome, which is available now in both hardcover and tbp. And this is just the start, since DC has announced more collections from this era which are well worth a look. There are a lot of stories from the DnA days that fans remember but because of the recent restoration of the original team I often hear people talk about them with the traditional names and then get frustrated because they can’t find the stories in the bins. There is a real trove of hard sci-fi goodies on their way, and I couldn’t be more excited. The next volume is expected in August.
DC Comics Legion Lost – Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (writers) / Olivier Copiel and Pascal Alixe (pencilers)
DC Comics The Legion by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Vol.1 (forthcoming)