In 1988 Keith Giffen, Bill Mantlo, and Todd Mc Farlane created a version of DC's Legion of Super-Heroes that rather than being stranded in or just traveling to the current century was native to it. The resulting team was L.E.G.I.O.N. (Licensed Extra-Governmental Interstellar Operatives Network) and was largely comprised of ancestors of the original team. The team first appeared in Invasion! before getting its own series which lasted for seventy-three issues from 1989 to 1993.
Vril Dox II joined up with other escapees from Starlag to create an intergalactic peace keeping force to step in where the Green Lanterns and Darkstars were ineffective or unavailable for a small segment of the universe. The team was eventually taken over by Vril's genius son Lyrl who had more self-centered interests and was so young he hadn't had much chance to develop a sense of morality. Lyrl outlawed those members he couldn't bring under mind control. The ousted heroic members formed R.E.B.E.L.S. (Revolutionary Elite Brigade to Eradicate L.E.G.I.O.N. Supremacy) to fight and regain their old team.
Years later, L.E.G.I.O.N. was again taken over for nefarious purposes though this time it took more work to discover just who was behind the attack, and Vril reformed R.E.B.E.L.S. to take on the new mysterious interloper.
Notable Team Appearances:
- Invasion! (1989)
- L.E.G.I.O.N. Vol 1 (1989 - 1994)
- DCU: Trinity Vol 1 (1993)
- Valor Vol 1 (1993) intermittent appearances
- Darkstars (1993 - 1994) intermittent appearances
- R.E.B.E.L.S. Vol 1 (1994 - 1996)
- Rann-Thanagar War Vol 1 (2005)
- Omega Men Vol 2 (2006 - 2007) intermittent appearances
- R.E.B.E.L.S. Vol 2 (2009 - 2011)
L.E.G.I.O.N. provides examples of:
- The Alcatraz: The team got its start with Virl II and his group's escape from the incredibly well enforced Starlag, which is floating in space.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Vril Dox II/Brainiac 2's son, Lyrl Dox/Brainiac 3, plotted against him, eventually seizing control of L.E.G.I.O.N. and turning his father into an outlaw. Vril II eventually deposed his son, and took back his police force, but they would remain enemies for years. Vril II himself fights his own dad on occasion, since his father is an incredibly powerful tyrannical supervillain and Vril II is a hero that hates tyrants.
- Apathetic Citizens: Vril is mostly apathetic to the plights of those who aren't paying him or aren't his direct responsibility.
- Badass Family: The Mallor family has long had members become the champions of Talok capable of manipulating darkness, and Lyrissa and her daughter Lydea are no exception.
- Child by Rape: Lyrl Dox was conceived when Stealth raped and murdered Vril II.
- Call-Forward: The whole team is something of a call-forward to the 30th century's Legion, sometimes more blatantly than others.
- Commander Contrarian: Virl does not see eye to eye with his more heroic teammates. This is a large part of why he fired Valor/Lar Gand from the team and later sent him to Starlag II for what was meant to be a life sentence just to keep Lar out of his hair.
- Cool Starship: The semi-sentient Alagran-Z, later renamed The Di'ib after Bertron Di'ib's death.
- Darker and Edgier: The regular Legion usually has a no-killing code ("[n]o Legionnaire shall take the life of any sapient being, save as a provable only alternative to the death of the Legionnaire, or the deaths of other sapient beings." though it's usually treated as no killing allowed by writers), Virl doesn't and has executed prisoners like Kanis-Biz.
- Death Is Cheap: Virl II is murdered by Stealth in her mating craze after she rapes him, but he is brought back in short order in a cloned body with his memories saved by the Durlan.
- Enfant Terrible: The superintelligent Lyrl Dox took control of L.E.G.I.O.N. from his father, brainwashed all but a handful of the force's members, and turned it into a fascist organization that nearly took over the universe. All of this before his second birthday, given his less villainous behavior later in life it was likely due to his age that he did any of this, since he was selfish and smart but hadn't had a chance to learn much in the way of morals.
- Fun with Acronyms: Despite not being based out of earth or founded by native English speakers the team's name is "Licensed Extra-Governmental Interstellar Operatives Network" specifically so it can be shortened to L.E.G.I.O.N. as a call forward to the Legion of Super-Heroes.
- Human Aliens: Most of the team looks incredibly human, if oddly colored and with strange haircuts, despite only one member actually being human.
- Ironic Nickname: "Gigantus" is actually incredibly tall for a Motusian but compared to the other members of the L.E.G.I.O.N. he's remarkably small.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Although he's saying it with ulterior motives, Vril makes a persuasive case against the Green Lantern Corp as the Guardians of the Universe imposing their standards across the galactic community.
- Mind-Control Device: Lyrl develops his father's "enhanced charisma program" into a mind control/brainwashing method and uses it on the L.E.G.I.O.N., and the leaders of multiple allied planets.
- My Brain Is Big: Qi'Qi or "Telepath" has a remarkably tall head.
- Never Given a Name: "Stealth" was not named and abandoned as a child, living until she was a teen on her own in the wilds of Gryx until she was given to the Dominators to try and placate the conquerors. She only gained the name Stealth when her fellow Starlag escapees gave it to her, as a reference to her abilities.
- No Need for Names: Durlans traditionally don't use names, and to adopt one is to functionally exile oneself from the Durlan community. They refer to each other by their position in society or relation to each other if they need to, but to outsiders they're all "the Durlan" excepting those in positions of power. Durlans who have left the planet usually adopt names, but the one on the team is still going by "the Durlan" even if later event reveal he will adopt a name.
- Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid: Lyrl Dox is half Coluan and half Gryxian, but functionally his biology is Coluan and therefore he looks like a green human.
- Plant Aliens: L.E.G.I.O.N. member Taptree is a plantlike alien from an unknown planet.
- Related in the Adaptation: Pre-Crisis, Vril Dox II was adopted by Brainiac. Post-Crisis, Vril Dox II is a young clone of Vril Dox I before he became Brainiac.
- Second-Person Attack: Stealth attacking Vril II prior to raping and murdering him is shown from his perspective on the cover of issue 7.
- Space Police: They're about halfway between a police force and a mercenary outfit, and bump heads with the Green Lanterns fairly often. They've twice been taken over by villains (in the later issues of their regular book, and in an even later miniseries), leading to the good guys on the team becoming R.E.B.E.L.S.. The team has also bumped heads with Darkstars and Trinity (1990s version) was essentially the Green Lanterns, L.E.G.I.O.N., and Darkstars in a jurisdiction dispute.
- Superpowerful Genetics: Several of them passed down their powers and taste for heroics through quite a few generations, and the Mallor family of Talok VIII in particular has a long rich history and future of champions capable of wielding the dark.
- Super-Intelligence: Runs in Brainiac's line, and Brainy 3/Lyrl Dox being an incredibly smart toddler who is still childishly self centered, and a bit more so than the average human toddler, and not having learnt any humility or morality becomes incredibly dangerous for a lot of people very quickly.
- Technicolor Eyes:
- Stealth's pink eyes are one of the things which caused her to be abandoned as an aberration.
- Qi'Qi's sclera are orange as part of his design to make him more alien than his human looking teammates.
- Villain World: Cairn was an entire world run by drug lords and other gangs where the economy was based on exploiting others, and growing and exporting drugs to other planets before Vril Dox II, and officers Marij'n Bek and Garryn Bek helped kick them out. After Lyrl takes over Cairn it's once more in villain hands, and he expands his empire by mind controlling the rulers of other planets and altering records of history.
- Voluntary Shape Shifting: The Durlan is a shapeshifter like most of his people, so long as they are in good health and have not been mode locked.
- Written by the Winners: Lyrl takes care to erase the existing official records of Cairn and have ones that suit his needs replaced.