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Comic Book / Legion of Super-Heroes (2020)

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New Superboy, new Legion, so much trouble...

Brian Michael Bendis's Legion of Super-Heroes is the latest Continuity Reboot for DC Comics' 31st century-based superhero team.

From the pages of Bendis' run on Superman, a new Legion of Super-Heroes seeks out the membership of Superman's very own son Jon Kent, due to his involvement in the establishment of the United Planets. What follows is a series of events circulating around Aquaman's trident and the President of the United Planets being less than okay with super-powered teenagers just bending time and space without even a shred of conscious thought at the possible ramifications.

And once the series was canned after 12 issues, the Legion's two issue miniseries for DC Future State was established as the new status quo for the actual Legion ongoing - but instead, after his Future State entries, Bendis would take on the Justice League. After that, his take on the Legion would be the subject of a resurgence in Justice League vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes, which sees both superhero teams joining forces when both realties are in peril at the same time because of a great darkness.

Bendis announced he was spearheading an animated adaptation of this particular run of the Legion for Max. No news about the show have come out since its announcement.

The 2020 Legion contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Krav the General Nah is a domineering, violent blowhard of a leader and a father.
    • Imra's parents on Titan appear to be somewhat emotionally abusive and it's implied she was banished from Titan's hivemind for wanting to join the Legion. Future State made it worse by revealing they only let her go so she can be a unwilling mole for them to prep the rest of the galaxy for conquest...
  • Aborted Arc: Pretty much every storyline except for the Great Darkness ends without any answers. Aquaman's trident vanishes after being sought after for the first six issues of the ongoing, the reason for Damian Wayne being referred to as "Baby Hitler" and what the Legion was trying to do to prevent it aren't resolved, and nothing is explained about who really made Gold Lantern's ring. Likewise, nothing comes out of how Rose Forrest was built up in the Millennium storyline as a potentially crucial advisor to the Legion.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Mon-El is a Kryptonian rather than a Daxamite.
  • Adaptational Dumbass:
    • Blok, normally interpreted as being intellectual despite his outward appearance, has a much more simplistic form of speaking here.
    • Saturn Girl apparently has such little control over her abilities outside of Titan's hivemind that she thinks she accidentally brainwashed the entire Legion into believing they needed Jon as a member. While in past Legion continuities, Imra sometimes had a couple of issues with her mental powers at a younger age (like Reboot Imra being unaware she was subconsciously controlling a comatose Cosmic Boy), they were never this bad.
  • Adaptational Heroism: As a result of being combined with the Danielle Foccart version, this Legion's Computo has so far avoided turning into a destructive force of villainy.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Mon-El is rather haughty and seems to dislike Jon Kent because they're both Kryptonians.
    • R.J. Brande was an affable nice billionaire who helped fund the Legion out of gratitude to Garth, Rokk, and Imra for saving his life and because he realized the galaxy needed heroes. President Brande, on the other hand, is a two-faced beaurucrat whose opinion on the Legion flip-flops depending on what's useful to her at the time. Not helping matters is that Chameleon Boy loathes her, whereas in the continuities where Cham is R.J. Brande's son they get along seemingly well.
    • The Legion itself suffers from this due to being Innocently Insensitive, as they expect far too much of Jon Kent's capabilities as a hero based on what he'll eventually do and not what he's currently done. The impetus for recruiting him as a Legionnaire was because he suggested forming the United Planets even though he didn't actually do anything to help create or lead the United Planets beyond that. It stands out a lot from how the original and Retroboot Legions were fans of Clark Kent as Superboy, merely went back and offered him a place in the Legion because they wanted to thank him for being an inspiration and then eventually helped him grow into his role as a hero.
  • Adaptational Name Change:
    • Mon-El has Mon-El as his real name, rather than Lar Gand.
    • White Witch's real name is Xola Aq rather than Mysa Nal.
  • The Ageless: Rose (and her split personality Thorn), as established in the Millennium prelude. She breezes through the worlds of President Supergirl, Batman Beyond, and Kamandi without looking a day older.
    • The same cannot be said for Zod, when he shows up in Issue #10.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: DC Pride 2022 featured Dawnstar being confirmed as bisexual after her Retroboot counterpart was implied to be bi in The Lightning Saga, and Brainiac 5 was identified as demisexual after years of his various counterparts being attracted to women (Supergirl, Andromeda, Dream Girl) and men (Invisible Kid).
  • Adapted Out: Whenever the Ranzz Family is shown, there's no hint or any indication that Garth and Ayla's older brother Mekt exists in this continuity. Likewise, the twins getting their powers from the lightning beasts on Korbal has been written out with a vague mention that their ability is passed down in their family.
  • All There in the Script: The first trade paperback collection identifies the nameless skeleton Legionnaire as "X-Ray Girl," and identifies two other Legionnaires, Entropy Kid and Radius Lad, who only appeared once in a crowd shot in #9.
  • Always Someone Better: Mon-El is implied to genuinely resent Superboy's presence because, even though they're both Kryptonians (in this continuity), Superboy's treated like the greatest thing since sliced bread making Mon come across as rather inadequate by comparison. His nasty personality isn't doing Mon much credit.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Imra ends up with a robot arm in the Future State microseries. Why does she have a robot arm? It's never explained.
  • Antagonistic Offspring:
    • Chameleon Boy cannot stand his mother, calling President Brande an unconscionable coward.
    • White Witch absolutely loathes her father Mordru, and has kept her relationship to him a secret from the other Legionnaires. She will, however, reveal their connection if she feels she needs to.
    • Not only are Imra's parents dismissive of her, Future State reveals that they made her their mole to effectively throw the galaxy into shambles.
  • Arc Welding: Millennium welds many of DC's possible futures into a single timeline - President Supergirl, Batman Beyond, Kamandi, Tommy Tomorrow, Booster Gold, OMAC and finally this incarnation of the Legion.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: About half the Legion joined because they believe in the idea of the United Planets, while the other half joined because they hate the people representing the United Planets and want to stop them from abusing their power. None of the Legionnaires are said to be wrong.
  • Buffy Speak: The Legionnaires have this in spades. All of them. The bulk of the dialogue consists of them sort of rambling on and on using future slang like "qrot."
  • Character Shilling: Gold Lantern gets the most focus out of the newly introduced Legionnaires, and even out of the veteran Legionnaires, with his teammates exclaiming how great he is and how he has a terrific backstory. This is despite that Gold Lantern does practically nothing and from what little is shown of his origin story, it's honestly not that impressive. It's even more obnoxious in the Justice League crossover series, where he's ostensibly one of the main characters and doesn't actually do anything to advance the plot.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Except for the goggles, the Triplicate Girl here is more similar to the animated version than those from the previous comics. One is pink, the other yellow, and the third blue.
  • Composite Character:
    • Computo is a combination of the original version of the character and Danielle Foccart, who was briefly possessed by Computo's essence before taking the name for herself as a Legionnaire.
    • President Brande is largely based on R.J. Brande and his time as Earthgov president, but the elements of Brande being a female president and her more shameless, underhanded actions are strongly reminiscent of Jeanne Chu from the Reboot Legion.
  • Continuity Reboot: The first one for the Legion since the retro-reboot from 2007 to 2013. It's also the first version of the Legion to have a Doctor Fate on the roster.
  • Continuity Snarl: The editing on this series must have caused ten and a half migraines with its numerous inconsistencies throughout each issue.
    • In the eighth issue, Ayla appears as Lightning Lass while fighting against Crav Nah. While the origin issue showed she had lightning abilities alongside Garth back before the Legion was created, every scene featuring her among the Legionnaires showed and identified her as Light Lass with no indication of any electrical abilities. The most glaring detail of this discrepancy is her costume had a visible feather on her chest, while in the eighth issue, it's been replaced by two lightning bolts.
    • White Witch was previously identified as Mysa Nal, but then the ninth issue, she was referred to as Xola Aq.
    • Mon-El was originally identified as Lar Gand of Daxam, but later issues then stated his name's solely Mon-El and he's from New Krypton.
    • When Invisible Kid was first revealed, he was stated to be from Earth. In issue nine, he mentions being from the planet Kit-Son.
      • Also, when the character was first mentioned they were identified as Lyle in Millennium #2. By issue #3 of the ongoing series, Invisible Kid was now Jacques Foccart. This was fixed in the trade collection where the name "Lyle" is removed.
    • It was earlier mentioned that Mon-El's dating Phantom Girl. A later issue mentions Shadow Lass is Mon's girlfriend, but the following issue has it back to Phantom Girl.
    • When the Justice League meets the Legionnaires in Justice League Vs Legion of Super-Heroes, Wally West doesn't recognize any of them nor does he know what the Legion of Super-Heroes is. This is despite that Wally's family has ties to the Legion through Don and Dawn Allen (the Tornado Twins), Barry Allen and Iris's West children from the future, and their children Bart Allen (Impulse) and Jenni Ognats (XS, who is a Legionnaire). Even if Bart and Jenni aren't connected to this Legion, Wally should still have some idea of what the Legion is and recognize the Legionnaires in at least some capacity. (And you can't even say this was undone by Flashpoint — Wally's supposed to have Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory about that, and Dark Nights: Death Metal is supposed to have [somehow] restored all the timelines.)
    • Bendis and the editors apparently couldn't make up their minds about how much Dawnstar knows about Earth history. In the third issue she knows enough about Damian Wayne's apparent role in something that has him called "Baby Hitler" to be genuinely unsettled by his appearance, but in the Justice League crossover series she tells Naomi in the 2nd issue she knows absolutely nothing about Earth or its past.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: #11 ends with Superboy and Saturn Girl discovering Rogol Zaar beat the shit out of nearly all the Legionnaires and is still standing.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Rose Forrest is essentially the main character of the Millennium two parter and she's treated as if she will be a crucial advisor to the Legionnaires. By the time of the ongoing series she's reduced to a background character with as little importance as most of the other Legionnaires.
    • Lightning Lad is the least utilized of the founding Legionnaires, to the point he was only recruited after his sister turned down the invitation from the United Planets. He brings nothing to the main plots and if he were to be removed from the series overall, it wouldn't impact the story in any meaningful way.
    • Sun Boy is one of the oldest and longest lasting Legionnaires, featured in many important storylines. Here, he manages to not have a single line of dialogue. Even Reboot Dirk, who wasn't a member of the team, had a bigger impact!
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Subverted with Monster Boy. Monster Boy can alter his form like Chameleon Boy. However, Monster Boy claims his powers aren't the same. Truly, while Monster Boy can only appear to turn into different types of monsters the only difference between him and Chameleon Boy is his powers appear far more monstrous.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Doctor Fate apparently explodes in the eleventh issue...only to come back in the next issue. The recovery is never explained.
  • Epic Fail: According to DC Future State, the Legion only lasted for a hundred days, or barely three months, before it fell apart due to whatever Element Lad did. Or rather, what the Titanians did.
  • Faux Action Girl: Blok believes Shadow Lass is one, with an Interlac note in the eighth issue mentioning he's noticed she never does anything.
  • Gender Flip: R.J. Brande is now Chameleon Boy's mother instead of father.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Phantom Girl now has dark pink skin instead of caucasian white skin like in all previous iterations of the character. Like many things, it's never explained.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Gold Lantern is implied to be blind due to the fact that his mask doesn't have any eye holes. Most of the time.
  • It's All About Me: The Legionnaires as a whole sort of have this mindset in regards to Superboy. They absolutely feel they need him as a member to show them the way to act as a team, when Jon honestly hasn't done much at that point in his life to warrant such a reputation. That they're putting so much pressure on him even after he spent five years getting traumatized thanks to his grandfather makes the team come across as rather selfish and nearsighted.
  • Jerkass: Mon-El is nasty to nearly everyone, to the point where Colossal Boy sincerely hopes he quits the Legion because Mon-El's so draining to be around.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Imra's dismissive parents may have been right to not want her to leave Titan if she somehow ended up brainwashing the Legion into recruiting Jon Kent by accident. Or so it seemed since they're why the galaxy went sideways in Future State.
  • Lack of Empathy: None of the Legionnaires seem to give a shit about Damian Wayne being Jon's friend, and are barely perturbed when Jon calls them out on wiping Damian's memory. They also don't seem to care that he hasn't had much room to breathe after the years he lost thanks to Jor-El and the Crime Syndicate.
  • Loving a Shadow: The Legionnaires as a whole have this sort of vibe regarding Jon, considering him as a great leader and inspiration and bringing him to their time because they genuinely believe his influence is necessary for them to survive. It's clear they're more interested in the influence of his legend instead of anything Jon's actually done at his current age.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: White Witch was initially happy with how powerful she was as a sorceress because she thought it came from all her hard work. Then she learned magic is in her blood because her dad is Mordru. She wasn't pleased.
  • Manipulative Bastard: President Brande is clearly using the Legion for her own ends, and will either praise them or decry them if it suits her overall goals.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Ultra Boy eventually believes his home planet of Rimbor is too chaotic and destructive, so after becoming leader he announces they must act more civilized. And then proceeds to beat up those who disagree with him.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Colossal Boy mentions his ability isn't to grow big, but to shrink from his already gigantic size, which was the character's backstory in the reboot Legion.
    • White Witch goes by the name Xola Aq, which was an alias she had when she was turned into the Hag during the Silver Age. She's also Mordru's daughter like she was in the Reboot Legion.
    • Mike Grell apparently refused to draw any of the new costumes when he worked on the ninth issue. Not only does he put Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy in the infamous bikini and corset costumes from the 1970s, he draws Dawnstar both with her original costume and physical wings instead of energy wings like she's had in the previous issues.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Dawnstar's given the last name Gr'ell as a nod to her co-creator Mike Grell.
  • Never Trust a Title: In all six issues of Justice League Vs Legion of Super-Heroes, there's no actual fight between any of the Leaguers and the Legionnaires. The closest they get to is arguing about Gold Lantern's ring in the fifth issue.
  • Noodle Incident: The Legionnaires are somewhat dismissive of Damian Wayne due to something he apparently does when he's older, something so bad Chameleon Boy calls him "Baby Hitler." It's not mentioned what Damian did, but Brainiac 5 states they're trying to avoid that timeline from coming true.
  • Only Sane Woman: Rose serves as one for the Legion, who raises questions about their actions like, say, bringing someone from the 21st century into the 31st century without giving the proper authorities a heads-up.
    Rose: This whole thing looks like you didn't ask permission to abuse the time stream because everyone who isn't a legionnaire can, really, go to hell! [...] My big point here is: if you do stupid, childish #$@#$, don't be shocked when "they" react accordingly. And it's doubly frustrating because [Saturn Girl] can read people's minds. So I don't see the excuse for stupid, childish #$@#$ other than you just want to.
  • Race Lift:
    • The Ranzz twins Garth and Ayla (aka Lightning Lad and Light Lass) who in prior continuities are usually depicted as white are now black.
    • In previous continuities Karate Kid was of at least some Japanese descent, usually on his mother's side. Here, Ryan Sook's redesign gives Val a Manchu queue braid implying Val's now of Chinese descent.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In this continuity, Mon-El's now a distant descendant of Superman and Superboy (and his name's no longer Lar Gand).
  • Running Gag: One with the Legionnaires insisting that Superboy watch the orientation video they prepared for him.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: The Ranzz Twins in this continuity fit this trope, where Ayla's a hot-blooded revolutionary while Garth is the more subdued, levelheaded twin.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The whole reason why Jon went off with this Legion was their insistence that both sides needed to learn from each other to be better heroes. By the end of the ongoing series and the Justice League miniseries, Jon hasn't learned anything about being a better hero or leader, while the Legionnaires are pretty much the same as they were before they recruited Jon.
  • Shout-Out: Monster Boy's got the ability to transform into different monsters, as in actual, preexisting monster characters such as Frankenstein's Monster and the Martians from Mars Attacks!.
  • Show, Don't Tell: Sigh, where do we even begin?
    • Triplicate Girl is only ever seen in her three different components, and at no point does she ever merge back into a single person, making it vague if she does have to power to split into three people or if she's really three girls who share a mind. It's finally averted in the twelfth issue, when the three components of Triplicate Girl are shown splitting off into more triplicates.
      • And then changed AGAIN when Future State showed them as Duo Damsel, with one dead and the other two making clear that they could fuse into one but don't due to grief, while also not splitting into any more duplicates even when vastly outnumbered.
    • Gold Lantern's backstory is supposedly amazing, but for the first nine issues, nothing about it has been revealed, just that everyone speaks highly of him.
    • The Horraz are considered the greatest threat to the galaxy and the United Planets, but as of right now nothing about them makes them seem deserving of such a label when at best they come across as a nuisance.
  • Time Skip: The Future State miniseries jumps ahead several years to show the United Planets has apparently fallen apart, the galaxy is something of a mess, the Legion's fractured, and Element Lad is apparently a President Evil and was responsible for a horrific event that ruined everything to begin with. Even worse, the Titanians invaded and made everyone think Element Lad was responsible for the chaos.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: It's noted that due to the shenanigans of the multiverse courtesy of Dr. Manhattan (among other troublemakers), the current 31st century is not exactly in a stable position...
  • Vagueness Is Coming: In the ninth issue, Dream Girl warns everyone that a "Great Darkness" is coming.
  • Villain Decay: Mordru the Merciless was considered one of the most dangerous magic users in the present day DCU and previous Legion continuities, on par with both the Time Trapper and Glorith. Here, while Mordru is still considered dangerous, he's not as feared or powerful as he used to be.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Superboy isn't cool with Saturn Girl mind-wiping his best friend Damian Wayne (aka Robin)'s mind to believe he's having a dream.