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Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes is a six-part Superman story written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank (pencils), Jon Sibal (inks) and Dave McCaig (colors). It ran from 2007 till 2008 first appearing in Action Comics no. 858 through 863. It was eventually collected into a trade paperback.

Superman is whisked away one thousand years into the future at Brainiac 5's request to help the Legion of Super-Heroes who are in trouble. Once there he discovers that he has no super-powers because Earth's sun has turned red. Superman learns that a team of rejects from the Legion has organized itself as the new Justice League and has either incarcerated the Legion's members or pushed them underground. This new Justice League has also proscribed non-terrestrial beings from Earth (including humans of terrestrial ancestry but born outside of the planet) and propagated the version that Superman had actually been an Earthling all along. It is up to Superman to rally the Legion to fight the Justice League and recover his powers before Earth is invaded by aliens who resent the League's xenophobic policies.

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Tropes:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: This is how Clark Kent is treated by the other kids in Smallville (albeit for being a nerd) in a couple of flashbacks. Also, this is how Earth-Man and Storm Boy think the Legion treated them.
  • Beta Test Baddie: All of the future Justice League.
  • Blessed with Suck: The Legion of Substitute Heroes and part of the Justice League are made up of members whose powers aren't that cool to start with.
  • Body Horror: Eyeful Ethel and Radiation Roy (under the armor).
  • Broken Aesop: The Legion rejected Earth Man not because of his lack of powers, but because he was considered deranged. In the subsequent storyline in their own comicbook title, the Legion have to accept a member of the League into their ranks as a token of conciliation to all of Earth's political factions. But instead of accepting any other leaguer, they select Earth Man as a member.
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  • Brought Down to Normal: Happens to Superman during 90% of the story due to the Sun turning red.
  • Cyborg: Storm Boy is this... voluntarily. At least 50% of his chest cavity is hosting some machinery or another.
  • The Cavalry: Played with. The Legion of Super Heroes calls in the Legion of Substitute Heroes for help and they do come to assist in the nick of time. They are even bigger losers than the Justice Leaguers but they do put up a great fight.
  • De-Power: Superman has no powers since the future Justice League has turned Earth's sun red.
  • Fake Defector: Brainiac 5 pretends he's going to terminate Superman and the Legion to appease his fellow Coluans who are in league with other alien races to invade Earth and think Supes and friends are contaminating the information flow.
  • Fake Wizardry: Although he has the power to manipulate plants, Clorophyll Kid also claims that he can talk to them, which he can't do.
  • Family of Choice: Although Superman is only related by blood to one single Legionnaire, all of them have been his best friends and family since they were teens.
  • Fan Disillusionment: Earth Man claims to have met Superman as Clark Kent when the Legion first brought him to visit the 30th century as a young teenager, and he was extremely disappointed to see Clark was a dweeb.
  • Fantastic Racism: From humans on Earth towards any extraterrestrial beings in the galaxy.
  • Flashback: To Clark's tween years when he met the original Legionnaires.
  • Friendship Moment: At the end of the epilogue, Batman walks in on Superman and Lightning Lad drinking beer together and remembering the good, old days when they teamed up to play pranks on their teammates.
  • Fugitive Arc: Most of the plot develops as the heroes are on the run from either the Justice League or extraterrestrials hunting for Earthlings.
  • Hive Mind: Planet Colu
  • Intimate Healing: Chameleon Girl has to kiss a comatose Sun Boy to help him regain consciousness fast.
  • La Résistance: The Legion has turned into this, chased away from any official posts or recognition.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Superman tries to catch a bullet, but it pierces through his hand. Then the Legion reveals that Earth-Man has somehow turned the Sun into a red star.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Not only do a group of third-rate villains take over the world, but they're stopped in large part by the Legion of Substitute Heroes, a fourth-rate team that raises What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? to an art form.
  • Life Isn't Fair: In a way, the whole excuse for the future Justice League to do what they do.
  • Living Battery: Earth-Man captures Sun Boy and turns him into a battery for a device that transforms the Earth's sun into a red star.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Geoff Johns has either really done some investigating or he has a prodigious knowledge of Legion canon.
  • Master of Disguise: Chameleon Girl, obviously.
  • Midas Touch: Goldenboy, although he can control it at will.
  • Mood Swing: Rainbow Girl's problem.
  • Not Good with Rejection: The new Justice Leaguers, particularly Earth Man.
  • Old Flame: Radiation Roy towards Spider Girl.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Clark when he's in front of Perry White, natch.
  • Power Copying: This is the ability of Earth-Man, leader of the "Justice League".
  • Prehensile Hair: Spider Girl.
  • Propaganda Machine: The future 'Justice Leaguers' control and manipulate the press and media to propagate their xenophobic agenda.
  • Putting on the Reich: The future 'Justice Leaguers' wear a red armband with Superman's symbol on it.
  • Reconstruction: This is the Post-Crisis story arc that restores back to canon status Clark's membership as a Legion member since his teenage years.
  • The Resenter: Earth Man argues that the Legion made young pencil-neck geek Clark Kent an honorary member not because of who he was but because of who he would become.
  • Touch of Death: Goldenboy if he gets to touch you.
  • Skip the Anesthetic: All the surgery on Storm Boy must be performed without anesthesia.
  • The Sociopath: Unlike the Legion of Substitutes or other Justice Leaguers, Earth Man wasn't rejected as a Legion member because of his powers (which are actually more impressive than the ones that each Legion member has), but because they perceived him to be mentally unstable.
  • Stunned Silence: In the epilogue, Batman walks in on Superman and Lightning Lad reminiscing the good, old days when they played dumb pranks on their teammates. When Superman tells him Lightning Lad taught his teen self the importance of sometimes breaking rules, even if it was just for fun, Batman is left speechless.
    Batman: So you two got into... trouble? You? Trouble?
    Superman: Garth taught me sometimes rules had to be broken. Sometimes just for fun.
    Batman: ...
  • Torture Cellar: Where they were keeping Polar Boy.
  • Unbreakable Bones: Tusker's power.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The future Justice League is just so loved by earthlings. Especially because of the propaganda they feed the people.
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