Legion of Super-Heroes: Where Do I Start?

For all the societies, leagues, corps and squads that have stood tall in DC Comics, the Legion of Super-Heroes outnumbers them all. Created in 1958 by legendary creator Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino, the Legion of Super-Heroes (or LoSH for short) are a team of super-heroes working out of the 30th (and later 31st) century using our present-day Superman as an example and bringing the idea of a super-team to a universal scale.

Although the team exists 1000 years in our future, the team itself hasn’t been forward-thinking enough, as DC has rebooted and heavily revised the group on four separate occasions. With 50+ years of continuity, it’s hard to nail down the pillars of the Legion but iFanboy has done it. Now all you have to do is buy it, and read it.

Legion of Super-Heroes: The Beginning Of Tomorrow: The Teen Titans might be remembered as DC’s teen super-team, the Legion are a close-second as entrepreneurial teenage prodigies assembling as a patrol force for peace and justice across the universe.  While this collection eschews some of the darker tones present in earlier volumes of the series, it does so without losing the passion and drive of earlier creators like Levitz, Giffen and Shooter. This was one of the early titles that Mark Waid defined himself on, and for this book he was ably joined by artists such as Lee Moder and even Stuart Immonen.

Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga: Arguably the most definitive story in all of LoSH’s legacy, this story defined the team much in the way ‘The Dark Phoenix Saga’ did for the X-Men. After staring down some of the biggest threats in the far-flung 30th Century, the team is put to the test when the god-like Darkseid re-awakens and sets about invading the United Planets. As the Legion assemble soldier after soldier and face defeat after defeat, they end up turning to an unlikely place to turn the tide in the war against the god of Apokolips.

Legion of Super-Heroes: Earthwar: Although sadly uncollected, ‘Earthwar’ remains a well-loved storyarc pitting the Legion against one of their arch-villains Mordru the Merciless and an intergalactic war with numerous players involved. The time-traveling Karate Kid (not Ralph Macchio) makes a Han-Solo-like big save halfway through the run, but Mordru pushes the team to the limit and at one point seizes control of Earth itself.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds: Although the title’s preface leads you to believe it’s a tie-in to DC’s Final Crisis event, this story by Geoff Johns and George Perez is a great standalone read that takes on the multiple variations of the LoSH over time and teams them up for a universe-spanning war against the contemptuous Superboy-Prime.

Showcase Presents: The Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 3: This collection has several tales, but one story stands above them all. This Showcase volume collects one of the most beloved storyarcs in LoSH continuity: the “Adult” Legion story-arc told originally in Adventure Comics #354-5. In the story, Superman travels to the 30th Century to visit his grown-up friends in the LoSH and sees some head-spinning predictions of the future and even some surprising appearances by descendants of Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk. This is one of Jim Shooter’s earliest stories, and veteran editor Mort Weisinger did well in partnering him with powerhouse artist Curt Swan for this two-issue tale.


  1. wow, did not realize there where so many Legions. how i’m i suppose to keep up?

    • Jump into the latest one and forget the others exist. If you get curious enough, start digging because there is a lot of gold in Legion history. Its very rewarding if you put in the effort, but if you don’t its still rewarding just to enjoy the current title.

  2. Sweet! I tried getting into the LoSH with Legion Lost recently. I loved it but didnt really know what else was out there, thanks. I cant wait to check out the two new Legion titles too.

  3. It’s not really that complicated, it just seems like it is. Chris is focusing on the original Legion, and that’s a great place to start as it’s the Legion we have now and will have after the “New 52” releases. It’s bizarre that after 50 years and multiple Legions being written in and out of continuity, that we’re right back to the first Legion.

    I was a Legion virgin until recently. I came on board with Mark Waid’s reboot, and got a Legion itch that I just had to scratch. I now have every Legion comic from the late 60s onward.

  4. Where is DNA’s Legion Lost and Legion (ongoing)?

    • Definitely have to agree that Legion Lost needs to be in there, DnA plus Olivier Coipel for crying out loud! Also, another good one would be Superman and the Legion from the Johns-Gary Frank run was a great primer for the legion. And the most recent Superman Secret Origins had a great primer issue for new legion fans

    • Yeahhhh Legion Lost should really be on here. It’s one of the best comics I’ve ever read.

  5. I know Mark Waid’s run is no longer in continuity, but it’s still a great set of Legion stories.

    • I personally found Waid’s Threeboot Legion great conceptually, but flawed in execution. The first 14 issues are a near perfect epic. With great characters, great action, and memorable moments. But when they introduced Supergirl to the title it took a massive nosedive. The story ground to a halt and started repeating itself. By the time Waid made his full exit from the title it was a real mess. Tony Bedard picked up the pieces okay, but was saddled with a rather boring artist. Then Jim Shooter showed up, and really brought the title back to life. Really gave it a sense of character again, and the new artist was phenomenal. Unfortunately DC killed it mid-stride and rushed the ending.
      So year, first 14 issues are classic, and Jim Shooter had a real moment there. But ultimately too much time was wasted on Supergirl being dumb for it to ever be a truely classic run.

  6. I’ve been a Legion fan since the mid-70’s so I was thrilled to have the “original” team back. But I’m actually disappointed that this run drew on so much old material and therefore did very little to bring in new readership. In fact, I think it may have done just the opposite. Here’s hoping the next #1 (there sure have been a lot) will do more to help new readers navigate through all the history.

  7. People can just start at the new 52 #1, since they are rebooting it again right?

    • Nope, The Legion are, this time, one of the titles where the continuity isn’t changing. I think there might have been a Legion fan riot if there was another reboot.

  8. Over the last month I have been crash coursing myself in Legion Lore. Mostly in anticipation for the Legion Relaunch, of which I will be reading LoSH, Legion Lost, Legion: Secret Origins, and Star Trek/LoSH. Up until now my intrest in the Legion and their history has been passing at best. Often, like so many others, being turned off by the apparently muddling of their history. The Legion a text book case of constant retconing and relaunching. But when the DnA Legion Lost HC got released my interest got piqued pretty good. Back in the early 2000s I recall it being a hot series, but I was never able to find it then. However, instead of picking up Legion Lost HC when I had the chance, I took a gamble of The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe HC. That sure was a gamble that paid off. That was a great story, from a period of comics I’ve never really had any experiance with. After that I started getting into the current incarnation of the Legion, which is a rough analog to the original Legion. I’ve found the perfect reading order to get into the current incarnation of the Legion is Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes TP, Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds TP, Legion of Super-Heroes: The Choice HC. Boom you’re in and up to date with the current Legion and its all pretty damn good.

    At this point I’m actually relishing all of the various Legion reboots and soft-boots. There are so many different versions of the Legion, each with their own flavors. There’s a Legion for everyone, if they just look for it. Currently I’m getting into Kieth Giffen’s ‘Five Year Gap’ period, and am in love with it. This could be the Legion I’ve been looking for!