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  1. #16
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    There is a difference between pollyannaish rainbows and unicorns and optimistic/futuristic the Legion's future was never perfect after the Silver Age but it wasn't bleak. The Legion doesn't work in a bleak setting. I loved the writing on 5YL but it wasn't the Legion. The Legion lost it's foundation when it lost it's connection to Clark and none of the reboots fixed that in fact the multiple reboots made it worse is the Legion's problem not the utopian future. If someone wants to tell a bleak story in the future fine, it just doesn't have to be the Legion, a Justice League 4000 or heck Kamandi era storytelling.

  2. #17
    Extraordinary Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    For me, as long as the Legion are from the future and draw inspiration from Superman et al, they don't need to have a personal connection to Clark, and as long as the Legion are founded on a sense of optimism, it doesn't matter whether they're set in a utopia or dystopia for me to see them as The Legion.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korath View Post
    I'd say the main problem for LoSH is that it's Utopian Future (at least the original one) is very much the Fities in the White Suburbs of the good old US of A, more than an inherent flaw of the utopia setting itself.
    This. The original LoSH is definitely a product and vision of its time. And since it's so gatekept, there's no room made for any more enlightened, expansive, and contemporary-minded takes, even if we've had some good ones (the tease we get from "Justice League: Trapped in Time" and Bendis' take, for a couple of examples).

    But there's nothing inherently and conceptually wrong with the unironic implementation of an Utopian Future in fiction.
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  4. #19
    Post Editing OCD Confuzzled's Avatar
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    Justice League: Trapped in Time (still shocked at how surprisingly good that film was) and to a lesser extent, the 2000's (very good) animated series did away with the 1950's overtly white, overtly suburban-feeling environment, so yeah, I'd say it's just a fault of the comics not being as imaginative with the franchise as these adaptations. I LOVE the utopian setting, it means, even in a small way, the current roster of superheroes did play a role to help make the future a better place.

  5. #20
    Mighty Member Kaijudo's Avatar
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    I know the timeline is a bit fuzzy now, but there's been a dystopian period in-between modern day and the Legion's times, hasn't there? We've seen it in KAMANDI, HEX, and more recently in the ELECTRIC WARRIORS series. Maybe there needs to be more legwork done as far as how the world moved from that period to the Legion's period.

    And since Star Trek was brought up, I think they did the same thing with Earth getting really bad before coming out on the other side. They allude to it in FIRST CONTACT and Khan was a direct product of it. Granted, I think that was set in the 90s on the original show's timeline, but the same kind of "sliding scale" that applies to comics has been applied there.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Anyway, they immediately abandoned those costumes after that first story. But once they got their own feature in ADVENTURE COMICS, we were blessed with the art of John Forte. I've read that some fans floated the theory that, since Forte's depiction of reality did not follow any known rules of physics, what we were seeing was a mere interpretation of the future which we would not possibly understand if we saw the real thing. Forte's art is essentially a visual translation that makes the stories more understandable to the people reading them in the 1960s. But even his art has strange absurdities that confound us.
    That would be a great way to both eat cake and have cake, if the comic stories we were seeing were in fact *stories* of the grand adventures that happen in this 'DC universe,' and inherently unreliable in their narration, so that, like the versions of Rann seen in early Adam Strange stories, and later retextured (but not truly 'retconned' in Swamp Thing) could *both* be 'true stories,' just told by different more-or-less reliable narrators, coloring the portrayal with their understanding of it.

    Since the earliest Legion stories are so often told from the perspective of Superboy, an outsider to this entire setting who is often seeing it for the first time, we could be getting a wide-eyed and kind of oddly distorted (by the parts that affected him personally, and skipping the parts that mattered not at all to a young Clark, like how their political systems or economy worked) view of that future, in those early tales. Later tales were told from the perspective of actual natives of that far-flung future, and got much more in-depth.

    We could get a lot of mileage out of this 'unreliable narrators' business, and it's less disruptive than rebooting every time someone gets a wild hair up their butt about 'too much continuity!'

  7. #22
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    For me the LOSH is based on Superman's day dream about what the future will be like 1,000 years from now. Maybe his perspective is just played out and should take the perspective of another hero like Batman, Black Lightning or Cyborg? If you google there are a bunch of theries about what the future would be like. One of them is a Utility Fog. This could be a good scifi concept based on a vison by someone like Cyborg.

  8. #23
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    The Legion was created in a time when people were more hopeful about the future. Utopian visions of the future were everywhere, (the Jetsons). We are in a very different place as a society these days. Dystopias are all the rage, and overly positive views of the future seem unrealistic to vast swathes of the population.
    Yes, the original version of the Legion from the late 1950s was very much a Utopian vision of the future, as was Star Trek a few years later.

    Of course, there were also things like "1984".

    The mother of one of my best friends is a big fan of TOS and TNG but she didn't care that much for DS9. She's very insightful as to why. She's fully aware that the main reason is that TOS and TNG (in the early seasons but never completely loses it) has a Utopian feeling of a future where humans have become better. DS9 moves away from that.

    Given our current situation, I think one could call it either way. There will be people who want the more Dystopian presentation of the Legion because they perceive it as "realistic" because it's the world today. There will be others who prefer a more Utopian version because either they are older and grew up on that world or they get more than enough of it in reality and the last thing they want is for their entertainment to be saturated with it. They want escape. There's that famous C.S. Lewis comment that, to paraphrase, is that being disenchanted is a choice by people who don't want to be enchanted.

    I suspect that one of the reasons stuff like MoS and B v S was so divisive is really because it's such a Dystopian view. Whether or not it is realistic is irrelevant. If it is realistic, that just makes people want the Utopian feeling even more.

    I admit I would like a Legion that was not a bunch of mohawks with attitudes which is very '80s anyway and outdated. I'd prefer a 30th/ 31st century that has complete racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and sex acceptance and, because of that, has a Utopian feeling. So sort of like merging the 1950s with the best parts of today and calling it the future.
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  9. #24
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmeraldGladiator View Post
    There is a difference between pollyannaish rainbows and unicorns and optimistic/futuristic the Legion's future was never perfect after the Silver Age but it wasn't bleak. The Legion doesn't work in a bleak setting. I loved the writing on 5YL but it wasn't the Legion. The Legion lost it's foundation when it lost it's connection to Clark and none of the reboots fixed that in fact the multiple reboots made it worse is the Legion's problem not the utopian future. If someone wants to tell a bleak story in the future fine, it just doesn't have to be the Legion, a Justice League 4000 or heck Kamandi era storytelling.
    A very good way of putting it. It doesn't have to stay a 1950s teen sitcom. But that doesn't mean it needs to go to the opposite extreme.
    Power with Girl is better.

  10. #25
    Astonishing Member John Venus's Avatar
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    It's not because of their utopian vision, it's because there hasn't been a consistent vision for the team for decades, there are like 3-4 different versions of the team and every one of them have literally hundreds of characters in their roster. How are you supposed to even begin introducing someone to them?

    I'm not a fan of dystopian visions either. I enjoy it but its gotten too much now. I would rather see a version of the future that takes a more balanced approach. Show a world where everybody is provided but explore the cost of ensuring paradise for civilians. Explore how these different races of people interact and ways that they get or don't get along.

    I'm also not a fan of Geoff Johns Legion of Superheroes story. Johns had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer with the Earth Man = Nazi analogues. The only real worthwhile moment is the time Superman says 'I'm for everyone'. Otherwise, the rest of it read like nostalgia driven bunk which requires prior familiarity with all the characters.
    Last edited by John Venus; 06-15-2021 at 03:54 PM.

  11. #26
    Extraordinary Member Doctor Know's Avatar
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    I've been collecting the recent hardcover releases of the Pre-Crisis Legion. They're my favorite incarnation.

    I don't even know how many incarnations of the Legion there are now.

    1. Pre-Crisis through Magic Wars, Five Years Later, Zero Hour, Johns revival.

    2. Reboot Legion/Glorithverse. Which had two reboots in it's short time frame and was phased out after crossing over with Johns' 2K3 TT.

    3. Threeboot - Mark Waid's Legion

    4. New 52 Legion - Similar to Pre-Crisis, with elements of the Reboot Legion (mainly Lightning Lad's robotic arm).

    5. The short lived Rebirth Legion. They showed up in the initial issues of Johns' Rebirth to do nothing and we erased after Johns' long delayed Doomsday Clock. Where they once again did nothing.

    6. Bendis' Legion. I honestly stopped keeping track at the start of the New 52. I couldn't tell you anything about this one.


    To reduce confusion and expose people to the LOSH, I just turn them on to the LOSH animated series from 2006-2008. It was released in HD on iTunes and Amazon several years ago and as recently as last year finally got a blu-ray. It's accessible, takes elements from the Pre-Crisis, Reboot and Threeboot Legions.

    Last edited by Doctor Know; 06-16-2021 at 06:28 PM.

  12. #27
    Incredible Member Tugger's Avatar
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    I started reading LSH in the early 1980's and continued through every issue until the Earth was destroyed in #38 (LSH v.4), which was about as dystopian as you can get.

    My enjoyment was never about what the future was like, good or bad. It was about the cast of characters and the stories told about them.

    When I stopped reading, I was losing interest in comics in general but I didn't like the direction the title was taking, with increased focus on the SW6 Batch etc. (although I think I would have stuck around if Giffen's original conclusion had played out).

    The reason I have never been able to get back into the title since is simply because of all the continual reboots, characters I loved either being completely unrecognisable or ceasing to exist.

    That said, I DID enjoy the recent Future State two-parter (both story and artwork), so who knows, I may hang around to see what comes next...

  13. #28
    Astonishing Member Overhazard's Avatar
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    Its always something. If it's not the setting, it's the costumes, if it's not the costumes, it's the codenames, if not the codenames, then it's the fanbase who nostalgia trip and we just can't embrace new things.
    The one thing I will give Bendis is that making the legion more diverse is a good thing. I've wanted that for a long time.

    The legion exists in a utopian optimistic future, it's a rejection of cynicism. I think that's a good thing. I think the legion is a victim of reboots trying to make them into something they just weren't, which is why the reboots don't stick.

  14. #29
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    I thought Giffen had a good idea of having a team of a handful of Legionnaires from the original team along with new characters. Unfortunately, I didn't find ANY of the new characters interesting. They were either silly (Kono), unnecessary (Kent Shakespeare) or underdeveloped (throw a rock).

    But we also got to see most of the former members not on the new team come in and out of the book as needed to keep up with what was going on with them. Not sure if this would work now, but it's an interesting idea.

  15. #30
    My Face Is Up Here Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overhazard View Post
    Its always something. If it's not the setting, it's the costumes, if it's not the costumes, it's the codenames, if not the codenames, then it's the fanbase who nostalgia trip and we just can't embrace new things.
    The one thing I will give Bendis is that making the legion more diverse is a good thing. I've wanted that for a long time.

    The legion exists in a utopian optimistic future, it's a rejection of cynicism. I think that's a good thing. I think the legion is a victim of reboots trying to make them into something they just weren't, which is why the reboots don't stick.
    I think part of it is that the reboots don't have the feelings of the original stories but it's also that they are reboots that are throwing out the original stories. No matter how corny or far back, they are the original stories. You don't have to dwell on them or bring them up. Just don't contradict them or outright say they never happened.

    But I agree with your point. A few years back, DC did a series where they brought back the multiverse including a comic special from every era, Golden, Silver/ Bronze, Post-Crisis. But I recall they only did one Silver Age book and that was a Legion story featuring Superboy (Superman when he was a boy). Of course, it felt absolutely NOTHING like a Silver Age story. It felt like a modern story about characters spending twenty pages moping about their feelings and every story having to be a complete breakdown of everything the character is and believes in before rebuilding him.

    I'm not saying stories today have to be children's stories about Krypto trying to get Superboy a Christmas present without him finding out- or something. But I personally stopped reading most comics when everything became a depression-fest.
    Power with Girl is better.

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