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Legendary Runs Companion Article: A Cast of Thousands and the Club You Want to Join (Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt’s Legion of Super-Heroes)

What to Read (in order): Legion of Super-Heroes Volume 2 #281-289, Annual 1, #290-303, Annual 2, #304-313, Annual 3, 1-5


Paul Levitz

Keith Giffen

Larry Mahlstedt

Main Characters:

Cosmic Boy

Saturn Girl

Lightning Lad

Super Boy


Colossal Boy

Element Lad

Dream Girl

Star Boy

Sun Boy

Chameleon Boy

Shrinking Violet

Timber Wolf

Karate Kid

Phantom Girl



How to Read:


The Great Darkness Saga

The Curse

An Eye for an Eye

The Run-down:

Mara and I are Legion green horns. Neither one of us have ever read an issue of the Legion of Super-HIMG_0279eroes and I think our knowledge begins and ends with that Smallville episode and our awareness that it is ‘that book Paul Levitz did for decades.’ That is why we approach this series with a reasonable amount of hesitation. We never want to offend anyone with  a fondness for a series and we know how frustrating it can be when someone judges something that they have no idea what they are talking about.

There came a few moments when we were wondering if we we’re overly presumptuous and if we should cancel the topic of this episode; we decided that the show must go on. Not only because we thought it was necessary to branch out of our comfort zone, but also because once we hit issue #290, these many many characters began to grow on us and their soap opera became addicting.

For those like us and not familiar with The Legion of Super-Heroes, they are a group from the thirtieth century made up of various super-powered teens from different earths. Together this group of adventures, inspired by the exploits of Superboy, protect time and space and also get into enough romantic malarkey that will keep anyone interested. Bouncing Boy is with Duo Damsel, Lightning Lad is with Saturn Girl, Colossal Boy is with Shrinking Violet, except when they’re not, and so on and so forth. It really is one of the more interesting parts of the read, especially when it helps define the member’s characterization.

This run is also interesting from a historical standpoint. As you read, it feels like the silver age style is ending and the modern age style is rising, especially when Giffen is given more room to experiment. These issues are very dense. If you can only sample a small part of the run, I strongly suggest The Great Darkness Saga from issue 289-294. It’s an impressive combination of all three creators’ talents.

I really do hope you enjoy this episode. I’m not exactly sure where our discussion will go, but I’m sure that will only add to the entertainment. If you haven’t looked ahead to see what we will be doing next, it is one of the more important runs of all time, and the introduction to what might be the most important superhero ever: The Amazing Spider-Man. We decided to do it next to celebrate Spidey’s MCU premiere in Captain America: Civil War. After that, I have included our next 5 episodes. I hope that you decided to follow along with us as we move into this summer!

What’s Next?:

Friday (4-22-16) – Podcast: Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt’s Legion of Super-Hero’s.

Sunday (5-1-16) – Companion Article: Steve Ditko and Stan Lee’s Amazing Spider-Man (Amazing Fantasy #15, Amazing Spider-Man #1-38, Amazing Spider-Man Annual 1 and 2, Fantastic Four Annual 1)

Friday (5-5-16)-Podcast: Steve Ditko and Stan Lee’s Amazing Spider-Man

Sunday(5-15-16)- Companion Article: Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark’s Gotham Central (Gotham Central #1-40)

Friday (5-19-16)- Podcast: Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark’s Gotham Central

Sunday (5-29-16)- Companion Article: Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo’s Fantastic Four (Fantastic Four vol 3. #60-70, vol.1 500-524)

Friday (6-2-16)- Podcast: Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo’s Fantastic Four

Sunday (6-12-16)- Companion Article: Dwayne McDuffie’s Icon (Icon #1-8, 13, 19-22, 24-27, 30)

Friday (6-16-16)- Podcast: Dwayne McDuffie’s Icon

Sunday (6-26-16)- Companion Article: Grant Morrison’s Animal Man( Animal Man #1-26)

Friday (6-30-16)- Podcast: Grant Morrison’s Animal Man with special guest Bobby Shortle

Sunday (7-10-16)- Companion Article: Terry Moore’s Echo (Echo 1-30)

Friday (7-14-16)- Podcast: Terry Moore’s Echo

You can listen to our previous episode on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim here and also on iTunes. Also if you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us at:

Legendary Runs– @legendarypod

Matt Wood– @Johnnymattwood

Mara Wood– @megamaramon

Email at

Matt Wood is a high school English teacher in North Arkansas. His classroom is littered with comic book posters and notes about Hawthorne that are as difficult to decipher as they are to be interested in. Not Matt's fault though, Nathaniel Hawthorne…

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