The Lethal Legion is the name of five teams of fictional characters that appear in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The teams were created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema; Jim Shooter and various artists; Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom; Roy Thomas and Tim Dzon; and Frank Tieri and various artists respectively.
The first version of the Lethal Legion appeared in The Avengers #78 (Jul. 1970).
The second version of the Lethal Legion appeared in Avengers #164 (Oct. 1977)
The third version in West Coast Avengers vol. 2, #1 (Oct. 1985).
The fourth version appeared in Marvel Age Annual #1 (1985).
The fifth version of the Lethal Legion appeared in Avengers West Coast #98 (Sep. 1993)
The sixth version of the Lethal Legion appeared in the limited series Dark Reign: Lethal Legion #1 (Aug. 2009).
Lethal Legion I
|Lethal Legion I|
|First appearance||Avengers #78 (Jul. 1970)|
|Created by||Roy Thomas
|See:List of Lethal Legion members|
The original Lethal Legion are formed by the villain Grim Reaper (the brother of Avenger Wonder Man) and consisted of Man-Ape, Power Man, Living Laser, and Swordsman. Man-Ape attacks Captain America, but is beaten back by the Avengers. However, he captures the Black Panther's girlfriend Monica binding her hand and foot with metal clamps. Black Panther is lured into a trap by Man-Ape, and despite getting past him he is knocked out by an exploding dummy of Monica. Black Panther is chained and with Man-Ape, he meets the other members of the Lethal Legion.
Grim Reaper dispatched the Lethal Legion members to different locations to meet the Avengers. Power Man and Swordsman were sent to the water main below Avengers Mansion, Living Laser and Man-Ape were sent to the nearby power station, and Grim Reaper seemingly departed to Greenwich Village. Black Panther broke free and contacted the Avengers to warn them about the Lethal Legion's plot. Grim Reaper returns and uses the knockout gas in his scythe to knock out Black Panther while revealing that he planned to have the Avengers lured to the locations of which Black Panther knew about. While the other members of the Lethal Legion defeat the different Avengers, Vision defeats Power Man (who had been sent to capture him at Avengers Mansion). He disguises himself as Power Man and Power Man as him and takes him to the base. The Lethal Legion places the Avengers in an hourglass container and then fills it with deadly gas. When "Power Man" arrived with "Vision," Grim Reaper detected the brain patterns of Wonder Man and shattered the hourglass to save Vision's life only to realize that the vision in the hourglass was actually Power Man. At that point, Vision aided the Avengers into defeating the Lethal Legion who are handed over to the authorities.
Lethal Legion II
|Lethal Legion II|
|First appearance||Avengers #164|
|Created by||Jim Shooter
A second version, formed by European villain Count Nefaria reappears in the title, composed of Living Laser, Whirlwind and Power Man. He magnifies their powers, but is revealed to be a manipulative ploy to steal their magnified powers in a failed bid to destroy the Avengers. The depowered villains are sent to prison.
Lethal Legion III
|Lethal Legion III|
|First appearance||West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #1|
|Created by||Jim Shooter
|Member(s)||Black Talon (Barone)
The Grim Reaper returns in the title West Coast Avengers, leading a third version against the superhero team consisting of Black Talon (Barone), Goliath, Man-Ape, Nekra, and Ultron-12. Grim Reaper has Ultron lead a squadron of robots to spring Goliath from a compound that he is imprisoned in. When Goliath is freed by Man-Ape, the three villains work together to take out the Avengers as Ultron-12 states that he has his own plans for Wonder Man. The three villains escape with an unconscious Henry Pym and Wonder Man. Hawkeye figures out that Grim Reaper is behind this.
The three villains meet up with Grim Reaper. Due to the internal squabbling and personal agendas hinder the villains and they are defeated and scattered.
Lethal Legion IV
|Lethal Legion IV|
|First appearance||Marvel Age #1|
|Created by||Kurt Busiek
Batroc the Leaper
A fourth version appears in the title Marvel Age. They were led by the Porcupine and consisted of Attuma, Batroc the Leaper, Bulldozer, Black Tiger, Kurr'fri of the Saurians, Gorilla-Man (Nagan), Piledriver, Sabretooth, Thundra, Trapster, Unicorn, Whirlwind, and Wrecker. The Lethal Legion tracked down and battle Captain America who is aided by several other Marvel heroes. Their battle with the superheroes was witnessed by the Beyonder. The outcome of the battle wasn't shown, but it is assumed that the heroes won.
Lethal Legion V
|Lethal Legion V|
|First appearance||Avengers West Coast #1|
|Created by||Roy Thomas
|Member(s)||Axe of Violence
In the title Avengers West Coast the demon Satannish creates another version using the souls of four infamous historical killers that were found in Mephisto's section of Hell. They have been given powers along with Hangman and the group battle the renamed Avengers West Coast. The group consisted of Axe of Violence (a demonically-enhanced version of Lizzie Borden with an axe replacing one hand), Coldsteel (a demonically-enhanced version of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin now an 8 ft. giant with superhuman strength), Cyana (a demonically-enhanced version of Lucrezia Borgia with poisoned claws), and Zyklon (a demonically-enhanced version of Nazi official Heinrich Himmler who can belch deadly gas fumes from his mouth). This incarnation eventually lost their powers and their souls were destroyed during the struggle between Mephisto and Satannish.
Lethal Legion VI
|Lethal Legion VI|
|First appearance||Dark Reign: Lethal Legion #1|
A new version of the Lethal Legion appears during the "Dark Reign" storyline in the three-issue limited series Dark Reign: Lethal Legion. The Grim Reaper (now aided by brother Wonder Man) recruits villains to oppose criminal mastermind Norman Osborn.
Absorbing Man, Grey Gargoyle, Mister Hyde, and Tiger Shark later reformed the Lethal Legion and end up fighting the Avengers.
In the Heroes Reborn reality, the Lethal Legion was formed by Enchantress and consisted of Executioner, Scarlet Witch, Ultron-5, and Wonder Man The Lethal Legion is later betrayed by Loki who takes the Gamma Core's energy for himself.
In other media
- The Lethal Legion appears in the animated television series The Super Hero Squad Show. This version happens to be a result of Doctor Doom forging alliances with every known villain to help him in his quest to get all the Infinity Fractals that make up the Infinity Sword.
- The Lethal Legion appears in the Marvel Super Hero Squad video game.
- Avengers #78
- Avengers #79
- Avengers #164 - 166 (Oct. - Dec. 1977)
- West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #1
- West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #2
- Marvel Age Annual #1 (1985)
- Avengers West Coast #98 - 100 (Sep. - Nov. 1993)
- Dark Reign: Lethal Legion #1 - 3 (Aug. - Oct. 2009)
- Hawkeye: Blindspot #1
- Avengers Vol. 2 #7
- Avengers Vol. 2 #8
- Lethal Legion at Marvel.com
- Lethal Legion I at Marvel Wiki
- Lethal Legion II at Marvel Wiki
- Lethal Legion IV at Marvel Wiki
- Lethal Legion V at Marvel Wiki
- Lethal Legion I at Marvel Appendix
- Lethal Legion IV at Marvel Appendix
- Lethal Legion V at Marvel Appendix
- Lethal Legion at the Comic Book DB