Superboy and the Legion
|"Superboy and the Legion"|
|Publication date||Late November 2004|
|Title(s)||Teen Titans vol. 3, #16
Teen Titans/Legion Special
|Main character(s)||Teen Titans
Legion of Super-Heroes
"Superboy and the Legion" is a story arc that was published by DC Comics, and presented in Teen Titans vol. 3, #16, and Teen Titans/Legion Special (Late November 2004). It was written by Geoff Johns and Mark Waid, with pencils by Mark McKone, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado. It is the final story arc in the Post-Zero Hour continuity of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
At a restaurant in 21st century San Francisco, Teen Titans members Superboy and Wonder Girl are enjoying their first date. Suddenly, a vortex appears in the dining room, pulls Superboy in, and vanishes. Moments later, he returns—with a uniform and hairstyle similar to that of Superman.
Wonder Girl brings him back to Titans Tower, where the Titans are immediately attacked by the Persuader, an atomic axe-wielding criminal from the 31st century. After a brief battle, the Persuader flees into a rift in space-time. They follow, after Superboy gives them each a ring, recognized immediately by Kid Flash as Legion Flight Rings, which protect the wearer from the vacuum of space. Stepping through the rift, the Titans are transported to the 31st century—the era of Kid Flash’s birth—and soon meet a large faction of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
After disappearing during his date with Wonder Girl, Superboy inexplicably appeared in the 31st century, and has spent the last five months as an active member of the Legion. Until recently, neither Superboy nor the telepathic Saturn Girl had been able to determine the exact moment from which he was shunted into the 31st century. The Legionnaires further explain that Earth has been under attack for months by the Fatal Five, whose numbers have increased dramatically since the Persuader began using his Atomic Axe to cut into parallel realities and recruit alternate versions of the Fatal Five members. The villains are now more accurately called the Fatal Five Hundred. With the Legion on the verge of being overwhelmed, Superboy travelled back to the 21st century for reinforcements. Now, the Titans and Legionnaires confront another crisis, as the Fatal Five Hundred suddenly attacks Legion World, the artificial planet that serves as the Legion’s headquarters.
Raven teleports the entire group of heroes to the Legion's original headquarters in Metropolis, where they rendezvous with the remaining Legionnaires. Observing how seamlessly Superboy interacts with the Legion, Wonder Girl wonders if he wants to remain in the 31st century. As Kid Flash is reunited with his cousin XS, Brainiac 5 explains his plan to defeat the Fatal Five Hundred. Kid Flash and XS will generate vibrational signals that will reset the molecular frequencies of the doppelganger villains, sending them back to their respective parallel worlds. Raven and Beast Boy note the disdain and lack of respect that Brainiac 5 displays toward Kid Flash. When the villains attack, Kid Flash and XS begin running, generating the necessary vibrational signals. Kid Flash takes a moment to speed to Central City and quickly visit his mother Meloni Thawne, who is helping to defend the Flash Museum. She is proud to see that her son has taken the Kid Flash identity.
Once the speedsters generate enough energy, Gear activates a machine which projects the vibrational signals at the Fatal Five Hundred, sending the doppelganger villains back to their own parallel realities. However, the resonant vibration of each Atomic Axe unleashes a backlash of energy that rips open the space-time continuum. Superboy retrieves the original Persuader's Atomic Axe, which Brainiac 5 has determined can return the Titans to the 21st century (stranding the Legion in space between dimensions) or the Legionnaires to the 31st century (stranding the Titans, which would have a catastrophic effect on their era) — but not both teams. Rather than choose one team over the other, Superboy opts to take both teams to the 21st century, where they will later find a way to return the Legion to their own time. Suddenly, the Persuader grabs the Axe. As he and Superboy struggle for the Axe, it releases a huge backlash of energy. The Persuader is shunted to the 21st century, trapped in an endless temporal loop. The Titans arrive at Titans Tower, wondering if they are truly home. Meanwhile, the entire Legion is being pulled into a temporal void. At Kid Quantum (Jazmin Cullen)’s urging, Shikari saves herself, as she is the only Legionnaire with a chance of locating them all later. The Legionnaires disappear into the void, as Kid Quantum exclaims, "Long live the Legion!" A distraught Shikari then reaches normal space, but has no idea where she has emerged.
Teen Titans/Legion Special concludes with a seven-page back-up story entitled "Teenage Wonderland", written by Mark Waid and pencilled by Barry Kitson. It is the prologue to Volume 5 of Legion of Super-Heroes, and contains the first appearance of the so-called "Threeboot" incarnation of the team.
A sentient alien being berates her son, destroying a shirt and cape with the Legion of Super-Heroes insignia, and an ancient copy of the comic book Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4, #0. Elsewhere, a father forbids his daughter from taking a school field trip to Earth, for fear she might encounter the "Legionnaires". On a talk show, the host and a guest debate the merits of the Legion and rebellion against "galaxywide social mores". A teenage girl ends her date when she realizes that her boyfriend thinks that the Legion have "reprogrammed" her brain.
On Earth, teenager Lyle Norg angers his parents, who consider his indulgence in the Legion and its ideals to be an embarrassment. They involuntarily upload his genetic code onto the "public service", which will allow his parents to track his movements at all times. After his parents leave the room, Lyle leaps from his window and activates a Legion flight ring. He completely disappears from the public service. Lyle flies through the air and joins a new, previously unseen version of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
"Superboy and the Legion" is included in the trade paperback collection Teen Titans: The Future Is Now (ISBN 1401204759). "Teenage Wonderland" is collected in Legion of Super-Heroes: Teenage Revolution (ISBN 1401204821).
- The Legion #25 (December 2003)
- Superboy became an honorary member in Legionnaires #31 (November 1995), after his first encounter with the Legion. He was promoted to active membership prior to The Legion #26 (Early January 2004).
- Kid Flash's father and XS's mother are Don and Dawn Allen — the Tornado Twins, whose father is Barry Allen, the Flash. The twins first appeared in Adventure Comics #373 (October 1968).
- Kid Flash met the Legionnaires during his days as Impulse, leaving a bad impression on the team in general and Brainiac 5 in particular. – Impulse #21; Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4, #88 (January 1997)
- In reality, the Titans arrive at a point ten years into their future, as revealed in the "Titans Tomorrow" story arc. – Teen Titans vol. 3, #17-19 (December 2004 – February 2005)
- In Infinite Crisis #6 (May 2006), Shikari finally locates the Legion, and it is revealed that the post-Zero Hour version of the team inhabits the parallel world of Earth-247. However, that world is destroyed through the machinations of Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime. The Earth-247 Legion next appears in the Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds limited series.
- In Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 (September 2009), it is revealed that the Threeboot Legion inhabits Earth Prime, which DC Comics presents as the "real" Earth where the readers actually live, DC Comics operates as a publisher and all superheroes are fictional.