The Adult Legion
|"The Adult Legion"|
|Publication date||March – April 1967|
|Title(s)||Adventure Comics #354-355|
|Main character(s)||Legion of Super-Heroes|
Legion of Super-Villains
"The Adult Legion" is a story arc that was published by DC Comics, and presented in Adventure Comics #354-355 (March–April 1967). It was written by Jim Shooter, pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by George Klein. The story arc features one of Superman's encounters with the Legion of Super-Heroes as adults, and foreshadows several plot twists which occur in the years that follow.
Superman is contacted by the Legion of Super-Heroes, the 30th century team which he joined years earlier as Superboy. Upon reaching Legion Headquarters (now much larger than before), he walks through a hall of huge commemorative statues honoring deceased Legionnaires, including Ferro Lad, Chemical King, Reflecto and Shadow Woman. In another hall devoted to married Legionnaires, he observes statues of several wedded members: Shrinking Violet and Ord Qelu (the former Duplicate Boy), Saturn Woman and Lightning Man, Light Lady and Timber Wolf (once known as Lone Wolf), and Night Woman and Cosmic Man. After Brainiac 5 gives Superman a tour of Legion HQ, the Man of Steel becomes reacquainted with Ultra Man, Phantom Woman, Polar Man, and Element Man, as well as the former Colossal Boy, Matter-Eater Lad, Star Boy, Dream Girl, Bouncing Boy, and Duo Damsel.
The team is perplexed when their headquarters is breached, with everything in the lab, arsenal and spaceport hangar destroyed. After two more break-ins, the saboteur is captured and revealed as Douglas Nolan, Ferro Lad’s twin brother who shares his mutant power to transmute his body into iron. The Legion soon comes to realize that he was acting under the mental control of Saturn Queen, and that the Legion of Super-Villains has been attacking them from afar.
Superman returns to the 20th century, after which the Super-Villains kidnap Brainiac 5. The Legionnaires seemingly avoid a series of traps, but are later captured by Echo, Saturn Queen, Lightning Lord, Beauty Blaze and Cosmic King. Unexpectedly, two armored figures arrive, defeating the villains and freeing the Legionnaires. They soon reveal themselves to be descendants of Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk, two of Superman’s greatest enemies. The grateful Legionnaires vote them onto the team unanimously.
For years, subsequently Legion storylines are consistent with the Adult Legion tale's vision of the future. Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel are married, soon followed by Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl. Lone Wolf becomes Timber Wolf and joins the Legion, and Chemical King dies preventing World War VII. However, it is eventually revealed that the Adult Legion depicted in this story inhabits a parallel Earth, freeing writers to ignore the story altogether.
- The cover of Adventure Comics #354 (March 1967) contains the first reference to Quantum Queen (of the Wanderers).
- Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #200 (January/February 1974)
- All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55 (1978)
- Adventure Comics #372 (September 1968)
- Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #228 (June 1977)
- Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 2, #300 (June 1983)