So these guys seem to be back... The original Legion, who haven't been seen since 1994, and who haven't been seen as they are now appearing in my lifetime and back in JLA, JSA and Countdown. As much as I appreciate this Legion, im really not that please with this new development. I love the Polar Boy from this continuity, especially how we evolved from a legion reject, to leader of the Subs to leader of the Legion. I also really like Matter Eater Lad, especially in the 5 year Gap era, when he was a legislator on his home planet. But other that, this Legion isn't really a team that I know.
I was 4 when the Crisis on Infinite Earths hit, so I really don't get all of this love for the pre-Crisis era and all of the characters who came out of it. I didn't start reading DC Comics till the death of Superman (the issue where Johnathan Kent saves his son from some Kryptonian funeral march and thus begins Clarks return to life was my first DC issue... it had a green cover.)
This is possibly why I am so glad that Barry Allen did not come back in the most recent issue of JLA. While as a concept barry sounds interesting, he is not my Flash. My Flash is one Mr. Wallace West, the first of the sidekicks to, as is said alot around the internets, fulfill the promise of the sidekick and take the hero's place. Wally has been the Flash for most of my life, and well, he simply loves being the Flash, in a way that few other heros do. He has a rich history and has connections to almost all of the heroes out there. If Barry were to come back ,who would know who he was? Bascially the big three, plus Hal, Dinah and Ollie. For everyone else, while he is practically a saint, saving the world in the Crisis, he is long since dead. Plus as I have said to my sister, while if Barry was back you could have to old fogies, Hal, Ollie and Barry sitting around reminiscing about the good old days, nothing beats the snark that come where their successors get together.
I just hope that when the current group of readers begin writing comics we can return the status quo to our good old days, when the JLA kicked ass on a daily basis, when the Batman Animated Series was the pinnacle of DC televised and when the Green Lantern contained a super-nova with his mind. These days the JLA barely has time to kick ass they sit around for so long, the current crop seems to think that the Superfriends are the best thing ever and the main Green Lantern needs the entire Corp along before he can do anything. Sigh
See, while the Legion above might be a bunch of peoples Legion, they are not mine. My Legion is the post zero hour Legion. It is a strong and powerful Legion that does not need a Kryptonian to survive. It is a Legion that will get you to do something for them, as Cosmic Boy said in The Legion 3, not because of their powers, or their numbers, but because they are the Legion, and you follow what the Legion says. That is also my main complaint with the newest version of the Legion: They do not command respect. That and the fact that Gates is not a member.
"The Legion of Superheros is an ideal made reality. A federation of young heroes, each one the brightest and brightest that he or her world has to offer, gathered together to protect the united planets. The idea was inspired by the great heroes of the M-2 era, a thousand years in the past. It is their glorious legacy that the Legion seeks to emulate."
That speech by Legion adviser/financier, and former president of the United Planets, R.J. Brande in The Legion 33, perfectly summs up why I loved the reboot Legion. While the original Legion was a club first and an example to the universe maybe 15th, and the current legion does not have as clear a reason for its existing, the post boot legion was there to bring together the disparate worlds of the new United Planets. they were the symbols of the new era and not just a bunch of kids having fun or a group of rebels. In one of the issue of either the Lightning saga or Countdown, Karate Kid corrects someone and says that they were not the Titans of the future but the JLA. Well im reading the first legion archive and well... they are the titans. When they grow up ,sure they become the League, but it as if the titans all grew up and took the place of the current League roster. The post-boot legion however, they were the JLA of the future, they had a mission and they were going to do it. It did not matter that they were young, they were Legion and they were going to do their jobs. They were examples not only to the adults, but also to the children, showing them what the new era of cooperation and unity could bring.
Sure there were some things which were a bit silly: mostly Princess Projecta being turned into a snake and having her people being served by little chipmunks. But for the original had not only Protty, but Protty II (plus it turned out later that Lightning Lad had actually not been brought back to life but that Protty had taken his place (which is really icky when you thing about it.)
But at the end of everything, Kyle is my Green Lantern, Wally is my Flash, Conner is my Green Arrow, my JLA kicks ass, my Legion of Superheroes are from the post boot era. Someday they will return.