Best 1958 Adventures (10)

By: Joshua Glenn
August 30, 2018

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1958 adventure novels. Happy 60th anniversary!

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DC Comics’ sci-fi adventure series The Legion of Super-Heroes (1958–on).

When I was an adolescent, I couldn’t get enough of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (1977–1980, written by Paul Levitz/Gerry Conway, drawn by James Sherman); I’d also scour flea markets and comic shops for copies of the Legion’s previous series, Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes (1973–1977), as well as Sixties-era copies of Adventure Comics featuring LSH stories. The Legion — the Silver Age of comic books’ first superhero team, created by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino — first appeared in a 1958 issue of Adventure Comics, in which Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl (a telepath from Titan), and Cosmic Boy (who can generate magnetic fields) travel back in time from the 30th century in order to recruit Superboy. For the next two decades, the LSH would prove enduringly popular, thanks largely to fun characters like Chameleon Boy, Star Boy, Triplicate Girl, Bouncing Boy, Dream Girl, Ferro Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Princess Projectra, Shadow Lass, Timber Wolf (who surely helped inspire Marvel’s Wolverine), Wildfire (a being of pure anti-energy), and — perhaps my favorite Legionnaire — the green-skinned, unstable genius Brainiac 5. I prefer the dissensual late-1970s version of the team; but the Mickey Mouse Club-like pre-Sixties LSH has its charms too.

Fun facts: I can’t say that I’m crazy about post-1980 LSH reboots, threeboots, or retroboots. However, I did enjoy Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s 2006–2008 run of Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes, which was the temporary title of the Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 5) from issues #16 to #36.

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JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.

Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists

What do you think?

  1. Yeah, I’ve always been a Legion fan too, though I haven’t read anything past Levitz’s Baxter run. Legion always seemed blessed with great artists (Giffen, Lightle, Grell, Cockrum, and Sherman, who I always thought was under-rated). Some of those early stories were pretty goofy (that first one was wild … the Legionnaires were downright cruel to Superboy), but they got better and better leading up to Levitz’s brilliant run.

  2. Thanks, Mike W., for mentioning the artists — I rarely do that, when discussing comics, which is dumb.

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