With a new Legion of Super-Heroes series launching the week that I'm writing this, it seems like a perfect time to revisit one of my favorite Legion stories of all time, Legion Lost. I like it so much that it would be my pick for a Legion film adaptation. I'll come back to that. As the millennium came to a close, Legion of Super-Heroes was in dire need of a new direction. They were referred to as the "Archie Legion" due to the more light-hearted and innocent nature of the stories. Of course, this was stark contrast to the last major new direction for the Legion with the start of the "Five Years Later." This version kept up two series, which probably didn't help in the late 1990s when the tone of comics went darker and grimmer. As the series came to an end, the Legion faced a terrible threat that apparently killed several members.
I was at HeroesCon last weekend and got to sit in on a great panel discussion about the Legion of Super-Heroes with three artists that worked on the Legion, Joe Staton, Greg LaRocque and Keith Giffen. I got the opportunity to pose a brief question to the three of them. So, I asked, "Other than your own work, what's your favorite Legion story?" LaRocque and Staton both answered with classic Silver Age Legion stories. Staton liked The Moby Dick of Space and LaRocque loved the story where Star Boy was expelled for killing. Giffen responded with the time they made Element Lad crazy and into a villain. I'm paraphrasing, but he was referencing the Legion Lost twist where the all-powerful Progenitor was revealed to be their lost teammate Element Lad. I can agree with the first two, but the mention of the Legion Lost story really impressed me. It was a great time when the writers did something uniquely different with the Legion. It shouldn't have surprised me to come from Keith Giffen, who was one of the architects of one of those times.