These two stories made my preschool mind aware of two things. First: how progressive the future was in that men and women, even as teenagers, were all equal – as opposed to the present day where most super-teams only had one female, like Sue in the Fantastic Four and Wanda in the Avengers. Secondly I was made aware that most of the female Legionnaires were paired off with male Legionnaires. Straight in the Silver Age, but the Legion was ahead of its time gender-wise in the years to come. So it's true, the Legion taught me equality, and sexuality, before I even hit kindergarten.
So for the day before Valentines' Day, let's take a look at couples, Legion style!
Two events cemented some Legion relationships in my mind. There was the infamous Adult Legion two-parter that showed the Legion's future including marriages and deaths, and then there was the Lore of the Legion features in the 100-Page Super Spectacular era which seemed to pair most members with girlfriends/boyfriends. Among those were Chameleon Boy with heiress Janice Warren, Cosmic Boy with Night Girl of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, and Shrinking Violet with Duplicate Boy of the Heroes of Lallor. These were just a few of the Legionnaires who dated outside the Legion.
Even with the Lore of the Legion and the Adult Legion, there were some loners who were never connected. Some of them ended up retconned as couples or on the death list – sometimes both. Both the first Invisible Kid and Chemical King died in the line of duty, but in retcon decades later were revealed to have been partners. I like this as it added more dimension to the latter character who in my opinion was a criminally underused Legionnaire. After his death it was also hinted that Lyle Norg had a ghost girlfriend named Mysa as well.
The real Violet likes to play the field, so Duplicate Boy being out of her life was probably for the better. Vi once had affections for Element Lad, and was with Light/Lightning Lass during the Five-Year Gap. Ayla has for the most part always been linked to Timber Wolf, and Element Lad for a time was with Shvaughn Erin, a Science Police officer who worked closely with the Legion. She was probably one of comics' first trans characters as it was revealed later that she was in fact born Sean Erin and was taking a drug to stay female.
I should bring up a few points at this time. The Legion was first in this kind of sexuality in the comics industry. Second, much like the Avengers, I think the Legion works best as soap opera, and some of these relationships are prime soap fodder. It's also notable that most if not all of the Legion romances are mixed marriages. This is not a matter of just race or religion, but these are characters from other planets, talk about crossing cultures!
Later in the Bronze Age some new members seemed to be put together because of coming later and having no one else to couple with. These relationships were sweet, bittersweet, and tragic. Wildfire and Dawnstar, because of the former's powers, can't really even touch. Blok and the White Witch are so different and yet so sweet together. I might even throw Infectious Lass, much beloved Sub and reject, into the mix with her time lost love of the ghost pirate Captain Fear.
here, with Lana Lang, Laurel Kent, and Luornu as mentioned above. As we all know, he eventually ends up with Lois Lane in most continuities. His cousin Supergirl had long been connected to Brainiac 5, as over-hinted at the Legion's second animated appearance. Brainy, never good with stress, or relationships, went a little overboard at one point, building a Supergirl robot for… hmmm… let's not go there. Worth noting is Brainy's bromance with young Superman in the Legion animated series, and Supergirl has been flirting with Mon-El recently on her prime time series.
Among the finest examples of "standing by her man" is Dream Girl, and her man, Star Boy. Although Star Boy killed a previous boyfriend of Nura's in self-defense, losing him his Legion membership, she stayed with him, joining the Substitutes together. Later they rejoined the Legion as Sir Prize and Miss Terious. I liked this couple a lot, and hated a later reboot when Brainiac 5 was matched up with Nura.
Yeah, I ended with tragedy, but then again, so did Romeo and Juliet, and most of the Legion romances have ended happily ever after, and hopefully will again as the Legion is on the brink of returning any day now. Happy Valentine's Day, and Long Live the Legion!