Monday, July 28, 2014

The Legion in ACTION

After head-lining ADVENTURE COMICS for nearly seven years (eighty issues!), in June 1969 the Legion of Super-Heroes as a feature was unceremoniously yanked from that title and dropped into the back of ACTION COMICS.
This was most likely because long-time Superman Group editor, Mort Weisinger, retired in 1970. One of the last things he did before he retired was to switch Supergirl and the Legion; she took over ADVENTURE and they were relegated to the back of ACTION, starting with #378 (July 1969).
This was probably supposed to be a win-win, as The Maid of Might should have glowed brightly in the spotlight, and the Legion should have managed to survive under a new editor. However, once Weisinger was gone it all started to fall apart. New Superman Group editor Julius Schwartz must not have known what to do with them. Regular Legion writer Jim Shooter quit, fed up with having to write shorter stories. In his stead E. Nelson Bridwell came back to write character pieces, doing the best he could with 10-12 page limits. New writer Cary Bates began to get his toes wet in the far flung future. But after less than twenty issues, as of #392, the Legion was out of ACTION, figuratively as well as actually. 

This section will profile the Rare Gems that are the Legion in ACTION COMICS stories, in chronological order. There are quite a few good stories here, including the famous "forbidden fruit" story that was the first comic about drug addiction, pre-dating both SPIDER-MAN and GREEN LANTERN-GREEN ARROW. Of course, there are some clunkers here, too...! We'll eventually look at them all. 

In terms of Legion history, these stories occur during Years Seven and Eight. 

 panel of the first ACTION story, #378's "The Forbidden Fruit!"

panel from the last ACTION story, #392's "The Legionnaires That Never Were!" 
yes, those are male versions of Projectra and Saturn Girl. 
small wonder the series was dumped...?

1 comment:

  1. Holy Crap...did they really just put them in the same costumes?? Thats awesome!!