Monday, April 15, 2019

Legion Homages: The League of Superteens

In my ongoing attempt to explore and analyze the various Legion homages, pastiches, and parodies, I'll be discussing one team that's held an important place in my heart for nearly a decade.

Unfortunately, part of what frustrates me about this particular Legion-based group and part of what makes me love them so much is how there is literally no other information about them beyond a single monitor board. So, realizing there was nothing else I could find out about them, I decided to flesh out this group myself in my own fan fiction and commissions.

Hopefully some day I might be able to do this group justice in an official capacity for DC; until then please enjoy my talk about Milestone Media's League of Superteens.

The closest we may ever get to a Milestone Legion.

Back in the early 1990s, DC Comics released an imprint/sub-company called Milestone Media that was headed by the late and legendary Dwayne McDuffie. It featured creators such as Denys Cowan, John Rozum, Robert L. Washington III, J.H. Williams III, John Paul Leon, M.D. Bright, and Maddie Blaustein. The company’s goal was to create more diverse comics, spotlighting many minorities that were woefully ignored, objectified, or marginalized in mainstream publications.

The main story of the original group of Milestone titles focused on an event called “The Big Bang,” when a huge gang war erupted in the city of Dakota. The police attempted to break up the conflict using an experimental tear gas which ended up killing many. Those who survived mutated and developed different kinds of superpowers.

The core Milestone titles were:
  1. Icon: Raquel Erwin, a teenage girl, discovers that a rich and influential lawyer is really a super-powered alien. She convinces him to use his powers to become a hero, Icon, while she becomes his partner, Rocket. As Rocket learns more about who and what Icon is, she also struggles with her dream of becoming an author while dealing with an unexpected pregnancy.
  2. Static: Virgil Hawkins, one of the kids who was at the Big Bang. He develops the ability to generate electricity. He was meant to be seen as the "Spider-Man" of the Milestone titles. Static was by far the most popular of the Milestone titles, and years after the company closed he was given his own cartoon series “Static Shock.”
  3. Blood Syndicate: Stories about one of the gangs exposed to the mutative tear gas and how they banded together in Dakota’s abandoned neighborhood, Paris Island.
  4. Hardware: An inventor who creates a hi-tech suit of weaponry after getting shafted by his employer and supposed friend. He then discovers said employer is totally and utterly corrupt.
I’m probably not doing any of these titles justice with my summaries; I apologize.

Since Milestone was an imprint of DC, it was only natural that they ended up doing a crossover story which is how “Worlds Collide” came about. It was actually rather limited compared to how most crossovers go, with the only DC titles involved being “Superman: Man of Steel,” “Steel,” and “Superboy.”

The crux of the concept focused on Fred Bentson, an inhabitant of the Milestone Earth somehow turning into a living portal between Dakota and Metropolis. Milestone characters began interacting with DC characters, yet each side believed the other universe was fictional.

In the final issue of the story, Bentson, having turned into an entity called Rift, tried to merge the two Earths into one. What was born was a weird, futuristic amalgam of Dakota and Metropolis that honestly would’ve fit perfectly in the Legion stories from Adventure Comics.

Their HQ is even a take on the Legion's first rocket ship HQ with a snazzy symbol evoking Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad.

As a result of the merger, Static, Superboy, and Rocket found themselves turned into “Static Lad,” “Fabulous Boy,” and “Rocket Gal.” Static, being a comic nerd, recognized Rift had turned the worlds into something out of “League of Super-Teens,” an in-universe comic from the Milestone Earth in the 1950s. Static uses his knowledge of the title to guide Rocket and Superboy, figuring they can use the League's Monitor Board to track down the other heroes as well as Rift.

Static and Rocket are clearly designed to resemble Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, with Static's being more obvious due to the shared electrical powers, while Superboy has been given a makeover to resemble the Silver Age Clark Kent yet under a totally different name. It's amusing, fitting, and a little frustrating that DC still wouldn't allow for Superboy to be connected to even a parody of the Legion.

Remember when that was one of the main problems we had about the Legion back then? Good times.

The names of the rest of League members are listed underneath their respective symbols, and this includes:
  1. Adhesive Lad
  2. Burnrubber
  3. Dough Boy III - Who has been hilariously retconned for some reason
  4. Fabulous Boy - Superboy
  5. Fabulous Man
  6. Fan Boy
  7. Fat Boy - Bouncing Boy given that the symbol resembles Chuck's costume
  8. Foxtrot Lass
  9. Frat Boy
  10. Hardware
  11. Hoot Man - An out of place Batman reference
  12. Icon
  13. Itty Bitty Girl - Shrinking Violet
  14. Kite Lad
  15. Kodak Kid
  16. Mall Hair Girl - Might be a very loose Spider Girl reference
  17. Maniac 5 - Another clear Legion shout out to Brainiac 5
  18. Phenomenal Lass
  19. Procrastination Lad
  20. Rocket Gal - Rocket
  21. Seltzer Lad
  22. Static Lad - Static
  23. Steel
  24. Sterno Boy - Either Sun Boy or Fire Lad
  25. Sneeze Lad
  26. Super Nazi Fighter
  27. Superman
  28. Transit
  29. Very Big Boy - Colossal Boy
Among the names on the Monitor Board, there's Superman, Icon, Hardware, Steel, and Transit who are all pre-existing characters.

Transit is another of the Milestone characters, one with teleportation abilities. I think she's an antagonist in Hardware's book.

Unlike Static, Rocket, and Superboy, the others didn't get Silver Age makeovers.

Burnrubber is actually from a comic Static and his friends were working on.

Later in the issue, the trio discover what's happened to the rest of the Milestone heroes. As it turns out,  the majority of the Blood Syndicate also got folded into the League of Superteens, but Rift killed them off.

There are a number of statues created in their likeness in the League's "Walk Of Fame" to commemorate their supposed "Deaths," which Rift animates to attack the heroes. Unfortunately, they too didn't received Silver Age makeovers which makes me wonder how characters like Brickhouse, Wise Son, and DMZ would've looked in the Curt Swan/John Forte style? Would we have seen Brick Lass? Wise Lad? Soldier Boy? Boogey Lad????

Believe me, I ran myself ragged trying to find out if there was more to this story than that one page. When I finally bought a copy of Static #14 I was disappointed to learn no, the monitor board was it.

Realizing that there's nothing else I could learn, I filled in the blanks myself. I started to come up with ideas and backstories for each of the unseen Superteens. I worked it out by combining different Legionnaires with different Milestone related characters. I even wrote a short Christmas story about Foxtrot Lass and Super-Nazi Fighter and posted it on

Recently, thanks to The Multiversity I've been able to determine how the LST would work in the proper DCU.

Among the 52 worlds of the current DC Multiverse, Grant Morrison left seven blank for other writers. Earth-14, Earth-24, Earth-25, Earth-27, Earth-28, Earth-46, and Earth-49. I'm doing my best to flesh out these worlds, coming up with stories and character designs and decided to put the LST on Earth-49. It would be the world native to all the fictional characters within the DCU, like the Gray Ghost from Batman and the Justice Guild from the Justice League cartoon.

I fit the LST into this world on the grounds that when Static referred to them, he described them as a fictional group so it made sense to put the Superteens with the other "Fictional" characters.

However, I started commissioning designs for the LST long before Earth-49 was a thing, and I owe it all to the fantastic Bobby Timony.

I met Bobby in 2011 at Boston Comic Con, which I was attending with my mom after desperately needing an escape from New York following my paternal grandmother's death. I'd set up the details for a design of Mall Hair Girl (my favorite of the Super-Teens) and gave Bobby my sketchbook to work on it at the convention. When I saw Bobby at Wizard World Big Apple, which was a couple of months after Boston, I set up an Itty Bitty Girl design. Since then, I've slowly had Bobby work on designs for all of the Superteens based on my ideas and it's one of the longest running themes I've included in my sketch collection.

Mall Hair Girl: A combination of Spider Girl with some Dream Girl thrown in, she has super hair powers after she used a can of radioactive hair-spray.

Itty-Bitty Girl: A combination of Shrinking Violet and Iota of "Shadow Cabinet." I had Bobby give her an "Alice in Wonderland" inspired look. IBG comes from a micro universe that resides in the subatomic structure of a dime store snowglobe, which she stole. Aside from being able to alter her mass and shrink, she can also shrink other objects which she places in her purse. Like Iota, she's a kleptomaniac.

Seltzer Lad: Was molecularly bonded with a bottle of seltzer water and thus took on a liquid form. Was inspired from "Aquamaria" of the Blood Syndicate. I love the "Genie in a bottle" effect Bobby gave him.

Super Nazi-Fighter: Inspired from both Power Girl, Andromeda, and Donner of "Shadow Cabinet." SNF was the daughter of a Nazi scientist, who put her in a rocket and sent her into the future after the Third Reich fell. The young baby was found by a family of non-humanoid aliens who raised her with love and care. When she found out her father hoped exposure to the time stream would grant her super powers to establish a future for the "Master Race," she was disgusted and swore to fight for equality and peace.

Foxtrot Lass: XS with Blitzen of the Shadow Cabinet, and a little Kinetix thrown in. An orphan girl who found a magic fox totem and wore it to a Halloween dance. While dancing the foxtrot, she was struck by lightning which activated the totem. Developing super-speed and a fox-like appearance, the girl began to dance faster and faster until she somehow broke the time barrier and landed in the future.

Much like Donner and Blitzen are a couple, Foxtrot Lass is in love with Super Nazi-Fighter.

Adhesive Lad: A kid who became bonded to a roll of adhesive tape when the space station school he attended passed through a cosmic storm. He can now control the tape strands like webs, but tends to get a lot of stuff stuck on him.

Sterno Boy: You all might remember him from the NYCC 2017 sketch post I made. Inspired from Sun Boy, Fire Lad, and "Static's" Hotstreak, he's a greaser who developed fire-based powers after he bonded with a can of sterno. Bobby clearly played up the Fonz reference with this.

That's about it for this batch, but I promise to have more posts once I've been able to acquire more designs from Bobby.

As a bonus, enjoy this sketch of Static as "Static Lad" I acquired from sewerbetta at MoCCA Fest 2019. She's done a couple of Lightning Lad pieces for me in the past and is also a fan of the Static Shock cartoon, so this felt like a good fit for her.


  1. Ironic that all of the characters you have gotten drawn so far all appear to be Caucasian or based on Caucasian body types.