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Legion of Super-Heroes Reading Order, the team from the future

When Superboy met three teenagers and members of the Legion of Super-Heroes for the first time in Adventures Comics #247 (April 1958), he couldn’t predict how popular this young team was destined to become. Created by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino for a one-off story, the Legion is a team of young superheroes teenagers coming from the 30th Century and 31st Century.

They proved so popular that they made a return once, twice… and many more times. The Legion obtained its own regular feature in Adventure Comics #300 and had to share the spotlight for several years with Superboy until they finally had their own title in the seventies.

Next to Uncanny X-Men and New Teen Titans, the Legion of Super-Heroes became one of the biggest-selling books of the eighties, when Paul Levitz served as a writer – who would become the writer the most associated with the Legion. Already an artist attached to the Legion, Keith Giffen took over for a dark run with some confusing continuity elements.

In order to reconnect with a lighter and more simple Legion, the title was rebooted for the first time in 1994. Mark Waid, Tom McCraw, and Stuart Immonen introduced readers to a new continuity with a new Legion of Super-Heroes team.

Ten years later, sales were failing and despite good reviews, the franchise was once again rebooted by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson to give us Legion of Super-Heroes Three, another original team.

At this point, we have three incarnations of the Legion. In general, when a new Legion was introduced, the previous team was erased from existence, as each team occupy the same place in history. It was supposed that each team represented a different possible future for DC.

Writer Geoff Johns changed that idea in 2008 with Final Crisis, where it was revealed that they all come from different worlds but they all interact with the main Earth’s history. That way, all the Legions teams can co-exist. The pre-Crisis team was restored in continuity for the occasion. Finally, a new version of the team from Brian Michael Bendis was introduced in 2019.

The Legion formed a beloved team, no doubt about that. A team with a complicated history. To explore that past full of stories of all sorts, from goofy to dark and serious, from soap opera to high sci-fi, and more, check out our reading order!

Legion of Super-Heroes Reading Order

Some notes about the titles:

  1. You will notice there is no first volume of “Legion of Super-Heroes” listed below. It was a four-issue limited series reprinting stories from Adventure Comics.
  2. With issue #259, “Superboy” (Volume 1) was retitled “Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes”.
  3. Following Superboy’s departure from the Legion, the book was renamed “The Legion of Super-Heroes” starting with #259.
  4. Starting with issue #313, “The Legion of Super-Heroes” was renamed “Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes”
  5. A new ongoing Legion title was launched in 1984, Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 3) and the first twelve issues take place concurrently with “Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes”.
  6. Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #326–354 are not new stories, but reprints of Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 3). Tales was canceled with #354 while Vol. 3 came to an end in 1987, after 63 issues.
  7. Published in 2004, Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 5) was renamed Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 1), beginning with issue #16. It reverses to just Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 5) at issue #37.

Legion of Super Heroes Icon Reading Order

Legion of Super-Heroes in the Silver Age/Bronze Age (1958-1989)

The Omnibus Collection

The Omnibus collection covers the Silver Age era. Those stories were published in two other collections before: Legion of Super-Heroes Archives (Vol. 1 to Vol. 9) and Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes in Black and White (Vol. 1 to Vol. 4).

The Archives Collection

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes at the end of the 70s

Continuing directly from the Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes collects stories starting in 1977. This is the beginning of Paul Levitz’s work on the title. He left for a time after issue #245 (and the ambitious “Earthwar” storyline), where he was replaced full-time by Gerry Conway.

Legion of Super-Heroes, the Paul Levitz/Keith Giffen era

One of the most celebrated periods in the Legion of Super-Heroes’s history began with the Great Darkness Saga, which features appearances by every living past and present Legionnaire as of 1982.

Crisis on Infinite Earths Icon Reading OrderDC’s timeline is rewritten with Crisis on Infinite Earths. Two distinct alternate timelines emerged. The one already existing continues normally from here. A second timeline emerged with the original version of the team that will reappear after Infinite Crisis (twenty years later). See below to know more about it!

  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3 #14-63
    Available on Kindle & comiXology

    • Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Vol. 3
      Collects Amethyst #13, The Omega Men #31, a story from The Omega Men #33, Blue Devil #17-18, Wonder Woman #327-329, Swamp Thing #46, Legion of Super-Heroes #16 and #18, Superman #413-415, DC Comics Presents #87-88 and #94-95, Justice League of America Annual #3, and pages from Superman and Batman: World’s Funnest #1. 
    • Superman: The Man of Steel Vol. 2
      Collects Action Comics #588-593, Adventures of Superman #429-435, Legion of Super-Heroes #37-38, and Superman #5-11. Superman encounters the Legion.
  • Legionnaire 3 #1-4
    Available on Kindle & comiXology. Released around Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3 #20-21

Legion of Super-Heroes: 5 Years Later (1989-1994)

As well as penciling, Keith Giffin took over as the main writer. The book was set five years later and delivered much grittier and more complex stories. Some older Legions fans hated it, others loved it, and things were not made simple by DC who decided to retroactively remove Superboy completely from Legion history not long after the beginning of the title.

Zero Hour DC Event Comic Reading OrderThis era came to a conclusion with Zero Hour (see reading order), as the event was used to reboot the team’s continuity. The original continuity came to an end in Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #61.

Legion of Super Heroes Icon Reading Order

Legion Rebooted (1994-2004)

A new entry point! A new incarnation of the Legion of Super-heroes is introduced, created by Mark Waid, Tom McCraw, and Stuart Immonen. It’s a sort of back-to-the-basics approach, where the origin’s team is revisited as well as many of the original stories. This period is called the “Archie Legion” by fans, for his clean artwork and the tone of the stories.

  • Legionnaires Book One
    Collects Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #0, 62–68, Legionnaires #0, 19–24
  • Legionnaires Book Two
    Collects Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #69–73; Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #6, Legionnaires #25–30; Legionnaires Annual #2; Showcase ’95 #6
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #74-121
    Available on Kindle & comiXology.

  • Legionnaires #31-77
    Available on Kindle & comiXology. There are numbers on the covers that tell the proper order between the two series.

At the end of 1999, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning – a team more known today for their collaboration on Guardian of the Galaxy – took over and goes in a more sci-fi direction.

After the cancellation of Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 4) and Legionnaires (Volume 1), and two miniseries, a new ongoing title was published: The Legion, still by the duo of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. It ran for 38 issues before being canceled in 2004 in favor of a new reboot.

Legion of Super Heroes Icon Reading Order

Threeboot Legion (2005-2009)

New relaunch, new entry point! With failing sales, The Legion was once again rebooted by writers Mark Waid and Barry Kitson. The future is reset with the Legion acting as a social movement rebelling against society’s conformity.

Legion of Super Heroes Icon Reading Order

The Return to the Classic Legion (2007-2011)

Concurrently, writer Geoff Johns re-introduced the original version of the Legion of the Super-heroes (or the Pre-Crisis version) in The “Lightning Saga” crossover.

Paul Levitz returned to the 31st century super team he helped made famous for a new run before a new DC relaunch.

Legion of Super Heroes Icon Reading Order

Classic Legion in New 52 (2011-2015)

Paul Levitz continued to write the main Legion title in the New 52 era. Concurrently, seven Legion traveled back to the present day to save their future in the “Legion Lost” series by Fabian Nicieza and Pete Woods. The title was abruptly canceled, but the story was concluded in a crossover with Justice League United.

During the Convergence event, the Pre-Crisis and pre-Zero Hour Legions are pulled out of their time for a short time:

Legion of Super Heroes Icon Reading Order

Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium, the Post-Rebirth team (2019-2021)

Legion of Super-Heroes makes their comeback, with Brian Michael Bendis at the helm. The writer put his own twist on the team by focusing more on the legacies of modern heroes. Jon Kent, son of Superman and one of the Super Sons, joined this new Legion, which also includes Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Brainiac 5, Mon-El, and many many more characters.

Last Updated on February 11, 2023.