Smells like teen spirit. The time-traveling, teen-aged super-team, who began as sidekicks for Superboy, may be coming to a theater near you. The generally reliable Latino Review has sources who say DC/Warner Bros. is “quietly” developing the Legion project, as a response to the unexpected success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which has earned over $300 million domestically and is still going strong. That overachieving C-list Marvel property has already out-grossed DC’s disappointing Man of Steel, which has surprised everyone, since Superman is an iconic name and almost nobody outside of comic fans has ever heard of the Guardians. The lesson here is that it’s all about the quality of the movie, not just the name recognition of the character. Hence, the somewhat B-list Legion of Super Heroes may be stepping up to the plate next.
The Legion of Super Heroes is a large team of young heroes from the 31st Century. Many fans might not realize that the Legion is one of the oldest super teams in comic history, predating the Justice League, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. The Legion first appeared in Adventure Comics #247, back in 1958. The team was originally created for a one-shot appearance, as a “club” coming to the past to meet Superboy, whose legend inspired them to use their powers for good in their own time period. The characters were so well received that they became recurring characters and eventually series regular, when the title of the book was changed to Superboy and the Legion of Super heroes. They started out with three members (Saturn Girl, Lighting Lad, Cosmic Boy) but new members kept being added until the team possessed a sprawling line-up which was the largest regular roster for any comic crew. Eventually, Superboy was removed from the book and the Legion took over the series, finally getting star billing in a DC comic.
Last month, Warner Bros., announced nine dates for new DC films, extending through 2020. Could one of those slots be taken by the Legion of Super Heroes? And if so, will this lesser-known property be the box office surprise hit that Guardians of the Galaxy has been? Time will tell.