You’re reading The Complete Infinite Crisis, a Comprehensive and Encyclopedic look through the universe-changing superhero event published by DC from 2005 to 2006. Shelfdust are proud to provide a complete overview of the story, and everything that happens in it. We’ve had to get some experts in though – there’s so much going on that needs to be explained!
Things are getting cosmic now, as we’re almost halfway through the first issue! All manner of cosmic critters have shown up – one of them called “L.E.G.I.O.N.” for some reason? Adam P. Knave, you’re my go-to for these sorts of notable matters… who are they??
Adam! Some rando group of randos called L.E.G.I.O.N. have just shown up in Infinite Crisis – where have they come from? What’s a L.E.G.I.O.N.?
Adam P. Knave: Steve, you have come to the right place, because the first thing I have to say is: The version of L.E.G.I.O.N. that shows up super quick in Infinite Crisis doesn’t quite even match continuity. But that, honestly, doesn’t matter. I’m just showing off.
L.E.G.I.O.N. is a group created by Giffen, Mantlo, & McFarlane back during the Invasion! crossover. They’re basically space rent-a-cops. It stands for Licensed Extra-Governmental Interstellar Operatives Network and yes I had to look that part up to be sure of it. They were a group of misfits that came together during the crossover and stuck together to … be a spin-off comic. And to fill a fun gap in the DC space stuff. They were a fun way to get some possible descendants of the Legion of Super-Heroes into the modern DC universe and tie the Legion closer to continuity.
Who are in the L.E.G.I.O.N.? They refer to someone called “Dox”, who seems to be the leader?
Knave: Vril Dox is the original leader of the group, though you could also call him (please insert some ominous music here) Brainiac 2. That gave the book a fun edge of “Is he gonna be evil like Brainiac 1 or good like Brainiac 5” and the book played with that a bunch. The other founding members included a Durlan (no lie just called The Durlan), Lyrissa Mallor (the modern version of Shadow Lass), Stealth, Garyyn Bek (owner of the best hair in the universe), and Strata (the modern counterpart to the Legion’s Blok).
They don’t seem to be best friends with the Green Lantern Corps… is there some friction there? Space police vs space police?
Knave: Where the GLC were space cops, L.E.G.I.O.N. were space cops for hire which created friction all over the place, a big part of the fun of the book. For years DC just kinda had the Green Lanterns as the good space cops everyone should like, and L.E.G.I.O.N. added texture to that mix, while also bringing in Legion of Super-Heroes fun and created a push and pull that delighted even people who were not impressed by Bek’s hair.
Eventually the team is taken over by Vril Dox’s kid Lyrl and the main team shifted the book to be titled R.E.B.E.L.S. with a mission to take out the other team. Because of course.
One fun thing was back then both books were not just named with the team names but the year of publication attached. The book wasn’t L.E.G.I.O.N., it was L.E.G.I.O.N. ’89, and that continued until L.E.G.I.O.N. ’94 before the shift and we then got R.E.B.E.L.S. ’94. This is a concept as cool as is it terrible, honestly. But the idea was to tie the books firmly to the present, so in that respect it worked.
Thanks Adam! I bet even Keith Giffen couldn’t have been as comprehensive as that! Oh boy, we’re really getting through the cosmos now – we’ll have explained the whole thing before you know it!!