It’s the coincident magic of shuffle. As I begin to write, Guns N Roses’ “Breakdown” off of their Use Your Illusion (Blue) begins to play. And I’m reminded of what it takes to make it big, to make something that lasts, to say, “This is my team. This is who I’m with and where I’m from.” And I’m reminded, just days after Cinco de Mayo, that the story of the rise of the Legion of Super-Heroes is also the story of the improbable victory of New World values.
The Legion of Super Heroes is the first credible attempt to deal with the literary genre of the superhero that was emergent during the ‘30s and ‘40s. What was it about young readers being able to imagine themselves into the roles of brightly-costumed heroes with near godlike powers that became so commercially viable? And how long would this cultural wave last?
What if the idea of the superhero could last 1,000 years into the future? Would teenagers from that time simply play at being superheroes in the same way modern kids might play at being King Arthur or Robin Hood? Or would the idea of the superhero prove transformative even then, at so great a distance over time?
Far beyond the crucible of the ‘30s and ‘40s in which the idea of the superhero was forged, the Legion of Super Heroes lives on as an ongoing monthly series in DC’s New 52. But what’s emphasized in this rebooted version of the Legion is the idea of not only a social wave that hits from 1,000 years back in time, but the idea of the team that propels individual members beyond what they believe can achieve. And perhaps even beyond what they can achieve by themselves.
And that is a story that echoes in the story of every team. From the Founding Fathers to Bones Brigade. And the exact opposite of the fear and the isolation that drives Axl Rose in “Breakdown”.
Please enjoy our exclusive preview of Legion of Super-Heroes: the Dominators.
// Notes from the Road
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