Which DC Hero Inspires the Rebirth-Era Legion of Super-Heroes?

The Legion of Super-Heroes is one of two big DC teams that hasn't appeared in the Rebirth era. Alongside the Justice Society of America, the group was more or less wiped from canon by the universe-reshaping events that led to the New 52, save for a short-lived series that has since faded into obscurity. But now, the team is returning to the DC Universe proper thanks to Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook.

DC solicitations for September revealed that the new incarnation of the team will feature a major member of the Superman family as both their "inspiration" and teammate. In the preview for their appearance in Superman #15, by Bendis, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, the Legion seemingly recruits Jon Kent, the Superboy who recently returned to Earth after an extensive period in space.

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If the son of Superman and Lois Lane does end up traveling with the Legion, it would be a nice nod to the history of DC Comics, where a young Superman, who was then called Superboy, traveled to the far future to fight alongside the team he helped inspire in the '50s and '60s. It's an intriguing way to bring the classic "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes" team into the modern era, simultaneously paying tribute to the past and embracing the future of the DC Universe.

The New Legion

The Legion of Super-Heroes is a group of teenage heroes who watch over the future in the 31st Century. Featuring members from countless worlds across the galaxy, the group is one of the largest and most powerful teams in the history of the DC Universe. However, the group has been revamped and rebooted multiple times over the years, which has created a few distinct and different versions, which can be confusing for newer fans.

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The group has been drastically underutilized since the New 52. Although a version of the team appeared in the company-wide reboot, they haven't regularly appeared since the beginning of the Rebirth era, save for one member. A woman claiming to be Saturn Girl, one of the Legion's leaders, has appeared in titles like Batman and Doomsday Clock.

Stranded in the present and believed to be delusional, Doomsday Clock has seen Saturn Girl escaping Arkham Asylum in an attempt to return to the future. She reveals that she was sent back in time in the first place by a Superman to preserve his timeline. Although her story has not yet ended, it's quite possible that the miniseries will end with Saturn Girl returning to the future, helping bring the Legion back to the forefront of the DC Universe.

Superboy & The Legion

The Legion of Super-Heroes was first introduced by Otto Binder and Al Plastino in the pages of Adventure Comics #247. The teenage members of the team revealed themselves to a young Clark Kent, telling him that he would grow up to be the most important hero in the universe. They briefly brought him to the future to serve as a team member, where he became a defining member of the group. Many of their early stories featured him heavily, before spinning off into their own series.

After Crisis on Infinite Earths, the history of Superman was rebooted to excise his time as Superboy. To try and keep his role present in the Legion continuity, the Legion of Super-Heroes series retconned their Superboy into being a denizen of an alternate timeline. This parallel-reality Superboy was killed during "The Magic Wars" storyline. Other characters were introduced to fill this vacant space over the years. This included other versions of Superboy, Supergirl and even Legion mainstay Mon-El taking on a bigger role in the history of the Legion.

The Superboy questions were readdressed with every reboot of the title. Geoff Johns eventually reintroduced a moderately young Superman to the team's roster. The idea of Superman has always had an influence on the Legion, which is why it makes sense for Jon Kent to become the next Superman stand-in to join the team.

Will Jon Head To The Future

While nothing has been confirmed, DC solicitations have hinted that one member of the Superman family will accept an offer that could see them heading to the future alongside the Legion in Action Comics and Superman.

In all likelihood, the offer will be an invitation to join the Legion, since there's a precedent for Legion members inviting Superman-related heroes to join the team. The solicitation from Superman #15 reads: "At last, it’s the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes! The greatest super heroes of the 32nd century have traveled back in time not just to meet the heroes who inspired them, but to make an offer… but to which hero? And why will that choice tear Superman’s life apart?"

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The solicitation for Lois Lane for that same month reads: "Jon Kent surprises his mother with a visit to her hideout in Chicago with big news that ties directly into the events of SUPERMAN #15, also on sale this month. While Lois must deal with her now-17-year-old son making life-changing decisions..." which suggests that he will get the big offer.

This would make sense, especially since he recently aged up into being a teenager himself. Given the current shape of the DC Universe, he'd also fit in perfectly as the new version of Superboy that heads into the future. By making him a core part of the team, DC would embrace the Legion's legacy by tying it directly to a cornerstone of the DC Universe.

The series could also feature Superboy as one of the major members of the group, as he helps define the future of the DC Universe in a manner that pays homage to the history of the original Legion. But by making Jon the Legion's new Superboy, DC would give Jon the ability to chart a future for himself outside of his father's shadow.

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