How DC Has Quietly Been Building the Return of its Biggest Superhero Team

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Justice League #10 by Scott Snyder, Francis Manapul and Jae Lee, on sale now.

The Rebirth era of DC Comics has brought many of the publisher's characters back to their most recognizable states. However, not everyone has made their return yet, and some properties have not been dusted off in years. The Legion of Super-Heroes has not been seen in some time, but it's starting to look like DC is quietly building towards their return.

Several Legion characters and concepts have shown up in various comics over the last year. Separately, it might sound like a whole lot of nothing -- after all, the publisher should have free reign over its own characters -- but when put together, it's time to start wondering if DC is actually slowly working towards something big.

RELATED: Doomsday Clock Art Teases the Legion’s Arrival, JSA’s Rewritten History

Rumors about the Legion have been building throughout the industry. Who will be the writer to pen the team's return? We still don't know the answer to that question, but there are too many creators getting in on the action to dismiss it as a few rogue personnel. All signs point to some kind of editorial initiative taking shape. Even if DC is not yet ready to make an announcement, the evidence is mounting.

Evidence is Mounting: The Legion is Coming

The Legion of Super-Heroes had not been seen since the halcyon days of the New 52. That is, until Geoff Johns and Gary Frank revealed in DC Universe: Rebirth that Saturn Girl is in the 21st century. Her story has been told slowly over the course of Doomsday Clock, with recent references being made to a utopian society she hails from in the far future and a mission she has been sent on to save Superman from some unknown force. Perhaps the answers will not be given to us until Johns and Frank have a chance to tell their story, but that's not all.

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It might not be the real deal, but it's close enough for fans to wonder what it will mean in the end. The ragtag team of heroes in The Terrifics includes Linnya Wazzo, the modern day counterpart of Tinya Wazzo, the 31st Century's Phantom Girl. While they share powers, codenames and their home planet, they appear to be separate individuals. For all we know, Jeff Lemire and company will establish Linnya as an ancestor of Tinya, paving the way for the return of the popular Legionnaire.

Other recent appearances from the Legion have been relegated to out-of-continuity stories, like Injustice 2 and Batman '66 Meets the Legion of Super-Heroes. While we might not normally count these books, it should be noted that DC's willingness to use these characters in some capacity means good things for their in-continuity DC Universe equivalents, at least in theory. The good thing is that the story doesn't stop there.

An Alien Stands Revealed in Drowned Earth

Amazingly, a new Legion of Super-Hero character makes his Rebirth-era debut in the form of a very small and easily missed Easter egg in Justice League #10. As a lead-in to the forthcoming "Drowned Earth" crossover event, the planet is attacked by a group of water gods from other pantheons in the universe. After being taken to the interdimensional Blood Reef, Aquaman meets Earth's invaders, the appropriately named Captain Gall, Commander Drogue and Fleet Admiral Tyyde. However, they are not alone.

RELATED: Doomsday Clock’s Dark DCU Seems To Be Corrupting Saturn Girl

Inside the Blood Reef are a collection of other undersea races who have no home to call their own. The invading forces plan to drown the Earth, take over the planet and give these sea creatures a place to call their own. While many of the denizens of the Blood Reef are rendered unspecified mer-people, there is one who stands out like a sore thumb, even if he's just a background character.

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