A fan-favorite DC Comics writer just announced a Legion of Super-Heroes animated series!
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Do you not know the name Brian Michael Bendis? Well, if you’re at all a fan of current superhero media adapted from either DC or Marvel Comics, you should know the name. Bendis is one of the most influential comic book writers of the last couple of decades, and he’s just announced he’s developing a new Legion of Super-Heroes series for HBO Max.
Bendis announced the upcoming series in a newsletter (via Collider). He said he was meeting with HBO Max about a TV pilot he’d written adapting his and Howard Mack’s comic book Cover, when he was asked if there were any other DC properties he’d like to tackle. Bendis wrote that in response, he “may have yelled the word LEGION louder than you want to in a normal adult person business meeting.” Apparently, HBO Max liked the idea in spite of the writer’s added volume, because Bendis is now developing what he calls an “adult animated show” based on the Legion of Super-Heroes.
The writer said the series will be an adaptation of the most recent DC comic book volume of Legion of Super-Heroes which Bendis wrote with Ryan Sook on art. He promised the show will “harken back to so many classics while at the same time…pushing all the ideas of superheroes forward in every direction.” He warned fans that development on Legion of Super-Heroes is still in the early stages, and added that “animation takes a loooong time.” So, this could be the last bit of news about the property we hear for a while.
First appearing in 1958’s Adventure Comics #247, the Legion has been a staple of DC’s comic book narrative for decades. Operating in the 30th and 31st centuries, the Legion usually boasts a comparatively massive roster including legacy characters and heroes with some of the silliest codenames you’ve ever heard. CBR listed some of stranger ones in January; including Kid Psycho, the Chlorophyll Kid, and who could forget Matter-Eater Lad (guess what he does).
Adaptations of the Legion have been few and far between, though they have popped up here and there in recent years. In fact there was a two season Legion of Super Heroes animated series — geared more for kids than Bendis’ series will be — that premiered on The CW in 2006. The Legion has appeared in both Smallville and more recently in The CW’s Supergirl, and in the latter case one of their members — Brainiac-5, aka Brainy (Jesse Rath) — becomes a series regular. They also appeared in the 2019 DC animated film Justice League vs. the Fatal Five.
Bendis and Sook’s Legion of Super-Heroes comic premiered in 2020 and concluded with its 12th issue the following year. While big comic book companies used to announce when titles were being canceled, in more recent years DC and Marvel have gotten more in the habit of simply adding “The End” to the final issue without any media fanfare. So it wasn’t clear whether or not Legion of Super-Heroes #12 was it for the Bendis/Sook Legion story, however earlier this year Bendis assured fans there were more comics on the way. Speaking to Comics Beat in September, the writer said a new series was “actively in production, written and being drawn as we speak.”