by Christopher Butcher.
Welcome to Facelift, where we at PopImage remake currently existing series that could use a little sprucing up in a newer and better image. This month we present to you Chris Butcher's take on the Legion of Superheroes.
In the 30th century, mankind will venture out among the stars. Thousands of years of selective breeding will make us all fabulously beautiful. Technology will allow us to eradicate poverty and to fly. We will meet and interact with alien societies, who will also be fabulously beautiful. In short, the future will be a shiny, sexy, fantastic place to live. Except, for some reason, we will not have sex. Or so the comic The Legion of Superheroes would have us believe. You see, it's the 30th century and a group of teenagers dressed in skin-tight shiny costumes traipse around the galaxy in close quarters, not having sex with each other. I mean, it's not like they've eliminated sex drive by the 30th century. People still have sex the old-fashioned way. But there's something repressed there, something just underneath the surface of their clinging, shiny plastic costumes. Something wrong with the fact that there are teenagers in close quarters virtually naked, posing a lot. Something that just hit me the other day. The Legion of Superheroes remind me of those vaguely asexual/supersexual Calvin Klein models.
"Be Raanian. Be Cargite. Just Be."Couldn't you just see it? One of those long, left-to-right pan shots with bunches of pouty model types, looking sexual and eminently vulnerable at the same time, spurting inanities at the viewer. Except they're in Legion outfits. Brilliant. The Legion of Superheroes would become, under my direction, a sexy free-for all. I will reboot the Legionnaires as Horny Teenagers In Space. I'm going to do loads of things like have all the kids realize they're in skintight shiny costumes and touch each other! Oh sure, they'll still do things like explore planets and fight against the occasional evil alien invasion, but in the interim the reader will get to explore the steamy underbelly (and other parts...) of this shining paragon of "virtue" in the DC Universe.
"Be Triad. Be Triad. Be Triad. Just Be."
What kind of stories would we explore in this bold new sexual universe?
The Real Saturn Girl/Lightning Lad/Cosmic Boy Love
Triad and Chuck and Triad and Chameleon and Triad and
Princess Projectra and ...
Invisible Kid goes recruiting!
Ultra Boy and Ghost Girl
What you may not know about the Legion of Superheroes though is that there is a large, vocal, tightly-focused and slightly obsessed group of fans of the book that deplore any and all changes to the book. The problem being of course, is that the Legion has undergone about five massive changes, and every one of the tightly-focused fans started reading it, and is deathly in love with their own specific massive change. So as not to rock the boat too greatly, my own massive change won't be too much of a shock to current readers. I mean, sure, there'll be comics code authority-busting levels of sexual interaction, but I'm really concerned about continuity. So while there won't be a big reboot, there will however be a few minor changes to bring the cast and setting more in line with what I'd like to do.
The Unspeakable horrors and tragedies of the Legion
"I don't want to be this intangible, I have to be."
Sure, the Legion has been an interesting enough comic for a number of years, but it hasn't been terribly successful as of late, and I think a large part of that is in it's lack of realism. I mean, in the last 30 years or so we've seen that teenagers have started to become more sexually aware at lower and lower ages. What kind of sexuality could we expect then a thousand years from now? I'm willing to bet it's closer to the "anything-goes" mentality of TRANSMETROPOLITAN than the 50s, "not until marriage" mentality we've seen to date in the pages of the Legion.
Of course, a healthy and realistic attitude towards sex in the Legion won't solve all of the problems of the book. There's still the mentality of 50s retro sci-fi permeating the entirety of the book, and that'll need to be excised completely to make the book interesting and relevant to today's readers. This is the future, it would help if they acted like it, or perhaps at least acknowledged it occasionally. Still, this is at least a step in the right direction, and would be one hell of a marketing angle for the book, were it ever to come out. I mean couldn't you just see it? Calvin Klein Models and Suede music playing in the background...
"Oh it turns you on, on, now that he has gone..."
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