LEVITZ & GIFFEN: LEGION Ending Opens Door For JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000

Justice League 3000
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

In DC mythology, there's always a bit of confusion about which heroes exist 2,000 years in the future of the universe. Sure, it's the Legion of Super-Heroes, but which version of the oft-rebooted Legion?

This year, DC made that question even more open-ended as the Legion of Super-Heroes title came to an end to make room for a new version of the DCU future in the December-launching Justice League 3000.

In August, writer (and former DC Publisher) Paul Levitz wrote an ending for the Legion of Super-Heroes final story that made it seem like the New 52 version of the Legion of Super-Heroes was actually from a different Earth in DC's multiverse.

That seems to clear the way for the new version of DC's future, as former Legion writer/artist Keith Giffen works with co-writer J.M. DeMatteis to bring a whole new concept to the DC's 31st Century in Justice League 3000.

Yet a lot of Newsarama readers seem confused about just what the Legion ending meant. Do they exist on Earth 2 — the alternate DC Earth we've seen in the monthly Earth 2 title? Or was there a different message in those final pages of Legion of Super-Heroes #23?

Credit: DC Comics

And how does this ending lead into the beginning of Justice League 3000? Does it at all.

Newsarama asked Levitz to clarify the Legion's ending, and he said the "placement" of the Legion in DC space and time wasn't meant to be specific. "These things are always open to interpretation," Levitz said. "That's the joy of comics. I had so much fun when I was a kid doing things for Amazing World, trying to piece together the three different versions of Deadman that were sort of running through the books and didn't seem to have anything to do with each other. So I think it's always fun to put it together and then see what the next person does with it.

"My inspiration for that particular scene at the end of the last issue [of Legion] was the end of Roger Zalazny's Lord of Light, where his narrator talks about the three different versions of what happened to the character — the legend that's told by the romantics, that's told by the cynics, and I forget what the third one was," he said with a laugh. "So I really wanted to set up a certain level of 'open-to-interpretation' for it."

Credit: DC Comics

"I knew Paul was going to end it on that note," Giffen said. "I think the ending is open to interpretation. The way I saw it was, it could be Earth 2. It might be Earth 1. It could be an Earth we've never seen before. It could be another universe. It struck me like, the Legion fan can choose the ending that most satisfies them."

So although many fans are assuming the ending was pointing toward Earth 2 as the Legion home, Levitz said that's only one possibility.

"It's comics," he said. "It's a set of facts that can be interpreted that way, certainly. But will someone else build it a different way? And find another answer to that question in a different fashion? It's certainly possible, before they're back again — and I'm sure they will be back again one day — that there will be something else going on there."

Credit: DC Comics

For now, however, the Legion is not going to be part of the future of the DCU. "Paul actually provided a great run-up to Justice League 3000 by giving me the option of choosing how to place the characters, if I want to use any of the Legion characters. But that said," he added, "{as of right now, the Legion does not appear in Justice League 3000. No Legionnaires appear. There is no United Planets. There are no flight rings. The only thing I took so far was one name of one planet, because it's the best name for a planet I've ever heard in my life. And I took that one name — I'm not even going to tell you what name it is, because there's a spoiler attached to it. But that's all I took. There may still be a Colu or some of the other planets, but I'm not planning to touch base on them right now. I'm not dealing with Legion mythos at all."

Credit: DC Comics

Giffen said he hopes Legion fans will approach Justice League 3000 with an open mind. And he warned readers that the story of how Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman got into the future is not what it appears to be — not even what it appears to be in the first few issues.

"Just when you think you understand how the Justice League can exist in the future is when you find out you're wrong," Giffen said. "The first couple issues, the comic will lie to you about how they're there, or at least make you believe something about them that isn't true. But then in the fourth or fifth issue, you'll learn how they really can exist in the 31st Century. And it's probably one of the darker places I've ever gone.

Credit: DC Comics

"No, the books is not all grim and gritty and dark. It's not Dark Knight; it's not Watchmen. If I had to describe the Justice League 3000 book, I'd say it's the closest we've come to doing a Simon Pegg movie. I use Shaun of the Dead as an example. In the movie, the zombies were a threat. If they caught you, they'd kill you. It's that simple. They were a threat. It was small groups' reactions to the zombies that generated the humor.

"So it's not going to be across-the-board bwa-ha-ha, all vaudevillian and stuff like that. But it is going to be what Marc and I do.

"If you hear Giffen and DeMatteis, it's exactly what those names make you think."

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