SDCC '08 - Geoff Johns Brings the Legion to 'Smallville'

The Legion of Super-Heroes is coming to Smallville, and the writer who's guiding the futuristic team in comic books will be the one introducing them to the show.

Geoff Johns, writer of next month's Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds mini-series for DC Comics, will also be writing the Legion's introduction to the Smallville television show. As announced Sunday at San Diego Comic-Con, Johns will be writing "Legion," the ninth episode in this year's season 8 of Smallville.

"I've known the Smallville writing team – Todd [Slavkin], Darren [Swimmer], Brian [Wayne Peterson] and Kelly [Souders] – for a long time," Johns told Newsarama. "I had an idea for an episode, so we all had lunch. And I pitched them the idea of bringing the Legion of Super-Heroes to Smallville. And we're off and running."

In comics, the Legion of Super-Heroes is a group of super-powered teenagers from 1,000 years in the future who are inspired by the legend of Superman. The Legion story, which saw the young heroes time-traveling back to visit a young Clark Kent, recently inspired a Warner Bros. animated TV series.

Smallville fans had already seen updated versions of several DC Comics heroes on the live-action show, including Green Arrow, who's become a regular character. Just last month, it was announced that a new "Doomsday" character, played by Battlestar Galactica alum Sam Witwer, will be added to the Smallville cast this season as a nemesis for actor Tom Welling's Clark Kent.

While the show's very human-looking Doomsday is apparently a re-interpretation of the monstrous comics character who once killed Superman, according to Johns, the Legion that appears in his Smallville episode will be the team that comic book readers recognize.

"I can't get into any specifics about the story we're telling because we’re still working on it all. But they're from the 31st Century. And it will be focusing on some obvious characters who first met Clark," Johns said. "It will be written to fit with Smallville, and I think it's going to be a really fun challenge to approach the Legion in a different way. But with me, you know you're going to see Legion rings, and they're going to be as true to the core as possible. It's going to be the Legion of Super-Heroes."

Johns, who just recently used Legion characters in a story he wrote for the Superman-centered series Action Comics with artist Gary Frank, couldn't confirm if the Legion characters he's introducing in Smallville would appear in more than one episode.

As Smallville fans may remember, this won't be the first time the name "Geoff Johns" is attached to the show. In Season 4, a super-powered, villainous football-playing character was named Geoff Johns. And as most comic book fans know, Johns shares offices with former Smallville writer and comic book creator Jeph Loeb, who was involved with the series during Seasons 2-4.

"Like I said, I've known the Smallville team for a long time. And I have to thank Jeph Loeb for introducing me to those people in the first place," Johns said. "I'm really looking forward to working on the show. It's exciting to see the Legion be part of that."

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