LEVITZ's LEGION: 'ACADEMY' Comes to ADVENTURE COMICS

LEGION ACADEMY Comes to ADVENTURE

For the first time in several decades, the Legion of Super-Heroes takes over all of Adventure Comics next year, as writer Paul Levitz and new artist Phil Jimenez focus on "The Legion Academy."

Announced at New York Comic Con, this change to Adventure is just the latest tweak to the title's content since it was relaunched last year. As Paul Levitz told Newsarama readers last month, the comic's current focus on "Secret Origin" stories will end with Issue #520.

"It was an interesting experiment to try and go back and kind of tell something about the beginning of the Legion that was simultaneously accurate to the history but also revealing some new elements," he said.

That change to Adventure came after the series was relaunched last year by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul as a comic focused on Superboy.

Beginning with Adventure Comics #523, new characters that have been introduced as part of the Legion Academy will be the focus of the comic, including some old faces but adding brand new ones as well.

This news comes just as the Legion of Super-Heroes comic runs an election, which Levitz verified is attracting extensive attention on its voting website, with readers voting for the new Legion leader.

Readers also recently found out Levitz would re-team with Keith Giffen on December's Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1.

It's all part of Levitz's efforts to reinvigorate the Legion since he launched a new Legion title in May. As he began a new run on Legion, he also took over Adventure Comics, trying to find a unique Legion story to fill each title, although also giving pages to a co-feature under DC's former $3.99 pricing.

As DC switches to its $2.99 price point, Levitz switches the focus of Adventure and takes on a new artist. Newsarama talked with Levitz to find out more about this latest change and what the addition of Jimenez brings to the title.

Newsarama: Paul, we talked before about the changes coming up for Adventure Comics and the election of a new Legion leader. Now that you've revealed that the next Adventure stories will be about the "Legion Academy," what can you tell us about those upcoming stories?

Paul Levitz: It will begin with Adventure Comics #523. There's one more issue of Adventure coming out, Issue #520, that finishes up our flashback tales to the beginnings of the Legion. And then you have two issues that tie rather neatly into the current Legion book, wrapping up the "Who is the Green Lantern?" story, and taking that into its next element.

The next one after that, Adventure Comics #523, is the first of a three-, or maybe four-, part "Legion Academy" story. It picks up a little bit on the characters that I introduced in the back-up in the current story. We learn more about their lives; we learn more about the function of the Legion Academy. And we have some guest shots by some other instructor-type people.

We'll start to develop that as a series that, as long as our attention span lasts and fans respond well, will be part of Adventure for a while. Or we'll go on to who-knows-what.

Nrama: Who are some of the characters that might show up in the Legion Academy stories?

Levitz: Current plans have a gal from the Sorcerers' World who's an apprentice to Mysa showing up as the new kid at the beginning of the first one.

And the current plot has a moment of Night Girl showing up as a guest instructor, who is an occasional member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. I believe we saw her as a member of that group in Geoff's run. She's much beloved for her impossibly high beehive hairdo from the old John Forte days.

Nrama: Is your hope to infuse the Legion mythology with some new faces?

Levitz: Sure. And I think, with any luck, we'll see them become loved characters in the mythology. The wonderful thing about the Legion is the incredible passion people have for these characters. I think, once you introduce someone into the Legion world, you really don't know where it's going to go from there.

Nrama: Is it my understanding, then, that this "Legion Academy" is the planned focus of Adventure Comics going forward? And if so, does that comic keep its title, or are there different plans for it?

Levitz: It keeps the "Adventure" title and numbering. Obviously, with the new, reduced price, it becomes the whole content of the book. So Legion occupies all of Adventure Comics for, gee, I guess the first time regularly since 1968, which is kind of funky in its wonderful own way.

Nrama: And the Legion Academy is the ongoing focus, even past this storyline?

Levitz: We'll see what comes. It might be more Legion Academy, if this picks up steam, and if Phil is excited and wants to stay on.

Nrama: How's it been working with Phil Jimenez on this comic?

Levitz: I'm having a lot of fun working with him. He seems to be having fun working with it. He certainly brings an extraordinary level of visual imagination and commitment to the characters. He's been a Legion fan for a while, and this gives him the chance to really play with it.

So I'm hoping it continues for a while.

The thing about one of the old retro titles like Adventure is that in theory, you can say, "Well, we did three Legion Academy stories, but the artist is taking a month off, so we're going to do a solo issue focusing on one of the Legionnaires, or we're going to do something else." There's even the chance that we'll have such a big story in Legion that we'll spread it out over both books for a month or two. Almost any possibility is available.

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