Long Live the Legion...and Prosper! Writer Talks TREK/LSH

Long Live the Legion...and Prosper! Writ

 

In October, two visionary teams from the future come together as IDW Publishing and DC Comics unite for Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes.

The six-issue mini-series, which will be published by IDW, will be written by Chris Roberson, best known for Vertigo series like iZombie and the Cinderella tie-ins to Fables. Jeffrey and Philip Moy will be on art, with covers by Phil Jimenez and Keith Giffen.

"IDW contacted me back in the spring and asked me if I wanted to do it," Roberson said. "I think my initial reaction was pretty much the same as many readers when they first heard the news: That’s the most unlikely idea for a crossover ever, and I want to read it!"

It may seem an unlikely pairing, but Roberson has found a way to unite the heroes in a dramatic tale that takes the classic versions of both teams and puts them into a combined jeopardy.

"The central idea of the crossover is that both Star Trek and the Legion inhabit optimistic futures, in which humanity has gone out into the stars and made friends," Roberson said. "In this story, we’ll follow a handful of characters from both universes as they find themselves stranded in a much less optimistic timeline that blends elements of both."

The featured characters include six heroes from each team. "From Star Trek we have the bridge crew, essentially: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura," Roberson said. "Poor Scotty had to stay behind on the Enterprise, since a Constitution class starship only has six transporter pads in the transporter room. From the Legion, we have Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Chameleon Boy, Shadow Lass, and Brainiac 5.

"One of the primary concerns from the beginning was to pick a group of characters that would make sense standing next to each other," he said. "So the Legionnaires we’re using have powers, but nothing too far out of line with what Kirk and company have experienced in their five year mission. They’ve faced down hyper-evolved energy beings, telepaths, beings who can move faster than sight, and aliens who can reorder reality with a single thought. Someone who can shoot lightning out of his hands or make shadows isn’t anything to write home about for this crew."

 

The story begins as the six Legion members are in the middle of time traveling on Earth within their universe, while the Enterprise crew are traveling to Earth via transporter in their universe. (For continuity buffs, the Star Trek story fits after the original Star Trek series but before the movies, while the Legion side fits after "The Great Darkness Saga.")

Both teams end up landing together on an altered 23rd Century Earth. They realize that something from Earth's past changed in a way that eliminated the diverging choices that created both the Star Trek and Legion histories. So they're thrown into a strange combined version of both their worlds.

For example, the United Federation of Planets from Star Trek and the United Planets from Legion end up converging in this time. "Both the UFP and the UP are democratic confederations of sovereign worlds. In the new blended timeline in which these characters find themselves, they quickly discover that the Imperial Planets of Earth is a completely different beast," Roberson said.

Roberson promised that fans would see the Borg, Klingons, Khunds and other threats from both universes. "It’s definitely a serious story, but that’s not to say that there aren’t more than a few jokes along the way," Roberson said. "That’s one thing that both the classic Star Trek and the classic LSH comics had in common was the ability to tell stories will real heft and emotion to them while not forgetting to work in the occasional moment of levity."


And although it would seem to be a challenge to find all those different voices as a writer, Roberson said it wasn't that tough.

"My method for finding their voices was simple: I started studying for this job when I was eight years old," he said, citing favorite Legion stories like "The Great Darkness Saga" and "The Death of Ferro Lad," as well as classic Trek episodes like "City On The Edge Of Forever" and "Mirror Mirror."

"I was a card-carrying member of the Starfleet fan club in the 1980s and of the Klingon Language Institute in the '90s. On the Legion side, I can read Interlac, was a member of a LSH amateur press association in the early '90s, and my party trick is that I can rattle off the real names and home planets of every member of the Legion of Super-Heroes," he said.

The writer said that one of the fun aspects of the story has been getting to compare and contrast the different casts of characters, highlighting both their differences and their similarities.

"The Brainiac 5 and Spock pairing was one of the first ones to spring to mind," he said. "I'm having an absolute blast."

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