GIFFEN Promises LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 'Revamp on the Run'


Another Legion of Super-Heroes reboot?

Not quite. But in February, the title will go through what Keith Giffen is calling a "revamp on the run."

And during this revamp, Giffen is promising that "no one is safe."

Giffen starts penciling Legion of Super-Heroes with issue #17, working with current writer Paul Levitz in a reunion of one of the Legion's most successful creative teams.

But according to our interview with Levitz earlier this month, his reunion with Giffen means changes are coming to the status quo on the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Now Giffen tells Newsarama the Fatal Five story the two are starting with Legion of Super-Heroes #17 will be "a big, huge, massive spectacle" and "not everyone is going to live through it." He also echoes Levitz's promises changes in the comic's future.

Between working on Legion of Super-Heroes and Threshold, Keith Giffen is working on the DCU's science fiction in the present and the future. We spoke to Giffen yesterday about his plans for Threshold and the character named Captain K'Rot.

Now we talk to Giffen about the future of the Legion and what readers can expect when he reunites with Levitz on the title.

Newsarama: Keith, you're reuniting with Paul on Legion. And when we talked to Paul about it, he said you're bringing in a lot of new ideas. Does this mean there will be a change in direction when you come on board?

Keith Giffen: Yeah! There's a real change in direction. I'm really trying to have readers say, from issue #17 forward, say, "What the hell is going on?" And the Legion of Super-Heroes becomes a book that is not "safe" anymore.

Nrama: So you're not just changing the way the book looks once you come on board? You're working with Paul on changing the plot and the pacing and the action and things like that?

Giffen: Yep. Whenever I work with Paul or Mark DeMatteis or Alan Grant on Lobo, there's always flexibility between us. What Paul puts down on the plot, he knows that I'm going to go in and kick at it and move things around a little bit, and just try to add a certain amount of dynamism to what he's already got there.

So yeah, the book... maybe you call it a "revamp on the run."

We're not just starting over again from #1 of the Legion, but we're picking up the storyline as we go.

Nrama: Before we get into the story, let's talk about your pencils on the book. How's it been drawing the Legion again?

Giffen: Honestly? Drawing the book has been like pulling teeth for me, and that's not because it's hard to put on the old coat again and get moving on the Legion — it's because I want it to feel different. I don't want it to feel like the Legion of Super-Heroes book has felt before, so I've had to purge myself of all the little safety nets I have for drawing the Legion, the things I've been doing when I draw the Legion for years and years and years.


So if I finish a page and I look at it, and it looks too much like a Legion page, I put it in my blooper drawer and start the page again.

That's not to say this book will look completely, radically different. No, I bring certain tools to the table and people know what I'm going to do.

Nrama: Getting back to the story, you guys are introducing the Fatal Five. Does that play into the change in direction? Do these characters provide the intensity somewhat?

Giffen: Yeah, yeah, the introduction of the Fatal Five into the mix is probably the best time to do these changes because they're such major foes of the Legion. But the idea here is to get people paying attention to the Legion again — paying attention and talking about the book again.

Nrama: And you already said "no one is safe." That sounds like someone is going to die.

Giffen: Yeah, it does, doesn't it?

Nrama: Can you describe the story you guys are telling over the next few months?

Giffen: Without giving away too much, the next few months is a Fatal Five story. And we'll begin to inject real consequence into the Legion book. We'll make it harder to do things in the 30th Century.

One of the things, with writing or drawing or doing anything with the Legion of Super-Heroes, is that you're now seeing things in the future. And it becomes really easy to just have them grab some piece of technology off the shelf and go, "here's how we end it!" He uses this super-neutralizer.

I want to see us take the super-neutralizer away.

The story we've got planned is a big, huge, massive spectacle. Not everyone is going to live through it, and there are going to be changes.

I want this to be a.... I don't want to say "new beginning," because they're still the characters that Paul's been writing. We're not introducing a whole new team.

But I would hope that I'm bringing a new feel to the book. A new atmosphere to the book.

I know we've promised that before with the Legion, and we've played around with so many reboots that the words feel hollow. But this time around, we're doing some really stunning things, but within the confines of the story, and we're doing it from the starting point of having an affection and respect for the characters and concepts. But it's because of that affection and respect that we want to make them even better.

I have a lot of affection for these characters, but to a point, because too much affection means you don't want to hurt them or grow them or move them forward. So while I'm working within the framework of already liking these characters, I'm also working to make them more interesting.

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