Legion Lost #9

This week, readers got their first taste of what Tom DeFalco is bringing to Legion Lost, as he co-wrote the sixth issue with departing writer Fabian Nicieza.

In May, the writer will further entrench the comic in the present-day DCU as the Legion Lost crosses over with Teen Titans and Superboy in an event titled "The Culling."

The crossover officially begins on May 2nd with the 48-page issue Teen Titans Annual #1. Then the story continues through Superboy #9 and Legion Lost #9, with a conclusion in Teen Titans #9. The new "Second Wave" title The Ravagers, by writer Howard Mackie and artist Ian Churchill, will be released on May 30th, spinning out of the event.

DeFalco, a former editor-in-chief at Marvel, will start his run as solitary writer on Legion Lost in March, working with artist Pete Woods. As he does, he follows up on some surprising revelations that readers have seen in the title so far, then spins the story toward the crossover.

We asked him what's coming up in the title. And while some of what DeFalco said has been reported as part of our coverage of "The Culling", what follows is a transcript of our entire discussion with the DC writer about what's coming up in Legion Lost.

Newsarama: Tom, for people who might be interested in picking up Legion Lost for the first time with issue #8, which is a lead-in for this crossover, what should they know before they pick up this series?

Tom DeFalco: They don't have to know anything! We tell them what goes on. In every issue, we tell them everything they need to know.

But right now? Issue #6 is on the stands, and it's Fabian Nicieza's last issue. And a major thing happens in that issue. And I won't spoil it, because it just came out this week. But the Legion picks up a piece of information that shakes them up, a lot. And it will have a big effect on their future, or lack thereof.

And then after issue #6, Legion Lost #7 is a nice done-in-one stand-alone which further gives hints as to some of the turmoil heading toward the Legion. It also gives you an emotional kick in the head, because it's going to foreshadow a lot of what's about to happen.

When you see what happens later in the series, you'll be able to go back to issue #7 and say, "Wow! Each of these things are mirrored!"

Nrama: And then in #8, the team encounters Rose Wilson and The Ravagers. What can you tell us about what that's going to bring to the series?

DeFalco: Our big bad guy sends a special ops team to pick up the Legion. And he's got a very special reason for why he wants the Legion, which readers will eventually learn. And it's going to surprise people!

The Ravagers #1

So this issue shows how this special ops team is sent in, so we get to meet a bunch of really cool, new supervillains, some of which will be playing parts in Legion Lost, Teen Titans and The Ravagers far into the future.

Nrama: When the crossover starts in May, what kind of things can we expect from the interaction between the kids from Teen Titans and Superboy with these Legion teens from the future?

DeFalco: The Legion Lost is a well-honed team with kind of paramilitary training, with a very set mission and very set goals, and they function very tightly as a team. And they're going to meet the Teen Titans, and there you've got a very sharp leader who's basically herding cats! Red Robin has his hands full keeping these guys focused, and keeping them on track and on mission.

And just imagine how Red Robin's going to react when he finds a bunch of teens who claim to come from the future.

And just imagine how these guys are going to react when they look at a group that call themselves the Teen Titans, and they know something about the Teen Titans that the Titans don't even know.

Nrama: Well, yeah, because they're from the future. Will they recognize some of the Teen Titans, I assume?

DeFalco: You know, therein lies a major story twist.

Nrama: So there are some interesting meetings between particular characters who might recognize each other?

DeFalco: Yeah, there's a certain character in Teen Titans that people have been wondering about his origin.

Teen Titans #9

And you know, one of our characters is going to recognize him.

Nrama: I think readers can guess who he is.

DeFalco: Yeah, and this could lead to some very interesting twists and turns.

Nrama: We've seen this villain Harvest. Can you tell us anything about him?

DeFalco: I can tell you that, we all sat around and we said, what kind of individual things would we like out of this crossover to go forward? And we came up with a bunch of really cool character bits and story bits and that sort of stuff. And there's a whole new title launching out of this. So there's all sorts of really cool stuff.

And then Scott and I got the idea, you know what we'd really like to do? We'd like to introduce a new top-drawer supervillain. You know? A real A-list guy who could go toe-to-toe with Superman. Somebody who whose spans are so monumental that he's got to know that at some point he's going to be dealing with the Justice League. And our feeling is, if you can't at least take Superman, you couldn't be thinking about the Justice League.

So we're looking to shake up the whole DC Universe by introducing a major bad guy.

Nrama: We've been told that for "The Culling," we'll finally see the Colony that has been teased. How does the Legion Lost team react to that?

DeFalco: Well, how do you think these guys will react when they discover that there's a bunch of kids who are being captured and being programmed to become killing machines.

Nrama: Not well.

DeFalco: You have a flair for the understatement.

Nrama: How will "The Culling" impact the Legion Lost title after issue #9?

DeFalco: Yeah, this is going to be a major turning point. They are going to discover a lot of things about their mission that the people who sent them on neglected to tell them. They are going to discover that everybody on the team isn't exactly on the same page.

Teen Titans Annual #1

They're going to discover a way home. And the big question is whether or not they're going to take it.

The whole Legion Lost thing is going to — I always hate to say, "it will never be the same again!" But from here on, it's crazy town.

Nrama: Will the line-up of characters in the comic be changed at all? Or would you rather not say?

DeFalco: No comment.

Nrama: After "The Culling" finishes, will we more interaction between these different teen teams, now that they all know each other? Will those titles bump up against each other more often?

DeFalco: You know, occasionally. They will certainly be aware of each other going forward. The hassle is that at least three of the four titles spin off in weird directions after this. And they're not going to be in the position to interact with anybody else for awhile.

Nrama: Those three titles that spin off in weird directions — is Legion Lost one of them?

DeFalco: Yep.

Nrama: Then how would you describe what's coming up for Legion Lost in 2012 overall? We know a little bit about "The Culling," but what's going to happen with this title overall this year?

DeFalco: Things are going to fall into a deep chaos. The team is going to have to be dealing with the fact that they were set up and sent on a mission that no one ever expected them to succeed in. And they've basically been hung out to dry. And like anybody else, they want to find out who set them up and why. And what really is their real mission? Who's been pulling all the strings?

That all sounds very vague as I say it out loud. But it's going to pay off big.

Also, at the conclusion of Legion Lost #8, something big happens. And the repercussions of that will be chasing our heroes for awhile.

After "The Culling," starting with issue #10, we take a real left turn. And we go in directions that nobody could have conceived us going in. It started out with us saying, what if that happened? And suddenly we realized, if that happened, it could ruin everything. And the point that you say, "that could ruin everything," you're suddenly sitting up and saying, hey, that could be interesting.

Nrama: It's great that you're getting the freedom to shake things up like that.

DeFalco: We're throwing a lot of ideas around and the editors are very supportive. DC is rocking and rolling.

Nrama: You scripted the last issue of Superboy with a plot by Scott Lobdell. What brought about that collaboration and does it speak to the fact that you're working together with him on this crossover?

DeFalco: The whole bunch of us — Scott and Howard and I — have racked up incredible phone bills and doing a parade of emails back and forth, collaborating, putting "The Culling" together for the last couple of months.

Superboy #9

It's been a great experience, although I have to say that sometimes I wish Scott wouldn't call so early in the morning. I'm sure he feels the same about me.

But we've been working so closely together that at one point, Scott was looking at all the stuff he had to do and he thought maybe he could use a rest on one issue of Superboy and thought, you know, we'll get that other guy to help.

So I got tagged into doing an issue of Superboy, and it was a lot of fun. I had so much fun working over Scott's plot that I said, "you've got to work over one of mine now!"

Nrama: Sounds fair.

DeFalco: We're just having a grand old time for ourselves working on this crossover. Howard brings the gravitas to our collaboration, and Scott the creativity. And I bring the beauty. You know? And anyone who's seen me can understand how poorly that reflects on Howard and Scott.

But it's been great, and we have a philosophy that, well, I guess it's a kind of strange philosophy, but we believe that if the creative people are having a great time, that will translate to the readers. And we are having a blast.

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