introduction to the poster
Back in 1983, at roughly the same time the stories in this volume were first published, DC Comics issued its first retail poster – featuring THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. Conceived and penciled by Keith Giffen and inked by Larry Mahlstedt, the poster originally measured 40”x 15” and featured virtually EVERY character that had ever appeared in a Legion story to that point – 275 characters in all. The poster was a big success and went out of print within a year.
While a dream come true for the diehard Legion fan, the poster was a bit daunting for the average comic reader as it did not come with an identification guide for the characters. Sure, everyone knew who Superboy and Supergirl were, but who could identify Gmya Wazzo or Atro, Brain Lord of Khann? (Or, for that matter, why was Super-Turtle included? The answer to this earth-shattering question is unknown to this day).
Legion fan Arthur Lewandowski realized the problem and, soon after the poster was first issued, Arthur came up with his own self-published identification guide to the poster, which circulated throughout Legion fandom. Arthur divided the characters into several categories – Legionnaires, Legion Allies, Villains (major and minor) and Friends and Foes (mostly good guys and misguided souls) – and drew up several identification guides outlining all the characters. On the following pages, we present the first “authorized” guide to the Legion Poster, based on the original guides prepared by Arthur. Thank you, Mr. Lewandowski…We couldn’t have done it without you.
Unfortunately, due to space limitations, we cannot go into detail on the background of each character. Those of you interested in the rich lore of the Legion should seek out WHO’S WHO IN THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES, a seven-issue guidebook to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Legion (but were afraid to admit). It was first published by DC during 1988 and back issues should be readily available at your friendly local comics shop.
A couple of notes – The guides reflect the status of all characters as they were when the poster was originally published. Many changes have taken place in the Legion since, including births, deaths, and changes of allegiance. On a more technical note – There were several minor coloring errors in the original poster that we, unfortunately, were unable to correct. This fold-out poster is an exact reproduction of the original printing – warts and all.