Comics / Comics News

Back to the Future: Keith Giffen Returns to the Legion

By Philip Schweier
November 9, 2012 - 08:55

Keith Giffen
DC Comics has announced that Keith Giffen will be returning as penciler on the Legion of Super-Heroes, reuniting one of the most popular creative teams of the 1980s. Giffen’s first issue of the current series will be will be #17, due in February.

In an interview last month, Giffen said, “My first exposure to the Legion was John Forte in Adventure Comics and that’s when I fell in love with the concept. And I have a lot of affection for that concept but this is a whole new comic book audience.

“When I come back on the Legion, we’re going to find out I don’t know better. I’m going to make all kinds of mistakes. So you can say I didn’t know what I was talking about, but they can’t fault me for not caring. I believe in the Legion book to keep it alive and healthy. I’m trying. So’s Paul. Paul’s been trying much longer than I have. We’ll see what happens when we get together again, but don’t whine about the Legion of Super-Heroes not being there for you if you don’t at least give it a chance. Vote with your dollar.”

"Working with Keith is as exciting as reading his work – we'll be back to changing the technology of the future, the lives (and deaths) of Legionnaires, and connecting to wonderfully obscure pieces of DC mythology. Buckle's a wild ride,” Levitz teased to

From 1982-1984, writer Paul Levitz and artist Keith Giffen were the creative force behind of one of DC’s best-selling titles. “When Paul started feeding me the stories,” Giffen said in an interview published in BACK ISSUE #22 (May, 2007), “there was just some kind of a connection that we made wherein he gave me a lot of leeway in terms not only of artistic input, but input into the stories, and it just became just a really fun assignment.”

In the interview, Giffen says he was not a huge fan of the Legion when he signed on in 1982. “But what I saw, looking at Legion of Super-Heroes, was a lot of incredible untapped potential in terms of the visual take on the book – what you can do with different cultures, how you can approach the characters, how you can really make the stories really just stand out.”

The success of such stories as “The Great Darkness Saga” (Legion of Super-Heroes #290-294) led to a second ongoing series in 1984.

Giffen left the title in following Legion of Super-Heroes #5 (December, 1984), and Levitz ended his record-setting run after #63 (August, 1989). The title was immediately re-launched following a five-year jump, once again with Giffen co-writing (with Tom and Mary Bierbaum) the adventures of the team for approximately 32 issues.

In 2009, Levitz returned to writing the Legion after spending seven years as publisher of DC Comics.

Giffen told BACK ISSUE, “You can never really leave. I’ve always compared the Legion book to a siren’s song coming to me across the waves. I can only ignore it for so long. Then I go back and I just know I’m going, ‘Oh, God. Here we go again.’ But, you know, if you really, really like the book, you can never really leave it.”


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Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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