Glorithverse

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Overview

The "Glorithverse" era of the Legion of Super-Heroes was published between 1989 and 1994. The stories that encompass this era were published in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #1 through Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #61, in Legionnaires #1 through Legionnaires #18, and in various other titles.

As a shorthand, some fans call this era "Volume 4" or "v4" even though volume 4 of Legion of Super-Heroes continued from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #0 and Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #62 through Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #125. The first half of this era is known by some by the initials "TMK", named for its initial creators, Tom Bierbaum, Mary Bierbaum, and Keith Giffen.

Technically, the first four issues of Legion of Super-Heroes volume 4 fall under the Post-Crisis continuity. However, a continuity reset that occurs in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #5 does not negate most of what appears in those first four issues. Additionally, a five-year time jump that occurs before Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #1 creates a substantial break from the previous volume. Therefore, those first four issues are included under the "Glorithverse" category. For more information about the continuity reset and the time jump, see the next section.

Big changes

The "Glorithverse" Legion of Super-Heroes diverges from the previous incarnation of the team in two profound ways:

  • Between Legion of Super-Heroes v3 #63 (the last issue of volume 3) and Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #1 (the first issue of the new volume 4), the book jumps five years forward. This is a literary device known as in medias res. After this jump, the status quo is very different: The team is disbanded, the galaxy is a very different place, and the characters are scattered to the winds. The events that occurred during those five years were eventually described only partially via flashback sequences, dialogue, and text pieces. This jump is known by fans as the Five Year Gap.
  • Editorial fiat forced the creators to erase key Legion members Superboy, Supergirl, and the name of Mon-El from the Legion timeline. To accomplish this, the creators destroyed the current timeline in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #4 and then established a new timeline at the end of Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #5. This timeline shift retroactively changed the history of the Legion. The major retcons were the replacement of Supergirl with Laurel Gand, the replacement of Superboy (Kal-El) and Mon-El with Valor, and the addition of a new character, Kid Quantum.

A new history

A limited timeline of this new Legion history is reprinted in 2995: The Legion of Super-Heroes Sourcebook, and fans have had to fill in the gaps. In addition to creating a new member of the early team whole cloth (Kid Quantum), the creative team made other tweaks to existing storylines in an attempt to clear up some inconsistencies over the previous 30-plus years of published Legion comics. For purposes of a timeline, the writers set the Magic Wars story in Legion of Super-Heroes v3 #60 to Legion of Super-Heroes v3 #63 in 2989, 1,000 years after the stories were published, and extrapolated years from there. Articles mentioned in this category use these years.

The following is a partial year-by-year timeline of Legion history:

Before 2973

  • The Durlan from L.E.G.I.O.N. is sent through time from the 20th century to the 30th century. He eventually becomes R.J. Brande.

2973: Year One

2974: Year Two

  • Cosmic Boy is re-elected leader.
  • Ultra Boy joins. During his initiation, he travels back in time and meets Valor.
  • Star Boy joins.
  • Kid Quantum dies at Mount Schorer, Mars. The accident leads the Legion to prohibit members whose sole powers come from devices.
  • Shrinking Violet and Sun Boy join.
  • Bouncing Boy, previous reject, is now admitted into the Legion.
  • Valor is found in the Bgztl Buffer Region and freed temporarily. He shortly returns to the Bgztl Buffer Region.
  • Matter-Eater Lad joins.

2975: Year Three

  • United Planets funding begins this year.
  • Saturn Girl is elected leader.
  • Lightning Lad is killed repelling the first Khundish invasion of Earth.
  • A permanent cure for Valor's lead weakness is found, and the hero is freed from the Bgztl Buffer Region. He is admitted to the team as a full member.
  • The Legion of Substitute Heroes forms.
  • Element Lad joins.
  • Lightning Lass, twin sister of Lightning Lad, joins.
  • Proty I, Chameleon Boy's Antaran "pet," seemingly sacrifices his life in a ceremony that restored Lightning Lad to life. Unbeknownst to everyone, Proty I's life essence is transferred into Lightning Lad's body instead.
  • Dream Girl joins. Using Naltorian science, she transforms Lightning Lass's electricity powers to gravity powers. Lightning Lass becomes Light Lass. Dream Girl resigns shortly therafter.
  • Bouncing Boy loses his powers and resigns. He becomes an honorary Legionnaire.

2976: Year Four

  • Saturn Girl is re-elected leader.
  • The Legion successfully halts the rise of Mordru, who is imprisoned after the defeat.
  • Lightning Lad loses his arm fighting the so-called Super-Moby Dick of Space.

2977: Year Five

  • Brainiac 5 is elected leader. Saturn Girl is deputy.
  • Computo, a creation of Brainiac 5, goes berserk. One of Triplicate Girl's bodies is killed, and she becomes Duo Damsel as a result.
  • Star Boy kills in self-defense and is expelled from the Legion.
  • Ferro Lad, Princess Projectra, Karate Kid, and Nemesis Kid join.
  • A second Khundish invasion is stopped. Nemesis Kid is exposed as a traitor, but he escapes.
  • At some point this year, the Time Trapper creates modified temporal duplicates of the current Legion team and stores them in stasis under the Time Institute.

2978: Year Six

  • Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg) is elected leader, Valor deputy.
  • Star Boy, Dream Girl, and Bouncing Boy rejoin the Legion.
  • Ferro Lad sacrifices his life to destroy the Sun-Eater. The Fatal Five is created.
  • Shadow Lass joins.
  • The Legion Academy opens.

2979: Year Seven

  • Ultra Boy is leader for the first half of the year, Karate Kid for the second. Valor is deputy for the entire year.
  • Chemical King and Timber Wolf join.

2980: Year Eight

  • Valor is leader for the first half of the year, Ultra Boy the second. Element Lad is deputy under Valor. Ultra Boy appoints rotating deputies.
  • Timber Wolf is presumed dead in the explosion of Asteroid X-52.

2981: Year Nine

  • Valor is elected leader, Sun Boy is deputy.
  • Timber Wolf returns.
  • Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel marry and resign.
  • Wildfire joins.
  • Validus kills Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg).
  • Matter-Eater Lad is drafted into politics on Bismoll and resigns from the Legion.
  • Tyroc joins.

2982: Year 10

  • Wildfire is elected leader, Element Lad deputy.
  • Dawnstar joins.
  • Chemical King dies stopping a Dark Circle plot to start a civil war on Earth.
  • Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad marry, resign from Legion.
  • The Legion joins in the United Planets' victory over the Mordru-Dark Circle-Khundish alliance (Earthwar). In the aftermath, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad rejoin the Legion.

2983: Year 11

  • Lightning Lad is elected leader, Element Lad deputy.
  • The Legion fights the Omega creature, created by an insane Brainiac 5. Matter-Eater Lad is temporarily driven insane when he devours the Miracle Machine. Both recover.
  • Tyroc resigns.
  • Blok joins.
  • Computo returns and attacks the Legion, attaching its essence to Danielle Foccart. Her brother, Jacques Foccart, gains his powers during the emergency. He helps defeat Computo and saves his sister. Later, he is admitted to the Legion as Invisible Kid.
  • Projectra and Karate Kid change to reservist status as Projectra takes the Orandian throne with Karate Kid as her consort.

2984: Year 12

  • Dream Girl is elected leader, Element Lad deputy.
  • Darkseid tries to enslave the galaxy but is held off by the Legion (Great Darkness).
  • The White Witch joins.
  • Light Lass resigns and returns to Winath.
  • [Colossal Boy secretly marries an individual who he thinks is Shrinking Violet. However, she is actually a Durlan actress named Yera in disguise. The kidnapped Shrinking Violet is freed from her terrorist kidnappers, and Yera and Colossal Boy decide to stay married.
  • Projectra and Karate Kid marry.

2985: Year 13

  • Element Lad is elected leader, Dream Girl deputy.
  • Twin brothers Graym and Garridan Ranzz are born to Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad. Garridan, however, is plucked from the moment before he would have been born by Darkseid, transformed into Validus and sent back through time
  • The Legion of Super-Villains attack Orando. In the battle, Karate Kid is killed, and Projectra kills Nemesis Kid.
  • Light Lass regains her electrical powers and rejoins the Legion as Lightning Lass.
  • Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lad resign to take advisory roles.

2986: Year 14

2987: Year 15

  • Leadership elections are delayed as Universo takes control of Earth and the Legion itself. Universo is defeated, and Saturn Girl returns to active status.
  • Polar Boy is elected leader for an extended term with Element Lad as deputy.
  • The Legion travels to the 20th century to seek out Superboy. During the adventure, they admit Superboy into the Legion and discover that the Time Trapper (who they believe to be Glorith) has created a Pocket Universe. In the end, Superboy sacrifices his life.

2988: Year 16

  • Polar Boy continues term as leader with Element Lad as deputy.
  • Glorith destroys Daxam. A conspiracy of Legionnaires plan an attack again Glorith. This group includes Valor, Duo Damsel, Brainiac 5, Rond Vidar, and Laurel Gand. In the attack, Duo Damsel loses another body and Valor is critically injured. Glorith retreats into the time stream.
  • The White Witch resigns and returns to the Sorceror's World.
  • Shadow Lass resigns to care for the injured Valor. He eventually recovers but does not return to active status.
  • Brainiac 5 is tried for insubordination after the attack on Glorith. He is cleared of charges but resigns.
  • Shadow Lass marries Valor.

2989: Year 17

  • Sensor Girl is leader, Timber Wolf deputy.
  • Quislet is sent back to his home dimension and effectively leaves the Legion.
  • The Magic Wars occur. Magnetic Kid dies.
  • In the aftermath, the economies of many United Planets worlds, including Earth, collapse.

2990 through late 2994

This period is known as the Five Year Gap. The Legion eventually disbands, its members spread about the galaxy. It ends when Reep Daggle (the former Chameleon Boy) approaches a depowered Rokk Krinn (Cosmic Boy) on Braal and proposes a new Legion.

A new start

A new Legion team was formed in late 2994, and their adventures continue through the End of an Era storyline until Zero Hour. With some exceptions, this era features no super-heroic code names.

Members

For a list of members of this new Legion, go here.

The temporal duplicates of the Legion created in 2977 eventually surface and form their own team. For more information, see SW6 Batch. For a list of members, go here.

Storylines

Major storylines and events include the following:

See also and Category:Glorithverse storylines.

Major retcons

As a result of the continuity restart in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #5, a number of changes were made to Legion history retroactively to "fix" stories that no longer made sense. The creators also made some changes based on their own theories and story ideas. The following changes fit into both categories:

  • After the Pocket Universe storyline in Legion of Super-Heroes' v3 #37 and Legion of Super-Heroes' v3 #38, Superboy was largely written out of the Legion timeline. By the early days of volume 4, the existence of Mon-El (specifically, the "-El" name) became a problem. An editorial mandate forced the creators to find a solution. This solution became the Mordruverse reboot and the creation of the Valor character. The inclusion of Valor, and the character of Laurel Gand to take the place of Supergirl, made necessary other changes to Legion history. Specifically, any story with Superboy in it set before Mon-El's release from the Bgztl Buffer Zone did not include Superboy at all. Any story after that replaced Superboy with Valor or Mon-El with Valor. Any story with Supergirl now included Laurel Gand in her place. As for stories that included both Mon-El and Superboy or stories that featured visits to the 20th century, it's a little less clear how the new stories worked, but it's probable that Laurel, who didn't leave when Supergirl had, filled in for Mon-El or Superboy in stories with both.
  • The basic Pocket Universe storyline remains as-is. The Legion does travel to the past to find Superboy. They find out that the Time Trapper created the Pocket Universe. Superboy sacrifices his life to save the universe. Eventually, the Pocket Universe ceases to be. This story remains most likely because the Pocket Universe was essential to Superman continuity (the origin of the Matrix Supergirl and the execution of the Kryptonian criminals).
  • Many of the United Planets worlds were "seeded" by Valor before he went into the Bgztl Buffer Zone for 1,000 years. Additionally, Valor was in the Bgztl Buffer Zone and not the Phantom Zone.
  • Kid Quantum retroactively became one of the Legion's first members and its first member to die. (More than 20 years later, his death was revealed to be faked.) His death spurs the Legion to refuse membership to heroes who must rely on devices for their powers.
  • Ultra Boy is a lot smarter than he looks. This may have already been true, but it became a major plot point in the Glorithverse era. During his initiation into the Legion, Ultra Boy stumbles upon proof of Glorith's machinations. As a result, he acts dumb while helping prevent Glorith from gaining total power. For example, he secretly goads Mordru and Glorith into fighting each other, a battle that severely weakened both. When Glorith learned of Ultra Boy's knowledge, she faked the death of his beloved Phantom Girl, sending her instead to 2996 and sending Phantom Girl's cousin, Enya, to the 20th century.
  • The "conspiracy" storyline, which was originally predicated on the death of Superboy, became instead a revenge plot after Glorith destroys Daxam.
  • When members of the Legion, along with Proty I, Chameleon Boy's Antaran "pet," performed a ceremony to restore the life of Lightning Lad, Lightning Lad was not actually revived to his old self. Instead, Proty I's life essence was transferred to Lightning Lad's body. The SW6 version of Lightning Lad, later known as Live Wire, appears to be more impulsive than the Proty Lightning Lad that lived during that time, implying perhaps that the original Lightning Lad's personality was a lot more aggressive than the Proty I personality.