The Legion of Superheroes Just Turned 62 So Where's Its Big Movie?

Thursday marked the 62nd anniversary of the Legion of Super-Heroes. A long-standing part of DC's history, despite having a presence in the comic book world, the team has never made the leap to the big screen, though they have been featured on television.

The Legion of Super-Heroes first appeared on screen in 1998 episode "New Kids in Town" of Superman: The Animated Series. In 2006, the team would go on to lead an animated series of their own in KidsWB's The Legion of Super-Heroes. On the live-action side, the team made cameo appearances in Smallville and the Arrowverse's Supergirl.

With multiple studios creating their own cinematic and television universes, why hasn't the Legion gotten a chance to appear on the big screen?

Lack of a superstars

When you look at the best superhero teams in comics, the three that immediately come to mind are the Justice League, the Avengers, and the X-Men. Each of these teams has something in common, star power. The Justice League will always have the likes of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman at the forefront. The Avengers have Captain America, Iron Man, and Spider-Man. Likewise, the X-Men have Wolverine and Storm.

The Legion of Super-Heroes do not have the same level of commercial appeal. With characters than lean on the goofier side of the spectrum like Bouncing Boy or Lightning Lad, there has not been enough to set any one of them apart.

The need for a 'Super' hero

Legion of Superheroes
The Legion of Superheroes DC Comics

When the Legion of Super-Heroes made their debut in 1958, DC made sure to do it with a variation of their most popular hero leading the way. Superboy was the featured star in Adventure Comics #247, where the young hero met three teenage superheroes from the 30th century, who became the genesis for the Legion of Super-Heroes.

In future adaptations and reboots of the Legion of Super-Heroes, different characters from the Super-family brand took the lead role in the Legion. From Superman to multiple variations of Superboy and Supergirl, each took part in the team, giving it the star-power it needed.

The Legion of Super-Heroes most recently re-solidified their connection to Superman in the DC Comics event, Doomsday Clock. The Watchmen-DC crossover firmly placed the Man of Steel as the center of the DC multiverse, making adjustments to his story to bring the Legion from the 31st century back into existence. The Legion made a triumphant return in the final issue of the title.

Can the Legion of Super-Heroes work for the DCEU?

Going into their 62nd year, The Legion of Super-Heroes still has a lot to offer when given a strong superhero to lead it. The timeline, untapped IP of heroes to develop and an entirely new world to explore make this superhero team's appearance on film inevitable.