Whether it's in digital or tabletop format, role-playing games (RPGs) — in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting — remain popular.
   And in almost every type of these interactive combat scenarios, comic book characters — including members of the Legion of Super-Heroes — continue to be featured prominently.



IN the mid-80s, Mayfair Games released its critically well-received DC Heroes tabletop game line, which, because it encompassed the whole DC universe, and therefore the Legion, ensnared the non-gaming fans who just had to have the Legion-related items for their collection. And there was much to keep them occupied: the three editions of the game came with an abundance of manuals, game books, figurines and sourcebooks.
   Because the Legion consisted of so many characters, and its history and settings were so rich and diverse, Mayfair produced two comprehensive reference manuals on the world of the Legion.
Volume 1, co-written by Paul Levitz, focused on all past and present Legionnaires up till then, with comprehensive explanations of powers and statistics for use with the RPG, as well as "intimate details on the Legionnaires' lives you can't find anywhere else".
   Volume 2 featured "the world of tomorrow", and included information on the Earth of the future, its government, the Science Police, technology of the time, the Legion Academy, plus the various worlds of the United Planets. It also included a large and detailed schematic of Legion headquarters. Original covers were drawn by Ed Hannigan, Jose Delbo and Larry Mahlstedt.
   The DC Universe game came out on the heels of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, which shook the foundations of DC continuity. The ramifications were so widespread and confusing that, four years later in 1989, Mayfair released a second edition which included The Background/Roster Book, in an attempt to clarify and explain the consolidated universe.
   In the introductory piece, Robert Greenberger writes: "While we have dumped the parallel worlds, we have expanded the one Earth to encompass more peoples … only last year, Earth made its first extraterrestrial alliance with Daxam, home of Mon-El. We are still meeting new alien races as our knowledge of the universe increases. There is now even a forerunner of the Legion in existence."  
In typical vague dialogue, Greenberger goes on to say "the publishing business affords us the opportunity to revise and remold material as the demands of the creators and marketplace change" … words that we can't help but resonate with today, as DC re-establishes the concept of multiverses.
   The book includes submissions and essays on various characters by their creators, such as Jack Kirby (New Gods), Roy Thomas (Golden Age heroes), Robert Kanigher (Sgt Rock) and Mike Gold (the legendary heroes). Roger Stern writes on Metropolis, Dan Jurgens has a dissertation on DC's wealthiest characters, Paul Kupperberg discusses the Intelligence Community, and Neil Gaiman flirts with magic. A chapter on alien races includes specifications for many first introduced in Legion stories, including Daxamites, Dominators, Durlans, Gil'Dishpan, and the Khunds.
DC Heroes   Mayfair delved even deeper into the worlds of the DC universe in the following year (1990), with the release of the Atlas of the DC Universe, a "complete guide to the people, organizations and places that make up the exciting world of DC Comics". This included backgrounds on countries of the Earth, planets of the galaxy, and assorted full-color gatefold maps, with one of the USA showing the locations of notable locations such as Metropolis, Smallville, Gotham, Star City, Coast City, Keystone City, and Littleville (quick! Which DC character lives here?). Sections devoted to life beyond Earth look at Legion-related places as diverse as Colu, Dryad, Khundia, Korbal, Takron-Galtos, Ventura, Brande's Asteroid, Avalon, Kathoon, Lallor, Lythyl, Medicus One, Nullport, Shanghalla, Somahtur, Tyrrazz, Weber's World and Zerox.
   In 1995, the Legion's title moved five years forward. A cataclysmic event known as Black Dawn ravaged the universe and the ranks of the Legion, with the organization forced to disband and then regroup in triumph. The 5YL stories have been either loved or hated by Legion fans, relying on a non-linear story-telling device that requires fans to, as writer Tom Bierbaum once put it, "work a little harder" to fully grasp.
   Mayfair released a Legion sourcebook, scripted by Tom and Mary, to help fans fill in the gaps and delineate incidents not explained fully in the comic book. Of particular help is a detailed timeline which explains the major events of the five-year gap. For the first time, members who joined the Legion during Black Dawn were named in full; these included Atmos, Calamity King, Echo and Reflecto. The specifications for each Legionnaire also include their birthdates, which match up with those provided in the 1976 DC Calendar. Members who weren't around that year were given new birthdates (see them all here). The sourcebook is essential reading for those keen to enjoy the 5YL run to its fullest.
   The cover features the Legion battling Lobo. The crazy Czarnian was a hot commodity back then, and was ostensibly featured in a blatant attempt to lift sales of the book.
   Mayfair didn't just stop at books, though. It combined with Grenadier Models, a leading maker of miniature lead figures for RPGs, to produce sets of characters for DC Heroes. These included Justice League, New Teen Titans, Batman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, for which the characters were Blok, Dawnstar, Wildfire, Sensor Girl, Element (sic), Modru (sic), Persuader, Tyr, Lightning Lord and Emerald Empress.

MODULE 207: All That Glitters
MODULE 213: Volume 1 of the Legion Sourcebook
MODULE 216: volume 2 of the Legion Sourcebook, also named The World Book
MODULE 223: Pawns of Time
MODULE 224: Knight to Planet 3
MODULE 225: Mad Rook's Gambit
MODULE 226: King for All Time
MODULE 232: The Hardware Book (part of the 2nd Edition box set)
MODULE 233: Superman sourcebook
MODULE 260: Who's Who in the DC Universe Vol 1
MODULE 261: Who's Who in the DC Universe Vol 2
MODULE 263: Legion of Super-Heroes 2995 Sourcebook
MODULE 264: Who's Who in the DC Universe Vol 3

DC Adventures


This RPG was published by Green Ronin Publishing in 2010, set in the DC Comics superhero universe, and includes Legion characters.
   It uses the same game system as the company's Mutants & Masterminds, which involves the use of 20-sided dice.
   Green Ronin took up the DC licence after Mayfair's agreement expired, and created a third edition of its Mutants & Masterminds rules specifically for DC Adventures.
   It produced DC Adventures: Hero's Handbook in 2010, a 280-page hard cover book with interior artwork by DC artists, and cover art by Alex Ross. This was followed by three other volumes, all of which included data on various Legion-related characters.
   Green Ronin ran into a major problem when, shortly after the release of DC Adventures, DC Comics suddenly rebooted its entire comic book universe with The New 52, instantly making the material in the game obsolete.




The Smallville RPG was a superhero-themed role-playing game published in 2010 by Margaret Weis Productions, and is set in the universe of the television series Smallville.
   It was the first of the new RPGs from the company to utilise the new so-called Cortex Plus system.
   The 'Corebook' released in conjunction with the game is a handsome volume which features details of the Legionnaires who appeared in the series.




A tabletop game with a difference to feature Legion characters is HeroClix, in which players use miniature figures to construct teams of comic book heroes, villains, or characters and engage in a turn-by-turn battle on grid maps based on various storyline locations.
   The figures have become collectible in their own right, and many fans collect HeroClix simply for these well-crafted miniatures, and not to play the game. There have been more than 100 Legion-related figures already released. Click the link below to see each one.


vs system


The VS System (short for Versus System), was a collectible card game designed by Upper Deck Entertainment.
   In the game, players build and play a deck of cards in an attempt to win a game against their opponent. It was first published in 2004 and is set in the superhero genre. The game was discontinued by Upper Deck Entertainment in January 2009.
   Over the course of its life, there were more than 500 different Legion-related cards produced, including parallel foils, extended art versions and limited release give-aways. Like Heroclix, many non-playing Legion fans focused solely on acquiring all the cards.





In the DC deck-building game — first released in 2012 — players take on the role of Batman, Superman, or one of the other major DC characters in the struggle against the forces of super-villainy.
   Beginning with only basic combat maneuvers, players add new, more powerful cards to the deck as they progress, with the goal of defeating as many of the villains as possible, one whom is Darkseid, represented by a card bearing the cover of ADVENTURE COMICS 515. No other Legion-related character is featured in this set, but future expansions and packs will feature Legionnaires, equipment and adversaries.




Several varieties of RPG also exist in electronic media, of course, as well as single-player role-playing video games.
   The action video game Scribblenauts, developed by 5th Cell for the Nintendo DS, includes a DC Comics component called Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure, featuring more than 2000 characters from the DC universe. On its release in 2013, the manufacturer claimed the database was so extensive that fans would find it hard to find heroes that were not included. Alas, there were several Legionnaires missing, including iconic members such as Sun Boy, Dawnstar and Blok. On the plus side, it included Arm-Fall-Off Boy.
   The game also spawned a nine-part DC series titled SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED: A CRISIS OF IMAGINATION, in which, strangely, Dawnstar was among the Legionnaires featured.




Injustice 2 is a fighting video game based on the DC Universe, published by Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. It is the sequel to Injutsice: Gods Among Us, in which Superman is a tyrant.
   The storyline centers around Batman's attempt to restore society after the fall of Superman's regime; however, the arrivals of the newly formed supervillain group "The Society" and the alien Brainiac forces Batman to consider freeing the imprisoned Superman to help overturn the threats.
   The game contains an Arcade Ladder (also called Arcade Mode), in which a single player battles a ladder of combatants in a bid to reach the final level.
   Once that status is attained, it is revealed that the evil Brainiac is defeated by a doppelgänger who turns out to be Brainiac 5 in disguise. The Coluan has travelled back in time to beat the villain and restore the good name of his race.
   Upon his return to the 31st century, he expects to be chastised by Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy for stealing a time bubble, but feels that all will be forgiven. He signs off with the rallying cry of "Long Live the Legion!”




DC Universe Online (DCUO) is the free-to-play action combat massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) set in the fictional universe of DC Comics, developed by Dimensional Ink Games and co-published by Daybreak Game Company and WB Games. It also spawned a comic book series.
   Typically, MMOGs involve large numbers of players, often hundreds or thousands, on the same server. These games can be found for most network-capable platforms, including the personal computer, video game console, or smartphones and other mobile devices.
   The player creates a new, original character that interacts with the iconic heroes and villains of DC Comics, who is then thrown into the world of DC Universe Online, progressing on to missions to increase their level and skill in various content.
   The game releases various scenarios on a regular basis for gameplay, named episodes. The dedicated Legion of Super-Heroes episode involves a battle (alongside theTeen Titans and Static) with Emerald Empress, Validus and Mordru, who also previously appeared in an episode featuring Justice League Dark. Legionnaires featured include Quislet, Computo, Monster Boy and Harmonia, among many established members.
   See below for more information.

DCUO: Long Live the Legion