On the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes Crossover

ADDED (10-22-2010): These are my pre-publication thoughts. My thoughts on the first issue itself can be found here. END

This week, IDW Publishing made me very happy.

At San Diego Comic-Con, they announced that, with DC Comics, they will be publishing a Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover by novelist Chris Roberson and artist Jeffrey Moy:

STAR TREK/LEGION OF SUPERHEROES tells the tale of the original crew of the Starship Enterprise, who beam down to a planet only to discover that the planet isn’t their intended destination, or even in the right universe. At the same time, a group of “Great Darkness Saga” Legionnaires inside a time sphere find themselves cast into the 23rd century, but it’s not the 23rd century as they know it, either. STAR TREK/LEGION OF SUPERHEROES is a galaxy-spanning adventure that draws both teams together to face a menace that includes Khunds, Klingons, Borg, and other threats that aren’t quite as they should be. The egalitarian United Planets in one universe and a United Federation of Planets in another is now the Imperial Planets of Terra, a dark empire focused on war and conquest, and that’s just the beginning for this special series.

Brainy and Spock

I have to say it. I have wanted to read a Star Trek/Legion crossover for at least the last twenty years, since Howard Weinstein was writing Star Trek for DC Comics and Keith Giffen and Tom and Mary Bierbaum were shaking up the galaxy with the “Five Years Later” saga in Legion of Super-Heroes. A few years ago, I wrote this, a brief description of what I wanted:

It would have to have the Time Trapper, Darkseid, Waverider, the 29th-century Timefleet, the two Dominions, and Mon-El. Total absolute fanwank, but I’d eat that like ice cream.

Trek/Legion coverOr Kirk’s Enterprise discovers Apokolips in the uncharted regions of our galaxy, and somehow the Legion gets involved, and not only does Kirk try and arrange a threesome with Duo Damsel (or a foursome with her younger self, Triplicate Girl) but he has to deliver a flying leg kick to the Lord of Apokalips. No, our intrepid Captain doesn’t stand a chance against Darkseid’s Omega Beams, but that’s not the point!

The point is, a long-held dream of mine is coming to fruition.

I know, it sounds crazy, insane even, but I cried tears of joy when IDW announced Star Trek/Legion. I felt like they were writing this story just for me. The “classic” era of the Legion meets the classic era of Star Trek, and suddenly I feel like I’m a kid again when anything and everything is possible and of course Spock and Brainiac-5 can have an adventure together.

I’ve seen nerd rage the last two days about this project. I’ve seen people ask the serious question, “Why? What’s the appeal?” I’ve also seen people question the “seriousness” of a project like this. The coolest metaphor I saw was on TrekBBS, where a poster described Star Trek as chocolate and the Legion as spaghetti and while they’re brilliant separately they would be atrocious together. And certainly something like this is not going to appeal to a broad audience.

Pairing Star Trek and the Legion isn’t as absurd as it seems. Yes, the Legionnaires have powers, but they’re powers in the same way that Vulcans are telepathic and the Founders are shapeshifters — the super powers are genetic, inherent to the people who live on worlds like Braal or Winath or Saturn’s moon Titan.

But for a certain segment of fans, the people (like myself) who are beside themselves with glee, Star Trek/Legion touches on the love of comics and the possibility of everything that the inner twelve year-old embraces.

For me, Star Trek and the Legion touch on the same thing — the dream of a bright, optimistic future, each with a group of characters who like each other and like working together who go out and have harrowing and exciting adventures. They both touch on the idealism of youth and the possibilities inherent in the future, and I see the logic in pairing Captain Kirk’s Enterprise and the “Great Darkness Saga”-era Legion, as those periods in the respective series were when the series were at their most hopeful.

Add to that, IDW has put together a creative team that can do this. Chris Roberson has written Star Trek fiction for Pocket Books. Jeffrey Moy has drawn both Legion and Star Trek comics; indeed, Moy’s work was among the best Star Trek work Wildstorm published during their brief run with the Star Trek license a decade ago. There is a certain fanwankishness to the story that IDW describes in their press release and it does sound a little reminiscent of JLA/Avengers from a few years ago with two disparate universes merged into one, but for the readers interested and intrigued by this, that’s a feature, not a bug; no Star Trek or Legion fan would want to see a favorite character or concept slighted or ignored in this story.

I’m fantastically excited by Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes. I’m thrilled with the news that Legion artists like Phil Jimenez, Keith Giffen, and Mike Grell will be doing covers. I only wish that Curt Swan and Dave Cockrum were still with us to see this project come to fruition.

And my hope, my fervent hope, is that if Star Trek/Legion is received well by the fans and meets with sales success then IDW might contemplate the ultimate science fiction crossover event — Star Trek/Doctor Who. :)

October cannot come soon enough for me. I cannot wait to read the story I’ve dreamt of reading for over two decades.

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