The name of the blog comes from the Facebook page I manage, whose name is derived from a much-loved feature of old ADVENTURE COMICS issues: Bits of Legionnaire Business. If you are unaware, it’s an archival site which contains images of as many bits of Legion paraphernalia and miscellania as possible. We always welcome new viewers and “Likes”.
My blogs will touch on the treasures in those albums: merchandise, books, obscure Legion references in comics, toys, oddities. I hope to have you join me and my musings and I look forward to your comments, additions and suggestions.
To kick things off, this week I take a look at Legion-related postal items!
The most well-known of such merchandise was a set of 15 postcards released in 1990, which included characters from the then-current incarnation of the Legion. Pencilled by Keith Giffen, inked by Al Gordon, colored by Tom McCraw, and featuring text by Tom and Mary Bierbaum, the cards featured 5YL members such as Kent Shakespeare, Kono, Devlin O’Ryan, Bounty and Celeste, along with other established characters from previous versions of the group.
There was also a set of Justice League postcards released at the same time. Completists might wish to include the Booster Gold card from this collection (because, you know, Legion flight ring).
In 2010, DC released a box of postcards commemorating its 75th anniversary. The set of 100 featured DC comic book covers from the 1930s through to the 80s, and includes a postcard with the cover of ADVENTURE COMICS 247.
Another postcard featuring the Legion was issued in 2005, to help promote Alex Ross’ MYTHOLOGY book. The card uses Alex’ well-known piece of classic Legionnaires flying upwards towards space. A few months later, the US Postal Service produced the DC Comics Super Heroes Collectible stamps, which was a set of 20 featuring various DC characters. While no actual Legionnaire was included, there is a stamp of Supergirl from the era in which she was an active member. Below you can see a photo of the Alex Ross card, with the Supergirl stamp affixed and postmarked at San Diego Comic-Con in 2006. Cool!
And speaking of SDCC, in that same year Warner Bros also offered a promotional postcard at its booth to tie in with the Legion of Super-Heroes animated TV series.
In 2000, countries around the world were invited by the US Postal Service to participate in a world-wide stamp-design contest, Stampin’ The Future, with the grand prize winners from each country assembling in Anaheim, California, for a special global celebration. This was one of the first day covers issued at the occasion.
More recently, in 2012, postcards were made by IDW to promote the Legion/Star Trek crossover series.
Finally, across the pond, UK Legion fans had access to a pretty set of postcards featuring ADVENTURE COMICS Legion covers, which were given away with the first two issues of the HEROES comic. The title featured reprints of US comics, notably Batman, Blue Devil, Flash and the Legion (albeit on much better quality paper). Unfortunately, the series (and publisher) only lasted eight issues. The awesomeness force is strong in these postcards, though.
As a closing note, kudos to anyone who remembers the Interplanetary Post Office. In the 30th century, it was the center of all mail between worlds, which mailmen from throughout the galaxy would visit to collect postal items to convey back to their respective home worlds. E-mail, what e-mail?
See more Legion miscellania at www.facebook.com/bitsoflegionnairebusiness