The hero-themed slurpee cups issued by the 7-11 chain in the 70s remain prized collectibles by comic fans, including those of us who follow the Legion.
There were four major releases: a 1973 DC comics set, two 1975 Marvel comics sets, and a 1977 Marvel comics set. The 1973 and 1975 cups use images of each character on the front, often with the logo from their comic book. On the other side of each vessel was a summary of the character’s origin, powers, and supporting characters.
The DC collection comprised 60 cups, mostly heroes but with nine villains. Made from plastic, the cups were easily worn from constant use, and the images tended to fade with each wash, making it difficult to find copies in excellent condition … unless, of course, you bought them when they first came out and kept them only for display purposes.
The Legion characters featured on the cups were Mon-El, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lad. The images used were fairly recent at the time, being drawn by hot new artist Dave Cockrum, who also designed many of the Legionnaires’ new costumes. By contrast, the pictures used for other DC characters were often stock images used in an earlier decade.
If Legion fans wanted to be more completist, they also collected cups which featured Superboy, Supergirl, and honorary members Jimmy Olsen and Lana Lang, although neither were shown in their super-hero guises. You could also go one step further and collect the Brainiac cup, which depicted the villain and his pet monkey Koko, who was later to become a pet of the threeboot’s Brainiac 5.
There was also a checklist of all the cups to enable collectors to keep track of the items, and this in itself is a collectible for Legion fans because of the images used in the document.
Bits Boy runs the comprehensive Legion completists’ site Bits of Legionnaire Business.