Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes are returning in week 3 of Convergence, hitting local comic shops and digital distributors on April 22nd. Writer Stuart Moore and artist Gus Storms talked to us about the upcoming project.
COMIC VINE: What is this upcoming book about?
STUART MOORE: It's two things, really. One is a, loving look at a group of heroes we all, myself included, loved a lot.
On another level, it's about a choice of futures. The Legion's universe is shiny, ordered, a place where people and technology managed to evolve together into a peaceful future. The Atomic Knights' world is exactly the opposite. The bombs fell—the superheroes couldn't or didn't stop it—and now the Knights are the only thing standing between humanity and extinction. The Legion is all about heroics; the Knights' priority is survival.
At the core, though, this is really a story of a teenager—Superboy—who's lost and trapped, a long way from home, and doesn't know if he'll ever get back to become the hero he's supposed to become.
CV: With the Legion of Super-Heroes containing so many members, how did you settle on the team you're working with?
SM: We started with Superboy; it's his story. I used Lightning Lass (Ayla Ranzz) because I liked her during the period we're drawing on; she'd just gotten her more aggressive lightning-powers back after a long period as the more passive Light Lass, and she'd been through some traumatic events.
The others kind of fell into place. There were some I wanted to use, like Sensor Girl and Quislet, but they were just too complicated to work into a two-part story. I had hopefully-clever ideas for Colossal Boy and Wildfire, so they're both part of the story.
CV: How did it feel for all of you to be working with characters from the Crisis on Infinite Earths era?
SM: Oh, I love those characters. The DC Universe was kind of all over the place back then, but that was also its strength. More important, though: This was arguably the high point of the Legion, under Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen. The team was huge and powerful, but always in flux; the stories alternated between mind-blowing epics like The Great Darkness Saga and smaller, personal stories.
CV: When it came down to the character designs, did you make any tweaks to the characters or costumes, or did you just try to stay true to the classic look?
GUS STORMS: I confess I kinda' curbed my inner-designer on this project, keeping costume tweaks to a minimum, as the conceit is pretty much a straight-up revisitation of the Levitz-era Legion. I took what liberties I could get away with, but my "style" is already so dissimilar to the look of those mid-eighties books I didn't want to send any fans of the period into system shock. The biggest shifts were made in the character's body types/faces; added a little variety to the whole lantern-jaw look.
CV: What did you all do differently with the Atomic Knights?
SM: Without giving anything away, we're dealing with a particular breaking point in the Knights' lives. Just as this is Superboy's story, issue #2 is also Gardner Grayle's. (He's the Knights' leader.)
GS: More substantial changes here, as these fellas are pretty much unknowns, not to mention bristling with untapped potential. Basically though, I just made 'em 30% more scifi, adding pipes and vents to their suits etc. giving their Dalmatians cyber-muzzels. All in good fun.
CV: What were each of you excited for when it came to this book?
SM: I liked the fact that we were able to fill in a little hidden chapter in these great characters' lives. I particularly enjoyed crafting a little Legion romance that you never saw before, but that made sense under the circumstances.
I also like the chicken scene.
Thanks to Gus Storms and Stuart Moore for answering our questions and make sure to check this book out on April 22nd.