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Collecting the Legion 015: Featuring a Cast of Hundreds

This week I'm only spotlighting a single item, but it's one of the most sought-after: the 1984 Giffen/Mahlstedt poster, a whopping 40x15 inches in size, featuring 275 characters who appeared between Adventure 247 and (roughly) LSH v2 300. Who can forget Soljer, the Brain Globes of Rambat, Alaktor, Skunch, Questar, the Master, the Interplanetary Bank Beast-Guards, or Super-Turtle? They're all on here, from the well-known to the obscure.

When this poster originally came out (retail price $4.00), I took it to a photocopy machine and copied it onto several pages. Then I numbered each character (it took me a few tries to pin down that there were 275 in all) and tried to identify as many as I could - I was able to name 147 off the top of my head, according to the notes I still have, and recognized (but couldn't name) another 30. It took me quite a while to name all 275, and I had to use my Adventure back issues and digests to get them.

Had I been part of organized Legion fandom, though, I wouldn't have had to do all that myself (but I would have missed the fun). As noted in the "Great Darkness Saga" trade paperback which reprints the poster (below), fan Arthur Leandowski's guide started circulating (no doubt through such things as Interlac and the Legion Outpost). Had this come out during the online age, there would have been a huge effort on Usenet and mailing lists to identify them all.

Finally, at some point DC had a promotional poster for this retail poster, only in black and white and greatly reduced. I've never seen one in person, only once or twice on eBay (and always outbid).

Go Back to the Legion Collecting page
Go Back to column 14: Promo Posters (part 1 of several)
Go Forward to column 16: The Sourcebooks of All Knowledge