Now I'm a big fan of the Legion. I came into comics in a serious "I want to read everything" sort of way in the early 2000s, just in the midst of DnA's run on the property, and I really, really enjoyed it. I went back and collected further runs - starting with the Great Darkness Saga, more for Darkseid than for the Legion - until, now, I can say I've read and owned every issue of a Legion-centric story in some form or another. From Adventure to "Superboy and..." to all the various "Legion" titles, I devoured the high concept sci fi, the soap opera, the superheroics.
But along the way, something sort of became clear to me; there has never been a perfect run of the Legion.
Don't get me wrong, there have been some GREAT runs. Giffen's 5 Years Later will always be my favorite, flawed masterpiece that it is. Nuanced characters, real and purposeful change, wonderful new ideas, spectacular sense of design (both page design and character design), and a density - with backup material - that could not be matched. This was a real post-Watchmen Legion, but in the best possible sense; a post-Watchmen comic book which understood what made Watchmen work in the first place, beyond 'grim and grit'.
The Levitz/Giffen Legion was a nice balance of that kind of drive for change with Levitz's more conservative (and somewhat awkward) tastes. Shooter's was a bevvy of fun - if narrowly superheroic - ideas.
But there has never been a perfect Legion run, and I find myself drawn to the franchise more for what it COULD be than what it HAS BEEN.
Certainly by no stretch of the imagination could the current run have been called perfect, or even really adequate. It was, in a word, languid. Completely lacking in verve, energy, innovation, or excitement. And, in that way, it was a true betrayal of the Legion concept.
Let's examine the franchise a bit, looking at what came before and what we might learn for later.