The Evolution of the Legion Cruiser

Mark I

The Legion's first space cruiser appeared in Adventure 287. The Legion also used a Mark I in Adventure 330, for no apparent reason.

Mark II

The Mark II Cruiser appeared in Adventure 306.

When the Legion graduated to the Mark III, the Mark II was used by the Legion of Substitute Heroes (Adventure 319).

Mark III

The venerable Mark III Cruiser served the Legion from Adventure 309 to 349.

Models existed in a variety of colors, including red, orange, green, blue, red/yellow, red/white, and pink/white/blue.

Minor design changes were evident from issue to issue.


Mark IV

The baroque Mark IV was only used in Adventure 328 and 329. The three-ship fleet consisted of three colors: red, blue, and green.

The Mark IV's performance must have been disappointing, because after using it for only a short time, the Legion went back to the Mark III.

Mark V

The Mark V Cruiser had a brief tryout in Adventure 343 (red) and 344 (yellow).

Unfortunately, the Mark V proved too crash-prone, and the Legion once again returned to the tried-and-true design of the Mark III.

Mark VI

Beginning in Adventure 350, the Legion finally found a servicable replacement for its aging fleet of Mark IIIs. The Mark VI, obviously based on its predecessor, served the Legion well until Adventure 365.

At least six Mark VIs were seen in service: 3 red, 2 yellow, and 1 blue. Others may have been in action behind the scenes.



Mark VII

The Mark VII Cruiser, the fastest and most powerful ship in the galaxy, debuted in Adventure 366. A fleet of at least 4 Mark VIIs was a gift to the Legion from the United Planets members.



The Mark VIII cruiser served the Legion from Action 386 through 392, again with minor design changes along the way.

Mark IX

Cruisers of the Mark IX design appeared in Superboy 172 - 183, but this design was no more satisfactory than the Mark VIII.

Mark X

With the advent of the Mark X cruiser, the Legion finally had a state-of-the-art fleet that was a worthy successor to the Mark III/Mark VI design. Fully equipped, spacious, and striking in design, the Mark X served the Legion from Superboy 193 thru LSH (v. 2) 285.

Mark 494

In LSH (v. 2) 285, the Legion received 5 Mark 494 cruisers from Nullport. The Mark 494 was a redesign of the Mark X, more compact and with better euqipment.

The vessels in the picture above (LSH (v. 2) 285) are obviously not the Mark 494's that appeared in subsequent issues (below). Certainly, even the resources of Nullport would not have been able to supply five such advanced cruisers on short notice. The five ships pictured above are obviously one- or two-person speeders which Portmaster H'Hrnath lent to the Legionnaires so that they could return to Earth swiftly. Undoubtedly, the Legion returned these five speeders to Nullport when they took delivery of the Mark 494 cruisers.

Mark XI

The Mark XI cruiser, which replaced the Mark 494 in LSH (v. 2) 307, is basically the same design used by the Legion today. More compact and more heavily-shielded than the Mark X or Mark 494, the Mark XI's modular design facilitates mass production, allowing for easy repair and replacement of damaged vessels. As hard as the Legion is on its cruisers, this is a definite bonus!