Marvel Files a Tantalizing Trademark with MCU Implications

by Matt Tuck

110322C-1024x536 Marvel Files a Tantalizing Trademark with MCU ImplicationsMarvel’s latest trademark filings should perk your ears as a villainous Silver Age team is poised for a mainstream introduction.

The big news this week has been the Wonder Man streaming series. After rumors proved true that Aquaman and Doomsday Clock star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II would switch from the DCU to the MCU, the news has lit up the secondary market for any and everything tied to the upcoming show. While Simon Williams’ key issues will be the main collecting target, recent news should have you expanding your search.

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According to Bleeding Cool News, Marvel has trademarked the name “Lethal Legion” for “printed comic books; printed periodicals in the field of comic book stories and artwork; printed posters.” This is a major indicator that the company has plans for the team. Since the reported filing seems to focus primarily on printed materials, the simplest assumption is that Marvel is planning to reintroduce them in the comics. They will likely get their own team series, which hints that the newest incarnation will be heroes or at least anti-heroes. 

The bigger picture is obviously the MCU. Suddenly trademarking the name of a second-rate team from the late ‘60s should have your attention. Considering the original lineup was led by Wonder Man’s brother, Grim Reaper, it stands to reason that the Lethal Legion is on its way to Disney Plus. It’s not unlike Marvel to use this strategy. Whenever a character or other intellectual property is thrust into the comic spotlight (i.e., the Darkhold in recent years), the odds are good that it will preface an MCU appearance. Chances are, we’ll see the Lethal Legion in Wonder Man

With that in mind, here are some issues that you should add to your Christmas wish lists.

AVENGERS #78

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The team was first introduced at the tail end of the SA in 1968. The original members included Reaper, Man-Ape/M’Baku, Living Laser, Swordsman, and Power Man Erik Josten (not to be confused with the heroic Luke Cage version). They came together to battle the Avengers, and that was about it. Over the years, there have been a number of different Lethal Legion iterations, but Avengers #78 will clearly be the standout among collectors since it’s their first appearance.

Not many graded 9.8s are on the market, so there are large gaps between sales. Before this year’s $1,500 purchase on October 24, it had been two years since one had traded hands online. With the newfound attention thanks to the Wonder Man rumors, it’s no wonder that prices have more than doubled in that span.

AVENGERS, VOL. 2, #8

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It may seem like a random title, but this could be the inspiration for an updated Lethal Legion. During the polarizing Heroes Reborn event from 1997, the origins for many of Marvel’s mainstays were retold with a ‘90s flair. It helped matters that a few superstar artists who had switched to Image—such as Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld—came back to the House of Ideas for these titles. 

During this run, the Lethal Legion finally became a legitimate team. Enchantress recruited Executioner, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, and Ultron-5 to form the best lineup the crew has ever seen. Of course, Loki betrayed them, but is that really his fault? At this stage of the game, if you make a deal with the Norse God of Mischief expecting him to keep his word, that’s on you, not him.

Need a copy to call your own? You can likely find this in your local comic shop’s dollar bin.

LEAPING INTO WONDER MAN

While the Lethal Legion’s most likely MCU destination would be Wonder Man, they have ties with other live-action properties. Of course, when there have been so many versions in the comics, practically every C-list villain has been part of the team. Case in point: Porcupine, who made a cameo in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, led a squadron of mostly punching bags in 1985, though Sabretooth somehow was in the mix.

That leaves it wide open for Marvel to experiment with members before they probably make their MCU debut.

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000080221A_Games_2-Footer Marvel Files a Tantalizing Trademark with MCU Implications*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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