Posts tagged ‘Chameleon Boy’

Adventure 316 – Ultra Boy betrays the Legion

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Ultra Boy stars in the Legion’s first “full-length” story, which is also the first issue of Adventure to feature only one story, in issue 316 (Jan 64)

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Jo Nah’s origin is shown, getting swallowed by a space whale.  I guess that’s the best origin one is likely to get with the name Jo Nah.

The Legion discover that he has a criminal past on his home planet of Rimbor, and joined the team under a fake name.  So none of them questioned the name Jo Nah.  Guess the space whale made it plausible.

Ultra Boy is expelled from the team, and goes on a rampage.  Phantom Girl is devastated, and the romance between the characters builds out of this story.

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Jo joins a group of space pirates, as the rest of the Legion try to hunt him down.  Chameleon Boy actually manages to track him, but Ultra Boy escapes.

Phantom Girl also finds him, remembering a secret place he had told her about, but shows up just as the space pirates arrive.

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She gets brought aboard their ship with Ultra Boy, who almost immediately turns on the alien raiders and apprehends them.

We learn that it was all a ruse concocted by Ultra Boy to be able to get close to the pirates.  He had planted false information about his past, intending to be expelled.  Once the Legion discover this, they welcome him back.

Aside from setting up the Ultra Boy/Phantom Girl romance, Edmond Hamilton’s story also gives Jo the semi-shady background on Rimbor that would be a major part of his character as the Legion continue through the decades.

One final note about this story.  Proty II is introduced, again a pet of Chameleon Boy.  We see, for the only time, a statue of the original Proty.

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One cannot help but fear that Cham simply got a new Proty to hang onto in case he or some other member of Legion died, and then they would just sacrifice this one to bring the dead member back.

Adventure 312 – Lightning Lad returns from the dead, again (or does he?)

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The Legion decide that Lightning Lad has been dead far too long, and simply isn’t going to come back to life on his own, so take it into their own hands to bring him back to life in Adventure 312 (Sept 63), in a story by Edmond Hamilton.

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They split up to search the galaxy for any possible method to bring him back.  Early on, Saturn Girl reads Mon-El’s mind, and discovers that he knows of a method, but is keeping it a secret from the rest of the Legion.

Eventually she tricks him into landing on his home planet, Daxam, where the scientists have developed a way to bring someone back to life, at the cost of another person’s life.

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Saturn Girl, Mon-El, Superboy, Sun Boy, Lightning Lass and Chameleon Boy are all willing to die to bring Lightning Lad back, so they have a weird sort of contest.  They all circle his coffin with lightning rods, allowing chance to decide who will die.  Saturn Girl has no problem rigging this one, like she rigged the last leadership election, replacing her rod with one that is more conductive to electricity.

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In the end though, it’s Proty who sacrifices himself, having taken Saturn Girl’s place.  And this was a sentient creature they treated as a pet!

Much much later, this story would take on an added dimension, as it would be revealed that Proty did not so much die as transfer his life force to Lightning Lad, taking over his body, rather than bringing him back to life.

Adventure 309 – The Legion vs Jungle King

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The Jungle King story in Adventure 309(June 1963) is a simple one, and important not for the one-shot villain, but for the monsters that he assembles, most of which return in later Legion stories.

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The story itself drips with irony.  Rejected by the Legion, Jungle King goes on a vengeance kick, and puts together a “Legion of Super-Monsters,” although he rejects a gas beast as being too useless.  The gas beast then goes on a vengeance kick and kills Jungle King.

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Of the creatures introduced in this Edmond Hamilton tale, the Earthquake Beast would be the most frequent in its appearances over the years.

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Bouncing Boy proves to be no help in this tale.  Rather than follow orders, he starts bouncing for fun and reveals his presence, and the Legion’s, to Jungle King, almost messing up Chameleon Boy’s infiltration of Jungle King’s crew.

Adventure 308 – Lightning Lad returns from the dead, or does he?

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After saluting the new flag for the Legion of Super-Heroes, the team goes to Lightning Lad’s glass coffin to pay their respects, and notice him moving.  They open the coffin and are not as surprised as one might expect as he announces he has come back to life, in Adventure 308 (May 1963), written by Edmond Hamilton.

Although it is common now for dead heroes to come back to life, there were very few dead heroes around in 1963.  Even still, his amnesia, and the possibility that he may have lost his powers, make this story hint that something else might be going on.

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Proty is also introduced in this tale, rescued by the Legion from Thieve’s World.  He has much the same powers as Chameleon Boy, though of smaller size and apparently incapable of speech.  Despite the fact that the creature can clearly think and react, he is treated as a pet, and adopted by Chameleon Boy.

As the story progresses, Sun Boy keeps running interference for Lightning Lad, stepping in to help so there is no need for the revived hero to use his powers.  When he finally does, Sun Boy is amazed.  He had noticed right off the bat that the new Lightning Lad was female, and had no adam’s apple.

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It turns out that this is really the sister of Lightning Lad, Ayla Ranzz, who came to take her twin brother Garth’s place in the Legion.  We get their origin story in brief, that they crash landed on the planet Korbal and an attack by lightning beasts endowed them with their powers.  Curiously, in the flashback Garth is shown wearing his costume even before he gains his abilities.

Ayla adopts a modified version of her brother’s outfit and joins the Legion as Lightning Lass.

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