Posts tagged ‘Cosmic Boy’

Adventure 403 – new costumes for the Legion

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Adventure 403 (March/April 1971) is a reprint issue, collecting the stories of Lightning Lad’s death and resurrection, all of which I have already written about.  But it also has three pages of new costumes for the Legion, sent in by readers.  Most would be used, at least once, though they vary from decent to horrible.

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Saturn Girl’s bikini would become her standard outfit through the 70s, as would the two-tone splitting costume for Duo Damsel.

I think the Phantom Girl outfit does appear in one story, though the legs are not seen. Light Lass and Shrinking Violet costumes would not appear.  Violet’s is wildly off the mark for her character.

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A host of awful costumes on this page.  Cosmic Boy, Ultra Boy and Lightning Lad would never wear these clothes, but astonishingly the hideous outfits for Karate Kid, Princess Projectra and Shadow Lass would all appear once.  It’s difficult to imagine a princess of any world wearing a bra with a crown on it, and the slave girl look does not suit Shadow Lass at all.

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The outfit Saturn Girl adopts in the 80s is a bit like the one shown here, but the removable jacket was never a part of it.  Of the outfits proposed for the Substitute Legion, Chlorophyll Kid’s really isn’t that bad, but Night Girl looks like she was caught in an s&m club.  Neither of these would be used either.

Adventure 380 – Legion of Super-Heroes ends

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After 81 issues, the Legion end their run in Adventure with issue 380, by Jim Shooter and Win Mortimer.  The story is “inspired” by the Odyssey, and the title of the story clearly derived from the Kubrisk film.

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Superboy receives a call from Dream Girl, who warns him of a prophetic dream she had.  Immediately after, he, as well as Ultra Boy, Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel, Light Lass, Sun Boy, Cosmic Boy and Invisible Kid are teleported to a strange planet, and Superboy is devoured by a dinosaur with kryptonite teeth.  Cause, you know, it makes total sense for an animal to have teeth made from kryptonite.

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The Legionnaires are in shock, but Ultra Boy rouses them and gets them working on a space ship so they can get back home.  Bouncing Boy consoles a distressed Duo Damsel, the first hint at the romance between them, forecast in the Adult Legion story that saw them married.

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The ride home lurches from disaster to disaster.  Ultra Boy really shows his mettle in this story, saving the rest of the team time and time again.  But repeatedly unusual events occur, strange things appear and disappear, enough that there is clearly something going on that the Legionnaires are not aware of.

 

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Upon returning to Earth, they see robot duplicates of themselves being killed.  Superboy then pops up to explain it all.  Dream Girl foresaw their deaths, and the entire “odyssey” was arranged to keep them out of the way, while the robots suffered their fate.  The Super-Pets had been acting in secret, causing the strange events.  The villains behind the murder plot?  More irrelevant characters who kill themselves without explaining their grand plan.

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Not a high note to go out on.

The Legion switch places with Supergirl after this issue, being demoted to the back-up spot in Action Comics, while she takes over Adventure.

The Super-Pets appear again, in a few stories, but this is the last time they have a major role in any Legion tale.

Adventure 366 – Shadow Lass joins the Legion

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A great second half to the return of the Fatal Five in Adventure 366 (March 1968), though at no point do Superboy and Validus face off in a boxing ring, despite the cover.

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While Cosmic Boy, Superboy, Brainiac 5, Shadow Lass and Karate Kid manage to avoid the Talokian army until the find and destroy the machine controlling their minds, the Fatal Five run rampant on Earth, capturing Metropolis.

The Five discover that the key they need to unlock the U.P. weapons cache is in the Legion Clubhouse, but when they get there, the five Legionnaires are already there, having returned from Talok VIII

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I suppose I should have said four Legionnaires, as Shadow Lass is not a member at this point.  Brainiac 5 wonders why she has chosen to accompany them, and we discover that Shadow Lass has fallen for him.  And its enough of a crush that she is willing to abandon her home and put herself in deadly danger for it.  Still, Brainiac 5 dismisses this possibility as “illogical.”  He likes using this word a lot in stories from this time, probably because Spock uses it on Star Trek, which was on television at this point.

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Besieged by the Fatal Five, Shadow Lass asks to join the team, making her the first member sworn in in the midst of battle.

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And she proves herself quite a capable member, taking out the Emerald Empress despite her broken arm.

The 5 teammates battle the Fatal Five to a draw, but when the U.P. army arrives the Fatal Five flee.

The Fatal Five return again a few months down the road.

Adventure 357 – The Ghost of Ferro Lad

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Adventure 357 (June 1967) has a pretty decent mystery story by Jim Shooter, with Curt Swan art.  It manages to play both sides, with a phony ghost and a real one.

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The Legionnaires are feeling guilty over Ferro Lad`s death, many of them having bad dreams.  And then deadly accidents begin to occur, with ghostly messages left behind.  They decide the Clubhouse must be haunted, and Princess Projectra holds a seance to try to contact his ghost.

Brainiac 5 is not at all impressed with her oracular background, the first tension between him and a magic user on the team.

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She manages to contact Ferro Lad`s ghost, who insists that he wants vengeance against the four members who `let him die,`and demands that the Legion disband.

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Brainiac 5 orders this to happen, and they go their separate ways, but almost immediately after Superboy is snatched by a Controller.  This is the first time the Controllers appear in any DC book.  There is as yet no backstory linking them to the Guardians of the Universe, but we do learn that the one in the tale was responsible for the creation of the Sun-Eater, which he planned to use for conquest.  It is the Controller who created the ghost of Ferro Lad, and wants revenge on the Legion.

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Superboy`s flight ring gets activated by a mysterious force, which summons the rest of the team, who free Superboy, while the same force, revealed as the true ghost of Ferro Lad, takes down the Controller.  Nicely done for a dead guy.

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This story also features a brief appearance by Cosmic Boy`s younger brother and future Legionnaire, Pol Krinn.

 

 

Adventure 355 – The Adult Legion vs the Legion of Super-Villains, plus Insect Queen

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As with many of Jim Shooter’s stories from this period, the first half of the two-parter had introductions and set-up, while the second half, in Adventure 355 (April 1967) has the bulk of the action, again rendered by Curt Swan.

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The Legion of Super-Villains bring two members into their team for this, Beauty Blaze and Echo.  Neither would really return, although Echo made a cameo in a Legion story from the 90s, and in the 80s Flare joined the Fatal Five, a woman with powers identical to Beauty Blaze.

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They divide and fight, along the usual lines: Lightning Lad against Lightning Lord, Cosmic King against Element Lad, and Saturn Girl against Saturn Queen.

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Beauty Blaze us quickly bested by Polar Boy, and Echo falls to Cosmic Boy.

But it turns out that the villains the Legion were fighting were all illusions, and the real group is holding Brainiac 5 hostage below the sea.

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In the end, the day is saved by two masked figures who reveal themselves to be descendants of Mr Mxyzpylk and Lex Luthor, who join the Legion.  Neither of these characters ever appeared again, and though I enjoyed the story as a child, the ending does feel weak.

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There is a second story in this issue, which sees Lana Lang attempt to join the Legion in her Insect Queen identity.  It’s Curt Swan art again, but the story is by Otto Binder.

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She gets rejected because her powers come from her bio-ring, rather than being innate, but she gets to accompany them on a mission anyway.  Dream Girl warns her that she has seen disaster for Lana if she takes on the form of a moth, which of course happens eventually.

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After briefly losing her bio-ring, it is returned by Superboy, who “didn’t know” he had it in his cape.  Right.

But as she saved Shrinking Violet and Sueprboy during the course of the adventure, she is rewarded with honourary membership, and does make a couple more appearances with the team.

Adventure 354 – The Adult Legion

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There have been many stories that show the future of various heroes.  As I write this, “Future’s End” is showing the entire New 52 line five years ahead.  But no story influenced later tales as much as the Adult Legion story in Adventure 354 (March 1967), another classic by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan.

Of the five dead heroes that appear on the cover, only Ferro Lad had even appeared.  Chemical King’s fate would match the cover exactly, while stories of Quantum Queen, Reflecto and Shadow “Woman” (Shadow Lass when she got introduced) would play with the dooms foretold here.

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Superman’s visit to the 30th century to see his adult team mates was not just a list of dead members.  Marriages were shown for Cosmic Boy and Night Girl, Duplicate Boy and Shrinking Violet, even Light Lass and Timber Wolf, the former Lone Wolf, who had not appeared in any Legion tale since his introduction.

Aside from those shown as statues, the story let us see Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl with their children, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, and Star Boy and Dream Girl all in wedded bliss.  More surprising was Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel and their “triplicate” son.

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Aside from the marriages and deaths, we discover that Matter-Eater Lad has become the president of his home planet, Bismoll, and Colossal Boy in retirement after an injury.  Polar Boy disbanded the Substitute Legion and became a member of the Legion.  All of these elements would come into play in later stories.

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After all the revelations, the story gets into some action, as a masked figure starts destroying the Legion headquarters.

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Unmasked, he is revealed to be Douglas Nolan, the brother of Ferro Lad, who had been mind controlled by Saturn Queen.  The story closes with her, Lightning Lord and Cosmic King preparing for the final battle between the Legion of Super-Heroes, and the Legion of Super-Villains.

Douglas Nolan would not appear again until Legion of Super-Heroes 300, which would cast this whole two-parter in a completely different light.

The story concludes next issue.

Adventure 352 – the creation of the Fatal Five

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The Legion’s greatest foes, the Fatal Five not only debut in Adventure 352 (Jan 67), but are actually assembled by the Legion itself, in order to combat the Sun-Eater.  Jim Shooter and Curt Swan are both at the top of their game in this classic story.

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The story begins with the Legionnaires reviewing tapes of the galaxy’s five greatest villains: Tharok, who is half man, half robot, the Persuader, armed with an atomic axe, the Emerald Empress, with her extremely powerful Eye of Ekron, Validus, a giant mindless monster, and Mano, whose touch can destroy anything.

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Shortly after, they are alerted to the fact that a Sun-Eater is approaching Earth.  Unlike the Sun-Eater shown in an earlier issue, this appears to be almost a force of nature, much like a black hole, consuming everything in it’s path, and drawn by the energy given off by stars.

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The story never really explains where all the rest of the Legion are, even the leader, Invisible Kid, does not appear in the tale.  Superboy, as deputy leader, takes charge and he, Cosmic Boy, Sun Boy, Ferro Lad and Princess Projectra all set out to recruit the five villains they had been observing earlier.

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While recruiting the Emerald Empress, she, and the reader, discover that both Superboy and the Eye of Ekron are vulnerable to kryptonite.  Sadly, nothing is ever made of this intriguing fact, and over the years it simply gets ignored and forgotten.

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Validus is shown to be able to speak in this story, though later ones would restrict him to growls rather than words.

The story concludes next issue.

Adventure 351 – The Legion, the Subs, the Super-Pets, guest stars, villains and happy endings

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The concluding half of E Nelson Bridwell’s Legion epic brings in not only the entire line-up of the team, and the Substitute Legion, and the Super-Pets, but even former members of the team are a part of this.  In a way, this reads as if the series was being concluded on a high note.  A season finale, so to speak.  Excellent art by Curt Swan helps make this ascend from silliness to a pure delight.

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Invisible Kid is not keen on Ultra Boy using his vision powers to find out the identities of Sir Prize and Miss Terious,and knocks him out.  I believe this is the first time we see someone taking advantage of his limitation of one-power-at-a-time.

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Miss Terious accompanies the team who head to RJ Brande’s private planetoid, where they encounter the Hag, who threatens them with paintings!  No, not art!  This sequence is actually more effective than it seems at first, as Ferro Lad’s painting hints at his death, which happens only a few issues down the road.  Miss Terious refuses to let Cosmic Boy see what future his painting shows.  Nothing awful happens to Cos in the short term, or middle term, so I figure this must show his ultimate fate from End of an Era.

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Miss Terious then puts the Legion to work gathering elements for a magic spell that will conteract the Hag’s hexes.  This proves extremely complex, and both the Substitute Legion and the Super-Pets get involved in its creation.  A lock of Mr Mxyzptlk’s hair is required, so the Legion head to Smallville and Element Lad changes the kryptonite implanted in Superboy, allowing him to remember the team, and aid them.

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Meanwhile, both Chuck Taine and Matter-Eater have been captured by Evillo’s men, but Evillo is none too pleased with Sugyn, and we get to see their nifty powers.  Sugyn can super-spit.  Yup, wow.  That’s a power.  Evillo can grow little horns out of his head, which emits beams that banish Sugyn to “the realm of darkness.”  This is not, in fact, a polite way of saying he is dead, but we do not see the realm of darkness, or Sugyn, or even Evillo for that matter, again until the 90s.

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OK, time to start wrapping things up here.  Sir Prize and Miss Terious are revealed to be Star Boy and Dream Girl, and the spell transforms the Hag into the White Witch, Dream Girl’s missing sister.  Remember her?  She appeared in…umm….well, she was mentioned in….ummm.  Ok, she was missing and just take our word for it.

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And holy crap, wouldn’t you know it EVERYONE is healed and back to the way their way, all thanks to Evillo’s doctor.  Apparently that was the reason to kidnap the three Legionnaires.  To heal them.  Oh, what a nasty nasty man that Evillo is, having people cured.  All right, I concede that Evillo supposedly didn’t know what his doctor was doing, but even still.

But does this actually bother me?  Not at all, it’s such a joyous, all-encompassing ending you just want to cheer out loud for thin Matter-Eater Lad, fat Bouncing Boy and two-armed Lightning Lad.

Even Superboy and Supergirl get to rejoin the team, as Color Kid, now part of the Subs, has used his power to turn the green kryptonite dust into blue, which only kills Bizarros.  And may explain why the Bizarro Legion never appeared again.

Love it, despite its flaws.  A Legion epic.

Adventure 348 – The Legion vs Dr Regulus

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A new leader, a new villain, and a story inspired by Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” in Adventure 348 (Sept 66), written by Jim Shooter.

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Invisible Kid is elected leader of the Legion, although it’s frankly a bit of a puzzle why.  He had not been in a lot of stories, or had very many major roles.  One must assume that the Saturn Girl/Brainiac 5 rivalry had worn down the group, and he was seen as a mediator, or peacemaker.  Anyway, that’s how I interpret the results.  Duo Damsel’s crush on Superboy is also introduced in this sequence.

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Once the results are in, the story kicks into action as Sun Boy is knocked unconscious by an earthquake, and wakes with amnesia, running off and hiding.  We meet the gold-suited Dr, Regulus, who hates Sun Boy, and attacks the Legion to get at them, stealing their clubhouse and then attacking the members one by one.

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He does fairly well with his scheme, taking out Colossal Boy, Duo Damsel, Phantom Girl, Cosmic Boy and Superboy.  Invisible Kid fares the best, almost being able to confront him, but even he falls to this new baddie.

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Sun Boy regains his memory and has an extended flashback to his origin, just in time to scare off Regulus.  Young Dirk Morgna interrupted Regulus, who was a scientist at his father’s laboratory, and Regulus was fired after the resulting explosion.  In vengeance, he locked Dirk in an atomic reactor, which endowed him with his powers.

Regulus flees, vowing revenge, and would return many times to face Sun Boy and the Legion.

Adventure 346 – 4 new members and a new writer for the Legion

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Jim Shooter was only 14 years old when he wrote and drew his first Legion of Super-Heroes story, in Adventure 346 (July 66), which introduced Ferro Lad, Karate Kid, Nemesis Kid and Princess Projectra, as well creating the Khunds, a militaristic alien race bent on conquering the Earth.

Much of this issue, the first half of a two-part story, is devoted to introducing the new characters at their Legion try-out, which is not a bad thing at all.  It gives an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and provide some background before we discover that one of them is really an agent of the Khunds.

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Princess Projectra is up first, showing off her illusion-casting powers.  She is royalty from the planet Orando, a magic user like Command Kid.

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Nemesis Kid is Hart Druiter, who hails from Myar, the “alchemists planet,” and has taken a potion he created that gives him whatever powers he requires to defeat any individual foe he is up against.

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Ferro Lad, Andrew Nolan of Earth, is a sort of an upgraded Stone Boy, as he can turn his body into iron, but loses no mobility by doing so.

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Karate Kid is also from Earth, and has the curious name Val Armorr.  He has mastered every form of martial arts, and while he has no super powers per se, the fact that he is able to take on Superboy and almost defeat him is impressive enough to win him membership.

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Garlak, the leader of the Khunds, announces his intent to attack Earth, which is very sporting of him.  Had he not alerted the Legion, his army might have succeeded.  But thanks to the warning, the Legion split into teams to guard three electro-towers, which they are counting on to defeat the invasion.

Comic Boy and Phantom Girl head to Alaska with Karate Kid to defend the tower there.  When it gets destroyed, Phantom Girl notes a variety of suspicious circumstances, all of which seem to indicate that Karate Kid was working to aid the Khunds.

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The story concludes in the next issue,

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