Posts tagged ‘Invisible Kid’

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.

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Adventure 368 – The Legion’s battle of the sexes (reprise)

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After the embarrassingly sexist “Revolt of the Girl Legionnaires” a few years ago, one could be sure that this version, by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan, would be much better, right?  After all, this is May of 1968.  But nope, Adventure 368 is just as bad as the earlier version.

Thora, an ambassador from the matriarchal world of Taltar comes to Earth, supposedly to meet with Kandro Boltax but really to increase the powers of the female Legionnaires, and get them to turn against their male teammates.

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At first the power increase seems to just be a plus all around.  Duo Damsel can make hundreds of bodies, Shrinking Violet can grow or shrink, Phantom Girl can make others intangible, Supergirl is immune to kryptonite, and so on.

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Brainiac 5 is suspicious of the situation, and acting on his advice, Invisible Kid orders the women quarantined.  They take that as jealousy, and, fanned by the effect of Thora’s power charge, rebel and battle the boys.

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There has been no element of the romances on the team through much of this story, but when Shadow Lass starts expressing her disdain for Brainiac 5, whom she feels rejected her, Supergirl’s love for him causes the “spell” on her to break.  She figures out that Thora is behind it, and causes her bracelet, the source of the power charge, to break.  Thora kills herself, and we hear that the matriarchy on her planet has been overthrown, and men returned to their rightful place of dominance.

OK, just as bad as before.

 

Adventure 362 – The Legion vs Mantis Morlo

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Not one of the better Legion tales, JIm Shhoter’s 2-parter in Adventure 362 (Nov 67) does have the saving grace of taking the reader to three of the Legion homeworlds: Daxam, Orando and Naltor.

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The Legion discover that an old foe (in his debut appearance), Mantis Morlo, has been poisoning the upper atmosphere.  He’s a fairly standard mad scientist, with robotic “chemoids” as muscle.

After receiving alerts from Daxam, Naltor and Orando about similar problems, Invisible Kid sends out three teams to investigate, under Mon-El, Dream Girl and Princess Projectra, respectively.

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The rest of this issue deals only with the team on Orando, a world that resembles medieval Europe.  With no industrialization, the source of the pollution is a mystery, but of course it’s Mantis Morlo creating it.

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We meet Projectra’s parents, the rulers of Orando, but more importantly, this story begins the romance between Projectra and Karate Kid.  Not a bad scene, but it does make one long for Curt Swan’s art, especially the skulls over the doorway.

The story concludes next issue.

Adventure 360 – The Legion in chains

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Adventure 360 (Sept 67) cuts between the Legionnaires imprisoned on Takron-Galtos, those running a resistance movement on Earth, and a mysterious villain whose identity is subtly hinted at, but not revealed until the conclusion of Jim Shooter and Curt Swan’s tale.

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After checking to see that Superboy, Mon-El and Ultra Boy are still safely imprisoned, Kandro Boltax goes to check on his very immobile and unemotional son.  Really perceptive readers might be able to identify this lad, but this scene is about as close as the story gets to giving away the identity of the mastermind of the plot.

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Invisible Kid leads a breakout of the Legionnaires imprisoned on Earth, bringing them to an underground lair of Lex Luthor’s.  Though some of the team want to lead a breakout of those on Takron-Galtos, Invisible Kid insists they solve the situation on Earth first.

Duo Damsel gets to put her powers to use, infiltrating Kandro Boltax’s office and discovering secret info on the water purification plant (remember that?), which has been used to chemically control the minds of people on Earth.

Brainiac 5 devises an antidote, and Invisible Kid’s team leads an assault on the water plant, while the imprisoned Legionnaires manage to break out on their own.

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Everyone comes together as Boltax is revealed to be Universo in disguise, and the son, who managed to get the cure into the water, is, of course Rond Vidar, who is granted honourary membership at the end of the story.

Despite Universo not appearing, except in disguise, for the bulk of this 2-parter it works very well.  The story would heavily influence an 80s Legion tale, The Universo Project – in fact it would be the very similarities that would alert the Legion members to Universo’s actions in that tale.

 

Adventure 359 – The Legion gets outlawed

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Jim Shooter and Curt Swan pull off another unusual but very effective 2-parter, beginning in Adventure 359 (Aug 67), which sees the Legion outlawed, disbanded, and imprisoned.

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The Legion return from a mission in space to discover that they have been outlawed, disbanded by the government, and their Clubhouse sealed.  They are arrested for breaking a curfew none were aware even existed.

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Duo Damsel gets the story from her parents.  After the death of the president of the United Planets, his vice-president, Kandro Boltax (in his debut appearance) took the reigns of government.  First he built a new water purification plant (gee, will that be significant later?), and then passed a number of draconian laws, including the ban on the Legion, which were supported en masse.

When Dream Girl foresees a monorail crash, a number of Legionnaires go into action to save the passengers, which results in them being arrested and sentenced to the prison planetoid, now called Takron-Galtos.

The ones who were not sentenced wind up in the middle of a riot, during which Princess Projectra is critically wounded, winding up in a coma.

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Invisible Kid tries to keep the remaining Legion together, to figure out what is going on, but discovers that even his parents have turned against him, and are spying on him.

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He leads the remainder of the team to RJ Brande, whose support founded the Legion, but even he has turned against them, and summons the Science Police.

On the run now, hiding out in the sewers, the Legion decide they must do whatever they can, willing to break the law to figure this situation out and return things to normal.

The story concludes next issue.

Adventure 358 – The Legion’s Most Dangerous Game

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Invisible Kid shows his skills in Adventure 358 (July 1967), in a Jim Shooter story based on the classic short story, The Most Dangerous Game.

Otto Orion has hunted and killed every deadly beast in the galaxy, and lures the Legionnaires to his private zoo, challenging them to try to reach an idol before he can capture them.

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It’s a simple but effective tale.  Sueprboy gets taken out first, to the Legion’s dismay.  And it Invisible Kid who makes it to the idol.  Otto Orion may be twisted, but he has his own sense of honour, and rigged the idol to an explosive on his chest, which is triggered when Lyle Norg touches it.

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Although he obviously does not appear again, much later his son would go up against the Legion in vengeance.

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.

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