Posts tagged ‘Legion of Super-Pets’

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 364 – The Legion vs the Super-Pets

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In Adventure 364 (Jan 68), Jim Shooter gives the Super-Pets a starring role, with the Legion reduced to supporting players.  It’s a silly little story, but enjoyable for what it is.

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The Super-Pets are playing around in space one day, and spot some unmanned rockets approaching Earth.  They destroy the rockets, but then get bitched at by the Legion for not tracking them back to their source.  Yes, seriously.

Feeling unappreciated, the Super-Pets take off, and encounter Rikker Rost, who brings them to his world, Thanl, where people idolize them and build statues to them.

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The Legionnaires realize they were being total dicks, and head out to bring the Super-Pets back, but when they refuse to come, it turns into an all-out brawl between the two teams.

Rikker convinces the Super-Pets that Legion has evil plans for them, and so Proty II and Comet (conveniently changed back into human form by a passing comet) infiltrate the League, joining it as Biron the Bowman and Blockade Boy.

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Supergirl notices how much Biron resembles Bronco Bill Starr (Comet’s human disguise on Earth), but as usual fails to figure out that her boyfriend is her horse.  I’m looking soooo forward to writing about those stories when I reach them.

Anyway, Biron and Blockade Boy are assigned to track the source of the ships, which turns out to be Thanl, and Rikker is exposed as the bad guy behind it all.  The two teams join to defeat him, and all is happy again.

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 343 – The Legion vs the Luck Lords

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In Adventure 343 (April 66) Edmond Hamilton introduces the Luck Lords, and the possibility that all the bad things that have befallen the Legion recently have a supernatural origin.  Curt Swan does his usual excellent work on this story, and I particularly like the bizarre tower he created for the Luck Lords.

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The Legionnaires discuss the ideas of bad luck on various worlds, in various cultures.  Chameleon Boy gets Proty II to turn into a jinx stone, which Durlans consider unlucky.  As a joke, the other Legionnaires touch it (as do the Super-Pets), and then bad luck starts to befall them.

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Suspicion begins to run rife within the team.  Lightning Lad, Star Boy, Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel all realize they did something “unlucky” before their tragedies struck them.

The Legion head to Thaun, the most superstitious planet in the galaxy, and the home of the legendary Luck Lords.

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The resolution is a bit of a let-down, as the Luck Lords turn out to be nothing more than aliens with a long range hypnotic ray, the cause the of the Legion’s recent problems, but not the events from earlier issue.  The Super-Pets, who are immune to the ray, are called on to defeat them, which is fun.

The Luck Lords return many years down the road, but in all further stories they truly are supernatural beings.  So these ones are just straight out frauds.

Adventure 322 – Proty II joins the Legion of Super-Pets

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You just can’t beat the Super-Pets when it comes to absurdity handled with dead seriousness.  They sit at a table behind the name-plates for goodness sake!

In Adventure 322 (July 1964) Edmond Hamilton gives us a stirring tale of the extremely challenging initiation of Proty II into this team.

Preparing for a major assault on the Time Trapper, the Legion ask the Suns to help them construct weapons, and Saturn Girl orders the Super-Pets to guard the Legion Clubhouse while the are away.

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Proty II applies for membership, and telepathically relates his background to the Super-Pets, giving us the story of the colonization of his planet, Antares, and how the Proteans were horrifically experimented on by colonizers, which gave them their powers.

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The Super-Pets give him challenges that the rest of them would be completely incapable of doing, such as impersonating Superboy, but he pulls each task off.  Finally Krypto challenges him to track and capture him.

He succeeds, and is awarded membership in the team.

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Adventure 313 – The Legion vs Satan Girl, and Superboy learns his heritage

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Supergirl makes her first appearance with the Legion in their Adventure Comics run, in issue 313 (Oct 63) in a story that sort of features the female Legionnaires, in so far as they all come down with a mysterious disease.

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Saturn Girl,Phantom Girl,Triplicate Girl, Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass fall ill from the Crimson Virus, as does Night Girl from the Subs, and are taken to Quarantine World.

Satan Girl shows up and claims responsibility for the disease, and that she intends to head to Quarantine World and kill the women.  Rather than pursue her, Sun Boy appoints Supergirl temporary leader and sends her off to battle Satan Girl, while the rest of the guys stay safely on Earth.  Cowards.

Anyway, Supergirl is mystified by Satan Girl, who not only is equally powerful, and immune to kryptonite, but also seems to know everything about Supergirl.

Supergirl heads back to Earth, and convinces the boys that they need to move the girls to a secret location.  Bouncing Boy once again proves himself extremely useful.

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As Satan Girl’s powers cannot affect animals, Supergirl assembles the Legion of Super-Pets and has them take down the villain.

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Ultimately, it turns out Satan Girl was an evil duplicate of Supergirl, created by red kryptonite she was exposed to on her trip to the future.  Satan Girl does make one further appearance, as part of the End of an Era storyline in the early 90s.

Not the greatest Legion tale by Edmond Hamilton, but it does have Curt Swan art.  And I’m a sucker for the Super-Pets.

 

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After giving Pa Kent a Father’s Day present, Clark uses a mind-probe machine to remember how the day was celebrated on Krypton.

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We get to see Jor-El taking baby Kal to the family tomb, with its row of statues commemorating great heroes of the El family.   Superboy seeks out the statue and in space, and wouldn’t you know it, finds it intact and floating around, along with a box of curious objects.

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It’s much more of a challenge to approach the poisonous statuary group than to figure out the purpose of the objects, which clearly fit into the hands of the statues.

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Superboy succeeds by covering the whole thing with lead, and we (and he) learn that the El family included a great explorer, inventors, the writer of Krypton’s constitution and a renowned architect.

This statue group would appear occasionally, as would some of the men pictured.  Primarily, it would be the basis for part of the Krypton Chronicles mini-series.

 

 

Adventure 293 – The Legion of Super-Pets, and Bizarro Luthor

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Jerry Siegel does double-duty on Adventure 293 (Feb 62), writing both the Superboy and Bizarro World features.  Curt Swan draws the Superboy tale, but alas not the Bizarro World one.

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Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl show up in Smallville and try to trick Superboy into freeing General Zod and Jax-Ur from the Phantom Zone.  Mon-El, still a resident of the Zone at this time, warns Superboy.  The Legionnaires then attack Superboy, and are revealed to be under the mental control of the Brain-Globes of Rambat.

When they notice that Krypto is not vulnerable to the Brain-Globes powers, the team decides to form a battle squad of animals, and zip through time, recruiting Streaky the Super-Cat, Beppo the Super-Monkey and a Super-Horse.  This is Comet, making his first appearance.  He is introduced as an animal that will soon become Supergirl’s pet.

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The animals defeat the Brain-Globes, who flee, and are never heard from again.  Saturn Girl rewards them by officially creating the Legion of Super-Pets as an auxiliary unit of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

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The Legion of Super-Pets will return and have some of my favourite goofy adventures from this era.

 

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Bizarro Luthor gets created in this issue.  And as Lex Luthor does bad deeds, Bizarro Luthor of course does good deeds.  But when Bizarros try to do good deeds these often turn out badly.  So when Bizarro Luthor tries to do good deeds they turn into bad deeds but not really bad deeds, more like…

My brain hurts.

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Although this story is really fun, overall the series is beginning to feel repetitious, and the constant inclusion of new Bizarros means that few actually get to do anything significant in the story.  While Bizarro Luthor gets the spotlight in this tale, a Bizarro Bottle City of Kandor and Bizarroe Superman Emergency Squad are also created in the tale, but pretty much shoved to the side.

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