Posts tagged ‘Lightning Lass’

Adventure 403 – new costumes for the Legion


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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 371 – The Legion Academy and a semi-reprint


For reasons known only to DC, the cover of Adventure 371 (Aug 68) represents the back-up feature, a reprint of “The Valhalla of Super-Companions,” which originally appeared in Superboy 101.  The story is not a Legion tale at all, and they are added to two panels in a feeble attempt to make it one.


Aside from noting that Ultra Boy, Sun Boy, Duo Damsel and Light Lass make their cameos, I will skip over this tale, and write more about it when I get around to the Superboy series in this blog.


Ultra Boy becomes the new leader of the Legion in this Jim Shooter/ Curt Swan story, but Colossal Boy is the star, as his parents, making their debut, get turned into living glass statues by henchmen of Tarik the Mute.  They threaten to kill them unless Colossal Boy gets them information on the Legion training program.


To do so, Gim Allon intentionally messes up on a mission, and Ultra Boy sends him to the Legion Academy for re-training.


Bouncing Boy is serving as a temporary instructor at the Academy, beginning his long association with it.  Colossal Boy meets Condo Arlik there, a trainee soon to become Chemical King, another Legionnaire introduced as dead in the Adult Legion story.


Bouncing Boy is suspicious of Gim`s situation, and hoping to get some insight and help him, he breaks into his parents apartment, where he finds Legino training manuals.  Apparently taking these home is really awful, much worse than breaking in to someone else`s apartment, because Chuck gets no punishment when he reports this, but Colossal Boy gets expelled from the Legion.

The story concludes next issue.

Adventure 354 – The Adult Legion


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.


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.


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.


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


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 345 – Matter-Eater Lad faces execution


The concluding half of the Edmond Hamilton/Curt Swan prison story in Adventure 345 (June 66) ups the drama, as we discover a spy in the barracks, and Matter-Eater Lad faces a firing squad.


As Nardo always seems to know the escape plans the boys are forming, Brainiac 5 realizes there must be a spy among them.  He builds a little flying “bug” and discovers that Weight Wizard is the traitor.  Confronted by the other prisoners, he flees, but his escape costs him his life.


Nardo proves ever more sinister as the story progresses.  Invisible Kid’s failed escape attempt results in Nardo shrinking him and leaving him to some nasty insects, though Lyle Norg is resourceful enough to survive.


It’s the female Legionnaires who save the day, really.  Saturn Girl mentally contacts Brainiac 5, alerting him to their plans.  Light Lass uses her powers to weaken a gate, and Duo Damsel breaks it down, while her other body distracts the guards.  They free the boys, and Superboy, Mon-El and Ultra Boy swoop in to the rescue.


Matter-Eater Lad’s execution is deflected by Superboy, as shown on the cover, but the ray gun still has an effect, enlarging him to Bouncing Boy size.

Shadow Kid has little to do in this story, but will return over the years.

This also marks the final Edmond Hamilton Legion tale, and possibly his final comic book story, as he retired at this point.

Adventure 333 – The Legion goes to war – against itself


The Legion goes to war with itself in Adventure 333 (June 1965), written by Jerry Siegel, an event so abrupt that it must reveal some long-simmering tension within the team.


It all begins innocently enough, with Phantom Girl helping out at an archaeological dig, where a plaque is discovered that refers to a war between Krypton and Earth.  Saturn Girl and Superboy travel back in time to ancient Krypton, along with Lightning Lad, Colossal Boy and Element Lad, while Brainiac 5 takes Phantom Girl, Light Lass, Star Boy and Chameleon Boy back in time on Earth.


Superboy discovers a group of his fellow Kryptonians are leaving the planet to set up a colony on Earth, and his group of Legionnaires accompany them.  Meanwhile, Brainiac 5’s group discovers some alien settlers who are building the city of Atlantis.


When the two colonizing parties meet, Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5 immediately start a furious argument, which quickly escalates into war.  Just to be clear on this, the war is NOT started by the Kryptonians or Atlanteans, but by the Legionnaires themselves!  Superboy, who ought to be on the Kryptonian side completely, is instead trying to make time with Atlantean Leta Lal, fatally attracted by her initials.


The war is, at least, a sort of peaceful one.  Neither side actually wants to kill the other, although the Atlantean weapons do accidentally cause some Kryptonian deaths.

In the end, the environment determines the winner, as the Atlanteans cannot exist with the xenon in Earth’s air.  Brainiac 5 artificially “evolves” them into mer-people, and Star Boy sinks their city below the water.  The Kryptonians fare no better in the long run, being killed off by the giant lizards they brought from their home planet.

Although all seems well with the Legionnaires, and Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5, at the end of the story, his resentment over this may be the cause of his behaviour during the Computo story a few months down the road.

Adventure 331 – The Legion of Super-Villains join the Legion of Super-Heroes


The Legion of Super-Villains had been introduced in the Superman series, adult criminals corresponding to the three founding Legionnaires.  Adventure 331 (April 1965) marks their first appearance in the Legion series itself.


Dynamo Boy holds try-outs for new Legionnaires, but uses his power belt to determine if they are corruptable, eliminating ones like Animal Lad, whose powers are much the same as Beast Boy.  Tusker is rejected simply for being inept, but will return in the 80s.


The Legion of Super-Villains come to apply, pretending to be heroes, and we get the origins of these characters for the first time.  It was always unusual that Cosmic King had powers along the lines of Element Lad, rather than Cosmic Boy, but at least we get his alchemist background.


Lightning Lord is the elder brother of Lightning Lad and Light Lass, and we get another retelling of the crash landing on Krobal and encounter with the lightning beasts, now with Mekt a part of the group.  As usual, they are shown in their costumes before gaining their powers.

Saturn Queen is not given an origin, and her powers are illusion-casting in this story, though later tales would endow her with the ability to control minds.  I suppose the two are mildly related.

Dynamo Lad knows they are really evil thanks to his power belt, and gives them Legion membership.  The Legion of Subs try to apprehend them, but not only fail to do so, but are sent away and mocked by Dynamo Boy.

The Legion of Super-Villains turn on Dynamo Boy, tricking him into fleeing into the distant future, which he is unable to return from.


Superboy returns to Earth and challenges the villains to a showdown on a distant asteroid.  They accept, but find themselves no match for Superboy, Mon-El and Element Lad.

Dynamo Boy is never seen again, but the adult Legion of Super-Villains do return in a classic tale.


Adventure 327 – the debut of Lone Wolf


In Adventure 327 (Dec 64) Edmond Hamilton scripts a very complex tale introducing a new character into the Legion mythos.


While checking out the new Monitor Board, Saturn Girl receives two emergency calls, one from the planet Zoon, where a person with superhuman powers has stolen some “space crystals,” and another from Earth, about dangerous circus beasts.  She sends Ultra Boy and Lightning Lad to Zoon, and Brainiac 5 and Light Lass to the circus.


Light Lass and Brainiac 5 encounter a powerful acrobat, Karth  Arn, who performs under the name Lone Wolf.  Light Lass tries to interest him in Legion membership, but he rebuffs her, only showing interest when she mentions the robberies on Zoon, which is his home planet.

He winds up saving her, along with Brainiac 5 and Sun Boy, but when she again mentions membership, he reveals his dark secret – that he is not human.


On Zoon, the heroes meet Brin Londo, the son of a dead professor who experimented with androids, and he really pushes the notion that Karth Arn is the villain.


And he’s right, but not in the way he implies.  Lone Wolf is really Brin Londo, given powers by his father who exposed him to Zuunium as a child, while the being claiming to be the son is really the android, Karth Arn.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that it took Brainiac 5’s computer brain to piece it all together.


At the end Light Lass is once again on the make, trying to lure Brin into the Legion.  He seems to accept, though wanting to drop the name Lone Wolf.

In fact, we would not see or hear about this character again for a few years.  When he returned, using the name Timber Wolf, it would be as a member of the Legion Academy, where he had been training, and overcoming the brainwashing the android had subjected him to.

Adventure 318 – Sun Boy melts down


Edmond Hamilton gives Mutiny on the Bounty a Legion twist in Adventure 318 (March 1964), and puts Sun Boy in the role of the crazed captain.

Sun Boy and Cosmic Boy are returning from a mission when they intercept a distress call from the planet Xenn, which is about to explode.  Sun Boy takes charge of evacuating the entire population of the planet.


Power goes to his head pretty quickly, and while one might excuse an element of micro-managing during the evacuation, his behaviour on board as they transport the refugess becomes abrasive and insulting.

When Cosmic Boy discovers that Sun Boy has made an error in navigation, his attempt to inform him and correct it meet with accusations of treachery, and Cosmic Boy is thrown into the brig.

The Legionnaires mutiny, but Sun Boy keeps control of the ship using robots, and throws the rest of them out into space in a small ark.


The story then follows Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Light Lass, Triplicate Girl, Star Boy and Matter-Eater Lad as they journey through space, finding transport and food, while trying to get back home.


They succeed, and even manage to find Sun Boy, who has gone sort of comatose aboard the ship.  He is diagnosed as having “space fatigue,” and all is apparently forgiven.  But at no point in the next few decades is Sun Boy ever put in charge of a major operation, nor is he ever seriously a candidate for Legion leader.  The story is referenced in an issue in the 90s that focuses on his character.


Also notable in this issue is the first visual appearance of the Time Trapper, as Superboy and Mon-El again attempt to pierce the Iron Curtain of Time.  While technically the first appearance of the villain, his costume and powers are very similar to the Time Master who had battled Wonder Woman a few years earlier, and I’m not the only one who considers them the same character.



Adventure 317 – Dream Girl, the Time Trapper and finally Star Boy returns


Star Boy finally makes an appearance with the Legion in Adventure 317 (Feb 64), though now with completely different powers, an ability to increase the density of people or objects.  He also has the power to fall instantly in love, which he does the moment he meets Dream Girl.


Nura Nal is from the planet Naltor, where everyone has precognitive dreams, but her abilities are the strongest.  Considering how this story plays out, that doesn’t say much for the rest of the population.  But she does get granted Legion membership after foreseeing a spaceship explosion and an attack by wild beasts, both of which the Legion act on to prevent.

All the male team members fawn over her, and vote for her, while the women are all openly jealous and vote against her.

But before I go any further, I also want to draw attention to the top two panels of the page I included above, which show Superboy and Mon-El attempting to break through the Time Trapper’s “Iron Curtain of Time.”  Edmond Hamilton does a great job slowly introducing this villain over a number of issues, this being the first.


Dream Girl is also a master of Naltorian science, though few stories would really play on that fact until the 80s and beyond.  At first, her abilities do not seem that great, as her repairs to an electrical generator cause it to explode, resulting in Lightning Lass losing her powers.

She exploits the rules of the Legion to have members expelled or suspended, a reign of terror reminiscent of Saturn Girl.  Star Boy never loses faith in her, though.  And he turns out to be right, as Dream Girl’s actions were all taken to prevent the deaths of the Legionnaires that she foresaw in a dream.


Or so she thought.  In fact, she saw only the destruction of android doubles of the team.

Embarrassed over the entire situation, she resigns her membership at the end of the story, realizing that she needs to improve her abilities.  She also informs Ayla Ranzz that the effect of the generator explosion was in fact to alter her powers, giving her the ability to make things weightless.


She even chooses a new codename for Ayla, Light Lass.  Kind of a control freak, but I expect they were just glad to be rid of her at this point, except for the smitten Star Boy.

Dream Girl would return, and eventually become a Legionnaire again.

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