Posts tagged ‘Magnetic Kid’

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.

 

 

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Adventure 335 – The Legion vs Starfinger

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No question where the inspiration for Starfinger’s name came from, the cover to Adventure 335 (Aug 65) even has the balls to point it out.  And his fingers even do things, unlike the Bond villain.

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The opening two panels of the story, while not bearing directly on the action, had long term implications for the Legion.  Sun Boy’s casual dismissal of Nila is the first indication of the womanizer he would become, and the shot of Cosmic Boy’s family introduces his younger brother Pol Krinn, one day to be a Legionnaire himself.

The we meet Dr Lars Hanscom, the doctor maintaining Lightning Lad’s robotic arm, and the story implies he is also the physician for the rest of the Legion as well.

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Starfinger first shows up to attack the Legion as they are protecting a shipment of rejuvium, taking out Ultra Boy immediately with a force blast, and the holding the rest of the team at bay while his gang tries to steal the valuable resource.  Sun Boy saves the day by heating the rejuvium so much that no one can touch it.

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Starfinger claims to have all the powers of the Legionnaires, but the reader is also alerted early on that there is something fishy going on, as Starfinger fakes powers in front of his own men.  And while the costume may look bulky and silly, it does serve to completely conceal the identity and gender of the foe, a critical point later in the tale.

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Starfinger then begins a reign of terror, announcing he will destroy the 7 wonders of the 30th century.  The Legion prevent him from sending Sun City to its death in the ocean, but Star Boy is critically wounded in the battle.

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Starfinger succeeds in topping the Stratosphere Laboratory, but Saturn Girl picks up a disturbing thought as he flees – that Starfinger is a Legionnnaire!

See, that’s why the bulky costume was important!

The story concludes next issue.  Curiously, it bears more than a passing resemblance to the story in the previous issue, with a masked Legionnaire, and a mystery as to their identity.  Perhaps as Edmond Hamilton was writing the earlier issue he thought of how much better he could tell the story if the unknown Legionnaire was actually a villain.

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