Posts tagged ‘Night Girl’

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.  But the Saturn Girl one is a bit of a cheat, as it’s by comic pros Andru and Giordano.

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.

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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 337 – A Legion Double Wedding

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Wedding bells are ringing in Adventure 337 (Oct 65), but the Legion Constitution forbids married members, and spies from Murra plot to take advantage of that, in this Edmond Hamilton story.

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Brainiac 5 has been elected as the new leader of the team, though the election is not shown or its process explained.  It’s no surprise that it’s Brainiac 5, who had been touted as a possible leader in the last “election,” and lead the side against Saturn Girl when the Legion warred against itself.

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The two established inter-Legion romances come to the fore, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, and Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl.  When they announce plans to marry, they are also forced to resign from the team, but none of the four seem to mind that in the slightest.

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The unusual sticks with figures of the members on them, shown both in the story and on the cover, re-appear in a story in the early 90s, in which they are called “ceremonial wedding sticks,” and their use is very formal and old-fashioned.  In that story, we learn that the couple that wed get to keep the sticks, as a memento of those who were part of the wedding party.

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Try-outs are held to replace the four members, and though Subs Night Girl and Chlorophyll Kid apply again, they are rejected (again) in favour of three Murran spies who have been temporarily endowed with powers, and join as Size Lad, Blackout Boy and Magnetic Kid.  While there would later be a Legionnaire named Magnetic Kid, his powers would be identical to Cosmic Boy, not the abilities of this one, to draw anything or anyone towards him.  Blackout Boy has basically the same shadow casting abilities that later member Shadow Lass would have,

The remainder of the story simply reveals that the weddings were a ruse to draw out these spies, the “Plan R”, for Romance, that was referred to in the first panel.  Brainiac 5 neutralizes the powers of the spies, while Superboy and Mon-El destroy the machine that created the powers.

As the weddings were a sham, the four members never really had to resign, but their relationships are pretty open from this time forward.  Curiously, the first Legion marriage would not be between these Legionnaires at all.

Adventure 319 – The Planetary Chance Machine!

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Adventure 319 (April 1964) features almost the entire line-up of the Legion of Super-Heroes, only Supergirl is absent.  And if that weren’t enough, the Substitute Legion appear as well.  And if THAT weren’t enough, this issue also has the debut of the wonderful Planetary Chance Machine!

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A fortress that looks very much like the Tower of Babel is constructed on the planet Throon, and emits rays that cripple any spaceships that come near it.  The Legion are called on by the Science Police to help penetrate the edifice and capture those within.

And how does the Legion choose which members should undertake this dangerous task?  By seniority and experience?  By picking the ones whose powers are most likely to be of use?

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No!  They sit around a table and wait for a machine with spinning balls on it to whack a member in the head!  This is the marvellous Planetary Chance Machine.  Planetary because the balls resemble planets.  Brainiac 5 is the first to be bonked, and look how calm he is about it.

This machine would be featured in a couple of stories, but its full potential would not be realized until the Legion of Substitute Heroes Special in the 80s.

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Wave after wave of heroes, selected by the machine, attack the fortress and fall to it.  Lightning Lad does manage to enter, but is taken prisoner immediately.

This is the first of a number of tales that see the entire Legion taken down, culminating in the End of an Era storyline, but its the only one that takes place entirely in one issue.  This means that few of the heroes get a chance to do much of anything other than fall to the enemy.

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Matter-Eater Lad is one of the few who gets to use his abilities to a decent extent, hollowing out a meteor in an attempt to make a sneak attack, though this proves no more successful than any of the other waves.

After the Legion are wiped out, the Substitute Legion make their play, and it’s Night Girl who winds up saving the day, tunnelling into the building while the rest of the team create a distraction.

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And look, it’s just two little old men who took out the most powerful people in the galaxy.  Not a shining moment for the Legion, but that’s not the main point of the ending.

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Edmond Hamilton concludes the tale with a victory parade for the Legion of Substitutes.  The four tales they have appeared in have taken the team from outcasts and rejects to triumphant heroes, acknowledged and appreciated.

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 311 – The Legion vs the Substitute Legion

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Hey look!  Star Boy is on the cover!  So he must be in the Legion story in Adventure 311 (Aug 63), right?  Nope.

Actually, very few Legionnaires appear in this tale, which features the Substitute Legion once again trying to gain the respect of the team that rejected them.

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You have to give the Subs credit for persistence.  Being rudely dismissed and insulted has no effect on them.

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Polar Boy is the first to suspect that the Legion intends to kill them, though Night Girl refuses to believe such a thing about Cosmic Boy, whom she has a major crush on.

When the Legion blow up the spaceship the Subs were meant to be on, there seems no doubt to the issue.  But in fact, the Legionnaires who have been appearing in the story are actually evil aliens in disguise.  They are exposed and defeated by the Subs.  All of this occurring while the real Legion is off planet.

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Another triumph for the team, yes.  But a victory that no one knows about, including the Legion of Super-Heroes.

 

Adventure 306 – Superboy vs Mr Mxyzptlk, and the debut of the Legion of Substitute Heroes

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The young Mr. Mxyzptlk had been introduced into the Superboy’s world in his own book, and makes his first appearance in the Superboy series in Adventure in issue 306 (March 1963).

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Bored of school in the 5th Dimension, he heads to Smallville where he tricks Lana Lang, and then Superboy, into heading to his dimension while he runs wild in their hometown.

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It’s a fun little tale, which gives the reader more of a view of the 5th Dimension world than is generally seen.

 

 

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At a time when most comics had a supporting cast that could be counted on one hand, the Legion of Super-Heroes just kept adding more and more characters into the mix.  This story introduced not only five new heroes, but even banded them into a supporting team, with the unenviable name of the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

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Polar Boy, Night Girl, Stone Boy, Fire Lad and Chlorophyll Kid are all rejected for Legion membership.  They do get nifty flight belts as parting gifts, though.

Undeterred, they form their own team, and hang out in a cave just outside the city.

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We learn a little of the origin of each hero.  Polar Boy is from a very hot world where everyone has the power to radiate cold, and Stone Boy is from a world where people “hibernate” by turning to stone.  Night Girl lives on a world shrouded in darkness, so was unaware that her powers faded in sunlight until she came to apply for Legion membership.  Fire Lad acquired flame breath after exposure to a meteor.  But the best of these is the origin of Chlorophyll Kid, whose ability to stimulate plant growth came after falling into an experimental solution as a child.

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The Legion really take a back seat to the Subs in this story.  After a few attempts to help the Legion, the Subs discover that some unmanned rockets the team is fighting are really transporting alien plant life as part of an invasion.  They head to the world the ships are coming from, and destroy the floral army.

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The people of Earth, and the Legion of Super-Heroes, are unaware of the achievement of the Subs, but this team of rejects has proved themselves to the readers, and they would remain frequent supporting characters through the Legion’s run in Adventure.

This is also the first of Edmond Hamilton’s stories in this run.  While Jerry Siegel’s Legion tales tended to be very much a part of the Superman universe, Hamilton was more interested in expanding the Legion’s own reality, and is my favourite of the Legion’s scripters during this early period.

 

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