Posts tagged ‘Phantom 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 379 – The not-quite-dead Legionnaires

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The concluding half of Jim Shooter’s 2-parter is not much better than the first.  His final few Legion tales have lost the spark of his earlier stories.  Adventure 379 (April 1969) is mediocre at best.

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Ultra Boy and other Legionnaires return from a mission to find their dead friends, and time stopped by an odd alien, who convinces them to go to his realm of Seeris.  The beings from that world have mental abilities, but frail forms, and are being over run by brutal invaders.

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The best scene takes place between Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl, some sincere elements of their relationship, and Ultra Boy agonizing over his responsibilities as leader, which none of the previous ones were ever shown to do.

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Chemical King also gets a good bit, using his powers on himself, to increase his metabolism, briefly endowing himself with super-strength.

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The Legion convince the aliens to use their mental powers to defend themselves (sad they had to be convinced), and that turns the tide.

They return home, and Ultra Boy uses the Miracle Machine to restore the dead-ish Legionnaires to life.  The biggest disappointment in the issue is that the killer is a nothing character, a person who never appeared before, or since.

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 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 348 – The Legion vs Dr Regulus

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A new leader, a new villain, and a story inspired by Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” in Adventure 348 (Sept 66), written by Jim Shooter.

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Invisible Kid is elected leader of the Legion, although it’s frankly a bit of a puzzle why.  He had not been in a lot of stories, or had very many major roles.  One must assume that the Saturn Girl/Brainiac 5 rivalry had worn down the group, and he was seen as a mediator, or peacemaker.  Anyway, that’s how I interpret the results.  Duo Damsel’s crush on Superboy is also introduced in this sequence.

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Once the results are in, the story kicks into action as Sun Boy is knocked unconscious by an earthquake, and wakes with amnesia, running off and hiding.  We meet the gold-suited Dr, Regulus, who hates Sun Boy, and attacks the Legion to get at them, stealing their clubhouse and then attacking the members one by one.

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He does fairly well with his scheme, taking out Colossal Boy, Duo Damsel, Phantom Girl, Cosmic Boy and Superboy.  Invisible Kid fares the best, almost being able to confront him, but even he falls to this new baddie.

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Sun Boy regains his memory and has an extended flashback to his origin, just in time to scare off Regulus.  Young Dirk Morgna interrupted Regulus, who was a scientist at his father’s laboratory, and Regulus was fired after the resulting explosion.  In vengeance, he locked Dirk in an atomic reactor, which endowed him with his powers.

Regulus flees, vowing revenge, and would return many times to face Sun Boy and the Legion.

Adventure 346 – 4 new members and a new writer for the Legion

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Jim Shooter was only 14 years old when he wrote and drew his first Legion of Super-Heroes story, in Adventure 346 (July 66), which introduced Ferro Lad, Karate Kid, Nemesis Kid and Princess Projectra, as well creating the Khunds, a militaristic alien race bent on conquering the Earth.

Much of this issue, the first half of a two-part story, is devoted to introducing the new characters at their Legion try-out, which is not a bad thing at all.  It gives an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and provide some background before we discover that one of them is really an agent of the Khunds.

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Princess Projectra is up first, showing off her illusion-casting powers.  She is royalty from the planet Orando, a magic user like Command Kid.

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Nemesis Kid is Hart Druiter, who hails from Myar, the “alchemists planet,” and has taken a potion he created that gives him whatever powers he requires to defeat any individual foe he is up against.

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Ferro Lad, Andrew Nolan of Earth, is a sort of an upgraded Stone Boy, as he can turn his body into iron, but loses no mobility by doing so.

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Karate Kid is also from Earth, and has the curious name Val Armorr.  He has mastered every form of martial arts, and while he has no super powers per se, the fact that he is able to take on Superboy and almost defeat him is impressive enough to win him membership.

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Garlak, the leader of the Khunds, announces his intent to attack Earth, which is very sporting of him.  Had he not alerted the Legion, his army might have succeeded.  But thanks to the warning, the Legion split into teams to guard three electro-towers, which they are counting on to defeat the invasion.

Comic Boy and Phantom Girl head to Alaska with Karate Kid to defend the tower there.  When it gets destroyed, Phantom Girl notes a variety of suspicious circumstances, all of which seem to indicate that Karate Kid was working to aid the Khunds.

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The story concludes in the 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.

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