Posts tagged ‘Proty II’

Adventure 376 – Chameleon Boy fights alone

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Chameleon Boy is revealed as the winner of the contest in the previous issue, and spends almost all of Adventure 376 (Jan 69) in solo action in another dimension, even getting a romantic storyline, thanks to Jim Shooter.

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The story reveals how Chameleon Boy beat Psyche, and adopted the identity of Bouncing Boy, having Proty II impersonate him to complete the cover-up.

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Although he has won the championship, and was teleported to the dimension to face off against Kodar, the King gets upset that his daughter, Princess Elwinda, has fallen for the Durlan, and wants to stop him from fighting to save the kingdom.  Pretty racist king there, willing to lose everything just to keep his daughter from marrying a man he doesn’t like.

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But though he defeats Kodar, the Legionnaires track him down just as he is undergoing a bizarre wedding ritual (derived from the native ritual in the wedding between John Smith and Pocahontas, in fact), and teleport him back to “safety,” which also seals the gap between the worlds.

Chameleon is less than pleased to be home.  Princess Elwinda never appears again, but he will meet a woman who resembles her in a story in Action Comics.

 

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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 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 341 – The Legion vs Computo

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Computo’s reign of terror concludes in this story, but Brainiac 5 seems almost as destructive in his attempt to defeat it.  Jerry Siegel crafts an above par story in Adventure 341 (Feb 66), and Curt Swan’s art brings it to life beautifully.

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Triplicate Girl’s remains are gathered and sent off to Shanghalla, a cemetery satellite that will appear in a number of Legion stories.  An urn for Beast Boy is also shown, a nice nod to continuity.  And of course, we can all mourn over the loss of Hate Face.

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But wait, Luornu isn’t dead after all!  Have to give Siegel kudos for killing off one of her bodies, without killing off the other two.  Rather than a cop-out, this adds some interest in exactly how Carggian physiology functions, and as the years pass, we will learn more about it.  True, she does not seem even mildly distressed at the loss of a body in this scene, but the trauma she has experienced will be dealt with in later years as well.

Proty II once again shows himself far more than a mere pet as he adopts the identity of the Weirdo Legionnaire to distract Computo as the Legion free their captive teammates Star Boy and Sun Boy from his robot army.

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Sun Boy leads the team to the Batcave to hide out, although Computo finds them relatively easily.  Another nice nod to continuity, and the Batcave will appear again in Legion stories.

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At this point, Brainiac 5 seems to have a mental breakdown.  He somehow comes to the conclusion that creating a Bizarro Computo is the best bet they have to defeat the monstrous computer.  Need I say that he is very wrong on this?

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Chuck Taine shows courage, if not brains, by charging in against Computo, who temporarily restores his Bouncing Boy powers, only to show how useless his attempt to rescue Saturn Girl truly is.

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Meanwhile, Brainiac 5 has activated an anti-matter force cannon he found in the Batcave.  While this does have the desired effect of destroying Computo and his robot army, the anti-matter force also threatens to destroy Earth.  The big three, Superboy, Mon-El and Ultra Boy, do what they can to rescue people.  Brainiac 5 finally gets it right, figuring out how to rewire the cannon to send the anti-matter force back to its own universe.

Whew!  For all the power the Legion has as a team, until this story they never really had faced anything that challenged their abilities to this degree.  Ironic that their most powerful enemy to date was created by their own leader.

Adventure 323 – Legion leadership is left up to Proty II

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OK, sure, Saturn Girl rigged the first leadership election the Legion held, so I can see that she would not suggest another one at the end of her term.  But leaving it up to who can figure out a bizarre puzzle by Proty II?  May as well use the Planetary Chance Machine.

Nevertheless, that is what happens in Adventure 323 (Aug 64), in a story by by Jerry Siegel.

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First off, we get two more Legion rejects, though.  Spider Girl and Double Header are turned away, despite Spider Girl having a far more useful power than some of the other members of the Legion, even if she needs to hone control of it.  Spider Girl would return later in the Adventure run, while Double Header would not be seen again until the 80s.

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Now, to be fair, Saturn Girl does suggest having a computer pick the new leader, and while one cannot fault Brainiac 5 for modestly suggesting that would give him an unfair advantage, allowing Proty II to play his weird game hardly seem like he best possible solution.

After writing his name backwards and impersonating a Bizarro, Proty II sends various Legion members out on a variety of tasks.  Some are extremely dangerous, like having Element Lad stand next to a big block of uranium.

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Others are just odd, like having Jimmy Olsen take his Elastic Lad serum and entertain the team.

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Honourary member Pete Ross makes one of his rare appearances with the team, but none of these unusual challenges seem to have much of a purpose, or even be clues to a puzzle.

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In the end, it’s Saturn Girl who “figures out” that it’s a giant word game.  But seriously, could anyone have figured this out?  Isn’t it far more likely that she simply read Proty II’s mind, and scammed her way into a second term as Legion leader?

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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 320 – The Legion meets Dev-Em

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Dev-Em returns, as does Jerry Siegel as scripter for Adventure 320 (May 1964).  Siegel may well have had this story in mind when he created Dev-Em, as his 2-part introduction saw him head off in the future at the end of it.

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This issue begins with another Legion try-out, and the introduction of Radiation Roy, rejected because his powers are potentially fatal.  He returns later in the Adventure run.

Dev-Em crashes the try-outs, and Superboy relates his previous bad experience with the Knave from Krypton.  Superboy assumes this is another attack, but Dev-Em shocks them all with the news that he is working for the Inter-Stellar Counter-Intelligence Corps, and assigned to take down Morlock the Merciless, head of the Cosmic Spy League.

Because Superboy has more experience, the head of the ISCIC asks him to disguise himself as Dev-Em and infiltrate Morlock’s organization.

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Morlock’s headquarters are accessed through a museum, and this scene includes the statue of Braino of Mrynah, who will be referenced in a story in the 90s.  Yes, one reference three decades later is all it takes to be included in my blog, when it comes to the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Morlock attempts to kill Dev-Em (Superboy) with gold kryptonite, but the gold k is really Proty II in disguise.

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At the end, the Legion offer membership to Dev-Em, and in a change of pace, he rejects them, preferring to stay with the Counter-Intelligence Corps.

Dev-Em would make occasional appearances in the Legion books, but his next return was not until the Great Darkness Saga, in 1982.

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