Posts tagged ‘Shadow Lass’

Adventure 370 – Pete Ross and Insect Queen to the rescue

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Adventure 370 (July 1968) concludes the introduction of Mordru storyline by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan.

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Superboy uses his hypnosis machine to erase the Legionnaires memories of their real identities for an hour, correctly assuming that Mordru will search everyone’s minds in his hunt for them.  What he doesn’t realize is that Mordru’s magical hunt will alter the effects of the machine, extending the memory loss.

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As Mordru takes control of Smallville, Pete Ross realizes Clark must have lot his memory of being Superboy, and goes to Lana for help.  She dons her Insect Queen guise, and together they restore Superboy’s memory.

But once the Legionnaires are back in action, they fall to the extremely powerful villain, who puts them on trial, along with Lana and Pete, and imprisons them all in a lead and kryptonite cage.

Or so it seems.  Mon-El and Superboy are both puzzled by its lack of effect, and it turns out one of Mordru’s pawns is working against him.

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Deception follows deception.  Mordru believes he has destroyed Legion headquarters, but that was an illusion cast by Princess Projectra and White Witch, alterted by a vision by Dream Girl.

Mordru’s attempt to destroy Superboy, Mon-El, Duo Damsel, Shadow Lass, Pete Ross and Insect Queen backfires completely as the fireball he creates causes a cave-in, entombing him.  And being buried is the only thing that renders Mordru helpless.

A great tale all around, and one of the first Legion stories I read, in the oversize reprint from the 70s.

 

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Adventure 369 – The Legion vs Mordru

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The last great Legion story from its run in Adventure Comics is this 2-parter beginning in issue 369 (June 1968), as Jim Shooter and Curt Swan introduce the sorceror Mordru.

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Shadow Lass goes poking around Legion headquarters, and when she finds a massive sealed chamber, she does the rational thing and starts to open it.  Mon-El tries to stop her, but too late.  As Mordru frees himself the four Legionnaires who happen to be there (Superboy and Duo Damsel being the other two) flee in the Time Cube back to Superboy’s Smallville to hide.

Although this was Mordru’s debut, the tale gives him a backstory and previous encounter with the Legion, explaining how he wound up in the vault.  However, when this battle occurred is a bit of a mystery.  It would seem to have to have taken place after the new headquarters were built, or the vault would likely have been cracked open during the Fatal Five’s assault on the Clubhouse.  But it’s also clear that it took place before Shadow Lass became a member, which of course she became DURING the Fatal Five’s assault on the Clubhouse.  So it’s a puzzlement.

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At any rate, the four try to blend in to life in Smallville.  Mon-El re-adopts the identity of Bob Cobb, which he used there previously, when he first met Superboy.  Shadow Lass gets some good body make-up to let her blend in, and moves in with Lana Lang as an exchange student.  Duo Damsel pretends to be a distant relative of Police Chief Parker.

She also gets a much beloved scene, as Shadow Lass switches her affections from Brainiac 5 to Mon-El, but Duo Damsel’s attempts at some romantic interaction with Superboy result in her having to clamber through a sewer on her own.

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Mobster “King Carter then tries to take over Smallville, and the heroes are reluctant to use their powers and give themselves away, figuring (rightly) that Mordru has spies looking for them.  But rather than just cower in fear, they lead the townspeople in standing up to the hood and driving him out of town.

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Feeling guilty about hiding instead of fighting, they don their costumes one night, prepared to take on Mordru, but Lana Lang is one of his unwitting spies and sees them.

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Oh oh.

The story concludes next issue.

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 366 – Shadow Lass joins the Legion

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A great second half to the return of the Fatal Five in Adventure 366 (March 1968), though at no point do Superboy and Validus face off in a boxing ring, despite the cover.

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While Cosmic Boy, Superboy, Brainiac 5, Shadow Lass and Karate Kid manage to avoid the Talokian army until the find and destroy the machine controlling their minds, the Fatal Five run rampant on Earth, capturing Metropolis.

The Five discover that the key they need to unlock the U.P. weapons cache is in the Legion Clubhouse, but when they get there, the five Legionnaires are already there, having returned from Talok VIII

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I suppose I should have said four Legionnaires, as Shadow Lass is not a member at this point.  Brainiac 5 wonders why she has chosen to accompany them, and we discover that Shadow Lass has fallen for him.  And its enough of a crush that she is willing to abandon her home and put herself in deadly danger for it.  Still, Brainiac 5 dismisses this possibility as “illogical.”  He likes using this word a lot in stories from this time, probably because Spock uses it on Star Trek, which was on television at this point.

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Besieged by the Fatal Five, Shadow Lass asks to join the team, making her the first member sworn in in the midst of battle.

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And she proves herself quite a capable member, taking out the Emerald Empress despite her broken arm.

The 5 teammates battle the Fatal Five to a draw, but when the U.P. army arrives the Fatal Five flee.

The Fatal Five return again a few months down the road.

Adventure 365 – The return of the Fatal Five and the debut of Shadow Lass

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Another great 2-part story by Jim Shooter begins in Adventure 365 (Feb 68), as Curt Swan returns to the art.  Shadow Lass gets her formal debut, after appearing as a white-skinned Shadow Woman statue in the Adult Legion story.

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The peaceful world of Talok VIII abruptly becomes war-crazed, and cuts off all contact with the United Planets.  Tasmia Mallor, the hero of that world, known as Shadow Lass, was off-planet during the change, and joins the Legion as they go to investigate.

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Talok VIII is largely a desert world, and the team lands far from civilization, approaching the city in the guise of the Yakka-Mahor, desert dwellers who are looked down on as barbarians by the city folk.  This sharp divide in Talokian culture, while not made much of in this story, would be expanded on in later tales.

As it turns out, the disguises didn’t help at all, and each of the Legionnaires, as well as Shadow Lass, are teleported into deadly traps designed specifically for them.  They each break out, but that turns out to be part of the plan as well.

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The energy they expelled in escaping is channelled into freeing the Fatal Five from the dimension they have been trapped since the end of the Sun-Eater story.  Tharok masterminded this entire scheme, including the transformation of Talok VIII in order to lure the Legion there.

The Fatal Five leave Talok by rocket, as the army converges on the Legionnaires.

The story concludes next issue.

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.

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