Posts tagged ‘Sun Boy’

Adventure 380 – Legion of Super-Heroes ends

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After 81 issues, the Legion end their run in Adventure with issue 380, by Jim Shooter and Win Mortimer.  The story is “inspired” by the Odyssey, and the title of the story clearly derived from the Kubrisk film.

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Superboy receives a call from Dream Girl, who warns him of a prophetic dream she had.  Immediately after, he, as well as Ultra Boy, Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel, Light Lass, Sun Boy, Cosmic Boy and Invisible Kid are teleported to a strange planet, and Superboy is devoured by a dinosaur with kryptonite teeth.  Cause, you know, it makes total sense for an animal to have teeth made from kryptonite.

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The Legionnaires are in shock, but Ultra Boy rouses them and gets them working on a space ship so they can get back home.  Bouncing Boy consoles a distressed Duo Damsel, the first hint at the romance between them, forecast in the Adult Legion story that saw them married.

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The ride home lurches from disaster to disaster.  Ultra Boy really shows his mettle in this story, saving the rest of the team time and time again.  But repeatedly unusual events occur, strange things appear and disappear, enough that there is clearly something going on that the Legionnaires are not aware of.

 

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Upon returning to Earth, they see robot duplicates of themselves being killed.  Superboy then pops up to explain it all.  Dream Girl foresaw their deaths, and the entire “odyssey” was arranged to keep them out of the way, while the robots suffered their fate.  The Super-Pets had been acting in secret, causing the strange events.  The villains behind the murder plot?  More irrelevant characters who kill themselves without explaining their grand plan.

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Not a high note to go out on.

The Legion switch places with Supergirl after this issue, being demoted to the back-up spot in Action Comics, while she takes over Adventure.

The Super-Pets appear again, in a few stories, but this is the last time they have a major role in any Legion tale.

Adventure 375 – The Legion vs The Wanderers

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The Wanderers are introduced in Adventure 375 (Dec 68), another team of super powered heroes in the 30th century, but they quickly get mind-controlled and the Legion must battle them rather than work with them.  Jim Shooter crafts a decent tale that is sadly undermined by Win Mortimer’s art.

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The two teams meet in peace at first.  But just as the Wanderers get mind-controlled the Legion receive a mysterious message challenging their “mightiest member” to combat.  Quantum Queen, another of the dead heroes shown in the Adult Legion story, is part of the Wanderers.

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Ultra Boy merges the two situations, arranging a contest between the Legionnaires interested in winning the right to stand for the team, by taking down the Wanderers.  There is even a nifty little chart to show the breakdown.  Curiously, Celebrand is at the highest point of the competition, despite having no powers.

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The Legion progress through the chart, with some surprising winners.  The Wanderers, on the other hand, do little to impress, not even Quantum Queen.  Of all the battles, Karate Kid does the most impressive job, defeating Ultra Boy and Sun Boy despite having no powers.  Chemical King and Timber Wolf both take part, but neither fares very well.

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In the end, it appears Bouncing Boy triumphs, but the way the scene is drawn makes it clear the reader is missing something – and indeed, as we discover next issue, as the story continues, it is really Chameleon Boy who won, but disguised himself as Bouncing Boy to keep an edge, and is teleported away.

The story concludes next issue.  The Wanderers make occasional cameos over the years, eventually getting a dismal, sort-lived series in the 80s.

Adventure 371 – The Legion Academy and a semi-reprint

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For reasons known only to DC, the cover of Adventure 371 (Aug 68) represents the back-up feature, a reprint of “The Valhalla of Super-Companions,” which originally appeared in Superboy 101.  The story is not a Legion tale at all, and they are added to two panels in a feeble attempt to make it one.

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Aside from noting that Ultra Boy, Sun Boy, Duo Damsel and Light Lass make their cameos, I will skip over this tale, and write more about it when I get around to the Superboy series in this blog.

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Ultra Boy becomes the new leader of the Legion in this Jim Shooter/ Curt Swan story, but Colossal Boy is the star, as his parents, making their debut, get turned into living glass statues by henchmen of Tarik the Mute.  They threaten to kill them unless Colossal Boy gets them information on the Legion training program.

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To do so, Gim Allon intentionally messes up on a mission, and Ultra Boy sends him to the Legion Academy for re-training.

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Bouncing Boy is serving as a temporary instructor at the Academy, beginning his long association with it.  Colossal Boy meets Condo Arlik there, a trainee soon to become Chemical King, another Legionnaire introduced as dead in the Adult Legion story.

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Bouncing Boy is suspicious of Gim`s situation, and hoping to get some insight and help him, he breaks into his parents apartment, where he finds Legino training manuals.  Apparently taking these home is really awful, much worse than breaking in to someone else`s apartment, because Chuck gets no punishment when he reports this, but Colossal Boy gets expelled from the Legion.

The story concludes next issue.

Adventure 352 – the creation of the Fatal Five

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The Legion’s greatest foes, the Fatal Five not only debut in Adventure 352 (Jan 67), but are actually assembled by the Legion itself, in order to combat the Sun-Eater.  Jim Shooter and Curt Swan are both at the top of their game in this classic story.

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The story begins with the Legionnaires reviewing tapes of the galaxy’s five greatest villains: Tharok, who is half man, half robot, the Persuader, armed with an atomic axe, the Emerald Empress, with her extremely powerful Eye of Ekron, Validus, a giant mindless monster, and Mano, whose touch can destroy anything.

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Shortly after, they are alerted to the fact that a Sun-Eater is approaching Earth.  Unlike the Sun-Eater shown in an earlier issue, this appears to be almost a force of nature, much like a black hole, consuming everything in it’s path, and drawn by the energy given off by stars.

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The story never really explains where all the rest of the Legion are, even the leader, Invisible Kid, does not appear in the tale.  Superboy, as deputy leader, takes charge and he, Cosmic Boy, Sun Boy, Ferro Lad and Princess Projectra all set out to recruit the five villains they had been observing earlier.

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While recruiting the Emerald Empress, she, and the reader, discover that both Superboy and the Eye of Ekron are vulnerable to kryptonite.  Sadly, nothing is ever made of this intriguing fact, and over the years it simply gets ignored and forgotten.

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Validus is shown to be able to speak in this story, though later ones would restrict him to growls rather than words.

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 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 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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