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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes Key Comics Part 2

This is Part 2 to the Legion of Super-Heroes key comics series, and as mentioned in the previous part, this is a request. Rumors have it that Warner Bros. wants to try to tackle a Legion flick and like the amount of characters and groups that has spawned in or around the team, it would be a massive undertaking for sure.

During the time, the Legion was extremely popular, but they pretty much were supporting characters for Superman, Supergirl and Superboy during their early appearances. Thus, they would frequently bounce around in various Superman related titles, and it seemed that early appearances focused more on the introduction of characters  than giving the team as a whole in an in-depth backdrop or mythos.

This Part 1 link will bring you back, but if you're ready for more 30th century Legionnaire keys, let's get down to it.

1st appearance of Mon-El
2nd appearance of Phantom Zone

In his first initial appearance Mon-El was found by Superboy, and Kal-El mistakenly thought that he might be his long lost brother. He was named Mon-El because he crash landed on Earth on a Monday, and El because of the mistaken identity since Mon-El displayed the similar powers as Superboy.

The crash landing caused amnesia so Mon-El had no clue who he was. However, Superboy tried to trick Mon-El by making a false Kryptonite meteor that was actually made of lead instead.

Mon-El seemed to be affected by this fake lead meteor, and it restored his memory. Mon-El is actually Lar Gand and not a Kryptonian. He is a Daxamite, and like all Daxamites, lead is irreversibly fatal to him.

Superboy sends him to the Phantom Zone where his lead poisoning would not progress until he can figure out a cure. This story is very similar to one in Superman #80 where Supes meets Halk Kar when he crash lands on Earth, has a note from Jor-El and Superman mistakenly thinks they're related.

Halk Kar would ultimately make advances on Lois Lane, pissing off Supes. In the Superboy story with Mon-El, it's Lana Lang who gets macked on. Then, of course, Halk Kar remembers who he is and reveals he's not Superman's brother.

The plot in Superboy #89 was obviously taken from that Superman story. Anyway, this comic holds the first appearance of Mon-El who would later become Valor and he is a notable member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. 

This issue also has the 2nd appearance of the Phantom Zone. It was published June, 1961.

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1st appearance of Legion of Super-Villains
1st Cosmic King & Lightning Lord
1st appearance of Saturn Queen
7th appearance of Legion of Super-Heroes

And of course there has to be an evil version of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and the Legion of Super-Villains make their debut in comics in Superman #147. DC's bad boy Lex Luthor invents a radio that can contact the future, because his genius mind has rationalized that there must be an evil counterpart to the Legion of Super-Heroes.

By all accounts ole Lex is right on the money and he soon meets the evil incarnation of this group. They are Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen. They are not the same Legion characters gone evil.

As they create mischief for Superman, the adult version of the Legion of Superheroes now named Cosmic Man, Lightning Man, and Saturn Woman arrive from the future to aid the Man of Steel. This comic is also the first appearance of the adult version of this team.

Superman #147 was published August, 1961, and is noted by Overstreet as the 7th appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Cover is a homage to the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes in Adventure Comics #247.

8th appearance of Legion of Super-Heroes

The 8th appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes was first written to be out of continuity. Superman actually dies in this issue and the story is titled "The Death of Superman".

Considered an Imaginary Story then, it was later retconned to have actually happened in Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths that came out in 2006.

Legion members Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad make a cameo in this issue, but Overstreet notes it as the Legion's 8th appearance. Superman #149 was published November, 1961.

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2nd appearance of Brainiac 5
3rd appearance of Chameleon Boy
2nd appearance of Sun Boy
9th appearance of Legion of Super-Heroes

We're here at the 9th appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes and two make their 2nd appearances here which are Brainiac 5 and Sun Boy. This issue also holds the 3rd appearance of Sun Boy.

Sun Boy also gets an imposter in this story, which is "The Secret of the Seventh Super-Hero!".  

Adventure Comics #290 was published November, 1961.

4th appearance of Chameleon Boy
10th appearance of Legion of Super-Heroes

The only member to make an appearance in this issue is Chameleon Boy, but Overstreet notes it as the 10th appearance. I have no clue why, but I guess one member counts?

In this issue, Chameleon Boy helps to guard Superboy's secret identity when Lana Lang figures out a way to prove that Clark is the Boy of Steel. Not the most exciting of adventures, but Superboy #93 was published December, 1961.

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Origin of superpowers of Legion of Superheroes

In Overstreet, this is noted as an origin of the Legion, but I think they mean it's the 1st origin for the characters and their powers. Not for the team itself.

The two page bonus "The Origins and Powers of the Legion of Super-Heroes!" features the characters Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl, Brainiac 5, Lightning Lad, Bouncing Boy, Invisible Kid, Shrinking Violet, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Saturn Girl, Colossal Boy and Sun Boy.

So the title of that bonus section of the comic is pretty obvious what it's about. Overstreet notes this as the 11th appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Winter of 1961 is the publishing date for this comic, but the cover date is 1962.

12th appearance of Legion of Super-Heroes
Supergirl revealed to the world

Overstreet notes this as the 12th appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and they are cameos in the story "The World's Greatest Heroine". In that story Superman introduces Supergirl to the world via a broadcast from the Fortress of Solitude.

Looks like Superman thinks Supergirl is ready to take on the world and kick some ass as a super-heroine in this issue. Not exactly a major key issue for the Legion or Super-Girl, but it is a key issue for both. 

Action Comics #285 was published February, 1962.

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Click that PART 3 link below to continue with more Legion of Super-Heroes key issues, or click the PREVIOUS link to head back!

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