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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes Key Comics Part 4


Part 4 has quite a first appearance key comics involving The Legion of Super-Heroes members as well as some of the groups early villains. This one should be a good one for Legion fans, but if you missed Part 3, just click that link.

Otherwise, let's get down to business with more Legion of Super-Heroes key comics.




ADVENTURE COMICS #306
1st appearance of the Legion of Substitute-Heroes
1st Night-Girl & Stone Boy
1st Chlorophyll Kid, Polar Boy & Fire Lad

Jeesh, the Legion even has bench players or a B team. Enter the Legion of Substitute-Heroes, and they are basically a reserve or a team of substitutes.

They are often called the "Subs" as well and are basically a group of super-heroes who were rejected into their ranks. Of course, this team banded together to prove that they're worthy of being Legion members.

This team was formed by Night-Girl, Polar Boy, Stone Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, and Fire Lad, and these characters all make their first appearances in this comic. So a lot of key issue goodness concerning the Legion of Super-Heroes keys.

Night-Girl's powers only worked in darkness, but when under it, she had super-human strength and durability but not at Kryptonian levels. Enveloped in light, her powers immediately fade.

For this, she was rejected by the Legion, but she later trained to become a formidable hand-to-hand combatant. Night Girl's real name is Lydda Jath and is from the planet Kathoon

Lydda had a major crush on Cosmic Boy or Rokk Krinn and in later tales the two would eventually marry and have a son. 

Polar Boy is Brek Bannin and grew up on the planet Tharr, which is a hot planet. In order to combat the heat, the inhabitants developed the power to reduce the temperature around themselves to extreme degrees.

Polar Boy helped found the Substitute Legion, but eventually became a full member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

From the planet Zwen, the character of Stone Boy can petrify his body just like the rest of his race can. He was initially rejected by the Legion because while his body is in a petrified form he cannot move.

He would later develop the ability to only turn certain body parts into stone at will and with concentration. He did win membership into the Legion in Adventure Comics #313, but declined as he didn't want to abandon his Substitute team mates. Stone Boy's real name is Dag Wentim.  

We got another Lad here, and it's Fire Lad. Although an alien, Fire Lad actually was given the ability to breathe fire when he inhaled vapors from a crashing meteor. 

Any combustible item can be set on fire by Fire Lad, real name Staq Mavlen from the planet Shwar.

Last up is Chlorophyll Kid and like Fire Lad, he was not born with his super powers. Instead, he fell into a tank of hydroponic serum and emerged with the ability to stimulate plant growth. 

Lucky him. He was born Ral Benom and hails from the planet Mardru.

This team and it's original characters were created by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte, and Adventure Comics #306 was published March, 1963.

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ADVENTURE COMICS #307
1st appearance of Element Lad
1st appearance of Roxxas
Element Lad joins team

Wow, they weren't very creative or diverse with most the names back then concerning the Legion. Lots of names ending with Boy, Lad, Lass and Girl.

So we got the first appearance of another lad, and it's Element Lad or Jan Arrah and from the planet of Trom. In this story he is first known as Mystery Lad since he won't reveal his super power to the Legion.

This issue has the first appearance of a Legion super-villain and is directly tied to Element Lad. Roxxas is the leader of an army of space pirates that is responsible for killing the entire native population of Trom except for Element Lad.

Element Lad, like his people, has the power to transmute chemical elements. When his people refused to transmute valuable elements for Roxxas, he destroyed them.

The Legion goes up against Roxxas in this issue, and when he is defeated, Mystery Lad adopts the name Element Lad and joins the Legion of Super-Heroes. This character and Roxxas was created by Edmond Hamilton and artist John Forte.

April, 1963 is the publishing date for Adventure Comics #307.







ADVENTURE COMICS #308
1st appearance of Lightning Lass

Lightning Lad's twin sister makes her first appearance as Lightning Lass in Adventure Comics #308. She would have the same powers as her brother, but they would be later changed. We'll get to that soon enough.

Lightning Lass was also in a relationship with fellow Legion member Timber Wolf for quite a while. When that relationship ended, she would enter into a long-term relationship with Shrinking Violet.

Lightning Lass would also take up the names Light Lass and Spark. Adventure Comics #308 was published May, 1963.

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SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #72
Elastic Lad granted honorary membership
1st appearance of Proty II

This issue sees Jimmy Olsen as Elastic Lad joining the Legion of Super-Heroes as an honorary member. He would help the Legion on several occasions as Elastic Lad.

Jimmy Olsen first appeared as Elastic Lad in issue #31 of this series, and the issue also contains the origin. His 2nd appearance as the superhero was in issue #37 of his own headlining comic.

Also Proty II makes his first appearance in this issue and is the new pet of Chameleon Boy. Proty II would be a member of the Legion of Super-Pets and the Legion itself. Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72 was published October, 1963.

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ADVENTURE COMICS #317
1st appearance of Dream Girl
Lightning Lass becomes Light Lass

This blonde hottie is Nura Nal also known as Dream Girl. From the planet Naltor, Dream Girl has the power of precognition and that's partly the reason for the name. The other reason is that she is a dream girl to have, and she is inducted into the Legion in this issue largely in part because a lot of the male members are instantly attracted to her.

She would foresee several members of the Legion dying, and that's why she comes to them in this issue. Dream Girl changes Lightning Lass' power from casting lightning into turning objects to super light weight density by using Naltorian science.

Thus, Lightning Lass would be known as Light Lass for quite a while in the stories of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Dream Girl decides not to join the Legion at the end of this issue. She would become a member of the Subs later on.

Publishing date for this comic is February, 1964 and Dream Girl is created once again by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte.

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ADVENTURE COMICS #320
1st appearance of Radiation Roy

Roy Travich is another rejected applicant for the Legion who became one of their foes. Just like his name Radiation Roy states he emits radiation pretty much all the time and he cannot control this power.

Probably why he wasn't inducted. Feeling butt-hurt because of his denial into the Legion, this character would help found the Legion of Super-Villains, as well as end up joining the Justice League of Earth and the version of the Legion of Super-Villains under Superboy-Prime.

Adventure Comics #320 was published May, 1964.






ADVENTURE COMICS #321
1st full appearance of Time Trapper

Definitely a well-noted enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Time Trapper has an interesting publishing origin about him. So a similar character was introduced in the pages of Wonder Woman #101 in 1958 named "The Time Master".

This Time Trapper was written and introduced by Edmond Hamilton in this issue here. There is nothing that disputes whether this character's concept was taken from Time Master or not.

In Super Friends #17, a story hints at the two characters being one and the same. Anywho, this character is first mentioned but not seen in Adventure Comics #317. He is first seen in a cameo the following issue.

However, this issue is the first full appearance of the character, and the time trapper has a vast control over time. Definitely a Legion nemesis worth mentioning, and his first full appearance in Adventure Comics #321 was published June, 1964.

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New members, new villains...and we're not even to the Bronze Age yet. Yikes!

The Silver Age Legion stories are pretty much a goldmine when it comes to first appearances as you can already tell, but a foundation for this team is definitely being set up for bigger things. 

Click that PREVIOUS link to head on back to Part 3 if you missed it. Part 5 has more Legion of Super-Heroes key comics so click the link below to continue with this key issues series.



3 comments:

  1. Hey Mayhem,

    I' m gonna get me that Dream Girl. Nice!
    Beside that - is it me or do some character names of that area sound a little bit dumb?

    Ace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ace, some of the characters for the Legion aren't exactly great and their names are pretty dumb. While some things were interesting about this group, it got pretty dull and redundant quick. The last few parts weren't exactly a joy to write up, and I admit that it was grueling to finish this series up.

      Delete
  2. Nah, names are fine.

    Elastic Chlorophyll lad.

    ReplyDelete