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Friday, July 24, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes Key Comics Part 7

While long and tedious, I am actually enjoying learning about these Legion of Super-Heroes key comics, though I'm not exactly what you call a fan. Despite that handicap, this really is shaping up to be quite an epic space drama.

Heck, I'm not so sure about a movie franchise, but a TV show? That would be something, because there really is a lot going on in the universe of the Legion, even without Superboy.

We'll see how this mythos expands even more in Part 7. So you know what this Part 6 link will do if you need it. Otherwise, here's more Legion of Super-Heroes key issues for all you fans of the series.

1st appearance of Shadow Lass

Ranked 18th on Comic Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" Shadow Lass is a blue-skinned vixen from Talok VIII. In Adventure Comics #354 when Superman meets the Adult Legion, she does not have blue skin on the cover of that comic.

Shadow Lass' real name is Tasmia Mallor and has the power to project darkness. Her cousin is Grev Mallor, and he appeared before her in Adventure Comics #344. Grev is known as Shadow Kid and would join the Legion Academy but could not become a Legion member when Shadow Lass was active since there was the rule of no duplicate powers within the ranks.

Shadow Lass would later marry Lar Gand or Mon-El or Valor. This issue of Adventure Comics #365 was published  February, 1968. Legendary Neal Adams does the cover art for this issue.

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1st appearance of the Dark Circle
1st appearance of Sensei

Another villainous organization for the Legion of Super-Heroes are the Dark Circle. They have become long-time enemies of the Legion and the United Planets and have been involved in several attacks to invade Earth since this first appearance.

During the Earthwar, the Dark Circle manipulated the Dominators and Khunds in an intergalactic war with the United Planets. The Earthwar is a fan-favorite and notable story arc for the Legion of Super-Heroes.

As for the character of Sensei, he is Toshiaki, also known as the White Crane. He is the one who adopted the Karate Kid and first trained him. Adventure Comics #367 was published April, 1968.

1st appearance of Mordru

Mordru the Merciless is one of the most powerful of Legion foes and is even an adversary of the Justice Society of America. Created by Jim Shooter, Mordru is born Wrynn who becomes entrenched in the studies of Black Magic.

Accidentally resurrecting a gemstone golem called Flaw, one of the Lords of Chaos, Mordru is recruited to be the instrument of the Lords of Chaos. In this first appearance, the guy is so scary that even Superboy is afraid of him.

Definitely a fan-favorite nemesis of the Legion, the first appearance of Mordru in Adventure Comics #369 is definitely a must-have and was published June, 1968.

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Origin of the Legion of Super-Heroes
1st appearance chronologically 

Just when this was starting to look like an Adventure Comics key issues series. This 80 page Giant-Size Superboy #147 is a definite must-have for any Legion fan. No joke.

Superboy #147 finally reveals the team's origin for the first time and tells how Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl first meet. The story also shows how they meet R.J. Brande as well.

Apparently the three stopped an assassination attempt on Brande's life, and R.J. Brande suggested that they form a superhero team inspired by heroes like Superman and Supergirl. The three would do so and would be backed by the super rich Brande.

The team's first new member would be Triplicate Girl and then Phantom Girl as news of their formation would spread across the galaxies. If you're into chronology, this is the 1st chronological (not published) appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

It's also a classic and fan-favorite issue of not only fans, but legendary comic writers as well. Jim Shooter has said, "If the first appearance was the cornerstone, the origin was the foundation that, for decades, the series was built upon,"

Superboy #147 was published June, 1968.

1st appearance of Chemical King
1st appearance of Legion Academy

Chemical King debuted on the cover of Adventure Comics #354 before he debuts in an actual Legion's story. He is referenced in that issue to have sacrificed his life in preventing World War VII. 

However, that issue of Adventure Comics featured Superman meeting the Adult Legion, and it's this issue where the character of Condo Arlik from the planet Phlon makes his true first appearance. Chemical King is introduced as a member of the Legion Academy.

Condo has the power to slow down or speed up chemical reactions, and he is a mutant. His native people do not possess the same abilities. Chemical King would later fulfill his prophecy already mentioned in Adventure Comics #354. 

Another creation of Jim Shooter and legendary comic artist Curt Swan.  This comic was published August, 1968

Chemical King joins team
Timber Wolf joins team
1st appearance of School for Super-Villains
1st appearance of Tarik the Mute

If you care about chronological appearances, this issue has the first chronological appearance of the Legion of Super-Villains. It's also an origin story that would explain the formation of the group.

In Action Comics #371, it's discovered that Colossal Boy is a traitor and expelled from the Legion, but in this issue they discover that the reason is because Colossal Boy's parents are being held hostage and he is being forced to betray his friends. 

In this adventure Shrinking Violet discovers an identical Legion Academy but for villains run by Tarik the Mute. Going undercover after they learn of this, a few legion members infiltrate the school to find such Legion rejects as Nemesis Kid, Spider Girl, Ron Karr, Lightning Lord (Lightning Lad's brother), and Radiation Roy in attendance. 

The Legion would end up breaking up the villain school, thus causing the creation of the Legion of Super-Villains. The Legion of Super-Villains first published appearance is in Superman #147. They appeared as adults in that issue, but in this one they appear as teens.

Because Timber Wolf and Chemical King were two of the members in training that infiltrated the school and helped to defeat Tarik and his School of Super-Villains, they are inducted into the Legion and officially join in this issue. Colossal Boy also is readmitted into the Legion in this issue as well.

September, 1968 was when this comic was published, and it is an important one concerning the Legion of Super-Villains. Neal Adams cover art.

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The origin of the L.S.H. written by E. Nelson Bridwell in Superboy #147 is definitely one of the more important Legion of Super-Heroes key issues as mentioned by Jim Shooter himself. It's obvious that the writers at the time were working to flesh out the foundation and background of what would be known as the Legion of Super-Heroes' universe.

Then you got Neal Adams supplying most of the cover art? Nothing but a win-win right there!

Part 7 still features the many contributions that Jim Shooter and Curt Swan also made to the series - the Dark Circle, Chemical King, the origin story for the Legion of Super-Villains, Mordru and Shadow Lass. Shooter and Swan introduced quite a few lasting villains and villainous groups during their tenure in the series.

These villains would be recurring and major players for some of the classic fan-favorite Legion stories, so I would not be surprised to see some of them used in a possible future movie or TV for this DC Comics' team.

Part 8 is ready so just click that blue link below to continue with more key comics of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

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