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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes Key Issues Part 10

I did warn everyone from the get go that the Legion of Super-Heroes is pretty massive when it comes to it's universe. Many of the keys, however, are pretty minor or just not all that cared about in the current market.

The keys in Part 10 are pretty much over-looked, whether for good reason or not. Dunno, as I've stated earlier that I don't know much about the Legion.

This group appeared to have a pretty big fan base back in the day though. Okay, this Part 9 link will bring ya back if need be. As for more Legion of Super-Heroes key issues, you'll find them below.




SUPERBOY #225
1st Paul Levitz script on Legion

If there is a writer that many Legion fans point to concerning fan-favorite stories, Paul Levitz is definitely mentioned a lot. Not just quite often, but a lot!

Levitz would not only expand the Legion universe, but he would incorporate many of the already established villains and connect them in truly ambitious story arcs for the Legion which brought a larger scope and depth to the mythos. He would work on the Legion titles from 1977 to 1979 and 1981 to 1989.

This issue is his first story for the Legion, and although he is a fan-favorite writer for the series, this issue seems to be over-looked in the market currently. For die-hard fans of the Legion, this key issue should be considered. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #225 was published May, 1977.

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SUPERBOY #226
1st appearance of Dawnstar

Paul Levitz and Mike Grell created Dawnstar from the planet Starhaven, and apparently the citizens of her world are from Native American descent. It seems that a portion of the Anasazi tribe were abducted by aliens a long time ago and placed on Starhaven.

Dawnstar is a metahuman, and the unknown aliens who abducted her people did genetic experiments on them. This character can track beings or objects light years away and can fly and survive space for long periods of time.

She would end up being a prominent member of the Legion and would join in issue #229. Superboy #226 was published April, 1977.

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SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #231
Title changes

Wow, the Legion has equal billing with Superboy during this time and the title of series changes from Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes to Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes. Soon, the title would change again to just Legion of Super-Heroes, knocking off Superboy from it.

Not a huge key issue or anything, and this comic was published September, 1977.

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SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #233
1st Sklarian Raiders
1st appearance of Infinite Man

An all-female group of space pirates? Oh, hell yeah! That's something I want to see on the big screen. So the Sklarian Raiders are from the technologically deficient world of Sklaria who basically travel the galaxy and steal technology and high tech equipment for their homeworld.

These Sklarians believe that the United Planets are hording the proper knowledge and technology that could benefit their planet. "You will not give, I'll take!" (Godfather III). Sorry had to put that in there since this group and their motives remind me of  that line in the movie.

Infinite Man is another creation by Paul Levitz and James Sherman. Professor Jaxon Rugarth is the lucky one who volunteers for Rhond Vidar's experiment to test his theory that the fourth dimension has a circular structure.

So Rugarth is propelled through the timelines of so many dimensions so many times that his mind snaps from the strain, but a new powerful being emerges with the knowledge of the past and future. Rugarth somehow is also able to draw energy from the ceaseless flow of time, and he becomes Infinite Man.

Not a very prominent villain or character for the Legion, and this comic was published November, 1977.

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ALL-NEW COLLECTORS EDITION C-55
Marriage of Lightning Lad & Saturn Girl

Another All-New Collectors Edition makes it on a key issues list on Total Comic Mayhem. This time it's the marriage of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, and it would be the 2nd marriage for the Legion.

Not exactly a major key, but apparently this marriage would produce Validus and his twin brother Graym Ranzz. This All-New Collector's Edition C-55 was published March, 1978.

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SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #241
1st appearance of Shvaughn Erin
Earthwar story arc begins

Expanding on the Science Police's presence in the Legion universe is the first appearance of Shvaughn Erin who is the Science Police Liaison Officer to the Legion. She would be a major supporting character in the Legion stories.

Erin would develop a romantic relationship with Element Lad. In later stories it's revealed that she is a transgender character and reverts back to being Sean Erin, a male.

Aside from the 1st appearance, this comic begins the Earthwar story arc that is a fan-favorite written by Paul Levitz. The Earthwar saga is the first ambitious Legion event that sees the potential of what all these supporting characters and villains can bring to the Legion universe on a grander scale.

In this story arc, the Legion are desperate to stop an intergalactic war involving the United Planets, the Khunds, the Dominators, the Dark Circle and the sorcerer Mordru. This would be the first big Legion story event that would become a fan-favorite written by Paul Levitz but it wouldn't be the last. The story would finish in issue #245.

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #241 was published July, 1978.

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SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #250
1st appearance of Omega

Created by Jim Starlin, Paul Levitz, and Dave Hunt, Omega was created by Brainiac 5 as he entered a period of insanity later revealed to be induced by Glorith. Brainiac 5 used the Miracle Machine (first appearance in Adventure Comics #367) to create a living embodiment of all the hate within the cosmos.

This is Omega, and he faces the Legion in this issue and the next. The next issue would see Omega destroyed when Matter-Eater Lad eats the Miracle Machine. Brainiac 5 would be sent to an asylum and Matter Eater Lad would be put into a catatonic state after consuming the Miracle Machine.

April, 1979 is the publishing date for Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #250.

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SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #253
1st League of Super-Assassins
1st appearance of Blok

Legion of Super-Hereos, Legion of Super-Pets, Legion of Substitute-Hereos, Legion of Super-Rejects, and now the League of Super-Assassins.  This League consists of five members from the planet Dryad who are tricked by the Dark Man into thinking the Legion are trying to destroy their home planet.

Blok is a super being that possesses a body made of stone with incredible strength and durability. He could also absorb certain types of energy, making some super powers completely ineffective on him. Blok would eventually join the Legion as a prominent member.

Much of the other League of Assassin members are quite minor characters. Titania is a super strong female with increased invulnerability, and her strength rivaled that of Mon-El and Superboy.

Silver Slasher is Ki-Lan, a female with a metallic, enhanced body and razor sharp fingers. She was could also able to spin her body at great speeds, giving her the strength and hardness to cut through almost anything.

Lazon or Chey-Nu can turn into any form of light, and Mist Master can turn into any form of gas or vapor.

Neutrax sits in a flying chair and has lost the use of his legs. He, however, has the ability to neutralize the powers of others for short periods of time.
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Supposedly, the League of Super-Assassins were based on X-Men characters. Blok was based off of Colossus, Mist Master based off of Storm, Silver Slasher is based off of Wolverine, Neutrax inspired by Professor X, Titania based on Thunderbird, and Lazon based off of Sunfire.

After their battle with the Legion, many would go on to become members of the Legion of Super-Villains. July, 1979 is the publishing date for Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #253.

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Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes has Whitman variants with issues #244 through #248. Overstreet notes them as low print runs and issues #244 and #245 have no issue number on the cover. 

The Whitman variants are still relatively cheap even in high grades. I don't think the market cares for them all much yet and who knows exactly what it means by "low print run" concerning the Superboy Whitman variants.

Also, the Legion of Super-Heroes first self-titled comic was a 4 issue series back in 1973. I did not include them because all those issues reprinted earlier Legion stories. There were no new stories in that reprint series.

As for this key issues series, there will only be a few more parts left (like two or three) and I will start being a bit more selective of the keys featured. Many of the ones in Part 10 are pretty much bargain bins and not that in demand, and I'm assuming it will be that way from here on out in terms of the next batch of keys.

That does not mean there aren't ones to consider here. Blok, Shavaughn Erin and Dawnstar do become prominent members of the Legion or supporting characters with a lot of appearances henceforth. 

I'll leave that up to your consideration. Part 11 and the last part to this Legion of Super-Heroes key issues series is ready to click the link below to continue.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes Key Issues Part 9


Finally and definitely within the Bronze Age of Legion of Super-Heroes key issues, and to be honest, Part 9 isn't really all that spectacular in terms of key comics. There are some interesting tid bits behind the scenes, however.

Anyways, this Part 8 link will bring you back if you missed it. If not, hope you enjoy Part 9.




SUPERBOY #200
Wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel

It was bound to happen in the Legion, and finally Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel are the first among the team to officially get married. Not a big key unless you like the wedding of characters, but it won't be the last wedding for the team for sure.

Well, at least this Legion of Super-Heroes key issues isn't all about 1st appearances. Actually, there is an interesting story that is related to this issue.

Apparently, Dave Cockrum left DC Comics over a dispute concerning ownership of his original artwork produced for this issue. The pages supposedly in dispute was the double splash page featuring the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel.

DC refused to relinquish the pages and Cockrum left after issue #202. Superboy #200 was published February, 1974.

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SUPERBOY #201
1st appearance of ERG-1 as Wildfire
1st appearance of Infectious Lass
1st appearance of Porcupine Pete

Although initially denied membership into the Legion at first, ERG-1 makes his comeback in this issue because fans called for it. However, the creatives had to give him a more appropriate name than the generic ERG-1.

So enter Wildfire and he would save the butts of the Legion and prove his worthiness. Wildfire would officially join in the next issue of Superboy.

However, two more new applicants of the Legion aren't so lucky, and they are Infectious Lass and Porcupine Pete.  Both are created by Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum.

Drura Sehpt is Infectious Lass from the planet Somahtur, in which all the inhabitant's bodies are homes to colonies of microorganisms. So basically she infects others with diseases while remaining immune to them.

Needless to say she ends up joining the Legion of Substitute-Heroes as does Porcupine Pete. Peter Dursin was born different and with rough skin that later developed into quills.

As Porcupine Pete, he can release them as flying projectiles. Not exactly major characters, and April, 1974 is the publishing date for this comic.

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SUPERBOY #202
Lightning Lass gets new costume
1st Mike Grell comic work
Last Dave Cockrum issue

Mike Grell first worked on the comic strip Brenda Starr for the Chicago Tribune, but Grell had no prior experience drawing for a monthly comic book. Grell recalls he got the job drawing for the Legion of Super-Heroes because he was there at the right time.

He walked in the editor's office asking for work right when Dave Cockrum was leaving the series. As mentioned before, this was over a dispute concerning the return of his original artwork, and Dave Cockrum would go to Marvel to change X-Men history and revitalize the team into one of the most popular comic book super-hero teams ever.

Mike Grell started on the Legion of Super-Heroes inking for this issue. By the next, he would take over pencils.


Lightning Lass or Light Lass would get a new costume in this issue as well. Many fans mistake this redesign as a Dave Cockrum redesign but that is a mistake.

Like Saturn Girl, the redesigned costume was submitted by a fellow comic fan who was another female reader of the series. Carol A. Strickland is the fan who designed the new Light Lass costume, and she has been credited with the contribution though not at first.

Not that well-known, however, and deserves an honorable mention. According to her site, she had designed Light Lass' new costume off of Cockrum's Lightning Lad redesign, and even received a letter from Cockrum stating that he had already redesigned Lass' costume but liked hers better.

Of course, Cockrum was on his way out and the credit to Carol Strickland got lost in the shuffle. Tom and Mary Bierbaum, who were fans of the Legion and also members of The Legion Outpost like Carol, would be the future Legion writers to give Carol the printed credit she deserved.

I thought it was a cool story, and neat that the Legion creatives gave fans such opportunities to contribute and feel a part of the comic series they loved so much. Superboy #202 was published May, 1974.






SUPERBOY #203
Death of Invisible Kid
Mike Grell art begins on series


Dream Girl has a premonition that one of the Legion members will die, and Invisible Kid is one who gets the ultimate smack down from Validus. As with most deaths, Invisible Kid or Lyle Norg will come back with all the continuity reboots, so no real big deal there.

Superboy #203 sees comic artist Mike Grell take over drawing for the series, and it was published August, 1974.

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SUPERBOY #210
Origin Karate Kid

I think this is the first origin of the Karate Kid, but not 100% sure. Anyways, it's in this issue where Karate Kid learns that his father was the infamous Black Dragon and that his adoptive father White Crane (Sensei) is the one who killed him.

Jim Shooter writes this tale. August, 1975 is the publishing date for Superboy #210.

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SUPERBOY #212
1st Legion of Super-Rejects

Oh, jeez, they've got the Legion of Substitute-Heroes and now there's a Legion of Super-Rejects? Getting ridiculous here a bit. So basically, these guys are members who were rejected because they had duplicate powers with already existing Legion members.

So they formed this lame group to try to battle those Legion members who had the same powers they had. So basically, Magno Lad the same powers as Cosmic Boy, Phantom Lad the same phasing powers as Phantom Girl, and so on.

First appearances of Calorie Queen, Magno Lad, Phantom Lad, Micro Lad, Esper Lass, and Chameleon Kid in Superboy #212. Magno Lad, Esper Lass, and Micro Lad went on to join the Legion of Super-Villains.

Calorie Queen? Pretty dumb name, but she is Tayrn Loy from Bismoll like Matter-Eater Lad, and she does reappear in future Legion stories unlike Chameleon Kid and Phantom Lad. October, 1975 is the publishing date for this comic.

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SUPERBOY #216
1st appearance of Tyroc

This character has an interesting and kind of funny story to it, because the creator Mike Grell hated the character of Tyroc. In an interview Grell mentioned that he had previously tried to introduce black characters but had been continually snubbed by then editor Murray Boltinoff.

"I kept getting stalled off...and finally comes Tyroc," Mike Grell recalled. "They might as well have named him Tyrone. Their explanation for why there were no black people [in the Legion] was that all the black people had gone to live on an island. It's possibly the most racist concept I've ever heard in my life...I mean, it's a segregationist's dream, right? So they named him Tyroc, and gave him the world's stupidest super-power."


He was not the only creative to have been appalled by the character. Jim Shooter, who had previously tried to introduce Ferro Lad as an African American super-hero in the Legion but was denied, also said,  "I always wanted to have a character who was African-American, and years later, when they did that, they did it in the worst way possible....instead of just incidentally having a character who happens to be black...they made a big fuss about it. He's a racial separatist....I just found it pathetic and appalling."

Even fan-favorite and legendary Legion writer Paul Levitz had reportedly admitted to dodging the character as long as possible during his long run on the comic series. So who is this Tyroc?

Tyroc is Troy Stewart and was the only superhero who lived on the island of Marzal. The island was entirely populated with black citizens and the island was even located in another dimension. They were extreme isolationists, and in Tyroc's initial first meeting with the Legion of Super-Heroes, Tyroc and the citizens of Marzal were not happy with the intrusion.

Tyroc had the power of  reality warping screams. In his initial appearances his scream could create portals into other dimensions, destroy objects and create force fields.

Later, his power was just reduced to a sonic scream like that of Banshee of the X-Men or Black Canary. Paul Levitz thought his power was stupid as well.

Despite the controversy surrounding this character by certain creatives, Tyroc is the first black super-hero to join the Legion in issue #218. He is also one of DC's first black costumed super-heroes. Superboy #216 was published April, 1976.

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SUPERBOY #223
1st appearance of Pulsar Stargrave 

Another creation by Jim Shooter with co-creator Mike Grell, Pulsar Stargrave is a Legion villain and from Colu like Brainiac, Vril Dox, and Brainiac 5. Pulsar has the ability to harness and control stellar energy and is on par in terms of power with powerful Legion foes such as Mordru and Time Trapper.

Post-Crisis, he is referred to as Mr. Starr and is from the 20th century instead of the 30th century. Superboy #223 was published January, 1977.

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Most of the Bronze Age key issues in Part 9 might be over-looked in the current market but they are hard to find in high grade online. So if you're a fan, it's probably a good time to snag 'em up while they're still cheap. The PREVIOUS link below will bring you back to Part 8.

Continue to Part 10 by clicking the link below.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Legion of Super-Heroes Key Issues Part 8

Welcome to Part 8 of this super-long Legion of Super-Heroes key comics series. We are finally heading out of the Silver Age and into the Bronze Age concerning this team.

'Bout time, but it's a good thing. While the Silver Age was crazy with 1st appearances, the Bronze Age for this team wasn't quite as frenzied.

Sure there are quite a few firsts, but as you'll see in Part 8, we'll be talking about the contributions of another certain artist who not only revitalized this DC comic series, but his work on the Legion would also revitalize the comic series for one of Marvel's most iconic super-hero teams later.

So, definitely something new in Part 8. This Part 7 link will bring you back if you need to, but if you're ready to continue, I hope you enjoy!





ADVENTURE COMICS #374
1st appearance of Leland McCauley III

When you have a character like R.J. Brande, who happens to be the richest man in the galaxy in the 30th century, you're bound to have enemies, and most likely, rich and powerful enemies. This is where Leland McCauley III comes in.

Just like R.J., McCauley is also one of the richest men in the galaxy as well, and he considers Brande a rival.When you make enemies with Brande, you make enemies with the Legion and so it would be. Leland McCauley III would be a somewhat notable enemy for the Legion.

His son Leland McCauley IV would also be a foe of Brande and the Legion and would resume the vendetta against them that his father carried. This version of the character would be introduced later.

November, 1968 is the publishing date for the first appearance of this Legion of Super-Heroes foe in Adventure Comics #374. and both Leland McCauley III and IV were created by Jim Shooter with Win Mortimer co-creating the pappa McCauley and Mike Grell co-creating the fourth McCauley.

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ADVENTURE COMICS #375
1st Quantum Queen & the Wanderers

Jim Shooter introduces the team of the Wanderers in this issue and Neal Adams does the cover work. This team would be  allies of the Legion, and the team would go through several incarnations as a supporting team within the Legion's mythos.

The original team consisted of Celebrand, Psyche, Quantum Queen, Immorto, Elvo, Ornitho, and Dartalg. The leader and strategist of the group is Celebrand.

Psyche can control or manipulate the emotions of others, while Quantum Queen can project herself into various types of quantum energy. Immorto has the power to rejuvenate like a healing factor and thus cannot be killed. He is an expert marksman also.

Dartalg is an expert with darts and his weapon is a blowgun. Like Green Arrow, he has several trick darts.

Wielding a badass energy sword, Elvo is a master swordsman of the 30th century. Last but not least is Orintho who can mimic or shape shift into any bird or bird-like creature.

December, 1968 is the publishing date for this comic, and all the members of the Wanderers make their first appearance in this comic right here.






ADVENTURE COMICS #380
Last Legion in Adventure Comics

All good things or bad things come to an end, and this issue would mark the last Legion of Super-Heroes as a feature for the comic title. Actually, Supergirl would take their place and the Legion would be sent to back up feature status again in the pages of Action Comics.

By this time, the Legion's popularity was waning. Hey, things get stale sometimes, especially in the world of comics.

However, the super-hero team would be revitalized again by one legendary artist in particular. We will definitely be getting to that issue and him soon. Adventure Comics #380 was published May, 1969.

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ACTION COMICS #377
Legion back up feature begins in title
1st appearance of Urthlo

Supergirl takes over as the featured star in Adventure Comics and the Legion get demoted to a back up feature in Action Comics. Not really a major key or even significant in that regard.

Even the first appearance of Urthlo isn't a major villain. He's created by Lex Luthor to battle Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, but is not a major villain in the mythos or for Superboy and the Legion. Action Comics #377 was published June, 1969.






ACTION COMICS #392
Legion back up feature ends
Saturn Girl new costume

This issue has the last back up feature for the Legion of Super-Heroes in Action Comics, and the group would be transferred to the Superboy title shortly after. Not really a big deal in that regard, and not really much happens in terms of key issues for the Legion of Super-Heroes during their back feature run in Action Comics.

However, the move would prove to be a good one, as the Superboy title would be the comic series where the Legion would become extremely popular with the help of certain creative legends of course.

Well, Saturn Girl does finally get a make over in this issue, and it's a much more drastic look than her conservative threads from before. Actually, she gets a much sexier costume than her old Silver Age one for sure, but even though I think the update was definitely needed for the time to shake things up, I think her old costume is cool looking as well.

The old outfit doesn't necessarily scream super-hero though. It's more like an outfit for a science-fiction academy like Star Trek or something. The retro 70s Saturn Girl costume is definitely more in-tune to the racy and revealing female costumes we are more familiar with.

This new costume was a pink, one-piece bikini that definitely showed a lot more skin than the old costumed that had her fully covered up. Storm's costume from the X-Men during this era definitely looks very similar. More revealing and racy for sure, this costume is definitely an iconic look for Saturn Girl and many comic fans are fans of this get up.

The redesign was not done by Dave Cockrum or the artist of this issue. It was done by Kim Metzger. She was a fan who sent in her redesign when the creatives at DC were encouraging readers to send in redesigns of old characters or concepts for new characters. 

It was chosen and first appeared in this issue here. Cool little story I thought. September, 1970 is the publishing date for Action Comics #392.

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SUPERBOY #184
1st Dave Cockrum work on Legion

Game changer when Dave Cockrum comes on board to draw for the Legion. This is the artist that revitalized renewed interest in the Legion of Super-Heroes during the time.

Cockrum's artwork is credited with establishing an exciting new vibe for the super-hero team in comics. The legendary comic artist would also redefine the look of the Legion as well. Many new costumes and designs replaced the old look for several characters during his work on the comic series.

In his initial redesign concepts, the character of Nightcrawler was suppose to be introduced in a spin-off team called the Outsiders. As we all know, Nightcrawler was introduced as a character for the X-Men instead.

Definitely one to snag for any Legion fan or Dave Cockrum fan. Superboy #184 was published April, 1972.

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SUPERBOY #193
Chameleon Boy gets new costume
Shrinking violet gets new costume

As mentioned earlier, Dave Cockrum would redesign much of the Legion member's costumes to a more updated and sleek look from their basic Silver Age garbs. Skin tight is also another good word to describe the Cockrum redesigns, and, although I'm far from the understanding of anything that's fashionable, I will talk a little bit about them just 'cause it's something different to yap about other than 1st this and 2nd that and 3rd whatever. 

So Chameleon Boy shows off his new threads for the first time in this issue. His costume changes color from a blue, black and white loose-fitting garb to a more reddish one-piece. Yep, the black undies over the leggings are gone in Cockrum's redesign as well.

Also, the purple gloves and shoulder flares give the outfit some kind of color and contrast, but it looks odd to me. Black might be a better color to replace the light purple. Just not a fan of light purple with a red that leans more towards the pink side. Then again, I'm no expert at super-hero costume design. Cockrum was, so take my critique with a huge grain of salt.

Although the shoulder flares were used in the earlier costume, the way they flare outwards more instead of upwards is distinct Dave Cockrum, who used the same shoulder flares for Nightcrawler's first initial look and Colossus' first costume. 

The flared out shoulder pads would even be incorporated into Wolverine's look as well when Cockrum was on the series, but it was done to a lesser degree than Night Crawler or Colossus' get up. Welcome to the updated look of super costumes looking like spandex, Chameleon Boy.


Up next is the sexy Shrinking Violet, but if we look at the old costume, it's pretty bland and basically a yellow short skirt dress. Quite loose-fitting as well and no where near the skin-tight or more revealing costumes that comic fans are accustomed to today.

But, hey, those were the time back then, and for those times, this was probably considered sexy and a bit revealing as well. However, as all things, times change and this is evident when Cockrum redesigns the look of Shrinking Violet as well.


Although not quite more revealing than the old look, Cockrum does give her the sexy form-fitting outfit. Actually, this new look is less revealing and covers up more skin than the old Shrinking Violet short dress. 

Doesn't mean it's any less sexy. The yellow is out and is replaced by green and black. Like Saturn Girl's new get up, Shrinking Violet gets thigh-high boots, and if you haven't noticed, quite a few of Dave Cockrum's female character costumes during this era have the good ole thigh-highs - Storm, Phoenix, Ms. Marvel just to name a few. 

Why? 'Cause thigh-highs are down-right sexy! Well on females, that is. However, Scott Summer's pops from the Star Jammers had thigh highs and so did Colossus.  Who created the Star Jammers, Corsair, and Colossus? Dave Cockrum.

I won't be doing this for all the costume redesigns that Dave did on the Legion members. This was just to illustrate and pay homage to his contributions and genius when it came to redesigning and designing classic comic book looks and costumes.

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SUPERBOY #195
1st appearance of Wildfire as ERG-1
Phantom Girl gets new costume

The character of Wildfire is a creation of Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum and was another applicant who was rejected by the Legion at first. His real name is Drake Burroughs and he is from Earth.

First introduced as ERG-1, Wildfire became popular with fans and was first introduced wearing a containment suit and had many of the same powers that Mon-El, Chemical King, Shrinking Violet, and Phantom Girl had. Since he is composed of anti-energy, he can produce energy blasts and even make simple constructs with his energy like that of Green Lantern.

Over time, he would lose many of his powers but would still retain superhuman strength, flight, and energy manipulation. Wildfire is known as one of the four most powerful Legionnaires a long with Superboy, Mon-El, and Ultra Boy.

Oh, hell, since I'm on the subject and since this is a good chance to talk about something other than 1st appearance of this lad or first appearance of that girl, I may as well showcase the redesign costumes Dave Cockrum did for the Legion. This redesigned costume for Phantom Girl is also a classic, but even more so than Saturn Girl's 70s look because the current new costume for Phantom Girl is very much based on this one with a few very minor tweaks.

While it's only slightly more revealing, the old Silver Age costume of Phantom Girl wasn't bad. Sure, she was pretty much covered up and all, but the costume isn't horrendous or far from sexy. It's skin tight and probably more skin tight than Cockrum's redesign.

However, the old one is pretty bland, but I actually kind of like it. The old look looks more like a superhero to me, but I do think the 70s look can definitely carry-over into present day with a few minor tweaks of course. The bell bottoms being the first to go. Superboy #195 was published June, 1973.

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SUPERBOY #197
Legion series begins in title
1st appearance of Tyr
Lightning Lad gets new costume
Timber Wolf new look

Dave Cockrum creates this super villain for the Legion, and Tyr is the Norse God of War from the planet Tyrazz. He has a cybernetic gun for one of his arms.

Post-Zero Hour, Tyr is the Tyrazzian representative to the Dark Circle. He would join the Legion of Super-Villains on a few occasions. 

Lightning Lad's new threads makes its first appearance in this issue as well and it is definitely an upgrade from the old clunky, Silver Age look. The costume would end up being Lightning Lad's iconic look throughout the years and even to this day. This costume hasn't changed much since Cockrum redesigned it.

The only thing that is taken from the old costume are the lightning bolts on the chest. Cape be gone! Other than that, it's a pretty original new look for the original and founding member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. 


When it comes to Dave Cockrum's character redesigns for the Legion, none is more famous than Timber Wolf. This issue debuts Timber Wolf's new costume and look, and Cockrum made the character look more feral.

Also, if you notice from the pic, the hair style is very similar to a favorite X-Man with feral attributes. Yes, we are talking about Wolverine here, and the famous Wolverine hair-style actually belonged to Timber Wolf a year prior.

An interesting tid bit to know for any X-Men fan, but there are definitely more connections between the Legion and Wolverine. Superboy #197 was published September, 1973, and is definitely a Bronze Age key to get for the Legion.

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SUPERBOY #198
Element Lad gets new costume
Princess Projectra gets new costume

It's definitely a time for make overs during Dave Cockrum's work on the Legion of Super-Hereos, and Superboy #198 sees two more Legionnaires by the names of Element Lad and Princess Projectra get new super-hero looks that are more acceptable for the Bronze Age of comics. 

Concerning Element Lad's costume by Cockrum, it's not the best. Some fans like it and some fans don't. It's definitely a sleeker look and looks cooler.

However, the costume was  redesigned later on. It definitely is a step above the old costume with the generic E slapped across his chest.

However, the arrow as the character's symbol is better but not by much. The colors are better for sure in my humble opinion, but looks too much like he could be a Green Lantern. His current costume went back to the pinkish-red color but kept the black.


As for Princess Projectra, her one-piece bikini and cape in the Silver Age wasn't bad. The Scarlet Witch has a similar costume during the Silver Age, and that's held up as an iconic look for the Scarlet Witch since. 

 Princess Projectra's new Dave Cockrum redesign isn't more or less sexy than her old outfit. Sure, it exposes the cleavage area and her tummy a bit more and the colors are definitely flashier, but I'm sure the right artist drawing the old Silver Age Princes Projectra can make her look sexy in that get up as well.

Princess Projectra would go through later outfit redesigns, especially when she becomes Sensor Girl. However, Cockrum's outfit would last quite a while before that happens. Superboy #198 was published October, 1973.

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Usually, I'm not really the one to comment on fashion designs, but since I am a pretty big X-Men fan, it was too tempting not to go into Dave Cockrum's redesigns. Besides, it doesn't hurt to shake things up so a key issues series isn't just all about 1st appearances.

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In connection with the Legion and the X-Men, Nightcrawler was suppose to be used in a group called the Outsiders, who were intended as a supporting group for the character of Wildfire. Thank, God, DC denied that submission idea and the character of Nightcrawler went over to Marvel when Dave left DC soon after his work on Legion. 

In the concept art, it's clear that Nightcrawler was brought over to Marvel as is. Also, the character of Trio from the Outsiders was later tweaked into the iconic X-Men Goddess of the Weather - Storm!




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Supposedly, Cockrum also proposed another villainous group for the Legion during this time called the Strangers. The idea was shot down, and the only member of the group to make it to the Legion stories was the character of Tyr. 

However, there was a member of the Strangers called Wolverine and the concept art has the date of 72 on it. Clearly, the character of Wolverine from the Strangers inspired the Timber Wolf redesigns, which debuted in September, 1973. Timber Wolf's look would eventually be carried over to Marvel's Wolverine, giving him his iconic look.

Awesome! Fun stuff to know about concerning how the Legion is connected in creating some of the greatest X-Men characters and arguably one of the best X-Men team line ups ever.


A doubly whammy of Dave Cockrum's contributions to the Legion and X-Men in this part here. I hope you enjoyed it if you didn't know about it already. Click that PART 9 below to continue with more key comics regarding the Legion of Super-Heroes.