As we are about to embark one the next box of my unread comics, I would like to thank all of you who come to read and/or comment on these threads. When I first started this project back in July 2006  (really?) on the old board I never thought I would even make it through the first box. The threads have helped keep me semi-honest here.

I'm pretty excited about this upcoming box. It is a very eclectic mix of comics. There are a bunch of my old standbys. Like Legion comics, Daredevil, Marvel Team-up, war comics. There is a ton of other stuff like '80s black and white comics, some Kirby, a touch of Vertigo. I don't know how much will inspire me to write about, and if it does others to comment, but I am looking forward to it.

I'm really stoked to have you with me. Let's get it on!

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Adventure Comics #352
Jan. 1967
Cover art by: Curt Swan & George Klein


Story: The Fatal Five
Writer: Jim Shooter
Pencils: Curt Swan
Inks: George Klein

At a monitoring station on the outskirts of the galaxy the officer manning the station notices a blip on his radar. He zooms in and sees IT! What is IT? Eh, you'll have to wait.

At Legion HQ, 5 members (Sun Boy, Superboy, Ferro Lad, Princess Projectra, and Cosmic Boy) are watching a documentary put together by the Science Police on five of the most hardened criminals in the galaxy. Nicknamed the Fatal Five. Some are still free and some are being held captive. Quite a number of menaces we have here. After the film, the group adjourns for the night. They are soon awakened by Superboy who let's them know that IT, is here. IT is the Sun-Eater, a creature that was first seen 200 years ago, and it is now on the way to our galaxy, and in within a week will be at out sun. When it gets here it will devour the sun and snuff all life in the solar system.

Unfortunately, the rest of the Legion is on a mission in another dimension. They then reach out to the other heroes in the galaxy for help, and are snubbed every which way. Cosmic Boy then has a brilliant idea! Heroes aren't the only people with powers. What if they appealed to some villains? They live here as well. The 5 Legionnaires then go try and recruit the villains they saw in the documentary. Which they do! Huzzah! I see a big battle coming next issue

Quite a few items occur to me while I was reading this, and a few things I didn't know.
First, I always thought the Fatal Five was a group put together by Tharok or maybe the Emerald Empress, but noooo! Actually Cosmic Boy brought the fearsome squad together. I wonder how often the others thank him for that little bit? I like that Superboy, who knows his own power, wonder how he would fare  against the anyone of the five individually. I didn't know that Mano destroyed his whole planet with his powers. They have obviously de-powered some members over the years. Like Persuader's atomic axe being able to cut off the gravity beneath someone, and such. Validus being quite competent on his own, but prone to fits of uncontrollable rage. Mano was about to have his hand cut off, and Validus was about to be put to death before the Legion came and rescued them. I didn't know, or I had forgotten that the Eye of Ekron was also affected by green kryptonite.

This issue was packed with a whole bunch of story, and I liked it a ton. What I really enjoyed about the art is that not everyone his a muscle bound freak, or even well-built. A few of the characters look average or even have a little paunch to them.

They were trying to do stories with less Legionnaires in them so there was a lot of these missions that took the majority of the team away. Also Shooter was emphasizing the members he created like Princess Projectra and Ferro Lad (while he can).

I never accepted that Mano was that powerful! If he could destroy a planet with a touch then who could stop him? Even Validus was captured though we don't know how or by whom.

...I remember that , during the 60s , there was a contreversy in the Adventure lettercol over whether Fero Lad's face would ever be revealed ! ( after his death )

  Eventually , I recall , they said that it WOULD (or his twin brother's - BTW , I only found out recently that said Ferro II's story was " resolved " in an early-80s , Levitz-period , LSH...) , but that went the way of the Lana Lang solo title , I guess...I missed the " The Ghost Of Ferro Lad " Adventure story at the time , :-( , BTW !!!!!!!!!

  I saw it advertised but could never find it . :-(:-(

Legion of Super-Heroes #300 (1983) contained a series of linked visions of alternative versions of events in Legion history, illustrated by different artists (including Curt Swan, Dave Cockrum, James Sherman and Joe Staton). In the course of the story the fate of Ferro Lad's brother was revealed, and the tale addressed the question of whether the Adult Legion two-parter in Adventure Comics ##354-355 represented the "real" future of the LSH.

Adventure Comics #380
May 1969
Cover art by: Curt Swan & Mike Esposito


Wait! Wait! Hold it! I just noticed that someone stuck a 15¢ sticker on the cover of this comic. Someone got screwed out of 3¢  back in the day.

Story: The Legion's Space Odyssey
Writer: Jim Shooter
Pencils: Win Mortimer
Inks: Jack Abel

Okay let's cut to the chase here. In this issue Superboy faked his own death to protect the other Legionnaires, because Dream Girl had a dream in which the team was killed by a death ray. So, with the aid of the Legion of Super-pets he kept the rest of the team away from the Earth until the ray “killed” robotic double of the Legion, and Superboy and Mon-El since they are invulnerable. Somehow they track down the people trying to kill them, how is never explained. Then those guys kill themselves before the Legion can take them into custody.

Kind of a weird issue honestly. Superboy does explain how the pets helped him with his ruse. Krypto controlling a robotic dinosaur with fake kryptonite teeth (that is what killed him). Beppo swimming at superspeed to create a whirlpool. Etc. I was impressed with how quickly the teammates were able to build their own spacecraft on a planet. Pretty smart group of kids.

Line that made me laugh,”A sailboat? This is 2969!” Like having a sailboat is just so unusual.

Now the art of Win Mortimer and Jack Abel I didn't care to much for. All of the faces just had a really weird look to them.

This was the last Legion in Adventure Comics as they switched with Supergirl to be the back-up in Action, an ill-conceived move IMO. Better to have given the Girl of Steel her own title than cram the Legion to eight pages!

Anyway I read this as a kid and always liked it. Some thoughts:

  • Ultra Boy is spotlighted here with maximizing the use of his one-at-a-time powers and his bravery
  • Invisible Kid's scientific knowledge proves that Brainiac 5 is not the only genius on the team
  • Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel  both get some character bits and furthers their relationship
  • The Twinning Teen also hunted down "rabbit-like creatures" and smoked and salted them! How she "got" them is not shown!
  • This was the last major use of the Legion of Super Pets as a team
  • The villains committing suicide to avoid capture is very harsh for the time
  • Finally Superboy plays a trick on the Legion, for their own good, natch. Usually it's the other way around! 

I never accepted that Mano was that powerful! If he could destroy a planet with a touch then who could stop him? Even Validus was captured though we don't know how or by whom.

Phantom Girl? Get him to touch himself maybe? I think it would be neat to see a flashback to the hows and whos on Validus' capture.

  • Ultra Boy is spotlighted here with maximizing the use of his one-at-a-time powers and his bravery
  • Invisible Kid's scientific knowledge proves that Brainiac 5 is not the only genius on the team

Agreed. I had no idea this was the last Legion in Adventure. Good info there.

While, overall, a fine tale for the Legion's swan song in Adventure Comics, the thing that always sticks with me about this yarn is how slow the Legionnaires were on the uptake.  A sharp-eyed reader undoubtedly tumbled to the fact that Superboy was running some sort of hoax on his buddies the moment he was "devoured" by the space dragon.

 

Certainly, the Legionnaires could not have known that the (robot) dragon's teeth were composed of fake green kryptonite---but they should have known that the Boy of Steel could not have been masticated in the jaws of the beastie.  As was well established, green kryptonite does not remove Superboy/man's invulnerablilty.  Even under the effects of green k, he remains invulnerable to all those other things to which he is normally invulnerable.

 

And, of course, as also stated many times, kryptonite---unlike everything else from the planet Krypton---does not become indestructable under a yellow sun.  So there's no way green-kryptonite choppers could have rent or torn the Boy of Steel's super-durable hide.

 

So the "fact" that Superboy was eaten should have been a big clue to his fellow Legionnaires that something wasn't on the up and up.

Travis Herrick said:

I never accepted that Mano was that powerful! If he could destroy a planet with a touch then who could stop him? Even Validus was captured though we don't know how or by whom.

 

Phantom Girl? Get him to touch himself maybe? I think it would be neat to see a flashback to the hows and whos on Validus' capture.

Wait ... Phantom Girl gets Mano to touch himself?  I ... I don't think I want to pursue that line of thought ...

Of course, there's also the implausibility of a dinosaur-like creature having green kryptonite teeth in the first place! That would be one weird evolution there!

Of course, (Part Two), if Superboy were chewed up, there would be blood and bits of Kal all over! Maybe the K-dino swallowed him whole (but left the cape!)

Of course, (Part Three), Ultra Boy could have tried to save Superboy or at least make the attempt. He can become invulnerable, y'know! Maybe he was afraid that there was another dino with radioactive force-teeth which given the situation was actually justifiable.

And of course (Part Four), Superboy could have just warned them from the beginning but then you wouldn't have a story! And the Super-Pets needed to go walkies anyway!
 
Commander Benson said:

While, overall, a fine tale for the Legion's swan song in Adventure Comics, the thing that always sticks with me about this yarn is how slow the Legionnaires were on the uptake.  A sharp-eyed reader undoubtedly tumbled to the fact that Superboy was running some sort of hoax on his buddies the moment he was "devoured" by the space dragon.

 

Certainly, the Legionnaires could not have known that the (robot) dragon's teeth were composed of fake green kryptonite---but they should have known that the Boy of Steel could not have been masticated in the jaws of the beastie.  As was well established, green kryptonite does not remove Superboy/man's invulnerablilty.  Even under the effects of green k, he remains invulnerable to all those other things to which he is normally invulnerable.

 

And, of course, as also stated many times, kryptonite---unlike everything else from the planet Krypton---does not become indestructable under a yellow sun.  So there's no way green-kryptonite choppers could have rent or torn the Boy of Steel's super-durable hide.

 

So the "fact" that Superboy was eaten should have been a big clue to his fellow Legionnaires that something wasn't on the up and up.

As regards how to capture Validus; lure him to an appropriate location, wait until he falls asleep, then quickly erect a prefabricated prison around him.

Philip Portelli said:

Maybe the K-dino swallowed [Superboy] whole (but left the cape)!

 

 

I factored that in. True, Bouncing Boy exclaimed that the dragon devoured Superboy and that could have simply meant the beast swallowed him whole.  But if you look at the panels on that page, you see that the Boy of Steel's cape is torn and shreds of his costume hang in the dragon's mouth.

 

Green kryptonite would not affect the indestructability of Superboy's costume.  It couldn't have been torn by the dragon's jaws.  So there was another clue that should have tipped off the Legionnaires that someone was running a ringer on them.

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