I'm going to regret this...

Unlike the other major superhero teams (the Justice Society, the Justice League, the Avengers, etc.), the Legion of Super-Heroes developed gradually, appearing as guest stars throughout all the Superman titles until they go their own series in Adventure Comics #300. As a result their early adventures were uneven and sometimes contradictive. I'll be rereading them in order to put things in perspective and point out the highlights (hopefully).

I have a great love for the Legion as it was the first book that I bought regularly without noticing that I was doing so. I will be using the Legion Archives for this so there will be minor appearances being skipped over. I welcome additions.

I will also try not to comment on events yet to happen, publishing wise and chronologically and focus on each story individually.

Beyond FIRST APPEARANCES, REJECTED APPLICANTS and COSTUME CHANGES I will be pointing out

  • FUTURE FORGOTTEN--concepts introduced yet dropped just as quickly
  • "AS IF"--the Legion's rudeness factor which usually seques into...
  • SOBS OF STEEL ---how many times the Legion makes Superboy and Supergirl cry!
  • SUPER-ITIS--how often elements of the Superman mythos are seen in the series
  • PERSONAL THEORY--my own theories about the whys and hows of the Legion chronicles

First, let me say that I do not plan to visit any Legion sites while I do this. I may remember some facts about the stories but I am hoping not to regurgitate the same stuff over and over again. If it gets too repetitive, please let me know.

Second, I will add when I can and hope that you will all bear with me.

Third, this is a thread for all Legion fans but please don't get ahead of me! I'm not as fast as some of you. However any input is more than welcome!

Long Live the Legion!

Next: Greetings From the Future or "In Smallville One Day, Clark Kent Receives a Sudden Shock!"

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I rather like the original costumes for the three Legionnaires--especially Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy. Nothing against the standard garb that the LSH would soon sport--but I find these clothes more like what people would wear in the future. They are mixing and matching retro styles with space-age fabrics.

The names spelled out in English are for Superboy's benefit, I therorize. Once Superboy learns Interlac (which he probably picks up as soon as he arrives in the 30th century), there's no longer a need to use the English names.

I propose that the Legion had already met the Time Trapper before this story. When we see the Trapper in an actual comic book story, there's a strong indication that the LSH have already tangled with him/her/it/them before.

That first encounter was never recorded--and later Trapper origin stories don't count, because they happen in an alternate timeline. As with a lot of classic Legion comics this proves to be a bonus for us fans. We can come up with our own ideas for all the stuff that isn't explained.

So since the Legion have to travel through time to meet Superboy, I surmise that this time trip was a consequence of their previous meeting with the Time Trapper.

Gasp! I thought the Invisible Eagle of Neptune was dead! 
 
Captain Comics said:

You can't miss him. He's standing right next to the Invisible Eagle of Neptune.

Randy Jackson said:

That Invisible Kid...you really can't tell if he's there, can you?

OK, I wanted to help out. Here's a list, cobbled from the Internets, of Legion appearances 1958-64. It all needs to be corroborated, but it's a starting point. (And if you need more, I'll start on 1965 right away.) I left out comics where only Legion statuettes or costumes or images showd up; there had to be an actual legionnaire in the flesh. I also left out stories that simply had 30th century artifacts -- one where a couple of future Durlans showed up, and another whose plot was predicated on a time bubble.

Can you tell I'm excited by this thread?

ADVENTURE #247 (Apr 58): Superboy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Boy, Saturn Girl, and unnamed characters presumed to be Brainiac 5, Phantom Girl, Shrinking Violet and Triplicate Girl.

JIMMY OLSEN #31 (Sep 58): First Elastic Lad.

WONDER WOMAN #101 (Oct 58): First Time Trapper as the Time Master (?)

ADVENTURE #267 (Dec 59): Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Superboy in “Prisoner of the Super-Heroes!”

ACTION #267 (Aug 60): Supergirl fails to join in “The Three Super-Heroes,” which actually has Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Invisible Kid, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl in it.

SUPERBOY #86 (Jan 61): Lightning Lad guests with Superboy in “The Army of the Kryptonite Men!”

ADVENTURE #282 (Mar 63):  Lana Lang meets Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Star Boy (origin). Superboy is here, too.

ACTION #276 (May 61): “Supergirl's Three Super Girl Friends” includes Bouncing Boy, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy and Triplicate Girl. Plus, Supergirl and Brainiac 5 join.

SUPERBOY #89 (Jun 61): Mon-El is briefly “Superboy’s Big Brother!” but at the end (spoiler) is projected into the Phantom Zone for what turns out to be 1,000 years.

JIMMY OLSEN #54 (Jul 61): Second Elastic Lad story.

SUPERBOY #90 (Jul 61): “Pete Ross’s Super-Secret” is learning Superboy’s Super-Secret. 

ADVENTURE #287 (Aug 61): First Dev-Em story.

SUPERMAN #147 (Aug 61): First Adult Legion story, featuring Superman, Cosmic Man, Lightning Man and Saturn Woman battling Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen (first Legion of Super-Villains appearance).      

ADVENTURE #288 (Sep 61): Second Dev-Em story.

ADVENTURE #290 (Nov 61): “The Secret of the 7th Super-Hero” finds Sun Boy joining the team, with appearances by Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl and Superboy.

SUPERBOY #93 (Nov 61): Chameleon Boy cameo in “Lana Lang’s Superboy ID Detection Kit!”

SUPERMAN #14 (Nov 61): Cameos of Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl in an Imaginary Story.

SUPERMAN ANNUAL #4 (1961):  “The Origin and Powers of the Legion of Super-Heroes” include Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy and Triplicate Girl.

ACTION #284 (Jan 62): Mon-El cameo in “The Babe of Steel!”

ACTION #285 (Feb 62):  Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Supergirl, Superman in “The World’s Greatest Heroine!”    

ADVENTURE #293 (Feb 62): Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Superboy are saved by the Legion of Super-Pets: Beppo, Comet, Krypto, Streaky

ACTION #286 (May 62): Supergirl, Superman area attacked by Cosmic King, Lightning Lord, Saturn Queen

ACTION #287 (Apr 62): Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Supergirl, Triplicate Girl in “Supergirl’s Greatest Challenge!”

SUPERMAN #152 (Apr 62): Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Supergirl, Superman in “The Robot Master!”    

ACTION #288 (May 62): Mon-El, Supergirl

LOIS LANE #33 (May 62): Mon-El, Superman

ACTION #289 (Jun 62): Cosmic Man, Chameleon Man, Lightning Man, Phantom Woman, Saturn Woman, Sun Man, Supergirl, Superman, Triplicate Woman       

ACTION #290 (Jul 62): Phantom Girl, Supergirl

SUPERBOY #98 (Jul 62): First Ultra Boy, with Superboy, Marla Latham, Pete Ross.

JIMMY OLSEN #62: Elastic Lad, Mon-El, Superman in “Superman’s Phantom Pal!”

SUPERMAN #155 (Aug 62): Cosmic Man, Lightning Man, Superman in “The Downfall of Superman!”

ADVENTURE #300 (Sep 62): Bouncing Boy, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lad, Mon-El (joins), Sun Boy, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Superboy

JIMMY OLSEN #63 (Sep 62): Chameleon Chief, Cosmic King, Lightning Lord, Sun Emperor

ADVENTURE #301 (Nov 62): “The Secret Origin of Bouncing Boy!” includes Bouncing Boy, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy and two applicants, Lester Spiffany and Storm

SUPERBOY #100 (Oct 62): Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Lightning Lad, Pete Ross, Saturn Girl, Superboy, Ultra Boy

SUPERMAN #156 (Oct 62): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Supergirl, Superman and Triplicate Girl appear in “The Last Days of Superman!”

ADVENTURE #302 (Nov 62): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Superboy and Ultra Boy appear in “Sun Boy’s Lost Power!”

SUPERMAN #157 (Nov 62): Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Superman in “Superman’s Day of Doom!”

ADVENTURE #303 (Dec 62): Matter-Eater Lad joins. Featuring Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy and Triplicate Girl

SUPERMAN ANNUAL #6 (Win 62): “Portrait” of Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Supergirl, Beppo, Comet, Krypto, Streaky and Superman

ADVENTURE #304 (Jan 63): Lightning Lad dies as Saturn Girl becomes leaders. Featuring Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid I, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy

ACTION #297 (Feb 63): Mon-El, Supergirl, Superman in “The Forbidden Weapons of Krypton!”

ADVENTURE #305 (Feb 63): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet and Sun Boy. Applicants include Antenna Boy and Dynamo Kid

ACTION #298 (Mar 63): Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Supergirl, Superman in “Super-Powers of Lex Luthor!”

ADVENTURE #306 (Mar 63): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet and Sun Boy. But also the Legion of Substitute Heroes: Chlorophyll Kid, Fire Lad, Night Girl, Polar Boy and Stone Boy.

ADVENTURE #307 (Apr 63): Element Lad joins. Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid I, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy. Applicants: Green Boy, Camera Eye

ADVENTURE #308 (May 63):  Lightning Lass joins, Lightning Lad seen in flashback. Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl, Triplicate Girl, Proty.   

ADVENTURE #309 (Jun 63):  Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid I, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy. Applicants: Rainbow Girl, Jungle

ADVENTURE #309 (Jun 63): Brainiac 5, Superboy

ADVENTURE #310 (Jul 63): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy,       

JIMMY OLSEN #70 (Jul 63):  Element Lad, Supergirl, Superman  in “Secret of Silver Kryptonite!”

SUPERMAN #162 (Jul 63): Bouncing Boy, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Supergirl.

ADVENTURE #311 (Aug 63): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Fire Lad, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lass, Night Girl, Polar Boy, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Stone Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy      

ADVENTURE #312 (Sep 63): Lightning Lad returns, but Proty dies. Chameleon Boy, Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Superboy.

ADVENTURE #313 (Oct 63): Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Night Girl, Polar Boy, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl, Triplicate Girl, Beppo, Comet, Krypto, Streaky, Satan Girl

JIMMY OLSEN #72 (Oct 63): Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Elastic Lad (joined), Fire Lad, Mon-El, Night Girl, Polar Boy, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superman, Triplicate Girl and introducing Proty II in “The World of Doomed Olsens!”

ACTION #306 (Nov 63): Brainiac 5, Mon-El, Supergirl, Superman in “The Maid of Doom!”

ADVENTURE #314 (Nov 63): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy and Ultra Boy. Applicants: Alaktor, Ron-Karr

SUPERMAN #165 (Nov 63): Saturn Woman, Superman, Proty II

ACTION #307 (Dec 63): Saturn Girl, Supergirl, Superman in “Supergirl’s Wedding Day!”  

ADVENTURE #315 (Dec 63): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, Fire Lad, Lightning Lad, Night Girl, Polar Boy, Saturn Girl, Stone Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy

ADVENTURE #315 (Dec 63): Colossal Boy, Superboy

JIMMY OLSEN #73 (Dec 63): Superman, Ultra Boy in “Jimmy’s Inter-Dimensional Romance!”     

ADVENTURE #316 (Jan 64): Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lass, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy, Ultra Boy, Proty II.    

ACTION #309 (Feb 64): Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid (Lyle), Lightning Lass, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Supergirl, Superman in “The Superman Super-Spectacular!”

ADVENTURE #317 (Feb 64): Dream Girl joins and resigns. Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Lightning Lad, Lightning/Light Lass, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy. Applicant Rann Antar. Time Trapper mentioned!

LOIS LANE #47 (Feb 64): Cosmic Boy, Krypton Girl, Night Girl, Polar Boy, Saturn Girl, Sun Boyin an Imaginary Story, “The Super-Life of Lois Lane!”

SUPERMAN #167 (Feb 64): Vril Dox

ADVENTURE #318 (Mar 63): Cosmic Boy, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Triplicate Girl. Plus the Time Trapper!

ADVENTURE #319 (Mar 64): Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Fire Lad, Invisible Kid (Lyle), Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Night Girl, Phantom Girl, Polar Boy, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Stone Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy.

JIMMY OLSEN #76 (Apr 64): Elastic Lad, Light Lass, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy

ADVENTURE #320 (May 64): Dev-Em returns.  Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Element Lad, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Superboy, Proty II. Applicant: Radiation Roy

ADVENTURE #321 (Jun 64):  Bouncing Boy loses his powers, resigns. Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy. I’m going to stop mentioning the Time Trapper now.

WORLD'S FINEST #142 (Jun 64): Brainiac 5, Mon-El, Sun Boy, Saturn Girl, Superman and statuettes of the rest of the team in “The Composite Superman!”

ADVENTURE #322 (Jun 64): Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, Fire Lad, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Night Girl, Phantom Girl, Polar Boy, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Superboy, Ultra Boy, Beppo, Comet, Krypto, Proty II, Streaky,          

LOIS LANE #50 (Jun 64): Light Lass, Phantom Girl, Shrinking Violet, Triplicate Girl

ADVENTURE #323 (Aug 64): Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Elastic Lad, Element Lad, Invisible Kid (Lyle), Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Pete Ross, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl (becomes Leader [2nd term]), Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy, Proty II. Applicants: Double-Header, Spider Girl

ADVENTURE #324 (Sep 64): Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Invisible Kid I, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Ultra Boy. Plus the Heroes of Lallor: Beast Boy, Duplicate Boy, Evolvo Lad, Gas Girl, Life Lass   

ADVENTURE #325 (Oct 64): Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid (Lyle), Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy, Proty II.

ADVENTURE #326 (Nov 64): Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid (Lyle), Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl, Star Boy, Triplicate Girl, Ultra Boy, Proty II.    

ACTION #319 (Dec 64): Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Supergirl

ADVENTURE 327 (Dec 64): Lone Wolf’s origin, but he does not join (I think). Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, Sun Boy, Superboy, Ultra Boy.

SUPERBOY 117 (Dec 64): Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Element Lad, Invisible Kid I, Superboy, Ultra Boy star in “Superboy and the Five Legion Traitors!”     

If people in the Phantom Zone don't sleep, and Daxamites are like humans and spend approx. 1/3 of every day sleeping, Mon-El's time in the zone was 1/2 as long again in terms of waking hours experienced than it sounds.

I read recently that we form memories while we sleep. If that's correct, it might mean 30th c. Mon-El doesn't remember his time in the Zone as well as one might think given that his superpowers presumably include total recall.

And really, who would go to the zoo to see (or not see) an invisible animal?
 
Ron M. said:

Gasp! I thought the Invisible Eagle of Neptune was dead! 
 
Captain Comics said:

You can't miss him. He's standing right next to the Invisible Eagle of Neptune.

Randy Jackson said:

That Invisible Kid...you really can't tell if he's there, can you?

ADVENTURE COMICS #267 (D'59) Prisoner of the Super-Heroes by Jerry Siegel and George Papp.

One day Superboy is shocked to see the three young heroes from the future reappear to handle situations (a falling plane, an out-of-control robot and an escaping criminal) that he could have easily dealt with. And dismayed that they are dismissive of him and flabbergasted that the citizens of Smallville seem to prefer them to him! Even his foster parents, the Kents are unkind to him. Trying to impress Smallville by carving out a huge cavern to create a tourist attraction (as if being the hometown of Superboy weren't enough), he accidently releases a Giant Reptile which the Legion drives back in one panel! The crowd cheers them and jeers the Sobber of Steel. Worse, Krypto, his Super-Dog ignores him! Later the mayor of Smallville tells him his services are no longer required!

It gets worse at home as the Kents are so ashamed of him that Pa actually says, "I wish I could send you back to the orphanage!" which is probably the fear all adopted children have! So in the space of one day (it seems), Superboy decides to exile himself from Earth because Smallville rejected him! Like there was no other place in the world that he could go!

However in space he sees a multitude of super-people heading towards a distant planet. He follows them and is amazed to see that there is an entire city devoted to him. Two officials welcome him to Superboy Planet and bring him to the council who are Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad who immediately proclaim him "GUILTY" and lock him in a kryptonite-lined cage and sentence him to life imprisonment! They then begin to construct a kryptonite prison to hold him, with Saturn Girl using eyebeams and Lightning Lad super-strength (probably to justify the cover!).

The Accusing Adolescents explain that they and other super-heroes from other worlds (though not members) built the Superboy Planet to honor him but when viewing their Futurescope they saw Superboy on a destructive rampage five years into his future but still their past. He demolished an aircraft carrier, wrecking a U.S. airstrip in the South Pacific and burying an entire factory. So they decided to imprison him before he can become a super-outlaw! Saturn Girl reveals that she turned Smallville, the Kents and Krypto against him with her super-telepathy!

After days of captivity, a deus ex machina Superboy trophy explodes, causing an "atomic chain reaction" that turn the Green Kryptonite into Blue SIEGELLIAN, an element with is deadly to the rest of the super-heroes including the Legion. Using a super-shout, the extremely forgiving Boy of Steel renders the Siegellian harmless! This deed reverses everyone's negative feelings about him and they unanimously give him a vote of confidence!

Since there is only one page left, Saturn Girl (somehow) picks up a radio message from Earth in which "the President of the United States releases Superboy from his security oath!" What timing! Superboy says those acts of destruction already happened and that he did them with the full authorization from the President to erase all traces of a terrible poison gas. The Futurescope was wrong ("By Golly...there is a flaw!") The Heroes bring Ma and Pa Kent and Krypto (though he's not seen) to the Superboy Planet in neat spacesuits to reunite with their son and to tell him that Smallville knows the truth and wants him back! It ends with a raucous "THREE CHEERS FOR SUPERBOY!"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To me, this is the weakest of the early Legion stories and a messed up little tale!

The Legion didn't have to turn Smallville against Superboy. They just had to invite him to the Superboy Planet. Remember he suspected nothing!

Also Saturn Girl used her powers on the innocent citizens of Smallville to act differently to use them as pawns in her scheme and warped the Kents' affection towards their son.

And if she's willing to do all that, why not control Superboy? Or can she? Or at least read his mind to find out what's going on with him?

But the worst thing was that they were willing to imprison Superboy for life for actions that, from their perspective, he hadn't committed yet! Wouldn't that disrupt the timestream? What about the people he would have saved in the five years before he "turned" evil? Don't they count? Why not go after a twenty year old Hitler? Or a teen age Stalin? or an eight year old Luthor? Legally, it makes no sense and the Legion must be breaking some time travelling rules! And who gave them the authority to do this?

We also see a myriad of adult, nameless super-heroes from many worlds but we don't know if they're from Superboy's time or the Legion's.

We also learn that Superboy met the Legion "over a year ago" and hadn't seen them since. After that adventure and this one, who could blame him!

FIRST APPEARANCES: the Legion's basic Silver Age costumes though there would be some tweaking with them.

FUTURE FORGOTTEN: Luckily the Legion's weakness to "Siegellian" (named after Jerry Siegel) would never come up again! Lightning Lad is not clapping anymore though his hands are together every time he fires out a lightning bolt!

"AS IF": the arrogance and rudeness of the Legion is on display for the entire story. They are very lucky that Superboy is so forgiving!

SOBS OF STEEL: there are three panels of Superboy crying! (see above!)

SUPER-ITIS: the Kents and Krypto meet the Legion for the first time!

RATING: LL out of LLLLL because it's a bad story with only the costume changes in its favor!

Next: Let's Make Supergirl Cry! or I'm My Own Grandpa!

What were they thinking with this group? Just from the first two appearances I'd decide I never wanted to see these characters again and would stop buying Adventure Comics if they kept showing up in it.

True, they are manipulative and condescending. They seldom do anything truly heroic. And they have to be bailed out by Superboy in both stories despite their ill treatment of him.

And in Adventure #267, they reveal themselves to the people of Smallville without consequences. If I'm not mistaken, future stories would have them be more careful.

But again, we learn next to nothing about the Legion itself and its dynamics. And what we do see isn't very nice!

PERSONAL THEORY: They are a Legion from an alternate timeline where all the members gain their powers in similar manners. That's why they have non-traditional powers and share the same weakness.

We also have to consider that Adventure #247 sold better than previous issues and that #267 was a test of sorts to see if the Legion was a viable concept despite the Legion's attitude problems. The Silver Age had many additions to the Superman Mythos and some were more successful than others like Bizarro getting a brief run in Adventure after popping up numerous times in Superman and Action. But no one was clamoring for a Superboy's Pal, Pete Ross or Tales of Kandor so the Legion got noticed! And they started to expand as we shall see.

What about these many nameless heroes from different worlds? I remember one Superman story that showed him beat several nameless heroes and one that was obviously supposed to be Captain Marvel.

There was World's Finest Comics #145 (N'64) that had alien super-heroes Electric Man, the Freezer, Balloon Man and the Flame.

There was also a Superboy story with named alien heroes that was retconned as a Legion story. I can't look it up now.

Also, Adventure #267 had a crossover between Green Arrow and Aquaman pre-JLA! A key issue indeed!

Sounds like the writers wanted to make their own characters but weren't allowed to do anything with them, so they tossed them out once hoping people would ask to see them again.

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