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!"

Views: 5873

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Why did Luthor build him to look like his adult self? Why not have him look like he did then? How did Luthor know he'd grow up to look like that? And the tapes wouldn't have worked if they hadn't all had "Hate" written on them?

He hates Superboy because people think he's better than Luthor is and that hurts his ego? I thought he hated him because he was bald.

Some bullet-points first:

  • The Other Members Are On A Space Mission cliché is introduced!
  • They're filming their meeting to scare bad guys straight! No wonder Bouncing Boy is not there!
  • The use, design and availability of robots and androids is woefully inconsistent in this series from the Silver to the Bronze Age. Are they rare? Sentient? Needed for everyday life? It changes story to story!
  • Each Legionnaire gets to retell their origin!
  • Cosmic Boy is still using his "magnetic eyes"!
  • The Legionnaires are quick to accuse and turn on each other. This won't be the last time!
  • The Superboy and Luthor faces were drawn by Al Plastino so Kirby fans should note this was happening long before the King's Fourth World books!
  • The Smallville scenes basically foreshadow both surprise endings!
  • And they're chock filled with EXPOSITION!
  • I wonder how often Superboy checks in with Mon-El or is Mon just haunting him?
  • I'm also wondering if the 21st Century was a mistake or a way to make Mon's stay in the Phantom Zone less traumatic?
  • We don't see Superboy scanning Saturn Girl but then again she didn't have a purse!
  • "Urthlo" as the same color scheme as the Bronze Age Luthor!
  • As he brags about his power-nullifier and no one tries to take it!
  • And "Urthlo" lets them fly away when he was winning! He must have had a gloating program!
  • Could they have used the PZ Projector on "Urthlo"?
  • If this temporary cure is in the future, why does Superboy still think he can cure Mon in his present?
  • How much advanced technology did Teen Luthor have? And why not the same tech as an adult?And why didn't he use this power-nullifier against, say, the Justice League??
  • This is the THIRD time Luthor is the bad guy in a Legion story! How does stopping them in the future stop Superboy in the present?
  • Why does it seem like Saturn Girl was going to give Superboy the XY-4 Serum? She knows that he won't cure Mon-El. This is history to her!
  • Mon-El is still a cipher here. But he seems awfully forgiving!
  • The World-Wide Police are quick to try to exile the Legion but why didn't they see "Urthlo"? Could they have stopped him? Would they have even tried?

FIRST APPEARANCES: "Urthlo" debuts and is destroyed!

                                         Mon-El makes his first future appearance, joining the Legion!

                                          The World-Wide Police, the precursor to the Science Police, debuts as well.

FORGOTTEN FUTURE: The whole "21st Century" timeline!

SUPER-ITIS: Luthor, Mon-El and the Phantom Zone are all prominent.

PERSONAL THEORY: Readers were probably pestering Mort Weisinger about having more Legion stories and getting Mon-El out of the Phantom Zone. With this series, he killed two birds with stone and kept Mon-El out of the Superboy/Superman stories except as a phantom!

RATING: LLLL out of LLLLL due to their first starring feature and Mon-El becoming a Legionnaire!

NEXT: We Bouncy-Trouncy, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun or Catch You on the Rebound!

He wanted the Legion to think that it was he not an android that defeated them!

He hates Superboy because he believes that Superboy is jealous of him and destroyed his greatest creation. The baldness is a constant reminder of his hatred!

And yes, he wants the recognition that he is greater than Superboy!

The "Hate" were just labels! You wouldn't want a "Love Kittens" put in by mistake!
 
Ronald Morgan said:

Why did Luthor build him to look like his adult self? Why not have him look like he did then? How did Luthor know he'd grow up to look like that? And the tapes wouldn't have worked if they hadn't all had "Hate" written on them?

He hates Superboy because people think he's better than Luthor is and that hurts his ego? I thought he hated him because he was bald.

Why didn't he make the android look like he did when he built it? Why make it his adult self, which Superboy wouldn't even recognize since he's never seen Luthor as an adult yet. And putting labels on the tapes would give it away if anybody ever saw them. That's why those aliens gave us a book titled "To Serve Man". Wouldn't have fooled anybody if the title had been "100 Recipes for Cooking Earthlings."

This feels like a Superboy story to me, with the Legion playing guest stars.  As you said, Philip, he was the super deus ex machina here, so when that happens, it's hard for the LSH to shine.  I think though, one of the main reason the LSH became popular was the sheer insanity in the stories, sometimes wacky even by DC Silver Age standards.  A Phantom Zone projector in perfect working condition buried in the ground like a dog's bone, just in case it was ever needed, is a great example of that.  Members like Bouncing Boy and Matter-Eater Lad, concepts like the Subs and the Super-Pets, etc. etc.  Plus the futuristic setting, the ties to Superboy, the team being super-powered teens with their own clubhouse, and probably dozens of other reasons we could all name contributed to the LSH taking off the way they did.

I'll mention if the Legion even needed a Phantom Zone projector a bit later, John.

And Bouncing Boy? I'll give you Bouncing Boy a lot sooner! Ha!

And you can have him!

Philip Portelli said:

And Bouncing Boy? I'll give you Bouncing Boy a lot sooner! Ha!

Coming soon!

ADVENTURE COMICS #301 (O'62) The Secret Origin of Bouncing Boy! by Jerry Siegel and John Forte.

The Legion (Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Triplicate Girl, Chameleon Boy, Sun Boy, Shrinking Violet and, of course, Bouncing Boy) gather to hold their regular meeting after thrilling their fans! A quick note is made that other members are on solo missions across the universe like Phantom Girl, Colossal Boy and Ultra Boy. The main reason for this meeting is to evaluate applicants for membership! There appears to be eight candidates but we only see two in "action".

First is LESTER SPIFFANY, a snobby rich kid who tries to buy his way into the Legion, just to have the prestige of being a member. He is quickly rejected and leaves, throwing a tantrum!

Next is STORM BOY who can apparently control the weather but he is using a device, though a powerful one! He is tossed out by all three Triplicate Girls!

Cosmic Boy warns the rest if any of them are faking their powers to leave now. But he also has one of the Legionnaires tell them how he joined to inspire them and the one picked from their doll-selector machine is.................Bouncing Boy!

We learn his real name (Chuck Taine) and that "several years" ago, he was an errand boy to a famed scientist who, on his way to deliver an instant super-plastic fluid, stopped to see a Robot Gladiator Tournament where teams clearly inspired by VOLTRON control the limbs of powerful robot warriors! ("And I'll form the head!") This has replaced boxing as a contact sport!

Engrossed in the fight, Chuck accidently drinks the super-plastic fluid instead of his soda pop by mistake like he was Jimmy Olsen! He immediately swells up like a human rubber ball; his modesty preserved thanks to his stretchable clothing! Huh! Tripping, he discovers that he can bounce at great velocity and force without harming himself! Ruining the robo-match, he is examined by doctors who tell him his powers are permanent! That they will last forever! Never go away! Can't lose them Ever.

Thinking that his new-found ability is amazing, the Plump Protector decides to try out for the Legion who were clearly not impressed and rejected him with their customary smugness and rudeness! However Bouncing Boy refused to take "No!" for an answer and keeps on using his powers to do good deeds though they backfire on him, setting him up for ridicule even by the Legion!

btw, the Rotund Rebounder must mentally activate his powers by thinking "I Will Myself to Become.... BOUNCING BOY!" It's hardly "SHAZAM!" or "Say You!" or "Flame On!" or "By the Power of Greyskull!" and it's thankfully dropped!

Later, he sees an ELECTRIC THIEF whose shocking touch paralyzes those he touches, stealing a valuable medical device. The crook even immobilizes Saturn Girl who confronts him! But the Chubby Champion goes into action, knocking the thief out because he wasn't grounded like the others! For his bravery and determination, Bouncing Boy is sworn in as a member of the Legion!

His story clearly has an impact on one applicant who is later revealed to be....... MATTER EATER LAD!

                                                                                                                                     

Some comments:

  • This is the first Legion story without Superboy or Supergirl. Indeed, they are not even mentioned!
  • Now that the Legion has their own series, the creators must start asking and answering, "Who are these people?"
  • The Legion were clearly Teen Idols of their time. There was probably Legion magazines like Tiger Beat out for their public to buy!
  • The "Members Out on Solo Missions" excuse begins here!
  • Ultra Boy is battling a living lead-monster as if that's all his power is good for!
  • I would have let Lester join just to pay the bills! He'd get bored soon enough!
  • Storm Boy's device is extremely powerful for its size yet that hardly raises an eyebrow!
  • Too bad they don't even name the other applicants!
  • I know there are some who hate Bouncing Boy's origin but it is simple and to the point!
  • Bouncing Boy gets a bad rap as far as heroes go but he is not useless. His speed, durability and momentum are very effective, especially in close quarters!
  • His main problem is his name! He might have been taken more seriously if he called himself "Rebound" or "Spheroid" or "Bankshot"!
  • And he wasn't a Legionnaire solely because of his personality. He strove to overcome people's (including the Legion's) perceptions of him and showed what he could do with his power. Was it limited? Yes but so is triplicating, invisibility and telepathy!
  • The Electric Thief became the first in a long line of villains who were defeated by Bouncing Boy and had to put that on their resume!
  • Saturn Girl also impresses as she rushes to the battle bravely!
  • Bouncing Boy would soon become the "Ringo" of the team!

FIRST APPEARANCES: Lester Spiffany, Storm Boy and the Electric Thief. Possibly Matter Eater Lad, more on that later!

REJECTED APPLICANTS: Lester Spiffany, super-ego and Storm Boy, who had to put his hand in his tunic to start his device! How long would that have lasted?

FUTURE FORGOTTEN: We're still in the 21st century and the Legion has been around for "years".

"AS IF": The Legion are not exactly gracious in rejecting applicants regardless of the circumstances!

PERSONAL THEORY: Siegel and Weisinger realized that they had a series with a bunch of ciphers on it and that had to change! Bouncing Boy was such a memorable visual that he was a natural for an origin story!

RATING: LLL out of LLLLL. The Legion's first "solo" story focusing on one of its most beloved characters!

NEXT: Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto or Thank You for Being a (Super-Secret) Friend!



Philip Portelli said:

ADVENTURE COMICS #301 (O'62) The Secret Origin of Bouncing Boy! by Jerry Siegel and John Forte.

The Legion (Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Triplicate Girl, Chameleon Boy, Sun Boy, Shrinking Violet and, of course, Bouncing Boy) gather to hold their regular meeting after thrilling their fans! A quick note is made that other members are on solo missions across the universe like Phantom Girl, Colossal Boy and Ultra Boy. The main reason for this meeting is to evaluate applicants for membership! There appears to be eight candidates but we only see two in "action".

First is LESTER SPIFFANY, a snobby rich kid who tries to buy his way into the Legion, just to have the prestige of being a member. He is quickly rejected and leaves, throwing a tantrum!

Next is STORM BOY who can apparently control the weather but he is using a device, though a powerful one! He is tossed out by all three Triplicate Girls!

Cosmic Boy warns the rest if any of them are faking their powers to leave now. But he also has one of the Legionnaires tell them how he joined to inspire them and the one picked from their doll-selector machine is.................Bouncing Boy!

We learn his real name (Chuck Taine) and that "several years" ago, he was an errand boy to a famed scientist who, on his way to deliver an instant super-plastic fluid, stopped to see a Robot Gladiator Tournament where teams clearly inspired by VOLTRON control the limbs of powerful robot warriors! ("And I'll form the head!") This has replaced boxing as a contact sport!

Engrossed in the fight, Chuck accidently drinks the super-plastic fluid instead of his soda pop by mistake like he was Jimmy Olsen! He immediately swells up like a human rubber ball; his modesty preserved thanks to his stretchable clothing! Huh! Tripping, he discovers that he can bounce at great velocity and force without harming himself! Ruining the robo-match, he is examined by doctors who tell him his powers are permanent! That they will last forever! Never go away! Can't lose them Ever.

Thinking that his new-found ability is amazing, the Plump Protector decides to try out for the Legion who were clearly not impressed and rejected him with their customary smugness and rudeness! However Bouncing Boy refused to take "No!" for an answer and keeps on using his powers to do good deeds though they backfire on him, setting him up for ridicule even by the Legion!

btw, the Rotund Rebounder must mentally activate his powers by thinking "I Will Myself to Become.... BOUNCING BOY!" It's hardly "SHAZAM!" or "Say You!" or "Flame On!" or "By the Power of Greyskull!" and it's thankfully dropped!

Later, he sees an ELECTRIC THIEF whose shocking touch paralyzes those he touches, stealing a valuable medical device. The crook even immobilizes Saturn Girl who confronts him! But the Chubby Champion goes into action, knocking the thief out because he wasn't grounded like the others! For his bravery and determination, Bouncing Boy is sworn in as a member of the Legion!

His story clearly has an impact on one applicant who is later revealed to be....... MATTER EATER LAD!

                                                                                                                                     

Some comments:

  • This is the first Legion story without Superboy or Supergirl. Indeed, they are not even mentioned!
  • Now that the Legion has their own series, the creators must start asking and answering, "Who are these people?"
  • The Legion were clearly Teen Idols of their time. There was probably Legion magazines like Tiger Beat out for their public to buy!
  • The "Members Out on Solo Missions" excuse begins here!
  • Ultra Boy is battling a living lead-monster as if that's all his power is good for!
  • I would have let Lester join just to pay the bills! He'd get bored soon enough!
  • Storm Boy's device is extremely powerful for its size yet that hardly raises an eyebrow!
  • Too bad they don't even name the other applicants!
  • I know there are some who hate Bouncing Boy's origin but it is simple and to the point!
  • Bouncing Boy gets a bad rap as far as heroes go but he is not useless. His speed, durability and momentum are very effective, especially in close quarters!
  • His main problem is his name! He might have been taken more seriously if he called himself "Rebound" or "Spheroid" or "Bankshot"!
  • And he wasn't a Legionnaire solely because of his personality. He strove to overcome people's (including the Legion's) perceptions of him and showed what he could do with his power. Was it limited? Yes but so is triplicating, invisibility and telepathy!
  • The Electric Thief became the first in a long line of villains who were defeated by Bouncing Boy and had to put that on their resume!
  • Saturn Girl also impresses as she rushes to the battle bravely!
  • Bouncing Boy would soon become the "Ringo" of the team!

FIRST APPEARANCES: Lester Spiffany, Storm Boy and the Electric Thief. Possibly Matter Eater Lad, more on that later!

REJECTED APPLICANTS: Lester Spiffany, super-ego and Storm Boy, who had to put his hand in his tunic to start his device! How long would that have lasted?

FUTURE FORGOTTEN: We're still in the 21st century and the Legion has been around for "years".

"AS IF": The Legion are not exactly gracious in rejecting applicants regardless of the circumstances!

PERSONAL THEORY: Siegel and Weisinger realized that they had a series with a bunch of ciphers on it and that had to change! Bouncing Boy was such a memorable visual that he was a natural for an origin story!

RATING: LLL out of LLLLL. The Legion's first "solo" story focusing on one of its most beloved characters!

NEXT: Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto or Thank You for Being a (Super-Secret) Friend!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2017   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service