Just for fun, I’ve decided to rank the Silver Age Legion of Super Heroes. This is my list, so if you disagree, please create your own. I’d love to see it.

 

Here are the guidelines I’ve set for myself for this list:

 

  • The Silver Age ends in 1968—the end of 1968
  • Only active, full-time Legionnaires are being considered. No Subs, Reservists or Honorary members, and nobody that was a member for one story but was expelled afterwards.
  • Rankings will be based on each character’s potential and actual contributions to the team. It’s entirely possible that a character I think is pretty awesome is ranked pretty low—or vice versa.

 

Characters will be ranked in several areas:

 

  • Intangibles – what, beyond their powers and abilities, did they bring to the team? For instance, if a character helped significantly boost morale, made a major scientific contribution or brought great leadership, that character would likely get extra points.
  • Perceived Value – Looking at the character’s powers and abilities, what should they bring to the table for the team.
  • Actual Value – Looking at the stories, what did those characters actually do with their powers and abilities? What contributions did they make?

 

I’ll tell you all right now, there are gonna be some surprises.

 

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"Imra Ardeen." "Tinya Wazzo." "Ayla Ranzz." "Luornu Durgo."

Sounds like Stan was working both companies for awhile there.



The Baron said:

Rating them is a little tougher. I'll start with an easy one, the guys I gotta give an "Incomplete" to:

Characters Where I Never Saw Them In A Story:

  • Ferro Lad
  • Invisible Kid I
  • Matter-Eater Lad
  • Tyroc

And One Where I Only Saw Him In His Last Story

  • Chemical King - It was hard to get worked up over him being killed off. He didn't come across as all that interesting to me.  Even as a much less cynical youngster, it felt to me like they were killing off Expendable Lad.  

Characters I Was Never All That Wild About

  • Bouncing Boy
  • Chameleon Boy

Never hated these characters, per se, just never was all that wild about them.  Bouncing Boy just seemed like too much of a comedy character to me.

As for Cham, I was initially put off by his appearance - maybe it's superficial, but a character's look will greatly affect my opinion of them. Even above and beyond that, he just never interested me all that much. 

Characters I Would Have Liked To See Developed More

  • Duo Damsel - At least in the stories I saw, they never really did much with what it might be like for a person to have more than one body. Must have made Chuck Taine's life real interesting, at least.
  • White Witch - One of the later additions that I would have liked to see developed more.

14. Princess Projectra

Intangibles – 6 – As I recall, her being royalty did occasionally help the Legion out during their stories.

Perceived Value – 8 – as demonstrated during her Legion tryout, her powers were quite formidable. Maybe not in a physical way, but certainly could be useful in many situations.

Actual Value – 7 – I think she used her powers well enough, although perhaps not enough as she could have…of course, she didn’t have to either.

Total: 21

15. Star Boy

Intangibles – 5 – Not a whole lot to say here.

Perceived Value – 8 – Star Boy has a formidable power that would be of use to many superhero teams.

Actual Value – 8 – In my opinion, Thom used his powers to the best of his ability—Brainiac 5 might disagree.

Total: 21


Randy Jackson said:

14. Princess Projectra

Intangibles – 6 – As I recall, her being royalty did occasionally help the Legion out during their stories.

She was also a medium, but the one story I know of in which that played a role - Adventure Comics #357's - it was more a hindrance than a help to the Legion as the séance she led helped legitimate the hoax.


The Baron said:

Characters I Would Have Liked To See Developed More

  • Duo Damsel - At least in the stories I saw, they never really did much with what it might be like for a person to have more than one body. Must have made Chuck Taine's life real interesting, at least.
  • White Witch - One of the later additions that I would have liked to see developed more.

Duo Damsel had a much more interesting origin in the 2005 "Threeboot." From Wikikpedia:

Triplicate Girl is the only inhabitant of the planet Cargg. Her origin is a mystery. All she recalls is waking up alone amongst the ruins of her planet. After weeks of loneliness, she discovers that she has the ability to divide herself into three, thus the three of them then became nine, twenty-seven, and so on with each individual having a shared consciousness. Eventually she hit her limit, but by then, her entire planet was repopulated with replicates of herself. When a United Planets craft arrives on Cargg, three of these replicates are sent out as emissaries. When they returned, the other replicates considered them "tainted," because they'd been places the other hadn't and met with beings who weren't replicates of themselves. These new experiences made them grow as people, and thus they were no longer true replicates, so the three merged into one being and were exiled, and she/they soon joined the Legion as Triplicate Girl.

BTW, was Cargg ever spelled Carggg, or did I dream that?



The Baron said:



The Baron said:

Rating them is a little tougher. I'll start with an easy one, the guys I gotta give an "Incomplete" to:

Characters Where I Never Saw Them In A Story:

  • Ferro Lad
  • Invisible Kid I
  • Matter-Eater Lad
  • Tyroc

And One Where I Only Saw Him In His Last Story

  • Chemical King - It was hard to get worked up over him being killed off. He didn't come across as all that interesting to me.  Even as a much less cynical youngster, it felt to me like they were killing off Expendable Lad.  

Characters I Was Never All That Wild About

  • Bouncing Boy
  • Chameleon Boy

Never hated these characters, per se, just never was all that wild about them.  Bouncing Boy just seemed like too much of a comedy character to me.

As for Cham, I was initially put off by his appearance - maybe it's superficial, but a character's look will greatly affect my opinion of them. Even above and beyond that, he just never interested me all that much. 

Lower Mid-Carders
  • Dream Girl
  • Element Lad
  • Princess Projectra
  • Shrinking Violet
  • Timber Wolf

OK characters, but I didn't mind if I didn't see them in every story.  Jan and Nura particularly felt like specialists that would only need to be called in occasionally.

Captain Comics said:


BTW, was Cargg ever spelled Carggg, or did I dream that?

No, you didn't dream that, Cap.  From the first time the name of her planet was mentioned and all through the Silver Age, the name of the planet was Cargg--two g's. For a brief period in the 1970's, some writer who either misremembered (which happened a lot during the mid-1970's) or thought it was a clever touch spelt it Carggg---three g's.  Fortunately, it didn't stick in the way other "clever touches" did, such as spelling J'onn J'onzz as "J'Onn J'Onzz".

Thanks, Commander!

Commander Benson said:

....some writer who either misremembered (which happened a lot during the mid-1970's)....

I continue to be amazed at how many times the new wave of writers after 1968 went by faulty memories when writing about existing characters or previous events.



The Baron said:



The Baron said:



The Baron said:

Rating them is a little tougher. I'll start with an easy one, the guys I gotta give an "Incomplete" to:

Characters Where I Never Saw Them In A Story:

  • Ferro Lad
  • Invisible Kid I
  • Matter-Eater Lad
  • Tyroc

And One Where I Only Saw Him In His Last Story

  • Chemical King - It was hard to get worked up over him being killed off. He didn't come across as all that interesting to me.  Even as a much less cynical youngster, it felt to me like they were killing off Expendable Lad.  

Characters I Was Never All That Wild About

  • Bouncing Boy
  • Chameleon Boy

Never hated these characters, per se, just never was all that wild about them.  Bouncing Boy just seemed like too much of a comedy character to me.

As for Cham, I was initially put off by his appearance - maybe it's superficial, but a character's look will greatly affect my opinion of them. Even above and beyond that, he just never interested me all that much. 

Lower Mid-Carders
  • Dream Girl
  • Element Lad
  • Princess Projectra
  • Shrinking Violet
  • Timber Wolf

OK characters, but I didn't mind if I didn't see them in every story.  Jan and Nura particularly felt like specialists that would only need to be called in occasionally.

Upper Mid-Carders

  • Invisible Kid II -  One of the better later additions
  • Karate Kid - an interesting idea - a character without "powers" as such
  • Light(ning) Lass - I liked her better as Lightning Lass, rather than as Light Lass
  • Polar Boy - I always liked the idea of one of the Subs making the "big time"
  • Star Boy - I got to like this character better when he was in the JSA
  • Supergirl - She never felt as much of a part of the Legion as Clark did.

My favorites of what I thought of as the "second-string" characters

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