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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We should just post all the letters from "Legion Outpost" in this thread and call it a day. Evidently, they thought everything we're thinking, only 47 years earlier.

Props on your uncanny memory, Commander! 

Of course, they could have just called him "Chemical Kid".

Chem was one of those characters fated to die from the Adult Legion story though Shadow Lass escaped that fate.

They seem to use his powers different ways each time he appeared from causing fires, negating powers or increasing his own strength. In Superboy #195, he's basically Element Lad but he gets a better uniform though it's still pretty generic.

Probably my favorite Chemical King story was Superboy #214 where he helped save the day but was treated like one of the gang!

This answer strikes me as very condescending.

True---but he's afraid not everybody would understand the word. Some people might think a catalyst is a person who deals in cattle.)
--- Ed.

Maybe a child who didn't know the word would (God forbid) actually look it up?

It's a little odd they would call him Chemical King. They used alliteration a lot, so he probably should have been "Kid," not "King." "King" is what they normally would use in an adult-Legion story.

They called Karate Kid "Karate King" in a letter column response about his "Adult Legion" status which was used many years later in Legion of Super-Heroes #300.

So he can be Catalyst King if he deals with cattle. Sounds like they stole a Stan joke.

One more Duo Damsel tidbit. On her own she defeated one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, supervillain the Legion faced. A supervillain who could take down any one of the big guns: Nemesis Kid. (As an aside, I was able to learn what “nemesis” meant, I think I could have handled “catalyst” as well.) Of course, it’s all Silver Age silliness, which you’ve gotta love. Nemesis Kid had the superpower to gain the ability to defeat any single other individual. Where he could have defeated Superboy or Mon-El, he couldn’t defeat her because there were two of her. It happened in Adventure #372. One Duo Damsel holds him while the other Duo Damsel slugs him. “Oof! It can’t be! No mere Girl can take Nemesis Kid uhh!” You know he’s a supervillain because he refers to himself in the third person, and is sexist to boot. “Duo Damsel can! Your power can’t work on the two of me!” (Luornu, be careful, you’re talking in the third person too.) If you think about it,it’s either silly or an incredibly creative use of her power.

Well after the Silver Age, Queen Projectra also took care of Nemesis Kid singlehandedly, but that’s a story for another time.

20. Light Lass

 

Intangibles – 5 – I suppose there’s some Ranzz family drama, but that doesn’t really affect her value to the team in my opinion.

 

Perceived Value – 8 – Here initial power set was kind of static but also useful. Her new power set in many ways is more useful, and she and Star Boy should likely team up on every mission.

 

Actual Value – 8 – When she used her powers, she used them well.  

 

Total: 21

Dave Palmer said:

One more Duo Damsel tidbit. On her own she defeated one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, supervillain the Legion faced. A supervillain who could take down any one of the big guns: Nemesis Kid. (As an aside, I was able to learn what “nemesis” meant, I think I could have handled “catalyst” as well.) Of course, it’s all Silver Age silliness, which you’ve gotta love. Nemesis Kid had the superpower to gain the ability to defeat any single other individual. Where he could have defeated Superboy or Mon-El, he couldn’t defeat her because there were two of her. It happened in Adventure #372. One Duo Damsel holds him while the other Duo Damsel slugs him. “Oof! It can’t be! No mere Girl can take Nemesis Kid uhh!” You know he’s a supervillain because he refers to himself in the third person, and is sexist to boot. “Duo Damsel can! Your power can’t work on the two of me!” (Luornu, be careful, you’re talking in the third person too.) If you think about it,it’s either silly or an incredibly creative use of her power.

That's easy---it's silly.

I get it.  Duo Damsel fans have always been desperate for ways to demonstrate that her power isn't the lamest of the Legionnaires.  That's why they clutched at the straw of D.D. having "double strength" when in her singular form---a reach of an inference after a scene in Adventure Comics # 369 (Jun., 1968).  The scene you mentioned, from the climax of Adventure Comics # 372, is another attempt to justify her presence in the Legion.

The inference here, as the Duo Damsel Fan Club would have it, is that the instant that D.D. splits into two girls, Nemesis Kid just curls up, helpless to combat her.  Because, the rationale goes, she can become two girls and the Kid's power works against only one foe.

But there's no evidence to suggest that.  Nemesis Kid's super-power guarantees that he will defeat any one foe---but he's scarcely impotent against more than one opponent. So, there's nothing to say that N.K.'s own natural abilities and strength wouldn't be enough to defeat two ordinary teen-age females.

Let's even give Duo Damsel the benefit of the doubt.  She goes through Legion fitness training, which is rigourous to the extreme, so she's in peak physical condition.  And let's toss in that she's probably been taught a few combat techniques by Karate Kid.  It's certainly reasonable that two of her could overcome Nemesis Kid, whose super-power won't kick in.  But he's going to make a fight of it.  D.D. would come away with more than her hair mussed.

Beyond that, two Duo Damsels would be no match for a Nemesis Kid armed with a plasma-rifle, or a disintegrator ray, or even a plain old-fashioned sub-machine gun.

The point is:  Nemesis Kid just doesn't keel over the moment Duo Damsel splits in two.

It must also be noted that in the few times Nemesis Kid was confronted by more than one opponent, his power would let him teleport away so technically the moment Duo Damsel splits, so should he! 

Then again, I have no big problem if readers want to believe that Duo Damsel is a bit stronger than "normal". After all, she comes from a world with three suns and we all know what a sun's effect on a person can be! 

Then again again, with all the Legionnaires who come from planets where everyone has the same power, she is actually weaker than the rest of her people. It's still strange that another Triplicater never applied for membership.

I always had issues with Nemesis Kid over the years. The way his powers were explained and set up, he shouldn't have been defeated in either instance. Sure, maybe Duo Damsel's powers could negate his, but he's still facing two teenage girls.

While his battle against Projectra was a moment, I have to call BS as well.

I only remember reading the issue where Supes and the others hide out in Kansas and end up forgetting who they really are. Thought Duo Damsel was a very interesting character from that story. She mentions she fell for Clark, but says nothing because she knows she's not the one he'll fall for. So the Legion knew things like who Supes was going to marry.

21. Sun Boy

 

Intangibles – 5 – Lots of power, but nothing special

 

Perceived Value – 8 – Extremely powerful. Almost too powerful. Certainly a good fit.

 

Actual Value – 8 – When he wasn’t being a tyrant, he was a good team mate.  

 

Total: 21

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