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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It sort of reminds me of Top Ten where gadgeteers were treated the same as robots as were super-powered beings of any stripe.

Of course, it's not like they really thought through Civil War though, is it? It seems as if they just had a story to tell and told it without thinking it through.

Fraser Sherman said:

Likewise if Misty Knight had to register, does everyone with a mechanical prosthetic have to sign up? Or heck, anyone with night goggles — being able to see in the dark is a classic super-power.

Super powered youth outlawed.  The use of superpowers prohibited.  Hmmmm, the Silver Age Legion dealt with that.  The two-parter in Adventure Comics #359-360 saw Earth President Kandro Boltax spearhead an effort to have the Legion outlawed.  Of course Boltax was Universo in disguise.  I’ve always enjoyed that story. Although I’ve never read Civil War, and am not too up on all of the various storylines outlawing mutants, it looks like the Legion was there first.

Pour one out for Blockade Boy!

Dave Palmer said:

Super powered youth outlawed.  The use of superpowers prohibited.  Hmmmm, the Silver Age Legion dealt with that.  The two-parter in Adventure Comics #359-360 saw Earth President Kandro Boltax spearhead an effort to have the Legion outlawed.  Of course Boltax was Universo in disguise.  I’ve always enjoyed that story. Although I’ve never read Civil War, and am not too up on all of the various storylines outlawing mutants, it looks like the Legion was there first.

Blockade Boy was in Adventure Comics #344-345's Super-Stalag of Space, not #359-360's Legion Chain Gang.

Two totally different things! Ha!

Captain Comics said:

Pour one out for Blockade Boy!

Dave Palmer said:

Super powered youth outlawed.  The use of superpowers prohibited.  Hmmmm, the Silver Age Legion dealt with that.  The two-parter in Adventure Comics #359-360 saw Earth President Kandro Boltax spearhead an effort to have the Legion outlawed.  Of course Boltax was Universo in disguise.  I’ve always enjoyed that story. Although I’ve never read Civil War, and am not too up on all of the various storylines outlawing mutants, it looks like the Legion was there first.

I feel more ashamed than usual. Oh, the humanity!

Universo's flair for working behind the scenes always made for good stories (and a memorable villain).

Dave Palmer said:

Super powered youth outlawed.  The use of superpowers prohibited.  Hmmmm, the Silver Age Legion dealt with that.  The two-parter in Adventure Comics #359-360 saw Earth President Kandro Boltax spearhead an effort to have the Legion outlawed.  Of course Boltax was Universo in disguise.  I’ve always enjoyed that story. Although I’ve never read Civil War, and am not too up on all of the various storylines outlawing mutants, it looks like the Legion was there first.

That the Legion got locked twice in the Silver Age (once "legally") shows that they need a Lawyer Lad on the team!

Fans of the Silver Age Legion might want to check out Scooby-Doo Team-Up #33.  It’s a fun story, and even has a plausible reason for the Legion seeking out Scooby and the Gang.  Shelly Fisch has written a number of very Silver-age-y stories - in much the same way that I thought E. Nelson Bridwell wrote a very nice Silver Age version of the JLA in Super Friends.

Philip Portelli said:

That the Legion got locked twice in the Silver Age (once "legally") shows that they need a Lawyer Lad on the team!

That's really a great idea. He could have encyclopaedic knowledge of all the laws of all the members of the United Planets.

"No, Superboy! On Phlogistonos it's a felony assault for a peace officer to strike a fleeing criminal if he's been disarmed! Brainiac 5's lightning rod has rendered Validus's mental lightning ineffective and his super-strength doesn't count as a weapon under Elgin Lord vs Marbleman (3055)!"

"The joke's on you, Universo! It's true you can't be held accountable for Superboy's crimes while hypnotised because of Earth Council vs the United Hypnotists (3017)! But hypnotising a senior citizen is illegal (Methuselah Act [3070] section C paragraph 3) - and Superboy qualifies as a senior citizen because of his 20th century birth!"

Luke Blanchard said:

"The joke's on you, Universo! It's true you can't be held accountable for Superboy's crimes while hypnotised because of Earth Council vs the United Hypnotists (3017)! But hypnotising a senior citizen is illegal (Methuselah Act [3070] section C paragraph 3) - and Superboy qualifies as a senior citizen because of his 20th century birth!"

Oh crap! Superboy was too old  to be in the Legion!

"As I noted earlier, despite what the writers said, Karate Kid had to have super strength and some high level of invulnerability to do the things he was shown to be able to do. He is less Shang-chi and more Karnak or Iron Fist. A good comparison may be Magnus who was able to behead robots with a single “karate chop.”"

I don't think I agree. Yes, in the real world, using karate that way is impossible, but no more so than many feats non-super people pull. Hypnosis works much better; Kingpin, despite being human, can go toe-to-toe with Spider-Man. Or there's the Mister Miracle issue in which Barda tells Scott's protege Shilo Norman that if he knows the underlying principles, lifting a truck is no harder than lifting a bag of groceries.

That non-super people pull in the DCU and MU, I mean.

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