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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Aside from their ridiculous accuracy, I'd say most of the archer types qualify.

Dave Palmer said:

Here's a question, albeit not necessarily about the Legion, what long-running character is the best representation of a "normal" human doing extraordinary but still plausible things?

Basically yes, I think that's what they went with.



Captain Comics said:

Maybe the rule in Civil War was "You have to register if you have been featured in a comic book on Earth-0."

The last time I paid any attention to Green Arrow was The Longbow Hunters miniseries, but I (vaguely) remember some discussion somewhere that Ollie had a metagene.  Are metagenes still a thing in the DC universe?

Randy Jackson said:

Aside from their ridiculous accuracy, I'd say most of the archer types qualify.

Dave Palmer said:

Here's a question, albeit not necessarily about the Legion, what long-running character is the best representation of a "normal" human doing extraordinary but still plausible things?

I've not read much Master of Kung-Fu, but Shang-Chi might be a candidate. In newspaper strips, the winners are Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin hands down.


After Blackhawk the longest-running non-superhero, non-Western adventure star of the Golden Age might be Congo Bill, who appeared for 18 1/2 years (1940-1958) before he got Congorillaed. But I don't know how extraordinary his feats got in that period.


DC had several long-running Western heroes in the late 40s-early 60s. So did Marvel: Kid Colt was a great survivor, appearing 21 years not counting his title's reprint phase (1948-1969). DC's Tomahawk appeared just short of 25 years (1947-1972, counting its "Son of Tomahawk" phase), but many of his adventures were fantastic ones.

 

Tarzan probably doesn't pass the plausibility test. But for what it's worth, he appeared in original US comics stories from 1946-1979, in titles from Dell, Western, DC and Marvel.

 
Incidentally, Marvel's longest-running character of the Golden Age was Millie the Model (1945-early 1970s, when her title became a reprint one). The runner-up was Patsy Walker (1944-1966).

Looking through Tomahawk covers online fascinates me (more than the couple of issues I've read). He starts out as a frontiersman type (surprisingly even preceding the Davy Crockett craze), then a 1700s war book (the Rangers were described as "The GIs of 1776!"), then all the SF monsters and costumed types (Lady Liberty, the Hood).. Quite a range.

Luke Blanchard said:

I've not read much Master of Kung-Fu, but Shang-Chi might be a candidate. In newspaper strips, the winners are Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin hands down.


After Blackhawk the longest-running non-superhero, non-Western adventure star of the Golden Age might be Congo Bill, who appeared for 18 1/2 years (1940-1958) before he got Congorillaed. But I don't know how extraordinary his feats got in that period.


DC had several long-running Western heroes in the late 40s-early 60s. So did Marvel: Kid Colt was a great survivor, appearing 21 years not counting his title's reprint phase (1948-1969). DC's Tomahawk appeared just short of 25 years (1947-1972, counting its "Son of Tomahawk" phase), but many of his adventures were fantastic ones.

 

Tarzan probably doesn't pass the plausibility test. But for what it's worth, he appeared in original US comics stories from 1946-1979, in titles from Dell, Western, DC and Marvel.

 
Incidentally, Marvel's longest-running character of the Golden Age was Millie the Model (1945-early 1970s, when her title became a reprint one). The runner-up was Patsy Walker (1944-1966).

Then from #116-#130 Neal Adams drew most of the covers, and the majority were tough frontier images.

He was the cover-star of Star Spangled Comics from #96-#121.

When Batman had all of the aliens, Tomahawk had at least one T-Rex.

He used to get transformed too (#89, #100, #106, #115). And he even fought a War Wheel.

The War Wheel remains one of my favorite villain inventions. It just looks so damn cool.

Luke Blanchard said:

He used to get transformed too (#89, #100, #106, #115). And he even fought a War Wheel.

Mine, too. I think it may have been modelled after machines Frank R. Paul drew for the story "Juggernaut Jones ...Warrior" in Amazing Stories v.17 n.04 (Apr. 1943). The issue can be found at Internet Archive.

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