19 July 2021

The teen Legionnaires, with Supergirl, visit Superman at time after Supergirl has died. From Superman #423 (Sept. 1986); by Alan Moore, Curt Swan and George Pérez.

Alternate Legions!

When I learned the sad news that Legion fan Don Sakers had died, I wanted to preserve his exhaustive list of Alternate Universe Legions — like the bottle city of Kandor!

But as I reviewed the material, I realized that his structure diverged too much from mine. So instead, I used his great research to help me identify missing info on Cosmic Teams and really round out my pages.

Legion Elseworlds reviews every story that involves the Legion characters that are set in alternate realities (aka non-canonical). Now, the canonical Legion has its own variations. The ones in the Elseworlds section are non-canonical to any of the major timelines.

Legion Parodies is all about teams, whether DC or not, that are abviously inspired by the Legion.

24 April 2021

Vartox awakes to find himself hurtling through space! From Superman #390 (Dec. 1983); by Cary Bates, Elliot Maggin, Curt Swan and Dave Hunt.

Vartox!

The Vartox profile is a straggler from my Silver Age Super-Boys project. Although the character was not from the Mort Weisinger era of Superman comics, he fits into the pantheon of alien analogs to the Man of Steel, and is a member of the The United Planets Superwatch. I had an existing (and super lengthy) profile of him in my Obscure Heroes section and was able to refashion it for current standards:

"Valeron was a technologically advanced world with two suns and a pair of lunar satellites. Their planetary champion was Vartox, a hirsute man who wore a brown vest, black and yellow briefs and long boots. His origins were never revealed, but his celebrity as a young champion attracted the attention of a beautiful blonde named Syreena. They fell madly in love and as their romance flourished, she gave him a pendant to wear close to his heart." … READ MORE »

 

» SEE ALSO:

19 Decmeber 2020

Jacques battles the Dream Demon. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 2 #299 (May 1983); by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt.

Invisible Kids!

Across all the incarnations of the Legion, an Invisible Kid has been an staple of the team's roster. In different eras, it has been the original, Lyle Norg, or his successor, Jacques Foccart, to fill the role. Read about Lyle:

"Lyle Norg was a boy genius who earned a degree in biochemistry ffrom Metropolis University at age twelve. He was employed by a number of laboratories while working privately on a pet project: a serum to make himself invisible." READ MORE »

Read about Jacques:

"Jacques Foccart grew up on Africa's Ivory Coast with his two sisters. When the younger, Danielle, contracted some sort of electrical dysfunction in her brain that was believed incurable, the Legion's Brainiac 5 took an interest in her case." READ MORE »

Recently Completed …

5 Decmeber 2020

Even the so-called "weakest, sorriest" Legionnaire … is a Legionnaire. From Superboy #199 (May 1969); by Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum.

Bouncing Boy!

Hot on the heels of his wife's profile, the ever-exuberant Chuck Taine:

"Young Chuck Taine was an "errand boy" for a scientist in Metropolis. One day he was entrusted to deliver a special super-plastic fluid to the Science Council, but on the way Chuck was enticed by a Robot Gladiator tournament. In his excitement, he accidentally drank the plastic serum instead of his soda — and gained the power to inflate his body and bounce like a rubber ball!" … READ MORE »

28 November 2020

Triplicate Girl is the first new Legionnaire. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 5 #3 (2004); art by Barry Kitson.

Triplicate Girl!

For a so-called "weak" Legionnaire, Luornu Durgo has proved an extremely popular and versatile character, even moreso in her more recent iterations.

"Luornu Durgo was born on Cargg to Humre and Silvo Durgo. Carggites live under a triple sun and have the native ability to split themselves into three separate, identical bodies. In most people, all three bodies share the same personality; Carggites whose selves have deviate from this norm are considered schizophrenic. Over the years, Luornu has demonstrated some of this trait." … READ MORE »

24 October 2020

Phantom Girl fights alien invaders. From Superboy & the Legion #241 (1978); art by James Sherman and Bob McLeod.

Phantom Girl!

Read all about the Legion's fifth member!

"Bgtzl is a world that lies in the same location as Earth, but each planet resides in a different dimension. Bgtzl natives can become immaterial at will, and pass through solid objects. By extension, they can shift their bodies fully into Earth's dimension." … READ MORE »

24 October 2020

Superboy dares to hope that he's found a long-lost brother. From Superboy #89 (June 1961); by Robert Bernstein and George Papp.

Mon-El!

It feels good to have this profile under my belt. It was substantial to begin with, but in dire need of editing and clarifications, especially since the Retroboot and the New 52.

"Lar Gand was a 20th century space explorer who met Superboy when his ship crashed to Earth. Superboy saw that this alien boy had similar powers and theorized that he was his long lost brother; he dubbed him Mon-El for its family name and because it was a Monday." … READ MORE »

» SEE ALSO:

16 October 2020

For her birthday, Superman gives Lois super-powers — to teach her a lesson. From Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #8 (Apr. 1959); by Alvin Schwartz and K urt Schaffenberger.

Lois Lane as Superwoman and the "Super-Women" of the Silver Age!

Next in my suite of articles that began with the deep dive into Adventure Comics #247, then the Silver Age Super-Boys, comes the revealing look at the super-powered history of Lois Lane! It was astonishing how many of these I uncovered when I kept turn over stones. I'd never realized how frequently she used the name "Superwoman," either.

"Lois Lane grew up in the 'small Midwestern town' of Pittsdale, the elder daughter of Sam and Ella Lane. Baby Kal-El (the future Superman) unknowingly saved Lois’ life for the first time when a toy of his (which was in one of his father’s experimental rockets) went from the planet Krypton to Earth and frightened a deadly snake which was about to strike at Lois." … READ MORE »

Of course there were other Superman analogs in female form. Just as there were many super-men and super-boys, the Silver Age was replete with (mostly alien) super-women (and -girls).

"The names 'Superwoman' and 'Supergirl' have been applied (explicitly and anecdotally) to a variety of characters throughout DC Comics' publishing history. As early as 1942, after Superman exploded in popularity, National (DC) had even printed "ashcan" comics titled Superwoman, Superboy and Supergirl. (An ashcan was a small black-and-white edition printed only to secure the trademark on a name; none of these depicted these super-heroes.)" … READ MORE »

» SEE ALSO:

20 September 2020

A 'behind the scenes' pic from the set of Stargirl.

Stargirl Show Chronology!

Catch up to Stargirl, season one! You can watch it now on The CW, which is where it will air natively, for season two.

» SEE ALSO:

25 July 2020

The United Planets Superwatch monitor the crisis. Clockwise from the top: Solarwoman, Dyno-Man, Hal Kar, Maxima, Klypso, Hyperboy, Hyper-Man I, Aeroman and Windlass. From The Green Lantern #9 (Sept. 2019).

The United Planets Superwatch!

This super-fun new group was introduced by Grant Morrison in The Green Lantern #9 (Sept. 2019). Its membership consisted of alien super-heroes who were introduced (mostly) during the Silver Age and appeared just once. In that same issue, he also introduced the Guardians of the Multiverse, a multiversal band of Green Lanterns.

The United Planets is a legendary part of the Legion of Super-Heroes universe, a 30th century concept introduced in Adventure Comics #340 (Jan. 1966). However, it only existed in the future until the "Rebirth" era. In this continuity, the United Planets was created in the present, inspired by an idea of the young Jonathan Kent (Superboy; Superman v.5 #14, Oct. 2019). Superboy and the U.P. became the inspiration for the Legion of Super-Heroes, a thousand years later." … READ MORE »

» SEE ALSO: Silver Age "Super-Boys"

28 June 2020

Lightning Lad was the Legion's longest serving leader. From Legion v.3 #280 (1981); art by Jim Janes and Bruce Patterson.

Lightning Lad!

Continuing the long slog toward covering the most iconic and long-standing Legionnaires, read all about the team's "unluckiest" member, Garth Ranzz, aka Lightning Lad.

"Mekt Ranzz was a reckless teenager who one day took his younger twin siblings Garth and Ayla Ranzz, on a ride in a spacecraft. When Mekt's piloting skills got them into trouble, Garth managed to guide their ship to land on the planetoid Korbal. In order to repower the spaceship, Garth suggested they try to attract the native lightning beasts toward the ship. Instead of recharging the ship, the beasts attacked siblings with lightning energies. The Ranzzes survived, and gained the power to discharge electricity." … READ MORE »

27 May 2020

A Legion of super-boys appeared throughout the Silver Age.

Silver Age Super-Boys!

I first encountered these heroes in Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp's story from The Green Lantern #9 (Sept. 2019). There they resurrected obscure Silver Age space heroes and assembled them into a novel team called the United Planets Superwatch. Even when I read that story, I didn't know they were classic characters. That, I learned from the great Legion of Super-Bloggers.

When I began digging into the Legion's early appearances, I unearthed a trove of these heroes — and more, and more. A few of these were actually the prototypes for Legionnaires like Mon-El and Star Boy.

Be they Super-, Hyper-, Power- or Mighty, there are a bevy of Silver Age boy heroes whose origins and powers mirrored those of Superboy. Most of these characters appeared only once, and the plots of their stories were recycled by Mort Weisinger (who was known for this) years later to make 'new' characters. READ MORE »

FYI, I'm still working on the companion pages to this, covering the adult and female heroes in the same vein.

24 April 2020

Courtney and Pat face the hordes of the Dragon King. From Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #1 (1999); art by Lee Moder and Dan Davis.
Dr. Manhattan sees the effects of his experimentation. Lex Luthor provides evidence of the Justice Society to Lois Lane. From Doomsday Clock #9 (May 2019); by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

Stargirl: Time for Justice Society!

It's a new day for the Justice Society with its first related television series, Stargirl, prepared to debut on DC Universe in May. What's more, the franchise has been prepped to return to comic books after many years in limbo. Read the Chronology of events for the Rebirth Justice Society…

Stargirl

Courtney Whitmore is the step-daughter of Pat Dugan, who began fighting crime in the 1940s as Stripsey. Stripesy was the partner of the original Star-Spangled Kid, Sylvester Pemberton. In 1949, their group, the Seven Soldiers of Victory were betrayed by their own member, the Spider, and flung across time. Pat was rescued from ancient Egypt by Starman, Hourman, and Batman, with some help from the young Prince Khufu (antecedent of Hawkman). READ MORE »

Star-Spangled Kid

Sylvester Pemberton was born in 1926 to an "ultra-rich" New York banking family. The American Pembertons originated from the historic journey of the Mayflower. Settler Cotton Pemberton was allegedly friends with Pocahontas and John Smith. Ronald Pemberton was governor of one of the early colonies. Thomas Pemberton fought the British, and General Ebenezer in the Civil War. Kit Pemberton was a frontiersman. READ MORE »

» SEE ALSO:

29 March 2020

Popular comic illustrator Alex Ross recreated the iconic cover of Adventure Comics #247 for the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #29 (1999). Scan courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Adventure Comics #247: A Closer Look at the Legion's Early Years in Publication

Adventure Comics #247 (Apr. 1958) launched the legacy of the Legion of Super-Heroes: Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl. I felt lucky and excited when I scored very own copy and it inspired a big new article about the first five years of Legion lore. READ MORE »

23 February 2020

A big day for Computo at the Legionnaires' establishment of headquarters on New Earth. From Legionnaires #1 (Apr. 1993); art by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story.

Danielle Foccart: Computo!

What a surprise: Computo is a part of the new Legion! This inspired me to take a look at my profile. Though it is short, catch up to this popular but little-used character:

"Danielle Foccart was about eight years old when she contracted a kind of nervous disorder. Her brother Jacques brought her case to the attention of the Legion's Brainiac 5. … READ MORE »

29 DecEmber 2019

Saturn Girl's first appearance in print, when the Legion teased Superboy before admitting him to the Legion. From Adventure Comics #247 (Apr. 1958); art by Jim Janes and Frank Chiaramonte.

Saturn Girl!

This profile celebrates one of the Legion's most well-known members, a significant character in her own right. We tend to think of the Legion as a unit, but this character has gravitas all her own, having appeared consistently from 1958 in all types of media.

"The Legion might never have been founded without Imra Ardeen. She was born on Titan, a moon of Saturn, where all people possess telepathic abilities. Her family was known to be exceptionally strong with these powers, and young Imra excelled early. She became Titan's top telepath and found herself participating in her world's peacekeeping forces. This led her to enroll in the Science Police Academy; she set out for Earth." … READ MORE »

21 DecEmber 2019

Jon's first meeting with Robin is contentious. From Superman v.4 #10 (2016); art by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray.

Superboy Jonathan Kent!

Legion fans: get to know the new Superboy, Jonathan Kent! I've spent a whole lot of time figuring out this history. It's super-complicated given Jon's short time in the DCU and it's intricately tied to the drama of the New 52 Superman and the return of the Convergence Superman, so this profile teases a lot of that apaert as well...

"Jonathan Samuel Kent is the son of Superman and Lois Lane. The character's early history is complicated because his birth actually took place outside of mainstream DC continuity. In DC's Convergence (2015), a cosmically-large Brainiac was revealed to have saved cities from a multitude of former timelines. These included characters and times from throughout DC's entire publishing history. This occurred during the New 52 era of DC publishing. … " READ MORE »

7 DecEmber 2019

Ultra Boy trains with Karate Kid to control his powers better. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.5 #6 (2005); art by Barry Kitson and Art Thibert.

Ultra Boy!

OK I'm forcing myself to start looking at the core Legionnaires instead of the also-rans -- starting with a popular Legionnaire, Ultra Boy! This character has appeared in every incarnation of the Legion and has sort of served as the more 'approachable' version of Superboy or Mon-El.

"Jo Nah was born on Rimbor, a world that lives in perpetual night and gang warfare is a way of life. His parents raised him with a strong moral foundation but he ultimately took to the streets. In his time as a gang member, Jo sharpened his body and mind, and was instilled with a certain moral code. … " READ MORE »

20 November 2019

Khunds are forced to work with the Legion: Firefist, Veilmist, Blood Claw and Flederwerb. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #44 (1993); art by Stuart Immonen and Ron Boyd.

The Khund Legionnaires!

New update to a page covering the four Khunds who briefly served as Legionnaires: Blood Claw, Firefist, Flederweb and Veilmist.

"This page covers the four Khunds who briefly served as Legionnaires during the Glorith Reality. When Mordru attacked multiple worlds by raising the dead, his powers reached into both United Planets and Khundish space. The Khunds called a temporary truce with the U.P. and assigned four super-powered warriors to join the Legion and fight together. The relationship was uneasy, and two of the Khund Legionnaires were lost in this battle. … " READ MORE »

3 November 2019

Lana Lang, the Insect Queen!

Often, it was necessary to remove the knowledge of Superboy's secret identity from Lana's memory, after an adventure. From Adventure Comics #370 (1968); art by Curt Swan and Jack Abel.

As Insect Queen, Lana Lang was a reserve member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. That alter ego has a history all its own in the DC Universe, so read all about the super-powers of Lana Lang...

"Lana Lang was created just after Superboy was awarded his own comic book. The character appeared very frequently, so she was included in most aspects of the young hero’s life — including the Legion of Super-Heroes. In Lana’s first appearance, Superboy v.1 #10 (Sept./Oct.1950), the teenaged Lana was new to Smallville. Clark described her as “the girl who moved next door.” This was clearly ignored in later stories, which portrayed Lana and her family as lifelong neighbors of the Kents. … " READ MORE »

9 October 2019

The Legion of Substitute Heroes!

The Subs travel back in time and cross over to a parallel Earth, where they meet the Inferior Five. From The Brave and the Bold v.3 #35 (2007); art by Jesus Saiz.

The Legion Academy work led directly into the renovation of the info about the Subs! The two groups have some crossover, so it was only logical.

"The Legion of Substitute Heroes was formed by heroic teenagers who had been rejected for membership by the Legion of Super-Heroes. Each was given a reason for their rejection—'too uncontrollable' or 'not useful enough.' They banded together to prove their worth, regardless of the Legionnaires opinions …" READ MORE »

» SEE ALSO:

16 September 2019

Uncharted Cosmic!

Original art from Justice League of America #146 (1977); art by Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin.

There are so many pages on this site. A fair number of them are accessible via 'tables of contents' that sit in each section, and I do my best to cross link relevant pages.

But the ones below may slip through. They have fun stuff you might not have discovered:

8 September 2019

The Legion Academy!

Profile picture from Who's Who #13 (1986); art by Dan Jurgens and Greg Theakston.

Went down another rabbit hole here... It bothered me that I never really wrapped up some information from our last Legion series (the Paul Levitz stuff), which included a big story in Adventure Comics about the new Legion Academy students. A chunk of those new characters (Chemical Kid, Dragonwing, Comet Queen and Glorith) quickly went on to become Legion members in the New 52's Legion volume 7.

As with all things Legion, the story has many limbs! It led me back into a lot of volume 4 (Five Years Later) material, in which the Legion Academy morphed into the United Planets Militia Academy. It was fun to dig into old friends like Power Boy, Shadow Kid, Lamprey and Nightwind:

"It was first revealed that the Legion had a secret "training and testing program" when agents of the Legion of Super-Villains hatched a plot to blackmail the Legionnaire called Colossal Boy. LSV agents agents posed as broadcast interviewers at the Legionnaire's home, asking his parents about life as a Legionnaire's parent. Then they turned the Allons into glass and held their lives ransom in exchange for Colossal Boy's cooperation. READ MORE »

» SEE ALSO: Legion Academy Students

16 June 2019

The Fatal Five!

The Fatal Five of Earth-Prime is indistinguishable from the originals. From The Brave and the Bold #3 (2007); art by George Pérez and Scott Koblish.

I've added a summary of the fantastic Justice League vs. the Fatal Five, a new feature-length animated movie. The tone of this feature is more adult than the original cartoon; characters use swear words and actually kill people. The film features outstanding action sequences and a compelling narrative.

Then I realized the Fatal Five profile could use some love, so that is greatly improved now too!

» SEE:

24 March 2019

The Injustice Society of the World!

The Wizard escapes to try to reinvent the Injustice Society. From All-Star Comics #41 (1948); art by Carmine Infantino and Frank Giacoia.

At last a round-up of the super-villains who have menaced the Justice Society! Primarily centered on the Injustice Society, this profile includes lots of other entities. It's due to the consistent presence of one key member, the Wizard. The Wizard was the mastermind behind most of the I.S.'s capers, and he was the leader of the Secret Society of Super-Villains and Crime Champions, to boot.

"The Wizard first gained attention from the local newspaper, which emblazoned the headline "Philanthropist offers million dollars in cash to Justice Society of America." The JSA, of course, had no intention of accepting such a great reward, a blatant violation of their altruistic code. The benefactor in question was one Mr. W.I. Zard, who did not take their refusal well. Zard responded by terrorizing the team as the Wizard." … READ MORE »

» SEE ALSO:

Previously completed articles