There was a point not long before this guide was released that the three charter members of the Legion of Super-Heroes had all semi-retired. Lightning Lad and Saturn girl had gotten married and had a baby (and a Validus!) and Cosmic Boy was... doing stuff. I don't know, maybe he was working on his music or something. In any case, this paved the way for the newly re-electrified Lightning Lass, the somewhat-telepathic Tellus and Magnetic Kid, who was Cosmic boy's little brother, Pol.
Now, Pol had been kicking around Legion continuity for a while. He got blown up pretty good in the late Seventies (by terrorists, I think) and kicked around the
Pol was okay, I guess. He was a bit wide-eyed and inexperienced, which was refreshing, but the group was pretty big while he was on it, and therein lay the problem: when he wasn't saying anything, Magnetic Kid was indistinguishable from Cosmic Boy. It's kind of puzzling, actually. I mean, if I had the same superpowers as my brother (note: I think my brother's powers are headbutt-based) and I joined a group in which my brother had been a charter member and served on for years, I think that I might dress a little differently than him, rather than wearing, oh, the same costume. Seriously Pol - you went so far as to use a different hero name, so why not mix up the outfit a bit, too? A little blue instead of pink, maybe a hat? A vintage pinstripe suit with a horseshoe magnet on the lapel? Hell, if you're ripping off Rokk's costume designs why not kit up in the one with the fishbowl helmet? Kids (nine hundred and seventy-odd years from) today...
Not a bad picture, though. A lot more action than the last few have had, for one thing, and for another, I like the swirly blue magnetism. I also like that Magnetic Kid is using his magnetism to levitate what is patently a stone block. I'm sure that if we were to examine it we'd find a cannon ball lodged in the far side or something, but still.
**SPOILERS FOR THE MAGIC WARS AHEAD (if you care)**
Magnetic Kid also had what was possibly the most pointless Legion death ever. During the Magic Wars (which I found somewhat dreary to begin with) the team tracked the awful evil totally forgettable bad guy to one particular planet (was it the Sorcerer's World? I can't remember. Probably - writers love blowing that place all to hell) only to find that it was encased in a magical shell that could only be opened by the sacrifice of a human life. Magnetic Kid bravely gives his life to open the shield... and it turns out that that was exactly what the evil guy wanted. Further, from what I gathered from reading the rest of the story, he was eventually going to bust out of there himself. So Pol Krinn died so that the Legion could get to the bad guy maybe half an hour earlier. Whee!
For pointless deathery and bad costume decisions, Magnetic Kid is:
A while back I did a great big review of the whole durned Legion of Super-Heroes, circa the "Origins and Powers of the Legion" pages that ran way back when. Well, not long after I published that post I found another of those crazy things, in Legion of Super-Heroes v3 No. 17, and since that one included all of the pre-Five-Year Gap Legionnaires that I hadn't already covered I figured that I should probably do some sort of follow-up post. Kind of leery of long posts, though, so I've broken this one in two. First up: Legionnaires that I've already reviewed! Because what's obsessive completeness without, uh, completion?
You know, it's really hard to think up new things to say about Brainiac 5 when he's just standing there. That's what comes of a guy not having a costume change for 20+ years, I guess. The boots are nice and it looks like he's been working out, so that's two things. I suppose I can mention that I like the 'no black lines, just colour' style of forcefield more than the sheet of glass-lookin' ones that tend to show up in forcefield-centric comic books. I don't like this one, though. Purple forcefields aren't as good as green ones.
Probably my least favourite Chameleon Boy pic, both because of the costume and the 'how do his powers work' bit. Okay, I guess the costume's not too bad but it's definitely super-horrible with regards to palette. It's like, um... it's like Color Kid involuntarily used his powers whilst a sneeze/belch/hiccough combo was ravaging his cranial cavities - it's super-ugly, yo. Similarly, this "Let's slap CB's head on a little monkey-thing! It shows that they're the same guy!" approach to the whole issue of how to demonstrate his powers in a single panel seems even more ham-fisted than that one panel from the Sixties featuring him as an exposition-spouting garbage can. Bah!
See, Chameleon Boy? Speed lines help! They show us that Colossal Boy's getting bigger and they could've showed us how you were getting all transformative! Though in Colossal Boy's case, a wee little Gim Allon standing between his feet would've been nice. A new reader could potentially draw the conclusion that they were about to read a tale about someone who had the fantastic ability to emit gusts of wind from their fists, armpits and groin. And the only place that you're going to find that kind of action is in John and Paul Present: The Adventures of the Mighty Turbine! I like that they didn't alter his costume just for the sake of doing so - it's definitely better than the current incarnation - but I think that I might be pining for his old singing cowboy-style gloves for the rest of my life.
Decent picture of Dawny in space, no real alterations to her costume (though they may have added some more fringe, I'm not sure). Not too much to talk about here, really. I mean, her wings look like they're made of papiér maché, that's one thing., but it's not really what I'd call a conversation-starter. I'd really like to know what she's looking at, though. I mean, she flies around in the depths of space fighting super-villains, 9-5: what's really going to shock her that much? My guess? A left-over missile from the Great Darkness Saga, shaped like a giant, nude, anatomically-correct Darkseid and spewing laser fire from horrible, horrible places. That, my friends, would be a hell of a sight.
You know, until I took a close look at this picture just now I had thought it a pretty standard Dream Girl image. But now? Now I see that it's terrible. That's probably the worst rendition of the Dream Girl shiny one-piece that I've ever seen. It looks like it would require a whole roll of that special supermodel-brand double-sided tape to hold in place. Plus, I think she's wearing a cup. Bleh, I say. And while I'm bitching: whatever happened to that blue thing that she used to wear in her hair? That thing was great! It looked like a wireless cell phone headset, like she was constantly networking or prepared to network. Super-proactive! This all-glam look just doesn't have the same kind of synergy. Dream Girl is unlikely to land that big new client, and that's a shame.
Despite the fact that I'm no big fan of Interlac, I appreciate the thought behind changing the 'e' on Element Lad's chest to it's fakey future language equivalent. I was about to say that I wouldn't run around with the Cyrillic letter j on the front of my shirt, but that's a complete lie, unless Cyrillic is one of those alphabets that don't acknowledge the majesty of the j or, you know, admit to the existence of the sound. In any case, Element Lad manages to rock the pink costume far more thoroughly than Cosmic Boy ever did. I, uh, I don't really know what he's doing in this picture, though. I can only guess that he's turned an oxygen atom into one of Element 476, Gigantium (discovered c. 2674 CE), an atom notable mainly for being almost ridiculously huge.
So at some point Light Lass got her original powers back and became Lightning Lass again. This worked well because Lightning Lad had just retired, so the Legion was still able to say that it had lightning-slinging capabilities. And I guess that the ol' Light Lass powers weren't as useful as they could be. Trouble is, lightning is kind of a boring power to have - that's why Lightning Lad had the cape! It added flair! Lightning Lass' costume needs flair. Or zazz. Or possibly some moxie.
Mon-El’s another one of those cats who hasn’t changed his uniform in… ever. Admittedly, it is a pretty snappy bit of cloth – Daxam surely must have the best-dressed astronauts around. Plus, you’re bound to get attached to a tunic after wearing it for a thousand years whilst being verbally abused by ghostly assholes. I’m sure that both of those big gold buttons had its own name and complicated backstory by now and that for a while the cape was a serious competitor for Shadow Lass’ affections. I’m also sure that the ‘underwear over tights’ look doesn’t go well with this costume – so sure that I sort of blank the fact that Mon-El indulges in this abominable practice from my mind and have had more than one nerd-argument over the question of whether Mr. Gand wears ‘em inside the pants or not. Looking over my records, the answer turns out to be: both, on occasion. I believe that I have a comic shop employee to apologise to.
This is a perfectly nice picture of Mon-El, by the way. Except... Ol' Lar here has always been a character that manages to look cool despite the fact that he has a really bad haircut. This is, however, no reason to make that haircut the focal point of the image. It's like there's a hair-helmet coming to crush us, on its way to woo the Bouffant. Aiee!
Grr. My life has become too busy for long posts. I'm gonna break this up a bit (not like the last time, I promise - this time I'll finish). Tune in soon for Phantom Girl!
From the same issue that brought you the Strangest Clock in the Universe, the Taroc Creature!
A wee bit of setup: a few issues back Lightning Lad had sacrificed his life to prevent Saturn Girl from sacrificing her life to keep someone from dying. I know, I know, sorry. It's much more clear in the comic book. Prophecy is involved, which always muddies the plot-waters. What's important is that Lightning Lad dies and, like, two pages later they're wondering if there might be some way to bring him back. In Adventure Comics No. 312 they really get to work on that problem and scour the galaxy for possible ways to sin against nature and take the very powers of God into their sweaty teenage hands - something they never seemed to get around to doing for Ferro Lad. Or Invisible Kid. Or 1/3 of Triplicate Girl, Sun Boy, Karate Kid or 1/2 of Duo Damsel. Man, the Legion really blew its altruism wad (so to speak) on this resurrection.
As a part of the whole "tamper with forces heretofore reserved to the Almighty because we miss our electricity-spewing friend" plan the Legion look up any and all references to resurrection in their Mechanical Librarian and then go on a gigantic cosmic scavenger hunt to round up all possible ways that they could create a blasphemous, soulless parody of their friend. Among the leads that are followed up on is the mysterious Taroc creature. Let's watch:
The Taroc is known for dying and then somehow coming back to life again and so Saturn Girl and Mon-el take a trip to their very yellow planet, in hopes of... uh... I'm actually not sure what they're hoping for. I mean, unless the things come back to life by means of a magical sprite who roams their planet dispensing miracles of rebirth. Possibly they hope to use advanced future science to infuse his corpse with Taroc genes? That would work, right? Anyway, it would work on Star Trek - you'd just have to run him through the transporter a few times afterward.
As far as alien monsters go, the Taroc creature's fairly boss. The 'fat pteranodon' body and snake head are solid creature fare and I appreciate how the ones that are at rest have adopted the vulture pose as their own. What reall sells me on these things, though, is the purple hands that they have at the ends of their wings. Since they're obviously useless while the Taroc is in flight, my imagination tells me that the creatures use these hands to play cards. In fact, Taroc society's basic unit is the bridge group, and the outcomes of trials are decided by playing a form of poker known as 'Bgtzl Hold 'em'.
Not sure what happened to Mon-el's face but it sure is creepy. Also: haven't there been Taroc creatures on every bit of high land pictured so far? why did he leave Saturn Girl on that peak? Is it because he has no eyes?
You know, I'm kind of sad that they didn't try this method of reviving Lightning Lad. Seeing a tiny red-haired dynamo burst out of their dead friend's back would have been just the thing to help the Legionnaires shake off the blues.
Even if I wasn't incredibly fond of the Taroc creature's hands and love for Eucre, its disgusting method of reproduction (plus the fact that it seems to be made of papier mache) rate a solid
Space Serpents! I can't remember (nor do I care to check) why the Legionnaires needed to go to the Great Interplanetary Post Office on their search for a way to turn their dead friend into a mockery of human form and feeling, but when they do they see that it's being attacked by "Space Serpents, able to live in space and to eat metal and stone! They must be from another universe!"
Great Jumping Suns indeed, Lightning Lass. I do have to say, though, that that's a pretty good guess. I mean, you took a pretty bare set of facts and extrapolated the fact that these generic dragony things were from another universe? Phew. I gotta say, you're a better guesser than me. I think that you're almost as good as Superboy:
Anyway, Space Serpents, being from space, have never encountered anything like Sun Boy before. Because space is cold and dark - there is no sunlight. Sunlight is on planets, not space. Space is cold and the sun is warm.
The completely generic dragon-monsters get driven off in a pretty hokey way, but there's still one left and it's in a room with some guys. Since flinging bolts of lightning around willy-nilly might hurt the guys an alternate plan is thought up:
The Space Serpent is fooled by Proty. Oh, god. these things are so boring. I can't even be scathing. They're just dragons that eat post offices ("They must be from a universe of rabid letter-writers, Sun Boy!") and they're dumb. Yawn and yawn.