Future Zoo - Sloth-Apes and More!

Today we have a number of fascinating new future animals to show you, all brought to you by the Hunter, dastardly villain of Adventure Comics No 358. Why, here he is now, merrily chasing down a striped critter:

The hunter's basic thesis is the same as Kraven "I appeared three years before this guy" the Hunter's: once you've hunted enough animals it gets boring, so why not switch to super-heroes? Meanwhile, that tigerram isn't doing much to disprove his point. Talk about uninspired, kitty - you sure ain't no Parakat. Heck, of the half-dozen or so tiger-like creatures that have appeared in the Legion's history I think that the tigerram is about the least impressive. It's got all of the standard tiger stuff, sure, but are those horns even functional? Did the Hunter have them glued on to make things seem more exotic?

Man, it doesn't even try to butt him. NOT APPROVED, tigerram.

Anyway, the Hunter (real name Otto Orion, billionaire financier) is so bored with hunting that he doesn't even bother taking the tigerram's improbable corpse back home with him. He just sits around at his post-hunt party, moping about the lack of challenge involved in lasering something to death at point-blank ranges. If only he'd thought to try spears instead, the rest of the issue wouldn't be so stressful for the Legion.

The Hunter's aide, Jakra, is pretty great. He's everything that  a fanatically loyal henchman should be, plus he's won his letterman's tank-top, so you know he's good at it. I get the feeling that I've brought this up at some point in the past but I don't mind repeating myself: I kind of want to live life like people do in these comics, with my initials on my shirt and my name written on my jacket and a statue of me on my lawn (and all of my friends' lawns, because I give them as gifts) and a little card in front of my seat at any table saying my name and power (super chicken wing-consumption). It seems so.... satisfying, like you'd look in the mirror every morning and see the tattoo of yourself and go "Hiya, best friend!" and then put on a shirt and read it and say "That's me!" Life would be nothing but certainties.

Back to that second panel: note the back of the hunter's vest. Mounting a whole animal head back there, tusks and all, is a bold fashion move. Plus it looks better than Kraven the Hunter's lion vest.

Orion's evil plan involves landing a fleet of ships (billionaire financier, remember?) on Earth, letting them out and then somehow capturing the Legion. If he planned it out any further he didn't say.

Note the guy in the foreground, on the left. This place either has a much more lax dress code than where I work or a much stricter one. Either way, that's well beyond business casual.

The Hunter demands the Legion's surrender without giving them a way to respond, then unleashes his animals. Flying patrol, the Legionnaires hear the following: "CLUMP! BRAAT! ARRRT! KRUMPH! CRASH! RAWRR! CRUNCH! HELP! YARR!" and of course rush to investigate. They find not a fat angry pirate but:

A lot of animals! Let's see... that  grey guy at the top is terrific, but then again I love any monster that has its own laser-stalk. In the the absence of any proper name I'm going to call it a Belligerent Raynocerous and it's JOHN APPROVED.

The giant snake... well, it's just a giant snake, but it's randomly smashing up a car. I like Robert E. Howard stories enough that giant snakes have a special place in my heart, so I dub it the Rigellian Vandalconda and JOHN APPROVED, in that order.

Leading the pack is the Sloth-Ape, which Jakra mentioned earlier. I want to say that it's about as imaginative as the Tigerram, but the fact that the "sloth" part of its name comes from giant, slashing talons rather than the kind of lethargic motion that I showcase on Sunday mornings is a big relief. Plus, the slothy haircut. JOHN APPROVED. The thing behind it, however, which I might describe as "kind of a doggish leopard, with giraffe spots" gets zero points. NOT APPROVED.

On the other hand, the thing in the foreground, the one that looks like a bull with a doggy head and tusks and horns and more horns? That's a proper alien monster - vaguely ridiculous but not something that you'd like to see coming at you across a stretch of Old Man McGillicuddy's field. Also, not completely implausible. It's called the Ravenous Puncture Cow and it's JOHN APPROVED.

The rest, the dinosaur-looking ones, Lumpy, Fasty and Grey? Far too generic for me to care.

Arg! Boooooooooooooooo! The Jovian Mastodon has two trunks, boo boo boo. It should at least have have insect eyes and nineteen legs or something. NOT APPROVED.

The Oraxian Cyclops, on the other hand, is great. It's got: chicken legs, no neck, no elbows, lumps and a completly mouth-bisected head. It's like... it's like one of my childhood dream-toys come to life! I can just picture it devouring a G.I. Joe and the turning on poor Lion-O. Mmmm. JOHN APPROVED.

This guy on the left, by the way, is what Chameleon Boy was turning into up there. The Toradian Karkon, eh? A rough-and-tumble, tentacle-slinging, fire-spewing pink lump of a monster, one that even other monsters fear. I reckon that it'd be wearing a fedora and chomping on a stogie if it had the choice and a mouth. JOHN APPROVED.

Another look at the Sloth-Ape - turns out that their only weakness is a fire hydrant to the skull. Same as me!

Meanwhile, the Venusian Tricorn Beast is pretty damned disappointing. With a name like that, the very least that I expect is for its head to resemble Paul Revere's hat. Having three horns just doesn't cut it, beastie, especially when two of them are spaced widely enough that they couldn't hit the broad side of an Air-Car at the same time. NOT APPROVED.

Giant toads are almost as good as giant snakes. Giant toads with radar eyes are roughly twice as good as giant snakes with regular eyes. The Giant Ankarian Toad clocks in at 4.5 times as good, due to its nonchalant expression. JOHN APPROVED.

Invisible Kid is way too calm about being caught by a toad-tongue. If I am ever in a similar situation I guarantee you that my thought balloon will read "Giant toad! Giant TOAD! GIANT TOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOAADD!"

Meanwhile, Shrinking Violet is living up to her name and shrinking, giving the Hunter a chance to prove that he is a pretty dam good planner, as he included tiny monsters, just in case someone got small. That's a detail that most would overlook, my friends.

The Gleeful Batbee is JOHN APPROVED. It's sting is almost as deadly as its sense of humour.

The Tufted Murderpillar is also JOHN APPROVED, both for being able to keep up with the rest of the monsters and for being a deadly alien caterpillar.

And that yellow thing? That yellow thing that I'm gonna call MC Slapsalot (from Mixmaster IX, in the Nebula Funkadelic)? That thing has the best attack of any monster ever. Just squash 'em, Slapsalot! JOHN APPROVED.

The Legionnaires absolutely fail to get rid of the beasts, by the way, and retreat to a crumbled building to consider a strategy that involves not getting their asses kicked by creatures that wouldn't have made it into a Greek myth. This is when the Hunter makes his move, showing up with a Radioactive Monster that apparantly can sap Ultra Boy's strength (and is JOHN APPROVED for being proactive about adapting to potential futuristic nuclear wastelands and kind of looking like it has a flashlight strapped to its head) and a Kryptonite Beast (NOT APPROVED because it's stupid. A magic beast would be far more plausible [he said, not listening to himself make very little sense]). He offers to get rid of all of the monster in exchange for permission to hunt the Legionnaires. They, of course, say yes.

Okay, the Kryptonite Beast does have a sense of showmanship, I'll give it that. But not  one jot more. 

Anyway, the Hunter pulls this off:

and then hunts the Legion and almost wins and then dies in a weirdly honourable way. His son later comes back for revenge wielding a terrible haircut and a bad attitude.

So today's lesson is... don't hunt superheroes. Kill them with an overwhelming flood of monsters and then claim that you hunted them. It's safer.

And now I go out for supper. Good night.

Super-Human Detritus of the Thirtieth Century: A Supergirl Week Special Review of Satan Girl, By Johnathan

Ha-ha! After dragging out for more than a month, the thrilling conclusion to the gripping drama that is the review of the ever-mysterious Concentrator has been preempted due to my love of participating in the theme weeks that Rachelle occasionally proclaims from her mighty throne over at Living Between Wednesdays. Naturally, I chose to write about Supergirl palling around with the Legion of Super-Heroes, and in an eerie bit of synchronicity, the first Supergirl/Legion story that I felt like writing about - and that Super Future Friends hadn't already talked about much better than I ever could - was Adventure Comics No. 313, featuring Satan Girl, winner of the last Paul and John poll!
That sentence was too long and convoluted!

Okay, Satan Girl! 
The story opens on various female Legionnaires, doing their regular Legion business:
Lightning Lass, surprisingly, is actually using her powers in a logical, useful and helpful way, instead of breaking my ability to suspend disbelief by, say, using giant lightning bolts to pick up trash or entertain the elderly by making hobos dance. Suddenly: illness!
Saturn Girl gets sick, too, possibly due to those gross eye-tentacles. Or the discoloured patch on that old diplomat's crotch.
Note, though, that she's doing useful, important work, too. Could this be the beginning of a new era of respect and equality in the Legion?
Well, I'm not saying that this is a positive "No.", this is a bit suspicious. Frankly, it sounds like the setup for an elaborate prank. "And then I turned on the engines! It was awesome! She was so embarrassed that I haven't seen her since, though I did find one of her shoes on the roof for some reason."
Even poor Night Girl is affected, when she comes over to help look after the sick'uns:
Sheesh, really? Quarantine World? Well, I suppose it is contagious... yeah, quarantine can't hurt, even if it doesn't seem to be much worse than a bad case of mono.
Okay, that's pretty harsh, Superboy. Seriously, they don't seem that bad. Look, they can stand up, all by themselves! 
This is why Superboy isn't allowed in the Smallville Old Folks' Home any more, by the way.
("Happy Thanksgiving, you're all doomed! Old and doomed! Let's hope you can finish your turkey before you die!)
So, the female Legionnaires are all sick and exiled. Then:
Satan Girl shows up! Satan Girl! 
Satan Girl!

This is... this is just the worst idea anyone ever had. Seriously, she might have had a slightly better chance of getting into the Legion if her name was Bad-touch Lass, or Kid Hate-crime. Or Duck-Murderer Damsel. Even circa 1992, a character named Satan Girl would have a tough time getting into the Legion - I think that the best she might hope for would be a solo gig as a "troubled loner". With a dark, secret past. 
And yet she's upset when she doesn't get in. Despite her impressive cheekbones, Satan Girl just isn't the sharpest peach in the pie. Note, for example, the immediate confession of evil deeds.
The Legion is thwarted, since they only have the one ship, and certainly don't have access to teleportation or time-travel technology (or the awesome might of the Concentrator, which remains a secret, bwa-ha).
(damn it, I forgot to add a joke about Sun Boy being the one who's shouting "Grab her!" Please supply your own juvenile snicker-fest, this time)
Since Superboy and Mon-El are off doing stuff, the Legion calls in Supergirl, and makes her Honorary Legion Leader because she's the only one tough enough to take on Satan Girl. All the boys wear their best doofy grins to meet her.
I sure do like these robot-nurses - they're exposition machines! I bet they make that little non-joke about knowing their professions about three hundred times per day - note the expression on Saturn Girl's face.
Hey... I just noticed that the robots have skirts on. Because... because they're nurses? I guess I am more attracted to them now that I know that they're female, so I'll let it pass.
That's how I want to go - spewing exposition to the very end. Rest in peace, foxy robot lady.
Anyway, it's time for the most important part of this comic: 
FLASH! WHIRL! SOCK! POW! Time for a hug!
Aw, Supergirl. Heat vision is against the Girl Fight rules. Round One to Satan Girl.
Actually, I'm pretty impressed with how this scrap was handled. Satan Girl's hair-pull in the above panel was the only "girly" move pulled by either contestant. And frankly, if someone was trying to eye-laser a mask off of my face? I'd be doing some hair-pulling, too.
Since Supergirl figures that Satan Girl must be a rogue Kryptonian of some kind (and surely not a Daxamite or any of  thirty or forty other super-powered races that've shown up by this point) she rounds up some still-incredibly-common-even-in-the-future kryptonite, to... well, when you get right down to it, to give Satan Girl a dose of radiation sickness. That's actually really harsh, Supergirl.
Too bad for Supergirl: Satan Girl is immune to the effects of kryptonite. Which is good, actually, because since that box was full of dust it's probably all through her clothes and in her lungs and everywhere - if she were Kryptonian, she'd totally be dead, I think. 
Also luckily for Supergirl, Satan Girl hides in a cave, instead of coming over for another super-hug. Supergirl cunningly waits out front...
... while Satan Girl blasts out the back! Damn, Supergirl - I think that Satan Girl is winning on points, so far. But can she keep up the pace and unleash enough dastardly maneuvers to win this one? We'll see, in Part 2!
Okay, forks. I'll see you in a day or so for the stirring conclusion - soon you will know the mysterious, unguessable secret of just who Satan Girl is!
Happy Supergirl Week, one and all.

High-Tech Tomorrow: Review of the Concentrator, Part 2, by Johnathan

Gah! In an eerily predictable move, I have taken much longer than I intended to get around to writing this second chunk of text. Blame Spore, friends, and blame computer crashings that Spore caused. Oh, and blame my complete lack of self-control.

Without further ado, I present to you: psychological torture, Legion-style!

The first super-teen on the chopping-block is our old friend Sun Boy. Let's watch:

Okay, I can see how this could be nerve-wracking: grim corridors, a dark room, questions. I can't blame Dirk for his anxiety, really. Turning on some Morgna-style light isn't a bad plan, really.

Oops, mirrors! Well, I guess it's time for another plan, right? One that doesn't involve blinding lights? Maybe he could kick out the mirrors in the dark, or light things up just a bit so he can find the speakers, or use his powers in a more focused way and melt through the door? Mirrors wouldn't be much good against those cunning plans, right?

Or just bulling ahead in the least strategic way possible, that's a plan. A really, really dumb plan, but still a plan. The fact that it actually ended up working is some slight validation, but I think that maybe Sun Boy should be confined for life anyway, for his own safety. I guess he didn't talk, though, so there's no quick answer for you fine folks on just what the gosh-darned Concentrator actually is. At least you know how to defeat Sun Boy now: get a room full of heat-proof mirrors.

Bonus lesson: if you injure yourself through stupidity in the line of duty, try to do it in an out-of-the-way place, so everyone assumes that you were being heroic instead of willfully stupid.

Time for the testing of Shrinking Violet!

Now, this was back when our pal Salu was characterized by being very timid and shy and looking concerned all the time (and evidently by wearing a very short skirt, judging by this picture). I... suppose that illusory monsters might be upsetting to such a person, but I have to say that this is pretty weak. That monster? That's not a good monster, folks. I've always liked Shrinking Violet, but her being intimidated by this thing is making me lose some respect for her.

Now these are good freaky-looking monsters. They're only a couple of hours' worth of meticulous line-work away from fitting in in a Basil Wolverton comic - those mucousy lips that the uppermost beast is sporting would be enough to get me talking, if I though they were likely to touch me. Still, Violet knows these things are illusions - this is fairly wimpy behavior.

But I can't stay mad at someone who can make such an awesome horrified face. Man, she is so distressed that it's distressing - I believe that I was unable to find out for certain who drew this issue, but whoever it was sure knew how to draw a horrified woman. They were either highly talented at the drawing table or extraordinarily unlucky in the lists of love, I reckon.

Still, Violet is smarter than Sun Boy: her solution has to be better, right?

"I'll get so small that those monster couldn't find me even if they were real!" Good plan!

Wait, no. No, no, no. Bad plan. Dumb plan. Plan that wouldn't even work today, if CSI is to be believed, or if, say, the Commissioner has invested in a volume knob for his recording device. And even if the plan were workable, I'm going to guess that you have to be smaller than 4 or 5 inches before you're completely inaudible. Confined for life!

Not confined for life? John... confused. John move on now.

Ah, the Legion. A group of friends who stick together through thick and thin, who are perfectly willing to die so that one of their friends might live, and who are willing to turn on one another at the slightest hint of weakness. I mean, really, Superboy.

"Gawdamn telepaths. Likely to ... think out alla our secrets. I just don't trust a dame to not broadcast her thoughts all over the place. Hey, wait a minute. Star Boy has hands. Sweet Christmas, what if he accidentally signs the secrets of the Concentrator, or even doodles 'em out? All would be lost!

Guess it's time for some 'accidental' hand-shaking incidents, Clark."

"... although you do have that super-shout power, so be careful not to use that to accidentally reveal our precious secrets. And don't write them on the wall with your heat vision. Or use super-hypnosis to implant them in the Commissioner's subconscious mind.

Also, try to avoid fusing sand into glass with your hands, because you do that a lot, and it's getting kind of old."

Good lord there used to be a lot of kryptonite in the DC Universe. Look at him, he's not even surprised. I wonder if that's what Final Crisis is for - to bring back plentiful kryptonite so that the Superman writers can take it easy for a few years (okay, that was a bit self-indulgent. It's just that though I'm enjoying Final Crisis I can't quite figure out what it's for. The other Crises all fixed something - what's this one doing, other than hopefully ending that particular habit? Ah, ignore me.).

Maybe... maybe it's the Commissioner who's an idiot. This is just kind of a stupid tactic, in that you basically get to ask your question once. Because that much kryptonite would take Superboy out pretty quickly, right? Oh, I know: Beppo the Super-Monkey would show up at the last second and get rid of the green-k with a giant shovel that he made out of a minivan, but the Commissioner doesn't know about the deus ex machina effects of kryptonite. As far as he's concerned, that lever's a death sentence. For anyone without super-speed. Or seven or eight other lever-stopping abilities. Grump grump nerd nerd.

Superboy has absolute faith in his friends! He does not believe that girls can't keep a secret! He has never considered administering a quick heat-vision lobotomy just to be on the safe side!

This review is not continued! It won't be continued soon!

Addendum to the Review of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Part Four, By Johnathan


This is an interesting picture. The power-demonstration aspect of it is both highly effective and highly accurate. One look and we know exactly how small Violet's ass is. Well, kind of. On my ruler, it's 1/16 of an inch, but I hail from a land of metric measurement, so it beats me if that's standard. Basically, this is one small heiny. Her outfit isn't bad, I guess. It's not as pleasing to mine eyes as the little (haw!) number she was wearing when she clocked Phantom Lad, but it's okay. The gloves are nice. Green is nice.

What really puzzles me about this little scene, though, is her head and face region. Why is she all dolled up? Why is she shooting a sultry look to stage left? Why does she look kind of like Elizabeth Taylor? Ever since I noticed this stuff it's been tormenting me. I mean, who is she trying to seduce? Not Micro Lad, I hope, but it can't be anyone at regular size, can it? Take a look at your ruler - even if her rear is 1/8 of an inch wide, Ms. Digby is just to tiny for a smoldering look to register. Unless she's flirting with a microscope-wielding scientist (and why wouldn't she?) whoever it is is just going to think she has some sort of facial tic.

Eh. Green is my favourite colour and the Growing Uppercut is my favourite special move, so:



See, now this is the outfit that I was talking about in the original review of the Legion - the plunging neckline is history, hooray, and there is a pleasant shaggery to the facial features. As one of the very few super-heroes to sport the full beard (let's see... Star Boy, Hercules, latter-day Blockade Boy, uh, one of the Thors and... and the good Lex Luthor that died in the first Crisis, I think) he's a pretty good representative for any union or benevolent society that they might form. It's just so much better than his old no-beard-and-crew-cut look. And he's so affable, if occasionally insane.

This image, by the way, was taken from a poster that the Legion had made up in an attempt to get Rann Antar to stop coming around for the tryouts. The text, which has been omitted here, read WE ALREADY HAVE A GUY WHO CAN MAKE FEATHERS HEAVY. It didn't work, though.


Review of the Super-Human Detritus of the 30th Century, Part 10, By Johnathan

This one's a follow-up issue of the old Super Detritus series. Since there's all kinds of Legion of Super-Heroes comics out there, with all kinds of crazy nerdlingers writing them, there's a pretty good chance that any goofy Legion reject will show up more than once if you read for long enough. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I love that kind of stuff. I'm just warning you all so that you don't complain when I start writing about *sigh* Crystal Kid again.

See how long it takes you to guess who I'm dredging up today!

The setup: Legion of Super-Heroes No. 305. For the last few issues Colossal Boy has been dating Shrinking Violet. People start getting suspicious, because Colossal Boy is creepy around women and Violet had a much cooler boyfriend in Duplicate Boy. Turns out that SV'd been replaced by a Durlan actress by some sort of underground movement back on Imsk, so an infiltration is arranged:

Spooky dark rebel headquarters, complete with shapeshifter-containment bag? Check. Turns out that there's a faction on Imsk that wants to secede from the United Planets and they've kidnapped Violet to pump her for information.

Ah! Literally! Dude, that's a pretty creepy info-extraction setup right there. This underground faction is pretty serious, I guess. The Legion'd better watch out and... wait. Who is that?

Dude! It's Micro Lad! Possibly the lamest of the so-called Legion of Super-Rejects! This, my friends, is why Imsk is still in the UP. Seriously, Micro Lad?

That Micro Lad? He's who you've chosen to lead your conspiracy? First off, he's a jerk. An unoriginal jerk with a glass jaw and bad hair. Secondly, he was born, raised and lives on a planet populated entirely by people who can shrink at will, yet still goes by the name Micro Lad on a day-to-day basis. It's be like me calling myself Able To Breathe Guy or the Has a Spine Kid. The guy's trying really hard to have delusions of grandeur but can't quite get it right.

See? He installed spooky mood lighting for when he talks to prisoners but he ruins it by making piggy faces. (For those of you keeping track, Durlan actress posing as Shrinking Violet turned out to be Chameleon Boy posing as Durlan actress posing as Shrinking Violet. And he's pissed.)
Take a good look at this panel because it's the high point of Micro Lad's life. Immediately after his little gloat Chameleon Boy busts out and Legionnaires start popping up everywhere.

Micro Lad shows off his mad thinking skills by deciding that a hostage would be a good thing to have:


Gets completely taken down by Braniac 5. The rebellion on Imsk lasts roughly five minutes after the Legionnaires pull their heads out of their asses long enough to notice that something's up. In the parlance of my video game playing chums: they got owned.

I used to feel slightly sorry for Micro Lad. He was obviously a sheep, blindly following Phantom Lad and Esper Lass until he got his clock cleaned by Phantom Girl. He just had bad advice and judgment and friends, I said to myself. Turns out I was wrong. Micro Lad is a genuine, Grade A jerkwad. Boo to you, sir. Booooooooooooooooo.


Review of the Super-Human Detritus of the Thirtieth Century, Part 7, By Johnathan

Special "Last Fight For a Legionnaire" edition.

Ah, "Last Fight For a Legionnaire". This is another of those episodes in Legion History that I was tantalized by for years, thanks to Jeff Rovin and his Encyclopedia of Superheros. As with "The Super Stalag of Space", Appendix Q or whatever of this mighty tome was crawling with entries like:

Magno Lad (C)
Powers: Identical to Cosmic Boy; from the planet Braal.
"Last Fight For a Legionnaire," Superboy #211, DC
Comics, 1974.

Four or five of these minimalist entries and I was out of my mind with speculation - what was with all of these cats with the same powers as Legionnaires being in one story? Were they replacements? Trainees? I had no idea. Eventually, I found a scanned copy of this so-enigmatic of comics lurking on the Internets and since the statute of limitations on spoilers is only 30 years I'm going to deliver unto you a plot summary:

In a nutshell, six characters hailing from planets such as Braal and Bismoll, where the entire populations are superpowered, show up looking to join the Legion but are rejected because of a bylaw stating that each member must have power that is unique and does not duplicate that of any other Legionnaire. Bitter over their rejection, the six beat the tar out of their Legion counterparts before getting tossed out on their asses by Superboy. The Legionnaires accept a challenge to a second fight due to wounded pride and this time remember that when fighting a group of evil (or at least hostile) counterparts the only way for the good guys to win is to switch up opponents. They win and then Matter-Eater Lad gets drafted.

So that's the plot. Now here's the really important part: reviewing the characters and in most cases soundly mocking them.

Magno Lad:

Here's Magno Lad with a mild case of Different Colourist on the Cover Syndrome, in that his costume's not that dark normally. It is however that bad. As Blockade Boy so wisely reminds us, long sleeves and short pants do not a good combination make. Plus that loin cloth thing kind of looks like a big spray of pubic hair. Oh, not literally, of course. You have to use your imagination. And then cry.

In any case, I started with Magno Lad for a reason: the issue begins with him getting the heave-ho from the Super-Hero Club, because of the aforementioned bylaw. He's awfully sad that he doesn't get to be a noble hero, an inspiration to millions with his upright feats of righteous derring-do -

- and so he starts in on the vandalism. And not only is he smashing a statue because he's disappointed, he's smashing a statue of Ferro Lad, who had recently died to save the galaxy. You know, sometimes I think that the Legion's a bit too harsh on applicants, that they reject them for no reason, but sometimes they're right on the money.

Here's the first fight - turns out that he's a magnetic athlete - in the Magnetic Olympics, no less! Because of this, he's stronger and thus should replace Cosmic Boy in the Legion, just like how we in Canada recently replaced all of our police officers with professional hockey players. Due to their great agility and ability to swing a blunt object with much accuracy, our crime rates have never been lower!

Here's the second fight. The result? comeuppance! Chameleon Boy whomps him good while posing as a giant needle.

Final analysis? Magno Lad is a Grade "A" jerk in a lousy leotard. Though I'm impressed that he can say "Ch- Chameleon Boy?" while getting punched in the jaw, I'm going to have to say:


Chameleon Kid:

Chameleon Kid's from Durla, just like Chameleon Boy, and has a lousy imagination. Seriously, guy, if you're trying to stand out don't just change the last three letters of the other guy's name. Call yourself Toog the Transformer or Metamorphic Marquis or even Change-Shape Lad. Toog tries to justify replacing Chameleon Boy by pointing out that he's bigger and stronger, but it's a fair guess that he's also substantially dumber and more cowardly - check out his contribution to the big fight at the end:

He turns into a tree! He hides like a little, orange-skinned, antennaed baby until Matter-Eater Lad threatens to eat him. My guess is that his family all chipped in and sent him to the Legion tryouts to get him out of their equivalent of hair for a while. "I can shapeshift like you but I am stronger! Therefore I demand the last slice of cake!" "No matter what form you take I am mightier! Return my videos to the rental outlet!"


Phantom Lad:

Phantom Lad is special in a couple of different ways, and both of them are awful. First, he's another member of Club "Too Lazy to Think Up a Good Name" and stole his off of Phantom Girl. Secondly and most heinously, he also ripped off her costume design, if "take a white outfit and cut slots in it" can be called a design (kidding: I actually love Phantom Girl's Seventies duds, especially as compared to, oh, Saturn Girl's). He's a prime example of the rule that states that what works on a dame doesn't necessarily work on a dude. Plus he's grotesquely musclebound.

Phantom Lad's from the extra-dimensional world of Bgtzl, just like Phantom Girl. He's a big obnoxious oaf in a white singlet, which isn't quite as cool, frankly.

Plus he's a misogynist and a hair-puller! Seriously, "a Phantom Lad is better than a Phantom Girl"? What the hell is the justification for that? If it's physical strength, think again, bucko - your power is becoming immaterial. That means that you can't touch things, so having totally ripped glutes isn't really any help. Plus, the Legion is full of folks who could rip you in two, no matter how many Cosmo-steroids you shoot into your ass.

I have to admit: this was my favourite part of this comic book. POW! Right in the kisser. Plus we got to see the Shrinking Violet Growing Uppercut, which I always enjoy.

Phantom Lad, you are NOT APPROVED

Esper Lass:

Esper Lass chose her own name, which I like. Plus her costume, flimsy as it is, is still better than Saturn Girl's. However thanks to Magno Lad I'm conditioned to equate loincloths with pubic hair, so that's a bit disturbing.

It's not made expressly clear whether Esper Lass is from Titan, like Saturn Girl. She's got some mental powers, sure, and she can fire ovals from her head, but that's no proof of anything. Various panels that I was too lazy to cut and paste suggest that she's the leader of this little band of rejects, which suggests that she is a moron of some sort. I mean even if they beat their counterparts into comas, these losers are never going to get in to the Legion. They'll serve some time and then have to go door-to-door in any neighborhood they move into in the future, warning everyone with superpowers that they have a history of making ridiculous challenges.

She does have a wondrously ignominious defeat, though. Just look at her spin! For that and for being just barely better-dressed than Saturn Girl she's kinda-sorta


Micro Lad:

I think that Micro Lad and Phantom Lad must go to the same gym, that they've been talking about coming to Earth and beating up some ladies for a while. They both like the "Lad," they both stole their costume design; they're both lame. Micro Lad seems to think, like Phantom Lad, that physical strength somehow augments his superpowers, despite the fact that his power is to get very, very small. I would wager though that by knocking down Shrinking Violet he has won his first and last fight in shrunken form - I can't honestly see a bit of upper-body strength helping out when you're the size of a dust mite.

He even gets defeated like Phantom Lad. And hey, isn't that Magno Lad's haircut? Jeez, Micro Lad, I mean, come on. Make a decision for yourself, hey? Try one that doesn't make you look like a giant tool.


Calorie Queen:
We'll get to who Calorie Queen is in a second. First, though, I'd like to say that I like her costume - possibly because it includes bell-bottoms, or maybe because of the woad. In either case, she's rocking about a hundred times more style than anybody else on the Loser Brigade. Plus, Calorie Queen is the best name in the bunch. She does spend a lot of the issue flirting with Magno Lad, which is kind of sickening, but I'm predisposed to like her.

Okay, so she's from Bismoll and she's insulting Matter-Eater Lad...

... and she has a pretty cool power! She's like Matter-Eater Lad but with super-strength - my theory is that she was being lined up to replace ol' M-EL after he left the Legion - heck, he even recommends her to them - but that somebody said no at the last minute, which is a shame.

Another great defeat - Matter-Eater Lad chews down a flagpole and hits her with it, thus resolving a subplot wherein he was feeling like he wasn't good enough to be in the Legion, just in time for him to leave the Legion. Ah, well. Keep on eating, Matter-Eater Lad!

Hee-hee! She forgot Magno Lad's name.

I quite like Calorie Queen, especially as one of her few other appearances is in Legion of Super-Heroes No. 11 - "Tenzil Kem Takes a Bite Out of Crime" - as Senator Matter-Eater Lad's assistant. Since this is one of my fave comics of all time, anyone in it gets a


Bonus Material: some group shots which illustrate the rise and fall of this band of dumbclucks.

Here's everyone being disgruntled - that's Magno Lad's hand on the left.

Initial victory. Some points: Esper Lass appears to be kicking Saturn Girl while she's down, Phantom Lad and Magno Lad being asses.

The wind-up...

...and the pitch!

The second fight - Phantom Lad even runs like an idiot.

And the ignoble defeat/dose of moral superiority.

This issue was completely