Thinking Hypothetically: The Silver Age Doom Patrol

It's a lazy Saturday here at the John pad, so I'm going to engage in some thought-exercise. Specifically, I'm going to try to figure out just what kind of chance the members of the 1960s version of the Doom Patrol would have had if they'd applied for membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes.

I've changed things up a bit since the last time I did this: instead of arbitrarily deciding whether someone gets in or not I'm going to give everyone a hundred points, then subtract a varying amount based on any ways in which they don't qualify for Legion membership (being 25 might lose you 5 points, while being as old as time itself would bump it up to 20) However many points are left at the end of my brutal evaluation process will be the likelihood of their admittance into the LSH, percentage-style. And  then, being a well-rounded nerd, I'm going to roll 2d10 to see if they get in.

Today we'll be doing things in reverse alphabetical order!


Cliff Steele, former racecar driver, had his brain placed in a powerful robotic shell following a terrible accident. He's been the Martian Manhunter of the Doom Patrol, having been a member of every incarnation so far. And noone has yet stabbed him fatally with a fire spear!


Over 18: -5 points

No powers/duplicate powers/device-based powers: -15 points (no matter how he swings it he's going to get dinged here. He's either an ordinary guy, a guy whose power is being made of metal [which is Ferro Lad's schtick] or is reliant on a robot body. No way someone isn't going to bring that up).

Likely to mouth off during the interview: -10 points

Not too bad, actually. The simplicity of Cliff's position is his strength here - he's a brain in a jar in a robot. If he applied post Sun Eater then there could hardly be any arguments against the usefulness of having a metal guy around. Plus, Robotman's cavalier attitude toward his body comes in handy with surprising frequency. I've seen him rip off his limbs to use as missiles or hurl himself into machinery to gum up the works with surprising frequency - he'd be worth having around for the novelty factor of seeing Mordru get a robo-leg upside the head during one of his soliloquies, if nothing else. And Brainiac 5 would have the fun of replacing his various parts. Try to tell me that he wouldn't enjoy that.

The only real problem is that Mr Steele here is a bit of a big mouth, with a penchant for insulting people at the slightest provocation. I reckon that there's a pretty good chance of him calling someone "something-puss" or "something-snoot" during the interview, with the "something" being replaced by physical idiosyncrasy. Chameleon Boy, for example, would be "pumpkin-snoot".

Still, he stands at an astonishing 70%. Let's get out the old dice and see... hooray! He's in!

Negative Man

Larry Trainor was a test pilot who flew too high one day and was filled with radiation. Now he himself is radioactive, necessitating that he wear specially-treated bandages in order to keep the people around him safe. On the plus side, he can release the super-fast energy being Negative Man from his body in order to do his bidding. On the minus: if Negative  Man is away for more than sixty seconds, Larry will die.


Over 18: -5 points

Drawback ("If your bandages were to slip off during a mission, you could irradiate and kill your teammates!"): -10 points

Another drawback ("What if Negative Man were away too long and you died? We'd never finish a mission that way."): -10 points

Very likely to mouth off during the interview: -20 points

Larry's got more bankable powers than Robotman but on the other hand has a heck of a lot more negative (ha!) traits. Barring the super-generalists like Superboy and Ultra Boy, the Legion is traditionally low on speddy types, so he's doing all right there, as well as with the radio energy that he is usually described as crackling with. A little fancy talk to downplay the inherent downsides to the Negative Man condition, maybe a bit of a mention of the whole pilot thing along with a hint that he'd only be too happy to fly the Legion Cruiser on missions (I'm sure that they need more pilots -  half the damn team flies outside of the spaceship) and he's in.

Problem is, Larry's got a bigger mouth than Robotman. He starts more of their many fights and definitely starts the name-calling more than his share of the time. There's no way he gets through the judging process without calling someone a "tin-plated gavel jockey" or something equally nonsensical. There might even be a fist-fight.

It's an even fifty-fifty chance for Larry Trainor, folks. And... he doesn't get in! Larry ends up joining the Legion of Substitute Heroes for about two weeks before he punches out Stone Boy during an argument over a sandwich and is asked to leave.


Steve Dayton! Billionaire industrialist, philanthropist, inventor, super-hero! Steve Dayton, AKA Mento! Not really a member of the Doom Patrol, but associated heavily-enough with them that I include him here.


Over 18: -5 points

Uses a device (the 'Mento helmet') to achieve his powers: -15 points (I knocked off 5 points because there's some indication that the helmet just amplifies some powers that he already possesses)

Somewhat likely to mouth off during the interview: -10 points

More than a little creepy: -10 points

Possible criminal record: -20 points

Mento is an interesting character but only occasionally a likeable one. Yes, he has telekinetic powers in addition to being in top athletic condition, but he's also a bit of an arrogant dick. Since he only really associated with the Doom Patrol in order to get into Elasti-Girl's pants I have to assume that that would be his motivation for applying for Legion Membership as well. The only question would be: who is he stalking? Shrinking Violet? Triplicate Girl? Princess Projectra? Whoever it was, it'd likely come up at the interview. Steve is a little more cool-headed than Larry or Robotman but is more than ready to rise to any baiting that he might encounter. Throw in the fact that he uses a device to gain his powers and the fact that he might have a record either for insider trading or for this sort of thing:

and his score is down to a measly 40 percent. Did he get in? Nope! Bitter, Steve takes to the drink, slowly losing his holdings to RJ Brande's corporate takeovers and racking up an impressive number of restraning orders from female super-heroes.


Rita Farr was a movie star and (I think) an Olympic swimmer before she was exposed to strange gases and gained the power to grow or shrink at will. Later, she refined the ability so that she could grow only a part of herself at a time.


Over 18: -5 points

Duplicate powers (Shrinking Violet, Colossal Boy): -20 points

Bit of a pushover: -5 points

Now Rita, she's a good fit for the Legion. She's got a fairly straightforward power, no major personality flaws and is quite good at the actual mechanics of super-heroing. As noted above, though, she can be pretty passive at times - two to four men at a time were usually squabbling over her in the old Doom Patrol comics and she was not terrific at doing much more than going with the flow. I reckon that if Superboy or someone started claiming that "If you suddenly expanded while we were all in an elevator or something then you could seriously harm all of us. Except me. Unless you're magic." then she might not do more than agree with him and  slink out of the room. Or maybe not - she did show some spine from time to time.

Okay, assuming that she emphasized the usefulness of being able to grow parts of herself instead of the part where she has powers that are already represented on the Legion... 75 percent chance. Go, Elasti-Girl! She didn't make it. Reverting to her sex-object roots, Rita went on to date Sun Boy, Matter-Eater Lad and Chemical King in quick succession before settling down with Kid Psycho in a little split-level Moon Dome.

The Chief

Niles Caulder is the genius behind the Doom Patrol: the man who placed Cliff Steele's brain into the Robotman body, who coordinates the Patrol's activities and who creates all of the scientific devices that they require to fight monsters and other weirdies.


Over 50: -10 points

Duplicate powers (Brainiac 5, Rond Vidar): -15 points

Drawback ("Dude, you're an old man in a wheelchair."): -20 points

Aloof: -5 points

The Chief is going to have a hard time winning over the Legion. Put aside the fact that he's older than most of their parents or that he's used to being in charge of a team and is likely to put people off with his attitude - the guy's in a wheelchair due to supervillain misadventure. It's highly likely that Wildfire is going to walk over and tip him onto the floor as an illustration of why they're going to reject him. Of course, Niles Caulder doesn't roll around in just any old wheelchair, and is likely to pull what I like to call a Val Armorr Manouvre: beating up a Legionnaire to prove that you can cut it in the Legion. In Niles' case, there's a giant mechanical arm in the back of the thing for smacking people around, plus a machine gun in the arm.

Of course, the Legion already has a couple of guys whose claims to fame are their big brains. Do they want someone who specializes in Sixties-style mad science cluttering up their lab? Let's see: another no. Well, don't worry about old Niles. He gathers together a rag-tag team of heroes like The Mess and Arm Fall-Off Boy and sets out to prove that they're more than their freakish deformities. Then, years later, Grant Morrison writes their adventures. The Mess becomes a hermaphroditic comet with some pretty interesting theories about popular radio!

Beast Boy

Look everyone, it's Garfield "Gar" Logan! Given an experimental serum when dying of a rare illness, he turned green and gained the ability to turn into various animals! If you grew up during the Eighties or Nineties, you might know him better as Changeling!


Kind of likely to mouth off during interview: -15 points

Power duplication (Chameleon Boy): -10 points

Same name as a dead guy: -5 points


Great hair: +5 points

Beast Boy is a bit of a troubled lad as a result of being orphaned at a young age and then entrusted to a scheming uncle who was interested in his inheritance and nothing else, but the structure of a group like the Legion might be just what he needs. It has to be better than him hanging around with the Doom Patrol, for heavens' sake - two grown men yelling at him and calling him names in Sixties lingo can't help his self-esteem. As long as he doesn't antagonize the Legion members like he did the original Teen Titans, he'll be fine. His powers are only kind of like Chameleon Boy's, after all (especially if Reep can grow an imagination) and I'm sure that Brainiac 5 would like to see another green face around the Clubhouse. After all, it's not like he's a token or anything - surely the Legion can have more than one guy of a certain colour at a time. Right?

Beast Boy has the same name as the deceased semi-villainous former member of the Heroes of Lallor, but the creepiness of that is offset by his great hair, and by the fact that he retained that hair, well...

... that's right. He kept his wicked mop-top while he was in animal form. How could the Legion resist that? 75 percent chance of getting in and... he gets in!

Robotman and Beast Boy are our newest members of Johnathan's Possible Legion of Maybe Super-Heroes, who need a better name! Feel free to suggest one!

Until next time, mes amis.

Twelve Days of Christmas Special Review Series, Part Twelve, By Johnathan

Holy Hannah. I did it!

I mean *ahem* of course I did. And look: I planned things out ahead of time. After starting on the Legion Christmas tale in Adventure Comics No. 289 we wrap up with the Legion yarn from the Super-Star Holiday Special, which is very likely to make an appearance here next year as well.

The setup: Superboy is visiting the future yet again and it's Christmastime. He's oddly upset that the world of the one thousand years in the future is not full of familiar 1950s (or 1940s, or 60s or whenever Superboy was from at that point) holiday traditions. Saturn Girl tries to cheer him up with some old-fashioned invasion of privacy:

"To be shared only by close friends and whoever happens to be spying on them from the Clubhouse."

Karate Kid's tree isn't as nice as that one from the Adventure story. It's still cool and all, but there's just something about concentric rings...

Also, who here thinks that Sun Boy invited himself along to this thing? I for one would not take my main squeeze home for a "private tea ceremony" and also bring along my womanizing pal. Unless there's more to the KK/PP relationship than we were told... or less, I suppose.

Fireworks trees! Terrific, improbable, hazardous!

Forcing your friend to work because he doesn't celebrate the holiday that you're all taking off? Not cool.

I think that this might be the first time that we learn that Colossal Boy is Jewish, which was always a nice touch, especially as all of the black characters kept getting shuffled off to other dimensions or weren't black at all and then were killed. Colossal Boy is the face of Legion diversity, folks!

Not sure if it's necessary for him to be so big, though, even if the Allons do have a gigantic dining room. My brother is in the army, and we discourage him from showing up at dinnertime in full camouflage and armed. This seems similar to me - "Look everyone! I'm a super-hero!"

Here's something for you to think about, Superboy: you flew to the future under your own power. You could very easily jaunt off to Smallville for Christmas, or go back to watch the invention of the first piece of tinsel (and then take the inventor Hans Tinsel to the moon to fight 17th Century Dominators or something). The future is, after all, another country - you're acting like someone who goes to France and complains about the lack of English and Coors.

Now just calm down and...

... go completely over the top. Say one thing about Superboy, folks: he doesn't mess around. No candlelight service for him, no sir. No going to Bethlehem to check out possible manger sites or trying to summon the ghosts of the Wise Men or feeding Tenzil gold, frankincense and myrrh until he pukes Christmas spirit. No, it's time to fly to the Christmas star. Basically the only way to top that would be to travel back to watch Mary giving birth, but that's too obvious.

The rest of the story is concerned with the legion haring off on Superboy's mad quest and helping a planet full of fairly dumb aliens ("The ocean's freezing, huh? Well, I guess I'll just sit here and die.") It's okay, but the real attraction is the sheer scale that Superboy thinks on. And his super-demented facial expression.


All together now!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

Twelve beasts of lightning,
Eleven Tyrocs shouting,
Ten Stone Boys standing,
Nine Police sciencing,
Eight Trappers timing,
Seven boys a-bouncing,
Six Tenzils snacking,


Four head-shaped worlds,
Three Luornus,
Two Turtle Boys,
And a Brainy, out of his tree.

A retroactive happy whatever if you choose to celebrate something at this time of year, a good time anyway if you don't and may your smugness be extra satisfying if you're one of those types.

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!

High-Tech Tomorrow: Review of the Concentrator, Part One, By Johnathan

Hey there, friends - it's time for another review-as-voted-on! Looking way back to Adventure Comics No. 321, we're going to have a look at the fearsome Concentrator, mua-ha. I think, though, that this is one of those times that it's better to look at the whole issue, rather than extracting bits of it for humourous out-of-context ridicule. I estimate... three entries, maybe? And this is a three-day weekend! Keep tuning in to see if I can manage to meet my own very easy deadline! (Ha ha ha! It's Monday already: I fail!)

We join the Legion on page two:

Man, I sure do wish that Phantom Girl had remained all ghostly and pigment-free - just imagine how much weirder her string of peek-a-boo uniforms would have been if the cloth and her exposed bits were all the same colour. Also, think of the savings on ink! Im sure that by now we'd have seen a Phantom Girl and the Phantom Squad, Featuring Phantom Ape miniseries or something, if only because of the rising cost of little pink dots.

"Who is this stranger with Bouncing Boy's haircut, clothes and voice? Dammit, I told you not to let just anyone wander in here! Now, where's my chair? No, that's not it. No, my chair was facing the other way, so that can't be it! Also, this isn't the cactus that was here before - that cactus was shorter!"

See, what I'm trying to hint at here is that Star Boy has poor recognition skills.

Also, he's an A-1 jerk. "No, you can't be Bouncing Boy - he was a fat asshole. "

And I'll tell you exactly what Mon-El - and possibly Sun Boy - is thinking in this panel: I wonder if anyone's noticed the new way I combed my hair?

Bouncing Boy goes on to tell the story of his slimmening, which involves a shrink ray and is patently something that the writer threw together just to get rid of the guy. Not that anyone was listening to him anyway:

They were far too busy voting on whether to toss him out on his ear or not, with maybe a quick roughing up by Ultra Boy to make sure he keeps his mouth shut if any reporters think to ask about the Big Computer Sex Parties or anything like that.

So presumably they send the Reservist out for Astro-coffee or something, and then it's back to the meeting!

Now, this is back from when the Time Trapper was a super-scientist hiding behind the Iron Curtain of Time, thirty days into the future or so. Long, long before he became the Irritating Emo Plot Device From the End of Time that we all know and I loathe, he was actually mildly interesting. He sat behind that curtain and made fun of the Legion and every once in a while he tried some ridiculous scheme involving Glorith or the Molecular Master or someone like that.

Ah, there's the first mention of the Concentrator. Time to find out what it is: speak on, Star Boy!

Aw. I guess we'll never learn what that darned thing is. grumble grumble this is why I have to write such long reviews, damn Legion and their secrecy...

Superboy: Hey, Mon-El's hair looks great. I wonder if I should change my 'do?

Chameleon Boy and Triplicate Girl then show up and completely coincidentally tell everyone about some really lame attempts to wrangle info about the Concentrator out of them. This elicits some fairly elaborate eyebrow-raising and not a little nose-wrinkling, and then, in a completely coincidental occurrence:

Science Police Commissioner Wilson shows up! He's heard some talk of a Concentrator of some kind and he wants the poop! He's... kind of paunchy!

Now, this comes up later, so I'd like to point it out specifically: the chain of events here is that a) This guy hears a vague rumour about the Legion having a super-weapon of some sort. b) He asks them about it and they say that it could potentially threaten the entire Universe. c) He believes them, just like all good people should when a group of teenagers make grandiose claims.

d) Based solely on space-radio scuttlebutt and their collective word, he decides to put them through gruelling psychological torment, with possible life imprisonment waiting for anyone who blabs.

Planet Althar, uninhabited except for strange life-forms! (Space Directive X21v states that planets may be considered inhabited only if the life-forms in question are regular, small or boring. Technically, Althar is considered to be in-friggin'-habited, but the term was coined in the 2530s, and scientists of the Legion era don't talk like that any more.)

A better site for testing astronauts' suitability for space travel, you say? Could it be, just as an example, somewhere that you don't need a rocket ship to get to? I only ask out of curiosity, you understand.

Heh, Matter-Eating Lad. Nice one, Querl.

See, it came up again (sooner than I'd thought, but still): based solely on their word, this man is prepared to imprison these people for life if they reveal a secret that they themselves decided to keep. That's like... ag! I can't even think up a good example! Legion logic hurts my head!

Good issue, though.

NEXT TIME: the Legionnaires get psychologically tortured!

Super-Human Detritus of the Thirtieth Century: Review of Green Guy and Camera Eye, by Johnathan

I have listened to the will of the people, and just under half of them want to hear about some future-losers with super-powers. This poll thing seems to be working all right, so I'll be keeping it up for a while - not necessarily in any consistent format, mind you.

Today we'll look at a couple of guys from way, way back in the day (Adventure Comics No. 307, that's how way). I've been kind of putting off discussing them for a while now, not because they're not rich and fascinating topics for online pontification but because they've only got one panel of action - their combined in-continuity adventures span one-third of one page. Thankfully, on further investigation I found that a full two-thirds of the page in question was suitable for discussion, so the Internet will get to hear my opinions after all!

Here's the Legion, fresh from an encounter with the arch-pirate Roxxas, who has been flying around with his band of cutthroats stealing simply everything in sight - seriously, he goes to one planet and basically ends up making off with all of their light bulbs. The Legionnaires are concerned that they don't have the numbers to take on this murderous, awful, bloodthirsty crew, so they hit upon the idea of signing up a few new recruits, presumably as cannon fodder. Note that Invisible Kid is wearing that same black-hair-and-yellow-jumpsuit number that he was sporting during the Dynamo Kid audition. Colouring error or early-onset midlife crisis ("Bright colours - bright colours are young, right? And... and I'll dye my hair black! Get a sporty hover-car, a sexy Durlan ladyfriend - nobody'll ever guess that I'm an old man of seventeen.)?

Having neglected to give a name, this youngster is variously identified as Green Boy, Green Guy and possibly Green Lad. Me, I figure that anyone who bothers to inject himself with chemicals until he gets a side-effect that qualifies as a super-power just (I assume) so's he can apply for a club is going to think up something a bit more grandiose than that. Lime Lad? Emerald Ed? Ral Kint, the Chlorochromaticistic Kid? Guess we'll never know, though, so I'm going with Green Guy, 'cause it's short and I like alliteration.

Green Guy might - just might - be the most delusional person ever to walk away from Legion HQ with a consolation flight belt. He's at least in the running beside Rann Antar. Check him out: from the explanation that he has just given I am lead to believe that his powers affect only the world around him. I mean, he's not turning green, that's for sure. So a) why the hell is he decked out in blue and orange when a quick trip to the Army/Navy Surplus (Stormtrooper/Spacefleet Surplus) could at least lend a little weight to his argument and b) how the hell is that any use in camouflage? Even on a world with green foliage, wouldn't that field of greenifying rays just make him easier to spot? He'd just be this blue-and-orange figure at the centre of a blobby field of green. Boo, Green Guy, boo. You're lucky that Sun Boy was feeling uncharacteristically kind and let you down easy with that "Different planets have different leaves." excuse. On any other tryout day he'd just roar "REJECTED!" and set your hair on fire.


Next up is Camera Eye (again, best guess on the name), a comparatively normal youth. Amusingly, he is green. Man, I got so worked up about Green Guy that I'm a bit spent on the old "Making fun of guys" front. Okay, here goes: Camera Eye, you'd have maybe the barest hint of a chance of getting into the Legion as some sort of living sex-tape maker or something if you weren't such a liar. At the risk of sounding like exactly the kind of pedantic nerd that I am: when the hell did Superboy ever meet Bizarro? Never, that's when, you liar. Oh, he met Bizarro Superboy, sure, but that's clearly a bizarro Superman up there. Go on home, Camera Eye. Go home and watch videos of yourself crying in the mirror. Jerk.

Nice shirt, though. Still, NOT APPROVED.

And I just threw this one in because Element Lad's costume looks pretty nifty with that question mark on it. And the lad himself looks particularly elfin, I must say. Also: surprisingly jaunty for someone who recently became the only one of his kind.


Super-Human Detritus of the Thirtieth Century: Review of Antennae Boy and the Dynamo Kid, By Johnathan

Ah-ha-ha! Super-Detritus reviews ride again! I have no idea why I've gone so long without doing one of these things. Well, partially responsible is the profound laziness that set in as soon as I moved in to my fantastic new apartment (Review? No! Play with the cat? Yes!). Now, though, I'm back, full of vim and vigour and ready to poke fun at the Silver Age.

Today, we're looking at one of the earlier Legion tryouts, in Adventure Comics No. 305. This was one issue after Lightning Lad had sacrificed his life to keep Saturn Girl from... sacrificing her life to keep anyone else from dying whilst fighting some pirates or something (look, it was perfectly clear at the time. There was a little crystal spaceship with a prophecy inside and everything). This was a reasonably big deal, except for the fact that it was implied one page after his death that he would be resurrected. Of all improbable comic book death-undoings, Lightning Lad's was perhaps the most telegraphed.

But no matter! As of when we are talking about, ol' Garth's death is still a fresh wound and everyone's very sad:

Very, very sad, in fact. I like the theme coffin setup that they have here, though it leads me to unhealthy speculation regarding the fate of other Legion corpses. When Sun Boy died, did they just leave him out in the sun? Is there a mechanized hand above Karate Kid, chopping for all eternity? What the hell will they come up with if Bouncing Boy ever dies?

I've mentioned the Legion's Pygmalion-esque love of statuary before, and this is a great example: a statue commemorating the heroic sacrifice of Lightning Lad, a statue of the tragically exiled Mon-El and, just for the hell of it, a Sun Boy statue. I can't decide if the Legionnaires are all hopelessly in love with themselves or with each other. Either way, it's a safe bet that they all have mirrors on the ceiling above their beds.

Now: keep in mind that everyone is very, very sad. Lightning Lad appears to have died, like, within the last week.

I am: Tactless Boy! My abilities include acting like a complete tool and an aptitude for designing shirts that are far, far too busy (seriously, if you've got Showcase Presents: The Legion of Super Heroes, Vol. 1, check this panel out. The lack of colour highlights just how much is going on on this top and just how wrong it is). So, your friend is dead? Well, how can that benefit me?

(Incidentally, the brown-clad guy on the left is Mon-El, playing a "hilarious" joke by applying for membership under an assumed name. Just so you know)

Ah, Antennae Boy. I like the name of your planet, but your ears are possibly the grossest in all comicdom. All I can do is stare at those little hook-shaped growths and imagine the awful things that must happen whenever you are called upon to push through some dense underbrush. I mean, glasses are bad enough, but those things look designed to cause you pain and humiliation.

Every once in a while, that "Three-Eyed Sam from the planet WHAM!" line runs through my head and i try to set it to music or envision just who is singing it. My best guess is that 3-5 sultry ladies are sing-speaking it in unison and that Three-Eyed Sam is a bit like Shaft.

Whereas that Josephine/time machine line is very folk-rock in my mind. 808 Dy-7an sang it in 2605, during the Acoustic Guitar Renaissance. The Kennedy re-election thing, I don't know.

Antennae Boy is one of those applicants who might have had a chance if he hadn't gotten ahead of himself. Given a year or so of training, he might have been able to showcase the usefulness of being able to pick up broadcasts from the future instead of just randomly blasting out sound. Plus, his powers would be very useful for research. Also, no Legionnaire would ever again have to worry about leaving his iPod Yocto behind and having to endure a music-less mission. Over-confidence strikes again! Still, I like that shirt, so:


Okay, first impressions of the Dynamo Kid. Pros: I like the little bow, the crackling energy is kind of neat and a super-hero with a literal rather than figurative fat head is kind of novel. Cons: that's a fairly hideous costume, he's completely tactless, and the little pause before he says his name is super pretentious. Still, you have to give a guy a chance, right?

Just an aside: I hope that if the day ever comes that flying billboards are a reality it's far enough in the future that I have some chance of having developed lightning-based powers. Because I'll want to blast 'em good.

"I use my powers to engage in wanton destruction of property! I casually mention how rich I am! Let me into your altruistic club! I won't be insufferable, I promise!"

Okay, "AWP!" is a great sound to make when your deception is discovered.

Looking at how fat his head is in this panel, though. I think that that green thing around his waist is a girdle.

I know he's just miscoloured, but I like that look on Invisible Kid.

You know, this could have been a pretty good plot. The old-school Legion were suspicious as hell, and someone sneaking around taking notes and asking questions would have built them into a frenzy of paranoia, probably directed at Cosmic Boy (because the Legion never suspects the right person until the last second, that's why. Just ask Matter-Eater Lad). It could have stretched a cross a couple of issues, maybe with the Legion getting all perturbed over a series of exposes on all of the dirty teenage sex that was going on in that innocuous-looking yellow spaceship.

But alas, the Dynamo Kid never appeared in 'Secret of the Shocking Sex Scandals' and I've changed my mind about the fat head being charming. I've kind of grown to like the horizontal lightning stripe, though.

Nonetheless, he's NOT APPROVED