Hero History: Invisible Kid II

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Or – “Some Are Born To A Legacy, Some Have Their Legacy Thrust Upon Them…”

Last time ’round, we looked at a hero who was a literal younger brother of one of the founding Legionnaires.  This week, we look at a metaphorical brother of one of the earliest Legionnaires.  Lyle Norg’s death stands among the Legion’s greatest tragedies, and for many years the LSH was without an invisible member.  It took the return of one of the team’s greatest nemeses to create a situation where Lyle’s serum could once again save the day, with a little boost of courage, some tenacity, and a heap of filial affection.  This, then, is your Major Spoilers Hero History of Jacques Foccart of Earth…  Invisible Kid!

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The story of the second Invisible Kid actually starts with another of the earliest Legionnaires: Matter-Eater Lad.  After M-E Lad saved the entire freaking universe by eating the Miracle Machine (thereby disempowering Omega, a galactic level-threat) he was overcome by bouts of insanity.  Brainiac 5 (who created Omega during a bout with insanity) spent years trying to assuage his guilt by finding a way to help good ol’ Tenzil (Matter-Eater Lad’s real name.)  After mastering brain surgery, Brainiac decides to use his newfound skills to help another victim of a strange brain fever, a young girl named Danielle Foccart…

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With an assist from Mon-El, and a watching eye from Danielle’s brother, Jacques, Brainy manages to return the girl from her fever-induced coma, only to be surprised when a portion of his operating theatre explodes in a rather gratuitous fashion.  Upon investigation, the horrifying truth is revealed.  Danielle is possessed…

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…by COMPUTO!  The monstrous renegade super-computer that killed a Legionnaire and tried to destroy them all quickly disables the Legionnaires, locking them in their quarters and quickly taking each out with specifically tailored death-traps, while making sure that her brother stays protected.  Computo also protects it’s own creator, allowing Jacques and Brainiac to work together.  Brainy manages to get Foccart the elder a telepathic plug, and outlines his desperate plan, a plan that requires Jacques to risk not only his own life, but the life of his sibling as well.

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The patented Norg invisibility serum does it’s job, and Jacques quickly sets off to find a hypospray that will knock out the host, putting Computo in stasis while trapping it in Danielle’s once again comatose mind.  Jacques rushes to help, while the monstrous Computo entity toys with Mon-El and Brainiac.

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Just as all seems lost, Jacques manages to dose his sister, taking down Computo, and finding to his surprise (and delight) that doing so doesn’t kill his sister.  The entire Legion calls an emergency meeting immediately afterwards, leaving a sad and weary Jacques Foccart to wait for Brainiac 5 to return and help his sister.  But when B5 returns, he brings more than just assistance…

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The new Invisible Kid joins the Legion at a point of great turmoil (but then, Invisible Kids always thrive in chaos) as a mysterious series of attacks, by creatures calling themselves “The Servants of Darkness,” leaves chaos in their wake.  The team calls in all it’s markers, even returning some old, long-missing members to the fold…

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The team quickly comes under attack, and the powerhouses leap into action against the Servants of Darkness, trying to keep them from stealing a series of powerful magical items.  Even though Tom Welling and Wildfire are already in the mix, Invisible Kid courageously leaps into action, proving himself to be a Legionnaire at heart.

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Invisible Kid serves the team well, getting injured in the line of duty against Darkseid’s minions (for it is he behind the attacks) and becoming a respected member of the team.  Some months later, he (alongside Blok, Wildfire, and the White Witch) face down a Khund monster named Kharlak, who manages to somehow disperse Wildfire’s energies…  or so it seems. 

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Something about the serum or his powers allows Jacques to see what Blok and Mysa could not, a dimensional rift of some sort, through which he follows Wildfire’s energy.  But once he arrives, he finds something even stranger than dimensional rifts and energy beings:  Drake Burroughs, in all his human glory, the man who was dissolved into a flood of anti-energy years ago to become Wildfire.  Jacques tries to talk him into leaving this strange place, but Drake ain’t buying, forcing Invisible Kid to get a bit medieval on Wildfire’s newly-reintegrated ass.

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Unfortunately, the landscape in this strange dimension shifts as quickly as thought itself, and what he thought was the exit turns out to be a portal to an even stranger place, albeit one that seems strangely familiar.  And within that warped mirror landscape he finds a reflection of a face he recognizes…

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The Invisible Kids go toe to toe, and Jacques escapes, getting Wildfire home safely, if somewhat disappointed to be made of energy again.  A few months later, Jacques again taps into his strange dimension hopping power, and returns to find the truth about Lyle Norg.  After being missing for a while, he calls again on his friend Wildfire for assistance, and finally unlocks the truth of “Lyle Norg.”

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The rock causes “Lyle” to bust open, revealing an monstrous alien entity, a creature who has created this dimension from the power of it’s own will.  Even with the creature revealed, Wildfire is still distracted by the dream of having his body back.  Invisible Kid is forced to break his friend free by angering him, a dangerous proposition when facing a man who could blow up your entire hometown just by staring too hard…

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Using only the power of their minds, Jacques and Drake manage to confuse the creature long enough for Invisible Kid to once again tap into his strange teleportational power and escape the hell-dimension once and for all, sealing the portal behind them.  Once they’re home, though, Jacques has a bit of unfinished business to take care of…

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Having finally come to terms with his debt to the late Mr. Norg, Invisible Kid settles into his role in the Legion, as well as a key player in Chameleon Boy’s Espionage Squad.  But one of the unexpected souvenirs from his interactions with the dream demon is an inexplicable power to teleport…   When a presidential candidate is threatened by a Khundian warrior,  he expects no resistance.  He doesn’t count on the power of Invisible Kid! 

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The battle goes well, but treachery by the Khundian cyborg leaves Invisible Kid in dire straits, being choked to death, his spine inches from cracking…  when suddenly his displacement power kicks in.

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In space, no one can hear you burst like a bratwurst in a microwave.  Theoretically, anyway.  Overcome with guilt, Invisible Kid turns himself in to the Legion’s governing body for corrective action.  The LSH comes to the conclusion that Jacques did not have control of his powers, and thus the situation can not be considered murder.  But that doesn’t keep Invisible Kid from blaming himself, and begging Brainiac 5 for assistance in controlling his strange new super-power…

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Invisible Kid is at first taken aback by Brainiac 5′s suggestion, but soon comes to realize that it’s probably the best answer.  With his powers out of control, who knows when another Wharlik could come along and get blowed up real good?  Invisible Kid gets a referral (since Brainiac is outside his HMO’s network) to Legion healthcare provider Doctor Gym’ll who refines the decision for him even more.

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Invisible Kid is stunned to realize something he’d never even considered: he could once again have a normal life, return to his studies and the world which Computo’s machinations stole from him.  Before he can make his decision, he is thrown into another Legion mission, this one involving a loss of atmosphere on the Medicus One satellite, which leads him to make his fateful choice.

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Having overcome and come to terms with his legacy, as well as his particular powers, Invisible Kid accompanies Brainiac 5 into the past to try and unravel a great mystery: namely, how can Tom Welling have been a member of the Legion, when official records don’t list Christopher Reeve as having a teenage costumed career?  The Legion heads back to 1000 years ago circa 2987 to find out…

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Invisible Kid served alongside the Legion as they discovered that their Tom Welling was a plant, a creature created by the Time Trapper in a complex scheme to control the Legion.  The teen of steel ends up giving his life for the LSH, leading to a series of setbacks for the team.  The Magic Wars led to Magnetic Kid’s death, and not so long after, Wildfire gave up his life in the Black Dawn debacle, after which Jacques had had enough.  Like many of his fellows, Invisible Kid resigned from the Legion.  Unlike most of his fellows, Jacques knew where the real villains lay, and began assembling his own resistance force against the corrupt Earthgov.  Staying underground for years, Jacques eventually found himself a wife, (in the form of former Substitute Hero Infectious Lass) an army, (in the form of her Substitute Hero partners) and an unlikely ally… Universo!

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Having forged a strong underground organization out of virtually nothing, the former Invisible Kid lives up to his old codename, keeping his entire organization out of sight.  The reformation of the Legion (thanks to Chameleon and Cosmic Boys) works to his advantage, giving Earthgov a high-profile target to cover their activities.  Universo even gives him the final nail for the Dominator’s coffin: the explanation for why Earth is so valuable to them.

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The revelation of the underground caverns full of Dominator experiments is the first surprise, but as with nearly all of the moments in Jacques’ life, the first is seldom the most shocking.  Invisible Kid finds this out the hard way, when he receives a phone call from…  Invisible Kid?

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The discovery of the SW6 Legionnaires, perfect duplicates of the teenage Legionnaires of years before, is but one of many dominoes that begin to fall all at once, as the Dominators powerbase rapidly destabilizes.  The death of Dirk Morgna, the explosions of the fusion powerspheres, and the murder of President Tayla Wellington on worldwide broadcast lead to the perfect situation for Jacques to strike…

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The Dominators try to regroup, pulling their forces back to Earth, only to have Invisible Kid, the Legionnaires, Universo’s sect and the SW6 team join forces against them.  With their manipulations exposed, the Dominators try one last propaganda broadcast…  a broadcast that they quickly find is hijacked by one monsier Foccart.

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As Earthgov rebuilds, and the planetary forces try to rebuild the government, free of Dominator control and influence.  With Wellington dead, the very key position of Earth President is open, and the choice is both clear and obvious…   Well, obvious to everyone but their candidate.

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Jacques and his wife Drura move into the Presidential mansion, working with the remanants of the United Planets and the Legion(s) to rebuild a devastated Earth.  As is always his way, though, Jacques remains uncertain of his own best characteristics, constantly worried about measuring up to his new position, even as he was as a Legionnaire.

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During the chaos, though, many people are lost, presumed missing, and the new President finds it necessary to leave his secure palace and go on a rescue mission of his own.  Accompanied by his Vice President, Troy Stewart, Jacques sets off to find his missing sister…

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Danielle turns up, alive and well, and possessed (no pun intended) of super-powers of her own, thanks to the Computo infection of her childhood.  Calling herself Computo, she joins with the kids of the SW6 Legion, who then get costumes and codenames and all the cool toys.  Jacques finds himself missing the days of safety yellow dacron, and getting nearly killed every other week, especially when bonding with his old pals Cham and Cos…

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It means one of the most awesome phrases in the history of the universe, man:  President Tyroc.  Daaaamn right.  Invisible Kid quickly takes over Cham’s slot, in more ways that one, providing the same leadership that turned the Substitute Heroes into a hotshot band of freedom fighters, but finds the adult LSH to be a much more fragile and strange beast. 

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Heh.  It’s pretty awesome to see Invisible Kid (though he wants to be called “Evanesce”) back in action, taking up residence in the Legion’s new headquarters (which apparently used to be a sleazy space brothel of some repute) and trying to turn them into the team they used to be.  Even his wife Drura isn’t sure it’ll work…

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Almost immediately upon taking residence, though, Jacques finds that Mordru has arisen, and the dead are coming with him.  Separated from the combat-ready Legionnaires, Jacques is forced to defend the team’s homebase from the hundreds of dead space-freaks found in it’s cavernous depths, taking special care to protect those in their infirmary (like a comatose post-Bounty-possession Dawnstar.)

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Mordru’s machinations force the field members of the team to work together with Khundian super-agents, (which, as you can imagine, probably bodes unwell) and they fight their way through the dead of a thousand years, including Jason Todd and others who aren’t dead anymore but were twenty years ago when it was the future…  Wait… I…  Ahh, nevermind.  Either way, the United Planets frowns on the Legion fraternizing with their recent enemies, and the wounds of the newest Khund war still run pretty deep, and Jacques finds his tenure with the Legion cut short as most of his teammates go on the run.

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The LSHer’s have a pretty vicious run-in with Glorith, leaving them changed in differing ways, while Invisible Kid, as is his way, works his magic in the background.  While his former teammates traipse about the galaxy, Invisible Kid finds the real architect of the Legion’s misery: his former associate, Universo.

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Thanks to Invisible Kid’s prowess in cloak-and-dagger, the team’s bacon is saved, and the United Planets rescinds the Legion’s outlaw status.  Unfortunately, things much worse than a few angry Khunds are about to hit, as the very fabric of the 30th Century has begun to unravel.  When a young Lar Gand (Valor) is murdered 1,000 years before he becomes Mon-El, the Legion’s very history is at stake.  The events known as Zero Hour push the U.P. closer to the brink of collapse…

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Jacques and Troy work together with the real Mon-El, Shadow Lass, and others in a desperate plan to bring the Pocket Universe Earth (home of the Legion’s faux Tom Welling) to their dimension to replace the shattered planet the Legion left behind after the Dominator’s exit.  Unfortunately, the race against time comes apart, when Tyroc (whose powers are charging the dimensional vortex) is wiped from the timestream.  Computo follows soon after, and even Jacques isn’t immune…

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The story of the second Invisible Kid ends there, for all intents and purposes…  but the story of Jacques Foccart does not.  When the 30th century reboots itself, a new Legion of Super-Heroes rises with it, and this Legion once again contains Lyle Norg as the Invisible Kid.  Lyle’s background is a bit mysterious at first, but piece by piece we learn that he is a former spy for Earthgov, who invented his invisibility serum at the tender age of ten-ish.  He was raised by the Foccart family, and his closest friend and “brother” growing up was a young, familiar looking lad named Jacques, who turns up again a few years later in Lyle’s lab.

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This takes place only a couple of years before the U.P. drafts Lyle into Legion service.  Of course, it’s not every day your BFF tries to strangle you to death, but… Hey, it’s the Legion.  You learn to roll with the punches.  Still, Lyle has some obvious questions for his pal…

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With his chemistry being radically different from Lyle’s Jacques seems to be turned completely inside-out, disappearing (so it seemed) forever.  But when a mysterious invisible assassin working for unsavory elements of Earthgov appears, Lyle gets suspicious, and investigates, only to be captured by Charma (an updated version of a very naked Mike Grell character.)  Charma uses her mind-control powers to make him give up his origins…

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Still, Lyle’s invisibility landed him a gig as a spy, which he used to get his old pal in like Flint, as well.  Of course, we saw how that turned out (thanks to Charma’s manipulations.)  Lyle manages to take the criminal into custody, but is saddened that he didn’t get to see his old friend one last time.  As Lyle leaves, though, Jacques fades back into view…

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It’s a weird little tribute, but an interesting take on a hero who spent most of his life sneaking through shadow.  Not nearly the most powerful of Legionnaires physically, Jacques Foccart proved himself to be versatile and subtle enough to survive when his flashier teammates could not.  Whether facing Darkseid, outwitting the Dominators, or defeating Computo, Invisible Kid showed that the quiet heroes are the ones that you really have to look out for.  Always watching, always learning, Invisible Kid proves that even the Legionnaires with the least combat-ready powers have their own special place, and can rise to any occasion admirably…

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**If you’ve enjoyed this Hero History, you might want to ‘Read All About It’ at your Local Major Spoilers! Our previous Major Spoilers Hero Histories include:

Andromeda
Blok
Bouncing Boy
Brainiac 5
Chameleon Boy
Chemical King
Colossal Boy
Dawnstar
Dream Girl
Element Lad
Ferro Lad
Gates
Invisible Kid
Karate Kid
Kid Quantum
Kinetix
Kent Shakespeare
Lightning Lass
Magnetic Kid
Matter-Eater Lad
Mon-El
Sensor Girl
Shadow Lass
Shrinking Violet
Star Boy
Supergirl
Sun Boy
Tellus
Thunder
Timber Wolf
Triplicate Girl
Tyroc
Ultra Boy
The White Witch
Wildfire
XS

Or you can just click “Hero History” in the “What We Are Writing About” section on the main page… Collect ‘em all!  Next up in our epic look at the grand history of the LSH, Rodrigo has been waiting with bated breath, and now it’s here…  The life and times of “that little spaceship guy,” the playful Legionnaire from the lost dimension, as we examine the Legion career of Quislet!