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Hero History

DCFeaturedGazelleHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesReview

Or – “They Also Serve Those Who Only Stand And Wait Get Retconned After Twelve Issues…” It’s a sad truth of the Legion of Super-Heroes that many readers consider them (in the words of my pal Otter Disaster) “an inside joke that I don’t get.” That confusion is understandable, given my own questions on whether Vol. 4 Laurel Gand and Rebooted Andromeda should be considered the same character, or whether Alchemist and Element Lad should be treated as one, sharing as they do little more than a real name in common. So, it’s nice to be able to take a

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FeaturedHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesReviewSuperboy

Or – “Boys Of An Unusually Superhuman Nature…” During the Hero History Project, I have taken a few liberties here and there in the manner and tone in which I convey the life and times of the various Legionnaires. One of the most controversial has been my use of the name Tom Welling to refer to Kal-El’s boyhood career in the LSH and elsewhere, a choice which has led many people to pointedly needle me, even going so far as to question my journalistic integrity. With tongue firmly in cheek, I would like to respond thusly… Point the first: I

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DCFeaturedHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesReviewSuperman

Or – “All The Powers At Once???” When I began the Hero Histories of the Legion of Super-Heroes, my initial intention (after eulogizing the recently-dead-again Karate Kid) was to defend the honor of a couple of my old favorites, which is why we began with Matter-Eater Lad, Bouncing Boy, and Blok. It was some time before I really realized what this particular project needed to be about, indeed what the Legion itself is implicitly about. As we progressed through the history of the Legionnaires, I realized that the point of it all was that anyone, that EVERYONE can contribute to

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Cosmic BoyDCFeaturedHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesReview

Or – “A Dash Of Courage To Go With The Brains And The Heart…” Today’s entrant has been for half a century one of the most iconic of the Legion’s dozens of active members, existing (like his fellow founders) in virtually every iteration of the team to date. UNLIKE his fellow founders, though, he hasn’t been tweaked, twisted, and reshaped to fit into each “new” world, instead seemingly shaping each of those variant worlds with his own quiet strength and integrity. Never the most overtly powerful Legionnaire, he was nonetheless the unanimous choice for first Legion leader, he was instrumental

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Captain Mar-VellCaptain MarvelHero History

AUTHOR NOTE: This article is not an all inclusive study of the Marvelman character.  There are issues in the creation and subsequent history of Marvelman that have not been touched on in years, and this is a basic rundown of the evolution of the character from publisher to publisher. The seeds of Marvelman as a character where planted in 1941, when National Periodical Publications (know today as DC Comics) sued Fawcett Comics for copyright infringement over their publication of the character Captain Marvel, saying it was to close to their own character Superman.  The case languished in court for years,

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DCHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesReviewSaturn Girl

Or – “The Brains Of The Outfit…” So, last week (theoretically) we looked at the emotional center of the founding Legionnaires, this time around we look at the woman whose strength of will in many ways defined the team.  She is one of the strongest characters in the Legion (perhaps one of the strongest in her world’s history) yet her powers are entirely subtle in nature.  Like her namesake planet, she is an axis around which the LSH rotates, as much a cornerstone of the team as Brainiac 5 or Tom Welling, and she personifies the Legion in ways that

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DCHero HistoryLegion of Super Heroeslightning ladReview

Or – “The Legion’s Impulsive Heart…” And here we are, at the beginnings of the whole shebang.  The three kids who started it all, who leapt into action to save the life of a stranger because they had the ability to do so.  The founding members of the Legion represent an interesting triad, a study in contrasts.  The studious, internally focused blonde whose powers are completely covert in nature.  The charismatic, team-oriented dark-haired one, whose abilities represent the ability to shape, to change, to manipulate.  The quick-to-action red-haired one, whose powers channel the destructive forces of nature.  Imra as commanding

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DCHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesPolar BoyReview

Or – “Number Two Has To Try Harder…” It’s absolutely amazing to me to think that we’ve been doing these Hero Histories now for over a year and a half.  I’ve had relationships that didn’t last that long!  When we started out, the list of Legionnaires seemed endless, stretching out into infinity.  Now, it would seem we’re in the home stretch, having come to the point where there are fewer than half a dozen LSHer’s yet unprofiled.  When I initially started this project, I knew where it had to begin, and I knew where it had to end, with a stretch of

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Chlorophyll KidColor KidDCFire LadHero HistoryInfectious LassLegion Of Substitute HeroesLegion of Super HeroesNight GirlPorcupine PeteReviewStone Boy

Or – “Sometimes You Have To Work Your Way Up To The Big Leagues…” There’s a lot of confusion regarding the early days of the Legion and their recruiting practices. Bouncing Boy got in, but Radiation Roy did not. Matter-Eater Lad got the nod, whereas Animal Lad was told no. The reasoning behind this has been the subject of much discussion (though I like Geoff Johns’ recent revelation in Action Comics that some of the Legion rejects were rejected because Saturn Girl could tell that there was something wrong with their minds) but the whole issue really seems to boil

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DCElastic LadHero HistoryInsect QueenKid PsychoLegion of Super HeroesPete RossReviewRond Vidar

Or – “What A Difference A Few Decades Make…” If you’re a regular reader of our Hero Histories, you’ve probably gleaned that the team’s adventures have been somewhat unorthodox for a comic super-group. The Legion has been up and down the popularity charts, have run the gamut from super-silly to ultra-serious tales, and have dealt with grown-up subjects like marriage, death, betrayal, and sexual issues long before the rest of the comics world was ready to do so. The Legion’s earliest adventures, though, were steeped in the rules of the Silver Age of comics, and the rules of Mort Weisinger’s

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Calamity KingCrystal KidDCEchoHero HistoryKarate Kid IILegion of Super HeroesNightwindReflectoReviewStorm BoyVisi-Lad

Or – “Eight Heroes Are Better Than None…” In recent weeks, we’ve been examining those heroes who joined the Legion in it’s second major incarnation, after harassment from a corrupt Earthgov (undermined by Dominator spies) drove the team to disband for over three years. The team was eventually brought back together by the murder of longtime member Blok (*sniff*) and rose like a phoenix from the ashes, only without sleeping with the kid in the visor. But there is something that we’ve only touched upon briefly that you may not have known… The Legion was active for several months during

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DCHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesReviewwave

Or – “The Path To Heroism Is Seldom Easily Traversed…” One of the great joys of the Legion of Super-Heroes has been the vast array of heroes to choose from.  Don’t like planet-juggling mighty men?  Maybe you can find the love for Phantom Girl, or Invisible Kid.  Looking for somebody more cerebral?  Try Brainiac 5 or Chameleon Boy.  The post Five Year Gap members of the Legion were especially diverse, with members like Matter-Eater Lad and a powerless Cosmic Boy taking irreplacable roles in the team structure, and showing that you don’t have to be a combat powerhouse to contribute

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Celeste RockfishDCHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesReview

Or – “For Those Who Wonder What Happened To The Guardians…” There are a lot of interesting stories in the fifty-year history of the Legion of Super-Heroes, but the ones that fascinate me are the Legionnaires whose stories remain mostly untold.  The post-Five-Year-Gap stories of the Legion tried to bring the shiny future kids up to speed with a more adult comic industry, adding to the mix characters who had adult skills and knowledges, giving the LSH experience with things out of the purview of, say, Lightning Lad, who has been fighting giant space whales since he was 12.  From

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DCDevlin O RyanHero HistoryLegion of Super HeroesReview

Or – “Some Heroes Take A While To Warm Up…” Last time out, we returned to the “Five Year Gap” era Legion of Super Heroes for the first time in a while, visiting the world as it was with neither Kal-El of Krypton or the Time Trapper.  I’ve said before, and I still believe that this portion of Legion history (now, apparently relegated to one of many alternate realities) was the first dry run for rebooting Legion continuity, which was then considered to be too complex and hard to understand.  Of course, Keith Giffen and company felt that the best

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