Browsing: Hero History

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Hero History: Shadow Lass

Or – “If You Had Powder Blue Skin, You’d Probably Show Off Too…” Talok VIII is an anomaly in the worlds of the Legion. It’s a hidden, backwater world of swords and sorcery, the kind of place that Red Sonja or Claw the Unconquered wouldn’t feel at all out of place, and it’s favorite daughter has a tendency to dress in a manner that would befit Sonja as well. As with last week’s entrant, she was that rarest of Legionnaire stories, a hero so successful that she was offered LSH membership in the middle of a mission. She was also…

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Hero History: The White Witch

Or – “The Fair Witch Project.” The Legion of Super-Heroes covers a lot of different takes on heroism, but the one thing that they all seem to share is the affinity for science.  From the “ultra-energy” that imbues Jo Nah, to Wildfire’s transformation to pure antimatter, to the accident that empowered Lighting Lass and her brother, the vagaries of science (or at least the strange comic book version thereof) have served as the origin of many Legionnaires.  Indeed, with the bright and shiny future setting, that’s as it should be.  So today’s Historical subject is an anomaly from the get-go, holding the…

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Hero History: Yellowjacket

Or, “No, this guy was never an Avenger nor a woman named Rita…” In some of my previous Hero Histories, I talked a little bit about how Golden Age characters might make an appearance and never be seen again, or they could last through to today. While that was meant to be aimed at actual characters, it holds true for good names a well. You might recognize this week’s Hero History as a name belonging to one of Hank Pym’s various alter egos. Maybe you know it as a young ex-criminal named Rita DeMara who went to the future and…

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Hero History: Rockman, Underground Secret Agent

Or, “This Rockman has absolutely nothing to do with Megaman…” The Golden Age was a time of wonder in the comic book industry. New heroes where popping up at dozens of new publishers every week, and if the idea could translate to paper, it was given a shot. Some were never seen after their first appearance, others lasted for decades. Oddly enough, some characters were forgotten and not seen in new adventures for over fifty or more years. The peculiar Rockman, Underground Secret Agent, is one of those recently “re-discovered and re-imagined” heroes of the past.

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Hero History: Kid Quantum

Or – “The Thirtieth Century’s Answer To Donny And Marie…” One of the unavoidable biases inherent in our Terra-centric translation of the events of the various 30th Centuries has been the fact that many more Legionnaires come from Earth than from any other planet.  With Karate Kid, Wildfire, Sun Boy, both Invisible Kids, Bouncing Boy, Ferro Lad, Tyroc, as well as a host of shorter-lived Legionnaires, Sol III holds the record for gestating LSH members, but planet Xanthu (home of Star Boy, Monstress, Atmos, 50% of the rebooted Wildfire, and today’s dual entrants) has a strong heroic tradition of it’s own.  Heck,…

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Hero History: Amazing-Man

This week, as we continue our look at the “forgotten” heroes of the past, we find another hero who learned his powers from Tibetan monks. This time he is not as steeped in Buddhism as our previous entry, The Green Lama, but he spent more time in training. He also has one of the most recognized, yet unknown cover appearances of the Golden Age. I mean how many other covers have a nearly naked man, in chains, biting a cobra!

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Hero History: Shrinking Violet

Or – “In Small Things, We Reveal Ourselves As We Truly Are…” One of the things for which the 30th Century has never lacked is strong female characters.  From the steely nature of Legion founder Saturn Girl, to the tenacity of Dream Girl, to the self-determination of Dawnstar and beyond, the females of the LSH are every single iota the match for their male colleagues.  But with that many dominant personalities on one place, someone is bound to end up in the shadows.  Today’s Historical subject spent the greater part of her Legion career in the shadow of her own relationships, from her first teenage crush,…

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Hero History: The Green Lama

Not Llama. LAMA. Om mani padme hum… the Green Lama strikes, for Justice! The Green Lama, a Westerner who wears the robes of a Tibetan Buddhist monk, recently returned to the public eye as one of the mysterious protagonist in the Dynamite Entertainment comic series, PROJECT: SUPERPOWERS. Although the concept of the series is well publicized, the use of characters whose copyrights have slipped into the public domain, few people know the full history of the individual characters. Today I decided to research The Green Lama, who has one of the most varied of these histories, which ran from the…

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Hero History: Andromeda

Or – “Further Adventures In A World Without Tom Welling…” Today’s Hero History marks a watershed in our examination of the history of the Legion.  For the first time, we’re actually going to be looking at THREE different women, bound by a common origin and name, but who are NOT precisely the same character.  Previous Hero Histories have dealt with Legionnaires who might as well have been different individuals between Legion incarnations (Element Lad and Triplicate Girl come to mind) but today’s entrant takes that to the extreme.  In her tenure(s) with the LSH, she showed courage unparalleled, ingenuity without…

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Hero History: Tellus

Or – “An Ocean Is A Desert With Life Underground, And The Perfect Disguise Above…” Sometimes we set ourselves a challenge that we cannot easily overcome. With the heroes of the Legion, it’s generally a challenge of will, involving combat or the evil machinations of agents of chaos like the Fatal Five. In my case, it’s the realization that there are nearly 100 Legionnaires, and that some of them never actually got their defining moment in the spotlight. Some might consider this to be a liability and write off those particular LSHers as deadweight. Not on my watch, Faithful Spoilerites.…

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Hero History: Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel

Or – “Living Proof That The Powers Do Not Always Make The Hero…” In a very real way, to study the history of today’s subject is to study the history of the Legion itself.  Initially a smiling young teen with what I’ll charitably call “limited” superhuman abilities, she was at the center of one of the LSH’s first great tragedies.  When the team began growing up and dealing with responsibility, she was the first Legionnaire to marry and take on an adult role.  When the team began actively recruiting and training young heroes, she took on a leadership position, and was crucial (even…

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Hero History: Chemical King

Or -  “My Initiative Is Simple:  No Legionnaire Left Behind!” In the early 1980’s, Marvel Comics began printing up their “Official Handbook of The Marvel Universe,” an in-depth, encyclopedic examination of events, people and places in Marvel history.  DC soon followed suit with their “Who’s Who In The DC Universe,” which took a different tack, essentially covering the high points of a character’s publishing history, as well as one-upping Marvel’s static costume shots with a full-size collage of the character’s history and heroic feats.  It was here that I first encountered today’s Historical subject…  As a Legion fan, I was…

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Hero History: Sun Boy

Or – “A Bright Enough Light Can Hide The Shadows Within…” The study of the history of the Legion of Super-Heroes inevitably leads to the study of many unusual superhero archetypes and attitudes. Whereas most teams consist of six or seven clearly defined characters, a group the size of the Legion has room for Wildfire’s snarkiness, for Dawnstar’s occasional narcissism, for the roguish charm of Ultra Boy, for Shadow Lass’ antisocial tendencies, even for Quislet’s complete disregard for convention. It also leaves room for your classic cocky womanizer, smart but not the smartest, charming but not the most so, certainly…

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Hero History: Kinetix

Or – “The Thirst For Power Isn’t Always A Selfish Endeavor…” Even when you take into account the length and breadth of my comic knowledge, and my love of the Legion, there’s inevitably going to be somebody who is my least favorite.  (My Top Ten fave-raves?  1) Blok.  2) Matter-Eater Lad.  3) Bouncing Boy.  4) Wildfire.  5)  Pre-Crisis Ferro Lad.  6) Ultra Boy.  7) XS.  8) Tyroc.  9) Polar Boy.  10) Mon-El.)  Still, the entire point of the Hero History exercise, other than serving as an outlet for my creative/didactic urges, is to identify that which makes each hero uniquely awesome,…

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