Sunday, April 25, 2010

Today's Shopping Trip

Today I was at the comic stores, and I picked up a couple of things. None of them are new, but they're definitely of interest.

First, I found a Heroclix figure of Bouncing Boy. Some Heroclix leave a little to be desired, but this one is great. Here he is on the dashboard:

(click to enlarge)


Next, I found Superman #214 (2/1969), "The Ghosts That Haunted Superman." In the story, Superman is haunted by ghosts of three of his deceased foes: Zha-Vam, Metallo, and the Composite Superman. In case you don't remember, the Composite Superman had all the powers of the Legionnaires, even though he'd never been to the 30th century. Here he menaces Superman with Element Lad's powers:

(click to enlarge)

On the next page, he uses Star Boy's powers.

But that's not the end of the Legion interest. The "ghosts," you see, are not really supernatural entitites; they are Nador, an alien kid with amazing powers including shape-shifting and levitation. Nador wanted to join "an exclusive interplanetary club" called the Omega Commandos. He demonstrated his powers to the members, but they laughed at him because he was so funny-looking. Then they sent him to Earth to prank Superman; if he succeeded, then he would be accepted into the club.

Nador's tryout looks eerily similar to Legion tryouts:

(click to enlarge)

The story ends happily: Superman accompanies Nador to the Omega Commandos' headquarters. By getting Superman to come to see them, Nador earned enormous cred and the Commandos accepted him as part of their fruity little club. There's even a Legion-worthy moral: Superman thinks to himself, "I think these youths have learned that it's not what a person looks like that's important, but what he is! And that's a moral everyone should remember!"

Interplanetary youth club, super-powers, intitiation stunts involving Kal-El, underdog triumphs, moral lessons learned -- sure sounds like a Legion story to me!


The last thing I found has no Legion connection at all, but is definitely of interest. I got World's Finest #195 (8/1970), which reprints a Congo Bill story originally published in Action #247 (12/1958): "The Riddle of the Super-Zoo." This story features Congo Bill's young boyfriend, Janu the Jungle Boy, who was apparently introduced in Action #191 (4/1954). (Janu was referred to as Bill's "ward" or "adopted son" -- and I'm sure he was, by the Law of the Jungle. Wink wink, nudge nudge.) Janu definitely falls into the cute boys category:

Unfortunately, it seems Janu did not come to a good end. According to Wikipedia, in a 1994 miniseries Janu became corrupt, betrayed Congo Bill, and took over his identity. Bill fought Janu to the death. Why is it always the pretty ones?

Congo Bill went on to serve (as Congorilla) in the Justice League with Mon-El. But Bill's transformation into Congorilla didn't happen until Action #248, the issue following the one in which this story appeared. I wonder how young Janu reacted when his companion of many years became a giant ape?



Paul Newell said...

You know, I think that the leader of the Omega Commando's looks like a young Dynamo Boy.

My guess is that one didn't learn a thing and became a space-pirate!

Meerkatdon said...

Paul, I do believe you're right. The Untold Origin of Dynamo Boy.