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Author Topic: Saddest Superman  (Read 33754 times)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2005, 07:20:38 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Moreover, Bouncing Boy/Chuck Taine was the first member to be granted true Reserve/Honorary membership status when he lost his powers.  He was such an asset to the Legion and a great guy that they seemed to have invented the status just so Chuck could still be around.  Honorary status did not truly exist in Supergirl's application time. (Adventure Comics No. 321 (Jun 1964) "The Code of the Legion")


Don't forget Kid Psycho, who despite the fact he was refused membership for the logical reason that every time he used his superpower it would cost him a year of life, was given status as "Secret Weapon No. 1." I mean, that was a pretty classy thing to do.

I can't help but feel I started this discussion when I described the Legionnaires as "coiffured causasians out to destroy self-esteem." I was being facetious when I said this - usually the Legionnaires have been characterized and stand-up kids and their club one that any kid in the world would want to join.

Although I never bought the rationale for the "only one power allowed" rule. What's the harm in having a backup shapeshifter or lightning-bolt thrower, right? (Of course, I know this rule was instituted for the very practical reason of the writers not wanting to compromise the uniqueness of any Legionnaire, but still, it was rather iffy to rationale in the context of the fictional world.)

I've always felt the Legion could cut the crime rate in the 30th Century by half if they just let all non-evil people that want in the Legion in. Calorie Queen shouldn't have been turned away; anyway, isn't it a fairly unique power to be able to eat all you want and still being able to squeeze into those skintight disco flare pants that supergroovy cat Dave Cockrum designed?
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
Captain Kal
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« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2005, 07:51:00 PM »

Fascinating post as always, Julian, and good point re: Kid Psycho.  It must be noted that KP had a very valuable power that surely would have qualified for full active membership if not for that life-shortening aspect.  It was in the Legion's own interests to keep such a formidable power available for crisis situations -- pun intended!  They actually put the Kid to use the one and only time during the Crisis.

The unique super-power rule was revised in one of the Post Crisis reboots to be only one member representing each planet in the U.P.  It became a political rule to ensure equal representation across the U.P. member worlds with no single world having an unfair representation in the LSH.

The current Waid Legion has done almost what you suggested.  Anyone who subscribes to the Legion Heroic philosophy is already a Legionnaire since it's a social movement not a team.  At last count, they had at least 100,000 members.  But the core group of about 20 members or less are limited to the number of flight rings that Brainiac 5 can churn out, which are exceedingly expensive and made from vanishingly small resources.  Despite their vast numbers, they've been no better at vanquishing evil than the other incarnations of the LSH.  OTOH, this version seems to be the only one with little regular support from the authorities while the other incarnations of the Legion usually had a great working relationship with the Science Police and planetary governments.

Oh, and Calorie Queen was pre-Cockrum, and I don't think she wore a G-string like his creations tended to.  Anyway, CQ was part of a Legion of Super-Rejects storyline which investigated the possibility of new applicants being superior in powers to existing Legionnaires.  In the end, though individually outmatched by their superior counterparts, the real Legionnaires triumphed by superior character and teamwork: That trumps powers any day.
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Captain Kal

"When you lose, don't lose the lesson."
-- The Dalai Lama
Maximara
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« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2005, 08:01:30 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
At the time, the one member per year rule and annual open tryouts was the policy.  The Legion had experimented with a number of different options over the years including an adult advisor, Marla Latham, when it came to testing out Ultra Boy.  Some candidates had to go through the Legion Academy after Ultra Boy's time (such as Timber Wolf and Chemical King), while others didn't depending on the policies of that time.  During the time of Karate Kid, they had allowed four members to join at once (KK, Princess Projectra, Ferro Lad, and Nemesis Kid).  Polar Boy, Quislet, Magnetic Kid, and Sensor Girl had joined at the same time.  The rules at the time for Superboy was a single member per year.  They had evolved by the time of Brainiac 5.


Except as I pointed out thanks to retcons Brainiac 5 and Supergirl were made member in the SAME year BEFORE SUperboy invalidating the single member per year requirement.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Again, this was the latest version of the Constitution re: Supergirl and duplication of powers.  That version was Post Crisis when Supergirl had been retconned out of existence so there never was a Supergirl in the Post Crisis Legion..


Actually as pointed out by the End of an Era saga the Post-Crisis Pre-Zero-Hour LHS's history was a convoluted mess that made Hawkman's look sane. The main problem was that LSH like Hawkman did not reboot after Crisis and in fact kept going on as if Crisis had not even happened with everyone wondering is Sensor Girl was really Kara. By End of an Era things were a total mess with some LSH members knowing who Satan Girl was even though per post-Crisis she should have not existed either being a Red K created duplicate of Kara.
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2005, 08:11:33 PM »

Very good point, Maximara, re: the single member rule and Superboy's induction.  My bad for missing it earlier.

If you read Superboy's induction tale, you'll note that he wasn't competing with any other applicants.  He was competing with the charter members to perform super-tasks.  He was just proving his own worth both in powers and character (the latter being the real key trait here) for membership.  It looks like he wasn't part of a regular annual open call but a special mission to induct the Greatest Super-Hero of All Time into the Legion's ranks.  I mean, no other candidate, including Supergirl, ever had to compete with the charter members or any other Legionnaires to prove their worth.  Karate Kid forced the issue -- challenging Superboy to a fight -- to earn his place in the Legion, but that was his idea not the Legion's.

Note in the below scanned page that Superboy was invited as an honorary member.  That falls outside the bounds of the active membership rules.  As stated earlier, his membership is both honorary and active since they bent the rules to let the greatest super-hero have any time at all with the team.



It must be noted that Crisis isn't to blame for the LSH continuity mess.  It all traces back to Unca Johnny Byrne getting rid of Superboy -- and by extension, Supergirl too --without thinking through the consequences to the vastly popular Legion book.[/img]
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Captain Kal

"When you lose, don't lose the lesson."
-- The Dalai Lama
JulianPerez
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« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2005, 08:19:01 PM »

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Oh, and Calorie Queen was pre-Cockrum, and I don't think she wore a G-string like his creations tended to.  Anyway, CQ was part of a Legion of Super-Rejects storyline which investigated the possibility of new applicants being superior in powers to existing Legionnaires.  In the end, though individually outmatched by their superior counterparts, the real Legionnaires triumphed by superior character and teamwork: That trumps powers any day.


Yeah, I remember.

Wasn't Cockrum, you say? I'll take your word for it. Then again, it may be a sort of Pavlov thing. Here's the Julian non-rationale for why I might have thought so:

Step 1: Dave Cockrum = great costume design

Step 2: Calorie Queen = great costume design.

Step 3: Dave Cockrum did Legion of Super-Heroes at one point

So, "logically," Dave Cockrum must have designed Calorie Queen!
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
Captain Kal
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« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2005, 08:30:19 PM »

I stand corrected, Julian.  Calorie Queen was post-Cockrum having been part of Mike Grell's run.  Grell was heavily influenced by his predecessor Cockrum which is why CQ looked like a Cockrum creation.

Note the scan from that story where the Legion acknowledges in canon that Superboy and Supergirl have special status when it comes to the unique super-power rule.

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Captain Kal

"When you lose, don't lose the lesson."
-- The Dalai Lama
JulianPerez
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« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2005, 06:35:07 AM »

The choices for Legion of Super-Heroes were fairly brilliant, but my all time favorite in the history of ever has to be one character in Alan Moore's Legion-equivalent group, the League of Infinity, Wilhelm Reich. WILHELM-FREAKIN-REICH as a superhero named "Orgone Lad." What, Alan Moore couldn't get Alex Trebek?

For those of you not hip with blatant quackery, "Orgone" is somewhere between phrenology and the earth being banana-shaped. Supposedly, it's the belief that there is a cosmic force that is unleashed during orgasm that supposedly is the life force. Wilhelm Reich was the "discoverer," and he used this force to create machines that disperse clouds somehow. Orgone also is responsible for spontaneous generation, meaning that if you mix up distilled water and put it in an airproof container and expose it to an orgone machine, it creates "bilks," or pre-life.

In other words, it's a smorgasbord of insane. Kudos to Alan Moore for tredging this obscure weirdo from nowhere!
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
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« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2005, 07:15:28 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
In other words, it's a smorgasbord of insane. Kudos to Alan Moore for tredging this obscure weirdo from nowhere!


Kudos to you for getting the joke, there are tons of them in those two books!

http://www.wilhelmreichmuseum.org/
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