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CSBG Archive

The Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – L

We continue our tour through the alphabet, with a different cool comic book item each day, from A to Z!

Today we look at a character created as a joke that turned out to have a pretty long life as an actual character.

L-Ron first appears in the pages of Justice League International #14, as the servant of Manga Khan, a supervillain and intergalactic trader, who sees Earth as a great source of intergalactic bartering.

The character, right down to his name, is clearly intended as a joke.

Here are some of his choice bits from JLI #14 and 15…

However, at the end of the storyline, L-Ron is left behind on Earth as the new assistant to Maxwell Lord, head of Justice League International.

Over the next 40 plus issues, L-Ron does continue to serve as comedic relief, but also as a strong member of the series, and as a good sidekick to Maxwell Lord.

Eventually, L-Ron makes a heroic sacrifice of sorts when he uses his consciousness to take over Despero.

Now in charge of Despero, he becomes a member of Justice League Task Force.

As you might imagine, such a change to the status quo did not last long, and eventually, Despero returned to his normal self.

L-Ron, though, popped up again in the pages of Formerly Known as the Justice League, as Maxwell Lord “put the gang back together again.”

L-Ron has only made a cameo appearance or two since the revelation that Maxwell Lord was a bad guy. That’s too bad, he’d be a neat supporting character in a number of superhero books.

17 Comments

I loved L-Ron-a great character. I loved his “titles” for the League members.
Everybody’s would sound like compliments, except Guy’s–and it would take Guy a minute or two to think he may have been insulted.

No, he wouldn’t.

Hello, L-Ron here! Looks like his Yellowness Quasar’s odds of getting the for-some-odd-reason argued-about Q spot are a mite low. Maybe the Question. Maybe Qurac. Maybe Quills, that X-Men guy who I don’t think is in the comics, mroe of a melange character.

(…)

No, Guy, I didn’t just call Quills gay. Melange means to mix up various different charatcers. Say, perhaps, Bushwhacker’s powers with Archie Andrew’s looks and the personality of a piece of dog offal.

(…)

Why would you think I was referring to anyone in this room, Guy? Now look over there, Ice is bending over.

(…)

Made you look.

L-Ron is one of the underrated supporting cast members from JLI, but also one of the best. He’s basically a snootier version of one of the MST3K ‘bots, which is even more fun.

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 18, 2009 at 1:27 pm

I would have thought that “L” would be Lucifer.

Now, that was such a cool character. (or hot depending on your point of view).

Tom from West Chester

May 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I’ve been assuming that “Q” would be for “Quick Kick.” Has that alternative to “Quasar” been thrown out yet?

Ooo, good call. L-Ron was awesome.

Ooo, Tom just reminded me: Quickdraw McGraw had a comic! That’s a shoo-in for Q.

L-Ron also answered the letters in Justice League America for a while. It was a hoot and a half.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

May 18, 2009 at 4:34 pm

No, he wouldn’t.

Yes, he would.

(That was easily taken care of…)

Mike Loughlin

May 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Q is reserved for Questprobe, of course.

Hmm… wasn’t there a DC silver age character who was a private detective in the future who had a female robot secretary? One that kinda looked like L-ron? Maybe he could date her. ;)

There was indeed, Sijo. You’re thinking of Star Hawkins and his assistant Ilda. Only trouble is, according to a 1980s “Whatever Happened to Star Hawkins” story in DC Comics Presents, Ilda wound up hooking up with Automan, a super-obscure character from ’60s issues of Tales of the Unexpected, so L-Ron might have a fight on his hands.

Tom Fitzpatrick,

It was revealed in a JLI letter column that L-Ron’s last name is… H*bb*rd. That’s how it’s spelled.

L-Ron was my favorite B-list character in the JLI. I’d like for him to show up in Booster Gold sometime to see if Skeets gets jealous.

That Dave Johnson cover is still cool. I miss that type of comic book cover.

Hopefully, L-Ron will disappear before Geoff Johns or Brad Meltzer get to remember to use him in a crossover called “Butchering Nights: JLI” and stuffing him on an iron oven.

Citizen Scribbler

May 19, 2009 at 9:55 am

My favorite L-Ron moment was that time the Justice League parted ways during “Breakdowns” and, while J’onn is inside some log cabin somewhere trying to meditate peacefully, he keeps hearing “QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!” coming from outside. Eventually, J”onn swings open the door or window to the cabin and shouts out- “L-Ron! Leave the ducks alone!” Sure enough, there’s L-Ron, knee-deep in a duck pond, chasing the ducks around. He kindly explains to J’onn that he was only trying to cheer him up by preparing him some duck flambe’, which I think angered J’onn a little, him being a vegetarian and all.

-Citizen Scribbler

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