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Five Goofiest Moments in the First Five Issues of the Legion Feature in Adventure Comics

Every day this month will have the five goofiest moment from a five-issue stretch of a particular comic book run. Once a week it will be the ten goofiest moments of a ten-issue stretch. Here is a list of the moments featured so far.

Today we’re looking at Adventure Comics #300-304, specifically the first five Legion of Super-Heroes stories within those comics (Adventure #300 started the first regular Legion of Super-Heroes feature). These issues were written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by John Forte (Al Plastino did a little work on #300).

As always, this is all in good fun. I don’t mean any of this as a serious criticism of the comics in question. Great comics often have goofy moments (Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four is one of the best comic book runs of all-time and there were TONS of goofy stuff in those 100 plus issues!).

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Power of super-egotism…

In #303, Lightning Lad and Sun Boy got into an accident. While recuperating, their friends tried to keep them busy. You have to love what Cosmic Boy brings Lightning Lad…

“Your favorite thing to look at…yourself!”

Rinse, lather and repeat…

I love how Sun Boy’s powers are described in #300…

super-radiance sounds like a claim you’d make in a shampoo commercial, not a superpower!

Yes, Cosmic Boy, outwitted. Sure.

In #303, the Legion feels that someone is spying on them. Here’s Cosmic Boy’s brilliant solution to the problem…

Luthor’s complicated plan…

In #300, Luthor sends a robot into the future.

I love that there really is no reason for why he is an adult version of Lex.

I especially love the bit with the tapes “hate Superboy,” etc.

5. You never expect both the Spanish Inquisition and advertising missiles…

In #301, Bouncing Boy explains how he was able to convince the Legion to accept him after they initially turn him down for the lack of practical uses of his power. After the initial refusal, he tries to prove himself…

Oh, of COURSE! An advertising missile!! How foolish of Bouncing Boy not to expect that!

4. How convenient…

In the classic #304, Lightning Lad foils Saturn Girl’s plan to sacrifice herself in place of another Legionnaire. As he lies dying, he explains how he found out about her plot…

“So yeah, he couldn’t tell me until the most dramatic moment because of…uhmm…sun spots, yeah! And oh, you might think, ‘Why not just put me into the Phantom Zone, too’? Well, because of those same sun spots! They’re back!”

So goofy, but such a great issue.

Also, I enjoy “everyone knows you can’t change fate.”

3. A little information can cause a lot of grief…

In #300, Saturn Girl has a plan. The rest of the Legion knows her plan, but she won’t tell Superman because…well…just because…

He’s freaking out, Saturn Girl! Just tell him!!!

And then she forgets to mention, “Oh yeah, this is just temporary”…

You’re a cruel woman, Saturn Girl!

2. Incompetence and laziness rewarded!!

In #301, we learn Bouncing Boy’s origin, and it is one of the goofiest origins ever…

“Please accept me for membership, Legion, I’m both lazy AND incompetent!”

1. The Silver Age, in a nutshell…

In #302, Sun Boy’s powers start giving out. Since he got his powers from being accidentally trapped in an atomic reactor, logically…

After a temporary return of his powers, he is re-emboldened…

I love that he has to take home any trophies he won. They can’t even celebrate his career as a Legionnaire. It’s like he got paid money by a booster and now they have to expunge anything that happened while he was a Legionnaire.

Sun Boy still keeps up with the Legion at home…

Bouncing Boy was at the door. No joke, he was there to take back the porta-screen, because it was Legion property. Diiicks.

After being attacked by some bad guys who want revenge on Sun Boy arresting them in the past, he comes up with a “good” idea…

He saves the day, but the other teammates don’t understand how his plan worked…

You have to love Cosmic Boy’s aggressive attitude. “Explain THAT!” Chill out, dude!

The explanation is pure Silver Age goofiness…

Ah, the Silver Age. Do note that Siegel did, in fact, leave clues – extremely vague clues, but clues nonetheless – so it had some basis in logic. So it beat Identity Crisis, at least, in terms of playing fair with the readers, mystery-wise.

26 Comments

Superboy: ” . . . someday, when I’ grow up to be Superman, I can find an antidote which will cure Mon-El permanently!”

Saturn Girl “Except that this is the 30th century, and he’s still in the Phantom Zone, proving that you didn’t.”

Superboy: “D’oh!”

Haha I love how long the thought balloon makes it seem like he was drinking the plastic fluid for.

Leaving the Legion is like leaving the Mafia, you have to move to another state and change your name, and no-one in the group will talk about you once you’re gone.

Ricardo Amaral

May 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Well, anything beats Identity Crisis.

“Lead radiations”? Sure, why not?

‘He’s lucky he’s wearing clothing made of stretchable fiber!’

Hehe…yeah, I actually forgot to mention how ridiculous that was!

Excellent suggesttions and commentary.

Wow, that last one… wow.

An advertizing missile sounds like something from Futurama.

Also, why would you send a robot through time? Why not just bury it and let it get there the long way?

Theno

comicbookreader

May 10, 2011 at 6:57 am

“Please take back your nameplate and figurine… and do not immediately attempt to flip them on eBay.”

These are painfully bad comics. I couldn’t make my way through all that dialogue even to laugh at the goofiness. I could only get about two panels into each example before my eyes glazed over and I just started scanning the pics.

I actually made my way through #1 this time, and I take it back. It has an odd type of charm to it now that I make my way through all the exposition.

Yeah, the thing with the robots is gold. I don’t know how many times I’ve been hanging out with someone who forgot to tell me she was a robot. At this point I just have to ask them. “Are you a robot? Because you have to tell me if you are.”

Matthew Johnson

May 10, 2011 at 7:56 am

“Savage — Exciting — Yet Harmless”

I’m not used to Legion of Superheroes. I’m curious, are their uniforms even really costumes, or just the fashion of the 31st century? Because it seems everyone dresses similar to the Legion, including the civilians.

“Hate tapes!” Amazing. I’m glad to see we’ve returned to analog technology in the 30th century. And that inflation is a thing of the past— fifty cent sodas! At a stadium!

I love how Bouncing Boy notices his mistake probably halfway through the super-plastic soda, but finishes it anyway.

‘He’s lucky he’s wearing clothing made of stretchable fiber!’–Julie S. claimed they were basically forced to do exposition like this. He said when they didn’t, they would receive hundreds of irate letters pointing out the “mistake”.

In the page where Sun Boy lands on Lurna, check out the “Hypno-Beast” in the middle of panel #2. He’s just got this massive WTF look on his face, like someone just showed him the script.

I understand WHY they did such exposition. It’s just funny how unsubtle, obvious and awkwardly inserted it is. For example if Bouncing Boy said it to himself in a thought bubble that would have been way less awkward.

I actually liked some of these stories- well for their premises anyway, for example Saturn Girl trying to sacrifice herself for the others was very noble; it was the way they were written that was annoying. Too much exposition, characters saying obvious things aloud, and of course the writer not thinking out the logistics very hard.

And yeah, some of the Super Dickery was evident in here as in the other Superman-related books of the time eg. the Legion expelling Sun Boy (instead of DISCHARGING him with honors). I guess the kids in the 50s loved seeing their favorite characters humiliated!

But hey, even at their worst, these comics were FUN to read. Today it’s all “who will die (horribly) next time?” Give me goofy comics anytime.

PS. Why was Cosmic Boy named that instead of “Magnetic Boy” like everybody else in the Legion? Was the name taken?

“Hate tapes!” Amazing. I’m glad to see we’ve returned to analog technology in the 30th century. And that inflation is a thing of the past— fifty cent sodas! At a stadium!

Well, to be fair, the Luthor robot was created in the 20th Century and SENT to the 30th Century.

“I love that he has to take home any trophies he won. They can’t even celebrate his career as a Legionnaire. It’s like he got paid money by a booster and now they have to expunge anything that happened while he was a Legionnaire.”

Well, Saturn Girl did say it wouldn’t be the same Legion without him…*sob*…*choke*…

“My clothing is made of a special material that is immune to the super-heroes’ powers!” If Luthor could make a suit like that, why didn’t he make another one and wear it to fight Superboy. What an idiot! No wonder Silver Age Luthor was such a loser.

four people to operate each robot gladiator? wow, how low-tech. couldn’t one guy just steer it using some kind of psychic link or something?

Lightning Lad doesn’t seem happy with his nameplate in that second panel. “Super lightning? It’s just ordinary lightning, guys. Plain old lightning LIKE THE KIND ZEUS THE KING OF THE GODS used to throw. How about we say my power is more Super Godlike-Control-Of-Nature’s-Most-Terrifying-And-Powerful-Force? Yeah, I think I like that better. Anyone gonna argue the point?”

Cosmic Boy is literally brain damaged if he thinks a “secret lens” and lip-readers is a more plausible explanation for security leaks than…well, ANYTHING. One of their members is from a planet of mind-readers, another has precognitive dreams, and their worst enemy is a wizard who can literally watch them on a crystal ball any time he wants. I suspect the whole meeting-in-the-dark tangent came up when someone in the art department missed a deadline.

Luthor really has some self-esteem issues if that sweaty Tor-Johnson-wannabe is how he pictures himself as an adult. I think even without the Hate Tapes, a robot built to look like that would be inclined to murder anyone young and attractive…which would reduce Legion membership to just Bouncing Boy. And, no, that’s not a fat joke. It’s his gross-looking hair than revolts me. Why does nobody mention that about him?

I started reading LSH about the time Dave Cockrum turned them all into Rule 34′s of themselves, so there are some gaps in my knowledge of the early Legion traditions. Exactly WHY did membership entail being issued a “figurine”, and why hasn’t any of the dozen or so reboots and alternate versions bothered to include something so hilariously dopey? “Brainy, I know this is kind of a delicate subject, but…if my figurine isn’t back in the trophy case by tomorrow morning I’m going to throw you into the sun, are we clear on that?”

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