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CSBG Archive

I Love Ya But You’re Strange – Hey, Let’s Have One of Our Pets Pick Out Our Team Leader!

Every day this August I’ll be spotlighting strange but ultimately endearing comic stories, one a day (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of past installments of this feature.

Today we look at Adventure Comics #323, where the Legion let Chameleon Boy’s pet, Proty II, dictate who will be the next Legion leader! Fun!

The issue was written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by John Forte and George Klein. The story opens with the Legion being mean to new recruits (as per usual)…

I just love the idea of Saturn Girl pointing at someone and shouting, “REJECTED!”

Our little miss tyrant, Saturn Girl, is coming to the end of her term as Legion leader. She proposes a way to come up with a new leader and then, Proty jumps in…

“Yes, it makes perfect sense to me to let Chameleon Boy’s PET come up with a challenge to see who becomes the next Legion leader! Lead on, little amorphous pet!”

First, Saturn Girl goes on a mission. Then Ultra Boy and then Phantom Girl…

Oh, of course, Superboy’s power of total recall. That makes perfect sense.

The next person to go on a mission was Element Lad.

Pete Ross is next, but first we get this chapter header…

Wow, Jimmy is even a dick in his THOUGHTS!

So Pete Ross is next, but he’s not a Legionnaire – he has no powers! But check out this insane explanation for how he DOES have powers!

Well played, Pete, well played. By “well played,” I, of course, mean “not well played at all,” but still! Granted, when you look back at the end of the story, you could easily argue that Proty just went along with it because he really needed Pete Ross for the competition. So him agreeing Pete’s gambit makes some sense. Pete trying it in the first place makes much less sense, though.

Next, Brainiac plays some computers in chess.

Then, it is Jimmy Olsen’s turn. I love the “mission” Proty comes up for him.

And Jimmy’s puppet show idea is quite odd…

Invisible to his creditors? Awesome.

Finally, Saturn Girl figures out Jerry Siegel’s convoluted game….

So yes, Pete Ross, Jimmy Olsen and Proty (with his name reversed) had to be involved because the Legion had no members with names that began with R, O or Y. Hilarious.


Wow, Saturn Girl was being a major bitch to the potential recruits.

Did the Legion just have nothing to do that day? No villains to stop or disasters to prevent? Sure the X-Men play the occasional game of baseball, but that’s low-key compared to this.

I like how the “pet” is a sentient being who’s capable of creating a complex puzzle that requires the entire Legion to solve. In the 30th Century “pet” must mean “someone who is smart enough to outwit all of us.”

Bryan L took the words right out of my mouth!

As for Saturn Girl, being that I initially became a Legion fan due to some of the later material (specifically the Cary Bates/Dave Cockrum & Mike Grell, Paul Levitz/Keith Giffen & Steve Lightle issues) I never could understand why from time to time Irma was referred to as being an “ice queen.” It always seemed to me that Dream Girl was a lot more aloof, arrogant, and manipulative. But since then, coming across the older Legion stories, yeah, Saturn Girl definitely had a stuck-up mean streak that could rival Veronica Lodge!

It’s funny how the difference between Imra and Irma is the difference between a 30th-century heroine and 1940s housewife.

Proty’s kind of a jerk here too: “Shut your mouth-hole and solve the puzzle, human!”

But it’s pretty well-documented that the Silver Age Legion was pretty much jerk central.

Why oh why did Proty II need to have the Legion spell out ‘Superboy’? i can’t rest until i have the answer!

Another really stupid Legion story, what a shock. i really am glad that even at their worst in the last 30 years, any story with the Legion is better than the Silver age Legion. And i really like the Legion! Just can’t see past the stupid factor of these stories.

As mentioned, the story was penned by Seigel. In the previous comic #322 The Initiation of Proty 2, Edmond Hamilton was the author. His version would have been interesting but we’re not here to play Fantasy Comics.
We know Ed was a sci-fi writer, but using Atomic Avenue, I realized he wrote some of the epic Superman stories in the mid-60’s. #’s 164, 167, and 168. The ones where Supes fought Luthor on a red sun world (later known as Lexor where L was the hero and Supes was the outlaw). It famously had the ending where Superman hurled an iceberg at the desert planet where I assume it melted just right and filled their oceans.
Lastly, we loved the Jim Shooter penned Adventure Comics but here’s a few more he wrote but who knew since they didn’t give credits back then. Action 339, 340(did he invent the Parasite?), 343, 344, 348, 361(return of Parasite), 380-382. Superboy 135, 140, 141. Superman 190 (The Element Enemies), 191(Prisoner of D.E.M.O.N.),195, 199 (Race between Superman and the Flash), and 206. Jimmy Olsen 97, 99,106, 110, and 121.
Most w/ stunning covers by Curt Swan. Those were the days. Only thing a kid had to worry about was being sent to Viet Nam.

Wow, Saturn Girl was being a major bitch to the potential recruits.

Mocking and belittling potential recruits is just something that the Legion does. Judging any particular member for doing it would be unfair.

“I just love the idea of Saturn Girl pointing at someone and shouting, “REJECTED!””

I want to see a story where it’s revealed that Saturn Girl’s ancestor was Simon Cowell.

Then again the Legion tryouts are kind of like a 30th Century version of American Idol, just with lame superpowers instead of tone-deaf singers. ;-)

Matthew Johnson

August 25, 2011 at 8:38 am

Montgomery: Yes, Jim Shooter did invent the Parasite — that’s why he was one of the villains in the first Superman/Spider-Man crossover, which Shooter wrote.

Jimmy Olsen’s Legion of Lolitas!

Another example of Saturn Girl as Ice Queen was that when Star Boy was getting expelled for murder, the LSH women wanted him to stay (because he’d been fighting over Dream Girl—romantic!) except for Imra.

It’s kind of funny to compare this version of Brainiac 5 with the current version, who would view the computer machine as the only rational way to choose a new leader, with the fact it would inevitably pick him being evidence of what a good system it was.

So why did Brainiac 5 oppose to getting appointed leader based on his intellect?

Just imagine how universities must have treated fleshmen in the 1950s and 1960s. The Legion’s behaviour to recruits was totally realistic for the time these stories were written. Bullying was supposed to build character and separate the strong from the weak.

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