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Legion of Super-Heroes
The Strips

Martian Manhunter & J. Hex New!

Superman and The Flash New!

Justice League of America

Jonah Hex

Green Lantern


Green Arrow and The Flash


The Flash


Gotham City Police Dept.

Johnny Thunder and Shazam!

Batman, Green Lantern,
and The Flash


Metal Men

Pete Ross and Lana Lang

Superman & J'onn J'onzz

Charles M. Jones

Batman and Robin

The Flash and Zatanna

Jor-El and Lara

DC Prez Jenette Kahn


Clark Kent and Lois Lane

The Haunted Tank

Superman and Lois Lane

The Unknown Soldier

The Vigilante

The Private Life of Clark Kent

Green Arrow and Black Canary

Sgt. Rock and Easy Company

Witching Hour

Green Arrow, The Human Target,
and Superman

Super Friends

Lois & Clark

Green Arrow & Black Canary

Superman & Jimmy Olsen


Batman & Shazam!

Justice Society of America

Phantom Stranger and
Phantom Girl

Batman and Robin

Black Lightning

Private Life of Clark Kent

Green Arrow and The Warlord

Eclipso / Mr. Mxyzptlk

The Flash & Adam Strange


Lightning Lad & Chameleon Boy

Justice League of America

Wonder Woman

Zatanna and Professor Zoom

Firestorm, the Nuclear Man

Swamp Thing

Gotham City Police Dept.

Bizarro World

The Atom

The Flash and The Mirror Master


The Batman and the Joker

Lex Luthor and Brainiac

The Flash

Enemy Ace

Green Arrow & Black Canary

Hawkman & the Flash

The Phantom Stranger

Legion of Super-Heroes

Green Lantern


Batman and Red Tornado

Green Lantern and the Flash

The Creeper

Robin, the Boy Wonder

Justice League of America

Legion of Super-Heroes

Elongated Man and Plastic Man

Superman Family

The Flash and the Spectre

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen


Hawkman & Hawkgirl


Wildcat & Dr. Fate

Batman & Robin


Plastic Man

Bob 'Answer Man' Rozakis

Batman & the Flash

Green Arrow & Green Lantern

The Atom

Batman & Robin

Coming soon

Jimmy Olsen & Lois Lane

Steve Trevor


Steve Savage

The Flash

Johnny Thunder

Sgt. Rock & Easy Company


Johnny Cloud

Green Lantern

Lois, Clark & Jimmy

Plastic Man

Perry White & Jimmy Olsen

Martian Manhunter

Madame Xanadu

Bruce Wayne


Swamp Thing

Fred Hembeck

Legion of Super-Heroes
Uploaded August 2, 1999

With over sixty years of history to draw from, DC has a long list of traditions that they revisit over and over again.

Lana Lang trying to prove that Superboy was Clark Kent (obviously never thinking of just ripping the glasses from his face).

Bad-guy-of-the-month learning Batman's secret identity, and dying shortly thereafter, before communicating the secret to anyone.

Green Lantern teaming up with the Flash.

Super-powered gorillas beating up on [insert name of hero here].

The annual three-way slugfest between the Inferior Five, the Legion of Super-Pets, and Suicide Squid; and many more.

And then we have the Legion Try-Outs.

Let's set the stage. In the thirtieth century, young heroes from many worlds joined together under the common banner of 'The Legion of Super-Heroes' (very literal-minded, these kids). Each had a different super-power; for example, Saturn Girl was a telepath, Lightning Lad hurled bolts of, well, lightning, and Cosmic Boy had a magnetic personality. These three were the founding members of the Legion, and the ranks swelled fairly quickly through an interesting plot device: the cattle call.

Essentially, wanna-be heroes would demonstrate their abilities in front of the assembled Legionnaires, and be voted on. Rejected applicants received a complimentary flight belt, a pat on the back, and a thanks-for-coming-out speech. Look at this way - better a cattle call than a casting couch, right?

Now think about this for a moment from the writer's perspective- you're writing one of these try-out stories, which means you've got one or two potentially good characters to add to the Legion's ranks. This means you also have to come up with a few losers, to fill out the audition. A few choice examples:

Eyeful Ethel
Eyes on all sides of her head, letting her see in all directions at once. Ick.

Antenna Boy
His antenna pick up radio broadcasts from all over time and space. Can't turn it off.

Infectious Lass
Can spread all kinds of disease without being affected herself.

Calamity King
Causes accidents and disasters to happen.

And so on.

One of these stories featured a group of rejected applicants gathering together under their own rubric, calling themselves the remarkably unimaginative 'Legion of Substitute Heroes'. Here's the role call:

Polar Boy
Able to generate intense degree of cold and ice; rejected due to Legionnaires' concern over him losing control at a critical moment

Night Girl
Super-strength in the absence of light; rejected due to her power's inherent limitations

Stone Boy
Can turn his body to stone, placing himself in a form of suspended animation; rejected due to his inability to do anything while in his stone form

Fire Lad
Breathes flame; considered too dangerous for membership

Chlorophyll Kid
Makes plants grow really fast and really large; considered….um….useless.

It's an interesting assortment - characters not quite ready for prime time, but not so lame that they weren't useable. (For what it's worth, I've always felt that the 'he might lose control' justification behind Polar Boy's rejection was kind of contrived; the Legion never seemed worried that Sun Boy might flare up and melt everyone, for example). The really scary thought is that the Subs have an auxiliary of sorts, made up of people whose powers don't quite measure up to Subs-standards. Yikes!

These try-out scenes have always been a light-hearted aspect of the whole Legion mythos (not that the series had much in the way of serious dramatic overtones), and the above strip gently mocks the process, throwing in a rare bit of political humor too! Brainiac 5 and Superboy are the Legionnaires conducting the auditions, and the applicant is former President Jimmy Carter, shown here as 'Peanut Eater Lad'.

He was a peanut farmer before entering politics, remember? Okay, so it's weak political humor. You can put those eyebrows down now.

As for Brainiac 5, he's the direct descendant of Superman uber-enemy Brainiac (the one who stole an entire city from the planet Krypton, and shrank it down to fit into a large bottle). As his name implies, Brainiac 5 is incredibly intelligent, but he also has a remarkable facility for blowing up his own laboratories, particularly when Supergirl is hanging around. Perhaps Peanut Eater Lad isn't the only one with lust in his heart….

- NP

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