Who’s Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes – Issues #5 and #6

Return with us now to the 30th century for this next episode of WHO’S WHO IN THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES! Shag is joined by Little Russell Burbage, Kyle Benning, Siskoid, and Dr Anj of the Legion of Super Bloggers! This episode we cover issues #5 & #6 of this 7 issue series! We look at characters like: Mordru, Phantom Girl (the hottest Legionnaire), Polar Boy, Saturn Girl, Sensor Girl, Shadow Lass, Sun Boy, Superboy, Timber Wolf and many more! And come back tomorrow when we wrap up the whole thing with our coverage of issue #7! 

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23 responses to “Who’s Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes – Issues #5 and #6

  1. Phantom Girl. I love her.

    Hey, was this a newsstand series? I found the original who’s who series everywhere – grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations – but didn’t know about this series until you started covering it.

    So glad this show came out. That mean loose leaf WW is just around the corner…

  2. The Daily Planet is there on cover 6, it’s just obstructed by Saturn Girl. Also seen are Spacely Sprockets, Valentino Perez 88, the Wayne Foundation, Macy’s, and 4 fans only.

  3. I just came off re-reading Great Darkness Saga as well as a first read of The Curse. How come no one ever mentions these?

  4. Thanks for inviting me to be part of this.

    A quick comment about the Reflecto entry. Remember, in the pre-internet days, these books were used as references. Imagine you are a fan who saw Reflecto on covers, heard the name, and wanted to know who the hell this guy was. So you head to the ‘R’ issue and … dun dun dun … no Reflecto! Instead there are two lines inside the Ultra Boy/Superboy entries mention this (although Reflecto may not have warranted even two lines).

    So given the ‘prominence’ of Reflecto, folks must have thought the story more than the character warranted a page.

    It does make me lament the fact that there is no Satan Girl entry but that would open up the Supergirl can of worms.

    Thanks again for the invite!!

    1. And of course, if I’d been present at that recording, I would have mentioned an actual Reflecto did make an appearance later. Retconned into Ultra Boy’s origin (with Superboy gone) in 5YL Annual #1, he was also namechecked as one of the Gap Legionnaires. (Why am I the only one who cares about those?)

      Later in 5YL, he’s part of Mordru’s undead army of dead Legionnaires.

  5. The original Starfinger was introduced in his first appearance as “The thirtieth century villain more dangerous than Goldfinger.”

  6. A few comments:

    1) Mordru looks like the Winter Warlock from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. I can almost hear Keenan Wynn’s snarl when I look at the picture. Because of that, I love Kyle Baker’s art for that entry.

    2) Re: Omen being a take on Galactus. I had to double-check for timing’s sake, but I remember thinking that Pariah and the Anti-Monitor from “Crisis on Infinite Earths” served the same story function. Omen and Prophet were introduced almost a year before Pariah was, but I still remember having that “Hadn’t I seen this before? I wonder if they’re connected?” feeling at the time.

    3) I still remember Professor Vndaar from his first appearance, where he was established as a kinda creepy teacher. Great art by Jim Sherman. Even the DC Wikia demonstrates this personality nugget: http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Loar_Vndaar_(Pre-Zero_Hour)

    4) Pulsar Stragrave has, possibly, the weirdest background story for a character which should be much cooler. And he needs a new costume. He looks like he’s wearing a 70s R&B band outfit. Don’t believe me? Check out this costume set for The Commodores: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/1f/90/47/1f9047feefa969c06a8e97035ba0362f–soul-music-my-music.jpg

    5) Reflecto? Tom Bierbaum offers his thoughts here (http://itsokimasenator.livejournal.com/21867.html) when he says that the Reflecto story was incredibly dissatisfying.

    6) Rond Vidar was one of my favorites from the 5YL run. Stay-at-home dads represent!

    Whew! That was a lot of fun! Time for a break…

  7. By your own admission you’ve already got a ton of comments (plenty of then from me), so I’ll keep my comments brief. As always, a great episode.

    Issue 5:
    1. Nightwind- a really minor character, but her and Lamprey’s relationship with Wildfire is important in establishing that Legionnaire’s complex personality.

    2. Prophet and Omen- It’s been a bit since I’ve read that story, but not long enough. Can you get PTSD from reading a comic?

    3. I like the character of Phantom Girl, but wow do I hate this version of her. Give me the White pants suit any day, although not the rendering of it in the lead story of #5.

    4. Joke if you want, but I like Psycho-Warrior’s costume. Primary colors FTW!

    5. You really missed the most misogynistic aspect of Queen Azura. The resolution of the adventure occurs when Ultra Boy and Mon-El save the Femnazis (I’m sure that’s what denizens of Femnaz are called). Realizing that they are just fragile womenfolk who can’t protect themselves, the Femnazis reverse course and embrace their traditional role as the weaker sex.

    6. I’m not sure that we ever needed token nonhuman Legionnaires, but I like Tellus and especially Quislet, whose power is unique and personality was kind of fun.

    7. I have zero memory of Rainbow Girl, but I have a fondness for rainbow based characters, even those drawn by Rob Liefeld.

    8. The Reflecto story is overly convoluted, but I do appreciate the mindset that attempts to address one random story from the 60’s instead of just ignoring it.

    9. Completely agree that the 70’s Saturn Girl costume didn’t fit her personality. Still . . . She was hot in it.

    10. I appreciate the subtle joke that the SP have to all be in seated / crouching poses to get full body shots in their half page entries.

    Issue 6:
    1. The cover to this issue may be my favorite of the series.

    2. I know I’m in the minority here, but I hate the “character development” of Shrinking Violet. It just seems so cliche. The women suffers a trauma, so she becomes super butch and hyper aggressive. Imagine how powerful a story could be told by Violet rediscovering hope and optimism, going through the trauma and seeing every day as a gift, every adventure as an opportunity to behold the beauty of a limitless future. Not saying the choice was an invalid one, plenty of people become morose after suffering a tragic situation, but the more interesting direction would be to have Violet have a more hopeful response to her trauma.

    3. At this point it is hard to argue that the Legion needs Superboy. That being said, I think the Legion works best with Superboy in its history. I don’t need Clark on the team necessarily, but I like the idea of him inspiring the team and the occasional trip to 20th century Smallville is always fun. Side note: I always felt that the “pocket universe” Smallville would have been a good way to bring back the pre-Crisis DC universe if the Crisis experiment had failed, or that it would at least make for an interesting story to visit that earth and see what it became after Superboy sacrificed himself.

    Alright. It might take a bit, but I’ll get the final episode listened to soon. Comments upcoming.

  8. Omission obviously goes to the Woozy Winks of the Legion, present in the theme song but absent in the book, the one, the only Super Moby Dick of Space.

    Okay, yeah, maybe Supergirl is a bit more egregious, sure…

  9. You know, looking over the Taurus Gang (from here (http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Taurus_Gang) because I couldn’t find my copies of Who’s Who)… They looked like they could’ve made a good villain gang. Sometimes the Fatal Five lost their villainous lustre from being used for some mundane stories, so the Taurus Gang could’ve made a good alternative.

  10. Chuck Austin did indeed have a ?0&N run; just not in Penthouse. He had a little series known as Strips back in the time that this Who’s Who would have been released. It was about a comic strip artist who lived in a university dorm and recently broke up with his girlfriend. it had a good plot, ok?

  11. When they make the Ken Burns version documentary detailing the epic that is Who’d Who in the Legion Podcast, I will be sure to submit the following letter for consideration.

    “Dearest family,

    I am nearing the end. I have journeyed for nearly three weeks and finally I am within the last minutes of the Who’s Who in the Legion 5 & 6. For all my efforts, I have only more knowledge of The Great Darkness Saga and The Curse to show for it.

    Morale is low. Since Ferro Lad’s multiple sacrifices in various points in history across various realities all has seemed lost. Surely we can not continue much further. Loose leaf editions are needed.

    Hold on. I am now being informed of yet another 2 hour journey through the final volume. Truly this is madness. Not even the Heroes of Lallor could withstand such an onslaught. The rest of the expedition is currently cursing Shag’s name. The reasons are many, yet painfully obvious. He refuses to admit that Light Lass is the hottest Legionnaire, but I digress.

    Family, I shall return to you, but I know not when. I am now extending my journey in order to find out the secrets of Takron Galtos, Tyr and other aspects of Legion history. Remember me, but do not wait for me.”

  12. Queen Azura is clearly take from Flash Gorden as in the comics Queen Azura rules over the magic men and in the Serials she has crystals that give her powers. AS for the naming of the planet it is possible it’s against feminist considering that Betty Friedan’s Feminine mystique came out in 1963 and is considered to have launched the second wave feminist movement but…

  13. You know, the Legion of Super Bloggers should just do a Podcast. I would listen to it for sure, because I really enjoyed this.

    Good on Siskoid for putting into words what has always bugged me about the Superboy/Pocket Universe “patch”. I don’t think it was ever said so well. I really enjoyed his episode on Baily’s Superman show, but honestly, he just put the whole tale in a nutshell here.

    On to the next (and last) episode…

    Chris

  14. Excellent episode, good job all!

    And hey, I read Amethyst all the way through. Loved it. I’m even in a lettercol. And I totally disagree that Mordru is currently most famous as a JSA enemy.

    I think Shag is really reaching with the Femnaz/Feminazi bit.

    What’s that term Shagg kept using about future Ollie Queen? Leet speak? Is this a thing the kids have come up with? I hate numbers or symbols replacing letters, it’s ridiculous.

    The thing with Star Boy having super powers was no retcon, it’s right there in his Adventure Comics #282 debut.

    Yes we need Superboy as a Legionnaire. With Superboy, the Legion gets a 30-year run? Without?

    Legion Lost wasn’t all Dan Abnett, it was co-written by Andy Lanning

    No way is light Lass the hottest legionnaire – the woman is so plain she could pass for her dead brother.

    Quislet is hateful, the worst Legionnaire ever

    You might have mentioned that the entire point of LSH #300 was to invalidate the Adult Legion story vis the medium of Douglas Nolan.

    Bring on the next episode!

  15. No mention of Rainbow Girl joining the Subs? Tsk tsk.

    Starboy was cool, Who’s Who says he’s only 5’8″? I don’t recall him being portrayed as that different from the characters listed as taller. He “joined” the JSA several years before the Lightning Saga officially started. They retconned him as to having schitzophrenia, but it was never an issue in the future since they had medical treatment for that. But the treatments wasn’t available for an extended stay in the JSA’s time.

    I remember when Sensor Girl’s identity was revealed. My local shop held a contest for Legions subscribers. Subscribers got to guess who she was before the reveal. They could put in only 1 guess, and there would be a drawing of the right guessers and they would get the issue for free. I didn’t win the issue, but I was one of 2 people who figured it out.

  16. Catching up with comments, and… now this goddamned thing.

    Liked the cover of #5, especially Dream Girl with the junk in the trunk, trunk, trunk, Garth’s like what, what what. Actually, every Legionnaire on the back cover appears to be quite pointedly not noticing, aside from Night Girl going Sophia Loren on Jayne Mansfield. The dudes who don’t have girlfriends present seem happier to see her.

    The Chuck Austin headquarter tour was fine.

    Kyle Baker’s Mordru & Pulsar Stargrave were ’80s alterna-cool. The Butler/Mooney, Richard Howell, Art Thibert, Stasi/Rubinstein, Bender/Starr & Editor’s Row sections were serviceable. Thibert stepped up for R.J. Brande, though. Ugh, Ollie Queen 2099. The Giffen Omen entry is adorable, but the Phantom Girl one is just barely okay. She should swap places with Ty Templeton’s Polar Boy, who looks better than he deserves. The Liefeld section wasn’t great, but it was amusing. Rond Vidar was weirdly more classically heroic looking than most of the Legion characters here while also looking like a third rate OHOTMU character. Quislet, Saturn Girl & Colleen Doran pieces are nice without quite getting over the finish line for me. Not a great character selection here, overall.

    #6’s cover is a boon for architecture, not so much characters. Suits the Metropolis tourism board, at least. Oddly appealing to see Curt Swan draw a spookier late modern age design design like Sensor Girl (plus she doesn’t have one of Swan’s old-timey advertising faces.) Servants of Darkness goes Full Giffen and I’m down for it. Shadow Lad is the rare Chris Wozniak image that doesn’t make me ill. Shadow Lass is further evidence that Kyle Baker should have had a better career. Frenz/Mahlstead Shrinking Violet is fine, I guess, but Legion is a quintessentially DC team and it feels wrong to see them done so much in The Marvel Way. Star Boy is above average and drawn by Kerry Gammill, so I blame Kez Wilson because it’s not beautiful. Ken Steacy almost makes Starfinger II work, so this is probably that Mort’s finest hour. I know Sun Boy isn’t exactly beloved, but I always thought that was do to his being such a chach prettyboy, so why does he look like Silver Age Banshee here? Did the Sun-Eater used to look so meaty? Yay, Superboy! Dig the Tom Artist page. LaRocque’s Tellus is le rock. I love Mike Zeck and I enjoy Timer Wolf’s look from this period, but they don’t pair off so well.

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