Today we’re going to take a break from theological discussions and take a trip back to 1966 to review the next Legion of Super-Heroes tale from DC’s Silver Age…
Target – 21 Legionnaires!
Adventure Comics #348, September, 1966
Writer & Layouts: Jim Shooter, Penciller: George Papp
Superboy arrives at Legion headquarters in 30th Century Metropolis to participate in the election of the club’s new leader, Invisible Kid. The team then demonstrates their powers at a charity benefit, which is disrupted by an earthquake caused by the Legion’s clubhouse being ripped from its foundations and abducted by a mysterious giant spaceship. Sun Boy awakens after having been knocked unconscious during the mayhem, but has a case of amnesia and flies away in a confused panic.
A sinister villain, Dr. Regulus, sits at the controls of the rogue spaceship and contemplates his plan to destroy the Legion and “dominate the Universe” by harnessing the power of the sun’s radiation, while on the ground the fugitive Sun Boy unknowingly falls asleep in front of an open radiation source. Will he be killed by the deadly rays?
The Legion tracks down the mammoth spaceship and, once inside, Brainiac 5, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Duo Damsel, Invisible Kid, Phantom Girl, and Superboy are individually vanquished by Regulus’ advanced technology. But the villain’s celebration is cut short when a rejuvenated Sun Boy confronts him, allowing some of the recovered Legionnaires to rejoin the fray. Regulus escapes and the Legion is able to return their clubhouse to its location. Sun Boy then reveals that he originally gained his powers via a failed experiment conducted by Regulus several years previous.
While Jim Shooter’s second Legion saga is notable for revealing Sun Boy’s origins, it’s clear the DC wunderkind was still honing his craft. Dr. Regulus would return to battle the Legion in future installments. Guest artist George Papp’s pencils are decent but no match for the Legions’ regular drawer, Curt Swan. It’s amusing from our 2018 perspective to see all of the mechanical dials and controls in these 30th century portrayals.
Next up: In Adventure 349, young Shooter begins his long string of classic Legion tales with “The Rogue Legionnaire.”