I apologize for keeping everyone dangling in suspense for three weeks! It’s time to finally find out what happened to Legion outcasts, Superboy and Supergirl, in…
The Forgotten Legion!
Adventure Comics #351, December, 1966
Writer: E. Nelson Bridwell, Penciller: Curt Swan
The previous issue ended with Superboy and Supergirl being discharged from the Legion because of a deadly Kryptonite dust cloud encircling Earth, Lightning Lad being kidnapped by Evillo, and the disguised Sir Prize and Miss Terious taking the place of the Super cousins on the Legion roster.
Invisible Kid prevents Ultra Boy from determining the identities of the two new members while a small Legion contingent heads to the private planet of the Legion’s benefactor, R.J. Brande, in response to an emergency summons. Once there, they encounter the Hag, one of Evillo’s “Devil’s Dozen,” who begins to work her black magic on the group. Miss Terious leads the team in a hasty retreat and declares they need to counteract the power of the Hag with a spell of their own, requiring the hair from a magician and the print of an enchanted shoe.
In the meantime, the kidnapped Lightning Lad regains consciousness at Evillo’s lair, and the villain tries to brainwash him into becoming the fifth member of his Devil’s Dozen crime gang. Lightning Lad is able to successfully resist, but remains a prisoner. Another member of Evillo’s gang, Sugyn, travels to Earth and kidnaps Bouncing Boy, who had previously lost his powers. Displeased that Sugyn captured a powerless Legionnaire, Evillo kills him because of his incompetence.
A group of Legionnaires travels back in time to 20th-century Smallville and Element Lad changes the Kryptonite pellet that was implanted in Superboy’s brain to helium, restoring his memory. Superboy and Mon-El then travel to the Fifth Dimension and obtain some hair from the magician, Master Mxyzptlk. The Legion of Substitute Heroes is called into action to obtain the hoof prints of Comet, Supergirl’s enchanted horse.
Possessing the required ingredients, Miss Terious creates a counter-potion, which transforms the Hag back into her original identity, the “benevolent” White Witch of Naltor. Miss Terious then reveals she is Dream Girl, sister of the White Witch. Dream Girl had previously left the Legion after joining under false pretenses. Sir Prize reveals himself to be Star Boy, who was discharged from the Legion after accidentally killing a criminal (Adventure #342). Invisible Kid invites the two to rejoin the Legion.
The team then travels to Evillo’s planet and discovers that another of the villain’s prisoners, Dr. Zan Orbal, has restored Lightning Lad’s arm and Bouncing Boy’s powers and cured Matter-Eater Lad’s obesity. A fight ensues with the strengthened Legion defeating Evillo and his gang, which includes the Wild Huntsman, Apollo, and a number of henchmen. Superboy and Supergirl are able to return to 30th-century Earth and rejoin the Legion because Color Kid of the Legion of Substitute Heroes changed the deadly Kryptonite green dust cloud to blue, rendering it harmless.
There is no explanation as to how Matter-Eater Lad ended up at Evillo’s lair after being part of the contingent that confronted the Hag on Brande’s planet.
There’s A LOT going on in this issue including a fairly discombobulated plot and almost a full roster of regular Legionnaires along with the Legion of Substitute Heroes and the Legion of Super-Pets. I’m guessing that writer, E. Nelson Bridwell, was tasked with creating a two-part story, which included every Legionnaire.
Legion roster: Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Ferro Lad, Invisible Kid, Lightning Lad, Light Lass, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl, Ultra Boy
Legion of Substitute Heroes: Chlorophyll Kid, Color Kid, Fire Lad, Night Girl, Polar Boy, Stone Boy
Legion of Super-Pets: Comet (horse), Krypto (dog), Streaky (cat), Beppo (monkey)
Disclaimer: There are many references to “good” and “evil” sorcery/witchcraft in this story, another example of secular entertainment delving into the “mystical” with no Biblical foundation. It’s interesting that Evillo (below) is presented as a stereotypical devilish character replete with horns.
So what was a ten-year-old Catholic boy thinking when he was presented with all of these references to sorcery and witchcraft in this particular Legion saga? It was par for the course for all forms of entertainment at the time and continues today. The irony is that the FAR GREATER spiritual danger for me was veiled behind the pious “holiness” and ritualism of my (then) Roman Catholic religion.
Next up: Writer Jim Shooter returns and pens a two-issue story that has endured for fifty-two years as the Legion’s greatest tale.