Saturday, October 03, 2009

Flashback: Bits of Legionnaire Business (part 2)

Part 2 of my look at Silver Age Bits of Legionnaire Business. Characters of interest are in boldface, italics are the editor (in parentheses) and my notes [in brackets].

Adventure Comics 301, Oct. 1962
Dear Editor: Now that "Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes" has taken the place of "Tales of the Bizarro World", will you encourage readers to send in "Bits of Legionnaire Business"?
Allen Pilcher, Memphis, Tenn.
(Only if you can define for us what's a "bit of L.B." -Ed.)
Adventure Comics 304, Jan. 1963
Dear Editor: In a recent issue, Allen Pelcher suggested that you encourage readers to send in "Bits of Legionnaire Business." You responded that you would go along with his idea if someone would define what a bit of "L.B." was to be. Well, how about if a "Bit of Legionnaire Business" is a postal card with a few lines suggesting the name of a NEW super-hero to be admitted in the Legion, plus a suggestion of the super-power he might possess. Thus, a bit of "L.B." might be: "I suggest a new character, POLAR BOY, who has the power of freezing to ice anything in his area." How about it?
Buddy LaVigne, Northbrook, Ill.
(Great idea. Readers, take note and start sending us your suggestions on a postal card. We'll print the best ones and use all accepted new characters in future Legion tales. -Ed.)
Adventure Comics 307, April 1963
Dear Editor: In one of your recent SMALLVILLE MAILSACKS you encouraged your readers to suggest new members for the "Legion of Super-Heroes" and to list their super-powers. You said you would print the best ones under the heading "Bits of Legionnaire Business." So here is my nomination: ANTI-GRAVITY BOY . . . he has the power to make anything rise at will. 
[2009 note: Ayla Ranzz got her "Light Lass" powers in Adventure 317.]
Leo Manning & Stephen Gilpin, Dorchester, Mass.
(We have been deluged with "Bits of L.B." from thousands of readers. Following is a list of the best of this month's lot. From time to time, Edmond Hamilton, the author of the current Legion series, will feature some of the new heroes and heroines suggested by readers which he deems the most interesting. So, if you have a "Bit of L.B.", send it on to us, ON A POSTAL CARD! -Ed.)
Bits of Legionnaire Business
From Lucinda Briggs, Port Alsworth, Alaska: "TELEPORT GIRL . . . she possesses the unique ability to teleport herself anywhere, through time, space, and matter." . . . From David Dickhereber, Wentzville, Mo.: "RADAR LAD . . . a boy who can detect any object and pinpoint its location on the map." . . . Roger Anderson, Eau Claire, Wis.: "BRAIN BOY . . . he has a super-intelligent brain." . . . Alexander Naumov, Paterson, N. J.: "GLASS GIRL . . . she has the ability to change into a glass statue." . . . Janet Hein, West N. Y., N. J.: "CREATIVE GIRL . . . she has the power of creating anything she wishes." . . . Mark Kaufman, Bronx, N. Y.: "RING GIRL . . . her power lies in her rainbow-colored ring, which can act as a stun ray, a blowtorch and also contains a super-compressed parachute."
From Toni-Joe Frazier, Atlantic City, N. J.: "HUMAN DRILL BOY . . . he can drill through any substance." . . . Bill Hodges, Huntsville, Ala.: "VIBRATORY BOY . . . his power consists of emitting vibratory pulsations with which he can shatter any object." . . . James Cook, Phila., Pa.: "HYPNO BOY . . . he has the talent of super-hypnosis." . . . Ronald Domsky, Phila., Pa.: "MOLECULE BOY . . . he can re-arrange the molecules of any object to form something else; for example, he could change a crook's ray gun into a harmless pencil." . . . Stephen Maloney, Boston, Mass.: "UNIVERSE BOY . . . his powers are that he can talk, understand and translate the language of any race or civilization in any solar system of the Universe, past or present or future."
Alan Geros, W. St. Paul, Minn.: "AMOEBA LAD . . . he can split in two, then each split part can split in two, and so on, just the way a real amoeba can multiply." . . . Jess & Steve Weiner, Little Neck, N. Y.: "RAIN GIRL . . . she can cause rainstorms at will, even in the Sahara Desert."
Adventure Comics 308, May 1963
Following are suggestions from readers for new members of the Legion of Super-Heroes: From Mike Meridier, Kenner, La.: "NIGHT OWL - a girl who has the power to produce darkness over a small area." . . . Richard Depoe, Syracuse, N. Y.: "ZODIAC BOY . . . who can change the future by altering a preson's horoscope." . . . Bob Marcus, East Meadow, L. I.: "BRITTLE BOY . . . who can break himself into hundreds of pieces and then re-unite." . . . Mike Witherspoon, Weatherford, Tex.: "KEY KID . . . a lad who has the power of opening any lock with his fingers." . . . Brenda Grant, Claremont, Calif. "Quiz Queen . . . a girl who can answer any factual question, because she has memorized every book in print." . . . Michael Colby, Hewlett, L. I.: "DETECTOR LAD . . . he has the power to learn the location of anyone in the Universe" . . . "JINX BOY . . . he can 'hex' criminals so that they encounter bad luck." . . . Harvey Pond, Milford, Conn.: "MIRAGE MASTER . . . he can create fantastic mirages merely by will power." . . . Jess & Steve Weiner, Little Neck, N. Y.: "RAIN GIRL . . . she can cause rainstorms." . . . Matthew Maynard, Seattle, Wash.: "NATURE BOY . . . he can cause tidal waves, stop waterfalls, make volcanoes erupt."
[2009 note: Shadow Lass, Calamity King, and Princess Projectra's powers.]
Adventure Comics 309, June 1963
"Bits of Legionnaire Business"
From Jeff Greenberg, Los Angeles, Calif. "Color Kid - he can change himself or any object to any color in the spectrum." . . . Thomas Raimondo, Brooklyn, N. Y. "Beast Boy - he has the power to transform himself into any animal he wishes." . . . Ed Stephenson & Dan Thompson, Risingsun, Ohio. "Computer Girl - she is a human lightning calculator and can figure out any problem in her mind." . . . Eric Heidman, Hancock, Mich. "Life Lass - she has the ability to transform inanimate objects into living things by willing it."
From Ed Lima, New Bedford, Mass. "Cloud Boy - he can control the elements." . . . Tommy Fine, Braddyville, Iowa. "Healing Boy - he can heal any wound with a touch of his hand." . . . Barbara Reed, Yuma City, Calif. "Atomic Kid - he has the power of atomic radiation and the explosive force of an atomic bomb." . . . John Derer, Chicago, Ill. "Ray Lad - he can detect the presence of any sort of ray, such as gamma rays, cosmic rays, infra-red, ultra-violet, etc." . . . Alan Geros, W. St. Paul, Minn. "Amoeba Lad - he can split in half and keep reproducing himself, like an amoeba."
From Reed Sechan, Chicago, Ill. "Snow Girl - she can create icebergs." . . . Rick Brown, Leasburg, Mo. "Mirage Lad - his mind can project any type of illusion." . . . Wayne Robinson, Louise, Texas. "Radioactive Boy - he can generate radioactivity at will." . . . Raymond Pearson, Jersey City, N. J. "Time Boy - who can travel into the past or future when he wants to." Judson Hoffman, St. Louis, Mo. "Key Kid - he can turn his fingers into keys to open any door or lock."
[2009 note: a Sub, two Heroes of Lallor, and powers of Princess Projectra and Radiation Roy.]

1 comment:

CharlieZ said...

"RADAR LAD . . . a boy who can detect any object and pinpoint its location on the map." Soundsa little like Molly Walker on Heroes.