Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Flashback: Bits of Legionnaire Business (part 4)

 Adventure Comics 319, Apr. 1964
Bits of Legionnaire Business
From Bobby Flash, Jersey City, N. J. "WEAPON LAD - he has the power to create any weapon in the Solar System after seeing it once." . . . Roberta Davidson, New Shrewsbury, N. J. "SONG GIRL - she can charm any person into obeying her orders by singing to them."
Michael Pochan, Pittsburgh, Pa. "ANTIDOTE ANDY - he can concoct an antidote to neutralize any disease, poison or magic spell." . . . Chuck Davis, Ferndale, Mich.: "MEDUSA MAID - she has the power to turn any living matter to stone and back again." . . . Andy Purcell, Leoma, Tenn.: "MAGIC MISTRESS - she is a descendant of the wizard Merlin and has the power of super-sorcery, inherited from him."
[2009 note: powers of White Witch]

Adventure Comics 323, Aug. 1964
Dear Editor: Why don't you have a story featuring the characters suggested by readers in "Bits of Legionnaire Business"? -Mark Santori, Chicago, Ill.
(Coming up in the next issue! In this great story, the Legion battles the Legion of Super-Outlaws, all of whom are based on suggestions by our readers. We'll give credit to those who suggested these super-characters in our next Legion Outpost column. -Ed.)

Adventure Comics 323, Aug. 1964
When you have read "The Legion of Super-Outlaws" in this issue, you many wonder how these five super-youths came to be created. The truth is that we got them from you - our readers! All five were suggested in "Bits of Legionnaire Business" in the letter columns of ADVENTURE COMICS No. 309, 310, 311 and 314. Here are the names of the readers who thought up the members of the Legion of Super-Outlaws:

BEAST BOY - suggested by Thomas Raimondo, Brooklyn, N.Y.
GAS GIRL - suggested by Charlie Hendrix, Greenville, S.C.
EVOLVO LAD - suggested by Mark Wade, Livermore, Calif.
LIFE LASS - suggested by Eric Heidman, Hancock, Mich.
DUPLICATE BOY - suggested by Steven Cohen, Newburgh, N.Y.
From time to time, in our Legion stories, we plan to feature other super-characters submitted by our readers as "Bits of Legionnaire Business".

Adventure Comics 337, Oct. 1965
The three new super-characters who appear in this issue's feature story were thought up by three of our readers, who submitted the ideas to the "Bits of Legionnaire Business" department we used to run in this magazine. The creators of these characters were: James Vincent, Fairfax, Va. -BLACKOUT BOY; Tony Edwards, Yuma, Ariz. -STAR LAD [sic; should be Size Lad]; Bill Martin, Milwaukee, Wis. -MAGNETIC BOY.
In the past, we have occasionally used other heroes suggested by our readers. For instance, the very first "bit of business" submitted was POLAR BOY, who became leader of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. We intend to use still others in the future.
[repeating a number of suggestions from past issues, deleted for duplication]
Our thanks to those who contributed these and other suggestions. If you have any original "Bits of Legionnaire Business," send them on a postal card and we'll publish the best ones in The Legion Outpost. Also, we'll have author Edmond Hamilton put many of them into his Legion stories. Send all cards to : THE LEGION OUTPOST, National Periodical Publications, 575 Lexington Ave., N. Y., N.Y. 10022.

Adventure Comics 340, Jan. 1966
Our recent request for more ideas for Legionnaires had brought an overwhelming response. So great has it been, in fact, that we're devoting this space to your suggestions. Many, unfortunately, were not usable - some because they were similar to others already submitted; others because they were variations to the real Legionnaires, or possessed powers close to those of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, or other DC characters. But here are the best suggestions submitted to date:
Eric Hodges, San Francisco, Calif. - "Projecto Lad, who can project or retrieve anything from any dimension." . . . Rand Lee, Roxbury, Conn. - "Rainbow Girl - she has the power to split into four separate forms, each a different color and with a different power (Red - super-heat; blue-super-cold; yellow - super brightness; green - Kryptonite rays.)" . . . Lee Zimmerman, Lawrence, Kan. - "Sleep Lad, who has the power to make anything go to sleep." . . . Julie and Jack McLaughlin, Scarborough, Ont., Canada - Energy Lad. He can become pure energy and go anywhere in that form."
Unsigned - "Molecule Moe - has the power of controlling every molecule in his body. He can speed them up and separate them until he's a liquid or even a gas. Or he can do the opposite, slowing down his molecules and moving them so close together that nothing can pass through him." . . . Peter Cooper, Detroit, Mich. - "Vampire Boy, who has the powers of the legendary vampire. He can become invisible, and turn into a bat, a wolf, a mist, or even specks of dust in the moonlight."
Johnny Fulce, Dallas, Tex. - "Crystal Youth can turn to pure crystal." . . . Mike Young, Yakima, Wash. - "Plant Lad. His power is to change himself into any plant - for instance, long vines, a strong tree, or a cactus." . . . Brian Olmstead, Rochelle, Ill. - "Joking King. He can make people laugh so hard they're helpless." . . . Steven Petryszyn, Rochester, N.Y. - "Power Boy. He can drain the power - even a super-power - from any object or person and restore it or place it in another person."
Paul Burns, Wilmington, Del. - "Distortion Boy - can project waves that distort vision and make him appear to be 30 feet away." . . . Brian Atherton, Stratford, Ont., Canada - "Alter Kid. He has the power to alter the shape, size, or controls of any machine." . . . Richard W. Gowen, Lynn, Mass. - "Imitation Kid . . . he has the power to vocally imitate any sound in the world." . . . Tom McCall, Jonesboro, Ark. - "Emotion Lass. She can change anger to calmness, sorrow to happiness, etc."
Melissa Wiebers, Lanark, Ill. - "Length Lad can lengthen or shorten anything in less than a second - even parts of people's bodies." . . . Paul Stevenson, Kansas City, Kan. - "Quantity Kid. He can make one object into more than one, or make several into one. For example, he can turn Superboy into 3 or 4 Superboys; or he can make Sun Boy, Element Lad and Chameleon Boy into one person with all three powers." . . . Ken Grabarek, Chicago, Ill. - "Age Boy. He has the power to make himself or anyone else young, old, or middle-aged."
Patrick Peduto, Jersey City, N.J. - "Mist Lad - he can change himself into mist and make weapons out of mist." . . . Dennis Coughlin, Palo Alto, Calif. - "Shadow Kid: has ability to turn himself into a shadow, in which form he has cold ray vision." . . . Gilbert Aubin - "Crazy Kid: he can upset a person's sense of balance, causing them to appear 'crazy.'" . . . Richard Bratt, La Puente, Calif. - "Hitch-Hike Hector, a youth who possesses the power to leave his physical body and enter another person's without their knowing it."
[2009 note: a Reject later brought back by Geoff Johns, a couple of Legionnaires (Wildfire and Crystal Kid); two prisoners in the Super-Stalag, and a member of the League of Super-Assassins and LSV. Shadow Kid later turned out to be Shadow Lass' cousin Grev.]

Adventure Comics 341, Feb. 1966
Bubba Caton, Tampa, Fla. - "Water Boy, from the water world of Zeron. His people evolved the power of controlling water and shooting from their fingertips jets of water so intense they can knock out a person." . . . Billy Hayden, Oak Harbor, Wash. - "Suction Lad. He has the power to turn anything to smoke and inhale it, then eject it as smoke and cause it to materialize in any form he chooses." . . . Phil Morrison, Van Nuys, Calif. - "Atmosphere Girl. She can change the atmosphere of any world."
Tommy Miers, Lone Star, Tex. - "Chemical Kid - Can produce any chemical or mixture of chemicals via rays from his eyes." . . . Brain Olmstead, Rochelle, Ill. - "Give-Up Girl can give off vibrations that make crooks surrender." . . . Dennis Coughlin, Jr., Palo Alto, Calif. - "Beam Boy; he can change into a beam of light to travel anywhere."
Ronald Gillis, Dorchester, Mass. - "Detector Dick has the power of detecting the plans of any evil-doer on Earth." . . . Melissa Wiebers, Lanark, Ill. - "Backwards Boy can reverse the motion of anything and make it run backwards." . . . Patrick Chupp, Muskegon, Mich. - "Crystal Kid. He can change himself or anything else into unbreakable crystal."
[2009 note: Lazon and Crystal Kid. I'm not going to comment about Ronald Gillis' character's name if reversed.]


Terence Chua said...

So he can detect anyone named Richard. So?

What are you all looking at me like that for?

(verification word "Uniteat". Is that what they call a part of Unicron's anatonmy?)

Meerkatdon said...

Nor should one speculate about how Billy Hayden's hero and Ronald Gillis's would make such a great team.