Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trivia Answers #52

Special (late) Legion election trivia edition, with late-breaking results!

1. Chronologically from the founding of the L1 Legion to the Magic Wars, three leaders were not elected leader by the rest of the members. Which ones, and what were the circumstances?

Cosmic Boy was chosen by computer to be the first leader; Saturn Girl became leader after winning Proty II's contest; and Element Lad (who was Deputy) became leader after the resignation of Lightning Lad
2. Who won the first Legion leader election that was based on a reader vote?
The announcement for the first reader vote appeared in the Legion Outpost letters page of Adventure 364.

Dear Editor:
In the Legion Constitution, it says a new leader must be elected every year. In ADVENTURE No. 323, Saturn Girl was elected. 14 months later, in No. 332 [sic], Brainiac 5 was put in command. Again, just 11 months after this, Invisible Kid took over the position of honor. The time is coming when a new leader should be elected. This time, before saying who the new top man (or girl) will be, why not hold an election in which the readers can vote, too? This wouldn't be like the popularity contest you held a couple of years back, for it would be based on ability, not mere popularity. Superboy and Supergirl should be excluded, because they live in the 20th century and couldn't devote their full time to the post. The former leaders (including Cosmic Boy, the first leader) should be left out of the running, too.
-Tredgar Waller, Rosemount, Minn.
(How about it, fans? Who would you like to see holding the Legion's reins? Phantom Girl? Ultra Boy? Lightning Lad? Duo Damsel? You tell us and we'll announce the results in this department. Make sure all votes are postmarked before Dec. 26 - the date the next issue of ADVENTURE hits the stands. -Ed.)

Here's the announcement from Adventure 368:
Dear Editor:
In a recent issue, a reader suggested having an election for a new leader of the Super-Heroes. So I am going to cast my vote for Ultra Boy, even though I'm not old enough to vote.
-James Garner, Jersey City, N.J.
(You're old enough to vote in this election, Jim - and you were one of 7,810 readers who did just that. We have the final tallies; but before we announce them, let's see who some of the other readers picked, and why . -Ed.)

"I vote for Mon-El because he is older. He was in the Phantom Zone from the 20th century to the 30th and has 1,000 years of knowledge behind him" -Jeffery Martin, Rock Creek, Ohio . . . "I would like to see Karate Kid as the Legion Leader because he has a unique ability. I SAID ABILITY - not power. K Kid didn't drink a potion or get changed by rays. He had to practice long hours to attain his famed skill." -Robert Gold, Jackson Heights, N.Y. . . . "I cast my vote for Element Lad. He could defeat the whole Legion - or almost - with his element-changing power. He could even turn rock to Kryptonite to beat Superboy." -Lonnie Herzog, Bronx, N.Y. . . . "I vote for Dream Girl because she is Dreamy, Remarkable, Eager, Amazing, Marvelous, Groovy, Irresistable, Reliable, Law-Abiding. She could also see into the future and see what crimes will be committed and who she should assign to them." -Dan Patnode, Menomonee Falls, Wis. . . . "I vote for Lightning Lad because he is the only one of the original three members who has not yet been Leader. Besides, he has the most 'battle scars' of any living Legionnaire." -Unsigned, Freehold, N.J.

(And now - the big announcement! The Legionnaire you readers have elected as the next Leader is . . . ULTRA BOY! He racked up 1,262 votes. Coming in a close second was Mon-El, with 1,160 votes - so he'll be the new Deputy Leader. Every Legionnaire got several votes (except Shadow Lass, who hadn't joined yet). Even former Leaders got some - and Timber Wolf, who hasn't joined yet, officially, racked up a few. Here's the way the other Super-Heroes did in the final tally: Element Lad - 893; Karate Kid - 879; Lightning Lad - 615; Phantom Girl - 525; Chameleon Boy - 420; Sun Boy - 388; Superboy - 316; Matter-Eater Lad - 300; Supergirl - 267; Duo Damsel - 144; Princess Projectra - 139; Colossal Boy - 111; Brainiac 5 - 96; Star Boy - 84; Bouncing Boy - 73; Dream Girl - 68; Light Lass, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl - 32 each; Timber Wolf - 23; Shrinking Violet and Invisible Kid - who are obviously the hardest to see - 15 each. That's it! Watch for Ultra Boy and Mon-El to take over their new duties in an early issue of ADVENTURE. -Ed.)

Ultra Boy's term began in Adventure 371. Incidentally, this appeared the following year, in Adventure 378, which said that former leaders were NOT eligible:

Now to some serious business. Paul Williams, Cataula, Ga., points out that "The current Legion Leader, Ultra Boy, and the Deputy Leader, Mon-El, were elected by the readers. I believe you should have a similar election every year. That way, the Leader will be the one the readers want." We agree - so, since it's about that time, we'll give you all one month to send in your votes. All ballots much reach us by February 27, the date when our next issue hits the stands. Remember, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Invisible Kid and Ultra Boy have already held the post. That leaves the following members eligible: Bouncing Boy, Chameleon Boy, Chemical King, Colossal Boy, Dream Girl, Duo Damsel, Element Lad, Karate Kid, Light Lass, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Mon-El, Phantom Girl, Princess Projectra, Shadow Lass, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy, Sun Boy, Superboy, Supergirl and Timber Wolf. Vote for your favorite. The winner will be the next leader; the runner-up will be the Deputy.

(Via the Silver Age Legion page)

3. Which Legion leader was disqualified after the readers voted, and why? Who became the leader instead?
Superboy won the 1976 election, but was disqualified at the inauguration (Superboy 225, 3/77) since he was not a regular inhabitant of the 30th century. Wildfire became leader. (You'd think that the Legion election rules would have been known to the Legionnaires...)

4. Considering what we know of the all of the various "regular" Legions - the L1 Legion (founding through Magic Wars), the v4-era Legion (post-Magic Wars til Zero Hour) and the SW6 Legion, the L2 Legion post-Zero Hour reboot, the L3 Legion Waid/Kitson reboot, the current retroboot, the DC Animated Universe (including Justice League Unlimited and Superman The Animated Series), and the Legion animated series - which Legionnaire has been the leader the most number of times? For this question, for counting purposes we'll consider different versions of the same character (Lightning Lad and Livewire, for example) to be the same.
For this question, consecutive terms only count as being leader one time.
L1: Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Invisible Kid, Ultra Boy, Mon-El, Wildfire, Lightning Lad, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Polar Boy, Sensor Girl
L1v4: Sun Boy, Polar Boy, unknown after Legion reformation
L2: Cosmic Boy, Leviathan, Cosmic Boy, Leviathan, Shrinking Violet, Livewire, Invisible Kid, Saturn Girl, Livewire, Cosmic Boy, Kid Quantum
L3: unknown
Current: Cosmic Boy, Mon-El
DCAU: unknown
LSHAn: Cosmic Boy, Bouncing Boy, Cosmic Boy
I'm pretty sure I'm missing a couple in here, bu it looks like Cosmic Boy has been leader the most times across the various continuities, at least six. Nobody else even comes close.

5. In his two previous writing stints on the Legion, how many elections has Paul Levitz overseen and which leaders were chosen?
Levitz 1:  Wildfire (Superboy 225), Lightning Lad (Superboy and the LSH 247)
Levitz 2: Dream Girl (LSH v2 291), Element Lad (LSH v2 306), Element Lad (LSH v3 12), Polar Boy x2, Sensor Girl (LSH v4 60)
Incidentally, there were no leader elections between Lightning Lad and Dream Girl. Levitz wrote all the elections from 1977 to 1989.

6. What happens if the Leader resigns, is expelled, dies, becomes incapacitated, or otherwise can't fulfill his/her duties as leader? What about the Deputy? What if they both are?
From the Legion Constitution:

6.3 In the event of the resignation, expulsion, leave, death or incapacity of:
(i) the Leader, the Deputy Leader shall become Leader and shall appoint a new Deputy Leader;
(ii) the Deputy Leader, the Leader shall appoint a new Deputy Leader; or
(iii) both the Leader and the Deputy Leader, the senior active member shall serve as temporary Leader, with a new Leader and Deputy Leader to be selected at the first opportunity in a manner conforming to the requirements of Sections 8.2, 8.3 and 8.4 hereunder.
(Note that section 8 of the Constitution deals with voting)
7. In this election, which eligible Legionnaires have NOT been leader before (that we know of)?
Of the 25 people on the ballot, the following had been leader at least once in the L1 continuity: Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl, Element Lad, Invisible Kid, Mon-El, Polar Boy, Sensor Girl, Ultra Boy, and Wildfire.

That leaves the following: Chameleon Boy, Chameleon Girl, Colossal Boy, Dawnstar, Earth Man, Gates, Lightning Lass, Phantom Girl, Quislet, Shadow Lass, Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, Tellus, Timber Wolf, and Tyroc.

3 comments:

Tom Galloway said...

Re: Leaders. Wasn't Karate Kid a leader in-between Ultra Boy and Mon-El for L1?

L3 started with Cosmic Boy as leader, followed by Supergirl, followed by Lightning Lad.

For L1v4, I'd say that initially it was clear that leader was jointly held by Cos and Cham.

Mike McKean said...

On Wildfire's election: Wildfire's election as leader was revealed in Superboy #219, six issues before Paul Levitz inaugurated him in his first story for the Legion. Unlike other reader elections, he wasn't elected based on readers mailing in their votes to DC Comics. Rather, Wildfire was elected in a poll of attendants at the "DC Super Celebration" held in New York City on the weekend of February 29, 1976.

This was a celebration that focused on Superman, I believe, so fans of Superboy were probably a tad overrepresented. And I'm doubtful that being a Legion reader was a prerequisite for voting (unlike the lettercol elections, where it was practically a given).

According to SB #219's letter column, Superboy received 87 votes to 65 for Wildfire. Element Lad was a distant third (38), followed by the incumbent Mon-El (37), newbie Tyroc (31), Brainiac 5 (26), Lightning Lad (23), Timber Wolf (23), Keith Giffen's favorite member Karate Kid (22), Chameleon Boy (20), Ultra Boy (17), Phantom Girl (16), Sun Boy (10), Colossal Boy, Cosmic Boy, Dream Girl and Shadow Lass (8 each), Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet, Star Boy and doomed Chemical King (5 each), and Light Lass and Projectra (4 each).

Mike McKean said...

Also, on a side note...

I'm not sure you can say that Paul Levitz "oversaw" the election of Wildfire. He wrote the story in which Wildire was inaugurated as leader, but Drake's election was announced six issues earlier and the election itself took place nearly a year before that issue's street date.

Given the results of the last election, though, it is kind of interesting that Paul's first scene in his first Legion story (in the main comic, anyhow) was of Mon-El's last act as leader--swearing in his successor. Talk about coming full circle!