Today is another Wednesday installment of my look at "oddball super heroes". As it has been the case, I've been looking back at the mythology of the DC Comics super team of the future, the Legion of Super Heroes and those heroes who don't make the cut, the Legion of Substitute Heroes.
Today's hero is one that maybe shouldn't be on this list. He has a power set that has been shown to be quite effective in other comic book characters. Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing at DC have shown how powerful characters can be when they have control over plant life. Over at Marvel, Groot is a freakin' walking tree who has been shown to do amazing stuff.
So why the lack of respect for Chlorophyll Kid?
For starters, who is Chlorophyll Kid? He was born Ral Benem on the planet Mardru. He fell into a tank of hydroponic serum which gave him the power to stimulate plant growth. He can grow seeds into full grown plants in a second. Ral can also direct the growth of vines so that they wrap around a person, trapping them.
He was rejected by the Legion of Super-Heroes
because his power would not be useful on missions. So the Legion of Substitute Heroes became Chlorophyll Kid's new home.
As we saw in the panel above, Chlorophyll Kid can zap a tree to grow super fast and split a mountain. Pretty cool, huh? Well, maybe not when there are dozens of heroes in the Legion who can split a mountain without growing a tree real fast.
Not until Alan Moore showed us all the cool things you can do with that when he took over Swamp Thing, making plants grow (even if it is to make them grow faster) is really not that spectacular a super power. Chlorophyll Kid became a bit of a sad sack hero, at once convinced his powers are worthwhile yet unable to convince himself or others that he's worthy of respect. He even tries to expand the scope of his powers by saying that in addition to increasing the speed of plant growth, he can slow their growth too.
Eventually as other sources demonstrated the worthiness of having plant control powers, Chlorophyll Kid gained a bit more respect. But I don't think I'll ever let go of the image of Chlorophyll Kid, with the power to speed up the growth of plants, explaining he can slow their growth as well.
Next Wednesday, a hero who did make the cut to join the Legion of Super Heroes. We'll sink our teeth into the profile next week.
Tomorrow is another post on something damn thing or another. Until then, remember to be good to one another.
Returning in TWO days...