Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Oddball Super Heroes: A Few More From the Legion

Faster than a speeding turtle!
More powerful than a tangerine!
Able to leap modest sized puddles in a single bound!
Look, over by the computer!
It's a nerd!
It's a dufus!
Yes, it's Dave-El, strange guy from North Carolina, 
who came to the kitchen with a desire for milk 
and oatmeal raisin cookies far beyond those of mortal men.
Dave-El, who can change the course of conversations,
bend paper in his bare hands,
and who, disguised as David Long, weird guy who works in an office somewhere doing some damn thing,
fights a never-satisfied need to be left alone,
watch TV and lust after Tina Fey.


Hi there! Dave-El here and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, your Bat-signal blog against the Gotham sky that is the internet.

For the last few weeks, I've been writing a series of posts called Oddball Super Heroes. I've focused on characters from DC's Legion of Super Heroes for these initial posts but I've decided that in the coming weeks I want to branch out to other heroes at other publishers. But before I moved on from the Legion, I wanted to share my absolute favorite Oddball Super Hero from the future.

Before I get to this amazing marvel, I want to say that I had not begun to exhaust the variety of characters who have shown up in Legion stories, desperately seeking membership with the galaxy's greatest heroes by demonstrating some of the galaxy's lamest powers. 

For example, there's Antennae Lad (Khfeurb Chee Bez from the planet Grxyor) who has the power to tune into any broadcast from any era. I'm not sure how that power would be helpful to the Legion.

Cosmic Boy: Oh, no! Computo is attacking! Legion, to me! Sun Boy, hit him with a solar flare! Lightning Lad, fry his circuits with an electrical blast! Antennae Lad, locate the 8th episode of the 2nd season of The Nanny!

Antennae Lad: Er, my power mostly works at random?

Cosmic Boy: ARRRGHHH! 

(Killed by Computo without seeing his favorite episode of The Nanny one last time.)

Yes, Antennae Lad's power to pick up broadcasts from any era... only worked at random.

And there was Color Kid (Ulu Vakk from the planet Lupra) who can change the color of objects. Ulu Vakk (which sounds like a vacuum cleaner from Asgard) gained his power after being struck by a ray from another dimension.

You know, there's a guy at the Sherwin-Williams paint store who can also change the color of any object.

In the 1985 Legion of Substitute Heroes one-shot, he was temporarily known as Color Queen after being exposed to Granderian Gender-Reversal Germs by Infectious Lass.

To be honest, Color Kid did save Superboy and Supergirl from Green Kryptonite... by changing it to blue. I'm not sure radiation actually works that way but....okay.

And let's not forget Double-Header (Frenk and Dyvud Retzun from the planet Janus). Try to keep up now: Double-Header has two heads.

Er, that's it.

No, each head doesn't have a unique super power that when combined with the other head forms a super duper power. No, he just has two heads.

And they don't get along either.

Porcupine Pete (Peter Dursin from Earth) has quills he can inaccurately shoot from his body. Yes, the key word in that sentence is "inaccurately".

But to me, there's one denizen of the far flung future that reflects the total absurdity of those hapless youths who sought glory and honor serving with the Legion, no matter how oddball or even just plain stupid their power may be.

Behold, I present to you....

Arm Fall Off Boy!    

Arm Fall Off Boy first appearance in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #46,
(December 1989) as drawn by Curt Swan.

Arm Fall Off Boy (Floyd Belkin) has the distinction of being an applicant at the first Legion tryout, and the first Legion reject.

There is so much to love about this sequence. The most literal super hero name ever, the sound an arm makes when it's detached ("Plorp!"), Floyd's high level of confidence in the awesomeness of his power.

Before I say farewell to the Legion and move on to other Oddball Super Heroes in other times and places, you might be wondering about this guy in the background in panel 1.

No, this is not Rocket Penis Lad

Although I can understand, it's kind of hard (ha!) not to think that. No, this is Fortress Lad and he has the power to turn into an impenetrable rocket ship shaped building.

Seriously. Don't mock Rocket P-, er, Fortress Lad.

Or Arm Fall Off Boy will come get you.


Next week, we meet a super hero who was pretty big in his day. Even though he was published for only a few issues by a short lived publisher. More on that next Wednesday with another edition of Oddball Super Heroes.

Another blog post coming up tomorrow. Until then, remember to be good to one another.  


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