Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Granted, Jo pays for that later, but that still has to be immensely satisfying.
Here's a question that maybe a hardcore Legion of Super-Heroes fan can answer: Ultra Boy has all of Superboy's powers (ultra-speed, strength, invulnerability, pentra-vision, flight, breath, maybe all the way down the list to ultra-ventriloquism) but only one at a time. My question is, how does that work?

Can Ultra Boy fly at super, um, excuse me, ultra-speed? Or are those two separate powers? Does his ultra-speed have a "protective aura" like the Flash, to protect him from friction and whatnot? Similarly, when using ultra-strength, there must be some level of overlap with invulnerability, because otherwise, if Ultra Boy hits Superboy in the face, U-Boy's going to turn his punching hand into paste.

Further complicating the issue is the Legion Flight Ring: with it, Ultra Boy can fly while still using one of his own powers. Does that let him fly at ultra-speed, then? Or use his ultra-strength while flying?

(That last one occurred to be from an old Avengers issue, where Wonder Man uses all his strength to prevent the Avengers' island from falling--don't ask, I'll have to buy it again--while flying. Now, WM can't fly by himself, or at least couldn't then: he used a jet-belt, and there's no way that would give him enough support to move something like that, no matter how strong he was.)

There's tons of Legion fans out there, so I can't be the first person to think of this, especially since they've always had to deal with oddball story problems: How does Triplicate Girl's flight ring triplicate with her? Same with Phantom Girl's. Or Shrinking Violet, or Colossal Boy, or Chameleon Kid...

My favorite era of Legion? Probably the Five Year Later era. I had a whole mess of my favorite, random panels from those issues scanned, but then couldn't get them arranged into the nine-panel grid. I might just have to go ahead and post them over the weekend, though. From Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #239, "Murder Most Foul!" Plot and layouts by Jim Starlin, dialogue and plot assist by Paul Levitz, finished art by Josef Rubinstein. I had thought the Legion cartoon stole a bit from this issue for a Timber Wolf episode, "Cry Wolf," but maybe not as much as I had imagined. Check out the first part, and you can find the rest yourself!

Even though I didn't feel the need to buy every single figure, I wish DC Direct was still doing at least the occasional Legion figure. The last ones might have been Mon-El and Brainiac 5, or maybe Sun Boy, I don't recall; and most of the figures were done in a decidedly old-school style. Would they have been more successful in the style of Mike Grell or Dave Cockrum's art and costuming? At the very least, DC Direct probably should have done Wildfire and Dawnstar; they were a bit more striking than some of the others. Still, wish I had bought Mon-El...

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