Superman Fan Podcast Episode #258: Jerry Siegel And The Legion Of Super-Heroes!

Adventure Comics Issues #267 & #340!

Adventure Comics Issues #267 & #340!

EPISODE NOTE: On this episode, the scheduled topic was on SUPERMAN 149 & ACTION COMICS 282, with a guest host joining me. Unfortunately, a work schedule change this week for the guest host forced the postponement of this topic until next week.

Jerry Siegel is most famous for being the co-creator and original writer of Superman, but he also made some key contributions to the Legion Of Super-Heroes, although he did not write the original Legion story (titled THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES,done by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino, published in Adventure Comics 247, April 1958). Siegel’s first Legion story was titled PRISONERS OF THE SUPER-HEROES, published in ADVENTURE COMICS 267, December 1959, around October 29, 1959. This story was reprinted in SUPERMAN ANNUAL 8, Winter 1964, published around November 21, 1963, LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ARCHIVE vol. I and SHOWCASE PRESENTS: LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES vol. I.

In THE THREE SUPER-HEROES, from ACTION COMICS 267, covered in Episode 220, Siegel and artist Jim Mooney introduced Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy and Invisible Kid, during Supergirl’s failed first attempt to join the Legion.

Five more Legionnaires were introduced in SUPERGIRL’S THREE SUPER GIRL-FRIENDS, published in ACTION COMICS 276, May 1961, published around March 30, 1961, also drawn by Jim Mooney. After being introduced to legionnaires Phantom Girl and Triplicate Girl, then Legion candidates Shrinking Violet, Bouncing Boy, Sun Boy and Brainiac 5 joined Supergirl in competition for spots on the Legion for one male and one female candidate each. The Maid of Might and Brainiac 5 earned Legion membership in this story, covered in Episode 242.

The Legion Of Super-Pets made their first appearance in THE LEGION OF SUPER TRAITORS, from ADVENTURE COMICS 293, February 1962, published around December 28, 1961, pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by George Klein. This Legion was comprised of Krypto, Streaky the Super Cat, Comet the Super Horse and Beppo the Super Monkey.

Siegel introduced us to Ultra Boy in THE BOY WITH ULTRA POWERS, pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by George Klein, published in SUPERBOY 98, July 1962 and published around May 17, 1962.

He also brought Mon-El into the Legion in ADVENTURE COMICS 300, September 1962, published around July 26, 1962. In THE FACE BEHIND THE LEAD MASK, pencilled and inked by John Forte and also inked by Al Plastino, Mon-El helped save the Legion, but had to return to the Phantom Zone after his lead antidote serum wore off. Edmond Hamilton would have him return permanently in issue 307.

We also have Jerry Siegel to thank for two of the most unusual Legionnaires, Bouncing Boy and Matter Eater Lad. Bouncing Boy’s origin was detailed in ADVENTURE COMICS 301, October 1962, published around August 28, 1962 and pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by Sheldon Moldoff. Matter Eater Lad’s origin was given in THE FANTASTIC SPY, from ADVENTURE COMICS 303, December 1962, published around October 30, 1962 and drawn by John Forte.

Siegel had the first female Legion leader elected, Saturn Girl, in THE STOLEN SUPER-POWERS, drawn by John Forte, published in ADVENTURE COMICS 304, January 1963, November 29, 1962. This story also contained the first Legion death, Lightning Lad (who was revived in ADVENTURE COMICS 312, in a story written by Edmond Hamilton and drawn by John Forte).

At the end of the episode, Jerry Siegel’s first and last Legion stories are featured, PRISONER OF THE SUPER HEROES, and COMPUTO THE CONQUEROR (from ADVENTURE COMICS 340, January 1966, published around November 25, 1966) respectively.  This final story was pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by George Klein. It was reprinted in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 3, April/May 1973 and published around February 13, 1973. I own a copy of this issue. The story was also reprinted in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ARCHIVE vol. V and SHOWCASE PRESENTS: LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES vol. II.

Next Episode: SUPERMAN COMIC BOOKS COVER DATED NOVEMBER 1961: SUPERMAN 149 & ACTION COMICS 282!

In 2 Weeks: SUPERMAN FAMILY COMIC BOOKS COVER DATED JANUARY 1959: SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND LOIS LANE 6 & SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN 34!

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