Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Who's Who: Polar Boy

Polar Boy
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Brek Bannin
Super-Power(s): Ability to create and control intense cold. 
Planet of Origin: Tharr
Legion Seniority: Polar Boy attempted to join between Light Lass and Dream Girl, but was rejected at that time. He eventually joined as one of the five "rookies" after the founders retired from active duty. Because he was known to the other Legionnaires, he is listed first among the other four, making him Legionnaire #34. He was Legion Leader during Year 15. 



Legion Log 
Polar Boy's home planet suffers from intense heat, so all of the natives there developed the ability to create cold and ice. After he heard of the Legion of Super-Heroes, he decided to make his way to Earth in order to join them. However, he was unable to control his freezing powers at that time, so the Legion rejected him. Irrepressible, Polar Boy decided to team-up with four other rejected Legion applicants to form the Legion of Substitute Heroes

For several years "The Subs" worked behind the scenes to assist the actual Legion. Soon, the Legion found out about the Substitutes, and deputized them as official "back-up" Legionnaires. During their nearly ten-year career, they fought such foes as the Khunds, the League of Super-Assassins, and Pulsar Stargrave, as well as Darkseid himself. However, the group eventually disbanded and Polar Boy re-applied for Legion membership. He was voted in unanimously.

Polar Boy was especially close to Dream Girl and Star Boy, who worked with him in the Substitutes for a while, and Sun Boy, who maintains a friendly "rivalry" with him. He is also seen as somewhat of a mentor by Tellus and Magnetic Kid, who joined at the same time he did, but had nowhere near his experience. Later in life, he has a strong friendship with Sun Boy.

After being a member for only a year, Polar Boy stood for and was elected Leader. Due to his long experience as the leader of the Substitutes, he seemed to be a natural. However, his lack of self-confidence "on the main stage" made him question all of his decisions. He was also the victim of a difficult term that saw the Legion face the Time Trapper (twice!), Starfinger (twice!), and the Manhunters. Then at the end of his term, the phenomena known as the Magic Wars erupted. During this conflict, Polar Boy was unable to prevent the death of his good friend, Magnetic Kid, which affected him deeply. 

Polar Boy remained with the Legion during some of its hardest times, including the Black Dawn crisis and the Earthgov oppression that followed the so-called Five Year Gap, acting as Leader after Sun Boy resigned. Despite an aggressive recruiting drive that netted many former Legion rejects (including the former Subs), he was eventually forced to disband the team. Still believing in the need to overcome tyranny and injustice, he led a minor protest against Earthgov, for which he was imprisoned for two years, until freed by Tenzil Kem's legal skills and popularity. From there, he went to Tartarus where he was appointed leader of the world's security forces. His history was wiped out along with the rest of the Legion during Zero Hour.

After the Reboot, Polar Boy was again rejected by the Legion during try-outs, but also rejected by Leland McCauley and his Workforce (believed too young because of his short stature). He brought various rejects and avid Legion admirers together as a team, but not one that ever felt ready to go into action.

After the Threeboot, a green-skinned Polar Boy was affiliated with Mekt Ranzz's Wanderers. His powers are described as "slowing molecular movement". They fought the Legion before the two teams had to join forces against the Dominators. When Mekt Ranzz was later jailed, he and the rest of the Wanderers fled.

After Infinite Crisis, Polar Boy's original history has more or less been re-established. His success in joining the Legion inspired his former comrades in the Subs to up their game as well. When Earth Man and his Justice League took over Earth, the Subs were instrumental in helping form the resistance. Brek himself was captured by the League, and lost an arm, but this horror did not deter him from his duty as a Legionnaire; he simply manifested a new arm made of ice.

Polar Boy has had several non-speaking cameos on the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series. His home world of Tharr was mentioned on Smallville, but he never made a live action appearance himself.

Important Polar Boy Stories: 

Adventure Comics #306
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2)
Polar Boy makes his debut as the leader of the Substitute Heroes

Adventure Comics #311
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2)
The Substitute Heroes stops an invasion of Earth

Adventure Comics #315
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2)
The Legion offers membership to one Substitute

Adventure Comics #319
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 3)
The Substitutes receive galaxy-wide recognition

Adventure Comics #351
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
The Substitutes battle an amnesiac Supergirl

Adventure Comics #354
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
Polar Man is shown to be a member of the Adult Legion

Adventure Comics #374
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8)
The Substitutes defeat the Taurus Gang

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #243
The Substitutes fight the Khunds during Earthwar

 Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #254
The Substitutes defeat The League of Super-Assassins

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #294
The Substitutes help during The Great Darkness

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #300
The Subs merge with the Legion in an alternate reality

DC Comics Presents #59
The Substitutes meet Ambush Bug

Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #316
The Substitutes help Cosmic Boy defeat smugglers

Legion of Substitute Heroes Special #1
The Substitutes help defeat Pulsar Stargrave 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #14
Polar Boy finally joins the Legion


Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #25-26
Polar Boy helps defeat the new Fatal Five


Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #36
Polar Boy is elected Legion Leader

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #37
Polar Boy discusses being leader with Element Lad


Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #40
Polar Boy leads a mission to his home-planet, Tharr

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #49
Polar Boy has a moral argument with White Witch,
causing her to quit the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #51
Polar Boy charges Brainiac 5 with murder


Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #62
Polar Boy is unable to prevent his friend's death

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #1
During the 5 Year Gap, Polar Boy led and ultimately disbanded the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #10
We learn how Polar Boy became a political dissident and Tenzil Ken
frees him from prison

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #14
On Tartarus, Polar Boy begins a new life helping Evillo's wives master their magical powers

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #49
Polar Boy is appointed leader of Tartarus' secuity forces

Legionnaires #18
Polar Boy fights dead Legionnaires as Zero Hour threatens to wipe out the time line

Legionnaires #43
The Reboot Polar Boy, after being rejected by the Legion and Workforce, 
starts a new group with Night Girl

Legionnaires #49
Polar Boy's new team still isn't ready when all heroes are called to fight Mordru

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #25-30
The Threeboot Polar Boy is a member of the Mekkt Ranzz's Wanderers

Action Comics #860
After Infinite Crisis, Polar Boy's arm is severed by Earth Man's "Justice League"
and he replaces it with an icy facsimile

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4
Polar Boy's life is saved from Superboy-Prime's attentions by Sun Boy, 
in a story that sees Brek get DNA crucial to Kon-El's resurrection

Adventure Comics (v2) #3
Polar Boy and Sun Boy's friendship is highlighted in this back-up tale

Legion of Super-Heroes (v7) #5
Polar Boy is very popular in the future

Legion of Super-Heroes (v7) #17
Polar Boy is present when his best friend Sun Boy is killed

Legion of Super-Heroes (v7) #22
Polar Boy defeats Tharos, the man ultimately responsible for Sun Boy's death

Legion of Super-Heroes animated series
One of several non-speaking cameos Polar Boy had

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