Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day is a day in the US on which those who died in active military service are remembered. It began as a type of catharsis after the US Civil War, which ended in April 1865. Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971. 

In the 30th and 31st Century, the Legion has had several members fall while on active service. Today, we honor them. 

Triplicate Girl was the first Legionnaire to die in battle. She was captured by Computo, who cold-bloodedly murdered her. Luckily for her, it did not realize that she had already split into three, and that only one of her selves was killed. Triplicate Girl then became Duo Damsel. 

Nearly a year later, Ferro Lad nobly sacrificed himself to save the universe by carrying an absorbatron bomb into the heart of the Sun-Eater, destroying it utterly. 

Several years later, the first Invisible Kid tried to stop the nefarious Tharok from returning to full power. Tharok then ordered the monstrous Validus to crush the Legionnaire to death. 

When the Dark Circle agent Deregon attempted to start World War VII, Chemical King gave his life to stop the explosion of a nuclear power-sphere, saving millions of lives. 

Karate Kid battled Nemesis Kid after the Legion of Super-Villains took over the planet Orando. Although Karate Kid could not stop Nemesis Kid, he was able to thwart their plans of conquest by destroying their teleportation network. 

Supergirl died when the Anti-Monitor blasted her full-on with his anti-matter energy. She saved the universe, but paid the ultimate price. 

Superboy fought hard against the plottings of the Time Trapper, managing to save his Earth from both the Crisis and from the Trapper's clutches. However, the stress of the time and dimensional travel he undertook exhausted his Kryptonian physiology, and he passed away. 

During the Magic Wars the evil Arch Mage required a living sacrifice in order to break through his magical wall surrounding the Sorcerers' Planet. Like Ferro Lad before him, young Magnetic Kid selflessly decided that he would give up his life to give the universe a fighting chance.  

Blok was in the midst of a deep zen concentration when the mass murderer Kivun Roxxas came upon him and, in a bloodlust fury, murdered him by breaking him into several pieces. 

These and others have been portrayed as having given the ultimate sacrifice. I truly believe that by reading about this type of heroism, it makes it easier for us to live our lives well. 

All Gave Some, 
Some Gave All


  1. I guess it's OK that you didn't include Lightning Lad, who got better... until The Unspeakable happened.

    Or, rather, didn't happen. I refuse to accept it.

  2. I'd never want to value the death of a fictional character above the loss of a living person; one doesn't want to devalue the sacrifices Memorial Day represents. But fictional deaths can make us mourn. I cried over some of these books.
    Nevertheless, the Legion deaths - like most fictional deaths - tend to be clear cut, intentionally noble and self-giving, living up to their (and our) ideals. Which I think is a great use of fiction, because keeping my ideals clear gives me a chance to live up to them, a chance to actually make the real world a better place.

  3. Sun Boy died in a most unspectacular way in the most recent incarnation of the Legion. Smooshed into the pilot's seat of the Legion Cruiser he crashed. Of course I think they already knew the title was folding when they wrote it. I think Star Boy died when a door closed on him, Mon-El was blown to pieces. Death & Dismemberment came on the cheap... at the end.

  4. The one thing that the Legion deaths all have in common, even the silly murders of Sun Boy and Star Boy at the end, is that they remained permanent during their characters' continuity. It cheapens the emotional connection to think that so-and-so's clone is out there somewhere after the Terrible Such-and-Such killed him. In these stories, the Legionnaires made the ultimate sacrifice and there was no "happy" ending.
    Kinda more like real life.