Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Who's Who: Dr. Gym'll

Dr. Gym'll
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Gym'll
Super-Power(s): Ability to grow and/or hide additional arms
Planet of Origin: Jaquaa
Relationship to Legion: Team doctor

Legion Log
Dr. Gym'll first appeared when Light Lass and Timber Wolf visited Medicus One in order for Timber Wolf to undergo plastic surgery. At this time, Dr. Gym'll was an on-call doctor at the facility and was not the Legion's official physician.

In his second appearance, Dr. Gym'll made a house call to the Legion headquarters to look in on a bedridden Lighting Lad. After this incident it seems Dr. Gym'll chose to respond to the Legion's requests for a personal physician. Although he was often gruff and grouchy when having to deal with them, it seems unlikely that he couldn't turn over their cases to another doctor if he really had wanted to terminate his relationship with them.

During this time Dr. Gym'll helped Cosmic Boy's parents and brother after a fireball incident in Metropolis, escorted a restored Matter-Eater Lad back to Bismoll, watched over a recuperating Shrinking Violet as she rehabilitated herself after more than six months in a Sense-Deprivation Tank, and helped nurse Colossal Boy back into shape after he had his legs broken by Starfinger.

And of course, Dr. Gym'll was the doctor on call when Saturn Girl gave birth to her son(s).

During the Magic Wars Dr. Gym'll, due to his close relationship with the Legion, was chosen to oversee the drafting of their headquarters as a makeshift hospital after most power and equipment in Metropolis had begun to fail.

After the so-called Five-Year Gap, Dr. Gym'll is consulted when Timber Wolf is transformed into the creature known as Furball, but he seems to be strictly working within the Dominator-controlled Earthgov's parameters. He does still cross paths with Legionnaires, an illegal interaction that could have cost him dearly, and was on Medicus One when the Moon exploded. By the time Earth had been liberated, he was once again the Legion's favored physician.

After the Reboot, Dr. Gym'll is hired by Triad to work as the Legion's resident physician, just in time to deal with Live Wire losing an arm and Apparition being released from Ultra Boy's body. During his career in this timeline, he also studied Star Boy's new powers, consulted on Ferro Lad's deformity, Ayla Ranzz's change of powers, and Apparition's child, and was on hand for Sensor's metamorphosis into a humanoid. He is grievously wounded during a prison escape/assassination attempt on the Legion in which he volunteered for dangerous duty. The fact that he isn't seen again before the timeline collapses may mean he died from those wounds.

After the Threeboot, Dr. Gym'll fails to make an appearance.

After Infinite Crisis, Dr. Gym'll's original history has presumably been more or less restored. During the so-called Final Crisis, he had gone into politics and was a member of the United Planets council, presumably representing Jaquaa. He was briefly pulled back into active duty when Dawnstar was badly injured. During this time, he had a nephew at Legion Academy called Variable Lad.

Note: When Dr. Gym'll first appeared, he clearly had four arms. A quick glance at some of his other appearances, as shown below, will show that he then bounced back and forth between having three or four appendages, until finally deciding on three.

Important Dr. Gym'll stories:

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #284
 (reprinted in LSH: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe)
Dr. Gym'll makes his debut as a surgeon on-call at Medicus One

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #290
 (reprinted in LSH: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe)
Dr. Gym'll is called in to diagnose Lightning Lad's erratic behavior

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #296
 (reprinted in LSH: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe)
Dr. Gym'll is called in to help Metropolis when it is a victim of a "fire-bombing"

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #297
 (reprinted in LSH: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe)
Dr. Gym'll escorts Matter-Eater Lad back to Bismoll

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #312
 (reprinted in LSH: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe)
Shrinking Violet ignores Gym'll's advice to stay off Active Duty

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #315
 (reprinted in LSH: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe)
Dr. Gym'll refuses to examine the original Invisible Kid, recently returned from the dead

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v1) #3
 (reprinted in LSH: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe)
Dr. Gym'll helps deliver the son(s) of Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #316
 (reprinted in LSH: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe)
Dr. Gym'll gives Saturn Girl and son a clean bill of health

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #19
Dr. Gym'll takes away Invisible Kid's unwanted teleportation power

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #62
Dr. Gym'll is tasked with running a make-shift hospital from Legion HQ during the Magic Wars

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #6
Dr. Gym'll is consulted when Timber Wolf becomes Furball

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #18

Five years after the Magic Wars, Dr. Gym'll is working for Earthgov because he must,
and is outraged when the Legionnaires cross his path, putting his safety at risk

Legionnaires #38

After the Reboot, Dr. Gym'll is hired as the Legion's resident physician

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #101

Dr. Gym'll believes Ayla Ranzz's antigrav powers could kill her

Legionnaires #62

Dr. Gym'll tries is stumped (and disrespected) when Legionnaires come out of a space-time anomaly changed

The Legion #17-18

Dr. Gym'll monitors Sensor's cocoon

The Legion #36-37

Element Lad consults Dr. Gym'll on his new inorganic body

The Legion #36-37

Dr. Gym'll volunteers for duty to help the Legion during a prison break/assassination attempt 
and is grievously
Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1

After the Retroboot, Dr. Gym'll, now former physician to the Legion, gives them his political support

Legion of Super-Heroes (v6) #8, 10
Tellus forces Dr. Gym'll back into the fold when Dawnstar is seriously injured

Adventure Comics #524

Dr. Gym'll has a nephew enrolled in Legion Academy, Variable Lad


  1. I really get a kick out of seeing Dr. Gym'll. Through several continuities, he has a persistent characterization as a curmudgeonly and extremely competent doctor. The number of people who Brainy finds skilled isn't that high, yet Brainy consistently admires Gym'll's medical skills. That really is high praise. He isn't a regular character, but he's there when you need him and really helps to flesh out the supporting characters of legion lore.

  2. Levitz said that his greatest weakness was creating original villains, and I can't disagree with him. But he was excellent at creating these one-off background characters that take on a life of their own. Dr. Gym'll, Oli-Queen the tour guide, the one-eyed alien that Ambush Bug hangs Superman's cape on, Gigi Cusimano... anyone else wanna toss out an example?

  3. Dr.Gym'll is such a great character and his interactions with the Legionaries has always been entertaining. But I really grew fond of his nephew.....So I was really sad to see him die.