Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Who's Who: Lamprey

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Tayla Skott
Super-Power(s): Water-breathing, shoots static electricity
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Legion cadet

Legion Log
Lamprey as a character appeared as an applicant for membership at the same time as Blok, Nightwind, and Crystal Kid. Each had gotten past the initial interviews and power displays and were on their second (final?) review when the Starburst Bandits managed to free themselves from captivity and attack Metropolis. Because there were few Legionnaires on Earth on duty at the time, Wildfire suggested that Lamprey and the other applicants "ride along" as the Legion headed out. However, the applicants believed that the Starburst Bandits menace was actually an elaborate ruse created by the Legion to test them, so Lamprey, Nightwind, and Crystal Kid were knocked out by the Bandits immediately without even demonstrating their powers (to the readers).

Later, Lamprey and her two friends continued their training with Wildfire, who took pity on them after their defeat in their "trial by fire." At this time Lamprey explained that she could live under water and also project strong electrical shocks. However, neither ability proved useful in taking down an energy being such as Wildfire. Lamprey and her friends were again denied membership in the Legion.

After the formal creation of the Legion Academy, Lamprey and her friends enrolled there. She shared a room with Nightwind, who would become her best friend.

At about this time Lamprey altered her uniform and appearance; whether this was by choice or by evolution was never made clear. It did not appear to be linked to any particular increase in power or abilities, however.

Lamprey's origin was never shared in an actual Legion story. Her Who's Who profile contradicts the profile mentioned in her first appearance in Amazing World of DC Comics #14, so it is possible that neither is correct, or that parts of both are true.

During the so-called Five-Year Gap, the Academy was closed down. At a later point, former Academy instructors Luornu Durgo Taine (formerly Duo Damsel) and Chuck Taine (formerly Bouncing Boy) became the Co-Instructor Generals of the United Planets Militia Academy on Xolnar, and invited Lamprey to join its staff.

Lamprey appears in neither the Reboot nor Threeboot.

After Infinite Crisis, Lamprey's original history has presumably been more or less restored. She finally graduates from the Academy, but is not considered Legion material. She instead takes an assignment with the Science Police on the planet Houp.

Important Lamprey stories:

Amazing World of DC Comics #14

Original Lamprey illustration by John Workman,
based on the concept by Legion fan Scott Taylor

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #272
The debut of  Lamprey as Legion Try-Out

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #283
Lamprey gets another try-out, which goes a bit better than her first

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #304
Lamprey is now a student at the Legion Academy
with a new look, but still good friends with Nightwind

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v2) #3
Lamprey is still a student at the Legion Academy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #47
Lamprey is still a student at the Legion Academy; she has a more human appearance again 
(that's her directly behind Bouncing Boy)

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #57

Five Years Later, Lamprey is one of the United Planets Militia instructors
Adventure Comics #523-525

After the Retroboot, Lamprey is still at Legion Academy
Adventure Comics #525

Lamprey's final evaluation does not yield the results she wanted
Adventure Comics #528

Lamprey graduates from Legion Academy


  1. I've always loved Lamprey. I thought her power set was pretty cool. Her original look was good, but I liked Giffen's revamp (though he should have kept her skin green). Further adjustments to her appearance failed, as did her being relegated to an assignment on a frontier world.

    Perhaps she will return someday, maybe as a rebound-turned-good-friend of Wildfire's, as Legion Lost seemed to indicate Dawnstar moving out of Drake's orbit and into Brin's...

    1. ...return not just as a romantic aside, but as a partner in crime at the forefront of battles, after a quick fling or something. #fanfiction (haha).

  2. Small correction needed. It's Nightwind, not Northwind.

    Poor Lamprey probably would never be a contender because her abilities were electrical in nature. The death touch is news to me though. Of note, a lamprey is not actually an eel, nor an electric eel, which is not an eel at all! Also, transuits would help any character survive in a water environment so chalk it up to a poorly designed character for the Legion.

    The Marvel character Lamprey probably had abilities more befitting an actually lamprey.

    1. Fixed it! This is what we, in the blogging game, call a brain freeze!