Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"The Origin of the Legion of Super-Heroes!"

Until May 1968 no one knew exactly how or why the Legion of Super-Heroes had been formed. In every story that the subject came up, a member would say only that Superboy and Supergirl had inspired the group to create itself.

Until Superboy #147 (May 1968), that is. According to Paul Levitz, writer-editor E. Nelson Bridwell came up with it. "Perhaps the most significant story (he) crafted was the first and still the definite telling of the origin of the Legion of Super-Heroes. (Bridwell) laid out the tale as he had assembled it from pieces scattered in stories he'd read, written, or helped edit over the years. And (he) pinned down a little part of the universe he cared about."

Here for your enjoyment is the original origin of the Legion, featuring vibrant art by Pete Costanza, years before he had his more famous son, George. Even though this story is from 1968, the art has a  retro Fifties Science Fiction feel to it. It's easy on the eyes, which makes the fantastic Triplicate Girl  and Phantom Girl even more eye-popping when they do appear.

Title: The Origin of the Legion!
Credits: written by E. Nelson Bridwell, art by Pete Constanza
Cover: a rare combination of Curt Swan (penciller) and Neal Adams (inker)
(per credits in Legion of Super-Heroes Archive Vol 8)
Roll Call: Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Invisible Kid

On a personal note, I first read this story not in the original Superboy issue or in the Archive but in a little-known reprint title from the early Seventies called Secret Origins.
Compare the cover below to the original Superboy cover. It's easy to see where Nick Cardy got his inspiration, but it is odd how he switched characters Lightning Lad is featured twice! 

1 comment:

  1. I have that issue too. That splash page is a hoot, it looks like those statues are doing the Krypton Crawl or something,