Thursday, October 2, 2014

Superboy #183

Superboy #183 (March 1972)
A review by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage
title: "War Of The Wraith-Mates!"
writer: Cary Bates
penciller: George Tuska
inker: Vince Colletta
letterer: Joe Letterese
editor: Murray Boltinoff
cover: Nick Cardy

Mission Monitor Board:  
Mon-El, Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, Shadow Lass

Vege-Demon with an attitude, space-wraiths Krogl & Marlxa

On a cosmic double-date (to a triple feature on Cargg?), the two couples have their cruiser attacked by some unseen force, causing them to crash-land on an asteroid. Once on the ground, the men and  women fight amongst themselves, calling each other by different names. In the midst of a squabble between Mon-El and Shadow Lass a Vegemite Demon springs up out of its garbage can and yells, "Knock it off!", crushing poor Shadow Lass in the bargain. The other three Legionnaires snap out of their haze, and working as a team attack, confuse, and trap the Vege-Demon. Mon-El has an internal dialogue for the benefit of us readers (great guy, that Mon), telling us what kind of creature the Vege-Demon is and how to stop it. Frankly, I think Mon has been spending too much time with Chlorophyll Kid. With the monster out of the way, the Legionnaires are happy to see that Shadow Lass isn't dead after all. Oh joy, oh rapture! The space wraiths Archie and Edith "tell" them that they had to posses each of them in order to revitalize their own energies. They are now recharged and ready to go on their merry way, possessing others in their endless struggle to live and love.

When did the book The Exorcist come out? I think Cary Bates must have read that book while watching All In The Family to come up with this clunker. Or maybe he had seen the Star Trek episode, "Return To Tomorrow," where Spock, Kirk, and Diana Muldaur are possessed by alien life forces. It didn't really work there, and it definitely doesn't work here. This story is just plain dumb. Of course, it doesn't help that Shadow Lass is dressed in a golden bikini, or that Princess Projectra is wearing a halter and a pair of short shorts! Or that Karate Kid wanted to get in on marketing his own "brand", so he plastered a hand logo on his otherwise perfectly fine karate-gi. This was the one and only appearance of these outfits, created by fans....dare I say, "obviously"? 

Science Police Notes:  
  • The Legion had not appeared in a new story for the past six issues of Superboy. However, in that interim they did appear in various reprints. Fan reaction must have been positive enough to get this new story. 
  • For the first time in a Superboy back-up, the Teen of Steel does not appear in or narrate the story.  
  • If the wraiths could communicate with the Legionnaires, why didn't they ask first before possessing them? 
Reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archive Vol. 10
....and their kind were directly responsible for her "death," so....yeah. 


  1. So, these are the fan fashions from that feature you guys posted last week. Did they ALL get used at some point?


    1. No, the only one still to appear is Phantom Girl, in a cameo coming up in 2 weeks.