Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Who's Who: Ferro Lad

Ferro Lad
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Andrew Nolan
Super-Power(s): Ability to turn his body into an iron-like substance
Planet of Origin: Earth
Legion Seniority: Ferro Lad was one of the four members who joined during the Open Call immediately prior to the Khund Invasion. Traditionally, Princess Projectra is listed first among them, followed by Ferro Lad, and then Karate Kid, making him Legionnaire #23.

Legion Log 
Ferro Lad made his debut during the open call for applicants during the first Khund invasion attempt of Earth. However, during their first mission, the new members were suspected of helping the Khunds. Although the traitor turned out to be Nemesis Kid, the three others bonded under the adversity of suspicion and became good friends.

Ferro Lad was born with the mutant power to change his body into a nearly indestructible iron-like form. He and his twin brother, Douglas, both had this ability, but while it made their bodies incredibly strong, it made their faces hideously ugly. They both covered their faces whenever they went out in public. Andrew was the more out-going and determined brother, while Douglas was the more shy and introverted brother. Andrew applied to the Legion as soon as he was old enough, intent on making what he considered a weakness into a strength. As he had hoped, he was accepted into the Legion, both officially and socially. No one cared that he hid his face, and for the first time in his young life he was accepted by others outside his family.

Unfortunately, only a few months after becoming a Legionnaire, Ferro Lad was on duty when the Sun-Eater menaced the universe. Even recruiting five of the galaxy's worst criminals - they would become the Fatal Five - the Sun-Eater could not be stopped. The super-intelligent criminal Tharok created an absorbatron bomb, but did not have time to create a propulsion unit for it. Superboy offered to carry the bomb into the core of the menace, but Ferro Lad, knowing that red sun radiation was part of the Sun-Eater, knocked down the unsuspecting Superboy and delivered the bomb himself. The Sun-Eater was atomized, but only at the cost of young Ferro Lad's life.

The Legion immediately launched a cenotaph to the cemetery planet, Valhalla, to mark Ferro Lad's courage. Soon after, it appeared as if the ghost of Ferro Lad was angry at the Legion for causing his death,  especially at the four members present when he died. However, it turned out that this was a plot of a renegade Controller, the same alien who had created the Sun-Eater. Thanks to spiritual assistance from the real (?) ghost of Ferro Lad, the Legion was able to defeat this menace.

Several years after his death, Ferro Lad returned to life as a result of a cloning experiment. He had the memories, experiences, and courage of the dead hero, but unfortunately ceased to live after 48 hours due to the unstable nature of the cloning process.

As soon as Douglas heard that his twin brother was dead, he fell into a catatonic state. Several years later, Brainiac 5 and Rond Vidar were attempting to cure him when they realized that Douglas was mentally "traveling" between various alternate timelines. Douglas eventually disappeared, most likely in a timeline where he replaced his dead brother in the Legion as the second Ferro Lad.

It was eventually revealed that Andrew and Douglas were the sons of actress Luiza Karamonte and billionaire heir A.D. Nolan. After Andrew died and Douglas disappeared, Karamonte sold the rights to their stories to Hollywood to make The Story of Ferro Lad. The motion picture series currently has five sequels.

Several years after creating him, Jim Shooter said in an interview published in The Legion Companion that he had intended to make Ferro Lad the first black Legionnaire. When editor Mort Weisinger did not allow that, Shooter decided to kill him instead.

In the briefly dominant reality known as the "Glorithverse", Andrew Nolan becomes a freedom fighter, masked because of his disfigurement. He sacrifices his life to protect the spell that erases this time line.

Five years after the Magic Wars, Ferro Lad was one of the members of the SW6 Legionnaires, a temporal clone Legion discovered on Dominion-controlled Earth, and appeared in Legionnaires when it was spun-off into its own series as, simply, Ferro.

After the Reboot, Andrew Nolan and his twin brother Douglas were born in the 20th century, and left in the care of the evil Doc 30 when their mother discovered she couldn't bear to look at their deformed faces. He escaped the institution and lived on the streets for a while, until a Sun-Eater threatened Earth in the events known as Final Night. Inspired by Superman and other heroes, Andrew started helping them with the crisis as Ferro. Taking Superman's place in a suicide mission to destroy the Sun-Eater, he was prevented from sacrificing his life by Hal Jordan who, as Parallax, destroyed the Sun-Eater himself.

Shortly thereafter, the time-displaced members of the Legion invited Ferro to join them, unofficially at first, then, after his brother died in a failed attempt to spring him from Doc 30's institution, officially. He followed them to the 30th century when they returned home. He served on the team until a group of Legionnaires was lost in an unknown galaxy and the Legion disbanded. He accompanied Karate Kid to Steeple, where he planned to study with pacifists, and was stranded there when the planet was cut off from the rest of the galaxy by black hole activity, until Brainiac 5 found a way to retrieve him, just in time for Ferro, Karate Kid and other forgotten Legionnaires to turn the tide against Universo. Due to injuries sustained on Steeple, he is currently trapped in his metallic form.

After the Threeboot, no version of Ferro Lad seems to exist.

After Infinite Crisis, Ferro Lad's original history has more or less been re-established, which means he has been dead for some time.

Ferro Lad appeared on the cartoon series, The Legion of Super-Heroes, voiced by Dave Wittenberg. True to the original story, he sacrifices his life defeating a Sun-Eater, though a later episode shows his body floating in space, promising a resurrection that never came. He also had a cameo (as a memorial statue) in Justice League Unlimited's "Far From Home".

Important Ferro Lad Stories: 

Adventure Comics #346
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 5)
Ferro Lad makes his debut, joining the Legion

Adventure Comics #347
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 5)
Ferro Lad helps fight back against the Khund Invasion

Adventure Comics #350
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
Ferro Lad doesn't trust the masked Sir Prize

Adventure Comics #351
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
Ferro Lad faces The Hag's prediction for his fate

Adventure Comics #352
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
Ferro Lad saves Mano, who soon helps form the Fatal Five

Adventure Comics #353
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
Ferro Lad sacrifices himself to save the galaxy

Adventure Comics #354
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
Ferro Lad is immortalized in the Adult Legion story

Adventure Comics #354
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
Ferro Lad's twin brother Douglas works to join the Legion

Adventure Comics #357
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
The Ghost of Ferro Lad....?!

Superboy/Legion #206
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 11)
Ferro Lad returns to life? 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #300
In a sequel to the Adult Legion story, 
Douglas Nolan joins the Legion of an alternate reality

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #31
 Flashback to an untold Ferro Lad, Princess Projectra, and Karate Kid adventure

Secret Origins #47
The Secret Origin of Ferro Lad... and its sequels
Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #5
In the Glorithverse, Andrew Nolan is a masked freedom fighter who
protects the spell that will set time right by fighting Mano

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #41
Revealed as a member of the SW6 Legion in Legion of Super-Heroes (vol.4) #24
the group becomes the Legionnaires; Ferro drops the "Lad" and is a member

Legionnaires #6
Ferro fights Mano once again, his connection to the Fatal Five apparently destiny

Legionnaires #16
Zero Hour changes Ferro's history so that he is long dead again

Adventures of Superman #540
Reboot Ferro was born in the 20th century; this is his first appearance

Final Night #2
Ferro joins the other heroes of Earth during Final Night

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #86 / Final Night #4
Ferro chooses to sacrifice his life to destroy the Sun-Eater, 
but Parallax has other plans

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #89
Ferro is asked to move in with the time-stranded Legionnaires

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #93
Ferro's attempt to rescue his twin brother ends in tragedy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #94
Though rejected by Inferno, Ferro officially joins the Legion, 
and makes new costumes for everyone

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #100
Ferro travels to the 30th century with the rest of the Legion

Legionnaires #58
Ferro acclimates to his new home in the future

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #112
Ferro and Triad explore the feelings they have for each other; also, fight for their lives

Legion Worlds #5
Ferro is gravely injured on Steeple, where he and Karate Kid are stranded

The Legion #22
Ferro is instrumental in defeating Universo and freeing the Legion from his clutches

Legion of Super-Heroes animated series
Ferro Lad, voiced by Dave Wittenberg

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