Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Who's Who: Tellus

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Ganglios
Super-Power(s): Telepathy and telekinesis
Planet of Origin: Hykraius
Legion Seniority: Tellus joined as one of the five "rookies" after the founders retired from active duty. Polar Boy was listed first as the "senior" rookie, then Sensor Girl was originally listed next. When her status changed, Tellus moved up from Legionnaire #38 to became Legionnaire #37. Tellus was the last Legionnaire to join during the Bronze Age.

Legion Log 
Tellus made his debut as a student at the Legion Academy. He was one of the few on his methane-breathing watery world to ever want to leave "Great Mother Ocean." During his travels offworld he learned of the Legion and was so inspired by them that he came to Earth to learn to use his abilities in the service of good. 

While still a student at the Legion Academy, Tellus met Wildfire, who visited the Academy regularly. Wildfire learned of Tellus' inability to travel due to Earth's "harsh" environment and had Brainiac 5 invent a portable life-support "helmet" for Tellus, which enabled him to leave his quarters at the Academy and make friends in the "real world." Later, when Saturn Girl announced her retirement from the Legion, Tellus applied. His mastery of telepathy as well as telekinesis, and his fresh perspective and genuinely good heart, gained him membership.

Tellus was a member in good standing for more than two years. At first he was content to stay in the background, unsure of himself and overwhelmed by his new responsibilities. He was also unfamiliar with the universe outside of his native planet, making him self-conscious in his work. His first few cases, too, did not end well: he was unable to ascertain that Universo had mass-hypnotized several SP officers, for example, and he was overwhelmed by the power of Validus. However, after Tellus helped save Mon-El's life and then battled the new Fatal Five, he became more self-confident and assertive. By the time there was a Conspiracy in the Legion, he actually challenged senior members such as Brainiac 5 and Saturn Girl. 

Tellus was good-natured and friendly with all of his fellow Legionnaires. However, he was especially close to Magnetic Kid, who he knew from their days at the Legion Academy and who had joined the Legion at the same time as he did. Tellus originally thought of all of the senior members as his mentors, and trusted them implicitly. However, after he learned of the Conspiracy, he began to trust people a little less. He did still enjoy "talking" telepathically with Saturn Girl, though. And although he shared the same hobby as Blok, namely studying human behavior, the two Legionnaires were never shown comparing notes. 

Tellus' personal quarters consisted of a large pool filled with methane gas and liquid from his home planet, Hykraius. When not soaking there, he would often be in the Legion pool.

Legion of Super-Heroes artist Steve Lightle has said that he came up with the visual and back-story for Tellus after the scene in LSH (v2) #304 (reprinted below) where Lamprey and Nightwind talk about an alien student at the Legion Academy. He has also said that Tellus was never supposed to have fingers, but because guest-artist Ernie Colon accidentally drew them in Tellus' second appearance, they have reappeared off and on ever since.

No version of Tellus is known to exist after the Reboot or the Threeboot.

After Infinite Crisis, Tellus' history has more or less been re-established. After the death of the Legion's benefactor, R. J. Brande, he joined a new assembly of the Espionage Squad and traveled back to the 21st century in order to shepherd Mon-El to his destiny. During this time Tellus became - possibly intentionally - a captive of the Cadmus Project, where he was instrumental in guiding the Guardian to his own destiny. Guardian eventually freed him and, after giving Green Lantern Sodam Yat information about the future, and becoming a legend in Smallville as "the monster of Bruin Lake", he returned to the 31st Century. Some time later, Tellus became one of the Legionnaires trapped in the 21st Century while pursuing a time-traveling genetic terrorist. He has since returned to the 31st Century under unknown circumstances.

Important Tellus Stories: 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #304

The character that would eventually be revealed to be Tellus is mentioned 
by Legion Academy students Lamprey and Nightwind

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #9
Tellus makes his debut in a group shot at the Legion Academy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #12
Tellus speaks, gets a first name, and has fingers in his second appearance

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #14
Tellus officially joins the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #17
Tellus doubts his abilities (matched against the villainy of Universo)

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #18
Tellus meets Validus....who is somehow telepathically "familiar" to him

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #22
Tellus cannot stop Universo's lackey from destroying his own mind

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #23
Tellus helps rescue Mon-El from the Phantom Zone

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #25
Tellus is able to "read" the mental records on Titan, a planet of telepaths

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #25-26
Tellus helps the Legion battle the Fatal Five

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #28
Tellus wants to be the best Legionnaire he can be

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #29
Tellus leads a group of Legionnaires to his home planet

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #29
Tellus knows Wildfire has a good heart, even if he comes off brash and annoying

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #30-32
Tellus returns to his home planet, Hykraius

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #34
Tellus prefers to die free than to live enslaved.

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #46
Tellus stumbles upon a Conspiracy in the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #47
Tellus confides in Magnetic Kid and Duo Damsel regarding the Conspiracy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #48
We get a glimpse of Tellus' personal quarters as he 
joins Magnetic Kid and Sensor Girl to fight against the Conspiracy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #48
Tellus confronts Saturn Girl regarding the Conspiracy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #52-53
 Telepathy, magnetism, and lighting team up again 
as Tellus, Magnetic Kid, and Lighting Lass go to Braal

Superman #685
Tellus is a captive of Cadmus Project and Guardian's guide
during a secret mission in the 21st century

Superman #689
Tellus is freed from Cadmus
Superman #690
Tellus shares informaiton important to secure the future to Green Lantern Sodam Yat
Adventure Comics (v2) #1
Tellus becomes the "Monster of Bruin Lake" in Smallville's folklore
Adventure Comics (v2) #9
Tellus is a major participant in The Last Stand of Krypton
Legion of Super-Heroes (v6) #15
Tellus, now more confident than in the early days of his membership, succumbs to Saturn Queen's powers
Legion Lost (v2) #1-16
Tellus was one of the Legionnaires Lost in the 21st Century after Flashpoint

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