Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Who's Who: Leland McCauley

Leland McCauley
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Leland McCauley III
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Legion Log
Leland McCauley held a grudge against R.J. Brande because before Brande showed up, McCauley was the richest man in the universe. After Brande's successes, McCauley fell to number two and lower, on a constant downward spiral.

When he was still The Second Richest Man in the Universe, Leland McCauley was accused of financing a criminal group called Scorpius. The Legion and the Legion of Substitute Heroes were able to shut down this group, but no specific ties were found connecting McCauley to Scorpius.

The Legion later took advantage of McCauley's wealth when they undertook a complicated scheme to break a crime organization on the planet Modo. Although they replaced the money that they had "borrowed" from him after the successful completion of their mission, McCauley never forgave them for the way he felt that they had used him.

At some point after this, Leland McCauley III went on a diet, a training regimen, and either bought a wig or had a hair transplant, as he no longer resembled the bald somewhat overweight gentleman he appeared to be in his first appearances.

Later, McCauley's son Leland McCauley IV went on a joy ride to his father's automated planet, Gyrich. The younger McCauley did not know that it had been taken over by a former employee who wanted revenge against his father. The Legion stepped in and rescued the son, who was initially against the Legion due to his upbringing. Eventually he saw that the Legionnaires were altruistic, so he helped them and eventually thanked them for saving his life. No word exists on how his father took the news that "Brande's toys" had saved his son's life.

Leland McCauley III was in the news again when his former "pet," a Protean from the planet Antares, left his "employ" when the Proteans were granted Human Rights. McCauley was initially afraid that his pet would "rat" on him, revealing several semi-illegal activities that he was either responsible for or aware of, but the Protean never took the trouble to file a report with any law enforcement agency.

After McCauley had fallen to being only The Eleventh Richest Man in the Universe, he became especially agitated and decided to plot to destroy Brande. He hired a would-be assassin named Charon to infiltrate Brande's staff and assassinate him, but the Legion foiled that plan. However, Brande did decide to leave his asteroid home to wander the stars in search of adventure; this thrilled McCauley to no end. Whether McCauley was then able to inch his way back up the Richest Men list was never revealed, but over the course of the 5 years following the Magic Wars, his son takes over the business.

One of McCauley's products, the "Omnicom", was featured prominently throughout the "Five Years Later" era, including ones used by various Legionnaires to store and send messages, keep diaries and write reports. They appear to be a kind of personal communicator. His cousin Celeste (under the surname "Rockfish") becomes a member of the Legion.

In this time frame, McCauley IV was apparently involved in the Resistance movement against the Dominators, and emerged as a powerful political figure after Earth was freed from Dominion control. For a time, not only did he have control over (one) Eye of Ekron, but he held R.J. Brande, Chameleon Boy, Dev-Em, Kid Quantum, and a group of Proteans in stasis as exhibits, about which he gloated to his father, who got his revenge on him by calling the Legion. McCauley IV then attempted to reform the Fatal Five as his personal supervillain team. Inevitably, he lost control of them and was left disfigured. It was also revealed he was an extreme germaphobe who does not venture beyond his immaculately maintained habitat.

In the Reboot, Leland McCauley is a powerful weapons dealer and business rival to R.J. Brande, operating from a lunar base. This McCauley resembled the younger version, but was never referred to as "IV". Jealous of Brande, he funds his own private superhero team called the Workforce whose members have included Live Wire, Ultra Boy, and Karate Kid. His weapons trade attracted the enmity of Mano whose world had been destroyed by war, but the Legion saved his life. While the Workforce worked with the Legion from time to time, McCauley never stopped scheming from behind the scenes. Doctor Regulus was in his employ when this solar-powered villain killed Leviathan. The Dark Circle used his space-time portal technology to invade Durla, an event that almost collapsed reality. Around this time, he was possibly in a relationship with the Khund armorer Amelia Crugg, and had convinced her and Legion wannabe Lori Morning (and her H Dial) to join Workforce.

Some time later, after the lost members of the Legion returned to known space, Leland McCauley had become President of the United Planets. Again, he had a private superhero team, this time working for the presidency, which included M'Onel. While fighting them, the Legion discovered the skeleton of Leland McCauley in a sewer, meaning the president was an impostor. The impostor was eventually revealed as the immortal Ra's al Ghul.

Leland McCauley does not appear in the Threeboot.

After Infinite Crisis, Leland McCauley's original history has presumably been more or less restored. His only known appearance is during the so-called Final Crisis, where he assassinates R.J. Brande, revealing to the United Planets council that the Legion benefactor was really a Durlan, before aging rapidly and turning to dust, implying the Time Trapper had a hand in this event.

A 21st-Century Leland McCauley also made an appearance in Gotham City during the "Battle for the Cowl" event, as a member of the Order of Purity, helping to install the new Azrael. This version is apparently killed by a bullet to the head. What relationship, if any, this character has to the 30th-Century McCauleys is unknown, whether distant ancestor, first of the name (then skipping many generations), or simple coincidence.

Important McCauley stories:

Adventure Comics #374
(reprinted in The Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8
and Showcase Presents: The Legion Vol. 4)
The introduction of Leland McCauley

Adventure Comics #377
(reprinted in The Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9
and Showcase Presents: The Legion Vol. 4)
The return of Leland McCauley III

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #214
(reprinted in The Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 12
and Showcase Presents: The Legion Vol. 5)
The debut of  Leland McCauley IV

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #13
(reprinted in The Legion: The More Things Change TPB)
Leland McCauley stews in his hatred of RJ Brande

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #17
McCauley's plot to get rid of Brande  ends up being successful

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #35
Five years later, McCauley IV is working with Universo and the Resistance to
gain political power

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #39
McCauley IV shows McCauley III his collection of heroes

Legionnaires #4
McCauley reassembles the Fatal Five

Legionnaires #6
McCauley is disfigured in battle against a jilted Emerald Empress

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #63, Legionnaires #20
The Reboot's McCauley calls on the Legion to protect him from Mano

Legionnaires) #21
McCauley builds his own super team - Workforce!

Legionnaires #39, Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #83
McCauley becomes indirectly responsible for the death of Leviathan when
Doctor Regulus gets out of control on a polluted world he owns

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #103
McCauley gains control of the Fires of Creation

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #106-109, Legionnaires #62-65
McCauley works with the Dark Circle to help them achieve their ends,
and a hint that there's something happening with the Khundish Amilia Crugg

Legionnaires #69
McCauley replenishes the ranks of his team with Crugg and Lori Morning's H-Dial

Legion Worlds #1
McCauley is now president of the United Planets

Legion Worlds #6
As president, McCauley disbands the Legion

The Legion #2
McCauley's skeleton is found in the sewers; so who's the president?

The Legion #3
President McCauley fights M'Onel and proves to be Ra's al Ghul

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1
Leland McCauley III returns to kill R.J. Brande, then turns to dust

Azrael: Death's Dark Knight #1
A 21st-Century Leland McCauley is part of the Order of Purity (he dies in the same issue)

1 comment:

  1. I think Leland could become The Richest Man in the Universe again if the guy stopped spending his money on fancy future plastic surgery. Seriously that's gotta be the only reason why the Silver Age Leland has such an inconsistent character model.