Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Who's Who: Molecule Master

Molecule Master
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: None
Super-Power(s): Able to break molecular bonds and reconfigure them, either into blasts and force shields or into different forms (such as bending street lamps into hand-cuffs)
Planet of Origin: Not known; presumably The End of Time
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Legion Log
Molecule Master appeared at one of the Legion's open calls for new members. He made it through the initial stages (along with Porcupine Pete and Infectious Lass). He then made it past the demonstration of his powers, and seemed to be on his way to becoming a Legionnaire.

However, Molecule Master was actually an android created with one mission: infiltrate Legion headquarters, murder the Legionnaires, and steal the Miracle Machine. He might have succeeded except for the timely intervention of Wildfire, who was immune to the poison Molecule Master was using to murder the other Legionnaires. Wildfire, knowing that the Molecule Master was not a living creature, destroyed it.

Later, another Molecule Master fought another group of Legionnaires who were trapped in Superboy's Smallville by the Time Trapper. It was during this encounter that it was revealed that the Molecule Master had been built by the Time Trapper as a tool to fight the Legion. This android, too, was destroyed by the Legion.

In an Adult Legion story from the Silver Age, it is said that future Legionnaire Reflecto would be killed by Molecule Master some time after Reflecto's induction. Whether this was another android version of the same Molecule Master, or a totally different person with the same name, was never established. It should be pointed out, however, that this particular Molecule Master never faced the hero calling himself Reflecto.

In the Reboot, Molecule Master appeared out of nowhere once and attempted to destroy the Superman memorial still standing (or recreated) in Metropolis, around the corner from Legion HQ. He was stopped by the Legionnaires, but disappeared as the Science Police took him into custody. Nothing is known of this version of the character - he did not even reveal his code name - but we might presume he was still an associate of the Time Trapper and escaped back into the time stream.

In the Threeboot, Molecule Master does not seem to have existed.

After Infinite Crisis, Molecule Master's original history has presumably been more or less restored.

Important Molecule Master stories:

Adventure Comics #354
(reprinted in The Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6
and Showcase Presents: The Legion Vol. 3)
First mention of Molecule Master in Legion continuity 

Superboy/Legion #201
(reprinted in The Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 10, 
Showcase Presents: The Legion Vol. 5, 
and Tales of the Legion #343)

Molecule Master pretends to be a Legion applicant in order to get into Legion HQ; 
Wildfire is immune to his poisonous gas and is able to destroy him

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #281
(reprinted in The Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 2)
A second Molecule Master is destroyed by the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #109

The Reboot's Molecule Master tries to destroy the Superman memorial

1 comment:

  1. I always loved the way Wildfire destroyed MM with a blast from his foot!