Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Who's Who: Power Boy

Power Boy
by Russell & Siskoid


Real Name: Jedidiah Rikaine
Super-Power(s): Density control, giving him super strength and endurance
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Academy student

Legion Log
Power Boy made his debut as a student at the Legion Academy. Among his classmates were future Legionnaires Dawnstar, Tellus, and Magnetic Kid, as well as "heroes in training" Laurel Kent and Shadow Kid. Power Boy was endowed with incredible strength, but not any specific invulnerability. He therefore worked often with Laurel Kent, who claimed to have invulnerability but no enhanced strength. Together, they were a formidable pair.

Power Boy knew that he was not the brightest student at the Academy, but also that he was good at following orders. He knew that he wanted to do "good," so continued honing his skills at the Legion Academy for several years.

Although Power Boy showed his abilities to the Legionnaires on several occasions, his lack of any unique super-power always meant that he was rejected for membership.

None of the details in this Who's Who profile regarding Power Boy's background were ever included in any of his appearances, but according to this entry, he was a mutant whose power to increase his density and strength also made his skin purple.

During the so-called Five Year Gap, Power Boy stayed with the Legion Academy when it became the United Planets Militia Academy. He died on the planet Xolnar during a Khund attack. That death may have been foreshadowed as early as Adventure Comics (v1) #354, 11 years before his first true appearance, in an Adult Legion story where a Power Boy is among the statues of the Legion's fallen. In that version of continuity, it would seem Power Boy was a member.

Power Boy does not appear in the Reboot nor Threeboot, though a 20th-Century villain called Jediah Rikane does plague Starman Jack Knight. No relation is ever revealed.

After Infinite Crisis, Power Boy's original history has presumably been more or less restored. He was among the heroes who fought Superboy-Prime's Legion of Super-Villains during the Final Crisis, and finally graduated from the Academy. Still ineligible for Legion membership, he joined the Science Police stationed at the prison planet Takron-Galtos. His husband Gravity Kid soon joined him there.

Important Power Boy stories:

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #240
(reprinted in Superboy & The Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 1)
 
The debut of  Power Boy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #304
(reprinted in The Legion: The Curse TPB)
Power Boy is still studying at the Legion Academy

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #12
(reprinted in The Legion: The More Things Change TPB)
Power Boy discusses trying out for the Legion with his friends

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #14
Power Boy tries out for the Legion officially

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v2) #3 (1987)
Power Boy is ready to help fight the Dominators
(that's him behind Laurel Kent in the Superwoman uniform)

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #17
Five years later, Power Boy is killed in a Khund attack on Xolnar

Adventure Comics (v1) #354
Jed's death was foreshadowed 11 years before his first true appearance
in an Adult Legion story

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5
Power Boy fights Superboy-Prime's Legion of Super-Villains

Adventure Comics (v2) #523-525
Power Boy is still at the Academy, but graduation is soon

Adventure Comics (v2) #528
Power Boy graduates from the Academy and joins the Science Police stationed at Takron-Galtos

2 comments:

  1. I always liked Jed. Every team needs an upbeat and determined dude. I'm surprised that his control over his density doesn't give him more invulnerability, though. It'd be cool if he (with the help of one of the Legion scientists like Brainy or Dream Girl) found a way to control his density even further, to provide more protection, with perhaps some kind of other secondary sensory mutation in order to possess a unique power. And then he could graduate to the main team, preferably with Lamprey, Nightwind, and even Crystal Kid (though the Subs might be a better place for the latter).

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  2. Having grown up with these Academy kids, I was bummed that in addition to making Laurel Kent a Manhunter, Levitz sidelined all of them in favor of newer, younger characters like NuGlorith, Chemical Kid and Dragonwing (plus Comet Queen, the ONE Academy student I hated).

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