Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Who's Who: Professor Vultan

Professor Vultan
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Bothar Vultan
Super-Power(s): None
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Wildfire's mentor

Legion Log
Professor Bothar Vultan was an instructor at Metropolis University who had a degree in astro-engineering. He was also suffering from a terminal illness, and in order to prolong his life he created an energy release generating suit. With this, Professor Vultan hoped to live long enough to find a cure for his illness.

However, one of Professor Vultan's students was a brash hot-head named Drake Burroughs. One day, Drake's carelessness during a laboratory experiment caused him to be engulfed by anti-matter energy, transforming him into sentient anti-energy. Professor Vultan selflessly gifted Drake his ERG-1 suit in order to help Drake coalesce his energy into humanoid form. Professor Vultan and his daughter, Zera, siphoned off energy from Drake to Vultan without Drake's knowledge in order to battle the Professor's disease. They both felt that if they had told Drake that Vultan needed the suit (or Drake's energy), Drake would have sacrificed himself to save his mentor.

Unfortunately, because Drake did not know that Professor Vultan needed some of his anti-energy to help fight the illness that was killing him, after Drake mastered the ERG-1 suit he impulsively flew off from Professor Vultan's care in order to become a Legionnaire. While Drake was trapped on Manna-5, Professor Vultan died of his illness.

Only after Drake became Wildfire did he return to his mentor's home, where he learned that he had been indirectly responsible for Professor Vultan's death. Zera tried to take Wildfire's life in revenge, but eventually realized that her father's death was simply a tragedy and asked Wildfire to do as much good as he possibly could in Professor Vultan's suit.

Although Wildfire made his debut in Superboy/Legion #195 and joined the Legion in Superboy/Legion #201, Professor Vultan and his daughter, Zera, were not retconned into his origin  until Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #283

Neither Professor Vultan nor his daughter ever reappeared, in any continuity.

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

Only Professor Vultan story:

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #283
Professor Vultan helps Drake Burroughs become Wildfire

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