Created by Keith Giffen & Barry Kitson
NAME + ALIASES:
Unrevealed, possibly R.J. Brande
Invasion! #1 (1988)
The being known only as the Durlan was the first of his race to leave his homeworld, Durla, a planet of non-humanoid shape-shifters. Apparently, at this time in Durlan society, it was not common for individuals to take their own names. Indeed, some Durlan customs were invented in response to their progressive development and contact with alien races. Outside Durla, Durlans are regarded with great suspicion because of their abilities. On this secluded world, natives were discouraged from outside contact, perhaps for good reason.
Heedless to the dangers, "the Durlan" left in search of adventure, but soon crash landed on the planet Colu. Instead of enlightenment, the creature was doomed to a life of slavery under the evil Vril Dox — Brainiac. The elder Dox was a lead scientist on Colu, where emotion had long been banished in favor of science. Dox's son, Vril II was also treated like little more than a slave, and so the Durlan and the young Dox's became each others' only support.
Over the course of a decade, the Durlan and Dox became the best friends. As Dox's companion (and occasional test subject) the Durlan served much like the angel on Dox's shoulder, in stark opposition to Dox's father. At times, the Durlan would take a more humanoid form, which his people find puts humanoids more at ease.
When Vril's father was discorporated by the angry Computer Tyrants of Colu, Dox the second was given over to the Dominators as a good faith gesture of their neutrality in the war against Earth. The Durlan also stowed away inside Dox's body. (L.E.G.I.O.N. #23)
From inside the Starlag prison, Dox, along with Adam Strange, the Omega Men and other captives became instrumental in the downfall of Dominators' invasion alliance (which, oddly, included Durla). (Invasion! #1) During this time, they also met their future comrades, Garryn Bek of Cairn, Stealth, Lyrissa Mallor of Talok VIII and Strata of Dryad. (#2)
After their victory, Dox led his new allies back to Colu where he overthrew the Computer Tyrants. (L.E.G.I.O.N. #1-3) Dox was emboldened by this success and it gave him the idea to form a new police force to replace the former Green Lantern Corps. Their friends from Starlag were hesitant at first to join Dox, but ultimately decided that it might be a good idea to stick around to eye on him. They set up camp on Bek's homeworld of Cairn, and soon began contracting their services as the L.E.G.I.O.N. (Licensed Extra-Governmental Interstellar Operatives Network) (#5-12)
The Durlan often served as the calm in the L.E.G.I.O.N.'s storm. Not only was he Dox's steady confidant and advisor, but he aided the team as a medical technician. After Stealth went into a rage and attacked Dox, the Durlan described her as a "unique life form" — and informed her she was pregnant with Dox's child.
Very soon after this, with Dox still in recovery, the Durlan disappeared forever, without explanation. In his place was a mystery woman with phasing ability. (#9)
When Dox recovered, he was grief-stricken at his only friend's disappearance. Though to most Dox was a cold man, the Durlan's influence remains strong inside him. His teachings return often in the form of Dox's conscience.
NOTES: In pre-Zero Hour Legion of Super-Heroes continuity, this Durlan was plucked from his time by the 30th century villain called Glorith and switched with that era's Phantom Girl (Phase). In the 30th Century, the Durlan took a human form and became the Legion's founder, R.J. Brande. Brande was also the father of the Legion's Chameleon Boy.
In current Legion continuity, no explanation has been given for the Durlan's disappearance.
The Durlan possesses the ability to change his shape into anything he can imagine. Generally, he cannot shed or gain mass in his transformation.
Some have asserted that a Durlan must first see a person or thing in order to mimic it.
- L.E.G.I.O.N., 70 issues (1989-94)
- R.E.B.E.L.S., 17 issues (1994-96)