LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES

The Adult Legion

» SEE ALSO: Elseworlds •  The Legion of Super-Villains

Some text courtesy of C. Keller's Legion Help File.

Part two of the legendary Adult Legion tale, from Adventure #355 (1967) presented an ominous glimpse at the Legion's future Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

The now-famous cover of Adventure #354 (1967) showed five never-before-seen heroes who were not only destined to become Legionnaires, but die as well. Ferro Lad died the issue before this, and for Chemical King, the "prophesy" would come true in 1977. Shadow Lass soon appeared in Adventure #365 (1968), Quantum Queen in Adventure #375 (1968), and Reflecto didn't enter the picture until 1981. Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

The Adult Legion series of stories were a part of "imaginary stories" that appeared often in the Silver Age Superman titles. These stories might easily be explained as events in parallel universes.

The Adult Legion first appeared in Superman #147 (1961) and continued sporadically through 1967. These adventures all happened in Superman's time, not Superboy's. Therefore, the Legionnaires had grown up as well.

Adult Legion tales were always questionable to mainstream continuity because they depicted events in the Legion's future that never came to pass, or seemed unlikely to occur as Legion history unfolded. For example, adult stories predicted that Light Lass and Timber Wolf would marry, and that Quantum Queen would become a Legionnaire; and that the Legionnaires would all change their names to "Man" or "Woman." One Adult Legion prediction did come true: the death of Chemical King.

For these reasons, it's safe to assume that these events took place in a (pre-Crisis) parallel universe. Of these characters, Saturn Queen was one of a handful of survivors to slip through the first Crisis and collapse of the multiverse (like Superman and Power Girl from Earth-2, Dark Angel of Earth-7, Alexander Luthor and Ultraman of Earth-3 and Superboy of Earth-Prime).

Members

This page covers characters who became members during the various "Adult Legion" tales. This only includes heroes who were not Legionnaires up to that point (March 1967). That is to say, this story featured mostly Legionnaires who were already familiar to readers, but with their names changed to "Man," "Woman," etc. Some of the newly introduced characters did indeed go on to become members later.

Batman

In an "imaginary story" from World's Finest #172 (Dec. 1967) Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent were raised as brothers, both by the Kents. When the Kents died at the hands of Lex Luthor, Batman was traumatized by the loss of a second set of parents and vowed to abandon Gotham City forever. Superman gave him another idea: relocate to the 30th century and join the Adult Legion! (World's Finest #172)

From From World's Finest #172 (1967). Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

Color King

Color King (the adult version of Color Kid) was one of a number of Adult Legionnaires mentioned but never depicted. His mention was not in a story, but rather in the letter column of Adventure #358 (July 1967):

The evil Lex Luthor's first 30th century visiit. From Adventure #325 (1964). Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.
Luthor's android, Urthlo. From Adventure #300 (1962). Art by JohnForte.

Lex Luthor

FIRST APPEARANCE, HISTORICAL: Action #23 (April 1940).
TEEN VERSION:
Adventure #271 (April 1960).

Lex Luthor II

First appearance: Adventure #355 (April 1967)

Lex Luthor is one of Superman's oldest foes so it's logical that he'd worm his way into Legion lore as well. In 1960, Luthor's history was expanded to include days as Superboy's foil as well as Superman's. This is when it was explained that he'd lost his hair as a result of an experiment and blamed it on Superboy. Lex's 30th century descendant (like Brainiac's) was benevolent, but before we get to that, there were several exchanges between the original Lex and Legion...

Lex Luthor's first encounter with the original Legion was in the 20th century, when Lightning Lad saved Superboy from Luthor's living Kryptonite Men. After his defeat, Luthor speculated that "if a Legion of Super-Heroes will exist centuries from now...then a Legion of Super-Villains probably exists in the future, too!" (the first reference to the LSV). He vowed to one day contact them to help him destroy Superboy. (Superboy v.1 #86, Jan. 1961) He succeeded several years later. Lex and the original Brainiac allied with Adult Legion of Super-Villains and tried to brainwash Jimmy Olsen into killing Superman. (Jimmy Olsen #87, Sept. 1965)

Luthor then tried to ruin them from afar, sending a menacing masked android called Urthlo. It was handily destroyed by Mon-El. (Adventure #300) The young Lex Luthor finally made his way to the 30th century personally, and tried to destroy the Legion. At first, the Legion believed that he was "good" because he hadn't yet lost his hair. But that was a ruse; he wore a wig and cast the Legionnaires into the Phantom Zone. The heroes won by using mental telepathy from inside the Zone and commanding Lex to release them. (Adventure #325)

That was it for "canonical" Luthor apperances with the Legion, but they did once briefly take refuge in one of his former headquarters, Luthor's Lair (first appearance, Action #277, 1961). (Adventure #360)

Imaginary Luthors

Silver Age Superman comics presented an abundance of so-called "Imaginary Stories." In one of these, Lex Luthor succeeded in killing Superman, and the three founding Legionnaires attended his funeral. (Superman v.1 #149) Superman, Supergirl, and the adult Brainiac 5 later tricked Lex Luthor into freeing Superman from a trap set for him by Mordru. (Superman v.1 #213)

There were also a number of stories classified as "Adult Legion." At the time of their publication, these stories were actually considered to be in-continuity; they told stories ten years or so into the Legion's future and included Superman, not Superboy. In one, they met a descendants of the 20th century Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk, who helped them defeat the Legion of Super-Villains. This relative was also Lex Luthor, and he possessed the same genius. The partners attacked the LSV when the Legion was down. (Lex had also given himself the powers of Star Boy and Light Lass.) In thanks for their aid, the pair were rewarded with membership in the Legion. (Adventure #355)

After having aided the Legion in secret against the LSV, From Adventure #355 (1967). Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

In current Legion continuity, it is likely that none of these adventures remains in continuity.

Mxyzptlk V was evil; from Adventure #310 (1963). Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

Mxyzptlk V

First appearance & Joined the Subs: Adventure Comics #310 (July 1963)

Mr. Mxyzptlk II

First appearance: Adventure Comics #355 (April 1967)

Mxyzptlk V and Mr. Mxyzptlk II were brothers, pranksters from the 5th Dimension of the 30th century. The original Mr. Mxyzptlk was introduced to the Superman mythos in Superman #30 (Sept. 1944), and reinvented for the Silver Age in Action Comics #208 (1955).

The Legion first met Mxyzptlk V, a descendant of the original (the name was in the manner of the Legion's own Brainiac 5). In the 30th century, he appeared to them as the Mask Man and apparently succeeded in slaying the entire Legion, except Superboy. As usual, Superboy tricked the imp into going back to the 5th Dimension, by spelling his own name backwards, and restored the Legion to life with no memory of what happened. (Adventure #310)

A second 30th century Mxyzptlk appeared later, in a tale of the "Adult Legion." At the time of their publication, these stories were actually considered to be in-continuity; they told stories ten years or so into the Legion's future and included Superman, not Superboy. In one, Superman and the Adult Legion fought the Legion of Super-Villain, and were rescued by benevolent descendants of Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk (see picture above). This second Mxyzptlk mentioned that his brother had once tried to take down the Legion (and an editor's note erroneously transposed the issue number, citing "Adventure #130"). As thanks, Luthor and Mxyzptlk were rewarded with membership in the Legion. (Adventure #355)

From Adventure #354 (1967). Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

Polar Man

Formerly Polar Boy, Polar Man was a featured member and character in the Adult Legion story spanning Adventure #354-355. This "prophesy" did come true, nearly 20 years later, when Polar Boy finally earned his membership. (Legion v.3 #14, 1985)

» SEE: Polar Boy

From Adventure #354 (1967). Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

Power Boy

Power Boy was another whose name appeared on a memorial statue in the Hall of Heroes in Adventure #354. Nothing more is known about the hero, except that he would die in action.

A character named Jed Rikane first appeared in Superboy & the Legion #240 (June 1978) and later took the codename "Power Boy" in Legion v.3 #14 (Sept. 1985) when he applied (unsuccessfully) for Legion membership. In post-Crisis/Legion 1.5 continuity, he did also die but was never a Legion member. (Legion v.4 #17)

» SEE: Power Boy

Reflecto

Reflecto (seen on the cover at the top of the page and inside the issue) is a strange character whose secrets were later (quite creatively) explored in Legion v.2 #273-282. At the conclusion of that storyline, a statue of Reflecto was erected in the Legion's Hall of Heroes. Read about that here.

Quantum Queen

Quantum Queen (seen on the cover at the top of the page and inside the issue) was a mysterious character in the "Adult Legion" story from Adventure #354 who soon turned up in regular continuity as a member of the group called the Wanderers. (Adventure #375-376)

Shadow Woman

Superman takes a stroll; from Adventure #354 (1967). Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

Shadow Woman was the precursor to Shadow Lass, who soon appeared in the mainstream Legion tales. She wore the same costume as that in Adventure #354, but her skin was blue. Years later, in Legion v.2 #299-300 (1983), she temporarily changed her name to "Shadow Woman" and applied a Caucasian-colored body makeup, ostensibly to see if her lover, Mon-El, would like her any better. After that story, she reverted to her regular name and skin color.

» SEE: Shadow Lass

The White Witch

Like others, the White Witch was never shown as a member of the Adult Legion, but she was mentioned by Brainiac 5 in relation to a battle with Mordru, in Superman v.1 #213 (Jan. 1969). She appeared in mainstream continuity several years before that, first as "the Hag" in Adventure #350 (Nov. 1966), then as White Witch in Adventure #351 (Dec. 1966). She didn't actually join the Legion until much later, inLegion v.2 #294 (Dec. 1982).

» SEE: White Witch

From Superman #213 (1969). Art by Curt Swan and Jack Abel.

Adult Legion Chronology

30th Century: Superman visits the now-adult Legion in the 30th century. The adult Legion is attacked by Douglas Nolan (twin brother of Ferro Lad), under the mental domination of the Legion of Super-Villains (1st chronological app.). Rokk Krinn (Cosmic Man) is married to Lydda Jath (Night Girl), Jo Nah (Ultra Man) married to Tinya Wazzo (Phantom Woman) — with twins — Ayla Ranzz (Light Lass) married to Brin Londo (Lone Wolf), and Tenzil Kem as President of Bismoll. It also shows statues of several dead Legionnaires: Chemical King, Power Boy, Quantum Queen, Reflecto, and Shadow Woman. Chemical King, Reflecto, and Shadow Lass eventually joined the Legion. NOTES: Quantum Queen was as a member of the Wanderers and Power Boy was a student at the Legion Academy. The events of Adventure #354-355 precede the Adult Legion's first print appearance because they still feature Saturn Queen (who later quit), and because their eventual modus operandi is to raid eras other than their own. Adventure #354 (Mar. 1967)
30th Century: The Adult Legion and Superman fight the Legion of Super-Villains, which now includes Echo and Beauty Blaze. The Legionnaires are rescued by benevolent 30th century descendants of Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk, who join the Legion. NOTE: In canonical Legion continuity, Echo briefly became a Legionnaire during the "Five Year Gap." Adventure #355 (Apr. 1967)
20th Century: 1st app. in print: Legion of Super-Villains (Cosmic King, Saturn Queen, and Lightning Lord) to help him battle Superman. Superman is aided by the Adult Legion of Super-Heroes: Cosmic Man, Lightning Man and Saturn Woman and eventually by Saturn Queen, who turns against the other villains and vows to reform. NOTES: The Super-Villains tell Luthor they are from the 21st century, rather than the 30th century. As established in Legion v.2 #300 (June 1983), the Adult Legion (and adult LSV) that appeared in various stories were from an alternate timeline and were not canonical as far as the Legion was concerned, even though some of the events predicted in the Adult Legion stories did come true. Evidence suggests, however, that the Adult Legion stories involving Superman and other 20th century characters (except for those specifically described as Imaginary Stories) were part of pre-Crisis Superman continuity, even if they were not the "real" future of the Legion. This story gives the first account of Lightning Lad's origin and the first appearance of the planet Korbal, where the Ranzz family got their powers. It also reveals that Lightning Lord is Lightning Lad's older brother, a fact later reflected in canonical Legion stories. Superman v.1 #147 (Aug. 1961)
The Superman Revenge Squad exposes Superman to Red Kryptonite, causing him to experience a terrifying nightmare in which he is put on trial by his enemies, including the adult Legion of Super-Villains. NOTES: The Superman Revenge Squad's first chronological appearance, as the Superboy Revenge Squad, was in Superboy #94 (Jan. 1962). Action #286 (Mar. 1962)
20th Century: Supergirl and Superman travel to 10 years in the Legion's future. Supergirl tries to fix Superman up with Saturn Woman (the adult Saturn Girl), only to find that she is already married to Lightning Man (the adult Lightning Lad). NOTES: This was the second appearance of the Adult Legion in print, and the first hint that Garth and Imra would eventually marry. Action #289 (June 1962)
20th Century: Cosmic Man and Lightning Man pose as Hercules and Samson to help Superman fool a criminal. This was the third appearance of the Adult Legion in print. Superman v.1 #155 (Aug. 1962)
20th Century: Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl battle members of the adult Legion of Super-Villains, including Lightning Lord, Cosmic King, Chameleon Chief, and Sun Emperor. NOTES: Teenage versions of Chameleon Chief and Sun Emperor later debuted in Superboy #208 (1975). Jimmy Olsen #63 (Sept. 1962)
20th Century: Saturn Woman and Proty II help Superman defeat the Superman Revenge Squad. Superman v.1 #165 (Nov. 1963)
20th Century: Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and the Adult Legion of Super-Villains try to brainwash Jimmy Olsen into killing Superman. Jimmy Olsen #87 (Sept. 1965)
Adult Legion: The Adult Legion and Superman fight the Legion of Super-Villains, which now includes Echo and Beauty Blaze. The Legionnaires are rescued by benevolent 30th century descendants of Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk, who join the Legion. Adventure #355 (Apr. 1967)
20th Century: The adult Brainiac 5 helps Superman and Batman defeat Xan, an alien who has taken Joseph Meach's place as the second Composite Superman. NOTES: Although the adult Legionnaires are from an alternate timeline and not the "true" future of the Legion, this story is part of pre-Crisis Superman and Batman continuity. World's Finest #168 (Aug. 1967)
Imaginary Story: Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent are raised as brothers. Batman eventually moves to the 30th century and joins the Adult Legion. NOTES: This Imaginary Story is not technically part of pre-Crisis continuity. World's Finest #172 (Dec. 1967)
20th Century: Superman, Supergirl, and the adult Brainiac 5 trick Lex Luthor into freeing Superman escape from a trap set for him by Mordru. Brainiac 5 mentions that the White Witch is a member of the Adult Legion. Superman v.1 #213 (Jan. 1969)
THE DREAMS OF DOUGLAS NOLAN
Douglas Nolan succeeds his brother Andrew as Ferro Lad II. NOTES: In mainstream continuity, was a vision dreamt by Douglas Nolan. Three of the dreams in this issue reference the Adult Legion. This issue established that the events of the Adult Legion stories took place in alternate timelines, not the canonical Legion's. Legion v.2 #300 (June 1983)
The adult Legion (Chameleon Man, Sun Man, Element Man, Karate King, Timber Wolf) battle the Fatal Five. NOTES: In mainstream continuity, this was a vision dreamt by Douglas Nolan. The living/deceased Legionnaires in this vision Hall of Heroes is consistent with other Adult Legion stories, plus Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Matter-Eater Lad, Projectra and Shrinking Violet. Legionnaires wear a mix of costumes from their original and 1970s eras. Legion v.2 #300 (June 1983)
The members of the adult Legion (Wildfire, Ultra Man, Phantom Woman, Chemical King, Tyroc, Brainiac 5, Cham, Element Man, Superman, Sun Man) argue among themselves about how to deal with a Khund incursion. It leads to Superman resigning. The rule prohibiting married Legionnaires from serving is still in place. The former Dream Girl and Star Boy watch the Legion from home with their children. Some Legionnaires launch themselves into battle; Tyroc is killed. Karate Kid is memorialized on the wall. NOTES: In mainstream continuity, this was a vision dreamt by Douglas Nolan. The living/deceased Legionnaires in this vision Hall of Heroes is consistent with other Adult Legion stories, plus Karate Kid. Legionnaires wear costumes from their 1970s era. Legion v.2 #300 (June 1983)
THE CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS
Imaginary Story: "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" A group of Legionnaires, accompanied by Supergirl (years before her death), gives Superman a trophy of his final and greatest victory. Superman v.1 #423 (Sept. 1986)
Imaginary Story: "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" The Legion's trophy gives Superman the clue to defeating Mr. Mxyzptlk. The adult Legion of Super-Villains appears on the scene to gloat, but the villains flee when they realize they may be injured. Action #583 (Sept. 1985)
20th Century: Lightning Lord and Cosmic King are swept to the 20th century by the Anti-Monitor's antimatter wave. They battle alongside the 20th century's Lex Luthor and Brainiac in an army of super-villains. Crisis #9 (Dec. 1985)
POST-CRISIS ADULT LEGION
21st Century: The Adult LSV make a final effort to save their timeline from the Crisis' destruction. They alter the 20th century origins of Superman and Batman and raise the two as their sons. Their changes result in a metahuman war that destroys this fragile, changed reality. The LSV escape back into the time stream to plot anew. NOTES: The Adult LSV that appears in this story have supposedly left the 31st century just before the original Crisis wiped away their timestream. Superman/Batman #14-15 (1-2.05)
21st Century: The Superman of the "imaginary" timeline witnesses the destruction caused by the LSV and now sits in Metron's chair on the charred and barren planet Earth, destroyed by the LSV's tampering of the time stream He meets the quantum leaping Captain Atom, who challenges Superman to do something about it. Superman/Batman #5 (Mar. 2004)
21st Century: The "imaginary" Superman allies with Darkseid, who is also angered by the LSV's time tampering. They tell Superman and Batman to go back and fix things, sending them back to prevent the LSV from murdering the Kents. The Adult LSV retool their plan and return to the 21st century with Echo and Beauty Blaze, allied with Ra's al Ghul. They are defeated again. Superman/Batman #16-18 (2-4.05)
31st Century: Superman and Batman of Earth-0 return the LSV to their own era, to a point in time just prior to their original departure. They're remanded to the custody of the adult Legion of Super-Heroes. After Superman and Batman leave, this timeline falls to the antimatter waves of the first Crisis. The "imaginary" Superman returns to his wife and son just before this timeline ceases to exist. Superman/Batman #18 (Apr. 2005)
21st Century: Following the Crisis, Saturn Queen finds herself a survivor of the old multiverse, living in the Earth-0 universe. She joins another alternate universe survivor — Ultraman of Earth-3 — in making their home in the shrunken city of Kandor. They take control of the city, until Supergirl and Power Girl come to challenge them. Supergirl eventually agrees to leave Kandor in exchange for information from Saturn Queen about the fate of her Kryptonian home, Argo City. NOTE: The creation of the new multiverse was fully revealed in 52 #52 (May 2007). It is not specifically stated that Ultraman was the one from pre-Crisis Earth-3 or that of the antimatter universe. In the post-Infinite Crisis multiverse, the antimatter Crime Syndicate may have been destroyed, as hinted in JLA Secret Files (2004). Supergirl v.5 #6-8 (4-9.06)