Bouncing Boy

+ Chuck Taine

Created by Jerry Siegel & Jim Mooney

NAME + ALIASES:
Chuck Taine of Earth

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Luornu Durgo Taine (Duplicate Damsel, wife)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes, Legion Academy

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Action Comics #267 (December 1959)

JOINED:
Adventure Comics
#301 (October 1962)

chuck Taine
of Earth-247

NAME + ALIASES:
Chuck Taine

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super Heores

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Legion of Super Heores v.4 #76 (January 1996)

JOINED: before Legion Worlds #3 (August 2001)

History

Bouncing Boy proves himself. From Adventure #301 (1962). Art by John Forte.

Almost, but not quite. From Adventure #341 (1966).
Art by Curt Swan.

Wedding Day. From Superboy #200 (1974). Art by Dave Cockrum.

Back to reserve status. From Legion v.2 #303 (1983). Art by Keith Giffen.

The ability to inflate one's body and bounce like a ball is not the type of power that usually gets one into the Legion of Super-Heroes. But Chuck Taine proved that a little bit of determination goes a long way.

After accidentally ingesting a scientist's super-plastic fluid, Chuck gained the power to inflate his body and bounce like a rubber ball. (Secret Origins #49) He was initially rejected by the Legion, (Action #276) but his charm and ingenuity eventually won them over after he stopped an electrically-powered criminal and used his rubberized form as an insulation against him. (Adventure #301) As Bouncing Boy, Chuck found his niche. Despite being one of the Legion's "less powerful" members, he played an important role in keeping up their morale, and carried his weight on missions as well.

Before long, Chuck's powers faded out on him when he accidentally bounced in front of a matter-shrinking machine, and he was forced to resign from the Legion. (Adventure #321) Bouncing Boy temporarily regained his powers at a crucial time—during the Legion's battle against Computo, when a third of Triplicate Girl's bodies was murdered. (#341) His powers faded, but were restored very soon by Dr. Zan Orbal of the Devil's Dozen. He was readmitted to the Legion. (#351)

During this time, Bouncing Boy became the principal instructor at the new Legion Academy, which was founded to train potential recruits for Legion service. (#371) Chuck proved himself yet again by chalking up a solo victory over the Hunter. (Superboy v.1 #199)

His success was bittersweet when Chuck learned yet again that his powers were waning. That didn't stop him from going after what he wanted; he summoned the courage to propose marriage to Duo Damsel, with whom he had become very close since her "partial death." The couple married soon thereafter at Nix Olympia on Mars. But the Legion bylaws of the time prohibited married couples from serving as full-time members, and they both resigned from the Legion to become reservists. (#200)

Even without his powers, Chuck proved his mettle in combat by defeating a gang of crooks that attacked him and his wife. (#216) An accident soon restored his powers once again, but neither Chuck nor Luornu pursued full-time Legion membership again. In fact, he kept his regained powers a secret from Lu, preferring to maintain their civilian lives. (#230) Adventure still occasionally managed to find them even after settling on the icy world of Wondil IX (#257), where they accidentally released a 2,500 year-old djinn named Kantuu. (Legion v.2 #266)

Their careers mostly involved training students at the Legion Academy on Earth, and they continued to serve as Legion reservists. Chuck and Luornu returned to help during the crisis surrounding Superboy-Prime’s Legion of Super-Villains. It remains to be seen what role they take in the Legion in the future. (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5)

NOTES: Jim Shooter on Bouncing Boy: Self-effacing, insecure, burdened with feelings of inadequacy, and yet—he is more together and competent than most people suspect, especially himself. —Interlac (1976)

Tom & Mary Bierbaum on Bouncing Boy: A great guy. Fun, supportive and far more valuable a team member than anyone realized. Made the most of everything he had. —Interlac (2000)

Legion 1.5 (v.4)

bbIn the history that unfolded after the first Crisis (no longer valid), Chuck became an instructor at the United Planets Militia Academy. He also endured some ups and downs related to his wife's personality disorders. His marriage to Duo Damsel was occasionally strained by the infidelities of one of her selves, but this stopped after she lost her second body in the conspiracy against Glorith. (Legion v.3 #50) The second body was restored to Luornu, but no further problems manifested after this. In the time fluctuations of the Zero Hour event, a teen "SW6" version of Bouncing Boy mysteriously appeared. Their timeline soon ceased to exist.

Legion 2: Earth-247

Legion Engineer, Chuck Taine, attends the Legion Outpost's dedication. From Legion #100 (1998); art by Jason Armstrong.

There is another Chuck Taine in the universe of Earth-247, which was destroyed in the Infinite Crisis. This Chuck is not super-powered, but was inducted as a full member nonetheless…

Chuck Taine is a brilliant young architectural intern who was given the privilege of assisting in the rebuilding of Legion headquarters after its partial destruction by Chronos. Chuck was honored to serve among the Legion, who'd defeated the Daxamite terrorists that killed Chuck's parents. (Legion v.4 #76)

Chuck continued to serve as a valuable contributor around the Legion headquarters, both in terms of structural design (Legionnaires #33-34) and in scientific knowledge, which helped repel Protean invaders. (#35) For better or worse, he became such a fixture, that Brainiac 5 began to assume that Chuck will rebuild whatever laboratories he managed to destroy. (#82)

Chuck remained on staff, and also designed the Legion Outpost, an orbiting deep space station. (Legionnaires #55-56, Legion #100, Legion Secret Files #1) He also occasionally leads guided tours of Legion headquarters. (Legends of the Legion #1-4)

Chuck even discovered that the Legionnaire Triad (at least one of her selves) may have a crush on him. (Legionnaires #59)

When the Legion was decimated by the Blight, and a group of Legionnaires was lost, Chuck remained with a small group led by Cosmic Boy. Even though the Legion had officially disbanded, this group kept its spirit alive, and worked with the Legion's benefactor, R. J. Brande to build a secret new headquarters. This ambitious venture was called Legion World—a massive artifical planetoid. During this time, Chuck was awarded honorary Legion membership and he invented a versatile space craft called the Bouncing Boy. This craft is capable of bounding upon the surface of a planet. (Legion Worlds #3)

Chuck keeps quite busy as as Chief Engineer of Legion World, working closely with the cyborg Legionnaire, Gear.

NOTES: The Legion Secret Files 3003 (2004) described Chuck as only an "honorary" member. He was depicted along with all the other members on a monitor board in The Legion #10. His counterpart on Earth-0 gained super-powers and became the Legionnaire known as Bouncing Boy.

Other Versions

Bouncing Boy was also a prominent member in TV's Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon.

In the 20th/21st centuries, the L.E.G.I.O.N. has been affiliated with two individuals who bear some resemblance to Bouncing Boy. There was rejected L.E.G.I.O.N. applicant Jiv Reduu, who took revenge on the team, and ultimately died. Another L.E.G.I.O.N. member was Bounder, of Cairn, who could roll himself into a hard-shelled ball.

+ Powers

Bouncing Boy can inflate his body and use it as a ballistic weapon. In this state, his body has elasticity that enables him to bound between surfaces.

Chuck Taine of Earth-247 has no powers, but is a gifted engineer and architect. He built and pilots a spaceship known as the Bouncing Boy.

Appearances + References

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