Invisible Kid

Created by Jerry Siegel & Jim Mooney

NAME + ALIASES:
Lyle Norg of Earth

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Action Comics #267 (August 1960)

JOINED: Before first appearance, depicted in  Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (April 1988)

DEATH: Superboy v.1 #203 (August 1974)

Invisible Kid II

NAME + ALIASES:
Lyle Norg of Earth

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Unnamed parents

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Legionnaires #0 (October 1994)

JOINED: Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #62 (November 1994)

Invisible Kid III

NAME + ALIASES:
Lyle Norg of Earth

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Lon and Ryna Norg (parents)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Teen Titans/Legion Special (2004)

History

Lyle's revised costume combines his original with that of
the Earth-247 Invisible Kid. From Legion: Secret Origin #3 (2012). Art by Chris Batista and Marc Deering.

Invisible Kid on his first day as Legion leader.
From Adventure #348 (1966). Art by George Papp.
Below: Lyle connects with his other-dimensional love, Myla.
Legionnaire death #2. From Superboy #203 (1974). Art by Dave Cockrum.

If ever there was a boy genius, Lyle Norg was it, having earned a degree in biochemistry from Metropolis University at age 12. He put his talents to work in a number of laboratories while working privately on his pet project: a serum that would make a person invisible. After a few years, he succeeded in working out the bugs in his formula, and managed to perfect his solution, which would enable a person's sweat glands to produce, in mass quantities and on command, a chemical that warps light around a person, rendering him invisible to the naked eye. The formula is very closely tailored to Lyle's physiology — and produces a sometimes fatal allergic reaction in others.

He first encountered the Legion via their benefactor, R.J. Brande, who hired Lyle as his bodyguard. An invisible protector was a wise move, as Lyle was put to the test and stopped a gunman. (Legion: Secret Origin #3)

Very soon after this, Lyle decided to play a practical joke on the newly formed Legion of Super-Heroes, hiding in their clubhouse invisibly and making it seem haunted. After the prank was exposed, he was inducted together with Colossal Boy and Chameleon Boy. Invisible Kid was one of the Legion's most valuable members, being second only to Brainiac 5 in intelligence and second to Chameleon Boy in stealth. Lyle expressed disbelief at his newfound occupation. He'd taken on the bodyguarding gig for extra money and the chance to challenge himself. (#4) But the Legionnaires recognized his talents and intellect, and eventually elected him as leader. (Adventure #348)

Lyle was a mentor to the young Condo Arlik, a boy whose control over his powers also led him to study science. Lyle had Condo admitted to the Legion Academy as Chemical King, and the two became very good friends. (Secret Origins #47) And in an eerie predictor of fate, Invisible Kid and Condo defeated the a member of the Taurus Gang with the aid of mysterious force — which some guessed was the ghost of the fallen Ferro Lad. (Legion v.3 #59) Lyle and Condo also defeated the "Invisible Invader," a thief who duplicated Invisible Kid's invisibility formula. (Superboy v.1 #176)

Lyle ultimately fell in love with a woman from another world named Myla. She too was invisible, coming from a world that only he could see. He began spending much of his time invisibly, and often the Legionnaires could not find him. But Lyle was a Legionnaire to the end; when Validus attacked Legion headquarters, he snapped back into duty and figured out how to stop the monster. But just as he succeeded, Validus crushed Lyle to death. He was buried with honors on Shanghalla. There the Legion were surprised by a visit from Myla herself. She revealed that she was a ghost, and that she would now accompany Lyle's spirit. (Superboy v.1 #203)

Though life in the 31st century is much advanced, certain things like cloning and time travel remain imperfect sciences. After their deaths, the Legion once created clones of Ferro Lad and Invisible Kid that were virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Sadly, these clones could survive for only 48 hours. (This was made possible because all Legionnaires contribute DNA samples to cell banks.) (Superboy v.1 #206)

Years later, Lyle's invisibility serum was used in an emergency by the young Jacques Foccart. Luckily, Jacques survived and joined the Legion as Invisible Kid II.

Soon after his transformation, Jacques found a man whom he assumed to be Lyle, alive, in another dimension! (Legion v.2 #299) This "Lyle" accompanied Jacques back to Earth (#310), but he was revealed to be the Dream Demon — master of that dimension. After defeating the creature, Jacques and Wildfire lit an eternal flame on Shanghalla as a tribute to Lyle. (#316-317)

NOTES: Invisible Kid's real name was first revealed in Adventure #338 (1966). His parents first appeared in Adventure #356 (1967), but their names were never revealed. His origin was told in Superboy v.1 #176 (1971).

Tom & Mary Bierbaum on Invisible Kid: Extremely intelligent, quiet, possibly gay. Very much prefers to quietly blend into the ranks, but is also very capable of asserting himself as a leader when called upon.

Legion 1.5 (v.4)

The SW6 Invisible Kid is reunited with his parents. From Legion of Super-Heroes #41 (1992); art by Stuart Immonen.

In the history that unfolded after the first Crisis (no longer valid), Invisible Kid saw new life as a member of the so-called Batch SW6 Legion. These pseudo-clones were in operation on Earth simultaneously with the adult Legion. Invisible Kid was elected the first leader of these Legionnaires. He adopted a black uniform, to remind him of the three Legionnaires who died (Chameleon Boy, Karate Kid and Princess Projectra) while completing Lyle's orders. This Lyle was also reunited with his parents, who had lived with the reality of his death some fourteen years. Invisible Kid was a gifted scientist as well, and helped Rond Vidar investigate disturbances in the timestream. Their attempts to fix time didn't work, though, and the SW6 Invisible Kid vanished during Zero Hour.

NOTES: Tom Bierbaum on Invisible Kid (Lyle): "Based on implications of Robert Fleming's excellent Secret Origin of Chemical King (#47), we lean toward Invisible Kid being gay, but I don't think we ever had the reason or opportunity to even hint much at that." —It's OK I'm a Senator

Legion 2: Earth-247

Lyle invents his serum. His pseudo-brother,
Jacques, declines. From Legionnaires #66 (1998).
Art by Mike Collins.
Invisible Kid invents the Legion flight rings.
From Legion #64 (1995). Art by Lee Moder.

The Invisible Kid of Earth-247 (which was destroyed in the Infinite Crisis) remains with that team, wandering the multiverse.

Lyle Norg is the son of career diplomats, who were often absent from his life. He grew up in the house of the Foccart family, and became best friends with their son Jacques. A boy genius, he developed a passion for chemistry due to the influence of Mrs. Foccart, a chemist. He eventually created a serum that changed his body and allowed it to turn invisible. He and Jacques (the more athletic of the two), joined the government of Earth's espionage agency, Black Hole, a job which compensated them handsomely. Jacques was apparently killed when another agent, Mara Grace, forced Lyle to test his invisibility serum on Jacques to see if it would be safe for her. Apparently it wasn't, and Lyle wrongly believed that Jacques had died from this. Afterwards, Lyle continued working for Earthgov, and when the Legion of Super-Heroes was formed, he was tapped to represent Earth.

Codenamed Invisible Kid, he was a great asset to the Legion from the beginning. He was the sole Legionnaire who could speak Durlan (and thus communicate with Chameleon). And with his imaginative scientific genius, he saved the Legion on Planet Hell and invented the Legion flight rings. (Legionnaires #23) Not to be sidelined, he also formed the Legion Espionage Squad to prove that he and other "subtly powered" Legionnaires had just as much to contribute to the team. (#28) Lyle's will, intelligence and leadership ability earned him an election to the post of Legion leader after Cosmic Boy and six others were stranded in the 20th century. (#45) After they returned, Cosmic Boy bade Lyle to continue in that capacity.

Shortly afterward, Invisible Kid ceded leadership to Saturn Girl, for cryptic reasons. That day, he received a note reading: "Can't wait to see you! —C." (#59)

Jacques Foccart returned to help Invisible Kid defeat Charma, but his friend did not reveal to Lyle that he was alive. (#66)

Notes

In the Legion Chat on AOL dated 29 July 1999, Jeff Moy confirmed that Invisible Kid was intended to be gay, and that his friend "C" was reporter Condo Arlik. Moy: "It wouldn't have been a big deal for Lyle to out himself; his teammates would have been comfortable." The two of them met face-to-face later, in Legionnaires #65, but it was completely platonic. Perhaps creators enjoyed toying with this. In The Legion #27 (2004), in rare moment of joy, Brainiac 5 kissed Invisible Kid briefly on the cheek. Some awkwardness followed the moment, which seemed attributable more to Brainy's usual lack of emotional expression, than to any gay subtext.

Legion 3: Earth-Prime

Lyle Norg is the Legion's youngest member, and a genius in xenochemistry. His father Lon, is a Science Police commander, who would bring Lyle alien tissue samples to experiment upon. When Lyle created an invisibility serum, he learned that this kind of invention had been his father's goal all along. To keep his father from using the serum for the Science Police, Lyle ingested the serum and destroyed his records. Lon locked Lyle away, but it didn't stop the boy from contacting Brainiac 5. When Brainy saw Lyle's potential, he invited him to join the Legion's core team. (#4)

At some point before joining the Legion, Lyle invented the Legion's Flight Rings. Made of Nth Metal—an alloy called Valorium—they protect the wearer from the elements, speed healing, and increase the wearers' strength. They can also be customized with special adaptations for the Legionnaires' unique powers. (#41)

His code name was coined by Light Lass. (#1)

When he joined, the Legion did not know that his father was a S.P. chief, and Cosmic Boy was angered that this drew undue heat from the Science Police. In order to smooth things over between parties, Lyle extracted a sample of his blood and gave it to his father, for the Science Police to reverse engineer his formula. In that moment, he and his father both understood each other better. Lon had only wanted to use Lyle's knowledge to help protect Earth. Lyle didn't tell his father, however, that he'd encoded the blood sample with a monitoring virus, which the Legion could track. (#4)

Invisible Kid was a great help in defeating Lemnos and Terror Firma, urging the Legion to concentrate their efforts on three key worlds. (#11)

Later he sacrificed some of his physical self, when the Dominators blew his arm off. The Wanderer called Kromak helped to heal him. For a time, he sported an alien arm as a temporary replacement. (#27)

Surprisingly, although Lyle may not be the most popular among the core Legionnaires, he received a fair number of votes from Legionnaires-at-large in the Legion's next leadership election. (#30)

He was the first to reach out to a potential new Legionnaire named Giselle, a Tritonian girl whom he had a crush on. (#37, 40)

Other Versions

Invisible Kid was also a member in TV's Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon.

+ Powers

Invisible Kid can render himself undetectable on any electromagnetic wavelength. However, he can be "found" by infrared or olfactory sensors.

Appearances + References

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