Friday, 21 September 2018
Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #204 (DC/1974)
Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes #204 (DC)
Cary Bates (w) Mike Grell (a)
Hailing from the seventies is this kind of odd tale that DC used to give it's readers and had one those slightly misleading covers that both exited and invited us fans inside. The Legionnaire Nobody Remembered is a mystery arising from a photograph held in the Legion's files. The key to this tale is that thee Legion will never resolve this mystery but we, the reader are told the truth.
It all starts in the 75th Century (for the uninitiated Legion stories are set in the 30th Century) a student peeps into the past for his project, a Superboy Biography. Trouble is he sees Superboy rejected for membership of the Legion which is not how it happened. His father examines the scene and realises that the instrument used to observe the original event gave off rays that changed history.
Dad then explains to his son the danger posed to their future through the use of the ancient game of Dominoes. Sigh, all that technological advancement and Blue Peter style explanations are still the best!
Dad goes to talk to the Science Court to find a solution whilst son heads to a restricted chamber in their home which contains a transmitter that will take him back to the past where he hopes to sort out the problem himself.
Appearing out of nowhere in the Legions Council Chamber Anti-Lad demands entry to the Legion and proceeds to take on Lightning Lad, Colossal Boy and Cosmic Boy taking each down in order. However Brainiac 5 thinks (rightly) that Anti-Lad is lying.
Stealing into Anti-Lads quarters they discover his secret. All the powers come from his visor which uses Kryptonite in it's circuits. Moreover soil found on his boots comes from the 20th Century, and conclude that this impostor sabotaged Superboy's trial and then took his place.
Disappearing back to his own time he leaves a post-hypnotic command for the Legion to forget his visit and implant the thought that Superboy should be given another trial.
The future is assured but no-one will recall any of this, except one teenager in the far flung future.
There is also a back-up feature Brainiac 5's Secret Weakness. As we all know the walking computer is in love with Supergirl and seemingly disappears from the Legion with her. However not all is as it seems.
His "Supergirl" turns out to be a robot Brainiac 5 built whilst sleepwalking (suspend disbelief these are comic book stories) who is programmed to love him. Barely escaping a radiation danger the real Supergirl saves Brainiac 5 and the robot "dies", very much in love.
She was programmed that way.....