The Legion of Superheroes really led the way for coming up with quite a number of powerful, equal female characters in the comics of the 1960s and 70s. No other superteam of that era even came close.
(by the way, the irony of this cover is that less than a year later, Supergirl WOULD kick the Legion of Superheroes out of Adventure Comics and take over a starring role until she finally got her first solo title in 1972.)
Another one of Monstress (along with Blok).
I think my Legion fascination the last couple of days is my hopes that the new DCNu can’t really screw them up too badly. The Legion has already been rebooted too many times to count, and no matter how badly Jim Lee designs the costumes, they can’t be any worse than the Mike Grell monstrosities of the 1980s/90s. It’s really hard to mess up the Legion.
Another great Legion character who met an undeserved fate was Monstress, who not only was one of the team’s powerhouses, but also had a great, big, heart and acted as a mentor to a lot of the newer Legionnaires. She was blasted into tiny pieces by an insane version of Element Lad (calling himself Progenitor at the time) during the last Legion Lost series.
Continuing with my sort-of theme for the last couple of days of sort of obscure members of the Legion of Superheroes, I present Catspaw, who was a feral not-so-bright but LOTS of fun character, who unfortunately got wiped from existence during the Zero Hour reboot. She MIGHT have shown up for a cameo in the Final Crisis Legion of 3 Worlds book, I don’t remember. She should have stuck around longer.
Although she wasn’t a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, Lana Lang DID once become an Honorary Legion of Superheroes member as the Insect Queen. Granted her powers from a bio-ring given to her by an alien boy she rescued, every time Lana used the ring, she would take on the form of some insect randomly. Unlike the art above by Gene Gonzalez, most of the times, it was something pretty disgusting. (I kept waiting for her to turn into Dung Beetle Lana to escape from that conveniently dumped pile of shit the villains dropped on her!)
Some powers, while effective, I can totally understand why they wouldn’t want to make you a part of the regular Legion… Take Infectious Lass, whose power is to give you some random disease by touching you.
art by Dave Cockrum
The current incarnation of Night Girl, who is training heroes at the Legion Academy, as drawn by Amanda Conner.
I know a lot of the Substitute Legion’s powers were joke powers, but being super-strong in the dark always seemed pretty useful to me, especially after Shadow Lass came along. They seem like a perfect pair to send out together ALL THE TIME!
Original Night Girl with her beehive hairdo and outfit is STILL probably my favorite incarnation.
I’m sure I can’t be the only one who usually identified more with the Legion of Substitute Heroes than the regular Legion.
Here we have Fire Lad, Polar Boy, Night Girl, Stone Boy (LOVED his power) and Chlorophyll Kid.
Lori Morning by Hoa Phong.
Don’t ogle her too much, she’s only 10. It’s one of those time-paradox thingies and too much messing around with Chronos and The Time Trapper and all that.
But the best part was when Lori was being watched by the Legion and she had Robbie Reed’s (or one just like it) H-Dial, that let her Dial H for H.E.R.O. and transform into a bunch of different superheroes every time. Even though the Legion had de-aged her physical body back to 10 years old by then, she kept getting to play adult hero through the dial, much like Billy Batson and Shazam/Captain Marvel.
Art by Hoa Phong.
Now, a couple of the more obscure Legionnaires. First up, Inferno, who actually got her start as a part of Leland McCauley’s Workforce, a rival superhero group to R.J. Brande’s Legion of Superheroes. Eventually, she became a member of the Legion, but after a trip to the 20th Century, she decided to stay there. As far as I know, she’s still (well, WAS still until the DCNu wipe-out) part of the continuity of the regular DC universe and appeared briefly outside the LSH in Young Justice and again, I think, in the Kitson-Waid LSH.
Stuart Immonen did the artwork for this 4-issue miniseries.
Shrinking Violet catches The Wasp in the act…
by Michael Dooney
Saturn Girl, original retro style, back when she had to use a jet pack instead of a Legion Flight ring.
When she was still Light Lass, I always liked this clever version of her costume with its “Up Arrow” design.
Legion of Superheroes commission by Chrissie Zullo
Shadow Lass, Phantom Girl, Light Lass, Saturn Girl, Shrinking Violet
(but Saturn Girl, why are you between Vi and Ayla? ;))