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Adventure Comics 324
"The Legion of Super-Outlaws!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND September, 1964

Story: Unknown Art: John Forte

On the Curt Swan-drawn cover, Superboy is confronted by three members of the Legion of Super-Outlaws: Beast Boy, who can become any animal in the universe... Evolvo Lad, who can evolve into a future being with a brain more super than Brainiac 5's... and Gas Girl, whose gaseous form can elude even the boy of steel! He wonders what terrific powers the other members of this evil Legion might possess...

On the splash page, Shrinking Violet observes Superboy being thrown to the ground by Duplicate Boy, and the other Heroes of Lallor watch the boy of steel's fall! The story begins with the Legionnaires entering their club house, where one of the crowd members is less than pleased with them. Dr. Marden King returns to his observatory and concocts a plan to destroy the Legion.

Marden had a brother known as the Jungle King, who, according to the Legion, was killed by the super-animals he led in crime. Using his powerful telescope, he spies the planet of Lallor, which he's been observing for years; the inhabitants are a civilized, scientific race which had experienced an atomic explosion on their world, resulting in the birth of children with super-powers. Now grown, the children give a demonstration of their powers to the gathered scientists. First up is Beast Boy, who transforms into a tiger, while Gas Girl changes to vapor. Evolvo Lad transforms into an ape, as Life Lass uses her life-granting powers on inanimate objects, and Duplicate Boy uses his abilities to duplicate his teammates' powers.

Lalloran prime minister Vorr is not pleased with the youngsters and figures that they'll unseat him from power. He orders them into exile aboard an experimental star-ship or else their families will be imprisoned for life. Marden observes their rocket and uses his dimensional stereo to contact them. (Holy RCA, Batman!) He tells them that he learned their language by monitoring their planet and offers them a home on Earth. On their arrival, the heroes of Lallor now speak English and are told by Marden of the threat they'll face from the Legion of Super-Heroes! (He no doubt is using the logic that an evil group wouldn't necessarily call itself evil!) Anxious to avoid any further space travel, they resolve to fight the Legion.

Marden King summons the Legion by telling them about the threat from a group of super-powered invaders. (Holy Roy Thinnes, Batman! Would they fall for such a trick? Does Computo compute?) Starboy, Invisible Kid, and Shrinking Violet contact Superboy, then head for the source of the call via their flying belts (the precursor of the flight rings, which would be created by Brainiac 5). Marden tells the heroes of Lallor that the Legion are on their way, and Evolvo Lad works on some strategy. Figuring that Superboy is the most dangerous, he tells the others about his plan to fight the boy of steel.

As Superboy and the Legion confront the heroes of Lallor, Duplicate Boy duplicates the boy of steel's powers and hurls him through an open window, where he lands in a Kryptonite cage designed by Marden King! (Holy Pocket Full of Kryptonite, Batman! Where did Marden King get all that Green K?) As Violet, Starboy, and Invisible Kid rush Beast Boy and Gas Girl, she changes to knockout gas and renders Starboy unconscious.

Invisible Kid heads for Superboy, but Beast Boy changes to a dark beast, which is able to sense Lyle's heartbeat, and grabs his invisible foe! Violet shrinks, and as Duplicate Boy follows her, he sees some animal tracks leading to the tunnel where she went!

Grabbing some dried twigs, he sees that Violet is running from a weasel, and he ignites the twigs with heat-vision... scaring the animal. Both return to normal size, and Duplicate Boy takes her to the others. Marden King tries to encourage the heroes of Lallor to destroy the Legionnaires, but they are too noble to do such a thing.

Marden points out that the other Legion members will be returning soon and advises them to seize control of the clubhouse! Aboard the ship, Duplicate Boy can't take his mind off of Vi. At Legion Headquarters, Gas Girl enters through the lock and opens the door. Marden King is gloating over his scheme to destroy the Legion...

Part II "The Battle of The Super-Teams"

On the splash page, Colossal Boy is battling Duplicate Boy at giant-size, while Ultra Boy, Mon-El, and Violet watch the fight! With Superboy unconscious in his green kryptonite cage, Invisible Kid is concerned about his fellow Legionnaires, who will walk into a trap set by the heroes of Lallor. Violet is having second thoughts about Duplicate Boy, while Starboy likens him to be as ruthless as Marden King.

Unbeknownst to the imprisoned Legionnaires, Marden is taping their conversation and re-editing it to incriminate the Legion as villains. When Duplicate Boy pays a visit to Vi, he expresses his concern about being driven from the Earth. When Vi tells him that her group believes them to be criminals, Duplicate Boy begins to have doubts about the "evil" Legion. When he confronts Marden, Duplicate Boy watches the doctored tape, and listens as Vi tells Starboy that she'll trick the hero of Lallor so that the Legion can crush them.

When Duplicate Boy is reluctant to kill the Legion, Marden shows him the frozen-sleep lamp, which will place them in a trance without harming them. When Marden presses the Legion's general alarm signal, Duplicate Boy intends to tell the Legionnaires what their fate will be. Entering the room, he is grabbed by Invisible Kid and Starboy, but are shoved aside, while Vi shrinks down and leaves the room. Unfortunately for them, Duplicate Boy decides to check to see that he didn't seriously hurt them...

He sees both male Legionnaires congratulating one another, but sees no signs of Vi. Slipping through a pipe, Vi boards the experimental star-ship, which is overtaken by Duplicate Boy, and forced to land on an uninhabited planet. The two compare notes about the other, and Vi regrets having signalled the Legion about the danger.

She tells Duplicate Boy to flee, but he stands his ground, as Mon-El, Colossal Boy, Ultra-Boy,a nd Element Lad arrive! (Holy Selegue, Batman!) The hero of Lallor grows to giant-size and punches Colossal Boy in the jaw, as Mon-El challenges him to a fair fight! Shrinking down, Duplicate Boy fights Mon-El, while Colossal Boy cheers him on and Vi begs him not to hurt the hero of Lallor... Realizing that if they keep fighting, the pylons will fall on Vi, Duplicate Boy surrenders, and knows that his other friends won't surrender as easily. Meanwhile, Mon-El comes up with a plan...

Marden King continues his gloating as he examines the Legion's weapons, when the heroes of Lallor come across a locked door which leads to the Legion's records room. Evolvo Lad comes to the clever conclusion that there's something there that Marden doesn't want them to see! (Holy Jemas, Batman!) Gas Girl changes to vapor and enters the room, where she uses the film strip projector and sees the heroic exploits of the Legion!

Telling the others that the Legion are heroes, the heroes of Lallor realize that Marden King has lied to them! For some reason, Marden is confident that the heroes can't harm him, but Life Lass uses her power on the chair he's sitting on to imprison him! The Legionnaires are freed, just as the others arrive! Duplicate Boy learns the truth about the Legion and Marden King tells them that he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those medding kids from Lallor!

As the heroes of Lallor prepare to walk into a ray which will nullify their powers, Superboy tells them to return to their home planet, where the prime minister has been removed from power by the people. (Holy Total Recall, Batman!) Vi and Duplicate Boy say goodbye to one another, with the hero from Lallor telling her that with his super-speed, he'll visit her again one day! (Holy Frequent Flier Miles, Batman!)

There's quite a difference between what's depicted on the cover and what actually took place on the pages beneath it. Far from being villains, the heroes of Lallor are exiles who go up against what they believe to be a Legion of Super-Outlaws!

Interesting that a guy named Marden King would have a brother who called himself the Jungle King. I've heard of Saturn Queen, but this is ridiculous!

The flying belts were what was given to those applicants who applied for Legion membership, but were rejected. The Legion of Substitute Heroes was comprised of many of these would-be members.

Other characters who can duplicate powers include: Clayface II and IV, The Mimic, The Super Adapttoid, Amazo, Nemesis Kid (or did he gain the ability to find and use his foe's weakness?) and The Composite Superman.

Vapor of the U-Foes (Incredible Hulk) could also become gaseous.

Other characters who could assume or use animal powers include: Animal Man and Beast-Boy/Changeling.

Among those gifted or afflicted with future super brains include: The Leader, Brainiac, and Brainiac 5, Alpha The Ultimate Mutant (Defenders).

Groups which refer to themselves as evil include: The Brotherhood of Evil and The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Steve Chung
"The Review of Super-Outlaws!"