Adventure Comics 282

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Adventure Comics #282
Preboot » Pre-Crisis
Adventure282.jpg
Cover by Curt Swan, Stan Kaye and Ira Schnapp.
Story title Lana Lang Meets the Legion of Super-Heroes
Previous story Superboy v1 #86: The Army of Living Kryptonite Men
Next story Superboy v1 #89: Superboy's Big Brother
Publication date January 31, 1961
Cover date March 1961
Creators
Writer Otto Binder
Penciller George Papp
Inker George Papp
Letterer Joe Letterese
Colourist(s) ???
Editor Mort Weisinger
Cover artist(s) Curt Swan, Stan Kaye, Ira Schnapp

Lana tries to make Superboy jealous by feigning interest in Star Boy.

Lana Lang and the Legion of Super-Heroes!

(13 pages/73 panels)

Synopsis

While pining over Superboy, Lana Lang attends an afternoon matinee and hits upon an idea based on the plot of the picture she sees -- she could try and make Superboy so jealous. But how, she wonders, when "no other boy on Earth" can compare to him?

Meanwhile, Superboy is beset by a series of odd occurrences. Giant-sized horseshoes make ringers around him while he walks down the street in his Clark Kent guise, Smallville dam nearly overflows when a logjam blocks a drainage grill, he suddenly finds himself encased in ice when he emerges from a lake, and huge letter made of baked clay fly across the sky and explode against a cliff.

Those letters form words instructing Superboy to go to Calvin's Cave, where he meets Star Boy, who explains that he took to time to arrange these elaborate stunts, "to lure you here quickly."

Star Boy recounts his origin story, including that he is from the 30th century planet, Xanthu, and how he gained powers like Superboy's when he took a "spin in the family spacemobile" through the "strangely glowing" tail of a passing comet.

Crash landing on Xanthu, Star Boy discovered his powers, adopted a secret identity, and joined the Legion of Super-Heroes, prompting Superboy to recall that he, too, is a Legion member.

Star Boy then tells how two Xanthu criminals escaped jail and one fled to 20th century Earth in a time-ship. Star Boy has captured that crook, he says, but he needs Superboy's help to find the other, who is hiding in an underground maze of copper sewer pipes. Star Boy's x-ray vision, it seems, cannot penetrate copper, just as Superboy cannot see through lead.

Superboy flies off to tell his foster parents that he's leaving for the future just as Lana happens upon the scene. Having heard just enough to hatch upon a scheme, Lana tells Star Boy that she will reveal his secret identity to the captured crook if he does not comply with her wishes. Star Boy does not know that Lana only heard enough to know he had a secret identity, but otherwise is bluffing because she did not hear his real name. Still, unable to think of any way out of Lana's web of deceit, he agrees to toe the line.

Unfortunately for Lana's plans, Superboy arrives just in time to overhear that she wants Star Boy to feign undying lover for her in order to make Superboy jealous.

Star Boy then flies Lana to home so she can ask her parents for permission to accompany Star Boy into the future. Star Boy puts the concerns of Lana's parents to rest by displaying his super-powers, including one even Superboy does not have -- electrical vision. Lana's parents decide she'll be safe with Star Boy and agree to let her go.

Once everyone has arrived on Xanthu, Star Boy rushes his prisoner back to jail while Superboy quickly apprehends the second escapee. When Superboy rejoins his companions, Lana has Star Boy perform a series of feats to prove his love for her, such as spinning her a dress made of glowing silk spider-threads and altering the atomic structure of rocks with his electric vision to create for her a "super-jewel."

But Superboy does not fall for the ruse, and instead turns the tables on Lana by appearing to fall madly in love with a Xanthu girl named Zynthia, who we later learn is actually Star Boy's girlfriend. He then performs stunts of his own to show off, such as capturing a wild parakat and training it to say how beautiful Zynthia is.

Finally, Lana gives up, reveals her trickery, and asks to be taken home. She and Superboy agree to remain friends, but he declines to take her to the teen-time dance because he's too busy with all the super-jobs that have piled up with away in the future, leaving Lana right back where she started.


Key Quotes and Catchphrases

  • "Oh, he's so powerful . . . so handsome . . . so clever . . . and so indifferent to me!" (Lana Lang, summing up her relationship with Superboy)
  • "What a super-convenient son you are!" (Pa Kent)
  • "Holy cow!" (Superboy)
  • ". . . while taking a spin in the family spacemobile . . ." (Star Boy, apparently ignorant of the irony that this is how all Legion origin stories start)
  • "Y-you'll give away me secret identity, eh? I-I'm trapped!" (Star Boy)
  • "Hmm . . . So that's her little scheme, is it?" (Superboy, apparently ignorant of the fact that he's had to say this of every love interest he's ever had)
  • "Gracious, Lana! A trip to a strange world in the future might be dangerous!" (Lana's mom)
  • "Wow! Star Boy has an extra super-power even I haven't got!" (Just like all Legionnaires, Superboy)
  • "Blast the luck! You're invulnerable to me atomic gun, too!" (An unnamed Xanthusian criminal)
  • "Superboy still isn't giving me a tumble, but I'll make him jealous yet!" (Lana)
  • "Too bad you haven't got electrical vision, Superboy!" (Lana)
  • "Oh, how can you be so blind, Superboy? Can't you see Star Boy simply adores me?" (Lana)
  • "Oh, how disgusting! Superboy is obeying her every whim!" (Lana)
  • "Holy Cow!" (Superboy, again)
  • "Let Superboy go . . . You hussy!" (Lana)


Roll Call

Legionnaires

  • Superboy (cover, 61 panels)
  • Star Boy (cover, 41 panels; 1st appearances, origin)
  • Chameleon Boy (1 panel; 2nd appearance)
  • Lightning "Boy" (1 panel; 5th appearance)
  • Saturn Girl (1 panel; 5th appearance)
  • Cosmic Boy (1 panel; 5th appearance)
  • Plus, two others, seen from behind

Villains

  • Two unnamed Xanthu criminals (4 panels)

Supporting characters

  • Lana Lang (cover, 43 panels)
  • Jonathan "Pa" Kent (1 panel)
  • Zynthia (cover, 10 panels; only appearance)

Other characters

  • Five unnamed patients at Smallville Hospital (1 panel)
  • Seven unnamed patrons of a Smallville theater (1 panel)
  • Two unnamed movie stars (1 panel)
  • Star Boy's father, Fryd Kallor (3 panels)
  • Star Boy's mother, Mira Kallor (2 panels)
  • Professor Lang (3 panels)
  • Mrs. Lang (3 panels)
  • Giant Xanthu spiders (referenced only)
  • a Parakat (4 panels)

Planets and Settings

  • 20th century Earth, including:
    • Smallville, including:
      • Smallville Hospital
      • Lana Lang's home and bedroom
      • the Kent home
      • a Smallville movie theater
      • Smallville Dam
      • Calvin's Cave (only mention in any Superboy story)
  • Xanthu, including:
    • the Kallor home
    • Star Boy's Laboratory (only appearance)
    • the copper sewer pipes of Xanthu
    • Rainbow Bridge
    • the Jungle Mountains

Technolgy, Gadgets and Other Neat Stuff

  • Star Boy's time-ship (5 panels)
  • Legion nameplates (1 panel; 1st depiction)
  • an Atomic Gun (1 panel)
  • a Xanthu "super-loom" (3 panels; used to weave "Xanthu style clothing out of giant, glowing, silk spider-threads)
  • a Xanthu sky canoe (3 panels)

First appearances

This issue marks the first appearance of the following characters and recurring key Legion story elements:

  • Star Boy
  • Legion nameplates
  • Xanthu

Notes

  • Star Boy's parent's, Fryd and Mira Kallor, are unnamed in this tale. They are not given names until Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #306.
  • In the one panel depicting Star Boy's induction into the Legion, two characters are seen from the back. In Legion Archives vol. 1 a girl with long hair is colored as a blond (Supergirl?), while a boy has red hair (Sun Boy?).


Errors and Oddities

  • Lightning Lad's nameplate is mislabeled Lightning "Boy."
  • Maybe there's a clue in this debut appearance for why Star Boy would ultimately be depicted as perhaps not the brightest bulb in the Legion. After all, he wants to meet Superboy "quickly." So, what does he do? He actually takes the time to make giant horseshoes and toss them at Clark Kent from afar, he endangers all of Smallville by plugging up a drain in the dam, he plays at being Mr. Freeze Miser, and he makes and destroys giant clay letters, all to lure Superboy to Calvin's Cave. Gee Thom, when all the other Legionnaires visited the 20th century and wanted to meet Superboy in his Clark Kent identity, they just put on some civilian clothes and walked right up to him.
  • In this story, Star Boy uses his electrical vision to alter the atomic structure of a pile of Xanthu rocks, condensing them down into "one super-jewel equal in value to a thousand earthly diamonds." In a coincidence worthy of any true fanfic writer, when Lester Spiffany attempts to bribe his way in the Legion in Adventure Comics #301 he offers up the Dazzle Gem of Xandu.

Power Permutations

Star Boy does not have the mass induction powers that would later become his hallmark. Instead, his powers in this debut appearance mimic Superboy's. He displays super-strength, super-breath, invulnerability, infra-red vision (a.k.a. heat vision) and flight. He also mentions his x-ray vision, noting that he is unable to see through copper, and shows off the one power he has that Superboy does not -- electrical vision.

When Star Boy makes his second real appearance three years later in Adventure Comics 317, he is given a completely different origin to go with the mass induction powers.


Reboot Reference Kit

  • Post-Crisis: Star Boy's retconned origin post-Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #306 and back-story remained, essentially, unchanged.
  • 5YL/Glorithverse: Again, few tweaks were made to Star Boy's history.
  • Reboot/Post-Zero Hour: Star Boy first appeared in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #77 after having been delayed in answering his draft notice by an encounter with a passing comet. In tales reminiscent of his retconned Pre-boot origin, Star Boy displayed for a time crazy come-and-go powers like the ones he uses in this issue. His origin was eventually given in Legends of the Legion #4.
  • Threeboot: Great changes are made in Star Boy's costume and his features are changed from apparent Caucasian to African. He is also made out to be something of a bumbler.

Retcon Alert

  • Star Boy is said to have a secret identity on Xanthu; this is later dropped as no Legionnaires after this ever had a dual identity in the traditional super-hero mold. Other aspects of Star Boy's back-story and his homeworld never seen again are his laboratory, donated to him by a grateful populace; the great planet's various flora, fauna and attractions; its propensity for frequent, massive floods; and perhaps saddest of all, Star Boy's girlfriend, Zynthia.
  • No mention is made of the extra powers Star Boy is seen using in this issue until Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #306, when it is explained that Star Boy was a mutant born with gravity powers, while the other powers caused by his exposure to a mysterious comet were temporary.
  • In Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #306, the length of time between Star Boy's 1st and 2nd appearances (2 years, 11 months) is as a time of convalescence due to injuries received in battle when his additional powers faded without warning.


Twice-Told Tales

This story is based on "Lana Lang's Romance on Mars!" in Adventure Comics 195 (December, 1953). In that story, Lana pulls the same make-Superboy-jealous shtick with the new hero, Mars Boy.


Twisted Timelines

Although Star Boy was the 7th Legionnaire to appear in the Pre-boot era, he was said to have been the 13th to join, overall. Part of this is due to the fact that Legion fans, using various art clues, including which Legionnaires are depicted in the background during different induction ceremonies, would later declare that Supergirl actually joined the Legion before Superboy. This later became canon in the official continuity. Since Superboy points out upon meeting Star Boy that he also is a Legion member, logic seems to dictate that Star Boy must have joined after Superboy, and thus everyone determined to have joined before Superboy.


Worth 1,000 Words

  • While Star Boy's costume remains essentially unchanged when he finally reappears, it has a great swoop neck here that is never seen again.
  • The two Xanthu criminals Star Boy needs help apprehending are both drawn as bald, looking vary much like Superboy's arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor.

Other stories in this issue

There is an additional story that does not feature the Legion, "One Hour to Doom".

Reprints

This Legion story has been reprinted in the following:

See also


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