Sunday, August 4, 2013

From the Vault: Adventure Comics: 321

         The comic starts at the Legion Club house. Phantom Girl and Star Boy see that Saturn Girl has sounded a General Alarm. All the Legion is soon at the club house and Star Boy see's someone he does not recognize. It turns out it is Bouncing Boy who while exercising near Element Lad experiment pushed a switch on the matter-shrinking Projector. It made him slender but also rob him of his powers. The Legion after a vote do not expel him but give a place on the Legion Reserve group. Superboy who has been around listening that asks where Chameleon Boy and Triplicate Girl are.


         However, he goes on and states that he, Mon-EL and Ultra Boy were unable to break past the Iron Curtain of time doing it together all at the same time. Superboy that reveals that the time-trapper spoke to them saying that he will be coming past the barrier and time to destroy the Legion. Saturn Girl states that the time-trapper is the legions greatest enemy. Star Boy asks why don't they use the concentrator to smash through the barrier. At this, Saturn Girl says the existence of the concentrator must be kept a secret and not to mention it again.  The scene shifts to Graa and we see that Chameleon Boy is working on a radar beacon to help space navigators. Suddenly, some one shouts Chameleon Boy. Come quickly and help.
          As he gets to the voice he learns it is a mechanical trap. He is spread with something that prevents him from using his powers. The voice asks him what is the concentrator. He is shocked at this. However, he sees that his left hand was not hit and makes a skeleton key to open the lock on the trap. He escapes and plans to report back to Earth. The scene shifts to Triplicate Girl on another planet who has also walked into a trap. She too is it hit by something a mental trap and a voice asks her about the conccentator. However, she uses her powers and manages to escape and to plans to report back to Earth on this.
          The two report this to the Legion and they are shocked. Saturn Girl closes her mind so no telepath can learn something from her. Soon a chief Wilson of the Science Police comes asking about the concentrator as he heard it on a radio message in space. The Legion reveal to him that it could be dangerous to the whole universe. He says that he cannot trust their word and must test them to see if they can keep it safe.


           The commissioner then takes them to a lonely, unpopulated world known as Althar. Their is a abandoned place used to test psychological and physical limits of astronauts. The building is made of impervious metal to protect it from animals who have similar powers to matter-eater Lad. The commissioner than tells them he will be utterly ruthless in testing them.
            Sun boy is the first to be tested. He goes into a dark room in which a voice keeps asking what the secret of the conccentator is. Sun Boy uses his powers and sees he is in a room of mirrors which are reflecting his powers back at him. Sun Boy than breaks the mirrors and is let out as he passed the test. however, he is dazed by his ordeal. Next is Shrinking Violet. She is attacked by monsters that she finds out to be illusions. All this time a voice asks her what the conccntator is.


         As she is about to tell she shrinks down and in a tiny voice no one can hear says what it is. (This page also common to the times shows that the comic is spilit into two parts and shows a little bit of what will happen to the Legion in the nest part of this issue)
         However, due to this fast thinking she passes the test. After a meal in the which the Legion worries a bit it is Superboys turn to go. The commissioner puts him in a lead lined room that also has kryptonite in it. He is than told he will have green kryptonite dumped on him if he does not tell. He chooses not to turn information in and it is dumped on him.
          The Krytonite was fake and Superboy knew it was a bluff as that much would have made him unable to speak the secret. Next up is Saturn Girl. The commissioner asks her the question and she feels he is using something capable of receiving vibrations  of anything she thinks. So she chooses to think of Legion feats of the past. First up is colossal Boy on a planet who grows big and get's a net to stop the ships of space-raiders by catching them.

          Second is Star Boy using his powers to save a shrine. After that she thinks of three more feats the Legion has done in the past and so makes him made think of nothing. Soon the commissioner tells her that she passed her test and the next person is selected.
           Next to be tested is Mon-EL who is dosed with poison gas. However, he is able to pass after the commissioner tries to get him to reveal the secret by hurting his friends. However, he knew them to be robots thanks to no heartbeats and did not play along.
           The next person to be tested is Lighting Lad. He is test but fails. He reveals the secret. The conccentator can concentrate free atoms to create matter instantly. After this the commissioner reveals that Lighting Lad told the secret. He has to remain but the rest of the Legion my go.

        After the commissioner leaves to arrange permanent police guard for Lighting Lad. Lighting Lad talks to them say he thinks that the commissioner was fake as he knew what happened to Chameleon Boy and he was not told that. When Superboy  and Mon-EL use their powers to look they see that the man was a fake and headed for a distant world to get a time-bubble. They see that the real commissioner is bound.
          They than find out that the fake is in fact the time trapper. However, he sends dead suns towards Althor where most of the Legion is. They tell this to Brainiac 5 and they agree to have him build the conccentator to stop the dead suns. they build it and stop the suns.

However, they can only keep it on for a short time due to the the massive amount of power. However, for a bit the device has taken the power of all the universe for a short time. The Legion than makes promise to bring the Time Trapper to justice. The comic ends with Bouncing Boy have a girlfriend who is a "bit" large and superboy laughing and trying to cover it up


This issue was not. It sets the stage for a bit of time where Bouncing Boy has no powers. However, it also shows that the group is becoming quite important if the time trapper is after them. The Trapper after the Fatal Five(not see in classic era yet) would be one of the most important villains(some times ally) that the group would face.  This issue also marks one where the Legion is shown to have powerful tech that could be dangerous in enemy hands and has to protect it. While the science is also laughable bad it is a silver age comic and also a comic so that can be forgiven. Lastly, the Legion artwork is starting to get better where each character does not look the same and can be told apart especially the female Legion members.  

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