Legion of Super-Heroes Re-Read – “The Bizarro-Legion” (Adventure Comics #329, February, 1965)

For some months, Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney took over writing and drawing the Legion’s adventures. It’s a pleasure to see Mooney’s pencils on the Legion, and, while a Bizarro story does not exactly fit the tone fans were probably looking for, Siegel at least takes the time to mention the ongoing Time Trapper subplot in this story, and to mention the mystery of a vanishing world that the Legion is planning to investigate. Whether this was laying groundwork for a future story, or just reminding us that the Legion did have continuity and ongoing business, it’s not clear at this point. It does serve to remind us, though, that the Legion does have continuity.

And the big news in this issue is that Brainiac 5 announces the invention of the Flight Ring. Two panels are spent on this most iconic piece of Legion history, and it doesn’t figure into the story at all.

Reading Bizarro stories today, one has to wonder if anyone was actually entertained by them, and what characterized the group of fans that was. I recently reviewed an 80-page collection of all Bizarro stories from about the same era as this one, and found them repetitive and unfunny. They’re about on the level of a lot of the comic adaptations of popular TV comedies of the time, as published by Dell and Charlton. To be honest, a lot of the source material for those comics were not funnier.

Bizarro Superboy comes to apply for Legion membership. Superboy explains that the original Bizarro was imperfect duplicate of himself was created by a scientist back in the 20th Century. It’s not clear whether this is the same Bizarro, or some wacky sort of descendent; but the square Bizarro World is still there in space, and still peopled by super-idiots. We don’t see any of the standard Bizarro cast in this story—no Bizarro No.1, no Bizarro Lois, or their son. Maybe they’re dead?

Rejected, Bizarro vows revenge and goes home to make a Legion of Stupor-Bizarros. This team swears to do everything that is opposite of what the Legion would do. Hilarity ensues. There’s really not much else to say about this story. It’s pure filler—not particularly clever, not particularly fun, with nothing to add to Legion history except, oh yeah, they got Bizarro-ed too.

Firsts: Flight Ring

Roll Call: Superboy, Triplicate Girl, Saturn Girl, Invisible Kid, Lightning Lad, Chameleon Boy, Brainiac 5, Mon-El, Ultra Boy, Light Lass, Element Lad, Cosmic Boy

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