“The Sacrifice of Kid Psycho!” (Superboy #125, December, 1965)

This is another of Otto Binder’s very few Legion entries, and, surprisingly, it does not feature Lana Lang at all. Odd, since Binder seemed to have an affection for the trouble-making redhead.

A young man in a turban and jumpsuit shows up at Kent’s General Store, asking Clark if he can supply Superboy’s home address. Clark explains that nobody knows that, and wonders if this strangely garbed young visitor is from some foreign land. He doesn’t have time to call ICE, however, because an emergency erupts on the street outside. A live electrical cable has fallen right next to a truck full of nitroglycerine.

A truck.

Full of nitroglycerine.

Does that happen? I mean, even in the 1940s, were truck drivers allowed to just drive big bombs down the highway, and into populated areas? I mean, I know a gasoline tanker is likewise a potential bomb, but nitroglycerine?

Actually, the transport of liquid nitroglycerine was banned in California and many other states after an explosion in 1866 destroyed a San Francisco Western Union office and killed 15 people. So the odds of this situation actually happening are slim, even though we now know that Smallville is in Kansas and not California.

Kid Psycho decides that it’s safer for him to prevent an explosion by projecting a force field than it is for Superboy (who has, not surprisingly, just flown out of the ally beside the store) to try and move the line while it’s sparking. Fair enough. Later Kid Psycho’s force shields stop deadly cobras from attacking zoo patrons (yes, zoos do keep cobras!) and also stop a Green Kryptonite mortar from kill Superboy after some thugs fire it from a tank. (No, it is not legal for criminals to use tanks on city streets, but, hey, these are criminals.)

Kid Psycho reveals that he is a mutant with an abnormally large brain, that he was born in the 30th Century, and that he was turned down for Legion membership almost a year ago. He’s not sure why. Superboy flies with him to the future to give him a recommendation at his re-application, and learns that the reason Kid Psycho was rejected was that his Legion physical revealed that he loses a year of his life each time he uses his power. Of course, no one bothered to tell him that a year ago!

Kid Psycho takes the news like a champ, but gets weepy when he realizes he’ll never be a Legionnaire. Then Saturn Girl proposes making him a member of the Legion Reserve, which right now includes only Bouncing Boy, and possibly Jimmy Olsen and Pete Ross.

Bastard People Count: Way too many. The doctor. Saturn Girl and the other Legionnaires who didn’t tell Kid Psycho about his medical condition as soon as they knew. How many years did he lose from his life just trying to re-qualify for Legion membership? And what kind of doctor doesn’t tell his or her patient that he has a life-threatening condition?

Roll Call: Superboy, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, Lightning Lad, Sun Boy, Brainiac 5

Firsts: Kid Psycho

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