Legion of Super-Heroes Re-Read – “The League of Fantastic Supermen!” (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #63, September, 1962)

Another “not Legion” story appears in a “not Superboy / Supergirl” story. Jimmy Olsen had his own title throughout the 1960s, as did Lois Lane, making them certainly the first—possibly still the only—non-costumed, non-super supporting characters to rate their own titles. (To be fair, both Jimmy and Lois took on costumed identities fairly often in these stories, including Jimmy’s assumption of the identity of Elastic Lad, a reserve member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, down the road.)

Of course, Superman, Supergirl and the whole Superman Family showed up in every issue. Indeed, in 1974, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen was re-titled Superman Family, and Lois and Supergirl’s titles were canceled so they could be rolled into it. Jimmy’s book was also, strangely enough, Jack Kirby’s first assignment upon arriving at DC Comics, and thus is the title in which the Fourth World was launched.

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Legion of Super-Heroes Re-Read – “The Legion of Super-Villains!” (Superman #147, August, 1961)

As promised at the end of “The Army of Living Kryptonite Men”, an adult Lex Luthor, imprisoned, makes good on his promise to track down the Legion of Super-Villains, which must exist, he reasons, if there is a Legion of Super-Heroes. His method of tracking them down is pretty hilarious—he offers to repair all of his fellow inmates’ broken radios, and, while doing so, steals one part from each of them in order to build a future transmitter. Did the radios with missing parts actually work when he was done? We’re never told. I guess it doesn’t matter, since, after building the future transmitter, he quickly secures the means to escape.

“Calling the future!” he says into his transmitter. (I love it!) These were the days, if you don’t remember them, when a lot of Americans still didn’t dial phones. They picked them up and told an operator who they wanted to talk to. So Lex wasn’t behaving that out of character for someone of his time, but still… The whole future, Lex? All of it?

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