Adventure Comics 313

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Adventure Comics #313
Preboot » Pre-Crisis
Adventure313.jpg
Cover by Curt Swan, George Klein and Ira Schnapp
Story title The Condemned Legionnaires!
Pt.2: The Secret of Satan Girl!
Previous story Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72: The World of Doomed Olsens!
Next story Adventure Comics #314: The Super-Villains of All Ages!
Publication date August 29, 1963
Cover date October 1963
Creators
Writer Edmond Hamilton
Penciller Curt Swan
Inker(s) George Klein, Sheldon Moldoff (uncredited)
Letterer Milton Snapinn
Colourist(s) ???
Editor Mort Weisinger
Cover artist(s) Curt Swan, George Klein, Ira Schnapp

The Condemned Legionnaires!

Synopsis

Part 1

While helping to repair a broken generator, Lightning Lass suddenly falls ill with a virus that turns her skin crimson. Shortly after, Saturn Girl comes down with the same virus while interpreting for an alien delegation, and Shrinking Violet is infected before she can make micro-repairs on the Legion’s spaceship. The remaining girl Legionnaires – Triplicate Girl and Phantom Girl– also become ill, and when Night Girl volunteers to help them (careful not to reveal the existence of the The Legion of Substitute Heroes), she, too, is infected. Concerned that the virus may spread, the boy Legionnaires put the girls in a special space bubble and send them to Quarantine World until they can find a cure. Superboy and Mon-El then depart on a mission to stop two worlds from colliding. After they leave, a masked girl who calls herself Satan Girl appears and offers to take the girl Legionnaires’ place. When she is rejected, Satan Girl reveals that she caused the virus. She then pledges to kill the girl Legionnaires and damages the Legion’s rocket ship to prevent them from interfering.

With their two mightiest members, Superboy and Mon-El, away, the Legion summons Supergirl from the past. Supergirl, who was en route to visit the Legion anyway, is made “honorary leader of the Legion” and leads the team in their effort to stop Satan Girl. Supergirl speeds to Quarantine World, where Satan Girl is using rays from a special bracelet she wears to make the girl Legionnaires’ virus worse. Supergirl discovers that her x-ray vision can’t penetrate Satan Girl’s lead mask to uncover her identity. As they fight, Satan Girl reveals that she has super-strength, super-speed, and invulnerability. When Supergirl tries to burn away Satan Girl’s mask with heat vision, the villain breaks away and escapes.

Supergirl flies to the main hospital on Quarantine World and borrows samples of green kryptonite dust in a lead box. Thinking her opponent to be Kryptonian, she follows Satan Girl to an asteroid, where she exposes the villain to the kryptonite dust. Surprisingly, it has no effect. Satan Girl disappears inside a cave and tunnels her way out the other side of the asteroid to escape.

Part 2: The Secret of Satan Girl!

Supergirl and the boy Legionnaires escort the girls to a world she says only she knows of: a planet populated by intelligent and friendly creatures that bounce. Now believing Satan Girl to be an android, Supergirl fashions a weapon to stop any android. But when Satan Girl shows up, this weapon, too, has no effect. However, the Legionnaires are able to escape when the bouncing aliens distract Satan Girl.

On Supergirl’s instruction, the boy Legionnaires take the girls to Puppet Planetoid, a world which serves as a playground for gigantic children of another dimension. However, Satan Girl knows of this word, too, and brings a load of green kryptonite rocks to drop on Supergirl. As the Legionnaires attempt in vain to stop Satan Girl, Lightning Lad frees Supergirl. Under her instruction, he travels into the past and recruits the Legion of Super-PetsComet the Super-Horse, Beppo the Super-Monkey, Krypto the Super-Dog, and Streaky the Super-Cat. The pets attack Satan Girl, who collapses. Satan Girl then reveals that she is really a duplicate of Supergirl, created by a recent encounter with red kryptonite. She sought to prolong her 48-hour existence by siphoning off her red k energy and giving it to others in the form of a crimson virus. She selected the girl Legionnaires to confuse Supergirl and make her think that she, too, might become a victim. The Legionnaires discover that Satan Girl was able to resist green kryptonite due to a special lead costume she sometimes wore.

Her 48 hours over, Satan Girl merges back into Supergirl. The effects of the crimson virus immediately disappear from the girl Legionnaires.

Key Quotes and Catchphrases

“I’m sorry, Saturn Girl ... but all the female members of the Legion are doomed.”Superboy, demonstrating super-sensitivity.

Critique

This is one of the few Pre-Crisis Legion stories to feature Supergirl in a major role. Unfortunately, she was never integrated into the team as well as her cousin, and this story is fairly typical: It is mainly a Supergirl solo story with the Legion as guest-stars. Most of the other team members have little to do.

Even so, “The Condemned Legionnaires” is a well-told story that presents a serious threat, a formidable antagonist, and a mystery that keeps the reader (and Supergirl) guessing: Who is Satan Girl and why does she want to kill the girl Legionnaires? The action sequences are better developed than in most stories of this period (when violence was shunned by the Comics Code). The ending draws on established elements of the Superman mythos – red k and the super-pets – yet doesn’t feel contrived. Rather, Satan Girl’s reaction to the bouncing aliens provides Supergirl with the vital clue she needs to defeat the villain, and Satan Girl’s motive – wanting to survive beyond her red k-allotted 48 hours – makes her somewhat sympathetic.

This is the first Legion series story to feature the entire female cast – even non-member Night Girl is present throughout – even though most of them have nothing more to do than become ill. Nevertheless, it’s a welcome change from most previous issues in which Saturn Girl is the only female Legionnaire present. At a time when every other super-hero team featured one female member, the Legion boasted six. Depicting them together provided a rare and subtle forecast of the changing role of women as equal participants in society.

Roll Call

Legionnaires

Cameos

Villains

  • Satan Girl (a duplicate of Supergirl; merges with her at end of story)

Supporting characters

Other characters

None significant

Planets and Settings

Technology, Gadgets and Other Neat Stuff

  • Robot-nurses of Quarantine World
  • Giant puppets of Puppet Planetoid

Notes

Errors and Oddities

  • In the middle of a serious mission, Bouncing Boy takes time out to playfully bounce with the aliens.
  • Satan Girl’s lead costume is said to protect her from green kryptonite, yet her eyes and the lower part of her face are not covered and would be exposed to the radiation.
  • It is interesting that Satan Girl never tries to expose Supergirl to more red k or that Supergirl never worries about becoming a victim of the crimson virus herself, even though the latter is the stated reason why Satan Girl infected the girl Legionnaires.

First appearances

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

Powers and abilities

Reboot Reference Kit

Retcon Alert

Other

  • Adventure Comics #316 depicts an incident on the Puppet Planetoid in which Ultra Boy saves Sun Boy from being crushed to death by one of the giant puppets. Since no other stories involve visiting this world and given the proximity in time between the two issues, it is likely that this incident occurred during the events of Satan Girl's attack.

Reprints

The Condemned Legionnaires has been reprinted in the following:

See also


« Previous    Next »Adventure Comics #313
Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72 
By continuity
Adventure Comics #314

Adventure Comics #312 
By series
Adventure Comics #314

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72 
By publication
Superman v1 #165