Condo Arlik, known as Chemical King, was a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes until his death in 2982. He had the ability to control chemical reactions.
Condo Arlik was born on the colony world of Phlon. The hospital in which he was born rusted over shortly afterward.
Condo, it turned out, was a mutant catalyst for chemical reactions, including oxidation. The doctors who found this out decided there was only one way to control his problem: teach him chemistry, immediately. The baby Condo grew up in almost total isolation, to prevent him from accidentally hurting anyone, all the while learning the properties of chemical elements and compounds, so that, when he grew old enough to consciously control his power, the substances in his vicinity would continue reacting at their ordinary rate because he would will them to.
Fortunately, Condo's case came to the attention of teenaged biochemical genius Lyle Norg, better known as Invisible Kid. Lyle came up with a solution that would keep his powers under control, but that was the less important effect he had on Condo's life. The more important one was that he became Condo's friend. He took Condo out to see and experience everything he had been missing in his forced isolation, and taught him the use of his powers as a force for good - to be utilized, not suppressed. When the Legion Academy opened, Lyle entered Condo in it under the code name Chemical King, where Condo learned to refine the use of his powers and other combat techniques. When the Legion needed to infiltrate the Legion of Super-Villains, Chemical King and Timber Wolf were the two students chosen for the job, and upon successful completion of that mission, both were inducted into the Legion.
Chemical King served the Legion well for several years, but when Lyle died in 2981, something died inside of him as well. He became extremely depressed and the minor inferiority complex that he had always had became a major problem. When Deregon, premier of Earth's Australian region, proved to be a Dark Circle agent, and the Legion went to try and prevent him from starting what would have been World War VII, Chemical King joined the mission out of necessity. When Deregon revealed the bomb with which he would cause mass destruction, Condo realized that his power could be of use in stopping it, and at the same time, follow the example Lyle set for him by dying in the line of duty. He accelerated the bomb's chemical reactions to the point where the bomb was useless, but to do so, he had to get close to the bomb, and suffer severe radiation poisoning. Chemical King died on February 10, 2982, and was buried with full honors on Shanghalla.
Powers and abilities
Chemical King could control any type of chemical reaction. For example, he could cause a gun to burst into flame by speeding up its rust process, or slow down an enemy's metabolism, causing him or her to pass out. Condo was born with this power; some consider him the first mutant Legionnaire.
- Chemical King had the distinction of first appearing as a statue of a deceased Legionnaire on the cover of Adventure Comics #354 (March 1967) -- before he appeared as a living character. Adventure #354 featured an Adult Legion story set many years after Chemical King's sacrifice.
- Chemical King first appeared, alive, as a Legion cadet in Adventure Comics #371 and joined the Legion the following issue. Along with Timber Wolf, he was one of the last Legionnaires to join during the Silver Age.