With a cover that nicely mirrors the one from Adventure 247, in which the Legion of Super-Heroes were introduced, Superman finds himself facing the Legion of Super-Villains in issue 147 (Aug. 61).
But first, Titano is back in a Krypto story. This may be billed as a Superman tale, but he only appears in the first panel of this Siegel and Plastino story.
Krypto believes that Titano crushed a bone he was saving to chew on, and flies into the past to find the ape with kryptonite vision, and “get even” with him.
The whole kryptonite vision thing does not deter Krypto. He is a dog, after all. But once Titano eye beams him, Krypto decides to make friends with the giant ape. There are some invading aliens that the two animals hold off as well.
The Legion of Super-Heroes had become regular supporting characters in the Superboy books by the time Siegel, Swan and Moldoff introduce their villainous counterparts in this tale.
Luthor, who learned of the Legion’s existence when he was Superboy’s age, theorizes that an adult evil group must exist, and figures out how to contact them. They break him out of prison. Cosmic King, Lightning Lord and Saturn Queen each get their origin told in this story. Cosmic King has neither the same powers as Cosmic Boy, nor the same home planet, so the pairing of the two is a bit odd. Cosmic King’s abilities, gained through alchemy, actually are parallel to those of Element Lad, yet to be introduced.
Lightning Lord is made into the elder brother of Lightning Lad, an inspired touch. Mekt Ranzz is easily added to the origin on Korbal, with the Lightning Beasts. Saturn Queen is kept the most nebulous of the three, but we do learn that she is from Titan, along with Saturn Girl.
They join with Luthor to kill Superman. Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl show up to help him, but the villains already have Superman trussed up for the kill. Saturn Girl volunteers to die in his place, and Superman creates a ring around the planetoid they are on, using material from Saturn’s rings. This causes Saturn Queen to switch sides, and she helps defeat Luthor and her former team mates.
While Saturn Queen would stay on the bad side in all her later appearances from this era, the notion that she only becomes evil away from Titan is brought back in the 90s Legion series.
Tagged: Al Plastino, Cosmic Boy, Cosmic King, Curt Swan, DC Comics, Jerry Siegel, Krypto, Legion of Super-Heroes, Legion of Super-Villains, Lex Luthor, Lightning Lad, Lightning Lord, Saturn Girl, Saturn Queen, Sheldon Moldoff, Superman, Titano