Legion of Super-Heroes 304

The LSH Trainee Program

Legion of Super-Heroes 304

commentary with spoilers

Written by Paul Levitz. Drawn by Keith Giffen. Plotted by both.

Decades before Avengers Academy we have the Legion Academy. Its purpose is to train up future Legionnaires.

Let's look at that cover. The purple-skinned guy front and center is Power Boy, Jed Rikane. His power is super-strength and super-toughness. He stayed in the Academy for many years after which he worked as a security guard in Takron-Galtos, the notorious prison planet.

Jumping up from the water beside him is Lamprey, Tayla Scott. Tayla will also eventually be part of the security team at Takron Galtos. She can breath underwater and can control electricity by storing or projecting it out.

The girl flying in the upper right is Laurel Kent. Thought to be the 30th century direct descendant of Clark Kent and inheritor of Superman's invincibility. It was later revealed that Laurel was a Manhunter robot from the 20th century. Manhunters typically look like this:


So Laurel makes it in my book as the sexiest Manhunter of all time. Going back to her stint at the Academy, she's been around a long time, having joined together with Dawnstar.

Next up is the guy in pink. That's Pol Krinn, Magnetic Kid II, wearing his brother's, Cosmic Boy's old uniform. Born with magnetic powers like his brother (and the rest of their people), Pol would become a full-fledged Legionnaire (this is both nepotism and a violation of the legion rule forbidding members with the same powers) but would die in the line of duty.

The blue ball, if you didn't know already, is the galaxy-famous Bouncing Boy, full fledged Legionnaire and Academy teacher.

Ok, let's dive into the issue.

The issue opens with a meeting. There's a lot of gabbing but one important gem comes out: With the resignations of the newly married Karate Kid an Princess Projectra (I don't care what they say, I love the funky Legion names), there is an opening in the Legion, so every Academy member has a shot.

We've got some Academy students here that I haven't mentioned yet. Here's Shadow Kid II.


Shadow Kid has the power to create and manipulate darkness. You know the obvious team-up partner for him? Night Girl of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. Night Girl has the strength of Superman only at night or in shadow. Shadow kid can create shadow. Perfect team-up. Anyway, Shadow Kid is Shadow Lass' cousin. There can be no duplication of powers in the Legion as per the Legion charter so Shadow Kid knows he doesn't have a chance at membership.

And here's Nightwind.


Nightwind can create and control winds.

Then lastly, Crystal Kid.

crystal kid

Crystal Kid can change things to crystal and create crystal constucts. He's the male version of the Teen Titan's Kole.

Both Nightwind and Crystal Kid are the creations of Legion fans from the 70s.

Ok, now we have Wildfire coming in and saying that White Witch and Invisible Kid need a bit more training so they'll be joining up with the Academy for a while. Both of these new Legionnaires got in immediately, no Legion Academy stint necessary - the Legionnaires were out on a mission and they drafted these two. So everybody's like "Hi!" "Hello!". I don't buy it. Think about it. These Academy trainees are busting there asses and taking flak just for the chance of getting into the Legion and White Witch and Invisible Kid got in just like that? They've gotta hate these two!

Ah, the heck with that. Some action at last. First mission: Power Boy, Laurel Kent, White Witch, Invisible Kid II and Bouncing Boy respond to a Science Police request to contain some animals in a busted zoo ship.

There are three creatures; all of them are gigantic. One of the animals, a Flasher, takes out trainee Power Boy.


Invisible Kid comes in for an assist. I love how Giffen did this panel to 'show' us Invisible Kid.


Now the White Witch, she's always standing around looking mystical so its nice to see this fantastic spell : Feedback Spell - deflects an opponents powers back to the opponent. What else do you need?


After the fight, we encounter yet more Academy students. Here's Comet Queen.

comet queen

Comet Queen has super-speed and can emit noxious comet gases (maybe this is just a polite way of saying something else). Anyway, she never made it into the Legion but became a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

Okay, up until this moment, this comic should have been titled "Legion Academy" (actually, they should have done that comic). But now, we have some Legionnaires in action!

Shadow Lass!


Timber Wolf!


Does this look remind you of somebody?



And my absolute favorite Legionnaire: Wildfire!


I love the energy power but Wildfire is a truly tragic legionnaire. He's a formless energy being. This wouldn't be so bad except he's got the hots for Dawnstar (who wouldn't?). It's enough to make him explode with frustration (who wouldn't?)


To end this excellent issue the Legionnaires debated for three hours who among the Academy should join. The verdict: No one because no one's ready yet.

Posted by  Pete Albano - January 23, 2011

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Other LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES Stories by Levitz & Giffen

297 : Cosmic Boy

304 : The Legion Academy

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