Difficult Comics Question--True Geeks Only--Legion Of Substitute Heroes

In the Legion Of Superheroes, from DC, there was an organization of second-string heroes called The Legion Of Substitute Heroes. They were rejected from full Legion membership, & formed an auxillery outfit, in the hopes of later acceptance.

The question is about Night Girl. She gets superhuman strength after sundown or in the dark.

What is her bio, & origin of her powers?

Night Girl comes from a planet which, due to its environment, doesn’t get sunlight.

Her father was a scientist, who wanted to make her into a hero, and exposed her to a ray which granted her superstrength.

Unfortumately, because if their world’s odd environment, he didn’t realise it had the ‘turning off in light’ weakness. Which, of course, turned out to be a problem when she left her homeworld and auditioned for the Legion.

Tengu’s got her origin pretty much right. To add to the “bio” part of your request, her name was Lydda Jath, and she developed a giant celebrity-type crush on Cosmic Boy. It was because she wanted to try out for the Legion in order to meet Cosmic Boy that she had her scientist father give her powers. Eventually, she did meet, date, and marry Cosmic Boy. As of her disappearance in Zero Hour, Lydda Jath Krinn and husband Rokk had a son, named Pol (after the late Magnetic Kid, Cosmic Boy’s brother).

I feel I have to add something because the Legion was my favorite and I read it for many years.

Night Girl is the only one to have been a member of both Legion of Substitute Heroes.

After Polar Boy disbanded the original team to join the main team, an adventure with some Legion Academy students led to the founding of a second Subs.

Their roster:

Night Girl, Cosmic Boy, Duo Damsel, Bouncing Boy (all three retired from the main team) and students Comet Queen and Karate Kid II.

Off topic of the OP, but since it’s answered, I feel okay contributing my favorite Subs quote of all time. Stone Boy, trying to come up with a battle cry:

Right! How does this sound…? “Stop. Or I’ll stand very, very still for a surprisingly long time!”

I believe it was in the Giffen set of Subs stories.


It’s obviously inspired by the image of them Giffen fostered, but I think it’s really from their story in Secret Origins # 37, which was written and drawn by Ty Templeton.

Ah, thank you – no wonder I was feeling uncertain on that one.

Sounds a lot like Mystery Men, the Specials and elements of Sky High. Wonder who inspired who?

The Subs were first, by a long margin, as far I’m aware. Then again, I’m only aware of Mystery Men having a direct comic antecedent, of the three movies. Of course, the more openly comic tone may not have been a feature of the early Subs adventures - Chaim would be in a bette rposition to answer that.

There are similarly comically incompetent hero groups, of course, like the Inferior Five.

Who was in the original roster? I remember Color kid–who could change the color of an object–and another who could make plants grow quickly (in one adventure, he was throwing seeds near a enemy so he’s be able to use his power). Talk about pathetic…

Polar Boy (leader), Night Girl, Stone Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, Fire Lad (who could breathe fire from his mouth), and Color Kid (who once turned Green Kryptonite in the area to blue so it wouldn’t affect Superboy and Supergirl… yeah, like the color affects the chemical makeup – isn’t that what they had Chemical King for? Though he was a regular legionnaire, not a sub).

I remember a Nausea Girl or something like it… she could make you feel woozy…

Infectious Lass was one of the later members of the Subbies.

Also the only one to be rejected by the Legion TWICE (excluding the ones who lost the contest to get promoted from the Subbies to the actual Legion, which Stone Boy won - and declined the promotion), trying again after improving her power level, somehow not realising it was her lack of control that got her declined.

Color Kid was not one of the original Subs. All the others are correct, and, frankly, were rejected for ridiculous reasons. Well, except for Fire Lad, who was as lame as Green Flame was before she got gene-bombed. Breathing a little lick of flame? Good for busking, not so much for super heroing. And I guess Stone Boy was pretty useless too. But the idea that someone who could manipulate cold, manipulate plant life or had super-strength at night (and presumably the darkness of space where the Legion, like, hangs out) were useless is pretty silly. Although wasn’t one of the requirements for Legion membership at the time that the candidate had to posess at least one unique power that was naturally occuring? That would disqualify Night Girl on both fronts.

Not naturally occuring, just not generated from an outside source - many of the Legion, including Lighting Lad, would be disqualified if it had to be naturally occurring. Garth, Ayla, and Mekt got their powers from an accident.

Thanks for the correction. The memory, she grows hazy. Time to pull out the old comics and re-read them, obviously.

The requirement of a naturally occurring power would leave out Colossal Boy (got his power by being bombarded by cosmic rays), Light Lass (after Dream Girl transformed her lightning power to null-gravity through Naltorian science), and founding member Lightning Lad (who got his powers thanks to the lightning beasts of Korbal). Invisible Kid got his powers from a super formula; Bouncing Boy drank something he thought was soda pop; and Sun Boy got his powers in an accidental explosion. Half the early roster would be gone if the power had to be naturally occurring.

The requirement was just a “unique” power, which is why Lightning Lass became Light Lass. That requirement was waived to allow Superboy and Supergirl to be members (and presumably Mon-El, who had virtually identical powers to the Kryptonians).

Okay, enough of being a fangirl geek. … For now.

Ayla would have been disqualified even before Dreamy screwed with her powers, as she got the lightning powers in the same incident as Garth and Mekt (Lightning Lord of the Legion of Supervillains.)

OTTOMH Flaming Carrot debuted in the late seventies. I can’t recall when the Mystery Men first show up. It couldn’t have been more than a year or two.

Other Mystery Men Include-

Strangler- powers unknown, metal is his weakness so he doesn’t touch it. Strangler is a Vietnam veteran. It’s been hinted that other Mystery Men are as well.

Star Shark-can cartwheel really well for a long time. Can eat almost anything.

Mystic Hand- His hands can detach and fly. He loses control if they get out of sight.

Captain Attack-built a supersuit. It has many guns, but no other features.

Jumpin’ Jehosophat- Has special jumping boots.

Speedball-Is an alien, many strange powers. He flies with missile-toed boots.

Disc Man- Could probably make it as a regular hero. His power is mental control over strange cd-sized discs he found in a hole in his house. They may be of alien origin. He can ride the discs to fly.

Crimson Smasher- Could be a mainstream hero except that he sometimes dissappears for random lengths of time. Nobody knows why he vanishes or where he goes when he does.

Different In The Comic

Mister Furious- Anger makes him stronger and tougher. Angry enough, he’s bulletproof. He also has a danger sense.

The Spleen- got his (unspecified) powers when a crazed dentist replaced his spleen with a radioactive ham. He’s quite a coward.

The Sphinx- This pulp hero’s powers have never been given.

The Shoveler- Found the shovel of King Arthur.

Ayla was inducted during a period when founding member Lightning Lad was dead. (He got better.)

As far the “naturally occuring” power requirement, it meant that each Legionnaire had to have a power or ability that was not the product of a weapon or gadget. Owning a Green Lantern power ring for example would not get a character inducted into the Legion, since the ring is a device.

Another difference between the Subs and the Mystery Men-

IIRC the Subs either lacked control (Infectious lass, Polar lad) or had a power judged as pathetic (Color Kid, Chlorophyl Boy).

Many of the Mystery Men could be first string heroes if they just had discipline. If Mister Furious would exercise a little and learn a martial art, he could be an Avenger or X Man. Mystery Men do not function well as a team or bother with special training. Several members are ordinary people who just decided to become super heroes. Silverfish became superhero after his wife hit him on the head with a rolling pin. Metro Marauder appears to have no training, no powers, and no special equipment.

If we’re going to discuss pathetic super groups we should include the Great Lakes Avengers- Flat man, Door Man, Squirrel Girl, Big Bertha, and Mr Immortal.