Legion of Super Heroes/Superboy question

This is probably five or six reboots obsolete, but I only just thought of it so give an old codger a break…

It occurred to me that when Superboy was with the classic pre-Crisis LSH they had some pretty dangerous adventures- moments when even Superboy could have been killed. Didn’t the Legionnaires realize that if Superboy got killed, their whole timeline would have been screwed? (And no, I’m not going to count the post-Crisis “pocket universe” version of Superboy, because that retcon came decades later).

How often did Superboy take part? IIRC, the stories rarely involved him.

Quite often

I believe the lsh felt like Superman did …it’s impossible to change history.

Ridiculous of course since any interaction is changing history.

I think they saw the fact that Superman was part of their recorded history as proof that Superboy would not end up dying before adulthood.

Makes for a great “ace in the hole”. Send in Superboy and you know at least he’s coming back.

Not if that interaction always happened and was already part of the timeline. Whatever happened, happened, Lost style.

I swore I’d kill the next person who mentioned a predestination paradox

And yet it was also part of the canon that Superboy was hypnotized into forgetting any knowledge of his own future he might have learned in the 30th century. That implies that the timeline could get screwed up.

That can be fanwanked to protect superboy from just being utterly miserable if he found out the wrong info…which he did end up doing when he found out how his parents would die.*

What if he found out that he never married and disappeared forever in 2001 or something…that kind of thing could make him very unhappy…or worse cause him to try and prevent it, and though supposedly the timeline is immutable…if anyone could change things, Superman could.

*When that happened Saturn Girl planted a suggestion that he never return to the 30th century. Which lasted of all of about 25 issues.

Part of the pre-Crisis canon was that the past was immutable. I remember a story of Superman going back in time to try to prevent Lincoln’s assassination. Circumstances in the past prevented him from doing so (Luthor was somehow involved, IIRC). But the point was that the past can’t be changed. So no matter how exciting those LSH stories were where Superboy appeared to be in mortal danger, there was never the slightest chance that he would die, since history recorded him as growing up to be Superman.

Frankly, you could say that about “Superboy” in general. We KNOW he grew up to be Superman, so where’s the suspense?

I think one of the best things Byrne ever did was eliminate that whole meme from the mythos. Keeping Ma and Pa Kent alive in the modern era had most of the benefit from that, anyway.

Exactly. It’s probably better from a continuity standpoint that the concept of Superboy as a teenaged Superman was altered, but I dearly loved those old Superboy stories in *Superboy *and Adventure Comics. It stinks that DC has reprinted so much of its Silver Age stuff but has avoided the Superboy stories almost entirely.