The original X-Men vs. the Silver Age Legion of Super-Heroes?

So today while perusing some old comic books I have in storage, I got to thinking about who’d win this fight? The contenders are the original Kirby / Lee, matching blue & gold uniform wearing team of X-Men (“the Strangest Superheroes of them all!”) vs. the original, preboot, pre-“Crisis”, early silver age era team of teens from tomorrow “the Legion of Superheroes.”

Just to set some groundwork, let’s imagine they are the September, 1963 rosters from both team (that being the cover date of the first issue of X-Men #1. That would be:

X-Men - Professor X, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast and Marvel Girl.

Legion of Superheroes - Superboy or Supergirl*, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, (just newly “un-deaded.”), Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg), Colossal Boy, Star Boy, Brainiac-5, Sun Boy, Shrinking Violet, Bouncing Boy, Ultra Boy, Mon-el, Matter-Eater Lad, Element Lad and Lightning Lass.

Pros in favor of the Legion:

  • They outnumber their opponents more than three to one.
  • Either Superboy or Supergirl is on their side.*
    Cons against the Legion:
  • Many of the LSH members have lame, ridiculous powers. (Triplicate Girl? Shrinking Violet? Matter-Eater Lad?)
  • In Silver Age DC continuity, characters can barely walk three feet in any direction without tripping over a huge pile of kryptonite. In at least two early LSH stories, Kryptonite meteors literally just fall out of the sky during convenient plot points.
    Pros in favor of the X-Men:
  • They have countless hours of combat training in the Danger Room (the LSH members typically spent their time hangin’ in their rocket-ship clubhouse, ridiculing wannabe-heroes with even lamer powers than theirs.)
  • They have Prof. X’s no-nonsense leadership and Cyclops’s strategic brilliance to guide them in battle situations. (And I’ve no doubt that a one-on-one psychic duel between the Prof. and Saturn Girl wouldn’t go blondie’s way at all.)
    Cons against the X-Men:
  • Well, they were shown running away from angry mobs of mere civilians on several occasions. Civilians! (More out of a moral principle of not hurting civilians rather than seriously being threatened by them, but sheesh!)
  • A distinct absence of Wolverine.

So, anyway, IMO. I think that, despite being outnumbered, the X-Men could take the LSH. It may be a bit of a struggle, but the team would eventually prevail. Why? I think the X-Men had more experience with knock-down, drag-out brawls with opposing super-teams (the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the FF, the Avengers.) The LSH on the other hand nesver seemed to have to struggle too hard against a serious opponent. Most of their early adventures, while light-hearted fun, seem rather tame in comparison. Apart from Superboy and Mon-el, none of them would have the stamina to go toe-to-toe with the already battle-hardened X-teens.

What’s your opinion?

  • In keeping with the Legion stories of the time, Supergirl appears much more infrequently than her cousin, and only very rarely in the same story as her Superboy. So, say, either one or the other is in on this fight.

Well, are Professor X’s telepathic powers sufficiently overwhelming compared to Saturn Girl’s? What the latter’s most impressive pre-1964 feat?

Otherwise, any of Superboy/Supergirl/Mon-El/Colossal Boy/Ultra Boy wipes out the original five X-Men, solo.
Possibly more interesting individual conflicts pit Magneto vs. Cosmic Boy, or Mastermind vs. Princess Projectra (who first appeared in 1966) or Iceman vs. Sun Boy…

My nerd days are long gone, so I don’t know fer sure, but I imagine Prof. X could deal with Superboy by convincing him that he is a five year-old girl.

He could let Marvel Girl braid his hair.

Does taking (and keeping) Superboy out take all or most of Xavier’s attention? There are so many heavy-hitters left on the Legion side that it may not make any difference. Even if Xavier incapacitates Superboy, Ultraboy and Mon-El (and it should count for something that none of these three are human and are in fact from three different planets - though the writing quality in 1963 was such that the writers clearly didn’t dwell on such things - so each should pose his own distinct challenge), there’s enough power left on the Legion side to win the day.

…“Matter-Eater Lad”???

…“Bouncing Boy”??? Life must be difficult with a moniker like that…

If you have Xavier on the field, normally there shouldnt even be a fight (“I mentally overpower you, you’re all my sexual slaves now”). But then you’re talking about sixties comics, not that overly concerned about being very coherent on characters’ scale of power. Or bad writing, so, maybe one of the Legion would be able to knock out Xavier by surprise (how is it even fucking possible to surprise Xavier?).

If we restrict ourselves to non-mental skills and pure physical power, the Legion (even without any of the Super family in) has the abilities (really plural here) to mop the floor with the original X-Men (remember that two of those X-Men are actually pretty useless in battle: Angel -I can fly, yeah that’s the only I can do- and the Beast -I look like a monkey and I can jump like one too). You’re right though that the X-Men are like war veterans when compared to the Legion.
But their limited number and lack of any big powered guy (Cyclops is the only one to fit the bill, Strange Girl in those early days was often as useless as the Wasp to the Avengers, and Iceman is clearly as green in his mastery of his powers as any of the Legionaries).

I would bet in favor of the Legion, but they will need to have a semi-decent field leader or rout in face of the X-Men’s superior comitment to battle.

And, salinqmind, I think (never really read Legion stuff), that Ballon boy actually was one of the few to have a girlfriend, and his girlfriend could multiply, often using two of her to kiss him. Life’s difficulties suddenly take a backseat when your girlfriend can offer you an orgy all by herself.
P.S: I think Fenris should set up a special 24 h hotline dedicated to all SH fanwank questions. He would be the next Jimmy Wales, complete with beard and assholish look.

Legion all the way. Saturn Girl can keep Xavier busy for the split-second it takes Mon-El and Ultra-Boy to crush every other mutant around, then Lightning Lass fries his ass, then Element Lad reduces the remains to hydrogen.

Considering that Chuck was one of the few Legionnaires in the original continuity to actually settle down and marry (and considering that his wife was Duo Damsel), it couldn’t have been TOO difficult…

What they never mentioned is that Bouncing Boy can…selectively inflate certain parts of his anatomy at will. Reed Richards may have the length, but Chuck Taine rocks the girth.

In the Silver Age she varied all over the power range as much as any other character at the time, as required by the story. But she fairly regularly mucks about in peoples’ heads at interstellar ranges, so she’s no pushover. And she’s trained the LSH in resisting telepathy as much as Prof X has trained his X-Men.

It’s probably enough of a stalemate for Matter-Eater Lad to take a chomp out of the Prof’s wheelz, and then it’s all over.

Of course, if it’s really Silver Age LSH, that’s when Superboy was at the “I push planets and stars around” power level. And probably super-hypnosis and super-disguise-making and super-weaving-and-unweaving and Og knows what all else. The X-Men are doomed.

I did not know this! (old jokes about how fantastic Mr. Fantastic is have been going around forever, but Bouncing Boy and his, uh, power, is a new one to me).

:stuck_out_tongue: :eek: :wink: :smiley: :rolleyes: (don’t know which smilie to post!)

well, how about Matter Eater Lad? All his ticked off enemies probably say, “Matter Eater Lad? MATTER EATER Lad? I’ll tell you what his name is gonna be when I get done with him: he’ll be changing it to _______Eater Lad!”

I’m answering without reading the thread, so forgive me if others have already pointed out the obvious fact that, unless Xavier is there and can overwhelm Saturn Girl (likely but by no means certain), the X-Men don’t have a prayer. The Legion’s too numerous and too powerful. Any of the Big Three (Superboy, Supergirl and Mon-El) can take out the entire X-team single-handed. If they’re not there, Ultra Boy, Brainy, and any third Legionnaire – INCLUDING Violet and Invisible Kid – can take them. If Jo isn’t there, the Legion still wins unless it’s a team composed entirely of the less powerful girls. And God help the X-Men if that happens, but Shady is likely to get hurt in the fight, and you then have a pissed-off Mon-El roaring in at hyperlight speed to deal with, before whom even Xavier is irrelevant.

It all comes down to Professor X. If he’s able, and more to the point willing, to mentally overwhelm everyone, the fight’s over instantly. But then, that’s true of every fight the X-Men get into, and he never seems to do it, presumably due to his ethical principles.

Take that away, and the X-Men don’t stand a chance. Not only do the Legion have heavy-hitters for which the X-Men just have no answer, but all of the Legion have flight rings, too, which makes all of the Xers with melee or short-range powers completely irrelevant. Even if some of the Legionnaires would be useless for this fight, they can just hang in back out of the way.

It’s worse than that. As I wrote above, most of the less powerful Legionnaires are girls, and girlfriends of the heavy-hitters. Injuring Light Lass in Timber Wolf’s presence is much worse than doing nothing.

ETA: Which is not to say that it won’t be a fight. The X-Men of that era KNEW they were underpowered, and thus had much better teamwork than average. And I’ll put even money on 60s!Iceman up against 60s!Sun Boy

:confused: 60sIceman could throw snowballs. And that’s about it. Sun Boy, even in his earliest appearances, was slagging 30th century metals easily. I’m not sure I’d put money on 60sIceman vs. Polar Boy, even.

And the rest of that X-Men roster was downright anemic, too. Angel could fly as the extent of his ability to contribute. Beast could do gymnastics. Marvel Girl could hold her hand to her head, fail to lift whatever object she was trying to TK, and then collapse dramatically to freak out Scott. I’m not sure any of them would even make it into the Legion Subs… actually, Angel for sure wouldn’t.

Heck, that was even before Cyke got his Kraktoa powerup. There’s no way those chumps could have saved the world from nuclear armageddon at Magneto’s hands; I figure it’s all just fake memories implanted by Xavier to make them feel better about themselves.

Since you’re not going with the original LSH, things could be interesting if the X-Men can include their first recruit after issue #1: Calvin Rankin, circa 1966-1967.

You’re right about Iceman. But Cyke was pretty powerful, and I refuse to believe that the events of the first issue were implanted memories. And I’d say his skill level was greater than any of the Legion’s ranged-attackers were, simply because he had tons of formal training, oodles of will-power, and no crutches. I mean, you know that, whenever the Big Three & a Half are around, the other Legionnaires are subconsciously slacking.

AKA Mimic. I thought of him as well. I think he’s going to get overwhelmed by too many powers around to handle, though. And I’m not sure it’s healthy for anybody to suddenly get Brainy or Imra’s powers without any prep.

It also occurs to me that, at one time in the Silver Age, there was a fourth person with a Kryptonian power-set on the Legion: Star Boy.

You mean the Krakatoa adventure boosted Cyclops’s power? Is that a recent retcon from Deadly Genesis or an older one? I wasnt aware of it (though it’s strange, as Cyke’s power is his ray. Never realized any difference in the strength of his ray between the first generation and second and more generation adventures Cyclops had).

I thought Mimic’s power was his ability to mimic the power of the original X-Men (I know it sounds weird but not that much for a sixties comic), never thought he could do that to other people.

He was doing it to other people before he ever met the X-Men (granted, he was only mimicking the athleticism of ordinary humans until then, but that’s still something) and in no time flat started mimicking the Banshee’s sonic powers back when Sean was still a costumed menace years away from joining up.

Didnt realize he was that powerful (I didnt know he could even mimic normal humans’ superior skills, that in itself would be a very interesting power).
I read maybe twenty years ago the story where he gets into the X-Men, I remember a guy with Angel’s wings, Cyclops’s face and glasses, and Mc Coy’s body. So I thought he had kind of copied the original XMen’s powers and stopped there (did he copy Iceman and Strange Girl too? and what about Xavier?). He can copy anyone’s power and skills and keep those powers and he isnt Master of the Mutant Race???
The guy sounds like Rogue without the hassle.

BTW, if he can mimic everyone, I think I saw him on the cover for a post Civil War comics where he was head of a team (Dark X-Men?), he looked like how I remembered him, so how come he kept the original X-Men’s look if he’s been copying other powers ever since he got out of Xavier’s school?