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.