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When We First Met – When Did The Legion Flight Ring Debut? Plus More Legion of Super-Heroes Firsts!

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ’em out!

Today we look at a number of Legion firsts, including the debut of the Legion flight ring, the Time Bubble and Interlac.

The debut of the Legion of Super-Heroes was in 1958’s Adventure Comics #247, which showed how they came back to the past to meet Superboy in their Time Bubble, so this is also the debut of the Time Bubble…


That issue also debuted the Legion’s first mode of flying, jet packs…


The jet packs continued for a few issues but eventually the artists on the Legion feature just stopped drawing the jet packs, yet the Legion continued to fly.

Likely, readers wrote in with outrage over how they continued to fly without jet packs (it was the early 1960’s version of Tim Drake no longer being Robin), so to pacify readers, in Adventure Comics #302, we learn that the Legion fly with gravity belts…


I just love that reply. It has just the right tinge of “Okay, complainers? Are you happy now? Let’s move on.”

However, it was likely that Weisinger thought, “Okay, they probably have a point, so let’s make these belts actually visible.”

So in Adventure Comics #306, the Legion gravity belts are first shown as actual belts…


And the Legion artist made a point of drawing the heroes in their belts when they flew…


(Thanks to Commander Benson for the head’s up about how the belts eventually became a visible staple of the Legion feature)

Eventually, though, in Adventure Comics #329, I guess they figured that the belts were annoying for the artists to always draw, and so we finally got the Legion flight ring…


The best part about the ring is that no one drew it during the 1960s, like, ever. Heck, I don’t even know when they first began being actually drawn on the hands of Legion members. I also don’t know when the traditional ring with the L on the logo made its debut. It sure wasn’t any time soon. Any Legion fans out there know?

An issue after the debut of the gravity belts also saw the introduction of the Science Police (although a variation of the Science Police, at least a group calling themselves the World-Wide Police showed up in #300 that seemed to serve the same basic function as the Science Police)



Jim Shooter first introduced Interlac, the official language of the 30th Century, in Adventure Comics #379, in 1969…


A few years earlier, in Adventure Comics #336, we were first introduced to the fancy schmancy unbreakable metal known as Inerton…


Finally, Adventure Comics #367 gave us the Miracle Machine…




If you have a suggestion for a comic book item/piece of lore that you’d be interested in seeing, let me know at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.