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The Legionnaires That Were Destined to Die Before They Even Joined

This feature is called "I Tell You What If," and it is about all the times that an alternate reality storyline ended up becoming part of official continuity. Very often, if an idea being good enough to be used in an alternate timeline it will often end up being considered good enough to use in the REAL timeline.

After I wrote one of these about how Jason Todd had a memorial to his death years BEFORE he actually died, I got so many of you folks writing in about the story of the Adult Legion and the dedications to the dead Legionnaires who had not yet been introduced at the time. SO MANY e-mails! It was kind of funny how many people had the same exact reaction of, "You have to feature the dead Legionnaires next!" Who am I to argue? So here ya go!

1966's Adventure Comics #353 was written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Curt Swan and George Klein (working over a Shooter layout. Shooter laid out all of his issues that he wrote back in the day because he just thought that that was how comic books were written. He was just a young teenager at the time, after all). In it, Ferro Lad sacrificed his life to save the world...

The following issue (by Shooter, Swan and Klein) was the longest "Adult Legion" story that we had seen at this point, with Superman traveling to the future to meet the adult versions of the Legion. There is a fascinating sort of perverse enjoyment in reading this story written by a teenager in 1966 and know that this story would be taken as GOSPEL for the next, like, fifteen years or so. Like absurdly so. "Oh, the teenager came up with some ideas for what the Legion will be like in the future? I guess we're all stuck with whatever he comes up. Yessir, can't do anything about things written in stone like whatever someone who JUST TURNED 15 when he wrote this story in 1966 came up with." This was also true for some surprising marriages revealed in this story.

In any event, he had Superman see some statues that were in honor of some dead Legionnaires, and only Ferro Lad was an actual established member of the team when this story first appeared...

Shadow Lass joined about a year later, but they never got around to killing her off. The other two were not so lucky.

First up, we had Chemical King. He joined the Legion about a year after Shadow Lass.

Then, when the Legion moved over to Superboy's title, Chemical King fell in battle in Superboy #228 (by Paul Levitz, James Sherman and Jack Abel)...

That last shot of the Legion ready to get revenge is pretty darn badass looking, right?

Okay, so one down, now let's see the absurdly convoluted tale of Reflecto...

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