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SPOILERS HO! YO HO HO! HO HO HO, HO!


Title: "Prisoner of the Super-Heroes!"
Release Date: December, 1959
Writer: Jerry Siegel (uh huh, Superman's creator)
Penciller: George Papp
Inker: One word. Thorax.
LSH Members: Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl
Guest Stars: None
Bad Guys: None
Cameos: Ma and Pa Kent


So what happens?
(remember, most of these stories take place pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths)

Superboy is on routine patrol duty in his hometown of Smallville when he's thrice thwarted on three different emergencies by the three founding members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, visiting the 20th century from their own time period 1,000 years in the future.

Embarrassing as that is, the humble Kal-El doesn't mind these future teens stealing his thunder, but he's also being snubbed by the residents of Smallville. Why, even Ma and Pa Kent tell him they wish they could send him back to the orphanage! (uh, Ma and Pa? Didn't you find your son in the middle of a cornfield in a frickin' crashed alien spacecraft?!?)

Feeling unwanted and unloved, Superboy leaves not only Smallville, but planet Earth, and sees a bunch of super powered youths heading toward a particular planet. Following, Superboy discovers he's found The Superboy Planet, where everyone worships and adores our favorite angsty Kryptonian. Alas, it's all a plot by the Legionnaires to trick Superboy into a kryptonite cage, where he discovers he's being punished for several future crimes.

Y'see, the Legion, in order to replace historical documents that had been lost used a Futurescope device to peer back in time, claiming to have seen Superboy destroy several valuable items of property five years into the future from Superboy's POV. Instead of waiting around for the future, the Legionnaires decide to go back in time to, essentially, arrest Superboy.

Still with me? Okay, so Superboy's powerless, pretty much, because of the radiation from his Green K kage, uh, cage, resigned to his fate. Right at the most convenient possible moment, an explosion severely damages his kcage, enabling him to rescue everyone else within the prison, who'd all succumbed to radiation poisoning from all the element sigellium released in the explosion.

Because Superboy displayed such heroic behavior, the Legionnaires decide to review his case, where they discover that their Futurescope had malfunctioned, showing them Superboy's present, rather than the future. Superboy explains that he was destroying the remnants of a top secret US military project, a toxic gas research project (brrr, says I, from 45 years in the future).

Somehow, this redeems himself with the fascists from the future, and the Legionnaires take Ma and Pa Kent (who had only just got there--to this distant planet in a time when mankind hadn't yet left Earth's orbit--to say, "Come home, Clark, we changed our minds, we want you back!") and Superboy back home to Smallville. The Legionnaires presumably and hopefully then return to the 30th century to review the Legion's Constitution and by-laws regarding police actions.

Cool Moments!
I got the best buzz reading that really convoluted story. Rejection! Drama! Angst! Superboy's a crybaby! It's all there, but man is it kconfusing. Realizing that even Jerry Siegel didn't have Superman's backstory firmed up at this point is also kinda mind-bending.

Khronic Kryptonite Kalamaties Kause Kal-El Konstant Konsternation Department, Section 1:
This is the first, but by no means the last, I'm telling you time Kryptonite is used to subdue Superboy in a story featuring the Legion.

The Future Hasn't Been Written Yet Department:
For some strange reason, Ma and Pa Kent are senior citizens both in Superboy's time as well as Superman's. And, as I mentioned above, I don't believe the Kents picked up Superboy at an orphanage (though snailgus informs me that he believes the Kents found the super-baby in the cornfield, dropped him off at the orphanage, then had a change of heart and reclaimed him), so how can they wish they could take him back there? It's also interesting to note that the Philip K. Dick short story The Minority Report was published 3 years prior to this story.

The Legion appears to this day in monthly comics published by DC Comics.

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