You down with O.Q.Q.?

No, he shouldn't; And yet...

Quantum Queen has the distinction of being the first Wanderer to appear in comics.  Furthermore, at the time, she wasn't a Wanderer, but a deceased future member of the Legion of Superheroes in Adventure Comics #354 (MAR 1967).  This appearance is now considered to reflect an alternative future because QQ is depicted in her original costume, rather than the skimpy clone version introduced in the 80s.  Furthermore, the story of how she became a Legionnaire has never been revealed.  While that could still happen, I won't hold my breath.  Neither of the Big Two seem to interested in maintaining continuity these days...and this little Legion loose end is long-forgotten.  If, for some reason, it ever became necessary to tie things up, I figure DC would just explain it away as being some kind of Elseworlds story. 

Adventure Comics #354

As alluded to in the opening pic, Quantum Queen's original appearances were dramatically underwhelming.  In her battle with Sun Boy (which I would've expected her to win, or at least to put up a severe challenge, she was taken out within a couple of panels.  As Comicvine speculates:

Quantum Queen's inexperience showed, however, in her battle with Sun Boy...The veteran Legionnaire was able to outmaneuver the Wanderer in combat despite her greater powers. It is possible that the original Quantum Queen never really understood the full range of her own abilities up until her untimely death.

Upon her resurrection, like the other Wanderers, QQ became more powerful...boy did she ever.  Initially she was a near-analogue to (Marvel's) 1980s Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), but ultimately  something closer to the godlike powers of Dr. Manhattan in the Watchmen.

Legion of Superheroes #300 (JUN 1983)
As near as I can tell, this issue was largely a collection of visions of alternate timelines--a sort of mini "what-if" anthology.  While the Wanderers do technically make an appearance, it's yet another near-meaningless cameo--as they are depicted in a huge shot of the various heroes of the Legion universe.

Our heroine-of-the-week is in the upper right, with her teammates.

Super Dad: an indie interlude

Due to being at a professional conference, I didn't get to work on my regularly-scheduled post as I'd intended. However, my loving son presented me with this gracious concept cover for Father's Day. 

Elvo: premiere swordsman of the 30th century

This week's OW (Original Wanderer) is the master swordsman Elvo.  Despite having a less-than inspiring name and head gear, I still thought Elvo was a decent character.

According to a Legionworld discussion board post from 2003:
The yellow-and-purple clad Elvo carried a super-charged sword. Whether its powers came from science or from magic was never revealed, but either way, the master swordsman could con[s]truct force-shields and discharge energy blasts at his command, making him a formidable opponent. 
And, honestly...that's pretty much it.  There's just not much you can find online about the original Elvo...and what there is is in conflict.  For example, the above-quote indicates that Elvo's blade always had some sort of energy-discharge capabilities.  Comicvine's entry on Elvar, however, indicates that the energy element of the blade was a post-resurrection feature:

When he died and was brought back as a clone he took on the new name Elvar...He also gained the ability to energize his power sword to enable it to cut through almost anything. 

While I haven't been able to determine with certainty when Elvo/Elvar first manifested energy capabilities, I feel like I remember running across a panel depicting him creating an energy shield during the Wanderers' first fight with the Legionnaires.  Oh well, in any case, this week we feature the next chronological appearance of the Wanderers.  This took place in pages of:

Legion of Superheroes #294 (DEC 1982)
This was the wrap up to what I would argue is most-epic Legion story ever--"The Great Darkness Saga."  The Legion faces the galactic threat of a resurrected Darkseid, who had managed to mentally enslave the population of Daxam.  (If you're not up on LSH universe, let me briefly explain why that's a big deal:  the Daxamites were essentially genetic cousins to the Kryptonians.  In other words, Darkseid has more or less got an army of Supermen enslaved to his will!)

Meeting the threat requires--as Dream Girl notes--"every warm superpowered body."  Our old friends the Heroes of Lallor, the Legion of Substitute Heroes, and of course the Wanderers respond, ready to give the last full measure of devotion.

Note our hero in the upper right background.  (Doesn't that sword look "energized" to you?)

Ornitho, Celebrand, (and
is that verdant-garbed Psyche?)

Note Ornitho in the upper left...and is that
Dartalg behind him?

A Bird's Eye View of Ornitho

We return to our foray through the history of DC's 30th century ronin, the Wanderers, by looking at  Ornitho.

Source: Comicvine
Possible inspirations
As I reflect on Ornitho, it seems there might be several points of connection between him and other heroes.  Obviously, he is yet another in the ranks of the winged superheroes. Since he emerged in the late 60s out of a DC publication, I'd assume that Hawkman was the nearest inspiration. After all, Hawkman did have a syndicated cartoon on television around this time.

Over at Marvel,  the Angel (a founding member of the popular X-Men) had made his first appearance only three years earlier.

Source: Comicvine

A much later (and, therefore, correspondingly tendentious) possible connection is illustrated in Marvel's 1982 debut of the French hero, Peregrine.  Though Alain Racine's abilities were the result of his costume, as opposed to being inherent in himself, am I the only one who perceives some suspiciously similar color schemes going on?

Ornitho in 1968
Peregrine in 1982

A word about Ornitho's powers

Adventure Comics #375 (DEC 1968)
Pivoting from inspirations to power sets, I gotta tell ya:  there's a key element that just doesn't make sense to me.  I can see how transforming into a parakeet might help on stealth missions, or turning into a flame-breathing space bird could add valuable oompf to the team's punching power; but--at a gut level--there's just something incongruous about a guy with wings whose main power seems to be to turn into other things with wings!  I mean--what's the point of having the wings in the first place?   DC made a stab at simplifying/rationalizing Ornitho's powers during his 1980s reboot as Aviax.  Unfortunately--as will be illustrated in a future post--those "solutions" created as many (perhaps more) problems than they solved.

Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes #200 (JAN 1974)

Though, technically, the Wanderers appear in this issue.  They basically do nothing more than make a brief cameo.  The issue as a whole records the tale of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel's wedding--and its predictable "crashing" by the super-villain Starfinger.

Indeed, there's only one (admittedly, now iconic) scene in this entire issue featuring the Wanderers...and I'm not too sure that I can spot Ornitho in it at all.  What say you?

Post-Poland Update Post

Due to delays we got back from Poland later than I was expecting, and consequently, I was unable to put up a post yesterday.  (My apologies.)

Further, despite searching at multiple book stores, I was unable to find any copies of Bialy Orzhel in the country.  There were a fair number of comic books, but most of them were either Polish translations of the Big Two, or else historic/narrative comics (e.g., comics relating tales of the Teutonic Knights or other events from Polish history).

I did, however, spot a couple down on the Sopot square that you might recognize.

You down with O.Q.Q.?

No, he shouldn't; And yet... Quantum Queen has the distinction of being the first Wanderer to appear in comics.  Furthermore, at t...