Action Comics #389: "The Mystery Legionnaire!"

Action Comics #389
"The Mystery Legionnaire!"
June, 1970

Story: Cary Bates
Pencils: Win Mortimer
Inks: Jack Abel

The Legionnaire who defeated Klim and who removed his electronic brain
from his android body has fallen into his trap.  Who is the Legionnaire
that the android seeks its revenge upon?  Is it Cosmic Boy, Shrinking
Violet, or Chemical King?  By story's end, we'll learn the identity of...
"The Mystery Legionnaire!"  In the 30th Century, a headless form makes
its way through outer space at tremendous speed.  A million miles away,
the synthetic criminal known as Klim awaits the arrival of his missing
parts, and his Zutronic brain continues to send the impulses guiding the
traveling body.

Once he has been reunited, Klim will destroy the Legionnaire responsible
for his helpless state and imprisonment.  On Earth, Chemical King informs
Violet and Cosmic Boy that Klim's body has left for his brain.  The three
Legionnaires review the visi-tape and learn that the synthetic criminal
was created on asteroid Voran-4.  It was home to a group of imprisoned
interplanetary prisoners who are unable to make their escape.  No guards,
no traps, and no energy-pulse fences are necessary to keep the peace.
The clinic is for handicapped criminals who has injured themselves while
committing various crimes.  It was they who created Klim.

Four of the prisoners used their scientific talents and stolen prison
components to conceive an incredible android.  The synthetic creation
would commit crimes for its creators, and soon became a wanted criminal
in its own right.  The three Legionnaires all know what happened next,
and there's no need to summon the other members.  The three of them will
handle Klim.  Their first stop is Security Station 2J, where the
android's body was being examined by scientists.  The android's brain
awaits the arrival of its body, and longs for the day when it will have
its revenge upon the Legionnaire who decapitated it.  Klim can still
remember that day...

After robbing a treasury clipper, the android criminal was pursued by a
Legion cruiser to the jungle planet of Nara.  Not knowing how many of the
Legion were aboard, Klim sought to hide himself in the vegetation.  It
turns out that the wild plants were eager in their desire to seize him,
but the android's automated reflexes allowed it to escape by using 50,000
degrees of thermal heat from its insulation metal.  Klim's pursuers were
catching up to him, and the android criminal felt itself being drawn
towards a nearby cliff.

The air around Klim's body turned to liquid oxygen, with all of its
mechanical components now frozen solid.  The final indignity was when the
android criminal found itself beheaded, but unbowed.  The head unit was
able to escape, but not before vowing revenge upon its attacker.  The
Legionnaire tried to follow, but Klim's emergency propulso-jets from its
eyes were able to outdistance the flight-ring.  Reaching his secret
concealment cube, the android criminal's mind was upon the Legionnaire
who had defeated him.  Elsewhere, a scientist tells the trio of
Legionnaires that he and his colleagues had been trying to uncover the
secret of Klim's insulation metallic skin.

The body had suddenly come to life, as if under remote control, and the
lab walls were unable to contain it.  It had taken months for the
android's brain to regain contact with its body.  Voran will be where the
Legionnaires will travel next.  As their cruiser travels to the asteroid,
they see the headless body heading for Voran.  A hatch has opened from
the ground, and the android body is diving into it.  Chemical King
figures that they'll find the head at the end of the tunnel, Cos agrees,
and Violet knows that Klim would like nothing more than to get his hands
on the Legionnaire who beat him.

As it makes its way down the tunnel, the android body activates an
automatic switch.  The three Legionnaires have been traveling for miles,
and when they pass by the switch, web-vines shoot out from the walls.
Only Shrinking Violet is able to continue on through them, while Cosmic
Boy and Chemical King are caught in the web.

Thanks to oxidation, Cos and Chem are freed from the web.  Klim awaits
the arrival of his precious body, while the two Legionnaires see what has
happened to Violet.  She has been immobilized by a force beam.  Seeing
that the walls contain iron ore, Cosmic Boy uses his magnetic powers to
collapse the walls, and Chemical King stands ready to pull Shrinking
Violet out at the right moment.

Violet is freed just before the walls come together.  By reversing the
polarity, Cosmic Boy restores the tunnel to what it was.  They see that
Klim's android body had been caught in the collapse of the tunnel.  The
insulation metal is unharmed, but it is stuck in the rock all the same.
At the asteroid's core, the Legionnaires confront the head of Klim.  The
android criminal's only disappointment is that the Legionnaire who had
defeated him is not there to share their fate.  To the android's
surprise, he is told that the one he seeks is there.

It was Cosmic Boy who had thought out what must have happened on Nara.
They had launched a three-way attack on Klim.  Cos had magnetized the
ore-bearing cliff wall to pin the android against solid rock.  Chem
chilled the nitrogen in the air until it became liquid oxygen and froze
all the components within Klim's body.  It was Shrinking Violet who
delivered the finishing touch.  She loosened the connecting-bolt and
beheaded the android in the bargain.  Klim insists that they weren't the
one who defeated him, but another Legionnaire.  A momentary malfunction
must have occurred when the electronic brain was separated from its body.
This caused Klim to see his mystery Legionnaire.

Klim's electronic-vision had seen a composite Legionnaire instead of the
images of Chemical King and Cosmic Boy.  All this time, the android
criminal had vowed revenge upon a Legionnaire who had never existed.  He
is still determined on using his stun-vision and the cube's prisma-glass
to intensify its beams a hundred times.  Only he will survive the
vaporization effect, not them.  Before Klim can follow through on his
threat, he finds that his voice has gotten higher, and the prisma-glass
shatters all around him.  The android is no longer a threat, and is now
their prisoner.  Violet had shrunk in size and slipped between the
molecules of the prisma-glass.  She then entered his head, and altered
Klim's vocal-circuits.  His own sound waves shattered the prisma-glass.
The tiny female had beaten the android criminal twice.

Which is the more intriguing image?  A disembodied head within a glass
cube or a headless android body soaring through space?

In the 30th Century, Klim the synthetic criminal must rely upon his
Zutronic brain to retrieve his body.

I guess that E-Bay hadn't been around by then.

Chemical King and Cosmic Boy have got their retro-helmet hair, while
Shrinking Violet has a more modest bouffant hairdo.

Visi-tape is the film strip of the future.

The Alpha Criminal Clinic looks just like a Yellow Submarine... Yellow
Submarine... Yellow Submarine.

The Voran Clinic looks like the waiting room from hell.

If you had to wait that long, I'm sure that you could create some pretty
amazing things under those conditions.

It's a Klim sweep for the synthetic criminal to commit crime for its

The Legion Cruiser looks like a Space Shuttle painted red.

Flight rings give new meaning to the term "Frequent Mile Flier".

I'm not too familiar with the various Legion members and am amazed that
folks (including the writers and artists) can keep track of them and
their wardrobe.

Klim had some heavy metal, but Cosmic Boy was able to use some hard rock
to disable the synthetic criminal.

The Composite Superman was a super-villain who possessed the powers of
the Legion of Super-Heroes.

The android criminal made his pitch, but thanks to Violet, he struck out
when he tried to defeat the Legionnaires.

Steve Chung
"The Mystery Review!"