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Continuity-Related Comic Book Character
Mon-El
Mon El (Secrets of the Legion of SH 3)
Information
Real name: Lar Gand
AKA: Valor
Species: Daxamite
United Planets (citizen)
Homeworld: Daxam
Universe: Earth-One
Earth-1A
Relatives: Tasmia Mallor (wife)
Occupation: Legionnaire
Base: 20th century (originally)
Legion Clubhouse
30th century Metropolis
Affiliations: Legion of Super-Heroes

Legion of Super-Heroes Team Member

Mon-El

Lar Gand is a superhero from the planet Daxam, who was originally from the 20th century, however, through a strange turn of events, ended up being a hero in the 30th century and a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.


Background Information

In the parallel-universe of Earth-One, Lar Gand was an explorer, who was in need of repair for his malfunctioning rocket-ship. He lands on Krypton and in the weeks that followed, befriendeds a young scientist named Jor-El and his wife Lara. Together they repair his rocket-ship. Then one day Jor-El came to him and told him of Krypton’s impending doom. He gives him a Kryptonian star-chart and tells him to follow the course to Earth, where he’ll assuredly find great adventures. Realizing that Krypton’s destruction is imminent, and this is the last time she’ll see their new friend, Laura gives him a locket with the inscription, ‘with love’ from her and Jor-El. Back on his ship, Lar plugs in the course and sets the ship for suspended animation. Something however went wrong and the ship drifts for several years before making its way to Earth.[1]

Upon arrival in Earth’s orbit, his ship descends into the Earth’s atmosphere and would have crashed if it were not for Earth’s young hero, Superboy! Upon arrival, our young traveler awakens with amnesia. Superboy believes that he is somehow his long lost older brother, because of the star-chart, locket and similar powers.[2] Clark takes the traveler back to the Kent’s Farm (inexplicably revealing his identity) and introduces the young man to his parents, Ma and Pa Kent. Clark wants his new guest to have not only a hero identity, but a secret identify, so he gives him gives him the name, ‘Mon-El’ -– ‘Mon’ because he landed on Earth on a Monday, and "El" for Superboy's own Kryptonian family name. He also gave him a secret identity (Bob Cobb) to integrate into Superboy's hometown of Smallville. After several days and a confrontation with Krypto, Superboy begins to suspect that Mon-El is not really Kryptonian, so he paints large balls of lead green to simulate Kryptonite and a fake meteor shower. Unfortunately, the lead is extremely toxic to Mon-El, removing his super-powers and shocking his brain out of the state of amnesia. He now recalls everything. He explains to Clark that he is from Daxam and that lead is poisonous to Daxamites. And that unlike Kryptonite, the damage is irreversible. Felling guilty, Superboy decides to send Mon-El to the Phantom Zone until he can find a cure for his lead poisoning, because the effects would be nullified in this other-dimension. Despite the villains and dangers, Mon-El agrees.[3]

Not quite a year later receives his secret-signal from his Legionnaire hero friends. It is Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl. They have traveled back in time to discuss the Phantom Zone criminals had been banished before Krypton's destruction with Superboy. As they turn on a projector and Superboy begins to explain who the criminals are and why they were banished, Mon-El suddenly appears and warns Superboy that the Legion plans on betraying him and freeing the Phantom Zone criminals. After a brief confrontation, Superboy realizes that they are under the control of the ‘Brain Globes of Rambat’, who have just arrived. They seek to conquer the Earth, and lured Superboy to this remote location to destroy him. The Legionnaires are freed from the Brain Globes mind-control with some help from Krypto. Together they defeat the Brain Globes and force them to abandon their goals of conquest.[4]

Back in the 30th century, Saturn Girl created a temporary antidote (Serum XY-4) that would give him a reprieve from the effects of his lead poisoning, allowing him to be released from the Phantom Zone for brief periods of time.[5] During this period, he was considered an honorary Legionnaire.

Brainiac 5 later develops a new version of Serum XY-4, based on Saturn Girl's serum and becomes a full member.[6]

Unfortunately, lead poisoning would continue to plague Mon-El despite the serum. When he apparently died of lead poisoning, his cousin, Eltro Gand, sacrificed his own life force to revive him. Unbeknownst to everyone, Mon-El was not actually dead. Rather than reviving him, Eltro only succeeded in implanting his own personality into Mon-El's mind.[7] Years later, Mon-El found that his anti-lead serum was losing its potency. With Superboy's help, they were able to synthesize a new serum, but had to force Mon-El to the Phantom Zone for a brief but traumatic period.[8]

He stayed with the Legion for many years, serving two terms as leader,[9] and also found the love of his life in his teammate, Tasmia Mallor (the Shadow Lass).

He stayed away from Daxam for the most part, until the evil Darkseid (during the Great Darkness Saga) transformed the entire planet into his "Servants of Darkness." The Servants completely destroyed the planet and after they were freed, Mon-El took responsibility for helping his people return to normal.[10]


Powers and Abilities

Super Powers

Abilities


Weaknesses

  • Vision Limitation: Mon-El's x-ray vision cannot penetrate lead or lead-lined walls. It also cannot penetrate inertron, the most indestructible substance in the 30th century universe. The heat of his x-ray vision cannot melt lead, unless it is a very thin lining.
  • Magic: Mon-El is also vulnerable to magic.
  • Lead: Unlike Kryptonians, whose super-powers are driven from them by the radioactive remnants of their home world, a Daxamite's major weakness is his vulnerability to lead, which does not exist on their planet. Another difference is that, while Green Kryptonite can eventually kill Kryptonians after prolonged exposure, once it is removed the pain eases and the Kryptonian's strength and powers eventually return to him/her. For Mon-El, any exposure to lead causes pain and weakness permanently, even after he is taken to safety. Before a cure was found, Mon-El had to stay in the Phantom Zone, without a corporeal body, in order to stay alive. He was only ever able to exit the Zone permanently after Brainiac 5 invented an "anti-lead serum".


Paraphernalia

Equipment


Appearances

The Mon-EL did not appear in any episode of the Superfriends TV Show.

Earth-One Appearance:

  • Superboy, #89 (June 1961)

Earth-1A Appearances:


Notes

  • Mon-El was created by Robert Bernstein and George Papp.
  • He first appeared in Superboy, #89 (June 1961).[11]


Trivia

  • Mon-El was based on a character named Halk Kar who was created in 1953 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino. Halk Kar first appeared in a story titled "Superman's Big Brother", in Superman #80 (January, 1953). Mon-El's origin story and costume closely resemble Halk Kar's.


External Links


References

  1. This part of the story that explains the ship being in ‘suspended animation’ and drifting was revealed in Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes, #2 (February, 1981).
  2. The Halk Kar plot from in Superman, #80 (January, 1953) was reused in Superboy, #89 (June 1961). In doing so, the writers simply disregarded the meeting of Superboy and Halk Kar (a practice common at the time). The character's name was changed to Lar Gand, his homeworld was changed to Daxam, and he was made younger to roughly match Superboy's age.
  3. The above origin is revealed in Superboy, #89 (June 1961).
  4. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #293 (February 1962).
  5. As revealed in Adventure Comics #300/2 (September 1962).
  6. As revealed in Adventure Comics #305/2 (February 1963).
  7. As revealed in Action Comics #384/2 (January 1970)
  8. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 3 #21 (April 1986) and #23 (June 1986).
  9. Mon-El's first term as leader began in Adventure Comics, #392 (September 1970), with Element Lad as his deputy. Mon-El's second term as leader began in Superboy, #190 (September 1972), with Brainiac 5 as his deputy. The runner-up was Saturn Girl. The actual election results were unrevealed until Superboy, #193 (February, 1973).
  10. 'The Great Darkness Saga' is a Legion of Super-Heroes storyline written by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen, with illustrations by Giffen. It was published in the Legion of Super-Heroes series and leads into The Curse. The story deals with Darkseid in the 30th Century. This storyline is revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, #290 - #294 (Aug. - Dec. 1982). See The Great Darkness Saga at the DC Database.
  11. For more information about that DC comic book, see: here.
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