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Continuity-Related Comic Book Character
Ultra Boy
Ultra Boy (Adventure Comics 316)
Information
Real name: Jo Nah
Species: Rimborian
United Planets (citizen)
Homeworld: Rimbor
Universe: Earth-One
Earth-1A
Relatives: Tinya Wazzo (Wife)
Crav Nah (father)
Mytra Nah (mother)[1]
Occupation: Legionnaire
Base: Legion Clubhouse
30th century
Affiliations: Legion of Super-Heroes

Legion of Super-Heroes Team Member

Jo Nah (aka Ultra Boy) is a confident (and perhaps cocky) member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century who served two terms as leader.[2] His girlfriend on Rimbor before he joined the Legion was An Ryd. She is later murdered by Pulsar Stargrave, who frames Ultra Boy for the crime. Jo Nah possesses a multitude of powers. However, due to physical limitations, he is only capable of using one of these powers at a time.[3] Due to his rough background on Rimbor he is also a skilled actor (utilizing a gangster style and speech), which allows him to easily infiltrate criminal groups. This skill also makes him a valuable member of the Legion Espionage Squad. He is the only member without overt "spy" powers. He is often linked with Mon-El and Superboy. Together they are called the Legion's 'Big Three' for their power levels.


Background Information

In the parallel-universe of Earth-One, in the 30th century, Jo Nah was born and bred on the outlaw planet of Rimbor, where gang warfare, for some, is a way of life. Although his parents raised him with a strong moral foundation, there was no way for a Rimborian youth to not take to the streets. His time with the gang ‘Emerald Dragons’ sharpened his mind and gave him a set of rules that he would carry with him for the rest of his life.

When he was thirteen, everything changed for him. He was out joy-riding in his Speedster one day when he was swallowed by an Energy-Beast (a giant whale like creature). These beasts will eat any life-form that happens to fall in their path. Luckily a Space Freighter saw this and rescued him. This encounter with the Energy-Beast was fortunate for Jo, because he absorbed some of its energy, giving him ‘Ultra-Powers’.[4] Powers equal to Superboys and beyond. The only dilemma was that he could only use one power at a time.[5]

Using his newfound abilities on behalf of the law, he began to earn a reputation as a superhero called Ultra-Boy. The young hero decided to travel to the planet Earth, where he soon desired to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. As part of his initiation, he was required to travel back to the 20th century and in 3 days discover the secret identity of Superman, thus prove himself worthy of joining the Legion. He travels with Marla Latham (advisor to R.J. Brande and chaperone to the younger Legionnaires) back to Superboy's home town of Smallville, successfully deduced Superboy’s identity and then subsequently inducted into the team.[6]

Soon after his induction in the Legion, he becomes romantically involved with fellow Legionnaire, Tinya Wazzo (aka Phantom Girl). The two began a long-term romance shortly thereafter. They first expressed their attraction after Ultra Boy pretended to "go bad" and infiltrate a group of space pirates.[7].

Jo's luck ran low for a while after he learned of the death of his former girlfriend, An Ryd. Brainiac 5 was driven mad by Stargrave and frames Ultra Boy for the crime.[8] Jo Nah was on the run again until Brainiac 5’s treachery was exposed. Ulta Boy, and a few fellow Legionnaires traveled to Rimbor, where they discovered An Ryd's true fate. However, before Stargrave was defeated and killed, the alien apparently killed Ultra Boy.[9] The Legion went so far as to hold a memorial service for him, but Jo was actually stricken with amnesia and became part of the pirate crew of Captain Alisia Frake.[10] When the Legion confronted Captain Frake, Saturn Girl realized that Ultra Boy was still alive. Before she could reach him, though, he was blasted by Frake and vanished.[11]

Very soon after this, a mysterious hero called Reflecto appeared. Some suspected that the hero was Jo in disguise, but they were shocked and confused to learn that it was actually Superman in disguise.[12] Even stranger, after waking up from this disguise, Superman believed that he was Ultra Boy! The Legion ventured back to Superman's era to discover the truth, where they were taunted by the Time Trapper.[13] They eventually found Jo and learned how his mind was switched with Superman's.[14]

Jo Nah campaigned again for a time as leader but lost and became the deputy to Dream Girl.

Jo and Tinya have served relatively normal tours with the Legion.


Ultra Boy

Ultra Boy[15]

Powers and Abilities

Ultra Boy's source of power came from exposure of the radiation inside the Ultra-Energy Beast, and was not dependent on yellow-sun radiation. His power could be described as his body having absorbed the "ultra-radiation", which then adapted to an invulnerable state (a default position). When he shifts the energy to his muscles, it increases his strength or optical powers if he concentrates the energy on his eyes.[16]

Super Powers

  • Ultra-Energy Empowerment: Ultra Boy can utilize the ultra-energy in his body in a variety of ways, but only one use at a time. He can change his ultra empowerment at any time almost immediately but he must make a conscious choice first.[17]
    • Ultra-Strength: When Ultra Boy uses this power he is many times stronger than usual. His strength makes him the equal of a Kryptonian/Daxamite athlete of the same height and weight who engages in intense regular exercise.[18]
    • Ultra-Stamina: Ultra Boy could sustain prolonged physical exertion without tiring or undo strain for an indeterminate period of time.
    • Ultra-Speed: Ultra Boy could run at a velocity many times greater than that of a normal human being.
    • Ultra-Breath: Ultra Boy possessed the ability to create hurricane force winds by blowing, and to chill an his breath in order to freeze a target.
    • Ultra-Invulnerability: When using this power, he is impervious to harm by nuclear forces. If propelled at sufficient force, by either his flight ring or being tossed, Ultra Boy can use his ultra-hard body like a human missile.
    • Ultra-Flight: Ultra Boy could fly by manipulating a planet's gravitational field. He still requires a Legion Flight Ring for adventures in space.[19]
    • Ultra-Vision: This power is similar to Superboy's x-ray vision, except penetra-vision allows him to see through lead. In fact, penetra-vision allows him able to see through virtually all solid matter. As part of his same ultra-vision power, Ultra Boy can use telescopic vision, in combination with penetra-vision if desired. He also has microscopic vision and is able to analyze fingerprints.
    • Flash Vision: Another vision-based power, Ultra Boy could project beams of concentrated thermal energy from his eyes. Flash vision works along the same properties as Superman's heat vision. However, Superman's heat vision is usually depicted as red beams, Ultra Boy's flash vision is usually (at least in Silver Age adventures) depicted as blue beams.[20]
    • Ultra-Aura: Ultra Boy's ultra-energy radiates an aura, which protects his clothing from being torn when invulnerable, and from burning-up from the friction when traveling at super-speed.

Abilities

Weakness

  • One Power At A Time: As mentioned above, one serious limitation to his ultra-powers is that he can only use one at a time. This means that if he wants to fly through space at super-speed he must wear a spacesuit or have his flight ring to survive in the cold vacuum. When using his power for super-strength he is not invulnerable and can therefore get tired, feel muscular pain or even pull a muscle.
  • He is also vulnerable to "X-radiation", which affects him much as kryptonite harms Kryptonians.


Paraphernalia

Equipment

Legion Flight Ring: As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes he is provided a Legion Flight Ring. It allows him to fly and protects him from the vacuum of space and other dangerous environments. With his Legion flight ring (or earlier flight belt) he can use another power while flying.


Gallery

Ultra Boy Origin (Superboy 98)

From Superboy, #98 (July 1962)

Ultra Boy Origin 2 (Superboy 98)

From Superboy, #98 (July 1962)

Ultra Boy Origin (Secrets of the Legion of SH 2)

From Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes, #2 (February, 1981)

Ultra Boy Joining the Legion, Superboy 98 (1962)

From Superboy, #98 (July 1962)


Appearances


Notes

  • Ultra Boy first appeared in Superboy, #98 (July 1962).[21]
  • He was created by Jerry Siegel and Curt Swan.


Trivia

  • Ultra Boy's name and origin are derived from the biblical figure Jonah, who, like Ultra Boy, survived being trapped inside the belly of a large fish.
  • Ultra Boy was elected leader of the Legion of Super-Heroes in a reader-decided election. The election results favored Ultra Boy with 1,262 votes from a total of 7,810 votes (over 16% of the vote). Ultra Boy served as team leader from 2967-2968.[22]
  • In his first appearance, Ultra-Boy’s superhero name and his real name are both hyphenated (“Ultra-Boy” and “Jo-Nah”). They hyphen stays consistent throughout the period covered by this writeup. It begins to become inconsistent beginning with Adventure Comics, #309 (June 1963), and is finally completely dropped with Adventure Comics, #316 (January 1964).
  • He was the 14th Legionnaire to appear in a story (16th counting Superboy and Supergirl), after Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Invisible Kid, Superboy, Star Boy, Supergirl, Brainiac 5, Sun Boy, Shrinking Violet, and Bouncing Boy. However, post-Silver Age stories which detail the history of the Legion indicate that Ultra-Boy was actually the 12th Legionnaire, after Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Triplicate Girl, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, Invisible Kid, Supergirl, Brainiac 5, and Superboy, but before Star Boy, Sun Boy, Shrinking Violet, or Bouncing Boy. That’s generally been the official position of DC ever since. The discrepancy gets explained either as a publishing issue (early stories were not necessarily published in the order they “happened”) or a result of time travel (early Legion stories were usually from Superboy or Supergirl’s point of view, and early on they may have interacted with Legionnaires from slightly different periods).
  • Ultra Boy enjoyed playing 20th Century baseball.


External Links


References

  1. His parents first appeared in Adventure Comics, #356 (May 1967).
  2. Ultra Boy's first term as leader began in Adventure Comics, #371 (August 1968). His second term as leader began in Superboy, #184 (August 1972).
  3. His use of one power at a time is revealed in Adventure Comics, #316 (January 1964).
  4. Ultra Boys origins are revealed in his first appearance in Superboy, #98 (July 1962) and recounted in his next appearance in Adventure Comics, #316 (January 1964).
  5. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #316 (January 1964) and in Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes, #2 (February 1981).
  6. The above origin story and his induction into the Legion is revealed in Ultra Boys first appearance in Superboy, #98 (July 1962). In this time-travel adventure, he only demonstrated his vision powers, known as "penetra-vision".
  7. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #316 (January 1964).
  8. As revealed in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, #239 (May 1978).
  9. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 2 #273 (March 1981).
  10. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 2 #274 (April 1981).
  11. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 2 #275 (May 1981).
  12. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 2 #279 (September 1981).
  13. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 2 #280 (October, 1981).
  14. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 2 #282 (December 1981).
  15. As seen in the Issue # 7 of the Super Powers comic book (November 1987).
  16. This was told in the Volume 4 Legion Annual # 1.
  17. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 3 #4 (November, 1984).
  18. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 3 #1 (August, 1984).
  19. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 3 #1 (August, 1984).
  20. As revealed in Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 3 #19 (February, 1986).
  21. For more information about that DC comic book, click here.
  22. "Legion Roll Call" at "Legion of Super-Heroes"; Sanning, Jo; Sanning, Terri-Anne. Archive version January 1, 2008 retrieved by Wayback Machine
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