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The Legion of Super…Somethings

As a kid, I was the kind of voracious comic book reader who would haunt the local store in anticipation of my favorites. At the top of the heap was “The Legion of Super-Heroes,” a 30-century group of teenagers whose clubhouse was a retro-future looking space ship impaled into the ground.

Legion Clubhouse

Cheesy, no? Well, so was the whole Legion, really: They started with a powerful trio but soon expanded to take in about thirty(!) heroes, with increasingly absurd super powers. This tendency reached its apogee with characters with the (unfortunately) self-explanatory names of Bouncing Boy and Matter-Eater Lad (from the planet Bismoll). By this time, the powers seemed little more than elaborate parlor tricks.

Somehow, the subject of the Legion was recently exhumed through a series of e-mails among friends; two of us went on about distressingly obscure tidbits (“Triplicate Girl became Duo Damsel after one of her ‘selves’ was killed by Computo…”) while the others peeled away from the list at increasing speeds. But it did get me thinking about our political equivalents in the spaceship-challenged 21st century. Here are some examples, drawn exclusively from the Senate. See if you can guess their secret identities (answers at end of post):

Pork Boy:   Can derail any piece of legislation by crying “Pork!”

Clueless Kid: Confuses foes by making increasingly inscrutable references to such events as “little green doctors pounding on [his]  back.”

The RINO Lasses:  Frustrate their party by joining their powers to prevent filibusters.

Shadow Lad 59: Hovers menacingly just outside of Washington frightening Republicans, the humor-challenged, and really everyone else.

The Triangulator: Confounds Democrats and Republicans with political gyrations to the left, right and center. Can’t be defeated by any known enemy.

Clayface: Destroyed enemies with unearthly death gaze:

Henry Clay

By the way, after the writers ran out of uses for Matter-Eater Lad’s power (this took about two issues), he became…a Senator. Apparently his new power was the ability to suck every molecule of oxygen out of a room.

Answers: John McCain, Jim Bunning, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe,  Al Franken (OK, not officially a Senator yet), Arlen Specter, and Henry Clay (OK, he’s not from the 21st century, but his outfit is very a la mode).

Scoring:   6-7:  fivethirtyeighter;   3-5:  wonk-in-training;  0-2:   amazed you’re still reading

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