Saturday, October 22, 2016

TEX'S BACK-ISSUE QUEST EPISODE #41 (Mon-El)


I'm back in the place to be!!

    I hope that your week went well my brothers and sisters of the funny-book phenomenon! Mine was hectic, so I'm sure glad to have a bit of a breather before we kick off with another manic Monday! 

    Today, we're here to talk about another superhero making his small-screen debut on the CW's hit show, "Supergirl." Let's talk about...Mon-El!!



   Here is my copy of Superboy #89, published in 1961, featuring the first appearance of Mon-El!! Isn't it SWEET?!

   So who exactly in the heck is Mon-El? Glad you asked - I'm sure if you're more of a fan of DC shows than DC Comics, you probably won't know who Mon-El is.

    Mon-El is the given Kryptonian name for Lar Gand, a Daxamite (from the planet Daxam) who while exploring the galaxy, landed on Krypton right before it went Ka-BOOOM!! Jor-El warned the kid to get off the planet as quickly as possible, but before Lar left, Jor-El gave him a map to Earth, the same place that Jor-El had sent his infant son, Kal-El. However, when Lar got to Earth, he was suffering from amnesia; however, he and Superboy became fast friends, mostly because both Daxamite physiology and Kryptonian physiology responded similarly to the radiation of Earth's yellow sun. This led Superboy to believe that they were both refugees from his dead home planet, and that LAr Gand was even more: Superboy's unknown, long-lost brother. Since Lar couldn't remember his name, Superboy gave him the name Mon-El, honoring him with the auspicious last name of Superboy's own family, the family whose blood Superboy thought Mon-El shared. Eventually, Superboy realized that Mon-El / Lar Gand wasn't Kryptonian when Mon-El failed to demonstrate a susceptibility to kryptonite. Superboy proved his theory in a way that almost killed Mon-El, but you'll have to wait for the fun facts for that.

   Mon-El struck out on his own, eventually ending up in the 30th century and joining my favorite superhero team, The Legion of Super-Heroes. There, he really came into his own, becoming one of their heaviest hitters, and he even served a few times as Team Leader:



On to the fun facts!!

FUN FACT 1: Mon-El, the name that Superboy gave Lar Gand, is simply a mix of Superboy's family name, "El," and the day that Lar arrived on Earth, Monday.

FUN FACT 2: Lar Gand / Mon-El has used several other names: Jonathan Kent (as Clark's cousin from London), Marvel Lad, and Valor. And we can't forget ol' Bob Cobb (Thanks, Danny Quizon).

FUN FACT 3: Lar Gand / Mon-El has been both possessed by Eclipso, and the possessor of a Power Ring of the Green Lantern Corps.


FUN FACT 4: Actor, Chris Wood, portrays Mon-El on season 2 of "Supergirl," which marks Mon-El's first live action appearance.



FUN FACT 5: When Mon-El didn't display a weakness to Kryptonite, Superboy began to suspect him of being some type of malicious trap for him, playing on his desire for a connection with his Kryptonian family. Superboy painted a chunk of lead green thinking to pass it for kryptonite to catch Mon-El in his wicked act. Imagine Superboy's surprise at finding that Mon-El was immune to kryptonite, but he WASN'T immune to lead! Superboy nearly killed Mon-El with lead-poisoning! Unlike Superboy, who could recover from Kryptonite exposure, lead exposure can be fatal to Daxamites!

FUN FACT 6: Superboy had no cure for Mon-El's lead-poisoning, so he put him in the Phantom Zone, where he spent over 1,000 years. He was released in the 30th century by the LoSH, first for short periods of time given a temporary antidote, then permanently, when Brainiac 5 created a permanent antidote. 

FUN FACT 7: Old DC continuity was nuts (but fun). With retcons, it was established that Mon-El met Superboy in a pocket universe created by the Time-Trapper,. Later, one of the Time-Trapper's minions, Glorith, would take her master's place and create another pocket universe in which Mon-El would become Valor, a hero that took the place of the Superboy that never was in that universe.



FUN FACT 8: Cured of his weakness to lead, some say Mon-El took the place of Superboy as the LoSH's most powerful asset.

And that is it Mon-El / Lar Gand in a nutshell!! I'm looking forward to seeing what role he plays on "Supergirl!"

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