As one of the new members of the Legion Academy, Gravity Kid (Tel Vole) is eager to help when he and fellow students are charged with stopping a wildfire for which the Science Police have requested help. As is often the case with new heroes, he and the other students bungle team work. While eager to train, he and the others haven’t learned much in this area when they’re ordered to report to a session under Night Girl.
Like Power Boy, Gravity Kid has his eyes set on high marks for graduation, yet puts his career in jeopardy because of a sense of loyalty after he and the other recruits are talked into an unauthorized trip to Phlon by Chemical Kid to check up on his family whom he thinks may be in trouble. Trouble is definitely afoot, as they learn in a surprise attack by Black Mace and other Taurus gang thugs who extorted Chemical Kid’s father’s genetic research as gambling debt payment. Despite inexperience, Tel and the others work together to defeat the thugs and free Chemical Kid’s family. Tel shows his commitment by helping Chemical Kid uncover and put an end to the larger problem of illegal “gene running” on Phlon.
In Adventure #528 Night Girl, Duplicate Girl and husband Chuck Taine rush from the Academy facility to investigate the situation at Legion headquarters after alarms are set off. They’re ambushed by Cosmic King who’s broken into the building while the remaining Legionnaires are on mission. unknown to Tel, Glorith and Variable Lad, the others rush off to see if they can help, and in turn, are surprised by the villain. Noticing something amiss, Tel reboots the security monitor system and is shocked to see his teammates and instructors attacked or unconscious. Tel takes initiative and gathers Glorith and Variable Lad and arrive just in time as Cosmic King appears to be on the verge of defeating the other students. Tel and Glorith go on the defensive but Variable Lad mounts an offensive attack that ends the rogue’s threat at the cost of his life. Tel learns from Chuck that his actions greatly increased his chances of becoming a Legionnaire. It’s Tel who surprises Chuck by leaving the Academy.
Why is Gravity Kid considered gay? There are two moments when Power Boy and Gravity Lad are seen together. The first is one panel toward the end of Adventure #523 where a shirtless Tel had briefly spoke to Comet Queen in the hall outside a lit room. A bare chested Jedidiah walks out of the same lit room after she leaves and asks Tel what their conversation was about. The second time is in #528 after Power Boy has been rejected for the Legion when later in private he confides his disappointment. Tel embraces him and tries to reassure him by saying, “I promise if you start rotting [with the Science Police] I’ll come get you and bring you home…” In #529, Tel rejects continuing as an Academy student when he tells Chuck Taine that he’s going to join Jedidiah with the Science Police because they have a “trailing spouse” position at the same station for him. Kudos to Levitz for creating not one, but two more gay heroes and perhaps our first married couple in the 31st century. Plus, Phil Jimenez designed his costume, a homoerotic update to Mike Grell’s corset costume for Cosmic Boy.
Gravity Kid first appeared in Legion of Super-Heroes #5 (2010). He has the power to affect his personal gravity or the gravity of any nearby proximity.
Read Power Boy’s entry here.
Created by Paul Levitz and Walter Simonson.
Art by Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning (first image) and Geraldo Borges, Marlo Alquiza, and Hi Fi (second image).
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