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Power Boy

Power Boy (Jedidiah Rikane) was introduced in a pre-Crisis story, plotted by Paul Levitz and written by Paul Kupperberg, as a Legion Academy trainee along with Dawnstar, Laurel Kent, and Shadow Lass’ younger brother. The story itself is fairly forgettable. Young trainees fight a huge, goofily designed robot. Their egos and lack of team work get the best of them, at least according to Wildfire, who gives them a good browbeating before trying to pick up Dawnstar. Several days later the Science Police request Legion help to round up two alien creatures that have escaped cages in transit at a spaceport. Wildfire sends the trainees. Dawnstar rushes ahead alone and is felled by a giant ape (more giant apes at DC). The other trainees are faced with a giant animal resembling a huge dinosaur with giant eyes dominating its face. The trio work together and make quick work of the rampaging animals.

According to the Grand Comics Database, Power Boy had two post-Crisis appearances: Legion of Super-Heroes #14 (1984) and annual #3 (1987). A statue of Power Boy appeared in “The Adult Legion” story in Adventure #354. There was an appearance (likely cameo) in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5. While I’ve summarized his very first appearance, this bio is primarily concerned with comics dating from 2010 and onward.

Power Boy is the most senior Legion Academy student based on his accompanying instructor Night Girl and fellow senior student Comet Queen to the Sorcerers’ World to pick up a young Glorith at the suggestion of Mysa the Black Witch and also based a comment he makes to Gravity Kid in Adventure #528. On one hand he seems to have a light hearted attitude as he’s shown juggling a bit clumsily since one of the balls accidentally hits Blok. He’s also caring, respectful, loyal, and hopeful as seen during a later chat with older student Lamprey about Comet Queen’s trials and their own uncertain future after graduation. Despite confiding to Lamprey that it’s a big universe with lots of opportunities, Jedidiah’s heart is set on joining the Legion.

The single time we see Power Boy on a mission is in Adventure #525. The sequence is remarkably similar to his first pre-Crisis appearance described above. This time he and Lamprey are under the observation of an SP officer, Cosmic Boy, and Night Girl, and the animals are elephants poached from a genetic preservation reserve. Night Girl expresses concern to Rokk that Power Boy is being over-confident though he succeeds in the end. His combat choices here will influence the Academy’s decision though to pass on offering him Legion membership and refer him to the Science Police (adventure #528).

Why is Power Boy considered gay? There are two moments when Power Boy and Gravity Lad (Tel Vole) 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.

Jedidiah was born with complete control of his body’s molecular density. This ability gives him increased strength and endurance. However, he doesn’t have any extra-defensive capability, at least according to the Legion Who’s Who entry in issue #5.it also states that Jedidiah’s family referred him to the Legion to help him gain control of his power. Apparently the damages he accidentally caused were threatening to bankrupt them. His skin color is a permanent side effect of his power’s manifestation. Whether this information remains current is unknown. The entry also described him as one of the friendliest Academy students, as well as being thought of as “strong, but dim” and had to be discouraged from rushing into battle.

Power Boy was first introduced in Superboy & the Legion of Super Heroes #240 (you know the one with Grimbor on the cover, don’t you?). A statue of Power Boy appeared in “The Adult Legion” story in Adventure #354. According to the Grand Comics Database, Power Boy had two post-Crisis appearances: Legion of Super-Heroes #14 (1984) and annual #3 (1987). There was an appearance (likely cameo) in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5, and then a two-panel cameo in Legion of Super-Heroes #6 (2010) followed by Adventure #523.

Created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan though fleshed out in detail by Paul Levitz, Paul Kupperberg, and James Sherman. Art by Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning

Read Gravity Kid’s entry here.

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August 2, 2021
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