Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Death Of Ferro Lad

Here's one of those absolutely iconic Legion stories everybody remembers. It was originally published in Adventure Comics in 1967, but I first read it in the 1970 Superadventure Bumper Book, a Christmas annual in all but name.
It's by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan & George Klein and is completely fantastic in every way. Regardless of what anybody's opinion of Shooter is these days, when you realize he wrote this epic at the tender age of 15, you have to give the guy major kudos.
Not that I cared about any of that when I first read The Death Of Ferro Lad ( a title the tale doesn't have, but that everyone calls it ), I was too busy being enthralled and spellbound.
This was the first appearance of The Fatal Five, and I instantly thought they were the best super villian team ever on their showing here. We've also got here the plotline that never gets old, as The Legion are forced to team up with their arch-enemies to stave off the galaxy-destroying threat that is The Sun Eater.
But this is obviously Ferro Lad's moment in the big time, and the first time most of us experienced a major character actually dying, and not coming back.
Here he is, literally going out in a magnificent blaze of glory.
Made It, Ma! Top Of The World!


  1. The Legion of Super-heroes was my favourite comic as a kid (I still have a soft spot for the characters today) due to stories like these where character were actually injured / killed by being heroic and helping people (rather than being brutalised like they are today) he became a bit of a comic legend to the 11 year old me at the time so it was really good to read the story that was regularly referred to (Curt Swan was such a good artist) - I think Ferro Lad appeared as a ghost in a Mike Grell Superboy / LSH drawn story - I remember other similar stories involving ERG1 ( Wildfire) and Invisible Boy dying (although I think they all came back in some form or another) - didn't Karate Kid kick the proverbial bucket as well?

  2. I think you're right with all those, Paul, though according to Wikipedia, the Legion's timeline has been rebooted and rejigged at least three times over the years, so nothing that happened in the Silver & Bronze Ages ever actually 'happened'.
    Or you could flip it and say that all the stories we all grew up on are the true ones, and everything else is 'imaginary'.
    Not easy being a Legion fan...

  3. Yep, this is an absolutely outstanding Legion story; I first read it in the late '70s (or maybe early '80s) when it was reprinted in one of those wonderful digests.
    It was the first time I'd even heard of Ferro Lad, and I thought he was such a fantastic character - so I was a bit sorry that he died. However, if the story had ended in any other way, it just wouldn't have been as good. And yes, it's amazing when you realize that a 15-year old kid wrote this.