|Spotlight on: TYROC|
The Legion was ideal kid-reading. Team of teenagers whose massive roster was determined by having a unique super-power: no dups! Some of my earliest super-hero art is of the Legion (follow the tags for the vintage stuff).
Recently, Xavier said I would be great on the Legion, and I thought, "would I?" "what would I do?" Sure, ideas came to my head, but here's the rub: in order to fix problems, update, and Tim Fish-ize, would it be the same Legion I (and others) loved?
Nope. But it did get my sketchpad full of ink identifying my biggest complaints of the original comics. Enjoy.
For a series that takes place 1,000 years in the future, with a membership consisting of mostly alien races, there are sure a lot of white teens on the team. Maybe it was creative, maybe it was editorial, maybe it was the publisher's decision, or maybe it was thought that only white kids read comics. Who knows.
Karate Kid (who should have been at least stereotypically Asian), only looked Asian once in a while, thanks to certain artists. Even characters where race didn't matter—such as Wildfire, a disembodied teen living in a containment suit—were white. Enter Tyroc, whose powers were complicated, whose backstory was pretty racist, and whose persona was separitist/angry...he made maybe 3 appearances before being written out of the series. Enter Dawnstar, whose species descended from American Indians. Enter the second Invisible Kid, who was depicted as French black and a reluctant hero.
The roster was nearly 30 members, ex members, honoraries...but the 10% rule 3 should have been some variety of homo. Of course, these comics were written in an era that none of them would have been out, but about an era that they surely would have been free to express themselves? Or was that a future far too frightening for the imagination?
So, we have the first Invisible Kid, described as "an incredibly lonely Legionnaire." Later he befriends a ghostly gal who turns out to be a figment of his imagination of something. Maybe a demon. Sounds closet gay, yes? Element Lad was suspected to be gay, too, because he never had a girlfriend and seemed shy around the ladies. In one of the re-boots, I understand Element Lad was gay for a time. And I seem to recall some hints at lesbo action in the mid-80s as I stopped reading the series, between Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass. Probably went nowhere.