+ Valor + M'onel
Created by Robert Bernstein & George Papp
Table of Contents
During Krypton's expansionist era, an astronomer named Val-Or discovered a distant sun (which was named after him). Later, a world in that system took the name of it's Kryptonian discoverer, Dax-Am. (Dax-Am's crew also ventured to Shwar, Imsk and Durla.) Unlike other worlds, Daxam's population melded with the colonizers'. Their genetic code was similar enough to enable mating. In time, Daxamite society grew to forget Krypton, and prospered. Some Daxamites inherited the Kryptonian desire for exploration, and two camps arose: the explorers and those who feared it.
Around 250–900 CE, young Zax Vane leds a peaceful space program to several worlds including Dryad, Xudar, Kalanor, Rann, Dhor, Korugar and Krypton itself. In the course of their travels, the Daxamites discovered they had great powers under a yellow sun. Unlike Kryptonians, Daxamites could sometimes breed with other races. The Daxamite explorer Bal Gand visited Earth and conceived a child with an Mayan native, Juyu. Gand left Earth because she feared the repurcussions of raising a "super child" on Earth's developing culture. Upon her return to Daxam, she always kept her ship ready for return voyage to Earth (in case her family would not accept her child). The progeny of Bal Gand's clan were especially prone to look to the stars.
In other Daxamites, xenophobia grew. This was exacerbated in part by the Kryptonian Eradicator—which corrupted Kryptonians' immunity to alien worlds and altered thought patterns. A four-day Science War eventually broke over the issue and cost a quarter of the population. Over millennia, this fostered a "pure-blood" Sorrow Cult, who feared all things alien. Over hundreds of years, their leader altered written history to omit the Science War and Krypton.
Lar Gand and his friend Van discovered Bal Gand's ship. When the Cult found out, Lar fled inside the ship, which followed its preprogrammed course back to Earth. Asleep on the journey, Lar learned of Krypton, and when he arrived on Earth, his memory was clouded; he believed he had come from Krypton, not Daxam. (Superman Annual #14)
Another anxious Daxamite of Lar Gand's generation, Sodam Yat, became a Green Lantern. (Green Lantern Corps #14, 18)
Lar Gand's ship crash landed on Earth in Smallville, Kansas. He emerged amnesiac, and because he spoke Kryptonese, the young Clark Kent believed that this visitor could also be Kryptonian. Clark fantasized that Gand was his brother and Gand himself took the name Mon-El, using the day (Monday) and Clark's Kryptonian surname.
After several days in Smallville, they decided to see whether Mon-El was vulnerable to kryptonite. Gand fell fatally ill—but not from kryptonite—from the lead box itself. This shock restored Gand's memories, and the grave realization that he was now dying of lead poisoning. At Gand's request, Clark projected Mon-El into the Phantom Zone and vowed to find a cure. (Action Comics Annual #10)
In the Phantom Zone, Gand met other prisoners of that timeless dimension, most of whom were put there by the authorities on Krytpon. Several of them — General Zod, Ursa and Non — escaped and viewed Mon-El adrift from the safety of Superman's Fortress of Solitude. (Action #846) When the Zone itself was apparently destroyed, Mon-El was freed again. But what of his lead poisoning? At that moment, Superman magically found a cure for in his Fortress; it bore the symbol of the Legion of Super-Heroes. After this, Superman left for New Krypton, and installed Mon-El as one of Metropolis' protectors. Mon-El visited Smallville where Martha Kent gave him the name Jonathan Kent. In Metropolis, he'd pose as Clark's cousin from England. (Superman #685)
Mon-El couldn't know that his destiny was an important one, but the Legion did. It was important enough that the Legion Espionage Squad came back in time and insinuated themselves into Mon-El's new life. As Control, Chameleon Boy assured that Johnathan Kent would be hired to the Science Police. There Mon met his future paramour, Billi Harper. (#686)
The spectre of his lead posoining continued to haunt him. Dr. Light discovered that his super-healing was fighting against the anti-lead serum, and she concluded that eventually it will fail. Hearing this news prompted Mon-El to do even more to live up to the legend of Superman. (#688) Mon-El's star rose fast during this time. He modified his costume to include Superman's 'S' insignia (#694), and he was even recruited to join the Justice League of America. (JLofA v.2 #41)
When Superboy became a member of the 30th century Legion of Super-Heroes, he met Saturn Girl, who invented Serum XY-4, which allowed Mon-El to temporarily leave the Phantom Zone. Mon-El helped the Legion defeat Urthlo, an android built by Lex Luthor, and was granted honorary membership. He returned to the Phantom Zone, awaiting a permanent cure. (Adventure #300)
His lead poisoning was soon permanently cured, allowing him to leave the Phantom Zone forever. Masquerading as Marvel Lad, he was admitted to the Legion after inventing anti-gravity Element 152 and defeating a creature called a sun-eater. He revealed his true identity and was accepted as a full-time Legionnaire. (Adventure #305) Later, Brainiac 5 uses Element 152 to create the Legion flight rings. (Legion v.2 #267)
Lead poisoning would continue to plague Mon-El despite the serum. When he apparently died of lead poisoning, his cousin, Eltro Gand, sacrificed his own life force to revive him. Unbeknownst to everyone, Mon-El was not actually dead. Rather than reviving him, Eltro only succeeded in implanting his own personality into Mon-El's mind. (Action #384) Years later, Mon-El found that his anti-lead serum was losing its potency. With Superboy's help, they were able to synthesize a new serum, but had to force Mon-El to the Phantom Zone for a brief but traumatic period. (Legion v.3 #21, 23)
He stayed with the Legion for many years, serving several terms as leader (Action #392, Superboy #190), and also found the love of his life in his teammate, Tasmia Mallor, Shadow Lass.
He stayed away from Daxam for the most part, until the evil Darkseid transformed the entire planet into his "Servants of Darkness." The Servants completely destroyed the planet and after they were freed, Mon-El took responsibility for helping his people return to normal. (Legion v.2 #292-294)
There was some theory that there was some relation between Krypton and Daxam, perhaps that one of the world was a colony of the other. (Tales of the Legion #325)
After the Crisis
After the Crisis, the timestream was malleable. It was the prime opportunity for a renewed attack from the Time Trapper. The Trapper removed Superboy from the Legin's history, excising the Boy of Steel from the timestream and sequestering him in a so-called Pocket Universe. The Legionnaires discovered this tampering on a journey back to the 20th century. Mon-El was instrumental in helping Superboy save his little pocket of the universe. However, Superboy overextended himself in the battle, and died in Mon-El's arms. (Legion v.3 #38) After this, Mon-El and three other Legionnaires formed an obsessed conspiracy whose aim was revenge against the Time Trapper. (#46) The conspiracy confronted the Time Trapper at the end of time and succeeded in undoing his mechanations in time. Superboy's place in history was restored, but at a great cost. Mon-El critically wounded and Duo Damsel lost her second body. (#50)
Shadow Lass took it upon herself to find treatment for Mon-El's injuries. They set out for Daxam and en route, she married him in a ritual native to her planet (the removal of a finger). (#52) When they left Daxam, they were attacked by Khundish warriors. (#53) Mon-El used some his last bit of strength to repel them but when their ship's power cut out, Mon-El apparently died. (#61)
Mon-El was ultimately restored to full health, but these circumstances of this remain untold.
Mon-El's historical origin was essentially the same, but with much less detail, and no details about Daxam. Lar Gand was a 20th century space explorer who met Superboy on Earth. Superboy, seeing how Gand had similar powers, theorized that Gand was his long lost brother, and dubbed him Mon-El. He briefly moved into the Kent home, adopting the identity of traveling salesman "Bob Cobb." Mon-El's visit on Earth was cut short when he contracted lead poisoning. To save his life, Superboy projected Mon-El into the Phantom Zone until a cure could be found. It took a thousand years. (Superboy v.1 #89)
Once inside the Phantom Zone, his history is the same as the current Mon-El (Earth-0, above).
It is unclear whether Lar's father Kel Gand was part of the Daxamite forces during the Dominator's invasion of Earth (Invasion!). Given the xenophobic culture in Daxam's current timeline, the planet's involvement seems unlikely.
On Earth-0, Lar Gand was not a member of Vril Dox's 20th century L.E.G.I.O.N. When asked whether any connection between Lar Gand and L.E.G.I.O.N., R.E.B.E.L.S. writer Tony Bedard said "no"… at least nothing in regards to what he had planned. (Legion of Substitute Podcasters #41, 2009).
Did you know that "monel" is also a metal alloy based on nickel (65-70%) and copper (20-29%) with iron, manganese and other compounds? Supposedly, it's stronger than steel. Hmmmmmmmmm...
Jim Shooter on Mon-El: He is, as (Cary) Bates defined him, basically insecure. Contrary to what many people say, he has not had a thousand years of life to his credit, but due to the hoeostatic nature of the zone, he has had the same year 1000 times. That is—the Zone. —Interlac (1976)
Tom & Mary Bierbaum on Mon-El: An immensely heroic figure. Perhaps the greatest hero of all time. Utterly dedicated to serving others and paying whatever price is necessary for the common good. A thousand years in the phantom zone? No sweat. (It was the Eltro Gand personality projected into Mon-El's psyche that couldn't handle the Phantom Zone memories, not Mon-El himself.) —Interlac (2000)
In the timeline that originally stemmed from the Crisis onInfinite Earths (no longer valid), the Time Trapper returned to revive Mon-El after his death. Brainiac 5 then discovered that the Time Trapper and Eltro Gand's personalities had both been residing inside Mon-El's mind. Mon-El was drawn by the Trapper into the Pocket Universe, where his anger sealed his final fate: he destroyed the Trapper, and the Legion's timeline ceased to exist altogether. (Legion v.4 #3-4)
So ironically, Lar Gand's history was changed by his own actions. But once that was corrected, the changes resulted in a timeline where Lar Gand's role in the Legion was much bigger—Lar Gand was now the Legion's primary inspiration: the hero called Valor.
In this new Glorith reality (because this villainess was now the puppet master behind the Legion instead of the Time Trapper), it was Ultra Boy who first met Lar Gand in the 20th century. Lar Gand joined the L.E.G.I.O.N. and took the name Valor, which was suggested by Superman. At times, he found himself on Earth, like when Ultra Boy came to warn him of a planned second Dominion invasion of Earth. (Legion v.4 Annual #1) Valor liberated scores of the Dominion's victims of metagene experiments and helped them colonize new home worlds (Bismoll, Carggite, Lallor, Myrnah, Tharr, and Winath).
After this initial meeting, Valor met the whole Legion, who traveled back in time from 2973 to make him an honorary Legionnaire. Valor then met Glorith of Baaldur, who imprisoned Valor in the Bgztl Buffer Zone for a thousand years for rejecting her advances. After this abrupt disappearance, he became a legend and an almost religious figure throughout much of the galaxy. (Legion v.4 Annual #2)
After this, Valor's history with the 30th century Legion was similar to the original Mon-El's. He was temporarily freed from the Phantom Dimension, cured and joined the Legion. He fell in love with Shadow Lass. But also, where Superboy had originally played a major role in an event, Valor was said to have done those things. Also, a descendant of his brother's, Laurel Gand was a Legionnaire. In the 1.5 timeline, Laurel effectively replaced all of the original Supergirl's actions in Legion history.
After Glorith killed the entire population of the planet Daxam, Valor formed a group to avenge the planet's destruction. Valor was wounded, but Glorith was forced to retreat. Valor went on to marry Shadow Lass. Also, Brainiac 5 discovered that the personality of Eltro Gand still existed within Valor's mind. Valor regained control of his own mind, which greatly improving his morale and health.
Now husband and wife, he and Tasmia set off on their own, exploring space and defending justice as always. In fact it was he who discovered the Dark Circle's files concerning their plan to clone the Legion! (Legion v.4 #22) The Legion soon found out that the Dominators took those plans and did create an entire cloned Legion, including Valor. (#20, 24, 31) The young Valor disappeared when he took a trip back in time, and later reappeared in the 20th century amid massive time fluctuations. (Valor #17)
Valor died alongside Shadow Lass and the rest of the Legion when this timeline was wiped away during Zero Hour. (Valor #23)
» SEE ALSO: Valor Chronology
As the so-called Zero Hour approached, the time stream began to warp and Valor's history spiraled into (even more) utter chaos. When he went to Cairn, he met a girl named Lori, who was actually the Legion's great foe, Glorith. Lori accompanied Lar from Cairn back to Daxam. (Valor #12)
Due to the fluctuations in the time stream, Valor disappeared from 30th century history, which sent the Legionnaires back in time to investigate. (#13) In essence, Valor died of the lead poisoning before he could free the Dominion's captives and seed all those worlds. He was replaced by his clone from the 30th century (the "SW6" Valor), who agreed to take on that responsibility. (#17) The SW6 Valor was then banished by Glorith into the Phantom Dimension. Though the SW6 had effectively "fixed" Valor's history, it all soon went to H-E-double toothpicks.
After the events of Zero Hour, a timeline was created in which the Legion existed on Earth-247. In this timeline, Lar Gand's 20th century history was kept intact (his membership in L.E.G.I.O.N. and seeding worlds). But his 30th century life was all-new...
Lar Gand was born on the planet Daxam. Like Krypton, its inhabitants lived under a red sun. On Earth, under a yellow sun, they exhibited great super-powers much like Superman's. In fact, Lar's father Kel Gand was one of the first Daxamites to discover this. Gand and others traveled to Earth as part of the Dominators' Alliance to eradicate Earth's metahuman population. But just as soon as they found their new strength, they also discovered their greatest weakness: lead, which does not exist on Daxam. Kel Gand died of lead poisoning on Earth and convinced his mates to changed their allegiance and side with Earth's heroes. (Invasion! #1-3)
The death of Lar's father instilled a desire in him to explore the galaxy. With his formidable intellect and will, Lar was a trained space explorer by his mid-teens. His first recorded solo adventure is an war between New Genesis and Apokolips. (New Gods v.2 #17-21)
His potential did not escape Vril Dox of L.E.G.I.O.N. Shortly after the police force's formation, Dox set his sights on the powerhouse from Daxam. (LEGION #13) One day Lar found his way to L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters on Cairn and Dox used his weakness to lead to cripple Gand. Lar was essentially forced to join the L.E.G.I.O.N. in order to receive a steady supply of Dox's anti-lead serum. (#16)
Lar accompanied Dox to Earth where they invaded Project Cadmus in search of Dox's father, the legendary Brainiac. This brought them into their first meeting with the legendary Superman himself. (Adv. of Superman Annual #2)
Despite his dependence on Dox, Lar's tenure in the L.E.G.I.O.N. was brief. He accompanied them on another mission to the planet Poriaxus. (Legion v.4 #119) before Dox actually judged Gand too unpredictable. Dox fired him and Lar continued on his space exploration. (#19)
He met the Starman Will Payton when Payton was forced to lead Mr. Nebula to Daxam's system as punishment for injuring Nebula's herald, the Scarlet Skier. (Starman #35)
He returned to Earth as well, again to help Earth's heroes defend against Brainiac. (Superman v.2 #65) Soon after this, Gand was possessed by Eclipso when he passed by Earth's moon. Realizing Gand's power, Eclipso planned a takeover of Earth. This conflict also drew the L.E.G.I.O.N. back to Earth. Lar was ultimately instrumental in the villain's defeat. Following the battle, Superman gave Lar the name by which his legend would grow: Valor. (Eclipso: the Darkness Within #2)
He remained on Earth and sought help from Lex Luthor "Jr." (actually a clone of the original evil Luthor). Regardless, Valor was able to defeat his inner demons and destroy Eclipso's hideout in the South American jungle. (Valor #1) He also met Supergirl and Luthor gave him a new space ship, the Pilgrim One, which was installed with a computer assistant called Babbage. The Pilgrim was Luthor's way of getting Valor out of his way, but also allowed him to keep tabs on him. (#2)
When his anti-lead serum began to run low, he was forced to return to Cairn. Though Dox appeared to be helpful, he actually tainted the serum and set Valor's ship on-course for the new intergalactic prison, Starlag II — which lay under a red sun. (#4) Powerless, Valor was captured by the warden, Kanjar Ru. In his cell, he met a former Green Lantern, Alia. Meanwhile, Babbage contacted the Blasters for help. (#5)
Snapper Carr and the Blasters soon freed Valor but also let loose a powerful prisoner: the Unimaginable. The Unimaginable causes the red sun to go nova. (#6-8) The Unimaginable stuck around and restored Alia's youth, but was defeated in turn by Valor and Alia. (#10)
The lead poisoning caused him to go berserk. Alia helped him find Kilowog on Oa, who fixed the Pilgrim One. Once again, Valor was forced to seek help on Cairn. (#11) On Cairn, Dox pronounced Valor's condition as terminal. The lead poisoning had returned and Gand had become immune to the serum. He had a month to live.
Valor decided to return home to Daxam. (#12) He discovered that Daxam was also plagued by lead poisoning, which the natives believed was an alien virus. He reunited with his mother Marisa and his brother Del, and discovered the source: an alien ship. He was able to disposed of the ship, but his mother died.
In one last attempt to find a cure, Valor departed Daxam for Earth. (#14) On Earth, he became amnesiac and fell under the control of gambling boss Mr. Gamboli. Gamboli sent Valor (calling him "Champion") to attack Superboy. Babbage then located Valor and Lar regained his memory. To save Valor from the poisoning, Superboy used a portal at STAR Labs to send Valor into the "Stasis Zone," where he would remain for a thousand years.
Though suffering from the effects of the lead poisoning — Valor somehow found a way to liberate scores of Dominion test subjects helped them colonize new home worlds. It is unclear when this occurred. Many 30th century cultures revered Lar Gand as the "father" of their worlds.
NOTES: The letter column of Valor #4 contains a detailed history of Lar Gand up through the start of the Valor series.
In the timeline that included Earth-247, Lar Gand also went on to be rescued from the Phantom Zone by the Legion of Super-Heroes…
In the 30th century, Saturn Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes made mental contact with Valor and mobilized the Legionnaires to help free him from the Stasis Zone. They returned to the 20th Century and secured Superboy's help to rescue Valor. They brought Superboy back to the 30th century with them. (Superboy #21)
Previously, Brainiac 5 had developed an anti-lead serum for their other member from Daxam, Lar's distant kin Andromeda (Laurel Gand). (Legion v.4 #70) The Legion freed Valor and administered the serum. In the thousand years since his disappearance, he'd attained godlike legendary status throughout the galaxy. Because of this, his new lease on life was a closely guarded secret (though rumors of his return did begin to spread). (Legionnaires #31)
He created a secret identity, adopting the name M'Onel, which meant "wanderer" in Martian, and joined the Legion on a detached status. (#37) He was surprised to meet a former L.E.G.I.O.N. teammate among the Legion: Apparition, who was one-third of his old friend Phase. (Legion v.4 #119)
He served on-and-off with the Legion and when half of the team disappeared completely, he joined Earth President Leland McCauley's Oversight Watch. (Legion Worlds #1) In truth, McCauley was the ancient villain Ra's al Ghul. When the "lost" Legionnaires returned, M'onel was the first to greet them, and McCauley knew their reformed bond would be trouble. Al Ghul delivered a nearly fatal shot to M'onel, which was healed by Kinetix. (The Legion #1-8)
The Universe which held Earth-247 was destroyed by Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime during the Infinite Crisis. (Infinite Crisis #5) As fate would have it, M'onel and his Legion were cast adrift in the void of the multiverse, before being rescued by Brainiac 5 of Earth-0. (Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2) At the conclusion of their mission, the Earth-247 Legion chose to dive back into the multiverse in search of other lost souls. (#5)
NOTES: Olivier Coipel on M'onel: M'onel is the third big guy and I really like the short hair he has now compared to the look from [The Legion] issue #1. —Comic Book Resources
On Earth-Prime, Mon-El was also a prisoner of the Phantom Zone when the Legionnaires first encountered him. They first found him on the planet, Rokyn (where Kandor was enlarged). There, Saturn Girl sensed Mon-El's presence in the Zone. (Supergirl & the Legion #23) As it happened, the Legion were on that world seeking the Projector. In taking a closer look, Phantom Girl and Saturn Girl merged to enter the Phantom Zone and spoke to Mon-El. He tried to warn them of an impending attack by a group called the Wanderers. (#24)
The Legion took the Projector back to Earth, where Brainiac 5 synthesized an antidote from kryptonite for Mon-El's lead poisoning. Once he recovered, however, Mon-El was teleported away by the Wanderers' leader, Mekt Ranzz. (#25) The Legion was forced to ally with the Wanderers, and Mon-El became a key player in their battle against the Dominion. (#26) But Brainy's serum was imperfect and Mon-El begans to suffer again from the lead poisoning. (#28)
Knowing that Mon-El would need to return to the Phantom Zone anyway, Cosmic Boy concocted a clever plan to use Mon-El to win their battle. To remove the Dominion as a threat, he decided to move their homeworld into the Phantom Zone; Mon-El would escort it and guard them therein. To all outside appearances, however, it seemed as though Cosmic Boy had blown up the planet, and that Mon-El had perished. Later, Cosmic Boy confided in the Legionnaires about Mon-El's true fate. (#30)
Mon-El was never truly inducted into the Legion.
Lar Gand, like all Daxamite (and Kryptonian) natives, possesses a wide array of superhuman powers in the absence of red sunlight. full range of Daxamite powers, including virtually unmeasurable strength, speed, and vision, as well as flight and near-invulnerability.
A Daxamite's greatest weakness is lead. Even a brief exposure can cause death. In every reality, a member of the Dox (Brainiac) family line has invented a serum to stave off the effects of Lar Gand's lead poisoning. Originally, this serum also allowed Mon-El to maintain his powers under his native red sun.
In post-Zero Hour continuity, Eclipso claimed that Lar Gand was more powerful than Superman. (Eclipso: Darkness Within #1)
» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
- Adventures of Superman Annual #2, #4
- Action Comics Annual #10 (2007)
- Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1-2
- L.E.G.I.O.N. #13, 16-19, Annual #1, 3
- Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #73, 119, Annual #2
- Legionnaires #30
- New Gods v.2 #17-21
- Superboy #17-21
- Superman v.2 #65
- Starman v.2 #35
- Adventure Comics #300, 305-380 (1962-69)
- Action Comics #378-392 (1969-70)
- Legion of Super-Heroes v.1, 4 issues (1973)
- Superboy (and the Legion) #200-258 (1974-79); becomes ...
- Legion of Super-Heroes v.2, #259-313 (1980-84)
- Legion of Super-Heroes v.3, 63 issues (1984-94)
- Legion of Super-Heroes v.4, 125 issues (1989-2000)
- Legionnaires 81 issues (1994-2000)
- Teen Titans/Legion: Universe Ablaze, 4-issue limited series (2000)
- The Legion, 38 issues (2001-2004)
- Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #23-on, current (2005-)
- Valor, 23 issues (1992-94)