Bouncing Boy

Created by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney
 

NAME + ALIASES:
Chuck Taine of Earth

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Luornu Durgo Taine (Duplicate Damsel, wife)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes, Legion Academy, United Planets Militia Academy

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Action Comics #267 (Dec. 1959)
SW6: Legionnaires #16 (July 1994)
Retroboot: Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #

The origin of Bouncing Boy. From Adventure Comics #301 (Oct. 1962); by Jerry Siegel and John Forte.
What goes up must come down. From Adventure Comics #321 (Oct. 1962); by Jerry Siegel and John Forte.
Bouncing Boy rebounds. From Adventure Comics #341 (Feb. 1966); by Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and Sheldon Moldoff.
Even the so-called "weakest, sorriest" Legionnaire … is a Legionnaire. From Superboy #199 (May 1969); by Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum.
Wedding Day. From Superboy #200 (Jan./Feb. 1974); by Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum.
Even as reserve Legionnaires, Lu and Chuck found adventure. From Superboy #216 (Apr. 1976); by Cary Bates and Mike Grell.
Profile picture from Who's Who #3 (May 1985); art by Keith Giffen and Karl Kesel.
Some girls like a man with a little meat on his bones. From Adventure Comics #527 (Aug. 2011); by Paul Levitz, Geraldo Borges and Marlo Alquiza.

Young Chuck Taine was an "errand boy" for a scientist in Metropolis. One day he was entrusted to deliver a special super-plastic fluid to the Science Council, but on the way Chuck was enticed by a Robot Gladiator tournament. In his excitement, he accidentally drank the plastic serum instead of his soda — and gained the power to inflate his body and bounce like a rubber ball! (Adventure Comics #301, Secret Origins vol. 2 #49) Note: Bouncing Boy's real name was first revealed in Superman Annual #4 (1961).

He adopted the name Bouncing Boy and applied for membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes, but was rejected. (Action Comics #276) But he was undeterred; he set out in the city determined to prove his worth to them. As fate would have it, he happened upon a thief using electrical technology. Where even Saturn Girl failed to stop him, Bouncing Boy's ballistic, rubberized form knocked out the thief. The Legion took notice and he was admitted as their sixteenth member. (Adventure #301) His super-power was sometimes considered inferior to the others', but Bouncing Boy carried his weight on missions and was also a key booster in the team's morale.

Before long, Chuck lost his powers. While practicing one day, he accidentally bounced in front of a matter-shrinking machine that (while it made him more slender) sapped his super-power. He could no longer serve as an active Legionnaire and was awarded permanent reserve status. He introduced his friends to his new girlfriend, Iresa. (Adventure Comics #321)

A coup by the evil computer called Computo sparked a different passion in Chuck. When Computo murdered one of Triplicate Girl's selves, the powerless Bouncing Boy leapt into the fray. Computo was amused by him and exposed him to a gas that restored his super-power for a half-hour. He tried unsuccessfully as his friends had to bring down the tyrant, but the power faded again. (#341)

This back-and-forth with Chuck's super-power continued to occur. During the Legion's battle against Evillo, Chuck was kidnapped by Sugyn, a servant of Evillo. Evillo found little worth in a powerless Legionnaire, but Dr. Zan Orbal used his genius to betray Evillo and restored Chuck's powers. Bouncing Boy was readmitted to the Legion alongside Star Boy and Dream Girl. (#351)

During this time, Bouncing Boy became the principal instructor at the new Legion Academy, where young super-powered recruits were prepared for Legion service. (#371)

Chuck found the courage to ask his fellow Legionnaire, Duo Damsel (the former Triplicate Girl), on a date. One of her selves had just left on a mission, and Chuck hesitated, thinking it was unfair. But "Luornu I," as he dubbed her, reassured him, saying that her selves were equal in every way. While "Luornu II" was on the planet Ikros, she took a liking to the its hometown hero, Nam'Lor. They didn't realize that his energy powers were turning her evil, so when Luornu II returned to Earth, she took to committing various crimes as "Lelith." Her sister and Bouncing Boy were forced to stop her and Nam'Lor left feeling guilty; he claimed that she would soon return to normal. (Action Comics #380) Some wondered whether "Lelith's" actions were a latent expression of Luornu's "violet" personality. Over the years there would be rumors about this second self acting on her own, and even secretly dating other people. (2995: Legion Sourcebook)

On a solo mission, Bouncing Boy proved the principles that he professed at the Academy: that any skilled hero can learn to become an effective fighter regardless of super-powers. Chuck was targeted and kidnapped by the Hunter II, who sought to redeem his father's defeat. Hunter thought he would pick off the Legionnaires starting with the "weakest, most slow-witted Legionnaire of them all" but Bouncing Boy prevailed against dire odds. (Superboy vol. 1 #199)

This victory was bittersweet when Chuck soon learned that yet again his powers were waning. He decided it was time to retire from the Legion permanently. He summoned his courage and proposed marriage to Luornu — knowing also that there was a rule that prohibited married Legionnaires from serving in active duty. They would become the Legion's first married couple, but before the ceremony, it appeared that Luornu had also lost her super-power. After the ceremony at Nix Olympia on Mars, they both resigned from the Legion and became Legion reservists. The Legion soon discovered, however, that her second body (Lelith again?) had been kidnapped by Starfinger in an attempt to learn the secret of Carggite duplication. (Superboy #200)

Chuck sometimes felt insecure about being non-powered, but he proved his mettle in combat by defeating a gang of crooks that attacked him and his wife. (#216) An accident soon restored his powers once again, but neither Chuck nor Luornu returned to full-time Legion life again. In fact, he kept his renewed powers a secret from Lu, to preserve their domestic bliss. (#230) Occasionally, adventure still managed to find them, even after settling on the icy world of Wondil IX (#257), where they accidentally released a 2,500 year-old djinn named Kantuu. (Legion vol. 2 #266)

B.B. and D.D. hung around the Legion for a short while before reclaiming their retirement (#284) They mobilized the Legion reserves to fight Darkseid (#292–294) but mostly continued to tutor the students at the Legion Academy (#303, 304, 311, Legion vol. 3 #4, 11, 12, 14)

Grava was a young girl who became obsessed with the Legion — and Bouncing Boy in particular —  at a young age. One day her idol actually visited nearby Quaal-III and Grava pounced on him. (Adventure Comics #527) He was impressed enough with her powers and invited Grava to enter the Legion Academy as Comet Queen, (Legion vol. 2 #304, Legion vol. 3 #11) Luornu apparently felt no threat because she did not intervene. Instead, they helped fashion Comet Queen into an effective young hero.

Both Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel (with Comet Queen) joined a new iteration of the Legion of Substitute Heroes when it was organized by Cosmic Boy. (Legion vol. 3 Annual #3, #61–63)

Unknown to Chuck, after the death of Superboy Luornu conspired with several other Legionnaires to take revenge on the Time Trapper. (Legion vol. 3 #46) When they finally confronted him, the tyrant killed Duo Damsel's second body. (#50)

Glorith Reality (Legion vol. 4)

Chuck, Luornu and Jed Rikane receive backup from the Legion's Kent Shakespeare and Mysa Nal. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #16 (1991); art by Brandon Peterson and Carlos Garzon.
Chuck Taine profile portrait from Who's Who #9 (1991); art by Ty Templeton.
That wacky Zero Hour — Bouncing Boy appears as if nothing was amiss. From Legionnaires #16 (July 1994); by Mark Waid, Chris Gardner, and Dennis Cramer.

On Earth, the Legion was systematically dismantled when the Dominators covertly took over Earthgov. When the Legion Academy lost its funding, Luornu and Chuck were invited by King Jonn of the United Planets to establish a new school: the United Planets Militia Academy on Xolnar. They and the heroes of the Militia stood ready to fight with the Legion against a Khund invasion. (Legion vol. 4 #15-18, 57)

When the Legion's greatest enemy, Glorith, kidnapped Luornu and her former fellow conspirators, they learned that Glorith had also saved Duo Damsel's second self from permanent death! The Legionnaires freed her and Chuck's wives were reunited. (#42)

Their organization was saved when the United Planets' King Jonn recognized the Taines' potential, and requested that Chuck and Luornu establish a new U.P. Militia Academy, where they would serve as Instructors General. (Legion vol. 4 #15)

Lu returned to her life on Xolnar with Chuck and with the Militia Academy, where they continued to train a legion of new, young recruits. Their ranks were also filled out by many former members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. (#57)

Bouncing Boy II

The "SW6 Legion" was a complete duplicate of the Legion from their early days. These "chronal duplicates" were created by the Time Trapper, but they were created at a time when Bouncing Boy was not a member. There was no SW6 B.B. until the crisis in time called "Zero Hour" began to warp reality. A teen version of Bouncing Boy appeared then, as if nothing was amiss. (Legionnaires #16) Soon after this, however, this reality ceased to exist

Notes

Bounder's carapace, deflating. From R.E.B.E.L.S. vol. 2 #3 (June 2009) by Tony Bedard and Andy Clarke.

Jim Shooter on Bouncing Boy: "Self-effacing, insecure, burdened with feelings of inadequacy, and yet—he is more together and competent than most people suspect, especially himself." —Interlac (1976)

Tom & Mary Bierbaum on Bouncing Boy: "A great guy. Fun, supportive and far more valuable a team member than anyone realized. Made the most of everything he had." —Interlac (2000)

In the 20th/21st centuries, the L.E.G.I.O.N. has been affiliated with two individuals who bear some resemblance to Bouncing Boy. There was rejected L.E.G.I.O.N. applicant Jiv Reduu, who took revenge on the team, and ultimately died. (L.E.G.I.O.N. #30) Another L.E.G.I.O.N. member was Bounder, of Cairn, who could roll himself into a hard-shelled ball. (R.E.B.E.L.S. v.2 #3)

Retroboot

In Retroboot continuity (post-Infinite Crisis), the Original Legion was more-or-less restored. However the events of Legion vol. 4 were excluded from this. That meant that Chuck and Lu remained with the Legion Academy and never formed the U.P. Militia Academy.

Chuck and Luornu (now with the ability to replicate herself endlessly and calling herself Duplicate Damsel) joined the all-Legion fight against Superboy-Prime and his Legion of Super-Villains. (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5)

The couple continued to run the Legion Academy, training a new generation of Legion members. They struggled to meet the Legion's membership needs; how to condition students for the dangerous missions ahead while ensuring their safety as well? (Adventure Comics #523)

Their most recent crop succeeded and failed on these points. After Variable Lad sacrificed his life to defeat Cosmic King, (#529) four other Academy students were admitted to the Legion. (Legion v.7 #1)

B.B. and D.D. brought two new recruits (Mwindaji and Otaki) with them on a mission to rescue several captive Legionnaires from the Dominators. These students were well disciplined and performed well under stress. (Legion v.7 #10–12)

They were available to help when the Fatal Five attacked again, and Luornu suffered another loss of one of her new duplicates. (#20)

Powers

Bouncing Boy can inflate his body like a ball. In this state, his body adopts the properties of rubber. His form is buoyant, elastic and nigh-impervious, which enables him to create momentum and bound between surfaces, almost like a ballistic weapon. It also makes him unaffected to electrical energy.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • Action Comics #276, 287, 309, 380, 387
  • All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #5, 10
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 2 #266, 267, 273, 277–280, 284, 292–294, 300, 303, 304, 311, Annual #1–3
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3 #4, 11, 12, 14, 16, 20, 24, 31, 38, 46, 47, 50, 51, 54, 61–63
  • Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes #1
  • Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #243–245, 257
  • Superboy vol. 1 #190, 191, 195, 197, 199, 200, 216, 230
  • Superman vol. 1 #156
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #72
  • Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #316, 317

Glorith Reality

  • Legionnaires #18
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #15–18, 42, 57, 60, 61
  • Valor #23

Retroboot

  • Adventure Comics vol. 3 #9 [512], 11 [514], 523–526, 528, 529
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 6 #1
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 7, #10–13, 20–23

» SERIES:

  • Adventure Comics #300–380 (1962–69)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 2 (1980–84)

NAME + ALIASES:
Chuck Taine

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #76 (Jan. 1996)

Reboot: Chuck Taine

Just when the Legionnaires are feeling low, their new engineer Chuck Taine reminds them how crucial their efforts have been. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #76 (Jan. 1996); by Tom Peyer, Tom McCraw, Lee Moder and Ron Boyd.
Chuck is intimidated by Leviathan's beauty. From From Legionnaires #66 (Dec. 1998); by KC Carlson, Mike Collins and John Stokes.
Legion Engineer, Chuck Taine, attends the dedication of his creation, the Legion Outpost. From Legion vol. 4 #100 (1998); art by Jason Armstrong.
Chuck Taine invents the ballistic ship called the "Bouncing Boy." From Legion Worlds #3 (Aug. 2001); by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Paul Rivoche.

Chuck Taine was a brilliant young architectural intern who was recruited by Marla Latham to maintain the Legion headquarters building. Chuck was awed and honored to serve the Legion. He arrived at the right time too, when their morale was low and his praise was provided a "shot in the arm." He told them that his parents were killed by the Daxamite terrorists called the White Triangle. (Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #76)

Chuck was a valuable contributor after the Legion headquarters needed rebuilding after its partial destruction by Chronos. He became good friends with the Legion's cook Tenzil Kem. (Legionnaires #33-34) When the Legionnaires were away, he joined with other allies to repel Protean invaders. (#35)

While on a date with Triad 'neutral' (who took a shine to him while her sisters preferred M'onel and Superboy), Chuck mentioned that he liked a specialty beverage called "Dr. Gingold." (#59) Chuck and Luornu continued to date. Note: Gingold was the substance that gave the Elongated Man his stretching power in the 20th century.

For better or worse, he became such a fixture, that Brainiac 5 began to assume that Chuck will rebuild whatever laboratories he managed to destroy. (#82)

Chuck remained on staff and designed the Legion Outpost, an orbiting deep space station. (Legionnaires #55-56, Legion #100, Legion Secret Files #1) He also occasionally led guided tours of Legion headquarters. (Legends of the Legion #1-4)

He even discovered that the Legionnaire Triad (at least one of her selves) may have a crush on him. (Legionnaires #59) But Chuck went on a date with Leviathan (aka Shrinking Violet) instead. She was attracted to his charm and wit, and also comforted that he liked her both before and after her fateful transformation by the Emerald Eye. Triad was jealous that the two of them went on a date, but afterwards Violet realized that Chuck only had eyes for Triad. (Legionnaires #66)

When the Legion was decimated by the Blight and a group of Legionnaires was lost, Chuck remained with a small underground group led by Cosmic Boy. Even though the Legion had officially disbanded, they kept its spirit alive, and worked with the Legion's benefactor, R. J. Brande to build a secret new headquarters. This ambitious venture was called Legion World — a massive artificial planetoid. During this time, Chuck effectively became a Legion member. He invented a ballistic space craft called the Bouncing Boy that was capable of rebounding off the ground. (Legion Worlds #3)

Chuck kept very busy as as Chief Engineer of Legion World, working closely with the cyborg Legionnaire, Gear.

Notes

The Legion Secret Files 3003 (2004) described Chuck as only an "honorary" member. He was depicted along with all the other members on a monitor board in The Legion #10.

Powers

Chuck Taine has no super-powers, but is a gifted engineer and architect. He helped rebuild Legion headquarters, and built the Legion Outpost and Legion World, and created a kinetic spaceship known as the Bouncing Boy.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • Legionnaires #33–35, 55-56, 59
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #76, 82, 100
  • Legends of the Legion #1-4
  • Legion Secret Files and Origins #1
  • Legion Worlds #3

» SERIES:

  • The Legion, 38 issues (2001–2004)
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, 5-issue limited series (2008-09)

» SEE ALSO:

NAME + ALIASES:
Charles Foster Taine

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Superman vol. 5 #14 (Oct. 2019)

Rebirth: Bouncing Boy II

The Legion meets Charles Foster Taine. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 8 #9 (Nov. 2020); by Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.

Charles Foster Taine has a doctoral degree in metaphysical gateways. He was recruited by the Legion of Super-Heroes when they learned of his "level eight" super-powers. He is so invulnerable when his body inflates that they wanted to call him "The Bullet." But Chuck preferred to emphasize his ability to rebound against things and joined them as Bouncing Boy. (Legion vol. 8 #9)

Powers

Bouncing Boy can "inflate" his body, and in doing so becomes nearly invulnerable yet pliable enough to ricochet off surfaces.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #2
  • Supergirl vol. 7 #33
  • Superman vol. 5 #14-15

» SERIES:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 8, current (2019–)

» SEE ALSO:

 

Other Versions

Bouncing Boy with Phantom Girl. From Legion of Super-Heroes season 1.
Triplicate Girl "white," convinces her other selves to give Bouncing Boy a shot. From Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #8 (Jan. 2008); by Jack Briglio and Alexander Serra.

Bouncing Boy was a featured member in TV's Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon.

He fancied Triplicate Girl and invited her on a date to a magno ball match. One of her accepted and they had a great time. Later, this Luornu convinced her other two selves to go on a second date with him. (Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #8)