Tellus

Created by Paul Levitz and Steve Lightle

NAME + ALIASES: Ganglios of Hykraius

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion Academy, The Dark Circle, Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Legion of Super-Heroes v.3 #9 (Apr. 1985)
Retroboot: Superman #685 (Apr. 2009)

Tellus' first speaking appearance: the members of the Legion Academy learn that three Legionnaires have resigned. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.3 #12 (July 1985); art by Ernie Colón and Larry Mahlstedt.
Tellus during his (successful) Legion tryout. From Legion of Super-Heroes v.3 #14 (Sept. 1985); art by Steve Lightle and Larry Mahlstedt.

Most United Planets worlds have oxygen atmospheres, but Ganglios comes from a more recently-discovered world — the large, watery Hykraius. His people, the sole native sentient race, live in a methane-based environment that they call the "Great Mother Ocean."

Ganglios was one of the few Hykraians to ever leave his home planet. He worked as a crewman on an interstellar freighter to raise funds for further schooling. During his travels, he learned about the Legion and ultimately joined the Legion Academy. (Legion v.3 #9, 12) On Earth, he became known as “Tellus,” which on Hykraius was the word for “people.” This name, and Earth’s gaseous atmosphere made him quite literally a 'fish out of water,' but he was undeterred. Special quarters were prepared for him and Wildfire asked Brainiac 5 to craft a special life-support helmet to allow Tellus to travel freely. (Who's Who in the Legion #6, Legion Sourcebook volume 1 [Mayfair])

Despite his alien appearance, he made friends at the Academy. (Legion v.3 #9) Tellus' timing was perfect because the Legion's resident telepath, Saturn Girl, had recently resigned. (#12) He applied for Legion membership during their tryouts and impressed the team with his mental abilities (beating out another strong candidate from Titan, Mentalla). (#14)

Before they could even accomplish their first mission, Tellus and his fellow new recruits were kidnapped by Dr. Regulus, who used them as bait for the Legionnaire, Sun Boy. (#15) They redeemed themselves quickly by stopping a group of rogue Science Police while the rest of the Legion attended a rare celebration. (#16)

Like other nonhuman Legionnaires, Blok and Quislet, Tellus found many challenges in his new life on Earth, though he found comfort in swimming in the Legion gym’s pool. (#) He was accustomed to moving in Earth's atmosphere by using his telekinesis and found it awkward to fly with his Legion flight ring.

But he has already had the opportunity to return to his home planet as a Legionnaire, when he and others were sent to investigate the disappearance of another hero. (#30)

The Gil'Dishpan race are also methane-breathing have explored many methane-atmosphered worlds. It was they who discovered Hykraius, a world populated by yellow beings somewhat resembling fish, and introduced its natives to space travel.

Nothing is known about Ganglios' family on Hykraius.

Glorith Realiy

Tellus continued to serve with the Legion until Earthgov began exerting pressure for the group to disband. After the tragedy called "Black Dawn," he resigned. (Legion v.4 #52)

Under unexplained circumstance, Tellus somehow came to serve the galactic cult called the Dark Circle. He apparently became militant proponent of his race and was quoted as saying, “I was lured away from my home world of Kykraius by the siren call of the human intellect … and came to realize my ultimate truths could not be found among the human intellects. These truths were always waiting for me in the traditional Circle beliefs of my own kind.” (2995: The Legion Sourcebook)

Despite his new loyalties, he participated in a Legion reunion on Winath. (Legion v.4 #45)

Retroboot

In the Retroboot , the original Legion's continuity was more-or-less restored — minus the events of Legion v.4 (the Glorith Reality). This meant that Tellus had not left the Legion and joined the Dark Circle.

After the death of the Legion's benefactor, R. J. Brande, Tellus joined a new assembly of the Legion Espionage Squad and traveled back to the 21st century in order to shepherd the hero Mon-El toward his destiny. It’s unclear whether it was intentional or not, but he became the captive of the Cadmus Project, (Adventure Comics Special #1) where he was instrumental in guiding the Guardian to become head of Metropolis’ Science Police. (Superman #685, 687)

The Guardian returned to free him from Cadmus (#688-689), and Tellus continued on his mysteriouis mission, appearing to several other 21st century people… he bade the Green Lantern Sodam Yat not to seek out Mon-El, telling Yat that doing so would negatively impact the future. Instead, Yat entrusted special crystals to Tellus which contained the secret history of Mon-El’s home world, Daxam. (#690)

After that, Tellus saved Jimmy Olsen from certain death at the hands of an assassin. (Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #2, Superman #694) When he reconnected with his fellow Legionnaire, Starman, Tellus found that his powers were insufficient to heal Thom’s chaotic mind. Tellus also became a legend in Smallville, Kansas, as the “monster of Bruin Lake.” There he came across young Simon Valentine, who was destined to become Superboy’s “greatest friend and enemy.” (Adventure v.2 #1)

Notes

Writer Paul Levitz credited the creation of Tellus to artist Steve Lightle. In essence, Levitz asked him "what kind of character would you like to draw?" Legion of Substitute Podcasters (episode #70)

Powers

Tellus has the native abilities of his race: telekinesis (evolved due to their physical capability) and telepathy (evolved to enable communicatios in a liquid environment).

His abilities were far greater than the nrorm; he possessed the abilitiy to probe further into others' minds.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #10
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #28

Retroboot

  • Action Comics #872
  • Adventure Comics v.3 #1 [504], 8 [511], 9 [512], 11 [514]
  • Adventure Comics Special featuring The Guardian #1
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.6 #3, 5, 8, 9
  • Superman v.1 #685, 687–90, 695, 697–699
  • Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #1-3
  • Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #23
  • Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #6

» SERIES:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.3, 63 issues (1984–94)
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, 5-issue limited series (2008-09)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.6, 16 issues (2010–11)
  • Legion: Lost v.2, 17 issues (2011–13)