Obscure DC Characters: L

Lady Cop

ONLY appearance: 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #4 (1975)

Lady Cop was Liza Warner, a one-shot Bob Kanigher character from 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #4 with art by John Rosenberger and Vince Colletta (underneath a nice Dick Giordano cover). Liza's roommates were murdered by a Richard Speck-like killer while she hid beneath a bed. She told the police that "all I could see of the killer were his western boots — white — with black skull and cross-bones dangling from the laces. And laughing about killing women — like they were nothing but cards! Aces of Spades!"

The incident leads Liza to enroll at the police academy and she stops a grenade-wielding madman at her graduation ceremony. In the second story, Liza helps a young woman diagnosed with VD. In the final panel, she "wonder(s) if I'll ever find the killer in boots?"

Lady Cop appeared several times in the All-New Atom series (2006).

Sam Lane

In Samuel Lanes book, Lex Luthor can do no wrong. His wife Elinore had been injured in a chemical accident at the company where she worked as a secretary. The industrialist, upon learning of her plight and the fact that the business was a very minor subsidiary of Lexcorp, took it upon himself to devise a cure, a serum that Mrs. Lane would need to consume on a monthly basis. If Sam had known the truth, that Luthor had, in fact, caused the accident and could have created a single-use serum instead, he surely would have killed him. But he didnt know and Lex Luthor now had a bargaining chip that he could call in whenever he wished. From Lois Lane or, perhaps, her father.

1959s LOIS LANE #13 had opened with the appropriately titled Introducing Lois Lanes Parents, a characteristically lightweight romp in which Lois and Superman paid a visit to her midwestern hometown of Pittsdale and nearly ended up getting married. The story (illustrated by Kurt Schaffenberger) portrayed Sam and Ella Lane as an easy-going farm couple, counterparts to Clark Kents own foster parents in Smallville. The Lanes made a number of appearances throughout the 1960s( LOIS LANE #13, 26-27, 32, 59, 71, 75, 82, 90 and JIMMY OLSEN #76, 100) but had been long absent by the time Marv Wolfman revived them in 1981s SUPERMAN FAMILY #206 and 1983s ACTION COMICS #546 (along with the Cary Bates-scripted SUPERMAN #385-386).

The Sam Lane of the post-Crisis DC Universe would be ANYTHING but easygoing. 1986s MAN OF STEEL #4 (by John Byrne and Dick Giordano) set the stage, pointing out Lois proficiency with firearms during a terrorist situation while Superman noted that, as an army brat, she was almost bound to have picked up some tricks. Marv Wolfman took it from there in the Jerry Ordway-illustrated ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #424, setting up the circumstances of Elinore Lanes accident and the obviously strained relationship between Lois and her father, whom she referred to only as Sam.

The Lane familys background played out gradually over the next decade, courtesy of writers John Byrne (ACTION #597; WORLD OF METROPOLIS #2), Roger Stern (ACTION #655, 669), Louise Simonson (SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL #4, 74), Dan Jurgens (SUPERMAN #68) and Stuart Immonen (ACTION #739). Sams military service had overlapped with the Vietnam War, where hed befriended Australians Hugh Hillsmith and Fred Fishkin while stationed in Ar Rabal Khali, no mans land in Saudi Arabia.

In Vietnam, Sam was wounded in his right leg and spent several days in the jungle alongside fellow soldier Slade Wilson. Over that time a deep bond was formed as two young men talked about their lives — and their futures. Jobs, wives, children. In that jungle every dream that offered hope seemed possible. Wounded and bleeding, they needed each other to survive. In that survival, a life-long connection was cemented. Though they would eventually lose track of each other, Slade Wilson and Sam Lane became friends for life.

In time, Sam married Elinore but showed undisguised disappointment when their first-born was a girl. All right, young lady, he informed Lois shortly after the birth of a second daughter, Lucy. Lets get something CLEARLY understood. All my LIFE, Ive wanted a BOY, a SON to carry on my name. Your MOTHER has let me down TWICE ... but Im going to MAKE DO. To that end, he began putting Lois through a rigorous series of drills, determined that she would be able to function without a mans help. Lucy, by contrast, had not been viewed by Sam in the same light that Lois had been and the younger child was doted on by her father.

The Lanes eventually took up permanent residence at 500 Concord Avenue in Metropolis. Captain Lane had served two tours at Fort Bridwell ... liked the area and decided to settle here. His adversarial relationship with Lois came to a head in Metropolis, as well. Informed by her father that as long as youre under my roof, you will do things my way, Lois barked, Fine! I couldnt ask for a better reason to MOVE OUT!

After Elinore Lanes accident, father and daughter agreed to a ceasefire and, accompanied by Clark Kent, Lois even spent a relatively peaceful meal with her parents and sister, joking as she left, Sam, its almost been civilized (ADVENTURES #433).

In time, the serum that had saved Mrs. Lanes life began to lose its potency and Elinore suffered a relapse (ADVENTURES #472). Lois had been furious and wrote a story full of unsubstantiated allegations over Luthors role in the original accident. Insisting that she had a personal vendetta, Perry White refused to publish it. Even without Luthors miracle cure, Elinores condition had stabilized and she began the road to recovery.

Taking note of Clark Kents steadfast presence throughout the crisis, Sam had to admit to Lois that he approved. Didnt have much of an opinion of that guy either way before, but the way hes conducted himself through this ... well, hes passed muster with Sam Lane. Mildly astonished, Lois left the hospital in the company of Clark and told him that she had an answer to his marriage proposal: Yes. I WANT to share my life with you (SUPERMAN #50).

Lois mother was released from the hospital in a matter of days (SUPERMAN #57) but it would soon be Sams turn to receive medical attention. Twenty years earlier, hed encouraged a soldier named Joseph Angst to participate in a secret weapons project that had mutated him into a monstrous, deformed creature. Escaping years of captivity at S.T.A.R. Labs, the man now called Angstrom attacked Sam at his home, determined to have his revenge. Superman successfully recaptured Angstrom, who was cured within hours thanks to an accidental encounter with the Parasite. In the interest of national security, the government released a fictionalized account of Angsts transformation and cure, effectively blunting a potential political scandal (SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL #4).

Tragedy struck again when airline stewardess Lucy was caught in a firefight between the terrorist Deathstroke and security forces. Belatedly learning of the victims identity, Deathstroke (alias Slade Wilson) was horrified and attempted to make apologies to Sam. Throwing a punch at the gunman, Sam bellowed Sorry doesnt cut it with me! Slime like you — youre gonna answer to the law! Far as Im concerned — youre NOTHING! Walking away in the custody of Superman, Deathstroke explained that he couldnt unmask after a reaction like that. I want him to remember the Slade Wilson that WAS — rather than the man hes come to BE (SUPERMAN #68).

Sams relationship with his future son-in-law had started off cordially enough even if his discourse on politics and society at the Lanes first meeting with the Kents had been embarrassing (ACTION #669). When Lois broke off her engagement with Clark, he was furious (MAN OF STEEL #55), angry enough that he barely noticed Lucys introduction of her new boyfriend, Ron Troupe (SUPERMAN #115). The harsh words that he eventually exchanged with Clark (ADVENTURES #538) seemed to taint their relationship from then on.

Eventually, Clark and Lois did reunite but the wedding remained a sore subject for Sam. Lois insisted on walking down the aisle on her fiances arm and Sam snarled that if you dont need me, maybe I wont attend! Elinore refused to go along with him, insisting that its THEIR wedding ... If he wants to be a fool and boycott his firstborns wedding, thats HIS problem. In true dramatic fashion, Sam arrived at the church just as Lois and Clark were taking their vows (SUPERMAN: THE WEDDING ALBUM #1).

Sams disgust with his first son-in-law (My little girl couldve had ANYONE — even Lex Luthor!: ADVENTURES #541) soon took a back seat to disgust at his soon-to-be second son-in-law, Ron Troupe. Lucy was pregnant and, for once, Sam and Elinore were united in their anger (SUPERMAN: MAN OF TOMORROW #12).

In a remarkable turnabout, Sam and Clark became allies when Lois was abducted a vengeful madman named Rajiv Naga. With the help of old army buddies, Sam organized a raid on Nagas Australian stronghold and rescued his daughter with some discreet super-powered assistance from his super-powered son-in-law. I underestimated that boy Kent, Sam confided in Lois. Hes stronger than he looks. Tougher, too. Just dont tell him I SAID so (ACTION #739; MAN OF STEEL #74).

And, as one might expect, Sams intense dislike for Clark was back in full bloom by the time Lucy and Ron were married. After Lucy compained about his attitude, Sam apologized as he never would have to Lois. As his frowning first-born looked on, he hugged Lucy and said, Im sorry, honey. Youre right. You know Id NEVER want to spoil anything for YOU. Youre my PRECIOUS baby girl — and you always WILL be (ADVENTURES #584). Within weeks, Captain Lane finally had the boy hed always wanted. In ADVENTURES #587, Lucy gave birth to Samuel Troupe.

New Years Eve 2000 offered another surprise for the Lane household. Arriving for a small party at 500 Concord, Lois and Clark were stunned by Sams announcement: President-elect Luthor wants to appoint me Secretary of Defense. The Kents couldnt help themselves. They burst out laughing on the spot (ACTION #774). Time will tell just how funny the development really is.

Larry Lance of Earth-One

Black Canary left her home dimension of Earth-Two after her husband, Larry Lance, was killed in a battle with Aquarius. Joining up with the Justice League of America, Dinah Drake Lance searched out and found her husband's Earth-One doppelganger. This Larry Lance was also a private investigator who was apparently based in Gotham City. He had just starting working on a case for an unnamed client that involved him teaming up with Batman to find a criminal mastermind known as the Collector, when Dinah showed up at his office in the guise of Myra Kallen, who wanted to hire him to find her missing husband. Larry didn't really take "Myra" seriously, but Dinah planned to make him love her so that this new world would seem like home.

That night, both Larry and Batman were covering an illegal casino where the mysterious Collector revealed himself as the croupier. After killing one of his criminal rivals, he filled his pockets with cash and ran, but was soon accosted by the Batman. The Caped Crusader was forced to leap for cover by a hail of gunfire, and the Collector got outside the room, though not before the Batman got a bat-a-rang off. The Batman saw a figure run in front of a glass door and charged through it, only to find Larry, who had also been there looking for the Collector. Larry did have a wound that matched the one his bat-a-rang gave the Collector, but he decided not to make much of it, since Larry had told him someone had hit the private eye before the Batman pounced on him. They did find the Collector's disguise, which had a pocket full of peanuts (a habit of another of their suspects, Danton).

Batman and Larry were met outside by "Myra," and Batman pretended not to know her, but later she wouldn't listen to him when he told her that Larry might not be who or what he seemed to be. She left, but soon returned in her super-heroic identity to assist the Caped Crusader when someone tried to kill him with an exploding bale of newspapers. She used her Canary Cry to thrust the bale away from Batman, and she left hoping that the Dark Knight could start to see the situation with Larry from her point of view.

The next day, Larry called Batman to tell him that the Collector was due to make a collection from his client, the drop-off being the Gotham City Museum. Batman knew that meeting in museums or art galleries was another of Danton's quirks, so he headed over there after the museum had closed, but was soon attacked by a fusillade of gunfire. He dodged behind a statue until the assassin ran out of ammunition, and then charged him. He was about to catch the killer when the man was killed by a shot from behind - Larry had arrived, without his client since he believed it to be a trap. Soon after, Commissioner Gordon let the Caped Crusader know that Danton's body had been recovered from the city dump, having been there for weeks. This hardened Batman's belief that Larry was the Collector, but he couldn't get Black Canary to believe any of it because of her infatuation with the man. She believed that Batman was jealous, and slapped him. After Batman left, Larry entered the room and revealed that he knew who she really was, and wanted her help in stopping the Collector himself, which would set them up for life.

That night, Commissioner Gordon and Batman set about rounding up all of the men of one of their final two suspects, Rhymer, as well as all the syndicate heavies. They would be out on bail soon without proper evidence, but Larry supplied the judge with enough to keep them all behind bars. The final suspect for the identity of the Collector was Karl Klegg now, since that proved that Larry wasn't the criminal. Later, the Collector met with the syndicate, where he offered them the greatest pay-off of all: The life of Batman.

Larry called Batman and said that a stoolie had tipped him off that Kleff was meeting Rhymer at the racetrack at dawn to work out a deal. Going there, Batman saw a man climbing the judges' stand, and headed to collect him, but was bowled over by a horse and the sonic cry of Black Canary. The man on the ladder revealed himself to be Larry, who was about to shoot the Caped Crusader. Black Canary jumped between them, saying that she had stunned the Batman so Larry could capture the Collector himself, not realizing that Larry had used her and he was, indeed, the Collector. The surprise paralyzed the heroine for a moment, and Batman shoved her out of the way of the bullet. A bat-a-rang disarmed Larry, who jumped on a horse and sped off. The two heroes jumped on the Canary Cycle and gave chase, being assisted by Black Canary's sonic cry to negotiate the steeplechase course in the field. Batman unhorsed Larry and fought in a water hazard, but Larry accidentally stabbed himself to death.


  • The Brave And The Bold #91

The Legion of the Weird

The Legion of the Weird was composed of five beings devoted to carrying on the dark aspects of the millennia, including Count Karnak (a vampire), Hordred ("in whose veins flows the blood of the ancient Druids"), Kaftu ("master of the black arts of ancient Egypt"), Madoga ("last of the great medicine men") and Mistress Vera Wycker ("with the powers handed down to me through three centuries of witchcraft."). For her initiation into the Legion, Mistress Wycker was charged with killing Ace Morgan of the Challengers of the Unknown. She failed and, despite the efforts of the other Legionnaires to complete the task before her, the Challs tracked the team to its lair, used an ancient spell to dissolve the witch and forced the remainder of the team to flee (1968's COTU #62, by Arnold Drake and Bob Brown).

Hours later, the Legionnaires made a pact with the demonic Om, "lord of the netherworlds" to resurrect Mistress Wycker. Now determined to destroy the Challengers, the team needed more power. To that end, Kaftu resurrected the Egyptian mummy Tukamenon, who was compelled to obey the Egyptian shaman unless he was forced to cause "the shedding of mortal blood." Hoping to override the mummy's refusal to kill, Kaftu used the ruby Eye of Osiris to put Tutkamenon fully in his power. In the ensuing battle, Red Ryan's brother, Tino Mannary, was blinded by the Eye of Osiris and Red agreed to surgery that would give one of his eye's to his sibling. While in recovery, Tino was abducted by the Legion as a stunned Red realized that "I can SEE them. With this eye, Ace! I can see everything my kid brother can see with the other one!"

The cliffhanger of #63 would go unresolved for six months, the result of Arnold Drake's abrupt firing by DC. When the story finally resumed in COTU #66, it was concluded by Mike Friedrich and Jack Sparling.

The Legion's mission of vengeance was now exposed as an edict from the unseen Om, whose voice bellowed that "the Challengers are a major threat to my supreme scheme!" The balance of power was upset when the Challs convinced the mummy that he'd killed them, snapping him out of the spell he was under. Tutkamenon rebelled, raging against the Legionnaires and finally collapsing, his artificial life exhausted. The rest of the Legion begged Om to rescue them and the demonic being complied, warning the Challs that "you have thwarted my plan this time! But I shall return — and Om does not fail TWICE!"

The Lightning Master

Dressed in a green robe and hood, LM first appeared in SUPERMAN #14, Jan/Feb. 1942. He was a typical mad scientist (and bald, to boot!) who had an extortion plot going (He wanted $300,000(!)). As these things must go, he captures Lois but is confronted by Superman, who electrocutes him!!

LM has no powers, but a lightning machine and a lightning bolt gun. No real name is given.

In ALL-STAR SQUADRON ANNUAL #2, 1983; LM is revealed to be alive, Supes having only shocked him into unconsciousness, (though he was clearly meant to have been killed in the original story) and is one of Ian Karkull's goons, out to kill a future U.S. President. This time, Supes and Johnny Thunder thwart him.

Lightning Master hasn't been seen again, I think, but is mentioned around ALL-STAR SQUADRON #52 as being in jail. Hope this helps.

The Love Syndicate of Dreamworld

The Love Syndicate of Dreamworld was a version of the Justice League of America from the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Multiverse, only remembered by Roger Hayden, the second Psycho-Pirate. The only three representatives of the team we have seen were:

  • Sunshine Superman, a tall African-American wearing a modified Superman costume (the "s" was yellow on a red background in a round emblem);

  • Speed Freak, a fairly young-looking woman with a costume reminiscent of Kid Flash's, and apparently a speedster of similar powers;

  • Magic Lantern, a young, long-haired youth wearing green sunglasses, a large glowing green ring, and a t-shirt with a lantern symbol and the adage "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out" on it. He apparently has much the same abilities as Green Lantern or Power Ring of the Crime Syndicate.

The Love Syndicate were among the many characters who escaped from the mind of the Psycho-Pirate during the event known as "Crisis 2". They, like most of the others from the pre-Crisis Multiverse, accepted their fates as being minor, though immortal, characters in a story, and shattered into a million bright colors.

See also: http://blaklion.best.vwh.net/timeline17.html


  • Animal Man #23-24

The Luck League

In the first issue of Gerry Conway's ongoing run of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (#151, in 1978), Amos Fortune captured Wonder Woman and used her magic-based powers with his "Wheel of Misfortune" to influence the lives of the seven luckiest people on Earth, all born on the seventh day of the seventh month in different years (presumably ending in seven). The end result was the creation of seven super-beings, all of whom gained their power at the expense of individual Justice Leaguers, and were immediately forced into villainy at Fortune's command. The Justice League seemed destined for defeat until Wonder Woman's hypnotic powers coerced Fortune into freeing her, tipping the balance of luck back to the good.

The Luck League included the Acrobat (powers stolen from Batman), Cyclone (Red Tornado), the Crier (Black Canary), the Racer a.k.a. Lord Arthur Arthurson (the Flash), the Shrinking Man (the Atom), Strongman (Superman) and Water King (Aquaman).

Original text copyright DC Comics unless otherwise noted. Used without permission.