An attractive young woman in a short green dress smiled up at a taller blond man in a gold costume as they stood in front of a cabinet full of compu-books. “What do you think of my collection?” said Salu Digby, the Legionnaire known as Shrinking Violet. “I realize they are relics in some ways, but I love those twentieth-century mysteries!”
“As do I!” said Reflecto. “Sherlock Holmes, Albert Campion, Thomas Pitt — they truly are timeless. Men seeking to restore order where chaos has left unanswered questions will never go out of style. I have read many of these, although my versions were not in such pristine condition.”
“A man who knows the character Albert Campion is a real find,” said Salu. “I know Jacques likes mysteries, but he’s too shy to talk about his personal interests. Reg, you are a special man.”
“And I’ve never met someone with whom I could form such a perfect and immediate rapport until you came along,” said Reg Garris. “The attraction is elementary, my dear Salu.”
“Holmes never said those exact words in the stories, but all I can add is — the game is afoot!” Salu leaned in and kissed him, and he responded tenderly.
Later, the new couple sat at the main meeting table in another section of the headquarters of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Element Lad stood at the head of the table as leader. The quiet sole survivor of Trom spoke with an eagerness to please, combined with a confidence that was growing slowly along with his leadership skills. He had served many terms as deputy leader, and now Jan Arrah was enjoying his moment in the spotlight.
“Dream Girl, Star Boy, White Witch, and the rest have departed for the routine security duty of accompanying Ambassador Beldric to the Khundish borderlands. He should have no trouble, since he won’t be in Khund territory, but with those warlike aggressors, one can never be too careful. Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel are back with their pupils at the Academy. Magnetic Kid and Tellus are safely on Hyrkranius, where Tellus is healing slowly from the injuries he sustained in our battle with the Qwardians.
“Now we turn to new business. We have an applicant for membership. Reflecto first came to our attention when he offered his aid during the Emerald Empress case. He proved his worth during that crisis, and based on the battlefield membership policy which we have used in the cases of Blok and Mysa the White Witch, I suggest we consider his application seriously.”
Mon-El stood up and said, “You’ve told us your name is Reg Garris and that you come from a planet which is located far from U.P. space. But you’ve never explained your powers or the fact that you resemble both in costume and facial appearance someone who simply doesn’t exist!”
“Look, Lar, no one put Sensor Girl through any grand inquisition,” said Shrinking Violet. “We still don’t know her name or who she is behind that mask. We don’t even know the nature of her powers.”
“Salu, I realize you have grown closer to Reflecto since he came here, and perhaps you have insights into his character that we lack,” said Saturn Girl. “In the same matter as a founder, I assure you all once again that Sensor Girl has a right to membership and deserves our respect and her privacy.”
“Imra’s word is enough for me,” said Element Lad.
“Yes, Jan, dear, but then you gained membership in the exact same way,” said Shadow Lass. “Saturn Girl vouched for you when you were concealing the origin and nature of your powers.”
Phantom Girl smiled and tried to soothe the strife. “Reg, could you explain why you look exactly like the fake identity Ultra Boy and Superboy used briefly when they were having certain problems?”
“Certainly,” said Reflecto. “First, I thank you all — especially Salu — for your kindness and support. I came here from Nextak. It is a small, remote world outside U.P. space. It has a harsh climate and dangerous plants and animals, and survival is risky and difficult. I am a mutant. My powers enable me to reflect back, if you will, anything I need to survive in a given situation. That’s why I took the name Reflecto when I first started wearing this costume and began to defend the colonists on my home. I came to Earth after the death of my father a few months ago. I traveled and lived rather quietly until the threat of the Emerald Empress led me to offer my help to you.”
“Rimbor was only settled three generations ago, so I know how life can be pretty rough and tumble on such worlds,” said Ultra Boy. “Let me explain about the other Reflecto. I was trapped as a ghostlike spirit after a battle. I drifted along helplessly until I was able to merge with Superboy, who just happened to be suffering from amnesia. We developed the costume and identity of Reflecto and helped the Legion. I was drawn to Tinya by my feelings for her, although I didn’t recall my true identity, either. Eventually, we were cured, and we retired the name and costume of Reflecto.” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “The Man Who Chained the Legion,” Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #277 (July, 1981), “Tragedy on the Top of the World,” Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #278 (August, 1981), and “Castle Grimbor Must Fall,” Legion of Super-Heroes v2 #279 (September, 1981).]
“I have always looked like this, and the costume I designed myself,” explained Reflecto. “I took the name as a rough approximation of my powers. I have no answer for how you two copied me.”
“Jo was not himself,” noted Violet. “Neither was Superboy. Perhaps either of them could have seen Reflecto at some point and, lacking their memories, drew upon that dim image to create what they thought was a new role.”
“I can vouch for two things,” said Mon-El. “Reflecto displayed both skill and courage in the use of his abilities when I met him. I can also say that Nextak does exist and is a dangerous world. I visited there once during a space exploration vacation. Considering his ability to display the needed power for any crisis, I’d say he could easily have flown here at super-speed.”
“Well, I say let’s give him a chance,” said Phantom Girl.
Element Lad nodded. “Based on a test Imra and I conducted privately with Reflecto’s permission earlier, we can confirm that his memories and a mental scan thereof support his story. I say we can welcome you to the team. With Magnetic Kid on extended leave, we could use you.”
Reflecto smiled broadly and shook hands with Mon-El and the others. “Thank you. I will happily agree to any additional tests. I want to be one of you. I want to be with you,” he said as he glanced at Shrinking Violet. If their doubts or concerns had been eliminated a bit swiftly, none of them seemed to notice. Sensor Girl did stare at Reflecto from behind her mask, but the enigmatic girl said nothing.
A few days later in a closed session of the fifteen-member United Planets Council, the voting members of the organization assembled, speaking in Interlac and in agreement. “The Legion attracts many perils to Earth, including revenge-seeking menaces like the Emerald Empress, who recently almost conquered the planet!” said a gray-haired man. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Legion of Super-Heroes: To Rule a World.]
“Nay! The Legion creates many threats! Omega was spawn of Brainiac 5!” said a woman with equine features. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “This Is the Day the Universe Dies,” Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #250 (April, 1979) and “The Man Who Destroyed the Universe,” Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #251 (May, 1979).]
“True enough! Plus, what of Computo? Brainiac 5 made that killing machine!” said a symbiotic pair consisting of a hulking ogre-like being and a tiny sprite sitting upon his broad shoulders. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Computo the Conqueror,” Adventure Comics #340 (January, 1966).]
A plump Indian man stood up and said, “We are in agreement. Due to the powers they possess, the dangerous science at their disposal, and the menaces they attract or create, the Legion of Super-Heroes will no longer receive any funding or sanction from our august body, nor will the members hold any legal authority within U.P. space.”
President Mojai Desai turned to a figure in the shadows and silently looked to his aide Vid-Gupta for approval. The darkly suave Vid-Gupta smiled and said, “President Desai, I suggest you initiate the policy of relocation for the Legion membership as you discussed privately with me earlier. They are too capable to roam unobserved. It is for the best.”
Desai and his fellow U.P. Council members nodded in unison as the green gem hanging from Gupta’s neck flashed brilliantly. “It is for the best!” they said.
Vid-Gupta, who was secretly the disguised Universo, stroked his elegant beard and smiled broadly. “Excellent!”