Adventure Comics, Number 357, June, 1967, cover.
©National Periodical Publications Inc.
"The Ghost of Ferro Lad!"
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The Legion of Super-Heroes is a perennial fan favorite of DC Comics readers. They originally appeared in a throwaway story in Adventure Comics 247 in April 1958. The Legion consists of a large
cast of super-powered teenagers in the 30th Century, frequently visited by 20th Century heroes Superboy, Supergirl, Elastic Lad (Jimmy Olsen), Insect Queen (Lana Lang) and others.
Their headquarters are based on Earth, but their adventures occur all over the galaxy. Character interaction verging on soap opera has been a consistent feature of many different versions of the Legion. Ferro Lad (Andrew Nolan) first appeared in Adventure Comics 346. He was a mutant earthling with the power to turn his body into iron, who kept his disfigured face hidden behind an iron mask. In issue 353, he lost his life on a suicide mission to stop the Sun Eater. On the cover of Adventure Comics 357, we see his ghost reappearing to his team mates. The appearance of his ghost turns out to be a hoax perpetrated by a Controller, a renegade member of a race of near-omnipotent beings from another space-time continuum who is attempting to spook the Legion into helping him take over the universe. In the end, the true ghost of Ferro Lad saves the day. Ferro Lad's is an interesting comic-book death in that he was never brought back to life except in the current reboot of the whole Legion. His power was handled accurately by the writers, with the correct atomic symbol on his chest, but end they apparently did not know what to do with a character who turned to iron, leading to his untimely demise.