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Off My Mind: Defeating Teen Heroes Through Their Hormones

Why isn't this 'weakness' exploited more often?

There has always been many teenage heroes in comic books. When it comes to the teenage years, there are many struggles to deal with. The average teenager has to deal with issues of who they are and who they will become. They have to decide what actions they should take and whether or not they're making the right decisions. Of course there's the strong need of being accepted by others. On top of all these matters, there's also those funny feelings that start developing inside.

Being a teenager and being a superhero would be incredibly difficult. Not only do they need to deal with their normal issues and concerns but they also need to find the concentration and focus to being a hero and stopping the evil forces from winning the battle.

It goes without saying that most teenagers have love on the brain. Their hormones often play a big factor in the decisions they make. This played a big part in 1964's Adventure Comics #326, featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes and the "Revolt of the Girl Legionnaires." Using their hormones against them, the girls utterly defeated the (often seen as) more powerful boy Legionnaires.

== TEASER ==

Having taught high school for many years, seeing the distractions for students in the classroom was a common thing. A student had told a fellow teacher, "No offense Mr. L., Hilary is better looking than you and I can't help but stare at her during class." Now imagine the distractions for a teenage superhero. We all know the typical superhero costume often leaves little to the imagination. It would have to take an incredible amount of training and focus to get these young heroes to keep their head in the game when engaged in a fight.

With the Legion of Super-Heroes story, the girl Legionnaires gathered together to begin "Operation Betrayal." The boys were first sent off on a phoney mission to give the girls time to fully prepare. Their plan basically consisted of each girl choosing a boy member, getting him alone and turning the tables on him before he could realize what was going on. It was a simple plan and the boys, even with their 30th Century hormones, made it easy for the girls.

Light Lass took Element Lad to a romantic place where they could be alone. This was strange behavior for Light Lass and Element Lad didn't even question where this was coming from. He noted to himself that he was cute and seemed to be thrilled that she was into him.

Deciding to take a chance, he made his move to kiss her. Light Lass could barely contain her laughter over how easily her part of the plan was coming together.

With Element Lad's guard down, she used her powers on him and made him lightweight. She would make him float to a remote mountain peak where he would be stranded and starve to death.

Triplicate Girl decided to take on three of the boy Legionnaires: Invisible Kid, Brainiac 5 and Cosmic Boy. Using a ring from Shrinking Violet, she was ready to take out the three boys separately at the same time.

We basically see the same thing happen again. Triplicate Girl gets her target alone, they begin to make out and then she makes them a proposal.

"Please accept this ring with my love Invisible Kid."

"People will know we're engage when you wear my ring, Brainiac 5!"

"I give my heart to you with this ring, Cosmic Boy!"

Let's pause here. Could it really be that easy? We're talking about a team that had been around for a while. When this issue came out, the Legion stories had been around for about six years. These boys and girls had fought and worked along each other but none of them questioned when suddenly one of the opposite sex started making advances on them. Rather than really think or question it, they allowed their hormones to act and tried to take advantage of the situaiton.

This wasn't even the end of it. Supergirl set up Chameleon Boy to pass a test using his powers in order to get a kiss. When he turned into a phantom, she sprayed him with a cancelite spray she invented that make his stay in that form permanently.

Phantom Girl took Star Boy to a remote asteroid to get some quiet time. She was making out with him until the next phase of her plan would begin. Knowing a dangerous balloon-like plant beast was nearby and full of deadly pollen. The plant was about to burst so she told Star Boy to save himself and make himself super-heavy in order to sink into the ground. She would transform into phantom form and be safe. Once the pollen was gone, she gloated to Star Boy that she tricked him and he would "die in the pit of [his] own making."

You would think Superboy wouldn't be so easily defeated, right? Think again. Saturn Girl confesses that she's secretly longed for his kiss for years (seen above). Of course Superboy felt it would be rude not to give her what she wished for. Before he could deliver the kiss, a danger suddenly erupted close by.

There was a dangerous creature in a cave attacking scientists. The creature turned out to be a giant lead robot full of Kryptonite. Saturn Girl was overjoyed to leave Superboy dying and not knowing why he was betrayed.

You can all rest assured. The boys of the Legion of Super-Heroes did not die despite their celebration afterwards.

Eeeeew!

The point is, the boys were easily duped and defeated. Yes this issue is from the 60s but it also took place in the future. We've seen other teams tricked easily. Remember Terra turned out to be a spy for Deathstroke? Beast Boy was the one that fell for her and brought her into Teen Titans. We've seen other members struggle with their hormones as well. Robin and Wonder Girl had to deal with their feelings despite mourning the death of Cassie's boyfriend and Tim's best friend, Superboy.

It's surprising that Deathstroke or enemies of other teenage teams haven't tried exploiting their hormones more often. The Teen Titans clearly show they don't do a lot of background check on their members. Were they even aware that Wendy and Marvin were actually the Calculator's kids?

You would think a villain would absolutely hate to be defeated by a bunch of teenage superheroes. All they have to do is use the team's greatest weakness against them. Even after the boy Legionnaires were almost killed, the only thing Element Lad could think of was how disappointing it was that the girls weren't "on the level" about the romances. If villains targeted the kid heroes through their hormones, they would clearly win the day.

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Edited by mark5

You mentioned it yourself, Deathstroke has used this against them, both in the Teen Titan cartoon and comic


@cmaprice said:
Even villains don't want to seem like pedophiles.
haha and this...
Posted by cmaprice

Even villains don't want to seem like pedophiles.

Posted by Hot_Karl

Holy crap, why haven't I thought of this before?


Seriously, if I was a Peter Parker like superhero, especially some extremely naive teenager who faints at the sight of a pretty girl, I'd be boned if a supervillain used women against me. I'd be helpless. 
Edited by NightFang

I guess It really does suck too be an teenage superhero.

Posted by Bestostero

I think the adults are just as horny... lol

Posted by mark5
Posted by Eyz

Mmmh...zombie Terra :P

Wait - what did I just write??

Posted by Amegashita

  We should expand this topic and just ask why don't villains defeat heroes using physical attractions?  I mean, you can't tell me Oliver Queen back in green arrow v1, 2, and 3, could resist some evil smexy temptress?  He couldn't even resist normal women.

Posted by Out_of_Space

Teenage superheroes are mostly noobs

Posted by PeteyParker

Yea against male teens they should just have a "Playboy magazine grenade launcher" and for girls men can walk around like Tween Vampires with Bieber haircuts!! 


I gotta admit if i was Teen hero i would be too busy trying to aim my batarang at Catwoman's bra clasp than trying stop her actually stealing stuff.

Big question is the Xmen. I mean i'm supposed to focus on learning how not to die and use my powers correctly when my teacher, Emma Frost, is two articles of clothing away from being considered TV-MA? I would die in the first Purifier Invasion!!!!

Posted by Herx
@cmaprice said:
Even villains don't want to seem like pedophiles.
yeh, It's one thing to want to destroy a city or a team through pain destruction and violance. Its another thing compleatly to use the kids hormones and hsort attention spans against them, i mean the villain would lose all his cred the moment he got into prison, and would get beet up by other in mates frequently.
Posted by TDK_1997
@cmaprice said:
Even villains don't want to seem like pedophiles.
Edited by NightFang
@Herx said:

@cmaprice said:

Even villains don't want to seem like pedophiles.

yeh, It's one thing to want to destroy a city or a team through pain destruction and violance. Its another thing compleatly to use the kids hormones and hsort attention spans against them, i mean the villain would lose all his cred the moment he got into prison, and would get beet up by other in mates frequently.
Unless your Deathstroke, because he was sleeping with Terra.
   
    
Posted by danhimself

I think my biggest problem would be constantly flying into things while I'm looking at all the "well proportioned" females in skin tight clothing that I'm working with

Online
Posted by xerox_kitty

Ugh, teen angst.  Somehow it seems so twee & trivial in the Silver Age stories.  By the time Brian K Vaughn created the Runaways, it had been done to death... It's the one thing I don't like about teen characters is the need to replace characterisation with relationship angst.    
Posted by ForeignLawns

Even the adults are probably super distracted (Get what I did there?). The only difference between a teen's sex drive and an adults is that the teens are pissed off they haven't got any yet. All poison ivy has to do is have a wardrobe malfunction and taunt "you can't have this nah nah neeners!." Instant advantage!

Plus, there's no hiding your 'excitement' in that skin tight spandex, once the heat of battle has your 'blood up.'

Both heroes and villains have used this at least as a distraction 
. Power girl, anyone? 

Posted by TheSheepHerder

Like the saying goes "You women will be the end of me."

Posted by Moonleming

 

Easily exploitable because the flaw is inherent.   Like when villains use human shields.   The fool proof way to work around Superman at any age is to threaten innocents.   The number one way to get a teenage boy (or girl) to lose their mind is throw romantic head games into the mix.   Teenagers no matter who or what they are tend to live in a universe where they are the sun.     It would work in real life, I bet 90% of the time – if you sent a hot chick in to tempt and flirt with the QB of a football team with the express purpose of disrupting his play on the field – success.

Posted by GundamHeavyarms

I never really thought about it before.  Maybe its like what Xerox said, teen angst gets old.  A person can relate to it but it quickly loses its flair.

Posted by Billy Batson

teens...

Posted by mikeclark1982

the most recent incident of this i remember(and my only time reading about it) was in ultimate x-men when it was good, and the brotherhood used a "to catch a predator" tactic on beast and duped him into thinking he was talking to a hot girl who didnt care he was a mutant, but he was really talking to the blob

Posted by etragedy

Frankly the idea of teenagers with superpowers if frightening.
Teens are so prone to mood swings and drama - add superpowers in the mix and you have massive disasters just waiting to happen.

This is why the X-Men title during the Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Dave Cockrum run was SO good. A lot of people forget that most of the X-Men were teenage mutants back then, and Professor X always, always emphasized control.

Great comics back then.

Posted by notageek
@mark5: i just imagined myself fighting for my life with an unwanted boner
Posted by SC
*Cue The Crusading Celibater becoming the most successful teenage superhero of all time*
Moderator
Posted by Doctor!!!!!

Teens Right?! Always wanting to....... something.

Posted by PhoenixoftheTides
@Amegashita: The Enchantress often defeats enemies and turns them to her side with charms, both physical and magical.
Posted by Kairan1979

Adding five cents to "teenage superheroes and hormones":

Posted by Video_Martian
Hmmph, Teenagers...
Posted by Trodorne

YAY SEX!

Posted by dccomicsrule2011

got to love teenagers.

Posted by MrUnknown

I think it's done more than enough actually.

Posted by leokearon

I think a lot of heroes have self control
Posted by PrincessSolaria
 Teenagers and their hormones, XD
Posted by JosephLaforte
@notageek:  A super-powered boner at that!
Posted by mark5
@Kairan1979: which comic is that?
Posted by Dro

Spider-Man never let his hormones get the best of him. At least, not while he was a teenager.

Posted by Kairan1979
@mark5:
Dynamo 5 #2 (Image).
Posted by yeopop

Girls are nothing but troubles.

Posted by Amegashita
@xerox-kitty said:
Ugh, teen angst.  Somehow it seems so twee & trivial in the Silver Age stories.  By the time Brian K Vaughn created the Runaways, it had been done to death... It's the one thing I don't like about teen characters is the need to replace characterisation with relationship angst.    
  QFT.
Posted by Donovan Montgomery

"Were they even aware thatWendy and Marvin were actually the Calculator's kids?    "


Really?, I had no idea.......weird that.

I, to, am surprised teen (and adult male) heroes could do what they do without so much a second look......


I mean, come on.....
Posted by Icon
@xhavoc86 said:
I think the adults are just as horny... lol
Agreed
Edited by TheSentry

I'd be to distracted to be any real threat to a villain. 

Posted by The Impersonator

TEEN HERO KOMBAT!

Posted by Agent9149

wiccan and hulkling omg

Edited by NightFang
@agent9149: Lol, talk about some major c**K-blocking.
Posted by JonesDeini

Never thought of this, great post, man. I think the bigger question is what the hell was wrong with those girls?!

Posted by etragedy
@mikeclark1982 said:
the most recent incident of this i remember(and my only time reading about it) was in ultimate x-men when it was good, and the brotherhood used a "to catch a predator" tactic on beast and duped him into thinking he was talking to a hot girl who didnt care he was a mutant, but he was really talking to the blob
Didn't read that... but thanks for that mental image!
Posted by Dr_Cheesesteak

I've actually always been kind of intrigued by the moral aspect of how characters, uhh, "actualize" their hormones.  I mean, look at Huntress.  Causality aside, would a slut be a superhero (or vice versa if you care about causality, would a superhero be a slut?). 

I do wonder, if the real world had super heroes and they DID usually have a fairly black/white view on things (as lots do in comics), would they also view sex as black/white?  Could a hero w/ Superman's personality also be a manwhore?  Would/could a girl who's a tease and provocative like Psylocke be a superhero?  Or would someone w/ that type of personality want to do more harm than good?  etc etc

I suppose every person is different, and there would be no formula or prediction behind it.  Of course, if superpowers/abilities were real, a lot of people would probably just be neutral, I believe.  At least when it comes to the law.  They'd prob have lots of sex, though, since they'd probably be like rockstars, maybe...

Edited by frogjitsu
@PeteyParker said:

Big question is the Xmen. I mean i'm supposed to focus on learning how not to die and use my powers correctly when my teacher, Emma Frost, is two articles of clothing away from being considered TV-MA? I would die in the first Purifier Invasion!!!!

Ha ha, that's probably why most of them died.
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I think this may be one of those situations where the best solution is often so simple that it is overlooked.  Clearly I can see an advantage villains would have in exploiting adolescent superhero(ine) hormones.  Frankly though I think super-villains may very well be aware of such an 'Achilles heel' but choose to overlook it for its sheer simplicity.  I think when they make plans to destroy teen-level heroes they want said plans to be complex and convoluted; what I like to call the "Tom Sawyer" syndrome (anyone who's read anything to do with Sawyer or Huck Finn will agree with me).  Perhaps it is the way to go now though for all I know!

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