The Legion Outpost #10

This article appeared back in the days when Dream Girl was being used (the few times she WAS used) as eye candy and nothing else. It printed in The Legion Outpost #10, Spring, 1981. It doesn't seem that long ago...

 

 

 

 


Dream Girl

Spotlight on Dream Girl

by Carol A. Strickland



Adventure #317It has been noted by many Legion fans that any Legionnaire, no matter how minor or unspectacular his or her power, could be made into "the most powerful Legionnaire" if only the power were used correctly.

This means:

(1) Using their powers as the situation calls for them -- no conveniently "forgotten" Legionnaires who just lurk off-panel and never get into the action when a writer lacking foresight thinks them useless;

(2) Using their powers not merely in the simplest reflection of their names -- Sun Boy shining like the sun, Colossal Boy growing, Wildfire producing fiery energy blasts -- but to their fullest potential, extrapolating from what's known about them to add to their repertory of powers.

(3) Most radically and undesirably, giving a Legionnaire a new power due either to conscious effort or to some type of accident, those wonderful coincidences that have blessed the Omniverse with its various Flashes, Spider-men, sonic-screeching Back Canaries, and so forth. This third option is often misused when the creators and writers of a character at hand have failed at being creative with that character's power and the things he can do. Yet sometimes option No. 3 can be useful in updating a character... or in carrying option No. 2 to its logical conclusion.

Case in point: Among the most-forgotten Leginnnaires is Nura Nal, otherwise known as Dream Girl, whose chief role in Legion affairs has been, indeed, Legion affairs; that is, as resident sex symbol. She used her sexual atraction to gain admittance to the Legion (Adventure #317) and has made a habit of popping into stories clad only in the wispiest of negligees. Her very name, "Dream Girl," is more a tribute to her allure than to her precognitive prowess.

Who is that in DG's bed?
Superboy 201, Mar-Apr. 1974. This was back in the days when single comics folk were NOT pictured in bed with anyone else. So just what IS that lump in DG's bed? Of course it's Star Boy, but fans had a fun time coming up with other possibilities.

Let's use option No. 2 and figure her out logically. In her first appearance she managed to charm every male member of the Legion into voting for her admittance. At the same time, she alienated every female Legionnaire into violent dislike for the new Naltorian in town. A similar recurring trait has since been seen in at least two supporting characters over the past years. We met another alien, Charma, in Superboy #221, whose mere presence captured the hearts of males and sent females into screaming attack. "Apollo," who appeared in Adventure #350-351 as one of the Devil's Dozen, used a power of allure to sweep all females off their feet, while Lightning Lad -- the only male Legionnaire around at the time -- blindly charged forward to the aid of his beloved Imra... or was it to attack Apollo? (Apollo's "male" accomplices were probably androids who couldn't be affected by his power.)


Lotsa horny guys in the Legion
Adventure 317: Dream Girl's Legion tryout.
Below: left: Apollo and Saturn Girl. Watch out, Imra! In two panels you'll be under his power! right: Some guy and Charma, never a snappy dresser.
Apollo Charma

It would seem that these three beings -- Dream Girl, Charma, and Apollo -- have the power to attract the opposite sex to the exclusion of all else, simultaneously making those of the same sex blindly murderous -- toward them! This could be established as a native Naltorian trait, strong in some, latent in others. The aforementioned three have demonstrated this trait to an extraordinary degree. Nura and Apollo have obviously been trianed to control it, while poor Charma was somehow cast adrift from Naltorian society and never learned how to rein her awful power. Thus, she was miused and abused all her life, became a spiteful villanness, and ultimately died. Since the consequences of using this seemingly-innocuous power are potentially fatal, it's no wonder Dream Girl does not use it anymore.

Marvel's OracleAs for her power of prediction, it has evolved since she first joined forces wth the Legion. Nura has come a long way from those early days when she had to take time out to go to sleep (while the guys stood by and ogled) in order to have her visions -- which were then limited to 72 hours into the future. Today's Dream Girl merely concentrates and predicts events as long as a year or more away. Clearly, she has been continuing her training, developing skills learned from the High Seer of Naltor, Beren Nal, and her sister, the Xola Aq (or White Witch). Nura packs more power into her precognitive punch than the High Seer himself. Her power is such that it should rightfully earn her the name given her counterpart in the Marevl Universe's Imperial Guard; she in indeed an "Oracle" [pictured at left; I believe she later changed her name to Sybil.]. As such she should be used extensively as were oracles of old: to plot stategy and battle plans, and in everyday life in order to bring about certain consequences in the not-too-distant future.

Her power, operating on a subliminal level, should make her intuition infallable Let's say she's trailing a fugitive through the sewers of Metropolis and she comes to a fork in the system. Without pausing to concentrate, she should be able to intuit that she should turn to the left in order to capture the criminal. Another use: When meeting someone, she should be able to tell from a precognitive first impression if that person is basically good or evil. Her basic feelings about a person should merit much more consideration than those of anyone else who might form an unwarranted impression, based soley on the person's physical appearance or speech pattern. Nura would make a very good detective. She could also, in all probability, outdo that ethnic joke, Dawnstar, in tracking ability.

Dream Girl's doubtsIn recent years, the reigning powers at DC have decided that Naltorians Always Dream True. In the past, Nura has been fooled by outward appearances; she thought she'd seen a squad of Leigonnaires about to be executed, but it turned out to be a squad of dummy doubles (Adventure #317); she dreamed that Mon-El would die, and though this prophecy came to pass, Mon's distant relative Eltro Gand ultimately sacrificed his own life-force so that Mon would live (Action #384). The modern-day Nura Nal has evidently refined her skills to the point where she cannot be fooled by inconclusive dream-images. Perhaps, were it to happen now, she would have been aware that Mon would be clinically dead for only a short time, and that grand-nephew Eltro was the one to worry about.

Still, imagine for a moment what would happen if Nura's dreams did not always come true. Imagine her being able to see the variety of possible futures, to be able to pick and choose from among them (much as Paul Atreides, the prophet/messiah of Frank Herbert's Dune, was able to do). Surely the extent of Dream Girl's training should soon allow her to break the crucial barrier between dreaming true and dreaming the possible -- if she hasn't done so already (which might account for her recent lapses into a stifling inferiority complex while she believes that she is no longer the perfect precog, not yet realizing what her new prowess means).


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