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Animal Lad (Legion of Super-Heroes character) (DC Comics) surrounded by a force field

Animal Lad


Background

  • Real Name: Ennis Jahnson
  • Marital Status: Presumed single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: 30th Century Metropolis, Earth
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Animal Lad is a projective metamorph — he can turn people into animals, or one animal into another kind of animal. He can also make wild beasts tame. He’s trained in the zoological sciences, including studies of extraterrestrial species.


History

Ennis Jahnson, aka Animal Lad, has the dubious distinction of being the only applicant in the history of the Legion of Super-Heroes to be rejected for being too good. What’s worse, neither he nor the Legion knows it.

Jahnson tried out for Legion membership in 2976, when he was 16 years old. The origin of his metamorphic powers is unknown; presumably he is a mutant. Although his power was deemed valuable, he had the misfortune of attending a tryout run by new Legion Leader Dynamo Boy.

Dynamo Boy was secretly a criminal named Vorm, who had infiltrated the Legion on behalf of the Space Pirate Pack.

Animal Lad demonstrates his power

Vorm, as Dynamo Boy, manipulated the Legion Constitution to get himself named Leader and to expel the rest of the team. He then held an open call for new members, but only looked for recruits who would secretly act as villains. When Vorm realized that Animal Lad was incorruptible, the pirate rejected him.

Vorm, of course, did not tell Animal Lad the reason for his rejection, instead belittling his powers. Nor did he bother to keep records of the tryouts, so when the real Legionnaires uncovered Vorm’s plot and retook control of the LSH, they apparently never learned of Animal Lad. Because Vorm’s successful infiltration of the LSH was not widely publicized, it appears that Jahnson never realized his tryout was tainted.

Saddened and discouraged, Jahnson abandoned the dream of joining the superhero club and looked for a job. He joined the Metropolis Game Preserve Council for employment, becoming their Central Director for Endangered Species Control. His powers might conceivably be used to help repopulate depleted animal species.


Description

Animal Lad is a blond man of average height, apparently of Nordic descent. He wears a black undershirt with an open blue disco jacket, has blue pants, and white boots.


Personality

Jahnson is, it would seem, both uncomplaining and incorruptible. He believes in doing the right thing and making the best use of his unique abilities.


Quotes

“I am Animal Lad! I can turn humans into beasts or make wild creatures tame ! See ? I turned that fellow into a bear, but I’ll make him human again, at once !”


DC Universe History

Possibly he’s a descendant of Buddy Baker, and might become the new Animal Man, with powers tied into the morphogenic field – or, in a Vertigo-esque campaign, from the Red. This might get him attention from mystics, whether Mordru, elementals, or others. (Nightwind might become an air elemental, with Lamprey having powers derived from the clear, or Cholorophyll Kid becoming the new Erl King!)

He might have had new contact with the LSH or the SUBS by getting involved in the Anti-Earthgov resistance that fought the Dominion’s takeover of Earth. Alternately, he might have been captured by the Dominators and held in their Chambers for experimentation, where he could be brainwashed and cloned.

Of course, he’s pretty much a blank slate, so you can wipe out his minor Legion connections and use him as-is, too.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Animal Lad

Dex: 03 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Upholding the Good
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Zoologist
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 011 HP: 030

Powers:
Animal Control: 08, Transform: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Transform has a Range of 0 APs rather than Touch (+1 FC)
  • Transform can include alien/extraterrestrial forms (+2 FC).

Skills:
Animal Handling: 03, Scientist: 03

Advantages:
Expertise (Xeno-Zoology)

Connections:
Metropolis Game Preserve Council (Low)


Design Notes

He had one appearance which lasted about 2 pages so his stats are obviously speculative. I’ve refrained from giving him the default “all 2s across the board”, choosing instead to treat him as if he were a beginning PC who could’ve been a Legionnaire, if things had been different.

I’ve assumed, given the Legion’s setting, that his Transform Power (from Blood of Heroes : Special Edition) can turn people into non-Terran animals, a slightly more limited form of the “can be imaginary animals” — he can turn people into alien animals, but not mythical ones.


By Chris Cottingham

Helper(s): the_black_adam and rtm2301 (for the Transform power), Who’s Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes vol.1

Source of Character: DCU (Pre-Crisis LSH – Adventure Comics)

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