July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #386: Telepath

So, there's was this telepath named Telepath...

I’ve been doing this series for a long time, and I have no intentions of stopping anytime soon.  Heck, I am on vacation this week but wrote this up well in advance.  Regardless, there were certain characters that I had my eye on for one reason or another, characters I remembered reading about that more or less disappeared at some point in time, many of them 90s-era heroes and villains that I used to read.  DC had a team book, basically space cops, called L.E.G.I.O.N. that was supposed to be basically the modern day equivalent of the Legion of Superheroes, founded and led by Brainiac 2, and comprised largely of forgotten cosmic heroes, ancestors of a sort of future Legion members if not outright members lost in time, and a bunch of original characters that mostly disappeared.

One of those was Telepath.  He was a telepath.

Now, normally, when I write these up, I’ll do a web search for the character to mostly get some of the finer details down, like what issue was the first appearance, when that came out, etc.  For Telepath, I got nothin’.  I found one online research that mostly tells me things I already know, and that was it.  There are very few images on Google to use.  There’s no Wikipedia entry.  He’s listed on the L.E.G.I.O.N. team Wikipedia page, but only gets a single sentence.  So, really, this is coming pretty much entirely from memory, so that should tell you quite a bit about how memorable the character is:  memorable enough of a character for me to get a lot of details down now roughly 25 to 30 years later.  Anyway, here goes.

Telepath, real name possibly Qi’Qi if he ever had one, was a bug-like alien insect.  He had a large head, no legs, and four arms.  Two arms were rather thin and those were the ones he generally used for, you know, anything involving hands.  His other arms were muscular, but they seemed to be used more of locomotion since, you know, he had no legs.  He was generally nonviolent, not because he was morally opposed to violence or something, but just didn’t seem inclined to get involved in fights.  He was also no coward, acting mostly as a support member of the team when it went on missions.

He was discovered among the crew of a space pirate named Dagon-Ra.  Said pirate was soon tracked down by L.E.G.I.O.N. member (thanks to something like blackmail) Lobo, and seeing an opportunity, Telepath helped Lobo take down his captor.  He then joined L.E.G.I.O.N., possibly thanks to a threat from Lobo.

Oddly enough, Telepath and Lobo became something of a team within the team, leading me for one to think Telepath might have been the one member of the team Lobo actually liked, even with the last Czarian showing if not outright affection for Telepath, then at least a sense of protection.  It may have helped that Telepath finally told the story of how he fell into Dagon-Ra’s clutches to Lobo when the two were stranded on a planet together with no other company.

Essentially, he came from a hive-dwelling race, one that had a queen in the form of a larger member that mated and laid eggs and never went anywhere.  Females were set up to fight to the death, the winner becoming the new queen.  Telepath had a girlfriend who won the right, and neither of them wanted that, so he tried to contact a way off-planet for the both of them.  He got it from a space-pirate that massacred everyone else, including his girlfriend, and took him off as a virtual slave, and that was all his fault.

So, wow.  Good origin story.

Telepath was a character who really didn’t appear much outside of the L.E.G.I.O.N. books, and when the series became R.E.B.E.L.S. after Brainiac 2’s infant son took over L.E.G.I.O.N. by brainwashing most of the organization, Telepath was on the wrong side, though he was eventually kidnapped and forced to work with the R.E.B.E.L.S’s splinter group to fight back at their former organization.  And…that’s pretty much it.  So, one fairly good origin story that I still remember decades later, and he might have been the one guy in the universe Lobo could tolerate.

Not bad for a bug-man.