One of my favorite superheroes is Bouncing Boy, Chuck Taine. I saw myself in him. Here was an overweight kid being a superhero. As an overweight kid it was important for me to see Bouncing Boy. He got laughed at and teased but he kept going. He was an inspiration for me to keep going. In fact my CB radio handle (YIKES) was Bouncing Boy.
Using What You Got
“Four to one! When I was a Legionnaire, I often faced odds worse than this…but I had a superpower then! Now I’m just an ordinary guy…with nothing but a few rubber balls to defend myself!” - Chuck Taine*
In the 30th century there will be a group of Teenagers inspired by the 20th century Superheroes and these teenagers from distant planets will come together and form the Legion of Superheroes. Each member will have a unique power or gift as in the case of Bouncing Boy, Chuck Taine. Chuck was an errand boy for a scientist who developed an instant super-rubber fluid. Chuck had to deliver the fluid to the science council, but on they way got thirsty and drank the fluid. Chuck was instantly inflated, and he could bounce around like a ball. Chuck found he could inflate and deflate; he was not affected by electricity and impervious to bullets and other projectiles while inflated. He tried many times to join the Legion and was laughed at each time. Until that one moment when the Legion failed and the person that saved the day was “Bouncing Boy.” Eventually Chuck lost his powers and resigned from the Legion but only after he married his one true love – Luornu Durgo (Duo Damsel).
OK we are just ordinary people with no super power, and no utility belts but we do have special gifts. We all have life experiences that can be used to help or offer hope. We all have memories that can be helpful. We have had difficult times and joyous events that can be used to help someone in need. We have had to change tires. We have changed jobs. We have had difficult classmates. We have lost parents or children. We have continued to live and learn but the learning never stops. Then one day someone will be going through exactly what we have gone through and we will be the one person to save the day with the right suggestion, the perfect answer, or the warmest hand to hold. We will find the only thing we did was share ourselves.
Bouncing Boy – Chuck Taine
First Appearance: Action Comics #276, May 1961
Creators: Jerry Siegel (script), and Jim Mooney (art)
* “1+1=3” Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes #216, April 1976