|First appearance||Action Comics # 276|
|Created by||Jerry Siegel|
|Alter ego||Charles Foster Taine|
|Place of origin||Earth (31st century)|
|Team affiliations||Legion of Super-Heroes|
Limited invulnerability (while bouncing)
Resistance to injury
Bouncing Boy is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, usually as a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Born on Earth as Chuck Taine, Bouncing Boy has the power to inflate like a giant ball and bounce around. This combination of invulnerability and velocity makes him a surprisingly useful combatant. Born without any powers, he received his abilities by accidentally drinking a super-plastic formula he believed was a soda. Bouncing Boy is known for sharing a long-term romantic relationship with fellow Legionnaire Triplicate Girl of the planet Cargg, whom he eventually marries. In Reboot Legion continuity, Chuck Taine is the Legion's mechanic.
Bouncing Boy first appeared in Action Comics #276 (May 1961) and was created by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney. Bouncing Boy's addition to the Legion of Super-Heroes reflected Siegel's interest in comedy and provided a vehicle for humor.
Fictional character biography
Chuck Taine was born on Earth with no powers. He received his ability to inflate when he accidentally drank a super plastic formula which he thought was soda pop. He applied for membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes, but was at first rejected. However, after he used his new power to defeat a robber using electric weaponry (which did not affect him because his bouncing kept him from being grounded), he was admitted and took the codename Bouncing Boy. With his good humor, wit and charm, Taine appointed himself the Legion's "Morale Officer".
Bouncing Boy once lost his powers while bouncing in front of a matter-shrinking machine, and was forced to resign from the Legion. However, he regained his powers again temporarily when the Legion faced Computo for the first time, and one of fellow Legionnaire Triplicate Girl's bodies was killed. His powers left him again for a short period of time but were restored once more by Dr. Zan Orbal of Evillo's Devil's Dozen, where he happily rejoined the team.
Bouncing Boy became a teacher at the Legion Academy, and had a solo victory against The Hunter. This boosted Chuck's confidence, and after once again losing his powers, he proposed to Triplicate Girl (now known as Duo Damsel). The two quickly married on Mars at Nix Olympia (Superboy #200) and both retired from the Legion because of the rule that Legionnaires could not be married. That rule was later overturned, but the couple decided to remain as Legion reserves. Once again, Bouncing Boy's powers returned and the Duo Damsel settled on the colony world of Wondil IX. After helping the Legion on a few occasional missions, the pair returned to Earth to become the headmasters of the Legion Academy. They later went on to found the second Legion of Substitute Heroes alongside reservists Cosmic Boy and Night Girl.
In the Post-Zero Hour continuity, Caleb Martin was identified as Charles Foster Taine and acted as the Legion's resident architect and engineer. He did not possess bouncing powers in this continuity and was only an honorary member of the Legion. As a maintenance man, he once built a specialty vehicle called the "Bouncing Boy" which acted as a bouncing juggernaut, smashing everything in its way.
The name Charles Foster Taine is a reference to the classic 1941 feature film, Citizen Kane and its title character, Charles Foster Kane, though in his initial appearance he is simply named Caleb Martin.[original research?]
He has yet to appear in the "Threeboot" version of the Legion, which began in 2004.
The Post-Infinite Crisis version of Bouncing Boy appeared in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds. Missing in action during most of the miniseries, he and his wife, now known as Duplicate Damsel, finally make an appearance in the final issue to help end the battle against the antagonists and then rejoin the Legion.
Reboot / Earth-247
On Earth-247, Chuck Taine never gained super powers, but was a valuable ally of the Legion. His parents had been killed by Daxamite terrorists during an attack on Earth and with their life insurance money, he was able to put himself through school to become an architect. He designed and helped rebuild the Legion Headquarters after it took damage from Chronos. At one point Chuck helped repel Protean invaders and was around the Legion full-time, repairing Brainiac Five's laboratory and other structural damage. He became close friends with fellow Legion staffer Tenzil Kem, had a crush on Triad, and once went on a friendly date with Shrinking Violet. Chuck remained on the Legion staff, and eventually designed the Legion Outpost, an orbiting space station.
Retroboot / New Earth
"Infinite Crisis" restored a close analogue of the original Legion to continuity, shortly after the Magic Wars. Chuck is once more an instructor alongside his wife Luornu at the Legion Academy and a Legion reservist. After his wife's second body was killed, this time, she developed the power to duplicate an unlimited number of copies of herself. They discovered this ability while the Taines were on their third honeymoon and then quickly came running when the team sent out a distress call for help against Superboy-Prime and his Legion of Super-Villains. Bouncing Boy is currently helping to train the next class of students at Legion Academy.
In the Watchmen sequel "Doomsday Clock", Bouncing Boy is among the Legion of Super-Heroes members that appear in the present after Doctor Manhattan undid the experiment that erased the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Justice Society of America.
Notable story arcs
When the Legion was disbanded following the Blight invasion of Earth, Chuck stayed with a small team of covert Legionnaires led by Cosmic Boy. With the Legion's benefactor, R. J. Brande, Chuck helped with the construction of a new secret headquarters, known as Legion World. Chuck was given an honorary membership and built a ship called the Bouncing Boy that could ram other objects without taking structural damage. Chuck was given the job of Chief Engineer of Legion World and worked frequently with the cyborg Legionnaire, Gear. He was originally seen as being sent into the time-stream with the rest of the Legion shortly before Earth-247 was destroyed, but didn't re-surface during the Legion of Three Worlds event. Chuck may then have been wiped from continuity.
As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Bouncing Boy is provided with a Legion flight ring which allows him to fly and protects him from the vacuum of space and other dangerous environments.
Powers and abilities
Bouncing Boy has the ability to expand his body to form a sphere, which provides him with the ability to bounce off surfaces. In his normal form, Bouncing Boy is overweight, but when he "inflates", his mass and height remain the same, while his overall dimensions increase to resemble that of a human-sized ball. Whether his body actually inflates—as in, takes in air—or his individual cells expand, decreasing his overall density while increasing his overall dimensions, is not explained. When he utilizes his power, his body becomes extremely rubbery and elastic allowing him to bounce with great force. Originally thought of as a useless power by his Legionnaire peers, he has demonstrated many times that he can use his body's shape and rubber-like consistency as an effective ballistic weapon. His "go-to" move is to use surrounding walls to ricochet back and forth in order to bowl over his opponents. Unlike an inanimate rubber ball, which will slowly lose its kinetic energy due to friction and gravity, Bouncing Boy uses his muscles to maintain his velocity and power as he bounces about. His power also provides him with a limited degree of invulnerability while bouncing. He is also invulnerable to electric shock while in his spherical state.
Bouncing Boy lost his powers for a short period of time after he accidentally bounced into a matter-shrinking facility. This caused him to lose his ability to expand, which resulted in him having to step down from the Legion of Super-Heroes. He later regained his powers after the formula which originally gave him his powers was recreated for him in Adventure #351 (1966). He then re-joined the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Eight years later, he lost his powers again for no apparent reason. He resigned once more, and married Duo Damsel in Superboy & The Legion of Super-Heroes #200 (1974).
In Superboy & The Legion of Super-Heroes #230 (1977), he again regained his powers.
Chuck Taine of Earth-247 has no powers but is a gifted engineer and architect. He built and pilots a spaceship known as the Bouncing Boy.
As a Legion of Super-Heroes member, Bouncing Boy possesses a Legion Flight Ring. The ring gives its wearer the ability to fly, the speed and range of which is determined by the wearer's willpower. It also acts as a long-range communicator (enabling constant vocal contact with other Legionnaires, even across vast distances of space), a signal device, and a navigational compass, all powered by a micro-computer built inside the ring.
In other media
- Bouncing Boy made a cameo in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "New Kids in Town". He is seen as a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
- Bouncing Boy appears in the 2006 Justice League Unlimited episode "Far From Home", voiced by Googy Gress. In this episode, Bouncing Boy is one of two Legionnaires (the other being Brainiac 5) who had survived being possessed by the Emerald Eye. Failing on resources to save their comrades, they use a time bubble to bring three heroes from the past to assist them: John Stewart, Green Arrow, and Supergirl.
- Bouncing Boy is part of the core team in the Legion of Super Heroes animated series, voiced by Michael Cornacchia. Throughout the series, he served as the team's pilot and engineer and adequate fighter. He was an avid fan of horror movies and helped motivate some discouraged applicants to the Legion to keep trying, who eventually went on to form the Legion of Substitute Heroes. In the episode "Timber Wolf", he and Brainiac Five quarrel over Bouncing Boy's piloting and engineering, but in the end, Bouncing Boy proves his abilities to his teammate. In "Lightning Storm", Bouncing Boy is seen working with potential Legion applicants, helping them prepare for the upcoming Legion auditions. In the same episode, his quick thinking helps him in the battle against the Lightspeed Vanguard. This leads into the following episode, "Substitutes" in which Bouncing Boy encourages the future Legion of Substitute Heroes, and it is revealed that he tried out for the Legion four times before being accepted. In the end, he ends up coining the fledgling group's name. Ultimately, in the episode "Chain of Command", Bouncing Boy's quick thinking and observation allows him to form a plan that is crucial to the Legion's effort to save the inhabitants of the planet Winath. At the end of the episode, when Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad were at odds about leadership and prompts an election, an upset occurs - with the Legion electing Bouncing Boy to the position instead. Chuck was horrified but the entire Legion supported him and receives a kiss from Triplicate Girl. In the end, they are seen holding hands. He led the team to the defeat of the Sun-Eater in the two-part "Sundown". During this time, Triplicate Girl became a big fan of his. In season two, two years had passed and Chuck's term as leader had ended. He was among the Legionnaires who were overwhelmed by the Legion of Super-Villains and the Fatal Five in "Man From the Edge of Tomorrow, Part 2" but was able to survive and assist his team in freeing rescued teammates from Takron-Galtos. He comforted Triplicate Girl after she lost her third body and was especially sensitive to her emotional state. He continued to serve with the team, helping them on missions against Lightning Lord ("Chain Lightning"), Terra-Man ("Unnatural Alliances"), Mordru ("Trials"), and Brainiac ("Dark Victory", parts 1 and 2).
An episode of The Fairly OddParents in which kids were turned into superheroes featured "The Bouncing Boil". His many failed attempts at stopping a Wolverine-based supervillain (since she would just hold out her claws and deflate him) would commonly cause his teammates to state: "Man, that's a dumb power".
The story arc "The Innocents" from Garth Ennis' comic book series The Boys features a controversial parody of Bouncing Boy called Bobby Badoing who is constantly in an inflated state and is also mentally impaired.
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