The 46th issue of DC’s SECRET ORIGINS series was dedicated not to the origin of a particular character, but rather, in a bit of a special theme, to the beginnings of the various headquarters used by the most notable super hero teams of the time; The New Titans, the Justice League of America, and the Legion of Super-Heroes. However, the story that saw print was not the origin that was intended to run in those pages, but rather a replacement tale that had been swiftly crafted to take its place.
The original (and now apocryphal) origin of the Legion of Super-Heroes clubhouse was produced by Gerard Jones, Kurt Schaffenberger and Ty Templeton, under teh guidance of editor Mark Waid. And it revealed that the structure was actually a repurposed rocket from Krypton, sent earlier by Jor-El and Lara and containing all of the things their young child might need upon landing on his new home planet. Teh rocket’s flight was diverted for 1,000 years, and it only eventually found its way to ground in the Legion’s time.
So why was this story given the chop? Well, in his 1986 reinvention of Superman, writer/artist John Byrne had done away with the Man of Steel’s earlier career as Superboy, including his membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes. This was a bit of a small flashpoint among Legion fans in particular, as the history of that series was so intrinsically tied to that of the Boy of Steel. Even after Byrne’s departure, the Superman editorial office remained adamant that the twin streams of the world of Superman and the world of the Legion could not cross.
As harmless and inoffensive as this story is, no amount of arguing could convince the Superman office to allow it see print. (In part this was due to the fact that the versions of Jor-El, Lara and Krypton that we see in this story are clearly the Pre-Crisis versions.) So the job was pulled, and Jones was called upon to come up with an entirely different, entirely Superman and Krypton-free beginning for the Legion’s domicile.
The replacement story (illustrated by Curt Swan and Ty Templeton) is itself a bit of an oddball classic. Not only does it introduce Arm-Fall-Off Boy into Legion history, it also reveals that the Legion’s first clubhouse was actually the dead body of a Legion applicant, Fortress Lad, who had become the structure in order to protect the Legionnaires from attack and then had been deprived of his memory and his life. It’s a somewhat morbid idea–though, given that the Avengers are presently operating out of the hollowed-out innards of a dead Celestial, I can hardly throw any stones here.