Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Review of the (Best Ever)s, By Johnathan

Time to get back to my roots: making fun of out-of context comic book panels. Because I obsessively seek structure, today's theme is gonna be "Best (something) Ever." Here goes:

Best Alien Race Ever:

These guys:
They're from Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes No. 202 and I think that they were trying to make the Earth all polluted to that it'd be fit for them to take over or something. Whatever. Their lame plots do not interest me. What makes them great is that they look like crazy blue-haired space-hippies. They've got pink-and-white jumpsuits and little fangs! Plus, they have that mustache thing (which Blockade Boy assures me is called "friendly muttonchops") and Mega Man boots! They're absurdly muscular, so it kind of looks like they'd be good in a fight - but how can anyone that looks like that be good in a fight? They look like Hanna-Barbara characters, man.

That these guys could struggle past their sheer ridiculousness and advance their culture to the point that they could attempt genocide is nothing short of miraculous. Kudos to you, you cosmic dipwads.


Best Advice Ever:

Advice for a villain, that is. This here's another Legion panel, from Adventure Comics No. 325. The Legion visited Khann, the criminal's planet, looking to arrest this brain:

Good old Atro - always dispensing helpful advice. Of course, though there might be no witnesses left after you blow up the planet, there is going to be one clue: the recently-blown-up planet! I mean come on, Atro! You think that nobody's going to be interested in finding out who blew up a planet? Hmm?


Yeah, whatever, Atro. Nuts to you. NOT APPROVED.

That other guy though, the one laughing, "Billions will die! So what, eh? Ha, ha!" definitely wins a JOHN APPROVED for Best Sociopath in a Cameo Role Ever.

Best Hand Signals Ever:

Way back in the day, Shade, The Changing Man No. 6 featured this panel:
Now I know that these two were coordinating an escape attempt via sign language and facial expression, but I can't help but interpret their conversation thusly:

He: "Hey, baby - you wanna rock out?"

She: "Word."

Steve Ditko, man. Guy was ahead of his time. JOHN APPROVED.

Best Use of a Super-Computer Ever:

Adventure Comics No. 342 gave us this look at how the Legion of Super-Heroes spends their free time:

Dancing, games, hedonism! "We're having the big computer decide who'd have the most fun kissing whom."? Man, that's kind of messed up. I mean fine, you're all teenagers, but you hang out together all the time - this kind of thing can only escalate. The next time Star Boy walks by they're going to be all, "We're having the big computer assign us random sexual partners for the night."
"Come join in the fun! The big computer's teaching us about daisy chains!"
"We're all going to make love to the big computer!"


Best Background Character (Lederhosen-Clad) Ever:

From What If No.22, which was about Dr. Doom not being evil or something:

Those are the characters in the background at Dr. Doom's wedding, where everyone's happy because their country's not ruled by an evil megalomaniac. These are some pretty great Latverians, but that little kid in front is the best. Let's take a closer look:

You sure won't, kid. You sure won't.



rachelle said...

Those are all amazing, but I can't get over the Legion and their weird kissing game. Those kids need some guidance!

Johnathan said...

Look at Shrinking Violet's facial expression!

She's on the space dope, i swear.

Jim Drew said...

That Legion kissing panel is one of my favorites. It clearly implies same-sex sexual activity -- Vi and Lu are waiting in line to be analyzed smooching on Ayla.

In fact, every one of the characters involved in that kissing computer activity later on had fan rumors about his or her sexuality (including Cham -- do shapeshifters have gender? -- and Lu -- in a triad relationship with Chuck). And the other one in that panel -- Star Boy -- was formative in the identity of many a gay boy comics fan in the 80s (because of the beard, and maybe because of Dream Girl).

Johnathan said...

Wait... Invisible Kid too? He was always the most sexless of all Legionnaires, in my eyes. Even that thing with the ghost-lady just before he died was pretty unconvincing. I always assumed that he had accidentally chemically castrated himself whilst guzzling prototype invisibility potions.

Jim Drew said...

Yes, Invisible Kid, too.

Fandom latched onto the Chemical King story in Secret Origins as having a gay subtext, although the writers say they did not intend that. (But who cares what is *intended*, right? grin)

In the reboot, Invisible Kid was receiving notes from a "secret admirer". I don't recall how that subplot actually ended, but the writers had wanted to have them be from holovid reporter Condo Arlik (ahem). But when the shift was made to Dan and Andy and Olivier (or was it from KC to Mike?), they refrained from rushing in the plotline in the original fashion since that would have put the character into a state/status where the original writers then couldn't follow through on it, and that wasn't deemed fair to the new creative crew.

Johnathan said...

Ah, there's the thing. My "REad All Legion Comics Ever" project is currently mired in the L.E.G.I.O.N. series. I think that I knew about that stuff at some point, but it's not really going to sink in until I read the comics.