Sunday, December 16, 2007

Aliens and Their Schemes: Review of Adventure Comics No. 337, Part 2

*I accidentally published this before it was even started and I'm far too lazy to upload all of these pictures to another post, so enjoy what I've written so far. I'll be hitting 'Publish Post' periodically as I write.

Update: busy week! Christmas parties and other such social engagements, oh my! Plus I seem to have managed to start dating a girl. Never fear, though: it'll be done before Christmas.

Other update: One last push! damn tiredness! Damn crankyness! Do it, Johnathan! Do it for all those kids out there that won't have a proper Christmas unless they know how the middle part of this comic ends and what your thoughts on that are! Get in there and review!

Fourth update: I am a broken man with a full social calender. Looks like this might have to wait another day or so to be finished. Sorry, forks.

Updated update: bah. time to try something new. See the end of the post.

Here I am, back again to discuss the middle portion of Adventure Comics No. 337. As you may recall, when we left the Legion they were agitated over the threat of a possible invasion of the Earth by sickly-looking aliens. Meanwhile, romance was in bloom at Legion HQ and Brainiac 5 wasn't too happy about it. Awright, let's get back to the action! Er, I mean, the adventure!

So, the aliens are all worked up about a secret 'Plan-R' that the Legion claims is a foolproof fail-safe in the event of a war of the worlds or what have you. Since they have all superpowers, the three orange-clad chaps figure that the simplest way to find out what Plan-R is is to grab a Legionnaire and extract the info.


I've got to say: without the yellow skin these guys look a lot like older versions of Eddie Munster. Maybe their planet is like one of those worlds on Star Trek where the whole society is based around a spy novel or gangster films - maybe these guy come from the Munster Planet and the Eddies are the military branch of their society. They should totally be wearing his short-pants getup instead of orange jumpsuits, though.


And that's why Saturn Girl is the Legionnaire not to ambush. She's always able to call for backup - come on, Eddies, do a little research before you set out to kidnap a lady. Didn't Grandpa teach you anything?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if I'm ever knocked out I sincerely hope that I'll have to presence of mind to mutter something about how I'm losing consciousness before I go under. Especially if it's something unlikely, as the more information that you manage to squeeze out before going down for the count, the more points that you get. Xaxan there managed an Analysis of What Hit Me followed by a Double Status Report, which is pretty good if this is his first time.


This panel isn't terribly funny but it's kind of important to the plot, so here it is. Yup. Everyone's looking pretty sharp here - classic costumes, real big forehead on Superboy...

Moving on:


One thing about that old rocket-shaped headquarters: it wasn't very big. You were practically guaranteed a crowd for any important announcements you wanted to make, even if it was mostly male Legionnaires with nothing better to do. Take note: it's not explicit here but that old Legion bylaw about married members getting chucked out on their ears is cropping up. Because there's no room for partnerships in a team, right?

That's actually a really lovely drawing of Phantom Girl. Just sayin' is all.

Legion wedding preparations:


Girls' side first: I think that what Saturn Girl is saying that her crazy, mixed-up planet/moon Titan has the way-out, super-alien tradition of... an official of some sort conducting the ceremony. Uh, wow... that's super crazy and futuristic, Titan. Way to try. I mean, you could have went the same way as the Bismollians and had some sort of talking dog do the deed, but you stuck to your guns. Your incredibly boring, individually-numbered, matte gray guns.

Looking forward to seeing Phantom Girl's dress, though. I hear that it's beautiful.

Boy's side: Jewel Painting, meh. Giant pearls (or possibly giant pears), meh. Wait a second...

INITIATE EMERGENCY MINI-REVIEW

INITIATING...

FUTURE ZOO: REVIEW OF HOUSE PET FROM PLANET KAVOON, BY JOHNATHAN

So all kinds of planets sent wedding presents to Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad, eh? Jewel paintings and giant pearls/pears and, uh, golf trophies, possibly. And then Mon-El shows up on planet Kavoom with his arms full of the jewel├ęd treasures of the galaxy and - and I'm just guessing here - they collectively go "Oh crap, we knew there was something that we had to do today. Uh, hold on." And then they collectively grab the first thing that they can get their collective hands on, toss it in a sack and send Mon-El packing as quickly as possible.


I don't like the looks of this thing, frankly. It's got creepy ears. It's got to be the Kavoomian equivalent of a sewer rat or something, that or Kavoomites are freaky-ass people. Look at the way it's sizing Lightning Lad up. It's getting ready to either eat him or rob him. No, the House Pet From Planet Kavoom (incidentally, the title of a long-running series of holo-horror films on Kavoom's nearest planetary neighbour) is completely

NOT APPROVED

RESUME MAIN REVIEW

Now, the first time that I read this I missed the comment that Saturn Girl made about wedding wands earlier and I thought that the little action-figures-on-sticks thing was some sort of doofy Legion tradition. Not that that didn't make sense, though, what with the Legion's habit of making new statues of themselves at the drop of a hat. In fact, speaking of hats, I am more than a little surprised that there's not a Silver Age tale in which Superboy shows up in the future only to find all of his pals walking around wearing hats that look like themselves for some Holiday of Tomorrow.

Phantom Girl's dress, by the way? Stunning. It's amazing the effect a veil can have on the outfit that you wear every day. Sheesh. Was she afraid that Ultra Boy wouldn't recognize her without a big 'P' on her chest? Actually... it is Ultra Boy we're talking about here. And the official? Didn't disappoint. Dull as powdered fruit punch.


When I get married/if I ever get married I'm going to try my damnedest to have all of my groomsmen carry a little action figure of themselves on a stick and then present them to me at the end of the reception. This will have two effects: firstly, having a wedding tradition that can be traced to a single issue of a 1960s comic book will firmly cement my position as King of All the Nerds. Secondly, the question of what exactly to do with five or six action figures on sticks with no practical use but high sentimental value will be a recurring theme in my marriage, coming up at least as often as we move or rearrange the furniture. Heck, it might come up in the divorce proceedings.


Here's where we get into the original reason for this interminable review. Switching to Super-Human Detritus mode... now!

So, following the double wedding (and double honeymoon? Scandal!) and subsequent resignation of Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl and Ultra Boy, the Legion finds itself short-handed and sets up a try-out (hooray!)!



This is my favourite thing in the whole comic: that the idea of whole planets dressing in exactly the same clothing had become so accepted in Legion of Super-Heroes comics that the Eddie Munster Squad figured that by turning into three white guys with different hair and clothes no one would ever think to connect them with each other. I bet that there were all kinds of crazy ceremonies and ritual punishments associated with wearing the costume of another world, like how Canadians give a formal spanking to anyone from another country that they catch wearing a toque.

The failing applicants at this try-out are all members of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. My thoughts on this stalwart bunch are detailed elsewhere, so I've omitted most of 'em. As an example, however, I present the panel featuring the love of my life (were I 2-dimensional and nine hundred and some-odd years into the Silver Age DC Universe's future and not in competition with a human magnet and not dating a lovely Nordic lass), Night Girl!


You're a fool, Brainiac 5! A fool!

*ahem*

Moving on yet again:


The aliens-in-disguise show up to show off. First up is Size Lad, who can change the size of things. Hmmm. Um... well, it's a super-power, I guess. Really, though, this guy should be the proud new owner of a Legion Consolation Flight Belt. If my dear Night Girl can't get in, there's no reason that this schmuck should. In what situation (and keep in mind that I will disregard all reasonable suggestions) will this power prove useful to the Legion? Perhaps they will go to the beach and wish to show a little more skin and so ask Size Lad to shrink their bathing suits down for them? Perhaps they'll get an unusually small sandwich at the Food-o-mart? Bah.

Even though he's got an impressive profile, Size Lad is

NOT APPROVED


Well, I can't very well object to Blackout Boy's powers, seeing as how I like Shadow Lass so much. I can, however get all snotty about the fact that after admitting this guy no one from the Legion thought to run out and grab Night Girl. Someone who's super-powers only work in the dark plus someone who makes darkness? Those are what's known as complimentary powers, kids. Grr grr grr. A very spiteful

NOT APPROVED


From what I understand of Magnetic Kid's powers, he's got a pretty limited palatte of solutions to choose from in the event of a problem. Is it time to break up a bar fight? Well, they can't keep fighting if they're in a big pile on top of Magnetic Kid! Fatal Five attacking? Not from on top of Magnetic Kid, they're aren't! Got to stop a giant robot? Don't look at Magnetic Kid, sorry. "Pulling people toward me" really doesn't seem like a Legion-worthy super-power, unless of course they expect to be having a lot of tugs-of-war in the near future.

I do like how he messed with Brainiac 5 there, though. So:

JOHN APPROVED

Well, this isn't working. Much as I hate to bite Blockade Boy's style, the only way that I'm going to finish is by working on a panel or two at a time. Fun!

My behavior: NOT APPROVED

Adventure Comics No. 337: REVIEW DEFERRED

2 comments:

p. e. hipas said...

I have not read any of this and all I can say is: I don't know who that girl is but she should quit working for that company. Today.

Johnathan said...

She could join the Heroes of Lallor!