Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Review of Adventure Comics No. 337, part 1, By Johnathan

This was merely going to be a plain old ‘Super-Human Detritus’ review of three nutty Legion applicants, but upon rereading the issue of Adventure Comics that they made their shameful appearance in I discovered that it was an almost quintessential Legion story, jam-packed with far-future hijinks! And so I present to you a review of the whole damn comic, including all manner of interesting asides.

(Later) It was also going to be one long review, with maybe thirty images and so forth, but it turns out that I'm still recovering from the weekend. Prepare for installments!

The tale opens with an exciting, action-packed board meeting! Today’s topic: the weekly invasion of the Earth. First, though, we need to decide who’s bringing what to the Klordny Day potluck. Sun Boy, are you still bringing the condiments and napkins? Terrific.

Man, I wish that this wasn’t just a colouring error and that Brainiac 5 really did turn grayish-purple when he got angry. It would lend a whole new dimension to his super-logical behavior of later years. “Brainiac, are you sure that you’re not mad about how we ate all of the jelly doughnuts while you were in the bathroom? Because you’re starting to look like a week-old eggplant again.”

But seriously, Brainiac, do you honestly expect to have a long strategy-oriented meeting involving twenty or so teenagers of various genders and maintain the room’s full attention the whole time? My friends are all in their mid- to late twenties and I have a hard time getting them organized to do something that they want to do, let alone listen to me give a long speech about threats to our security (not that that stops me from giving such speeches). You’re just lucky that Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl aren’t furtively groping each other under the table whilst Sun Boy and Superboy ignore you in favour of a detailed conversation about how their moustaches are coming in.

I’m assuming that these two panels are just here for exposition purposes and not to show that Brainiac 5 went around after the meeting delivering his speech to every Legionnaire individually. Plus that’s an awkward sentence being spewed forth by Superboy in the second one. Although, come to think of it, it might be fun to do, say at work (“I, the editor, will use my Bachelor of English to search for extraneous punctuation.”) or at the comic bookshop (I, the giant nerd, will use my Blogger account to bitch about Countdown.”). It could clear up a lot of ambiguity about people’s upcoming goals and the means by which they will achieve them!

I love the old standby of making something alien by making it super big, like that wedding ring. But honestly: who sets up an exhibit on marriage customs in a museum for use by a group of people who aren’t allowed to get married? If I could think up any super-villains who were also museum curators I would certainly be suspicious (Composite Superman? Dammit, no. He was a museum janitor). Well, it was someone with a mean streak, anyway.

Also, Lightning Lad is an idiot. Robot arms make you way more loveable, man. It’s like, a million times more extreme than that lip ring/soul patch combo you were thinking about.

Oh, how I love the Phantom Girl/ Ultra Boy duo. Look at him: that’s possibly the goofiest, most lovestruck expression I’ve ever seen in a comic book. That big dumb ox is just so darned endearing.

You know, I’d think that Brainiac 5 might be more interested in harnessing the crazy energy that everyone was giving off in that first panel, instead of being all snarky. I mean, necking teenagers as a power source? The implications are mind-blowing!

I like these aliens because they mostly just look like someone kept messing with a drawing of a regular guy until he looked slightly inhuman. “Let’s see… give ‘em big ears, an overbite, a widow’s peak, heavy brows… aaaaand… jaundice. Yeah, that’s pretty otherworldly.”

Huh. Turns out that the first third of this story's mostly setup. Well, I assure you that there will be action aplenty in our next installment, along with even more nitpicking and taking things out of context!

Adventure Comics No. 337, you'll get your judgement when I get some more plot.


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