Monday, January 21, 2008

The Sad, Sorry, End: Review of Adventure Comics no. 337

When I started this review I was very excited by the prospect of writing about a Legion story that (I thought) epitomized many of the proper elements of Thirtieth Century tale-telling. Anyone who has been following along might have noticed that I launched into this project with great gusto and generated some epic and (according to Paul) irritatingly huge reviews. At this point, however, a curious phenomenon came to light: unlike most Legion stories - heck, unlike most Silver Age stories - the more I scrutinized and picked-apart this one the sicker I got of it. I’m not sure what it is, though possibly the gross orange jumpsuits on the Eddie Munster Brigade aggravated some latent Seasonal Affective Disorder. Possibly, too, it’s just kind of a lousy story. I’ve already covered most of the good parts (the wedding, the “new recruits”, the creepy house pet), so here are the other two:

FUTURE ZOO: Review of the Animal Books from Zinnat

I kind of love these guys. They seem to be of two different species, so I’m kind of baffled about how they might manage to convey information. Not that I can’t imagine more than one way that an animal might do so - far from it (for the record, my guesses include parrot-like speech mimicry, interpretive dance, Braille-like bumps on the back of the thing, tattoos, crazy TV eyes, Morse Code-like heartbeat, semaphore ears and sentient fleas that spell out words. Oh, and information-dense dung deposits). I’m just surprised that the Zinnatese managed to find and domesticate two such beasts before discovering, say, paper. Or the chisel. I don’t know - maybe the Animal Book is just a fancy version of a regular book, like when you get a copy of Dracula with a puffy leather cover instead of in the standard beat-up paperback format. Hell, maybe the bars on those little alcoves are decorative and the ‘Animal Books’ are just regular books that have been made out of animals, sliced up thin.

All I know is this: those Animal Books never showed up again, possibly because someone found out that they were being kept in cages roughly the size of a pack of chewing gum. Oh, wait. I also know that every time that Sun Boy came into the library he asked someone to “pass me a disc book from Uranus.” And he found it just as funny every time.

NOT APPROVED

The only other interesting thing in this issue were these headers that ran along the top of the page, apparently featuring the mug shots taken after Matter-Eater Lads 19th birthday celebration on Ventura. What a night!

Anyway, Adventure Comics No. 337 ended like this: the aliens found Plan R and went home and then it turned out that Plan R was a fake, as were the Legion weddings. It had all been a ruse to get the location of Munster Planet. The Legion shows up and shuts down the machine that the aliens used to make their super-power pills. The end.

So tired of it…

NOT APPROVED

My belated New Years’ resolution? Not to do crap like this again. Next up: old familiar territory redux!

4 comments:

spazmo said...

Are you high on super-power pills?

Your recap of this story was masterful and brilliant. Trust me, I'll let you know when you crap out an "information-dense dung deposit".

Johnathan said...

Aw. Thanks, friend. I guess I just wasn't feeling it, to the point where I was avoiding writing. So: for me a good idea to stop. For you: an apology.

I could review a rejected Legion applicant of your choice, if you like?

Blockade Boy said...

As always, I'm happy to explain about our advanced 30th Century customs: each "animal book" has the complete text of a Harlequin romance novel tattooed on the walls of its sphincter. And no, I've never read one.

Johnathan said...

Well, that makes sense, at least.