Monday, March 31, 2008

Supplement to the Addendum to the Review of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Part One, By Johnathan

Ahaha! Time to review alla the Legionnaires that I haven't yet gotten around to! Uh, pre-Five Year Gap, of course. We'll leave that can of worms for a later date.


I like Blok. I'm kind of sad to learn that he has no name, though. Silly me, thinking that it was Blok, all this time.

Blok was from the planet Dryad, which had at some point exploded. The Legion was on hand to evacuate, and for some reason a group of Dryadan youngsters assumed that since the Legion was there that they were the ones who blew the place up and so they swore eternal vengeance, got powers from a jerk named the Dark Man and started calling themselves the League of Super Assassins (and just to be on the safe side, they also swore vengeance against grass, because the whole damn planet was covered in it, as well as the sun, for just floating there and watching the place blow up). As so frequently happens, they almost killed the entire Legion on their first try but afterward never quite managed to pull it together again.

The only Super-Assassin to go anywhere other than a seat next to Ronn Karr at the Legion of Super-Villains annual benefit dinner was Blok, who had never been that struck on killing people anyway. He ended up with a light jail term because he'd helped to capture the rest of his team and tried out for Legion membership once he got out of the clink (and he completely schooled Lamprey, Nightwind and Crystal Kid while doing it, which makes me happy). Blok made a really neat Legionnaire and a great requisite Big Strong Team Member. He started out fairly clueless about how human society worked (oh yeah: he's not a human made of rock, he's an alien. Made of rock) and unlike a lot of similar characters never quite lost that trait, which was charming. He spent a lot of time watching the Legion mission logs and palling around with the White Witch and being philosophical and introspective - not quite as unusual today for a Big Strong Tough Guy but definitely a refreshing variation on the type.

As you can see, Blok liked to wear his pants hiked up real high, which I would hate except for the fact that it's so distinctive that I like it for its uniqueness. I just wish he'd wear some sort of solid colour instead of horrible stripes alla the time. Ah, well. at least this picture showcases big shoulder pads in their optimal environment - on someone with big shoulders - rather than in a less-than-suitable one, such as everywhere else that big shoulder pads have been used as a costume element, ever.

This is also a decent shape for Blok. By which I mean that he looks a lot less hideous than he frequently did back then. See, back in the old days, Blok kept getting redesigned - first he was kind of tall with a horrible neck-frill kind of thing, then he was squat with no nose, then he had these kind of erupting craters on his shoulders... I think that they eventually said that it was some sort of mutation based on environmental conditions or something but I'm thinking it was just a series of artists who hated drawing him the old way, or felt like messing with the rock guy, or whatever. The only good redesign wasn't really one, it was just this one time that Blok got all shot up and the scars and craters stayed with him for literally years. It was very very cool, in that a character's physical state is usually pretty resistant to change. Even though Batman or whoever has a broken leg and comic book time passes at about the rate of a month a year, he'll be fully recovered by next issue.

Evidently, I like Blok enough that I don't have anything particularly funny to say about him (the picture doesn't help - he should be standing there holding a train over his head or something. All this picture says is "I'm large and I like to accessorize with yellow"). I was sad when he eventually fell victim to the great purge of post-1975 (or so) characters that eventually swept through Legion comics. Booo! bring back Blok, because he is:



spazmo said...

I liked Blok's high pants too, but you didn't include a proper picture of them. Hold on...

Crap. I did a few searches just now and couldn't find a decent picture either!

But I know the pants you mean.
Stripey, right?

Anonymous said...

Approved, sure...but Dark Man? name? I his name? I mean...someone really typed up his name and then wrote no name under it?

As a rationalist and English major the unrealities this entry clings to do nothing but confound me.

Johnathan said...

spazmo: Yeah, the red and blue ones. They were a good cut for him but they looked like he bought them from a clown. I would have found a picture but for some reason I'm doing these reviews under the self-imposed rule that I only use the pictures from the guide-dealy. Oh, the tyranny.

lordofoverstock: the Dark Man didn't just have a dumb name, he had a dumb origin, in that he was a piece of Tharok's brain that had grown into a whole guy and wanted to kill him and the Legion, though I can't remember why.

Blockade Boy said...

Heh. I had forgotten all about Blok's naturally-occurring "clown collar." It was straight-up ridiculous, and I'm glad they got rid of it. Can you imagine having an Elizabethan ruffle of flesh sprouting up below your neck? *shudder* Granted, Blok's was more basic than that -- just a circle of raised rectangles, really -- but the principle's the same.

Johnathan said...

He kind of looked like a frilled lizard that just never got around to getting mad at someone and flipping that thing up.

Jim Drew said...

Perhaps the Dryads didn't have actual names -- he could telepathically talk to sentient rocks at one point, remember, so maybe they just "knew" who each other work by mental strata or some such?

Or maybe Dryads only achieved "names" later in life, when they grew into mountains and settled down to be far less mobile. With his planet blowing up, there would be no one left to name him when the time came that he would get one.

We can give him my Captcha word as a name, though: "Heimphro" Sounds reasonably Blokish to me.