Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Review of Lazy Costuming Syndrome, By Johnathan

Every once in a while, you may see/ have seen me complain about something called "Lazy Costuming Syndrome" - heck, I think that there's a tag for it, I've bitched about it so much (yep, there it is down there). Since I have some good examples of this dreaded affliction on hand, I thought it might be fun to pin down exactly what I'm talking about in these drunken ramblings of mine. NOTE: I'm not actually drunk... this time.

Lazy Costuming Syndrome (LCS) can affect characters, writers and artists. It is characterized by a super-hero or -villain wearing as a permanent or long-term costume the clothes that they were wearing when they either acquired their powers or first put them to use in thwarting or perpetuating crime. There are two major sub-strains of this disease: Strain LB (for Lucky Bastard) and Strain LD (for Laundry Day). This syndrome is not exclusive to residents and writers of DC's 30th Century Earth, but is especially prevalent among them, possibly because virtually everybody in that particular fictional century is wearing some freaky tights-and-tunic-or-whatever getup that could qualify as a super-suit of some kind.

Strain LB affects characters by having them already in possession of a suitable costume when their moment of truth arrives, and occurs in a variety of levels of severity - the mildest cases appear in characters such as the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, who fights crime in a Hallowe'en costume that she was wearing when she happened upon a Killer Mothing-in-progress. Indeed, some experts argue that Gordon doesn't possess the disease at all, as she is perhaps the most severe case of the Coincidentis Virus on record, being a judo-, computer- and gymnastics-expert, who's adopted father the Police Commissioner happened to be Batman's best friend and who stumbled upon a crime-in-progress whilst wearing a superhero outfit and having something to prove re: her ability to smack down baddies.

Slightly more severe is the case in which a character comes from a race or group who share the same power and choose to glorify this in their everyday outerwear. Stone Boy, above, is an example of such. His people run around in bright orange getups that work perfectly well as third-rate super-hero costumes, with a logo and everything. Although I suppose it's possible that those are ceremonial hibernation clothes that everyone is wearing, which would mean that Stone Boy spent a number of years fighting crime in his pajamas. Either way, it's evident that Distant World does not possess an abundance of graphic designers - that rock is hideous.

Polar Boy is another example of this level of LCS, Strain LB, in that he is a member of the cold-projecting subset of the population of Planet Tharr and, judging from the above evidence, this entitles him to wear the little purple-and-fur number that we all know and love so well. Why, it is even likely that he already thought of himself as a Champion of Justice, in a lifelong struggle against the machinations of the evil Sun! Which is why I want to see Polar Boy in a costume modeled after the Kool-Aid Man.

Perhaps the most extreme case of Strain LB known, Fire Lad defied the laws of logic and causality and greatly advanced the field of LCS research by acquiring fire-based powers while taking a pleasant stroll wearing an almost excessively fire-based costume. Neither Fire Lad nor Science has been able to provide an explanation of why he might do so, and the level of LCS in his system at the time has been theorized as being near-lethal.

The LD Strain of LCS has similar symptoms to the LB, in that it causes the hero or villain to adopt whatever they were wearing at the time of their first foray into adventure as their costume. The effect is markedly different, however, in that the victims of LD Strain LCS essentially end up wearing their everyday clothes. The effects of this strain can be seen in heroes such as the Jack Knight Starman or Matter-Eater Lad (just because it's skin-tight doesn't mean it's a costume, Tenzil). It may never be known what percentage of the 30th Century super-human populace are afflicted, due to the above-noted fact that virtually every citizen of that time wears on an average day an outfit that wouldn't look out of place on, say, a one-shot Justice League Europe villain. Documented cases include Bouncing Boy and Mon-El, but by far the most dramatic is that of the ill-used Legionnaire Tyroc:

Note that Tyroc first used his powers at the age of about seven or eight and from that point wore exactly the same high-collared, gold-chained playsuit that he had had on that fateful day, down to the little Robin-style pixie boots. i would commend him for taking the little sleeves off around the time that he hit 14, but I suspect that he did it because they were starting to cut off the circulation in his arms. Perhaps the most telling sign that LCS was involved in the clothing choices of Tyroc is the fact that someone chose to send a small, seemingly non-super boy out to play in a gleamingly white outfit. Extra-dimensional island only sporadically connected to earth or not, no parent in their right mind would even consider such an act unless under the insidious thumb of this frighteningly pervasive disease.

LCS is NOT APPROVED, despite some giggles on my part.

Monday, April 21, 2008

SARLSH, Part 7 (The End), By Johnathan

Hooray!It's the end of the Supplement to the Addendum to the Review of the Legion of Super-Heroes! Let's do it!


As might be becoming apparent, I quite liked these late additions to the Legion. They represented a conscious effort on various writer's parts to inject some new life into a group that had become fairly static, member-wise, at about the time Jim Shooter stopped writing stories. I mean, this is a team that had 24 members within its first ten years and then admitted 13 more in the next two decades or so - and four of those new members (White Witch, Timber Wolf, Chemical King, Polar Boy) had appeared in that first decade, while a fifth - Invisible Kid - was basically a sequel to one of the original 24. Tellus and Quislet were pretty much the only non-humanoids in the first iteration of the Legion. I mean, Tellus is still pretty humanoid, but at least he has a fish face and a tail and little stunted legs instead of being a Klingon-style "guy with some sort of extra crap on his head" alien. I always figured that he was based on this one ocean-dwelling telepathic mutant that teamed up with the Legion to fight excessively Mod aliens this one time, which is nice because I liked that story.

Sadly for people like me who like the new members, they've suffered significant attrition as a result of 'New Writer's Syndrome' which is a condition that I made up to describe the tendency of someone taking over the writing chores on a comic book to gleefully slaughter any members of the supporting cast that were introduced by the old writer (this is why I am so concerned for the Head now that Gail Simone has left The All-New Atom), whether for cheap dramatic effect or because the new writer just doesn't like 'em. The Legion is especially vulnerable on this front, for a couple of reasons: firstly, because that 'original 24' I mentioned has been established as the canon Legion and are basically there to stay (barring the occasional dramatic event), and secondly because in a team book - especially one in which the team members don't have solo super-careers - everyone is supporting cast. In essence, this means that everyone who joined the Legion after Princess Projectra and Karate Kid (non-inclusive, I guess) is fair game for ignoble death, mutilation and non-inclusion in reboots. I haven't read the Legion comic in which Tellus was killed off - heck, I don't know for sure that he does die - but I'm not holding my breath.

Anyway, aside from making the Legion seem less like a Humans and Humanoids Only Club, Tellus filled much the same role as Blok: philosophical outsider who didn't quite "get" what was up with those crazy humans. Nothing new, really, though Tellus has the added element of attracting a fairly incessant stream of racist commentary from Wildfire on the subject of Tellus being a useless fish-asshole. The Legion does not, it seems, have much concern for cultural or species-related sensitivity, or perhaps were reluctant to embark on the logistically nightmarish task of trying to throw a guy made of antimatter out of a building. Tellus' powers (not shown, boo) of sub-Saturn Girl-level telepathy and telekinesis were useful, plus it was always fun to see him zoom through the air with is little legs trailing behind him. I also liked the fact that his given name (Ganglios) would be a great moniker for a brain-based super-villain (as opposed to fish-based super-hero) to sport, though this name-related joy is dampened by the fact that his super-hero name is one letter away from being shared by a most irritating telephone company.

Bah. Over all, I like Tellus, but for me he's kind of become symbolic of misused Legion characters, and so I get grumpy when I think about him too much.



The White Witch is a venerable character - she first appeared way back in (issue), during that whole escapade with Evillo and his mythic crew. She was there as the Hag, a cackly old witch of the Hansel and Grethel sort, and eventually her dear sister Dream Girl arranged to change her back. Subsequently, she turned up now and then when the Legion had some sort of magical trouble and Brainiac 5 was going into a Batman-as-willful-idiot fugue state ("Nope, I categorically deny the existence of magic. It's completely impossible that it exists. Laughable, really, why... hold on, Zauriel, I have the Spectre on the other line."). Eventually, she got mixed in with the whole Mordru/Sorcerer's World shebaz and I think that it was as a result of one of the LSH's interminable battles with The Poorly-Dressed Sorcerer that Mysa finally joined up, some twenty-odd years after her introduction. She was originally a sultry redhead, but I'm pretty fond of the pale n' wispy redesign, shown here, and especially of the eyelash-antennae, which are tied in to this neat theme of magic in Legion continuity - the better you are at it, the weirder-looking you get. There are all these wizards and witches on Sorcerer's world made of water and plants and such, Mysa's all pale and antennaed and Mordru's outfit is magically awful (seriously, I think that there are flashbacks to when he was less evil/powerful in which his helmet isn't as gaudy and the wings are smaller).

The White Witch was a fun addition to a team of bickering egoists, which was kind of what the Legion was at the time. She was thoughtful and spiritual rather than argumentative and moody, plus she palled around with Blok a lot. She also added a lot of power and versatility to the team: though her magic operated under D&D rules (lots of studying, only so many spells in her head at one time, once a spell is cast it's gone) she was pretty good at improvising with what she had on hand spell-wise to keep her more hapless teammates alive.

As for the picture: it's a very good rendering of the White Witch costume, though I don't know what the hell she's doing. This is further evidence, though, that Polar Boy should be making a snowflake in his picture - together with Element Lad and the White Witch, they'd have a theme going!


(and just because she's not a comic nerd and thus it's noteworthy, she's also JOHN'S GIRLFRIEND ANN APPROVED)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

SARLSH, Part 6, By Johnathan


I know I'm pretty casual about the ol' spoilers when the stories that I'm writing about were printed 20+ years ago, but in this case I'm going to make an exception. The mystery of who Sensor Girl actually is is kind of a neat one and I wish that I hadn't known going in. So fair warning: if you don't already know and you think that you might be reading through the relevant Legion comics some day, skip this review.


Okay, on with the review. Sensor Girl joined the Legion at the same time as Polar Boy and so forth, without any testing or auditions. Saturn Girl merely read her mind and vouched for her suitability. This occasioned no small amount of comment, but Sensor Girl made it in. Her powers and abilities weren't spelled out right away but rather revealed piece-by-piece over the course of a fair number of issues. As I recall (I'm not at my own computer as I write this) she showed a wide range of enhanced senses, plus the ability to remove the senses of another, plus the occasional anomalous occurrence of super strength and suchlike.

Eventually, everyone was going nuts trying to figure out who she was - half the team thought that she had mind-controlled Saturn Girl or was Saturn Girl herself and the other half thought that she was somehow the recently-Anti-Monitored-to-death Supergirl, especially poor Brainiac 5. Ultra Boy tried to peek at her with his Penetra-vision (and my inner English major pegs this as possibly the ultimate expression of the Male Gaze) only to discover that she was apparently an empty costume, just flying around! The Legion was wracked with consternation!

Who was she, you ask? Turns out, she was Princess Projectra, filled with sadness over Karate Kid's death and unable to just hang out on Orando but not quite square with the Legion after, you know, murdering Nemesis Kid. The super-senses were new - she got them from ancestor spirits or something - but everything else was skillfully-applied illusion power. And the Legion must have enjoyed the mystery enough to overlook one little murder. Actually, the same thing happened with Star Boy, didn't it? He killed someone, waited a little while, put in an appearance in a new costume and ka-pow! all is forgiven and forgotten, murder-wise. Maybe it's just the novelty of seeing a new costume around the place?

Speaking of costumes, I like this one. As a Canadian, a red-and-white colour scheme evokes feelings of a patriotic nature within me (this is why I always vote for Santa Claus). As well, I am inordinately fond of double-breasted uniforms like Captain Marvel's and though this isn't quite that, it mimics the style enough for mine eyes. The only thing that I don't like about this costume is the super-wide shoulders, but it wouldn't really be a mid-Eighties costume design without some hint of that decade's awful, awful fashion sense.

Shoulders and all, she's:


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oops! A Retrospective Review, By Johnathan

Gah, I just realized that I completely missed an opportunity to review something as it was happening, rather than ten to forty years after the fact.. Action Comics No. 862 featured one of the best portrayals of the Legion of Substitute Heroes ever. I wish that I had my copy of that issue on hand to scan a few exemplary panels, but most of my nerdish literature is packed up in anticipation of an early May move. In essence, this version of the Subs struck a fantastic balance: they were funny without being ridiculous and effective while still being obviously unready for the Legion proper. Best of all, they weren't whiners - they didn't just sit around crying about how they weren't good enough and should just give up and go home before the real Legion told them off. This super-enthusiastic bunch of devil-may-care screwups is basically fantastic.

Plus: Rainbow Girl! Back in continuity after twenty or thirty years, with more interesting powers that justify her rejection from the Legion (better than that 'her green form is kryptonite' crap, anyway) and tenuously tied into the highly compelling stuff going on in Green Lantern right now! Rainbow Girl, yeah!

Friggin' right it's JOHN APPROVED

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

SARLSH, Part 5, By Johnathan


Yay, Quislet! Quislet was fun! I miss him.

Quislet was an energy being from a dimension of such. He basically flew around in a special little spaceship all of the time, and had the power to leap out of it and inhabit inanimate matter, thus animating it as illustrated here, in what is possibly the best example of someone's power in this whole collection of images. That robot looks sassy! Quislet tended, in fact, to create pretty fun shapes while inhabiting things. The other aspect of his power (not mentioned above, for shame) was that once he had occupied some matter for long enough it disintegrated, which I always thought was a neat little caveat. I don't know that it really featured very much in the stories, though... I think that maybe he destroyed a vital part of some super-villain's evil machinery once by inhabiting it, but not much else springs to mind.

The closest I've ever come to figuring out Quislet's name is that it's derived from quisling, and means something like "little traitor" - which is kind of apt since he was a free-thinking outsider in his home dimension and stole his little ship from his people, but I don't know if I, in a similar situation, would advertise this pseudo-treachery whilst trying to join a super-heroic group.

Mr. Untranslatable was a "wacky alien" type of character, the kind that doesn't quite think like everyone else and watches/quotes a lot of television (presumably. It's never shown but it's implied). I found him a nice departure from the so-very-serious Legion that had developed by the time he was inducted, but I guess that others didn't think so. He eventually lost his spaceship and had to go back to his home dimension, and despite the fact that he was likely assimilated or killed by his people once he got there, basically no one has mentioned him since. Hell, he didn't even get a statue, even though it'd be more like a model kit. This, I think, shows some level of disdain on the part of Legion writers. Sad sad sad.

Quislet is JOHN APPROVED, while his treatment is NOT APPROVED.

SARLSH, Part 4, By Johnathan


I've discussed Polar Boy as a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes in a prior review, so this time I'm just going to talk about his time in the Legion proper, so as to avoid repeating myself. After years and years of trying, Brek Bannin finally became a Legionnaire at the same time as Magnetic Kid et al, whether due to the fact that he'd been doing a really good job in the Legion farm team for years and years or because they needed a few more folk around the clubhouse for tax purposes, I'm not sure. I was pretty fond of Legion Polar Boy, both because I had always liked him and because he had attained this huge goal that had coloured his whole life and it completely showed in whatever he did. When he was hanging out with the other new recruits he was full of good advice from his days in the Subs, while around the old-school Legionnaires he just tried so damn hard, to the point that he campaigned for and won leadership of the Legion. He made a good leader, too, as far as his being readable is concerned - instead of instantly becoming a giant dick (see Wildfire, Lightning Lad) or constantly doubting himself (see Lightning Lad). I mean, he did doubt himself, but for good reasons, as he was constantly struggling with the fact that he was now the leader of a big, complicated organization like the Legion instead of something small and simple like the Substitute Legion.

What I didn't like about this iteration of PB was the costume. I mean, he always had a lousy costume, what with the lavender and the fur trim and all. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the more fashion-conscious Legionnaires (Uh... I'm sure that there have been some. Saturn Girl? No no, the pink thing. Well, maybe Brainiac 5 was testing a fashionist-o-matic or Blockade Boy was visiting or something) voted against him because of that thing. This new costume is... close. If only it were, say, light blue instead of lavender. Also, I hate the weird shoulder hoops. I understand that Polar Boy is a small guy and he needs to compensate to some extent, but sheesh. take those things off, though, maybe slap the old costume's logo on the back and this could be an okay costume. The skullcap alone, as a replacement for the toque-cowl, was a giant step in the right direction.

As for the 'demonstration of powers' portion of this picture... well, it's somewhat lacking. Blasting out a snowman is a very 1960s Iceman stunt, really. Polar Boy was usually more about volume of ice produced rather than being concerned with what form it took, but as I recall, his sculptures were always a bit nicer than this. I don't know - seeing as how he's adopting essentially the same pose as Element Lad did, wouldn't it make more sense for him to have produced a snowflake-ized version of that stupid big atom?

Ayup, Polar Boy is:


(EDIT: Note the shift in spacing toward the end. You may have noticed this in earlier posts - this is a symptom of me having written a review on another computer and taken it home one way or another to cut and paste. Blogger does not like this - perhaps it views the writing of posts in another program as some sort of cyber-infidelity. In any case, until I find a quick and efficient way to fix this sort of thing and/or I stop writing reviews in inappropriate settings, we all get to suffer through inconsistent formatting)

(PS: These Legion reviews are kind of serious compared to my regular stuff, huh? I don't know if anybody cares, but if you do, rest assured that there'll be all kinds of Superhuman Detritus, Future Zoo-ing, High-Tech Tomorrows and Detective Comics Firsts, soon soon soon. Heck, I might even finally get the Henchman Fashion File off the ground. In the meantime, scroll down - Paul posted!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Review of ROM CHECK FAIL by Paul

So TIGSource organized a competition where you make a game in three weeks from a randomly generated title.

So if you are actually back now, from clicking the links, you might already know all about the competition and the video game name generator which you can test out yourself. I know you will click it.

Defiantly you read on. Although my game, currently in development, is much better, its important to note GRA has taken 6 months + so far while ROM CHECK FAIL(winner of the aforementioned) took only 3 weeks.

ROM CHECK FAIL, and the competition, takes what I would normally consider a creative writing exercise and runs it against video game design. That's a really good idea and I should know. My game GOODBYEROBOTARMY was created quite randomly after an episode of Stephen Colbert's The Word(A segment that appears in episodes. I don't know how to properly talk about them.). It's one of those witty phrases that appear beside Stephen's head. Pretty Random. Pretty Awesome. So thanks guys but there never really was a competition at all... but seriously:

ROM CHECK FAIL was my introduction to a larger community of indy game designers and confirmation that clever people in three weeks can make a game that is more fun to play than EVE online(not done after all these years) which never seems to be ready or finished in any way imaginable(Hire me!). The TIGSource guys seem smart and maybe they might give me some props one of these days.

Jarringly familiar ROM CHECK FAIL won the competition and as far as I can tell became an instant cult classic. That's what we reviewers say sometimes when we "take on the voice of a reviewer." I suppose a cult classic is something that isn't really important but seems to speak to you directly in some subtle way. At least that's my definition. As with many of the competitors, the title of the game usually featuring two to three things that don't really belong together, is resolved, in quite a literal manner, by the implementation of the game. ROM CHECK FAIL is no exception. It tells the story of game ROMs merging together, phasing in and out of each other as though they are all playing at once, the rules of the world changing every 5-10 seconds if not less. After 5 to 10 minutes of playing it feels like something that has been missing from your game playing life.

Like the wiimote ROM CHECK FAIL does only one thing well but the idea within seems transferable and explosive like my upcoming title:

Radioactive Mind Control Onslaught

At this moment i'd like to publish a few randomly generated names from the program thus reserving them for myself:

Upcoming games by Paul and John:

International Spelling Factory
Go Go Batman Rave
Kirby's Terrorist Encounter
Naughty Wagon III
Super Sexy Sniper Omega
Underwater Vegetarian Shootout
No One Can Stop The Hammer Collection

I think I shall be making my own implementation of a random game name generator sometime soon in the future. This one will have to do for now. Macromedia? Cmon guys.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

SARLSH, Part 3, By Johnathan


There was a point not long before this guide was released that the three charter members of the Legion of Super-Heroes had all semi-retired. Lightning Lad and Saturn girl had gotten married and had a baby (and a Validus!) and Cosmic Boy was... doing stuff. I don't know, maybe he was working on his music or something. In any case, this paved the way for the newly re-electrified Lightning Lass, the somewhat-telepathic Tellus and Magnetic Kid, who was Cosmic boy's little brother, Pol.

Now, Pol had been kicking around Legion continuity for a while. He got blown up pretty good in the late Seventies (by terrorists, I think) and kicked around the Legion Academy for much of the early Eighties, which might provide a clue as to why Cosmic Boy retired all of a sudden: his parents called him up and told him that it was Pol's turn to be a super-hero.

Pol was okay, I guess. He was a bit wide-eyed and inexperienced, which was refreshing, but the group was pretty big while he was on it, and therein lay the problem: when he wasn't saying anything, Magnetic Kid was indistinguishable from Cosmic Boy. It's kind of puzzling, actually. I mean, if I had the same superpowers as my brother (note: I think my brother's powers are headbutt-based) and I joined a group in which my brother had been a charter member and served on for years, I think that I might dress a little differently than him, rather than wearing, oh, the same costume. Seriously Pol - you went so far as to use a different hero name, so why not mix up the outfit a bit, too? A little blue instead of pink, maybe a hat? A vintage pinstripe suit with a horseshoe magnet on the lapel? Hell, if you're ripping off Rokk's costume designs why not kit up in the one with the fishbowl helmet? Kids (nine hundred and seventy-odd years from) today...

Not a bad picture, though. A lot more action than the last few have had, for one thing, and for another, I like the swirly blue magnetism. I also like that Magnetic Kid is using his magnetism to levitate what is patently a stone block. I'm sure that if we were to examine it we'd find a cannon ball lodged in the far side or something, but still.


Magnetic Kid also had what was possibly the most pointless Legion death ever. During the Magic Wars (which I found somewhat dreary to begin with) the team tracked the awful evil totally forgettable bad guy to one particular planet (was it the Sorcerer's World? I can't remember. Probably - writers love blowing that place all to hell) only to find that it was encased in a magical shell that could only be opened by the sacrifice of a human life. Magnetic Kid bravely gives his life to open the shield... and it turns out that that was exactly what the evil guy wanted. Further, from what I gathered from reading the rest of the story, he was eventually going to bust out of there himself. So Pol Krinn died so that the Legion could get to the bad guy maybe half an hour earlier. Whee!

For pointless deathery and bad costume decisions, Magnetic Kid is:


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Supplement to the Addendum to the Review of the Legion of Super-Heroes (SARLSH), Part Two, By Johnathan


There is a rule that I just came up with: Invisible Kids have lousy costumes. The original, Lyle Norg, had that brown-and-green workout outfit with the headband and all and poor Jaques up there has that yellow-and-black monstrosity. Heck, even the current, totally rebooted and up-to-date and not dead Invisible Kid looks like he just grabbed four or five random things from his closet and called it a costume. It's kind of like they want to be sure that their power will be appreciated every single time that they use it. "Oh, thank Space-God, Jaques. That thing was starting to sear my retinas."

Jaques Foccart got to be the second Invisible Kid basically through random chance. He had come to Legion HQ to get Brainiac 5 to make his sick sister well and then Computo had shown up again and possessed said sister, possibly using nanotechnology. Since Jaques had no powers or anything, Computo just totally ignored him to focus on beating up Legionnaires and in the confusion our pal drank some of the original Invisible Kid's formula (that was just, you know, lying around) and saved the day somehow (it's been a while since I've read the story, okay?). Computer-tyrants take note: underestimate Frenchmen at your peril. Afterward, Jaques joins the team and does okay. Oh, and at one point he starts teleporting as well as turning invisible and ends up in some weird hellscape and finds out that poor Lyle Norg didn't end up boinking some ghost-babe for the rest of time but rather was suffering eternal torment, which was a bit of a bummer.

I like that Invisible Kid II was named Jaques Foccart, because I was an English major and so occasionally read it as Jaques Focault, who would have the combined powers of Jaques Derrida and Michel Foucault, and have a giggle while I imagine him deconstructing the semiotic of the super-hero team (or something like that. I was an English major a while ago). Also, he's from Côte d'Ivoire and as far as I know is the only superhero ever to come from there. Dammit, except for his sister, eventually.

This picture, however... eesh. I kind of hope that it was accidentally released unfinished, because invisibility is really the easiest power to illustrate ever. Just make the outline of his legs dotted instead of solid about halfway down and then ask the colourist to fade out the yellow at about that point. Ta-da! You did it! Alternate method: leave the whole panel blank. As it stands, this is just terrible as a showcase for the character. I mean, when Superman has a shot where he's just standing there with his arms folded, he's at least hovering a foot or so off the ground, right? Take some notes, Jaques.

Invisible Kid II had two modes: brooding and surprised. In the first, he thought a lot about how his sister was sick (she was in a tube for a couple of years before Brainiac fixed her) and how invisibility was a lame power, which showed that he didn't think about the implications of having superpowers so much as read old Maxim articles about lame super-heroes. Don't listen to them, man! Sure you can't fly through the sun, but the sun's boring. You can fly through, say, the changing rooms of the stars. Plus, you can punch villains on the back of the head, which I for one have always wanted to do to Universo. In the other mode, Jaques shocased the fact that he wasn't a super-scientist or an adventurer or something, just some guy who had drank some goop. Every time that Validus or Darkseid or whoever would show up he would jump about a foot and shout "WTF!" Okay, he would shout "Sacre coeur!" but the spirit of the thing was the same. For me, it never got boring.

And that's pretty much that, Invisible Kid II-wise. Except to note that of all of the bad hairdos, post Five Year Gap, his was the worst. Still, on the balance: