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


Blockade Boy said...

I mostly liked this version of the Subs. Stone Boy's "entrance" was classic! I'm just tired of Geoff Johns' theme of "nearly every non-hero is mentally unbalanced", not to mention his hard-on for maiming (ex-Sub Polar Boy's arm, in this case). Johns is a clever guy with a knack for humor -- check out the early issues of "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E." for example -- but his "grim and gritty" stuff is overwrought and just plain tired.

Johnathan said...

True, true. There were more than a couple of problems with the story as a whole, but specific areas were marvelous: the Subs being the primary example of this. At least most of the Justice League of Earth were previously established as being unbalanced, though for Tusker and Eye-ful Ethel it was in an only semi-canonical story. Actually, Ethel was the only evil character that I objected to wholeheartedly - anyone who was willing to give themself that name had to have had a better sense of humour about themself than that, I mean come on.

Johnathan said...

The maiming was over the top, though. Color Kid's eyes? bah!