Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Legion Love: Adventure Comics #862

I know it's a cliche for a comics blogger to say, but I love the Legion of Superheroes. It's not my fault though! Regular readers of YouAreComic will know that when it comes to comic-book wackiness I'm a grade A sucker. So it's hardcoded into my DNA that I'll like the Legion. I mean they're a group of teenage super-heroes in the 30th century inspired by the world's biggest boy scout to engage in Sex-Pistols-esque rebellion against the crusty old powers-that-be! Plus they have names like 'Bouncing Boy' and 'Karate Kid' for crying out loud!

How can you not love the Legion.

That being said there is one thing that's 100 times better than even the Legion.

That my friends, is the Legion of Substitute Heroes!

Whoever came up with the idea of the Subs is a peerless genius of comic-book wackiness. Take every wacko with powers too wild, too crazy or just too damn dopey to get them on the team alongside luminaries such as 'Matter Eater Lad' and 'Shrinking Violet'. Band them together in a utterly useless but thoroughtly hysterical fighting force and watch the hijinks ensue.

It's a winning formula that never fails. So there was no way Adventure Comics #862 could do anything but kick ass.

I was already loving the Superman/Legion storyline Geoff Johns had going on, but when part five rolled around and he handed the limelight over to the Subs I crossed over into comc-book nirvana!

My favorite Sub of all time really gets a chance to shine in this issue. I am of course talking about the grandmaster of granite, the emporer of inertia, the one, the only - Stone Boy:
Up Yours Roy!

Finally an answer to the age old question. What can one man do against such mighty foes as Gold Boy (tee hee), Eyeful Ethel (tee hee hee) and Radiation Roy (BWAH HAH HAH!), when his only weapons are his power to turn into a statue and a stolen school bus!

If this scene does not cement Stone Boy's place as your favorite Legionaire of all time then clearly you have no soul. I mean c'mon when was the last time Cosmic Boy or Shadow Lass knocked a big honking dent in thier tin-plated enemies while sassing them with obscene hand gestures?

Now I know Stone Boy's non-vocal obscenities alone make this issue a must-buy but our buddy Geoff Johns decides to spoil us by having everyone's other favorite Sub, Chlorophyll Lad utter the best line in the book:
The ferns cry out for retribution, tee hee hee

Sure power-wise Chlorophyll Lad is just like a million other 'plant-guys' out there in comic-book land. What sets him apart from squares like Plantman and the Gardener is that CL thinks he can talk to plants...when actually he can't. Every fern he hears crying out for retribution is in fact just a little voice in his head. That is makes Chlorophyll Lad the clown prince of comic book wackiness! What super-team wouldn't be made better by a member who may be distracted in the heat of battle by a chatty ficus? I hope any would-be Avengers/Justice League writers out there are taking notes.

A few notable Subs are missing, like Infectious Lass and Porcupine Pete, but all those that do show up in this issue get their moment to shine. From Rainbow Girl clocking Eyeful Ethel to Fire Lad melting Gold Boy into mush, I ate up every second.

Of course nothing quite topped Stone Boy sticking it to Radiation Roy. I can't get enough of those guys, let's see some more:
Nyah! Nyah! Screw You Roy!

That's so great. I swear I laugh out loud every time I see that scene! C'mon DC make with a Stone Boy vs Radiation Roy limited series already! That would be awesome! You know I would buy it!

In all seriousness though, this issue was fantastic. The main non-Subs part of the issue is every bit as cool as the madness described above. The story thus far is that Earth-man, a bitter Legion reject, and his other jerkass Legion reject cronies have convinced the world that Superman's alien origin is a fraud and turned the people of Earth against all aliens. In the process they've made the Legion public enemy number one on Earth, and the Earth public enemy number one in the rest of the universe.

The action gets kicked into high gear at the end of this issue when the currently powerless Superman (due to some doohickey using the captured Sun Boy to turn the sun red) finally confronts Earth Man alone.

Being that Earth Man has the super-powers of all the Legionaires combined and Supes has all the powers of a bumbling, bespectacled Daily Planet reporter, you might imagine that this will be quite a one-sided battle.

You'd be wrong:
When Supes says 'let's take this outside' he's not fooling around

People tend to forget that before he was Superman Clark Kent came from Kansas, a land were toothless, beer-swilling, redneck hicks like to beat seven shades of shit out of one another in twice nightly bar-room brawls. A place where even little girls with pigtails will drop a goddamn house on your witchy ass if you tick them off. Earth-man is about to learn you can take the kryptonian out of Kansas but you can't take Kansas out of the kryptonian!

It's a killer cliff-hanger tp leave us hanging on, and believe me the conclusion issue does not dissapoint. Geoff Johns did a stupendous job on this storyline. If you haven't read it already you should definately go pick up the whole shebang - this issue is just the tip of the quality iceberg.

In other news, congratulations go to Radiation Roy who beat out previous title holders Paste Pot Pete and Ice Box Bob to be named 'Best Named Character of All Time'.
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