I'm not the biggest Frank Quitely fan so I don't love this cover, and I'm not that into "mood" covers in general, I prefer action, and speech bubbles, and maybe some kind of dilemma. But this turned out to be a fun issue among my new comics this week, and the interior art on the main story is by Jerry Ordway, so I'm not complaining about that. Then also factor in that the story is by Paul Levitz and incorporates the Legion of Superheroes, well, it's potentially as much a milestone as it wants to be. The story itself isn't very groundbreaking, mind you. Standard fare. However, I personally never care much about the setup to create an unusual team-up, I guess I'm just not very picky. An evil clone is pursued all over the time stream by the Legion, running into Superman and Batman and then Superboy, though if they wanted to make it as symmetrical as this title usually is, they could have also had the teenage Bruce Wayne. Maybe teen Bruce could have gained superpowers and gone to the future and become "Legionnaire for a Day!" but then lost his powers and memory. Can you tell I read a lot of Silver Age? Well, that doesn't happen, but this fun scene does:
I'm wondering what Batman had to clear out of that pouch so Salu could fit in there...maybe he just has to hope they don't run into any sharks that day. And can people in the DCU see those labels all the Legionnaires have? Is that a feature of the flight rings, like a nametag? Anyway, that scene is something new, though I imagine Ray Palmer has probably had to ride around in one of Batman's smelly, chemical-soaked pouches before. A final note about that, I really like this version of Shrinking Violet's costume, it's like the 2960's never ended. It's got that groove.
But that's not all! There are a bunch of bonus features, including a two page Supergirl/Batgirl tribute by Adam "Girls Don't Have Hips" Hughes. Here's a chunk of it:
...leading up to, you guessed it, the number one "Most Memorable" moment in DC History, so fortunately timed on the part of Adam Hughes. I cut that out because seeing that once was enough...and am I the only one who found it more memorable when the Joker shot at and missed Fire (JLI Annual #2)? I guess so.
Some other new fish:
Justice League of America #48: The "Dark Things" crossover with the Justice Society wraps up into a neat little package with everyone pulling together, believing in themselves, drinking milk and staying in school. There's some sentimental Alan Scott schlock andddd...big finish, big finish, jazz hands! But it's actually a good ish, I don't mean to sound negative, basically good old fashioned saving the world against a cosmic threat type stuff, nothing wrong with that. And Kyle Rayner gets off some good zingers, I miss that from the Magnificent Seven days. One in particular has to do with what may be the most noteworthy moment, the always semi-creepy Obsidian declaring he has to "join" with his sister Jade. Never before has the word "ickypants" taken on such significance.
Superman: Secret Origin #6: It's Superman's origin. Again. I once swore I'd never buy Superman's origin. Again. But apparently I was wrong, what got me out this time was, well, I guess that it'd never been done by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank before. Now that we've reached the end, I'll sum up by giving Johns about a 3 out of 5, there were some neat tricks, but a lot of cliche stuff, like "the army is always evil, and any angry woman is always right". I can turn on the TV and see the same thing. And I really find it kind of unimaginative that Clark is embarrassed initially to wear his costume, I would much prefer it if despite Clark being a nice, good person, he is also kind of a strange boy with strange powers who just wants to wear a strange outfit. And the way Superman's goodness and optimism is handled is also pretty well by rote. Frank really outdid himself artwise, even if I don't really need the two main characters to look so much like Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder. But his range of expressions brought me back to Kevin Maguire, and that was a lot of fun, and the action sequences were pretty solid. I also think I like the new look of Metallo, it's a throwback that even includes a nod to Curt Swan thigh high boots, but also has its own unique horror-movie creepiness. So a 4.5 out of 5 for Frank's art.