Friday, December 18, 2015

5YL Legion: Who's Who Legion Subs

First off, a wholehearted thank you to Siskoid who did me a solid and substituted for me last Friday. Work got the best of me and the 'LSH post' check box on my to-do list remained unfilled. Thankfully, Siskoid put up his review of the 5YL Annual #2. I owe him thanks for pinch hitting.

And in one of those strange cosmic karma things, it just so happens that what I was planning to post last Friday was the 'Who's Who' loose leaf addition page about the Legion Subs. Coincidence?

There is plenty of things that I love about the 5YL run. But one of the things that really loved was that Giffen and the Bierbaums elevated the Subs and made them respectable. The team had really devolved to mere comic relief in their latter pre-5YL appearances, all written by Giffen.

In 5YL, the became a hard core, well-trained, militarized squad for the resistance fighting the Dominators. Much of the early Terra Mosaic issues focused on the Subs, holed up in a Dominator lab. It was their book. And they showed their skills, holding off the Dominators, taking out a brainwashed super-powered force, and being key in the freeing Earth.

The text page is rather brilliant. It gives a nice history of the Substitute Legion from its inception to second Rokk-led Subs, to their ultimate dissolution during the economic collapse that led to the 5YL universe.

This does help fill in some questions about the 5YL history. We learn that they tried to reform under Polar Boy but quickly realized they couldn't be open in their heroics in this Dominator-led Earthgov. And so they went underground, joining Jacques Foccart, and were trained. At last the became the Superhuman Underground Battle Squad ... or S.U.B.S.!

The art on the page is done by Ty Templeton and I usually love his art. It is fine here. But the picture doesn't really highlight the team as much as I'd like. Fire Lad's face is hidden behind his gun. We barely see Infections Lass. And it looks like Stone Boy is either absent or just a tiny figure in the back. The text page picture is better, highlighting the team in their early days. But I don't like that Night Girl is off to the side, almost scowling at the team. She was always an eager part of the team. Polar Boy looking embarrassed is one thing. Lydda turning her back to the team is quite another.

Still, there is no doubt that the 5YL book as very good for the team.
Later, Geoff Johns has them take a slight step backwards, reintroducing them in Superman, having them ride the 'short bus', and acting more unhinged.

1 comment:

  1. Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel and Matter- Eater Lad would have made great substitute members !