Thursday, May 5, 2016

B & B (v3) #34: The Legion & The Doom Patrol!

The Brave & The Bold (v3) #34 (July, 2010)
title: "Out Of Time!" Part One
writer: J. Michael Straczynski
artis: Jesus Saiz
lettering: Rob Leigh
colorist: Tom Chu
asst editor: Chris Conroy 
editor: Joey Cavalieri  
cover: Jesus Saiz
reviewer: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage

Mission Monitor Board:  
Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Lightning Lad of The Legion of Super-Heroes; Robot Man, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, and The Chief of The Doom Patrol

A black hole heading towards Earth

Lighting Lad on routine patrol comes across a black hole. He barely escapes its gravitational pull and arrives back on Earth. He tells Saturn Girl and Cosmic Boy that he thinks they have three or four weeks before it will arrive, when it suddenly appears in our solar system.* They can't do anything to stop it now, so they decide to head back in time.
They rush to their Time Bubble, which mysteriously shifts its location.* They jump ahead one hour to see Earth explode, so decide to go back in time to look for help. They need someone who can control a ridiculous amount of energy, and Saturn Girl has a suggestion.
We switch to "the present," where the Doom Patrol is training in a  type of "danger room." The Legion arrives and quickly explains their problem. Negative Man agrees to Lightning Lad's plan, so they head back to the Time Bubble, which has moved again.*
In the time stream, the teams suddenly stop when the time bubble's tachyon collector gets stuck. Going into the 4-D engine room linked to the bubble they find a pink and white fluff literally clogging up the works. Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad tease Cosmic Boy about it, but he swears it's not his.*
After they start moving forward in time again, Saturn Girl tries to explain time travelling to Elasti-Girl, who finds it hard to understand.
Lightning Lad explains that they are going to try to test Hawking's Principle: that if a source expels more energy than it takes in it will fail. Lightning Lad will provide positive energy, Negative Man will provide negative energy, Robot Man will provide the grounding force, Cosmic Boy will keep them safe behind a magnetic force, and Saturn Girl will keep all of them in contact. Elasti-Girl will
watch over the energy output in the time bubble.
Robot Man's body begins to deteriorate as his mind gets "high," just as Elasti-Girl sees a time surge* that jumps all of them forward in time. This causes their efforts to multiply exponentially, crushing the black hole. Earth is saved!

The Legion drops off the Doom Patrol back in their present, and the Chief tells his friends that he has had the worst day of his life...!*
To Be Continued.....!!

This issue is a hoot. It starts off strong with a serious threat, moves ahead logically, and is beautiful to look at. It has bits of comedy along with the drama, and the conclusion wraps everything up nicely. Well...mostly.

Right away we get the feeling that everything isn't exactly as it appears. The black hole suddenly threatening Earth and the movement of the time bubbles had me thinking that there was some additional threat behind the black hole. The "fluff" scene made me realize that it probably wasn't a threat after all, but I had no idea WHAT was really going on.  Then the story ends, with a "to be continued" blurb, which left me a bit confused.

Otherwise, the plot was good. Each of the characters had something to do, with Elasti-Girl getting the least amount of the action by just piloting the time bubble. Still, using five of your six characters in a logical and exciting way is quite the accomplishment.

The characterization was spot on, atleast to me. I have always thought that the Legion was founded by FRIENDS, so never liked the overly-brash characterization of Lighting Lad you can see in the cartoon and in the Reboot. I like to think of the Founders as a three-legged table: each plays an integral part, and if you take one out the whole thing collapses. So, that being said, the scenes at the beginning where Cos and Imra clearly are concerned about Garth, and later when Garth and Imra are clearly teasing Cos about "his pink fluff" work for me.

Likewise, the characterization of the Doom Patrol is great. Similar to the Founders, these three "freaks" need and love each other. Hence the teasing in-between the support.

What can I say about the art? It's fantastic. The men are handsome and the women are beautiful.

As I said, my one problem with this story is that it continues next issue. The adventure appears to wrap up, so I was very curious how it could possibly continue.....Turns out that for every asterisk (*) listed above in the plot synopsis, there is a plot point addressed in the second half! We'll cover that story next week.

Science Police Notes:  
  • The splash page features the creator credit, "The Doom Patrol was created by Arnold Drake." 
  • This story has to take place in Legion continuity before Colossal Boy was admitted as a member. Saturn Girl tells Elasti-Girl that the Legion has no space-suits for people whose size expands, which they would if he had been an active member. That means the story occurs before Action Comics #267. 
  • Likewise, the story has to take place in Doom Patrol continuity after The Doom Patrol #89 (Aug 1964), the story where Elasti-Girl and Negative Man first wore their red and white uniforms. 
This story has not yet been reprinted.

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