Our group of candid women with no real Legion knowledge asked to check out the Substitute-Heroes. We're not down to the wire yet, but it feels like we got caught in the barbed variety.
Our honorary Legion members are...
Art-Girl - Quills are made of feathers, and she's afraid of birds.
DJ Nath - Her curiosity is piqued.
Havana Nights - Feels yoga is good for the spine.
Lip-Bomb - Prickly, but never for more than a moment. With her sister Nath, she co-hosts the YouTube channel Mind Linked.
Science Girl - Wants to examine all the roadkill.
Shotgun - Spiking her drink for the occasion.
Moderator: Siskoid - Prick. And from Madawaska, literally "Land of the Porcupines". No joke.
And note that now the girls are now doing a podcast with the same premise, only over in the Marvel Universe in oHOTmu or NOT? every few weeks.
First impressions on Porcupine Pete
Porcupine Pete (Peter Dursin of Earth) was born with rough skin, and soon proved to be a mutant with quills like a porcupine's, which can be projected like shrapnel. It's been suggested he was Irish. Despite not being very huggable, he was raised in a loving home and developed a friendly, approachable personality. Benefiting from local popularity, he was encouraged to try out for the Legion of Super-Heroes as Porcupine Pete, but was rejected for his powers' lack of finesse. After a while, he joined the Subs. Unlike what his powers would suggest, Pete is anything but prickly. He's the type of sweet kid who sends thank you notes. Originally, they teased a budding romance between him and Infectious Lass (they were rejected at the same try-outs), but she ended up with the second Invisible Kid, and he didn't seem to resent it.
Shotgun: I like him.
Art-Girl: He is a sweetheart. He was raised in a loving home and developed a friendly, approachable personality... like that's just great.
DJ Nath: He really does sound adorable.
Shotgun: I don't get why the Irish thing though? Does it really make a difference?
Siskoid: He's probably from Ireland? Just color.
Shotgun: Yeah, except, you know, making him even more lovable because of the sexy accent... He's really huge. Really not the idea I had of him from the description.
Art-Girl: I would love to bring him home to my mother and she would also approve of him.
DJ Nath: He kind of looks like he hasn't shaved his legs in months.
Art-Girl: I love my Irishes.
Shotgun: He's so damn tall!
DJ Nath: Agreed, he is way bigger than I expected. Porcupine Pete does not sound like a huge dude.
Art-Girl: Taller than 5'8"? Can i wear all the heels?
Siskoid: He's not usually that big... I think the other Subs are smallish.
Lip-Bomb: Porcupine Pete! I love alliterations!
Art-Girl: Green Goblin. Peter Parker. They ARE fun!
Havana Nights: I hope he doesn't stink like real porcupines do. Cause they be STANK!
Shotgun: Not sure about the patch of spikes on his chest. Like, that's just weird.
Lip-Bomb: Does he have trouble putting his pants on? He looks like he'd ruin loads of clothes.
DJ Nath: It's kind of funny that his suit has holes for his spikes.
Art-Girl: And on his obliques! They're not well placed, just random.
Lip-Bomb: Yeah maybe the holes aren't so flattering.
DJ Nath: Well I guess bouncy castle dates are out of the question.
Shotgun: Aw, no!
Art-Girl: His kids can never have balloons at birthday parties. No kiddie pool for Pete.
DJ Nath: Poor Pete.
Lip-Bomb: No hot air balloon rides...
Art-Girl: No cuddling. The saddest fact of all.
Siskoid: Can't be in the Legion...
DJ Nath: Aww ouch!
Lip-Bomb: Ooh no Siskoid!
Art-Girl: Aawwwwwwwwwwwww. Too far, Siskoid.
Siskoid: Well, he's in the Subs!
Lip-Bomb: Don't have to rub it in.
Shotgun: Can we stop listing all the thing he can't do... it just makes me sad for the poor guy. Let's be more positive.
DJ Nath: Haha yeah the list of things he can do is way longer. I feel like if you were stuck in a crowd, he could really help you walk through with enough space.
Shotgun: Crap... I was telling myself he'd probably be fine on a camping trip, then I realized he wouldn't be... I mean, you don't want to go camping with someone who would just ruin the tent and mattress.
Siskoid: Well... apparently Matter-Eater Lad once used his quills to put marshmallows on, and Fire Lad's breath to roast them.
Shotgun: HAHAHAHA No! Best story, Smores for days!
Siskoid: It's true! It's in the Legion 2995 RPG supplement!
Lip-Bomb: That's awful and a bit funny.
Art-Girl: His face confuses me. He looks like a guy who dresses as a dog. Like, his mouth area is weird and not human.
Havana Nights: His appearance is more animal like than I expected.
DJ Nath: Very Who from Whoville.
Shotgun: His ears aren't very human either.
DJ Nath: I also expected more spiky hair.
Lip-Bomb: I'm surprised he's human... those are some very big ears.
Havana Nights: He's also huge... Like huge thighs and feet. I don't know if I like it.
Art-Girl: And shoulders. Like, he is wide.
Shotgun: Well, a porcupine isn't really that small. And pretty freaking slow-moving.
DJ Nath: Yeah, he has huge shoes. But I guess it would make me feel better about the size of my feet.
Lip-Bomb: Is his hair a bunch of spikes?
Art-Girl: Spiky hair... don't like that at all. Can't play with it, no fun.
DJ Nath: The white belt thing is distracting.
Lip-Bomb: I like the color of the suit though.
***Science Girl appears virtually***
Science Girl: Ah crap, this thing's tonight? Ahhhhhhh!
Siskoid: We're still on the initial presentation.
Lip-Bomb: You didn't miss much.
Siskoid: Harsh, Lip-Bomb.
Lip-Bomb: Aww I didn't... wasn't meant to be... gaww!
Science Girl: One sec, I'm almost home.
Art-Girl: Run, Science Girl, runnnnnnnnnnnn!
Science Girl: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh Ahhhhhh
DJ Nath: I wish his suit wasn't a turtle neck. Only one animal at a time, please.
Shotgun: I think it's fun that he can use his spikes as projectiles.
DJ Nath: Would he be really good at darts?
Siskoid: Well... he's got control issues. Here's how his try-out went, if only because it's my favorite try-out of them all. It also shows his lack of finesse. Much later, he learned to shoot his quills in actual directions, at different speeds, and even to shoot one at a time, very precisely. But through most of his career, it was a bit of a blast radius there.
Science Girl: Oh no I'm losing signal.
Shotgun: Ooofff, Superboy is not impressed.
Science Girl: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh
DJ Nath: I have to admit, this seems like a high risk situation. I kind of get why they didn't choose him.
Art-Girl: Does it hurt to regrow them? Like, there's a solid mass growing in his muscles.
Shotgun: He looks a lot more fit in that sequence though. Not as broad.
Lip-Bomb: It's always at will though, right? He doesn't accidentally shoot quills?
Art-Girl: His costume is different.
Siskoid: I love the steady stream of spikes hitting Superboy in the face for the length of a conversation. Yes, at will and like I said, he got better at it later.
Shotgun: I hadn't noticed that. It's great.
Art-Girl: Like, if there's a sudden accident, or sneeze, poof, spikes everywhere.
DJ Nath: I mean that's awesome, work at it and get better, good for you, Porcupine Pete.
Havana Nights: He does seem like a hard-working nice guy. I feel like he'd take care of me.
Art-Girl: His quads are amazing; I wish mine looked like that.
DJ Nath: The thank you cards really got me, that's a nice personal touch. Shows he cares.
Lip-Bomb: And it said he was popular with local people. He must be a nice guy.
Havana Nights: I hope he wasn't too crushed to be rejected. Poor fellow.
Art-Girl: I think he's down to earth and understands why and it's why he kept practicing.
Shotgun: Well, he even says it himself that his powers have limitations during the try-out. He must've seen it coming.
DJ Nath: Yeah, being self aware is sexy.
Siskoid: What do you think of the potential 'ship with Infectious Lass?
Shotgun: Hopefully, it's based on more than just "were rejected at the same time, so plainly made for each other."
Art-Girl: Better love story than Twilight.
Havana Nights: Is she nice? Cuz he deserves a nice girl.
Shotgun: She's the one with the green goo slimming off her arms.
Art-Girl: I think that would have been a nice couple.
DJ Nath: Kind of weird that a sticky person and a prickly person would date.
Art-Girl: Sad it didn't last.
Shotgun: Was it even a thing though?
Shotgun: Well, there.
Art-Girl: Then what was it???
Lip-Bomb: Well, they can't really be touchy people. Either of them.
Siskoid: They just seemed to have a cute rapport and the writer was leaning that way. Pete would jump to her defense very quickly when others got annoyed with her and they were always together.
Shotgun: I don't know... could have worked.
Art-Girl: I like the idea.
DJ Nath: I could ship it.
Shotgun: Maybe he just got friend-zoned.
Art-Girl: It's a relationship based on their personalities and how they are, not what they can offer sexually.
Lip-Bomb: Now I'm sad it never happened.
DJ Nath: Too bad it didn't pan out, seems nice.
Art-Girl: Poor Pete.
Shotgun: I think it's cool that they took the time to elaborate a strong friendship between characters of opposite sexes without them having to end up together. It doesn't always have to end in romance either.
Shotgun: So good for them.
DJ Nath: Agreed. Connections don't have to be romantic. You can just connect with people.
Art-Girl: That he can be friends with everyone, even those with whom he might have had something, and even put that aside and still be friends.
For a slightly different costume, here is the Legion animated series version of Porcupine Pete, in which he was the Subs' unofficial leader.
Siskoid: Never in the comics. But on the show, yes.
Havana Nights: Oh dear.
Art-Girl: Is this a joke?
Havana Nights: He has a potato head.
Lip-Bomb: He looks really grumpy here.
Shotgun: They're really making it hard.
DJ Nath: Hahaha, he looks like Statler and Waldorf.
Havana Nights: His chest emblem is kind of weird.
Lip-Bomb: What is up with the reindeer panache eyebrows?
Art-Girl: His eyebrows are like on owl-level fleek.
Siskoid: No, they're all young adults.
Havana Nights: And he looks like he has vampire teeth.
Art-Girl: Vampire teeth, more like bulldog. The teeth go up.
Science Girl: What's up with the little rectangle over his buldge?
Shotgun: Same belt effect as in the first picture.
Art-Girl: But there's no strap to the belt? How does that work?
Science Girl: That's the most half-assed belt ever.
Shotgun: Not a fan.
Lip-Bomb: It's like he's just wearing the buckle and not the rest of the belt.
Siskoid: Future fashions again.
Science Girl: I have so many belt related questions.
Art-Girl: Ask away.
Science Girl: Whhhhyyy...?
Havana Nights: Also, someone skipped leg day a few too many times.
DJ Nath: The spikes seem more deliberately placed, and I'm not sure I like it.
Lip-Bomb: The spikes seem more like decoration than a full-body mutation.
Shotgun: It all looks like a rushed design. Can't even commit to putting spikes everywhere. It could just as easily be part of the costume. Real limited as far as throwing them goes.
Art-Girl: The spikes don't even look legit. They look smooth and not that hurtful.
Shotgun: They could be feathers.
Science Girl: They LOOK like feathers.
Art-Girl: But he's not a bird, he's a porcupine. This is getting ridiculous.
Science Girl: Half-Plucked Turkey Lad.
DJ Nath: Haha.
Art-Girl: Hahahahaha Happy Thanksgiving, guys!
Siskoid: So... and I know Science Girl just walked in but...
Science Girl: Not. Next.
DJ Nath: I say hot. He sounds like a super nice and sweet guy. The cuddling would be difficult, but I feel like it would be worth it to figure it out. He seems like a catch.
Havana Nights: Except for the not being able to cuddle, he seems like good relationship material. Does that make him hot? I don't know.
Art-Girl: Even with his pretty cool personality - like he seems so nice, down to earth, nice family, Irish, friendly and approachable -like, off the bat, the description was amazing. I was, like, wow, and then the spikes, it just... I love to cuddle and hug, big spoon little spoon, I am a very affectionate person and I would find it hard to not be able to have that side of me in the relationship. And the looks were very lackluster... I'll have to say Pass.
Shotgun: His personality is the sweetest thing, which I love and dislike at the same time. Like, it takes some sweetness, but I feel like it could be too much. Physically, sorry, there's nothing. And I'm a touchy-feely person anyway, and I want to be able to cuddle. So it's a not for me.
Lip-Bomb: I'm not a very touchy-feely person anyway, so I'm not that disappointed with the cuddling thing. He seems like a decent guy, maybe too much a of nice guy for me, but he seems caring and hard-working. I like him. I mostly wish I had a porcupine joke.
Science Girl: So you like him in spike of it all, Lip-Bomb?
Lip-Bomb: Maybe he's a porcu-find?
Siskoid: Don't you porcuPINE for him?
Lip-Bomb: Ooooh you guys win.
Art-Girl: He always looks sharp. I am bad at this.
Shotgun: It just goes to show how picky I am.
Siskoid: Picky? Or prickly? Hey, porcufind isn't bad.
Shotgun: I wasn't even trying to make a pun. Everyone knows by now that I'm terrible at this. Instead, I should be going back through the feature to see how many I counted as Hots... I doubt there are even ten.
Next: Two for one.
Art-Girl: Bargain Lad?