Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reboot: Showcase '96 #10

Showcase '96 #10 (November 1996)
title: "Straight Time"
writer: Ron Boyd
penciller: Dean Zachary

inker: Ron Boyd
lettering: Chris Eliopoulos
colorist: James Sinclair
editor: Mike McAvennie
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Cosmic Boy, Ultra Boy; in flashback: Apparition (corpse), Brainiac 5, Gates, Saturn Girl

Police officers

Squirrel, Strafe, Winter

Several Legionnaires have just been stranded in the late 20th Century.

A convenience store is being robbed by two guys - Squirrel and Strafe - and a girl - Winter - and Ultra Boy intervenes. But when confronted by Winter about being just as much as a thug as she is, he remembers his less than clean record on Rimbor and lets them all go. He regrets it almost immediately, seeing the damage they caused the store. He next has a heart to heart with Cosmic Boy who tells him that he should see the Legion ring/emblem as more than a "club", that it stands for more, and Ultra Boy is once again committed to justice. Thankfully, Cos already caught Squirrel and Strafe. As for Winter, Jo finds her and she tells him she's abandoning her wild ways.
I don’t know what to say about this short story. I feel like nothing new or important came out of it. I guess I learned that Ultra Boy didn’t just have the bad boy look but has the past to accompany it other than working for that idiot McCauley. Honestly, there’s nothing surprising here and I don’t think it affects his character development at all. The whole story feels like a forced struggle, a fake dilemma and a clichéd resolution. If this would’ve happened before Tinya came back as a ghost-like form, I would’ve understand why Ultra would consider getting back to his former life. But in these circumstances who could believe that he’d leave the Legion with Tinya stuck in this state?
I can't disagree with you. This seems to be a writing try-out for regular Legion inker Ron Boyd and as such, can't do anything meaningful. I don't believe Jo's motivations for one second. It seems to me he parted ways with McCauley a long time ago and shouldn't be on the fence about what's right and what's wrong, and there's no way to reconcile the story with Tinya being back. He sees visions of her and the thing with Winter is presented as a possible love affair; it just doesn't work! What does work is Cos' speech about what it means to be a Legionnaire, and on a purely visceral level, Ultra Boy crushing a motorcycle in his hands. But that's hardly enough to save this angst-ridden short story.
Science Police Notes:  
  • The issue contains two other stories, on a tall tale about Bibbo, the other featuring Captain Comet during his stint with L.E.G.I.O.N.

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