Monday, May 18, 2015

Adventures in the DC Universe #10

Adventures in the DC Universe #10
starring the Legion of Super-Heroes!
"The Blobs"
Written by Steve Vance
Pencilled by John Delaney
Inked by Ron Boyd
Colored by Tom McGraw
Lettered by Tim Harkins
Released on November 19th 1997

I believe this marks the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the DC Animated Universe. In addition to this series, Adventures in the DC Universe, the DCAU at the time this issue went on sale (November 1997) consisted of Batman the Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, and Superman the Animated Series, as well as their comic tie-in series Batman Adventures, Batman & Robin Adventures, and Superman Adventures. The Legion of Super-Heroes wouldn't make their onscreen debut in the DCAU until the 1998 episode of Superman the Animated Series titled, "New Kids in Town."

Monitor Duty:
Apparition, Brainiac-5, Chameleon, Bouncing Boy, Ferro Lad, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Gates, Invisible Kid, Livewire (Lightning Lad), Spark (Lightning Lass), Kinetix, Sensor, Shvaughn Erin (Science Police Liaison), Star Boy, Matter-Eater Lad, Triad, Ultra Boy, Violet (Shrinking Violet), and XS.

The issue opens with a Legion cruiser being attacked by a giant space blob's tractor beam. The Legion escape their trapped ship and take the fight to the space blob. Unfortunately, they aren't proving too successful, as the blob quickly makes short work of them, trapping the Legion alongside their ship in it's giant slimy mass. Meanwhile, the time-displaced and newer Legion member Ferro Lad is chewed out by Brainiac-5 for interrupting one of his experiments. He then walks around Legion HQ feeling inadequate compared to all of the more seasoned Legion veterans. After a reassuring pep talk from Science Police Liaison Shvaughn Erin, a confidence-restored Ferro Lad goes to apologize to Brainiac-5, only to find Brainiac-5's lab on fire. He quickly radios for backup from Bouncing Boy and Matter-Eater Lad.

Back at the battle against the space blob, the odds are looking increasingly hopeless as the Legionnaires struggle to get free before their ship's power cells overload and detonate. Saturn Girl has made telepathic contact with the space blob, and deduces that it is a giant cosmic anti-body convinced that the Legion are invading germs.

Entering Brainy's smoky lab, Ferro finds a ko'd Brainiac-5 and Benn Pares, a burglar plundering the treasures of the lab. With the aid of Bouncing Boy, Matter-Eater Lad, and Gates, Ferro saves the day by disarming the thief and removing him from Legion HQ through one of Gates' portals.

Back in space, just as it seems that all hope is loss and that the ship is going to detonate, Saturn Girl goes for broke and unleashes a telepathic blast. The threat disappears. It seems that there never was a galactic space blob after all. Instead it was all a hallucination caused by the a delirious Sensor projecting the illusion of an unbeatable foe in her injured state.

The Legion regroups and congratulates Ferro Lad on saving the day at HQ, the end.

Final Thoughts:
This was a fun little action romp that would serve as a good introduction to the Legion of Super-Heroes to younger readers, the target audience of the DC Animated Universe Comic series. The opening double page splash complete with each member's head shot and name served as a helpful key to the characters in the book, but it would have been nice to also list their powers for new readers. The story happening in space with the space blob was a bit convoluted and had a weak conclusion, but it was essentially just a way to get all of the heavy hitters of the Legion away from HQ so that the self-doubting, new member Ferro could get a moment to shine. Ferro Lad definitely got the most characterization out of the cast. He was the kid that felt like he didn't fit in, something that many young kids in the target audience probably can identify with.

The art was great, it moved the story along and captured the DCAU aesthetic perfectly. Delaney does a great job of balancing the huge cast of Legion characters and bringing them into the DC Animated Universe for the first time.

Unfortunately, this series hasn't been collected yet, but there's hope. DC has been reprinting The Batman Adventures series and also released a few Superman Digests that reprinted content from The Superman Adventures comic series. Hopefully over the next couple of years all of the DC Animated Universe comic tie-in series will finally be collected in their entirety.

1 comment:

  1. Check out Kyle's audio review of this issue, too, here: