Monday, September 13, 2021

Valor #18

Valor #18 (April 1994)
title: "DOA Aftermath The Vanishing"
writer: Mark Waid
penciller: Colleen Doran
inker: Mischa McDowell
letterer: Bob Pinaha
colorist: Dave Grafe
associate editor: Mike McAvennie
editor: KC Carlson
cover: Stuart Immonen & Dick Giordano (signed)

reviewers: Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage and Jason "Anachronistic Kid" Knol

The Legion of Super-Heroes (Brainiac 5, Dragonmage, Element Lad, Saturn Girl, Triad); Wave-Rider and the Time Linear Men 


Valor flies out of the time stream after having "just left" the 30th Century to investigate the past. He tells us that his time bubble crashed during the journey and that he was stranded in the time stream until an exit suddenly appeared. 

Seeing his younger dead self, Valor freaks out, and he thinks of his one thousand years imprisoned in the Phantom Zone Twilight dimension, sent there by Glorith.....who just happens to be standing right there.  Glorith doesn't really have time to reminisce with Valor, because she is busy "knitting the fabric of time together." Busy woman, that Glorith. 

She tells him that he must take the younger Valor's place in history....including his time in the Twilight Zone dimension. Valor freaks OUT over that condition, and quickly flies off. Glorith acquires a spaceship for the Legion, metaphorically pulling it out of her....hat....and they fly off after Valor. 

Elsewhen, the Linear Men are also monitoring Valor as he flies through space. They must have great cable reception. Valor comes across a battle cruiser attacking a shuttle, so stops the attack. Even though he's literally flying away for his life. 

The cruiser analyzes Valor and finds that he gets his power from starlight, so they attack with a cyber-cloak manta wrap with just a touch of BBQ sauce. They wrap themselves around Valor, trussing him up like a cocoon, which stops the solar energy from getting to him. Valor is brought back to the battle cruiser, which turns out to be Khundian, much to no one's surprise except Valor's. 

Russell's comments: 
Ugh. I hate this. 

I have come to expect MORE from Mark Waid, so this issue is a HUGE disappointment. NOTHING happens in this issue except Valor is upset that he may have to face another 1,000 years in The Zone. 

I get it. If I had been trapped in, say, North Korea, and had managed to escape, and was then told that I had to go BACK there, I would freak out, too. I don't have a problem with the predicament that Valor is facing. I DO have a problem with the way that Waid et al are showing how Valor is dealing with it. The Legion isn't doing anything worthwhile, and Glorith is now, somehow, SAVING the universe of all time and space (?) (not sure about that, honestly). The Linear Men are thrown in for....why, exactly? 

This story is a mess, and I don't expect it to get any better next issue. 

On the plus side, the art by Colleen Doran is lovely. The boys are handsome, the girls are beautiful, and the Khundian hardware looks appropriately menacing. Check out those time-line collapse pages, reprinted above. I know that they're just a bunch of squiggly lines, but Doran did a great job, and the coloring by Dave Grafe make those backgrounds look really impressive. 

Also, as a side note, not a big fan of the cover homage to CRISIS. I think there might have been a better way to illustrate the shock and drama of Valor confronting another dead Valor.  

Jason's comments: 
Gimme the Linear Men any day of the week and I'm on board. I love a good time-travel story, I love the DC multiverse messing with time and space, that's nothing but fun for me. Except this is Valor's story, and he's just such a dud. And no one believes the stakes here because it's in (what even then must've been) a fairly unpopular title. It's like watching wrestling-- they're not going to change champions at a house show (i.e. an untelevised match). You save the big events, the big moments, for the big stages. Valor is not a big stage.

And I feel like a broken record with my reviews, but everything about the Glorith character has been a mess. I'm all in favor of the villain-turned-hero trope, but the rushed romance of Waid's run never struck me as authentic, and it really kills the twists and turns of the last couple issues. Also I'll put out a hard disagree with Russell inasmuch as I love Crisis on Infinite Earths homage covers, and I have to imagine that any artist tasked with doing one gets a small thrill, or at least a geeky smile, to do so.

This series has not yet been reprinted.


  1. The cover kind of suggested, to me at least, the Eltro Gand story.

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