Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny 1
Reviewed by Will Morgan 19-Jun-17
Yes, it’s fun… but in a smug, arch way that prevents it from being anywhere near as much fun as it clearly thinks it is.
So, this is the Legion entry in the DC/Warner Brothers series of crossover one-shots. Do I like it?
I don’t know.
It’s kind of fun… but isn’t it more fun if a parody actually bears some resemblance to the thing it’s supposed to be parodying?
Long story short; Supergirl is dying, and the only thing that can save her is an element which is extinct in the (sigh) 31st Century. But it’s around back when Superboy was alive, so an emissary is despatched to enlist Superboy’s help – but, for nefarious reasons, returns with Bugs Bunny instead. After an initial series of misunderstandings, and a heaping helping of plot contrivance, Bugs saves the day.
Writer Sam Humphries plays, as one of his major comedy cards, moments when the Legionnaires all stop what they’re doing to have a good old angstfest with portentous, rambling thought balloons (except for Timber Wolf, whose head proves to be as empty as we always thought it was. But I digress.) In fact, this is how our secret villain actually immobilises the Legion at one crucial point, by inducing an overloading “angst attack”.
All quite amusing, except… the Legion never did that. That was the X-Men’s schtick. The point of a parody is to lampoon traits that the original actually possesses, not to paste on traits from vaguely similar franchises.
It’s like Humphries came up with a plot for an X-Men/Bugs crossover, then couldn’t be arsed to actually find out about the characters he was writing, beyond the superficialities.
Bugs Bunny, on the other hand, is note-perfect; manic, selfish, impulsive but essentially goodhearted, his role in the story is delightful, leaving the Legionnaires looking kind of thin and flat in his wake. His presence saves not only Supergirl and the Legion, but the entire book.
As a back-up, we get… the same story, in a simpler, more cartoonified form. This is, I am told, some sort of half-arsed homage to the Silver Age, but frankly, with Legion appearances of any sort being so few and far between, does it make any sense to waste the publisher’s resources, and the reader’s time and patience, on a cut-down version of the same damn story?
I don’t want to sound unduly curmudgeonly. It is gratifying to see a version of the Legion we vaguely recognise again. (Except for Sun Boy. I don’t know what the Christ they thought they were doing with that costume.) And if you have any affection for the Legion or Bugs, I do urge you to buy it; but we’ve been waiting for the Legion to return to the DCU for such a long time now, and this, while pleasant, isn’t really what we’ve been waiting for.
It’s fun, yes, but nowhere near as much fun as it could have been. And removed, by an order of magnitude, from the amount of fun the creators clearly think it is.Tags: Brainiac 5, Brian Buccellato, Bugs Bunny, DC Comics, Juan Manuel Ortiz, Legion of Super-Heroes, Looney Tunes, Sam Humphries, Scott Hanna, Supergirl, Tom Grummett, Warner Brothers