Saturday, November 22, 2008

Adam Hughes, Mermaids, and Girls in Bathing Suits


I'm stuck on the current phase of my project so I decided to talk about a good comic book.

LEGIONNAIRES #7

October 1993


Legionnaires #7 is a "done in one" story that takes place right after a six-issue storyline that was very heavy. At this point in time, when you needed a lighter story with a fill-in artist, DC went to Adam Hughes, most famous at the time for his work on Justice League America. This was before Adam Hughes worked with Wildstorm FX on Gen13 and learned Photoshop which revolutionized his artwork.

As an aside, my copy is signed by Adam Hughes, probably at a time prior to his adoption of Photoshop as a primary tool, taking his talent to a different level entirely. If you check out Adam Hughes' origins for Wonder Woman and Power Girl in 52, you know how even his panel to panel work has been transformed by his evolution.

SUMMARY

Inferno, Triad, Matter-Eater Lad, Brainiac 5, Andromeda, Apparition, Ultra Boy, and Shrinking Violet are taking a vacation to the Atlantis dome of New Earth. They check into an inn run by an Atlean family complete with a cute mermaid daughter with a crush on Inferno. Operating under the assumption that everything is being comped, Inferno and Matter-Eater Lad indulge in play, and Matter-Eater Lad tries to put the moves on Shrinking Violet, who's interested in just being friends.The Legionnaires get caught in the crossfire of Atlanteans and alien Devil-Fish, and discover that the Devil Fish secretly settled on Earth, and thought the Atlanteans were responsible for the deaths caused when the domed cities of New Earth fled the destruction of Earth.

The Legionnaires leave, much to the disappointment of the hotel owner, and among them all, Shrinking Violet realizes that they were supposed to pay. Inferno returns and learns that the hotel owner was ashamed to embarrass the Legionnaires by correcting them. Despite their pleading, the other Legionnaires refuse to pony up more credits to Inferno and Matter-Eater Lad who ran up the highest bills while on vacation. Meanwhile Violet does admit that Matter-Eater Lad is cute.



REVIEW:

Tom & Mary Bierbaum were known for scripting some of the darkest stories in Legion history. It's nice to see it contrasted with this story. It's light and fun, and it would have been great to see this tone continued for years and years. However, DC Editorial felt the need to reboot the Legion so that it could attract new readers. This is now being tried for the third time. Enough about current DC Editorial policy, this is one very well written story. It's simple, cute, and concise. There's nothing here that doesn't need to be there.

The artwork by Adam Hughes is excellent and could only be better if it were done by the Adam Hughes of today. The Adam Hughes of fifteen years ago was an exceptional artist. The Adam Hughes of today is a phenominal artist. The best example of this in this story is when the hotel owner says good bye and violet looks back, realizing their mistake. The empty space on the page shows more skill than any line put on the page. Sometimes being a good artists is all about what you don't draw.



NOTES:

Again, this issue has never been collected. I'm sick of saying that about really good stories when crap like that issue of Spider-Woman gets collection treatment so people can be reminded of how crappy comics can be. Look for this issue. You might pay a little more because it's an Adam Hughes comic, but you shouldn't pay too much.

FINAL RATING: 9 (out of 10)

The highest rating I've given so far for a comic. It'd get an extra half point if it were a life-changing story or the inker and colorist blended better with Adam Hughes. I'm really looking forward to All-Star Wonder Woman.

Okay, back to trying to figure out this page.

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