Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

The Legends of Tomorrow, Today!

Written By: See Below
Art By: See Below
Cover Price: $7.99
Release Date: March 16, 2016

*Non-Spoilers and Score at the Bottom*

Hey kids! Do you like the hit CW show Legends of Tomorrow? You do? Well have I got news for you! DC has released an anthology comic book titled Legends of Tomorrow, featuring all of your favorite characters from the series, like Firestorm! You like Firestorm, don'tcha? What's that? Who else is in it? Oh, you know, other characters, No? He's not on the show? What about the Metal Men? Not them, either? Well Sugar & Spike have to What kind of grift is this, anyway?? You may remember these books as having been announced at the beginning of the DCYou, though I inferred that they would be individual titles. And truly, they are: this anthology turns out to be four complete comic books for the price of almost three. But that's only worth your while if at least three of them are good. We agreed that it's unfair to judge Legends of Tomorrow, the comic book, as one issue since it's really four separate stories that happen to be bound under the same cover. So Eric and Reggie decided to do something never before done on this site: tag team this bitch and review two stories apiece. Does this comic book review experiment work as well as the comic book anthology experiment? Read on to find out!

Firestorm in "United We Fall, Part 1"

Written By: Gerry Conway
Art By: Eduardo Pansica, Rob Hunter
Colors By: Nunyo Bizness
Lettered By: Corey Breen

Explain It!:

Our Firestorm story begins with Professor Stein trying to run some tests on Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond fused in their Firestorm persona and right away I'm happy as hell because where I thought that this would just be a random out of continuity story, it appears that it fits in perfectly from where we left our hero.  Anyway, the tests are all about Stein trying to find out if the Firestorm Matrix is unstable or not, but the tests are put on hold because Ronnie is too damn headstrong....... which becomes the main focus of this story.  Throughout this part of the whole Legends of Tomorrow issue, we see that Ronnie just isn't a team player, whether it be with Jason, Stein or even his own football team.  While Ronnie goes about thinking that his shit don't stink, Jason is trying to get ready for an internship interview and appears that he's poisoned by a academic rival in order for her to further her own career by getting the internship instead of our boy Jason........ and instead of doing what his mother or even his love interest ask him to do, in this case take Jason to the hospital, Ronnie fuses with a fucked up Jason to take him to Professor Stein to see if the Firestorm Matrix being unstable could be the problem with Jason........ also this action causes Firestorm to crash land into Stein's lab with the two screaming........ So yeah, I'm saying that there is something wrong.  We get all of this and a brief introduction to our big threat of this series in the form of Multiplex kidnapping a expert in nuclear energy, named Dr. Marla Cunningham and like the Firestorm Matrix going all wonky, this can't be good either.

I really dug the fact that we went into this story with a continuity that we could all grab a hold of and it was able to pick back up from where we left Firestorm from his time in his own title, to even his time in the Justice League with ease.  As of right now the point of this story arc seems to be all about getting Ronnie to start acting like a team player and while I enjoyed it here, it was also a little bit too in your face, to the point where you kind of yell at the book for Ronnie's dick-ish actions because you get it already.  Ronnie needs some team building exercises.  The art in this book was really enjoyable though and besides for Ronnie's behavior being a little too over the top, the story was really enjoyable as well because it utilizes what makes Firestorm fun and that's having two kids who are complete opposites having to work together to be a superhero, while also combating their day to day high school lives.


Metamorpho in "Two Worlds, One Destiny Part 1: Bound But Not Broken"

Written By: Aaron Lopresti
Art By: Aaron Lopresti, Matt Banning, Chris Sotomayor
Letters By: Michael Heisler

Explain It!:

Welcome to the pilot episode of The Staggs at Home, starring Mister Simon Stagg, his daughter Sapphire, his ape-man lab assistant Java, and his prisoner, Rex Mason, aka Metamorpho! We spend much of this issue familiarizing ourselves with these characters and their relationships to one another, which is much appreciated. Rex Mason was once an contracted employee of Simon Stagg, adventuring around the world to collect artifacts for his arcane experiments and opulently-decorated powder room (even finding Java in ice on one expedition) when he came upon the Lost Pyramid of Ahk-Ton. Inside was the Orb of Ra, which gave Rex Mason the dubious power to change part or all of his body into any form of matter–including gases. Mr. Stagg then captured Mason and kept him prisoner with the Orb of Ra, which nullifies his Metamorphosing powers, in an attempt to tap into energy or power or whatever evil thing happens to strike his fancy. Sapphire gets hip to Project Metamorpho, and starts conversing with Rex, who gives her the idea that her dad is a shitheel. To make things more complicated, Java is sweet on Sapphire and hasn't been taking his ADHD medication. It all comes to a head at the end when Sapphire agrees to free Rex from his prison, just as Java is advancing with intentions to kill him! Also: Kanjar Ro is approaching in a spaceship. Somehow I think that will become important later.
This was a really tightly-plotted and nicely-written issue that unfortunately falls victim to a bit of Pilot Episode Syndrome. With that in mind, it does a pretty good job of telling us everything we need to know about each character through dialogue and action. The art was really solid, and there were a couple of cool splash pages, but this book wasn't exactly packed with action. The story is pretty compelling, there are some interesting moving parts in here and I aim to jam my finger into every one of 'em!


Sugar & Spike in "Fashion Sense"

Written By: Keith Giffen
Art By: Bisques Evely, Ivan Plascencia
Letters By: Tom Napolitano

Explain It!:

When we last left Sugar & Spike, Reggie had written a stupid article about them that was read by approximately three people. Well, they're back, and they're all grown up to have become private investigators, working specifically with and for the metahuman community. This job takes them to the seedy warehouse district of Gotham City, where Killer Moth is holed up, probably hanging out too close to open flames and blending into tree bark or something. The nuts and bolts of this issue is that S&S sneak into the warehouse, shoot Killer Moth's henchmen with special tranquilizer bullets (devised by the old baby genius himself, Bernie...who presumably is not a baby anymore) and accost Killer Moth who confesses to setting up some kind of villain clearing house that seems as ill-advised a venture as it is dumb. Turns out Suge & Spike are working for Batman via Alfred, in order to recover old Silver Age Batman suits like the zebra suit and the rainbow-colored ones that you often see named in any list of silly Batman stories. At the end, Sugar & Spike go home separately, only to arrive at the same location; they are upstairs and downstairs neighbors! Here's hoping this leads to some Too Close For Comfort-inspired hijinks.
The thing to this story is the characterization, such as it is: Spike is an inquisitive, supplicant dope, which is in accord with his baby character from the original Sheldon Mayer stories. But Sugar is straight up mean and perpetually negative, which is not like she was in the original stories. She was more bossy than cruel. There's this banter with Killer Moth that I think was supposed to be funny, but...well, it wasn't. The highlight of this book is the art, which actually serves the story better than the story itself. I'm guessing these private investigators will be working with different heroes and/or villains each issue, but if this is going to be the tenor of the book then I don't know if I care to follow along.


The Metal Men in "Robots, Go Home!"

Written By: Len Wein
Art By: Yildiray Cinar, Trevor Scott, Dean White
Lettered By: Steve Wands

Explain It!:

Our Metal Men story begins with a town under siege from a top secret government carrier hidden by clouds that drop robot missile men down from the sky............ that's right, you read that correctly.  As our story progresses and our Metal Men are called in to take care of the problem, we learn that this attack was carried out by a villain calling himself "Nameless"....... which is a bit disappointing because aren't we all looking for that great over the top villain name?....... anyone?  Anyway, it seems that this hacker has been causing trouble for awhile because he's just like Francis from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and he can't accept that he can't have Dr. Will Magnus' bicycle....... I mean Metal Men.  On top of this villain causing havoc left and right until he gets what he wants, we also have the American people putting their foot down about robots ravaging their country and are now protesting about it.......... Hell, they were even protesting during the Metal Men's initial fight with the missile men, while their town was burning and I have no idea where they got the material to create picketing signs.  In the end though, it looks like Nameless is going to have to up his game because with a robotic fly on the wall of Dr. Magnus' lab, Nameless finds out that with all the trouble going on, the government plans on decommissioning our heroes and that doesn't jive with Nameless' plans to get his bicycle........... I mean, Metal Men.

Overall this was a decent story about the Metal Men, I especially like the subplot of the people protesting the government for all the damage their pet robot monsters cause.  Really though I appreciate the love and admiration that the Metal Men and Dr. Magnus have for one another in this story because while these are automatons, they have such life to them and love for the man that created them and that continues in the fatherly way that Magnus sees his creations.  It's just nice is all, but the narration from Will Magnus did get a little too over the top in this because with every sentence, he's just patting himself on the back for being a genius and it made laugh at the story at hand because of how hammy he came off in his own mind.  It's not bad, it's just silly and we already have that with how the Metal Men act towards him the entire issue.  Overall though, this like the Firestorm story works really well because it exists within the continuity of current DC Comics and gives us a look at what these characters are up to while they don't appear in bigger titles.  The art was fantastic from beginning to end and as generic as it sounds, the colors just popped off the page.


Bits and Pieces:

As stated, we didn't see the point in judging this entire book as a whole, since it's four completely different stories that have nothing to do with each other. So we're going to list the scores for each individual story, then do an average score for those who like that sort of thing. Take from these numbers what you will!

Firestorm: 7.5/10
Metamorpho: 8/10
Sugar & Spike: 6/10
Metal Men: 7/10


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